Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Logan's 1st Birthday PARTY VENDOR REVIEWS


I had such a blast planning Logan's Bubble Birthday in the park, and it would not have been the perfect day it was with out the following vendors- so I wanted to write up a review post and share the goodness.

Jayme Marie Designs on Etsy
Good lord I LOVE ETSY!!!! From my baby shower invites, to our birth announcements (both by Katie Did Designs) Esty is just a goldmine of brilliant designers who have the skills to make your event invites-printables-thank you notes-etc beyond FABULOUS!! While staying frugal .
I mention the birth announcements and baby shower invites by Katie because I LOVED THEM and only found Jayme when I went searching for a weenie dog invite specifically- since this is my first bigolereviewpost I thought I would mention her because if you are looking for invitations both shops/designers are really awesome!!!


Westside Print Center
I was lucky enough to start working with these guys when I had an office job with the DDG Erica Courtney Inc. and they never dissapoint.
Greg & Co printed EVERYTHING for my wedding, of course our birth announcements, and everything for Logan's 1st birthday!!
They are well priced, efficient and great quality.
They cut out these adorable flags for me that they'd printed (love the little flags- thanks again, Jayme Marie Designs!!)


Woah. Ya, I'll give you another minute to soak up that GORGEOUS website. Tom's work is spectacular. AND a Packer fan? We like. This was an honor and a blessing to have him shoot Logan's party- we can't wait to do a family portrait with him and I wish I could act because if I could look like that in a headshot- I'd have me some mommy business cards made!
I can not recommend having a savy, perfessional, creative, sharp photographer at major family milestone events like this was. It frees you up so much to just enjoy the moment and MAKING the memories that TCKPhoto so perfectly captured for us to charish forever.



Bubble Mania & Co
If I had a nickle for every time I said out loud, "Thank YOU NPH for that fabulous idea or catchphrase from HIMYM" I'd be able to retire! Add to that another $.05 for every time something I saw on The Ellen Show changed my life and I could retire a whole posse to relax on an island with me!!
This was one of those cross-over moments that I simotaneously thank Neil Patric Harris AND Ellen.
NPH mentioned that this is what they did for the twins 1st birthday during a guest spot, and I thought it sounded BRILLIANT!! That's because IT IS!!!!!!
We chose the "outdoor playtime hour" because we didn't have any indoor space for the party- and for a 2 year-old and friends that was perfection.
Our bubbologist was helpful (had a lighter for the cake- which I forgot!), punctual and AMAZING with the kids!! We will hire them again WITH OUT QUESTION- especially when we have a partially indoor space and can get all up in the science (when Logan is a little older!)



Mar Vista Rec Center
This was an easy pick because it's the park Logan and I go to weekly to play. Lesson learned though- make your reservation for a picnic area EARLY. We had wanted to do it the weekend before his Labor Day weekend birthday but when I called in July that was already booked. Also make sure you bring your reservation paperwork when you get there to set up. When I arrived a family with no reservation had an easy up, grills and all kinds of business set up in our area for their kids birthday- the office at the park is staffed 7 days and the woman working there was super sweet and helpful at getting them moved and clearing the area for us to get set up and par-tay. On that note- plan for that in your set-up time, just in case- it did put about at 23/30 minute ding in my getting the area ready, which meant quite a few less balloons than I had hoped for. No major biggie, but something to consider.
The fee is about $120 to reserve, totally worth it for us!


Decor etc.
Party City on Sepulveda
Ok, pretty sure there's got to be a less expensive option if I'd researched a bit more, but I did get EVERYTHING for under $150, with my 11 month in tow, and loved the look we were able to achieve with the exact colors I had in mind.
I'm a believer in "the rule of three" when you're planning ANY event- pick 3 colors and attach them to every detail you possibly can- it gives whatever you are doing a professional, cohesive, more-expensive-looking asthetic.
Logan LOVES yellow- so that was a natch, then I saw (on Pinterest, where else) a beautiful garden party set up with yellow, orange and turquoise. So summery- so boy with out being too boy (what does that mean, I don't even know...) SO I headed to party city and got
Table covers, plates, plastic flatware, cups, napkins, clear serving tongs and spoons, plastic serving bowls and trays, tissue paper, curling ribbon, crepe streamers, and balloons. It's a little too easy to go nut nut overboard in there- so be careful- try to lay out the look and make a detailed list before you walk in there.


Del Rey Party Rentals
Helium tank
Yes, I'm clearly insane. There is a helium shortage. Google it, I'm totally serious! I wanted to get a little mini disposable tank from Target or whatever- but no luck. Shortage. Wanted to just have party city fill em for me- but they couldn't guarantee they'd have it till the day before. Shortage. I HAD to have balloons (again, insane) so after calling every freakin party store on the Westside the only one I could find that had a small tank to rent was this place in Hawthorne (not exactly right next door.)
Pros- I had balloons!
the drive there and then back there to return it
When I got there the told me they had no record of my reservation of the tank (I'd given a credit card number the week before to hold it) and after 15 minutes they found it.
Barley used the helium- not their fault, note that ding in my set up time above under the rec center review.

Still- their showroom is very nice and they are FULL SERVICE. They also seem pretty competitively priced.


Goodie Bags
Oriental Trading Co.
These looked fabulous thanks to Jayme Marie Designs- the little thank you tags were just adorable- and the bags were a snap to make (and UBER CHEAP) using a brown lunch sack, hole punch, ty tag and some curling ribbon!
I ordered bubbles (duh), crayons, little paper pads from OTC- they were super cheap, arrived fast and none of the bubbles spilled/leaked anywhere- SCORE.
I also baked giant home-made M & M cookies and stuck them in white CD/DVD sleeves from staples- super cute and easy (and agian CHEAP).

Other DIY stuffs
I have a friend that has a Cricut- we all need that friend. Or we need the Cricut. She cut out adorable Polariod-look photo frames that I framed a photo of Logan for each month of the year and lined up on the gift table. My initial plan was to hang them like a laundry line (like the flags in the top pic) but there was such wind I thought taping them down was better.

Costco- beef and pork for the sandwhiches (very well priced), individual good fish cracker bags for snack table, Pub Mix (my husbands FAVORITE) for each table in little bowls, tortalini and pesto for skewers, Greek yogurt dip for slaw, juice boxes, water, and cake- their cake is great when you've got a crowd- serves like 40 people for $17 and is very moist & yummy.

Trader Joes-fruit squeezie packets for the kiddos

Sprouts Market- fruit for rainbow kabobs, everything for cous cous salad

Smart n Final- cabbage & carrots for slaw

Target- WINE CUBES which I HIGHLY recommend, they are cheap, the Cab/Shiraz is really good and they are good 4 weeks from when you open them! HOORAY!

What I would do differently:
          Not much- it was really such a perfect day!!
          Music! didn't really think of it :P should've brought our iPod and outdoor speakers


nicol said...

Wow!This is a good idea for the 1st birthday party.There is an indoor playground in Melbourne named”Jungle”. It provide the party packages which include a free entry voucher for the Birthday child,unlimited playtime in the centre,unique special V.I.P Party Area for parents,sit and relax with the children,prepare and provide everything for the party.Not only the party it also provide 1st Birthday’s,Christenings,any religious occasions,30th, 40th or 50th Birthday Celebrations,special Needs Children’s Groups,School or Kinda Break up Parties,Work and/or Christmas Party Functions.So please visit it.Check it

Beth G. @SweetLifeKitchen said...

That sounds really cool Nicol! I would go there in a heartbeat if someone wanted to fly me over to Australasia!! What fun!