IMG_0118 Our Ridley boy is two.

How this happened? I still don't know.

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Since his birthday is two days before Valentine's Day and he loves dogs, the theme for his party this year was "Puppy Love." I had so much fun planning the details and tried to keep everything very low key yet fun for the kids.

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The color pallete was simple - red, white, yellow, and dark brown.

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Ridley has this really cute John John with an appliqued puppy dog and we used that as inspiration for his party package which includes an invitation, banner, food labels, gift bag labels, and a coloring page.

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Our guest list for this party included our extended family and a few close friends who had children Ridley's age and older siblings for the girls to play with. We held the party in our playroom (pictures coming soon of this recent before-and-after project!) and the weather was so nice that guests could sit on the back patio too.

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Activities for the kids included a Valentine cookie decorating station, coloring pages, and a play puppy station. I had ordered some mini heart shaped balloons that the little kids had fun playing with and the big kids enjoyed getting to run around outside. Simple, simple, simple!

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For food, we had "hot dogs," "puppy chow," "dog biscuits," and I ordered Ridley a heart-shaped cookie cake with a puppy dog on it (he loves cookies and chocolate!). My mother-in-law also brought a dip. Have you ever tried cooking hot dogs in a crockpot? I tried it for this party and it cut down on mess in my kitchen. I just put the hot dogs in my crockpot four hours before the party and turned them once every hour. The dog biscuits were Scooby-Doo snacks that I bought at the grocery store and the puppy chow was offered as a salty Cheese Nip snack mix and a sweet Chex Mix blend. Here's the Chex Mix Puppy Chow recipe from The Recipe Critic:

Supplies:

5 oz. Almond bark or white chocolate chips

1/2 cup Powdered sugar

1 tsp Shortening

1 cup Strawberry cake mix

5 cups Chex cereal

5 0z Candy melts, red (I used one that had a peppermint flavor to it...yum!)

1/2 package Valentine's chocolate m & m's.

Make it:

Divide chex mix into two separate bowls. Melt half the white chocolate/almond bark and the shortening and pour into one bowl of Chex mix. Coat the Chex mix with the almond bark and then dump into a ziplock bag. Mix together have the powdered sugar and the strawberry cake mix together and then pour into the ziplock bag. Shake the Chex mix so it is covered with the sugar/cake mix. Next, melt the remainder chocolate bark with the candy melts and pour into second bowl of Chex mix. Coat the Chex mis with the melted chocoate and pour into a ziplock bag. Use the remainder of your powdered sugar to cover the Chex Mix. Pour half of both bags into bowl and sprinkle Valentine's m&m's on top. Munch and enjoy!

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I found cute paper products at Michael's for his party that went with our Valentine's theme and bought balloons and candles from TomKat studio. I bought a heart rug for the entry of my playroom and dog bowls to serve the food in at Target and had the Artist Tree make me a Valentine's Day door hanger.

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To get clever with the dog theme, we gave Ridley's guests bouncy balls that I found at The Dollar Tree with the saying, "We had a ball! Thanks for coming to Ridley's 2nd Birthday Party." It was super cute and a very inexpensive gift!

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Being Ridley's mom is such a treat and I really enjoyed getting to celebrate his second birthday with our family and friends. As a party planning mama, sometimes I let the details and the work of planning a party exhaust me. Keeping everything simple and the guest list minimal really helped me enjoy the party.

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Now that we have a two year old in our lives, he is communicating with his favorite words: "mama" "whoa!" "dog," "woof, woof," "no," and "tur-tle." He loves watching Ninja Turtles, chasing his sisters, and eating anything we put in front of him. He's transitioned recently into a toddler bed yet his faded blue blanket still follows him everywhere he goes. Ridley is also beginning to potty train and has started attending the same school as the girls. He's all boy but he sure does love his sisters. I can't help but let them tackle one another with hugs and kisses when it is time to pick them up. Ridley weighs 28.5 pounds and is 35 inches tall.

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Ridley is still my baby but he's growing into a little boy. I love his full-on kisses, high-pitched laugh, and white-blonde hair more than I ever thought possible. Even though I know the toddler years are going to be full of meltdowns and challenges, I'm trying my best to savor the sweet moments that make life with children so very special. Celebrating his birthday was one way for us to rejoice in the life of our boy and I'm so thankful for everyone that joined us.

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To see more party packages and printables, head on over to our Etsy shop.

You can also follow my "Fun Party Ideas" board on Pinterest for more inspiration!

Celebrating you,

Christen

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