Our Peppa Pig-themed 2nd birthday party

Peppa Pig made the perfect theme for Jane's second birthday party. 

It's a favorite of Janie's -- and of mine. The British show is refreshingly simple. I think the girls find comfort in its simplicity, its oft-played melody and tidy structure. The plotlines are fun with relatable family dynamics, including some subtle, gentle shots at bumbling parents. And best of all, many segments conclude with the whole family ROFL. 

Once the idea of a Peppa theme popped in my head, I immediately knew it was the right choice. Sure enough, Jane loved it! #PeppaNeverLetsYouDown

After I determine a party theme, I settle on a color scheme. Peppa lends itself to primary color or pastels. I chose to work off this Party City balloon package, focusing on light pink, blue and yellow. (Loved Party City's newer style of beach-ball balloon, which they call a "See Thru Orbz" -- cheaper than the big mylar, just as long lasting and more contemporary!) 

A few talented vendors brought the party to the next level, making it a truly memorable affair. 

Dawnielle from La Petite Cookie, a Portland-based mom, made the best cookies.

They were impeccably decorated. Party guests gasped when I presented them and marveled over their perfection. And these cookies boast that rare combination of tasting as great as they look. #Twofortwo

If you're a busy party-planning parent, skip the trip to the bakery and do yourself this favor: Order cookies from Dawnielle. 

Then pat yourself on the back when they quickly arrive at your door -- super fresh, carefully packaged, ready to impress.

Why complicate things? 

Serve them for dessert, share them as a party favor (love the individual wrapping) or do both! The kids will adore them. 

"My cookies are not like cupcakes or cake pops," Dawnielle told me. "They are truly a conversation piece when you have them on your dessert table. Plus, the kids absolutely love to see their name on a cookie or their favorite character. Making the kids happy tops it all!"

Dawnielle offers an array of popular characters -- check out the Very Hungry Caterpillar ones! -- plus names and ages. She also accepts custom orders, which she has executed to exquisite effect. 

When you order cookies from Dawnielle, you support a great cause. This talented mama sells cookies on Etsy so she is able to stay home with her daughter and son. "I'm so glad I chose this path," she said. "I can go outside and play, spend time reading and enjoy my kids. Once it's nap time, I switch gears and work. I love my flexibility and time I am able to spend with them." 


Crafted with love

Another extra special party touch was a serious injection of crafting prowess from Lilia Barba, the Chicago mom behind an awesome Etsy shop called Craftophologie ("when cute meets artsy and artsy meets fun," the tagline states). Lilia offers a huge assortment of handcrafted Peppa Pig wonders, including this show-stopping banner.

We ordered her party-favor bags, her Peppa cake topper with the No. 2 (which has become a beloved puppet) and her one-of-a-kind handmade thank-you cards.

Our party favor treats: candy and harmonicas from The Dollar Tree, Peppa Pig magnifying glasses and tattoos from Party City.

Each of Lilia's creations was perfectly sized, sturdy and designed to perfection. 

Lilia's shop is aptly named; crafting really is at the heart of her business.

Her products looked cute online, but I had underestimated just what an effect they would have. The colors and textures of her high-quality, cardstock paper are a delight to behold. Cheery and charming.

There's something about a child's birthday party that calls for the handmade, a personal touch that makes it extra special. That's exactly what Craftophologie delivered.  

I especially enjoyed using Lilia's darling thank-you cards. Taking the time to send handwritten thank-yous has always been a priority to me. It's how I was raised. An exercise in gratitude.

But I must admit, since becoming a mom, I have fallen sorely behind.  

These cards prompted me to get going again. They are so cute -- and small enough that they take the pressure off to pen something masterful. Just a few lines go far when it comes to handwritten sentiment. 

I was genuinely excited to mail them out, complete with their coordinated stamps from USPS.com. (Shopping online gives you a much wider selection and lets you skip the long line for just $1 shipping!) Call me crazy, but I just love it when my stamp coordinates with a pretty envelope.

In response, I received multiple thank-yous for the thank-you -- a rare and telling occurence. 

Overall, the thank-you cards gave me a lingering feeling of warm fuzzies about Jane's second birthday party. Worth every penny! 


Say cheese (or oink)!

I had one more trick up my sleeve at Jane's party: pig nose photo props from the fabulous Etsy shop PureSimpleThings


These snouts are crafted so well. They added a dose of hilarity among the older and younger guests alike, reinforcing our pig theme in an unexpected way. And best of all, they provided the impetus for a group photo that simply wouldn't have happened otherwise. That's a huge gift. 

Photo booth props have become a hit at weddings, but I urge you to consider them for your next kid party -- whether or not you have an official booth. They make a party more fun and memorable, bringing out a silliness factor and eliciting photos that make a welcome souvenir. 

PureSimpleThings offers crafted photo props for every theme under the sun, whether you want a circus set, a beach set, a baby-shower set or a graduation set, which would be a sure way to make your graduation party stand out from all the rest (for a very low cost), becoming the most Instagrammed bash in town! 

Any party would become more spirited with this quirky set of glasses or facial-hair props. No theme tie-in necessary.

Just because.  

All in all, we had a grand time marking Jane's second birthday.

Amid work deadlines, the Baby Countdown and Ted's arm break, we've had a lot on our minds; I was grateful for the occasion to pause and celebrate our sweet little Janie. 

She has brought us such joy! 



 Christina Ries is a freelance writer who lives with her husband and two young girls (and another baby on the way!) in Inver Grove Heights. Write her at christina@mnparent.com.



Charmed reviews are entirely the author's opinion. Special thanks to the following vendors for supplying complimentary samples for review and photography: