Someone Turned Five

And that someone was Eli.

Anyway, he has been obsessed with dinosaurs for YEARS, so we threw him a dinosaur birthday party.

(Interesting note – from the time he was 6 months old until the time he was 3 ish, Pants could not have cared less about dinosaurs. We had some plastic dinosaurs that were a gift that I almost gave away, because I had no idea that a kid that was OBSESSED with cars beyond all measure could someday CHANGE HIS MIND!!! and become very interested in dinosaurs, but Erik, who went through a 27 year dinosaur phase of his own, said “Just wait” and sure enough. At age 3.5 ish, we entered the Jurassic Era of Eli.)

Anyway.  As is tradition, 2.2 weeks before his party when everything had already been planned, he switched preschools and met a kid who wears a cape to school and now he’s OBSESSED with superheroes and demanded a Batman party. I told him to cram it, as you do, and the dinosaur party continued on.

ALSO, this is the first real birthday party we’ve ever thrown for him, one where we invited other people.  February just isn’t a month that says “let’s party”, I guess, but we had one for Katie’s first birthday party last year because we wanted to drink champagne with our friends in our backyard, and afterwards Eli was all “Where’s my party, bitches?” so we had to threw him one.

It took me a long time to find dinosaur invitations that weren’t butt ugly, full of stupid puns, or seven million dollars. I got these from Olive and Star on Etsy and I was very happy with them.

At the price I paid, it really wasn’t worth it to try to make my own.  I didn’t regret that decision at all.

Also,that is not my correct email address, but it is my correct home address.  Please feel free to mail me presents and not come to steal my television.

I picked orange and blue for the birthday colors before I realized how hard it was to find orange plates.

Here’s a shot of the food which I am including mainly so you can see my super cute red shoes.


Of course we had dinosaur themed food, and actually I thought I was making SO MUCH FOOD but it turned out to be just about right for the 30 ish people that came over.  The menu:

Ribs (Dinosaur Bones)

Pasta Salad (Erik named this Bone Tie Pasta Salad) and I went with it. I was tired.

dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets with ketchup, ranch, and honey mustard.

Green salad, which was lettuce from our garden, blueberries, pecans, goat cheese, Trader Joe’s parmesan crisps, and champagne vinaigrette. I want to eat this salad every day. Shots out to A’Dell for the “fancy stuff to add” ideas.

The obligatory veggie tray. (We labeled this and the salad “For the herbivores”)

Deviled eggs (T Rex Eggs)

Marinated fresh mozzarella (Velociraptor Eggs)

Cheese sandwiches in the shapes of dinosaurs with chips for spikes. (So cute, but no one really ate them).

Cool Ranch Doritos (Eli’s favorite food)

Fruit salad in a watermelon we carved to look like a dinosaur head.  I needed a drink after that.

And the surprise hit of the party, that strawberry pretzel layered jello stuff. I just followed a random recipe from Pinterest, except I used whipped cream instead of Cool Whip because I think Cool Whip is repulsive.  I named it some geologic thing like “Layered Stratospheric Something Or Other That Erik Thought Up Because He’s a Geologist”” and everyone LOVED IT.

Here’s a close up of the ridiculous watermelon head.  Can you believe I found a watermelon in February? Holy Carbon Footprint. Ah well!  Eli’s only request for his party was “watermelon, green melon, and orange melon” and GOD FORBID THE CHILD BE DENIED HIS MELON.


I ordered the cake from Baskin Robbins because it just seemed easier that way. They have a cute dinosaur themed one that comes in orange and blue, and Eli wanted an ice cream cake, so there you go.

(Picture by BFF Sara)

You will please note that the paper plates and the silverware are yellow, and not orange.  I looked in three stores for orange plates, and then I decided to just get yellow. I consider this a great sign of personal growth, even though I did almost have an emotional breakdown over it four times.

For decorations, I scattered our enormous collection of plastic dinosaurs all over the house. Please note the sneakers are not part of the display. This is why I can never be a lifestyle blogger.



I got some plain old latex helium balloons in orange and blue and scattered those around the house.

Oh, and I didn’t take a picture (lifestyle blogger fail number two!) but I drew big blue dinosaur footprints coming up the walk in chalk.  Super cute, easy, and cheap.

I was originally going to go with honeycomb balls in orange and blue but I couldn’t find any, so I just did the same old tissue paper poofs.  They did have a nice spiky quality which was sort of dinosaur ish.



I also bought a banner on Etsy and had it customized to our colors, and then printed it out and strung it.  I could have made this myself, but alas, I really enjoyed not making it myself and it was super cute.


I didn’t think we needed too many scheduled activities because mostly the adults drank beer and the kids ran around screaming at each other, but we did have some sidewalk chalk out and available, and we had a T Rex shaped pinata which I also forgot to take a picture of.

Here’s the Amazon shot though:

We also bought six two liters of Diet Coke and some mentos and let every kid who wanted to do a Diet Coke geyser.  This was SUPER POPULAR, except with parents who thought we were giving their three years Diet Coke and Mentos TO SNACK ON OMG.

(Picture stolen shamelessly from Amy)

I thought for awhile about not doing favors but honestly that was the most fun part for me.

I ordered these blue dot gable boxes from Etsy and filled each one with sidewalk chalk (in orange chevron striped paper bags), some gummy dinosaurs, a little orange striped box that was filled with jelly bellys and labeled “dinosaur eggs”, and then two plastic dinosaurs that I ordered from Amazon.


None of that was entirely necessary but some things you do just for you, you know?

It was a super fun party, but next year I am totally having someone else clean my house before the party, like Jennie.  Cleaning plus cooking plus decorating plus shopping plus dealing with children was just too exhausting.




21 Responses

  1. I really hope Kyle gets into dinosaurs soon so I can throw this for him next year. Everything! Is! So! Perfect!

  2. I meant to say, ESPECIALLY the favors. I love those.

  3. Adorable!

  4. You throw a really nice party. Now that I have your address, I’m going to crash your next one. 😉

    Happy birthday, five year old!

  5. That dinosaur watermelon is AWESOME. Caps lock awesome. I am considering requesting one for my “you can walk without crutches” party I will someday have.

  6. Looks like an awesome party, however I’m terribly concerned about how close the red-jello-stratosphere-pretzel-whatsit is to the edge of the table! Because that’s the sort of thing my mother would worry about, and I am NOTHING if not just like my mother 🙂

  7. I’m sorry I forbade Andrew to enjoy the cheese sandwiches. The food was awesome and we had the best time. Such a fun day. PS HOW IS ELI 5?!

  8. I came back specifically to say I would’ve eaten the greater majority of those cheese sandwiches, I LOVE a cheese sandwich!

  9. I love all of this!! Both my kids are dinosaur obsessed, so I am seriously considering a dino themed party for Kalena when she turns 4 in May.

  10. HOLY COW i don’t know which i am more impressed by / love more, the dino-melon or the adorable dino-sandwiches! 🙂

  11. I want that watermelon. Rawr.

  12. I love it. SO cute. Man, you throw a good party.

    And that salad is to die for, is it not? Sometimes, I buy all the ingredients and I decide that’s what I’m having for lunch EVERY DAY. (Those are good weeks.)

  13. Oh my word, this is so awesome. Seriously, you are making me WISH to throw a dinosaur party, which has never happened in my entire life.

    I love that pretzel salad, but I’ve only had it with raspberry, I think. Yum.

  14. Strawberry pretzel salad is the BEST.

    I would like to hire you to decorate my next party.

  15. Happy Birthday Eli!

    PS. Your mom made the most A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. dinosaur watermelon head thing AND dinosaur sandwiches. Not all moms do that kind of thing. If I tried, for example, I’d lose a whole hand. You should remember this & thank her when you turn 16 and trying to borrow her car.

  16. Its all adorable! I love it and I wish those invites were bedroom decorations because I would love those colors for the nursery.

    Also – for future reference, did you try Wishing Well for plates because they usually have every color….

  17. That is my favorite salad ever, except sometimes I use strawberries instead of blueberries. Or even Craisins, in a pinch. Goat cheese and a nice vinaigrette pretty much make everything delicious.
    Also, that was one kick ass party.

  18. Wow, I want you to throw ME a birthday party!

    Seriously, though, my mom was an amazing party thrower. And I remember it with such fondness, that she’d go all out for my birthdays. This is definitely one for the memory books.

    (The dinosaur melon and the cheese sandwiches – I die! So cute!)

  19. Wow, this is awesome. I’m sure Eli will recall this fondly. I know I still have some vague memories of some of the awesome things my mom did for me (but probably also so she could sit around with her friends whilst her kids were occupied with other kids!) Also: I know they weren’t popular but those dinasaur sandwhiches are so.cute.

  20. I heard you party was amazeballs. Wish we were there!

  21. I’m exhausted just looking at the pictures.

    (You want to help plan my 4 year old’s in July? You can come back to Nebraska!)

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