Skip to main content

UP Birthday Party


I usually don't stray away from purely food in this blog of mine, but each year I like breaking from tradition for one thing: my son's birthday party! Last year, we did The Very Hungry Caterpillar theme, and I thought it was so much fun to put together. 

This year, we decided to base the Manchild's birthday on one of his favorite movies: UP. After watching the movie for an almost unhealthy number of times on a regular basis, I was so excited to get started. Plus, no matter how many times I've seen UP, it still cracks me up. Especially when the dogs refer to Mr. Fredrickson as the mailman, and Russell as the small mailman. There are so many little gems hidden throughout that movie, and some of my favorite quotes.

Ryan and I are lucky enough to have plenty of family from both sides live within an hour of our little home. So we kept it a family party again this year. It's always fun to gather everyone together, and the Manchild was almost always at the center of attention. He is the only grandchild on Ryan's side of the family, and the only grandchild in Utah on my side of the family (except for my sister's new baby girl, due in July!). 

With such a crazy baking afternoon on Friday (day before the party), I decided to keep the cake very simple on the outside. The inside spoke loudly enough for the outside, I think.

I am just loving the ombre fad. It is just way too much fun. Since the party colors were bright orange and teal, I thought using blue on the inside would be an awesome surprise. Cutting into the cake always makes such a fun "ohhhh!" moment (especially with ombre), and I love that. The cake toppers were wooden skewers and circles cut out of a gift bag. I thought they added some fun height on an already tall cake. I used my 6 inch rounds for the cake.

These are the invites I designed using one of my favorite websites: PicMonkey. I wanted them to look like a postcard, and even though design is seriously not my forte, I had a fun time putting it together.   

These 3D Disney Printables were absolutely free from their website. But, let me tell y'all... they were a beast to cut out and glue together (or maybe watching a documentary on Auschwitz/Nazis while assembling wasn't such a good idea). However, they were entirely worth it. I wanted to have a couple of the characters around, but didn't want to have to have them be flat on paper, or even have to buy an expensive stuffed version. This was a perfect solution.


Word to the wise: don't show these to your toddler before the party. They will try to attack them, stopping at nothing! We ended up hiding them, but letting him play with the characters after the party.

Again, free printable on Pinterest. Originally I wanted them hanging on the walls behind the table, but there's a giant window there. So I hung them on the front of the table.

I LOVED this idea. In the movie, Russell is a Wilderness Explorer. And what comes along with camping? S'mores of course. So I set up this little s'mores bar in the living/dining room area. The heat cell was under $4, and lasted through the whole party. Instead of using chocolate bars, I made some cocoa buttercream frosting and stirred in a few dark chocolate morsels. The table is just the Manchild's changing table with a plastic tablecloth laid over the inside. The rocks? Funny story... the dead of night, Ryan and I went in the backyard with a shovel, and empty box of huggies diapers... and like some good old fashioned grave-diggers, we dug up the landscaping rocks from our backyard, laughing maniacally along the way.

We thought we were such clever little bandits. We probably need to get out more.

If our landlords by some chance are reading this blog entry, yes, the rocks were returned to their proper fashion.

Anyway, I thought the rocks were perfect - some had that deep red color we saw throughout the movie in South America. 

The drinks were lovely. We bought four boxes of Stewart's soda, one of each flavor. I thought they added such an old-time charm, and were just something different. Ryan insisted that Manly Men drink straight from the bottle, but for the other human-types, I added little "cloud-stoppers" to prevent the straws from falling into the bottles.

When I was at the checkout stand at the store, the people behind me assured that the "green kind" was the best. I took their advice, and they Key Lime was indeed amazing.

Ellie Badges! These are the first project I had completed for the party (back in January). I ordered the plain silver bottle caps with the clear covers from the lovely Etsy site. I then used some free printables for the grape soda prints. Another word to your mother: don't cut them out while riding on the freeway in the dark. Anyway, obviously the bottle caps came without holes in them, so I had to take a dang hammer and nail and have at 'em. With a little love from the glue gun, and after sliding in a few large safety pins, they were complete. Everyone wore an Ellie Badge at the party, and I just loved it!

Last year, we has our guests sign the Manchild's book (a cardboard book of The Very Hungry Caterpillar) at the party. Every time we read that book, I look through at all our loves ones who shared that wonderful afternoon together with us. This year, I decided to do something a little different. I designed this little sign-in page for the party with the UP house at the bottom. When people came in, they left their thumbprints. Instead of a stamp pad, we used paint sticks (thanks Bethany). This was taken before the party (with our practice thumb prints!) 

UP Photo Booth: I've always enjoyed photo booths at parties and receptions. They're such a fun way to break the ice and bring people together. My darling Mother-in-Law let us borrow her amazing old suitcases/map book/globe/and old radio. I thought they'd be perfect along with the theme of the party. Also, inside the radio was hollow, so I snuck my laptop inside and turned on my UP playlist on Spotify. It really sounded like the radio was playing music again!

Since we were using a majority of our budget on food and balloons, I went crayon fab with the photo booth props. Using features from the movie characters, we came up with: 

Mr. Fredrickson: Square glasses and black bow tie, explorer hat
Russell: Wilderness Explorer flag and hat, and sash with badges.
Kevin: long beak
Doug: black nose and "the cone of shame". 

I adore this banner. I found it on Etsy here, and now it's hanging in the Manchild's room. (Along with the old-fashioned sepia map that came a few days late...).

For the party decorations, I cut out a bunch of clouds, and flew our little UP house in the living room.

 I took the advise of some good friends of mine, and ended up purchasing a helium tank (balloons included) for around $20 at Walmart. Total, we had over 30 balloons floating either outside or inside our home. The Manchild thought he had died and gone to heaven when he woke up to a house full of balloons!

Again with the clouds...

For the rest of the food, we served these fresh-fruit parfaits (blueberries, kiwis, pineapple, mandarin oranges, strawberries) with whipped cream. We are a Papa Murphy's-loving family, so no party would be complete without a couple thin crust pizzas! My Mom brought her famous pasta salad - we were all definitely full of delicious goodness by the end of the party. 

orange drink bins were from the Dollar Store

All in all, I think the party went really well. I love filling our home with so many of our loved ones. That's what it's all about - celebrating another beautiful little life together as family. Happy Birthday, little man! 

Just a reminder to VOTE! Out of over 350 bloggers, they narrowed it down to 50, and I'm currently in 2nd place for Top Food Blogger of 2013, I need your votes like crazy. And YES, you can vote once per day! It only takes a second. Thank you so much!


  1. This is SUCH a cute party! I love all of it!!!

  2. You did a great job. That was alot of work. I know you all enjoyed it.

  3. Everything looks amazing as always! You did such a great job!

  4. Just perfect! Wish we could have been there in person, but looking at the pictures and reading about it is a close second. Happy birthday little man!

  5. It's all in the details! It's perfect. Such a great way to celebrate your little man! Happy Birthday "Manchild!"

  6. One of my favorite movies. You did a wonderful job! LOVE the invite!

  7. Incredible. I just don't know how you do it. You're amazing!

  8. Wow you are wonder woman! this is so amazing - great job!

  9. I seriously LOVE everything you did!! I'm having an UP birthday for my son's 1st birthday and I would love to know how you did your invites?? They are the coolest! So amazing!! I would LOVE to have something similar for my sons invites, but I am so not creative!!

    1. Thank you so much, Errin! Your little man will LOVE it (I think the balloons are every little person's favorite :)

      I did the invites using a website called PicMonkey. I started with a blank postcard-sized rectangle, and then added the text and photos. You could totally do this, I promise! Good luck, and have fun! Birthday parties are just the best.

  10. Hi! You did a fantastic job with all of the details of this party! I wanted to see if you would be willing to send me the invitation for my son's birthday party? If not, I understand. Great job!

    1. I totally would, except the file was on my old computer that got destroyed by an entire glass of whole milk from my son. Bad day, let me tell ya. Lots of pictures and files all gone. But thank you for asking, I'm completely flattered. Really I just free-handed the entire thing, and used PicMonkey for some of the overlays and fonts.

    2. Oh no, that is a bad day! Thank you for letting me know. :)


Post a Comment

Thank you for commenting, I love hearing from you!

Popular posts from this blog

Green Smoothie Freezer Packets

Cucumber Tea Sandwiches

Turkey Club Tortilla Pinwheels

Zupas Chicken Pesto Sandwiches - Copycat Recipe

Monster Truck Birthday Party

Lemon Poppyseed Pancakes with Fresh Blueberries

Breaded Pork Chops

Zucchini Rosette Tart

Roasted Red Pepper Potato Soup

Strawberry, Blueberry, and Green Grape Salad with Honey-Lime Dressing