Parties: Polka Dot Birthday Party

My sweet little girl was turning two, and she loved nothing more than to demonstrate her newfound hopping skills. We wanted a casual lunch party with family and close friends. And I wanted to enjoy each hop and smile without feeling anxious about what needed done next. I selected a menu that could be prepared almost entirely in advance and would be easily self-served on a buffet.

On the lunch menu:

  • Ina Garten’s Herb-Marinated Pork Tenderloin (marinated in advance, then grilled, sliced thin, and served with rolls)
  • Homemade apple chutney (made in advance)
  • Cheesy potato casserole (made in advance)
  • Green beans (prepared from frozen)

I chose a simple party theme of black, yellow, and white polka dots when I made her invitations. “Two rocks my socks off…makes me wanna hop.”

Polka Dot Invite MOD

From her first birthday, I continued my tradition of selecting signature papers and ribbon from the craft store and using them to make simple, cost-effective decorations (that easily pop into a scrapbook after the party). It’s easy, fits my crafting skillset, and enables me to add last minute touches with leftover papers or ribbons (like tying a ribbon bow around a Sharpie next to plastic cups for names or using leftover paper scraps to make food labels or instruction signs like “please take one”).  I cut out my fair share of circles for this…by hand. I traced plates and cups and cut them from cardstock. A large shape punch or scrapbooking cutter would have done wonders here.

We jazzed up simple party favor bags by stenciling recipients’ names and hanging them on a “favor tree”.



Simple front door and table décor.




My sweet and talented friend Marci made this cake as a gift!


My hopping little girl loved the party and we loved creating the party for her and actually enjoying it with her!