June 27, 2019

Oliver’s Puppy Party

My boy is dog obsessed. Everywhere we go, he spots them from afar and must go up and greet each and every one. If he hears barking within a mile radius, he runs to the window, shouting “woof woof”. They’re the books he picks to read and the coloring pages he chooses to color first. His love affair runs deep. So when it came time to plan Oliver’s 2nd birthday party, I knew we had our theme.

This may be my favorite photo of all time. Behold: A beaten down Instagram husband in the wild.

When I was thinking about signage, I’ve done a hand-painted poster and a big scripted balloon. I’m over the balloon garlands and I already had a banner (in the form of the greeting cards- see below). Since I like to mix it up and keep things fresh, I decided to try window painting for the first time. In my head, it was going to say “Happy Birthday Oliver” in big slanted script across the entire window. In reality, we have panes and panels that stick out. So individual block letters it was. Still, I kind of love the way it turned out.

The star of the show woke up from his nap to find party set-up in full swing.

I found this adorable greeting card from Meri Meri and loved the style so much, I bought three, made a banner out of and planned the whole party aesthetic around them.

You know I had to get some stripes in there! This muted mint tablecloth provided the perfect subtle something as opposed to plain white.

The letter board and letters came from the Target dollar bin as did the cupcake stands. The large white cake stand is by one of my favorite bloggers, Ashley at Sugar & Cloth.

The cake and cupcakes (which were so delicious!) are from Palmer’s Sweetery & Cafe, a local bakery in town. Working with Kia, the owner, was such a pleasure.

The blue milk glass one (that I bought for this back to school party) is from Shop Sweet Lulu.

I brought Kia from Palmer’s the bone sprinkles and she put them on the cupcakes for me- one less thing I had to do!

The puppies in party hats made such a cute statement. I sent Chiara from Chiarabelle an image of the greeting card and asked her to mimic the color palette, which she did perfectly. She also included this sweet little flag free of charge!

I love this magnetic board- that also doubles as a dry erase- from The Typeset Co. (You’ll be seeing a lot more of it to come soon!) I was originally going to use their awesome letters or write something of my own, but when I found the dog butt (and fire hydrant) magnets, I decided to do a picture collage instead.

And, if you saw my Instagram Stories, you know I slaved for days over this puppy planter and feared blowing up my oven as it was the first time I attempted an at-home kiln.


My friends at Melissa and Doug (I’ve worked with them a lot before, including for this sweet sprinkle.) sent favors for Ollie and his little friends in the form of these adorable puppies. I switched out the ribbons to keep them within the color palette and placed them in a basket with a sign in this frame from Michael’s that I painted white.

Seriously, how cute are these pups? Oliver now sleeps with his.

I painted this birdhouse white and added a 2 that I painted blue. Don’t even get me started on this puppy nesting doll! Both Lilly and Oliver love playing with it now that the party is over.

I fell in love with these dog bone cookies from DG Sweet Creations and especially liked the way they looked in a jar as if they were regular dog treats. We stuffed an unfinished puppy planter with my beloved striped napkins.

One of my favorite elements of the party was this puppy pen with Melissa and Doug giant stuffed dogs. The kids loved them too! And it’s so sweet that they now sit in Oliver’s room as a reminder of his party.

I actually looked into having real puppies for the kids to cuddle with, but worried about the little ones being scratched, bit or allergic. More importantly, when I began to research it more, I discovered that most of the companies that provide these services, breed the dogs for this specific reason, adding to the overpopulation of pets. And worse, many are reportedly abused. As much as the Instagram op would’ve been cute, I couldn’t bring myself to contribute to such a sad thing. So stuffed dogs it was!

What else would the kids eat out of than dog bowls? They were adorned with bone place cards. We served water from these cups (that I included in Lilly’s ice cream and ball themed parties) with bone straws.

When I saw this hot air balloon mobile from Lil Pyar at the NY NOW trade show, I knew it needed to be mine… I mean, Oliver’s! It greeted guests as they walked in and doubled as a note collector for the guest book. I had white card stock and a bunch of different blue-hued Sharpies and requested our friends and family write a message for Oliver and put them in the basket. I’m going to paste them all in a book with photos from the party for Oliver.

What’s an NNA kid’s party without activities and crafts? Ollie’s favorite things right now are Play Doh, coloring, stickers and tattoos. So, of course, they had to be represented. I put white craft paper down on my favorite IKEA tables (accompanied with these simple stools) and threw down dough with puppies and extra bone sprinkles.

I also had markers, homemade crayons (in the shape of fire hydrants, dog houses and bones) and dog stickers for the kids to get creative.

And there were these lil pups for Ollie and his friends to paint.

The “dog house” had to have signage too!

I can’t get over these pups in cups. I froze some sweet dalmatians in large square ice molds and placed them plastic tumblers filled with water.

What’s a dog party without a hot dog station? It was made even more special with these baskets and containers from the Target dollar bin.

I mean, c’mon, you knew these cups were going to be included! Thanks to my bestie and my sister for being excellent hand models.

Unlike last year at his happy camper party, where he was anything but, this year, the birthday boy was feeling it.

I not only froze pups for the cups, I also used them for a sensory station. I placed them in our water table with a bowl of salt and plenty of spoons, spatulas, scoops and brushes for the kids to melt them with. They all got such a huge kick out of it. Even my 12 and 9-year-old nephews were into it!

We had a few dog spa stations too, which is also the easiest and best activity ever. Cheap plastic container, soap, water, some dollar store scrubbers and dogs we already owned.

The little ones loved it.

Kissing the puppies.

One of the best parts of the party was Lilly and Oliver’s beloved babysitter and her daughter doing face paint for the kids. It was a huge hit.


The favors were the Melissa and Doug puppy, that the kids got to pick out of the basket, a straw, stamp, a bone cookie and these cute cups (not pictured).

It was such a fun. I loved getting to celebrate it with some of our favorite people and, mostly, to see my birthday boy have a dog gone good time! 😉

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