Party Printable Essentials {and free back to school party printables!}

Today’s post was written by my college friend, Lauren. Lauren was my little sis in our sorority at Louisiana Tech before she transferred to LSU. She is so full of life and personality and is such a sweet friend. And she is incredibly talented! She started designing parties a few years ago, and her business has taken off.  Wait until you see her parties! I recently saw one of her parties show up on Hostess With The Mostess and was so excited for her! (You can see a few more of her parties on HWTM here and here.) Lauren is the mom to two adorable little boys, and we’ve exchanged a few emails about the fun that comes with being a boy mom. Today, Lauren is sharing some of her very simple tips to help you feel more comfortable with throwing a party. She has an Etsy shop where she creates invitations and party supplies that you can print yourself.  Visit Lauren’s Etsy shop, Lauren Haddox Design, to see more of her adorable ideas! 

lauren haddox

Hi! I’m Lauren… art teacher turned stay-at-home mom turned nap-time party designer. I started my little business in the midst of planning my first child’s first birthday party and I haven’t looked back.

party printable essentials

Planning a birthday party can be a little overwhelming and with the added pressure of Pinterest, downright daunting! I get emails everyday from people saying they have never done anything like this and don’t even know where to start. And every time, I email right back… it’s so easy!! Here are my party essentials when it comes to printables…

snow cone party

Two inch punch. For real, the best $10 bucks you will ever spend. Now you can add cute little tags to all those holiday gift bags, cut out cupcake toppers and favor tags in all of 1 minute. Huge time saver and they will all be perfectly round circles.

donut party

Lollipop sticks. An absolute must for cupcake toppers and they hold up better than toothpicks. Speaking of cupcake toppers, you don’t have to have cupcakes to use those cute little circles. I tie them on mason jars, stick them in sandwiches, lay them out on the cake table, they’re versatile friends! :)

donut party

Flash Drive. I always get lots of questions about printing. You don’t need a fancy print shop to get quality color copies. I get everything printed at Office Depot on 110 pound card stock. I save all the files to a flash drive and bring to the copy and print center for the copies. It really is so easy! :) And I’ll use the paper cutter in the store to cut all the straight lines.

snow cone party
I also LOVE and can’t have a party without… tissue fringe (found here… and striped straws.
duck dynasty party

Everything in the pictures above can be found in my Etsy shop.

And as a special treat for all of you, I’ve included my Back to School printables!

back to school party printables

I seriously can’t believe it’s time for Back to School. Our MDO program doesn’t start til September but everyone in Louisiana is starting next week!?!?! You can download my Back to School collection here! :) If you don’t see just what you’re looking for in my shop, I love working with clients on custom orders.

back to school party printables

Just click the links below for all the different Back to School Party Printables!


Peter Pan Party: Celebrating Hudson and Hayes!


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peter pan party 2


peter pan party 4

peter pan invitation




peter pan party 3

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Party Details:


Hudson and Hayes first watched Peter Pan last year when I rented in on Netflix. When it came out of the Disney Vault a few months ago, I grabbed it for them immediately. And we watched it about 100 times in a month. I’m not kidding. They wanted to watch it constantly.

When I asked Hudson what kind of party he and Hayes should have, he immediately knew he wanted a Peter Pan party. And this totally thrilled me! Peter Pan is one of my most favorite stories. I love the magic and the fairy tale and how it’s not super duper sweet, but it is so much fun! There’s adventure and I just love the overall lesson to never grow up! And think happy thoughts!

It was a little harder to plan this party than parties in the past because all of my party supplies are in storage. We’re still living at Todd’s grandmother’s house.

Todd’s parents graciously offered to let us host the party in their backyard, and I am so thankful. Their backyard is absolutely beautiful!

We used their back porch as the staging area for all the food and drinks. And the place where the fans could live. It was a hot day!

We did a joint party because my boys’ birthdays are exactly a month apart, and it’s just easier on families to do it one time. And my boys have so many friends that are siblings. It ended up being great to just invite entire families to come play for the afternoon.

I ordered all of the baked goods (resources are listed below) and then we picked up a Chick-fil-A nugget tray. I made pinwheels and we also had peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, “Lost Boys Trail Mix” and “Tick Tock’s Goldfish.”

I wanted a tall cake with both of their names on it, and a “Neverland” type of background. So Ally & Eloise created a blue cake with stars on it. My mom brought the adorable wooden pirate ship and she painted it for the boys. And I had gotten a lot of small Peter Pan figurines to add to the top of the cake. The boys went ba-nan-as over that cake!

My boys love Tick Tock the Crocodile and Nana the Nurse Maid. Seriously, the Peter Pan characters are the best!

We turned the playset in the backyard into a pirate ship by hanging a Jolly Roger flag. My boys got a tee pee from their KK for Easter, so we set that up in the backyard to be like the Indian Brave village.

We used a large inflatable baby pool and filled it up with multi-colored balls (no water) to be the “Mermaid Lagoon.” It ended up being the most fun little place for the little kids to play!

I also rented a bounce house because, let’s face it, 4 year old little boys love a bounce house and need a place to release their energy!

For party favors, we gave each family a Little Golden Book of Peter Pan, and all the little boys got felt Peter Pan hats and the little girls received a set of fairy wings. And all the favors were super inexpensive and a big hit!

It was a super fun party to plan. I lost a little bit of my planning mojo about a week before the party and considered not doing it at all, but I’m so glad we did. Hudson was just beside himself with excitement over the party, and has been on a Peter Pan high since that day!

Party Resources:


Cake, Cupcakes, and Petit Fours: Ally & Eloise in Columbia, South Carolina

Cupcake Toppers, Invitations, Food Labels and other paper goodies: Sweet Birdie’s Nest  (and their shop)

Iced Cookies: The Doughmestic Housewife

Peter Pan Favor Hats: A Rainy Day Play on Etsy

Tree Trunk Cupcake Stand: Your Divine Affair on Etsy

Fairy Wings, Peter Pan Golden Books, Peter Pan Plush Characters, Disney Figurine Set: (all over the course of a year)

Straws, Balloons, Paper Cups: Shop Sweet Lulu

Bounce House Rental: Jumperee in Columbia, South Carolina


Peter Pan Birthday Inspiration

I can hardly believe that Hayes’s second birthday is coming up. He will be two years old on May 5! How is that even possible?

Last year, we planned a big First Fiesta for him and had such a wonderful time embracing the fact that he was born on Cinco de Mayo.

Hudson will be four years old on June 5. Now that is a tough one to take. Ouch.

We threw a Green Eggs and Ham first birthday party and Sesame Street second birthday party for him, but we went to the beach as a family for his third birthday and enjoyed a quiet, low-fuss day as a family.

This year, because Hudson has such good buddies and because so many of them have siblings that are also Hayes’s buddies, we decided to go ahead and do another birthday party.

The boys have birthdays that are exactly one month apart, so we decided to do a joint birthday party for them right in the middle. So many of the same families will be there for Hudson and for Hayes, so it just made sense.

Hudson and Hayes are plain old obsessed with Peter Pan these days. They love everything about it. Tick Tock the crocodile, the pirates, the Indian braves, Peter Pan, the lost boys, John and Michael, even the mermaids and fairies. It stood out as the perfect party theme for them.

Todd’s parents graciously agreed to let us host it at their home since we don’t have our own home right now. They have a play set in their backyard and a great set up for a party.

I’ve been pinning away and I’m so excited to see it all come together!

I’ll be focusing on green, yellow, and red. We plan to have a mermaid lagoon, a secret plan to make the kids “fly,” a pirate ship, and a tee pee– all from things we already have!

The fabulous Heidi and Beverly from Sweet Birdie’s Nest have been working hard on creating adorable items for the party! They are the absolute best.

I thought I’d show some of my inspiration…

peter pan inspiration 2 peter pan party inspiration


Have you ever planned a joint birthday party? I’m planning to have each boy blow out candles separately, and have their own “happy birthday” song.

We’ll also be taking each boy out for a special family celebration on his actual birthday.

Any other tips to make it special?


Holiday Market week!

We survived this week! I’m sorry I’ve been so absent from my blog, but this is pretty much my busiest week of the year.

For eight months we prayed for our house to sell. And then we just laughed at God’s timing and His sense of humor. Because we close on our house the week of my 30th birthday, the week before we took a Thanksgiving trip to Colorado, and two weeks before Holiday Market week, aka my busiest week of the year.

I’m so glad that Todd’s mom helped me with the boys in the afternoons so I could spend the day decorating. It’s so much fun for me to be able to use some of the creativity I’ve kind of tucked away, and it makes me feel so much better knowing the boys are in good hands.

some of the many bows we made this week

But now that it’s all behind us, I feel like we could conquer the world. It was a great week.

Through the Junior League of Columbia, my placement (committee assignment) is Holiday Market Decorations. This is my second year to chair this committee, and I love it. I have 10 other fantastic, creative, hard-working gals on the committee with me and it’s just so much fun to decorate such a massive space and watch it become a Christmas wonderland.

Almost all of the decorations were found this summer at America’s Mart in Atlanta when I went with my mom and Nina.

I thought I’d share a bunch of photos of the space. We had 20 Christmas trees, 9 small wreaths, 1 huge wreath, 27 centerpieces, 50 bows… and a partridge in a pear tree! And then there’s the larger than life Christmas tree.

the big tree- covered in wrapped packages (attached using lots of floral wire) and large flat ornaments

We started decorating last Sunday night and spent all day Monday and Tuesday decorating. We put the finishing touches on everything on Wednesday morning. And tomorrow night we’ll take it all down– and sell it if you’re in the Columbia area and are interested in coming by to shop!

sweet little mistletoe trees on the entry tables, and the beautiful table cloth my awesome committee member sewed

the outside tent and the gorgeous drum chandeliers and huge red ornaments

we had 18 round tables in the dining area in the tent that had lanterns, ornaments, and cute chevron table toppers

We had two trees in the tent this year 

At the entrance to the building, there were 5 white trees showcasing various Junior League projects and philanthropies. These were decorated and created by this year’s provisional class

There was a very large wreath hanging over the stage area

This picture was taken during the decorating process, but I had to show the gorgeous ribbon on the trees around the dance floor

The entry area had six trees and four benches for shoppers to sit

Three large lattices hung from the ceiling and we swagged fabric and hung large red and green finials to lower the ceiling

We had 3 additional trees near the staircase, and of course garland and bows along the staircases and the balcony

One of the 9 centerpieces like this for cocktail tables

A peek down the aisle at the big tree

The theme this year was “Merry and Bright” and the two chairs of the committee and the whole Holiday Market committee did an amazing job pulling together a massive event and fundraiser.

Last night, Todd and I took the boys to the PJs with Santa event at Holiday Market. Santa Claus comes every year and there is also an opportunity for kids to do a fun Christmas craft, watch a Christmas movie, read Christmas stories, get their faces painted, tumble with The Little Gym, and even meet Cocky!

Hudson and Hayes absolutely loved it and they looked so cute in their pajamas that Hillary made!

It was a great week! But now I’m looking forward to relaxing for the rest of the season, and possibly getting a tree up at Todd’s grandmother’s house for us to enjoy!

*Be sure to follow me on Facebook and Instagram for more updates!


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