Earlier in the summer (before I realized I was pregnant), I was really feeling down a little bit depressed. For some reason, planning Jade’s 6th birthday party made me light up and get really excited during a time I felt super sick, and when I really didn’t feel like doing much of anything else. As you might have seen on my Instagram, she has been obsessed with her mermaid tail pretty much all summer, and it came as no surprise that she wanted to do a mermaid themed birthday party… The only problem is that her birthday is on September 22nd, and our swimming pool closes around Labor Day weekend. Again weighing out all the pros and cons in my mind, I decided to host her birthday party a little earlier than usual to accommodate the mermaid/swimming party request.
Luckily for this little girl parties give me life and a happiness like very few things in life. So maybe it’s more for me, but I am TOTALLY okay with that. Jade is also to that sweet age where she gets so excited about every little thing, and she’s definitely my daughter because she is so appreciative of all the littlest details, which makes me smile.
You know you’re a party planning hoarder when… Okay, is it sad that I had 90% of the decor on hand? Seriously, it was really quite easy to find a ton of decorations from shopping my house to make this party come together, so I apologize in advance if you are unable to the exact find things I used as most of them are 4+ years old.I used paper lanterns as “jellyfish” that I squashed down a bit and tied some ribbon and tulle ribbon from. The paper fans, see-through fringe, and little twisty stars were all from other parties and I’m really pleased with how it came together to make this display and the focal point above the food table. I re-used my infamous rosegold sequins tablecloth (that you’ve probably seen at multiple parties) with some fishnets found at the dollar store, starfish ordered online, shells and glass (also from the dollar store.)
I continued the themes on each of the kid’s tables and set up plastic tablecloths, normally I would never do plastic but I felt that it was appropriate considering everybody would be wet from the pool… I used paper place settings with these darling color coordinated seashell napkins and plastic gold silverware. I doubled the cup as a “favor cup” filled with miniature starfish, a starfish bath bomb, a pack of mermaid tissues, a string of pearls, and a miniature mermaid nail polish. The boys had swag bags on the table (with pink tissue) that contained salt water taffy, sunglasses, and a few other knickknacks that were better suited for boys.
Jade’s mermaid cake and cupcakes were inspired by a LOT of different cakes I saw on Pinterest, but really came together last minute as I just started adding random things until I felt good about it. These seashells and mermaid molds actually came from Amazon and were so much fun to use! My only regret was not ordering multiple sets so I could maximize my time. Because I ended up waiting for each one to harden, before I could release them, and start making them again… Just FYI. I did have a blast mixing different colors together to come up with some fun combinations.
I filled the cake with raspberry cream cheese filling and using homemade buttercream, I did an ombre effect from top to bottom to make it feel more nautical. I topped the cake with chocolate shells and mermaid tails, crushed graham cracker “sand”, rock candy bits of “sea glass” and a gigantic number 6, in case anyone forgot how old Jade was turning.
Our menu consisted of shells and cheese, (I used to the Pioneer Woman recipe) which is my absolute favorite mac & cheese recipe. Topped with an “octopus” hotdog. They’re surprisingly simple to make… cut a hotdog in half and cut out six or eight little legs and then boil. When you boil them, the little “legs” tend to flip outward looking just like a little octopus. I also served blue Jell-O topped with Swedish fish and an octopus gummy with a little umbrella to tie it all together. to add some real food, there were sides of grapes, carrots, ranch and of course goldfish crackers.
Also, what is a pool party without ice pops!?
The beverages were made up of blue punch and lemon-lime soda. I served it in a large mason jar with a mermaid sign I found at the Dollar Tree.
The main activity for this party was swimming and letting the kids hang out. Which was surprisingly much easier than years past, because I didn’t need to have 10 games prepared. But the real star the afternoon was the enormous inflatable shell and pearl that I found at Walmart! I cannot believe how much fun the kids were having on that, and how well it accommodated so many children. and major bonus points because it was adorable and spot on with the theme.
It was sure it was going to pop at some point, but it totally held up! This party timing-wise was so nice to just let them swim, then have them hop out for a quick lunch, followed by a game, cake and presents.
The game we played was a simple fishing game that my sweet husband set up behind a blue tarp to be the “water“. He cut and filed and old carabiner to look like a hook and we had the kids throw the hook over the tarp into the “water“ to go fishing and catch their prize. Each of the girls caught a plush mermaid doll while the boys caught a little starfish that would grow 600 times its size in water… I was actually surprised at how much the kids absolutely loved this little game and it was way more time-consuming and effective than a lot of other party games I’ve done in the past. I had a bag for each child to hold their “catch of the day” and their favor cup filled with goodies to it was easy to take home.
Presents and Forgetting to Sing “Happy Birthday”
We actually forgot to sing happy birthday, as we started opening presents and I allowed kids to eat cupcakes during all of that… As you can imagine Jade received mermaid games, art sets, jewelry sets and mermaid Barbies. It was pretty much the “best day ever”. We ended up not even cutting into the cake and ended up singing to her at home with grandma and grandpa when we got home, so it all worked out.
I can’t believe that my Jade is going to be six years old! More than ever, I wish I could freeze time right now where she is my sweet little buddy who just thinks the world of us and who wants to do right by us. She is such an obedient and mindful little girl that it makes up for her moments of sassiness and drama. I absolutely love her little personality and her good heart. Jade, I hope your birthday was memorable, magical and everything you dreamed it would be. I love you so much and hope all of your hopes and dreams come true now and always.