DKD’s Animal Spectacular

For Dexter’s 2nd birthday we decided to host a party at our home in our brand new sparkly garden.

Dex is mad on animals so we thought an animal theme would be ideal, and I love dressing up so what better than for all the kids to come dressed as their favourite animal!

I created the invites using a fantastic free app called Red Stamp. It’s brilliant and looks very fancy. I text out the invites to keep the costs down whilst trawling through Pinterest for some animal party inspiration. Blimey there is A LOT on there!

We decided early on not to get D a present but to just to pay for the party. We had a smallish budget and I did stress about keeping to it just a teeny bit.

I will admit that the guest list got a bit out of control, but having a full house is what we love. Some of my very awesome (childless) friends decided that it shouldn’t just be fancy dress for the kids but for everyone. I only found out this information 2 weeks before the party so the OH and I hastily mustered together some animal type (crap) costumes. Those that dressed up looked some amazing and I bought some medals and trophies for the winners.

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My original plan for Dexter was for him to dress as a zoo keeper. I won an auction on eBay for a tabard but when it arrived it was humongous and so filthy that plan B had to be enforced. Dex was Ace Ventura and I think (biased) that he looked blooming awesome. The mad costume was a perfect reflection of his personality.

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I didn’t go too mad on linking the food with the party theme, I just wanted to keep to the traditional party food spread. I made a few cakes, nibbles, sandwiches and fruit bits. My mum made an amazing cake and I am very proud of her. I did look into paying for one but was a bit shocked about the price (a 1/3 of my budget). I showed my mum the picture of a cake I’d found on Pinterest and she accepted the challenge. She very much enjoyed basking in the glory and applause on the day!

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The decorations were bought from eBay, Hobbycraft and good old ASDA. I did have grand plans about more bunting, more balloons and more ooopmh but unfortunately we ran out of time (and the OH decided to try to fix the bathroom sink at the last-minute!)

We hired some soft play equipment from a brilliant local company and a friend of a friend came along to face paint the guests (mainly adults!)

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Dex was asleep whilst we were setting everything up and I wish I’d captured the moment on camera when I opened his bedroom window and he looked down into the garden at the transformation. He let out the most amazed “WOW” and my heart just melted. He was such an angel throughout the party. He was mingling, playing with other kids and sharing his toys around. He was also making his way round and eating cheese balls from everyone’s plates but it was his birthday so I turned a blind eye. He successfully consumed his bodyweight in Haribo too but was still asleep by 8pm.

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We hired a photographer this year to capture everything. My friend Amy did it last year but I didn’t think it fair that she missed out on things this time. We have some beautiful photos of some of the guests and it warms my heart to see the fun we created in our little garden.

We plan to host a party for Dexter each year until he suggests otherwise. Its a oppotunity for us to celebrate his life and a chance for us all to get together (and to show off our wonderful son!)

A huge thank you to everyone who came along, everyone who played a part in the day and everyone that made such a huge effort to make D’s birthday animal-tastic.

Thanks for reading

Mummy over and out


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