5TH BIRTHDAY Afternoon Sweets Party

Today I get to share a few snaps from my daughter’s birthday party this past weekend!

She had so much fun at the party, and of course I had a blast putting the party scheme together in pink, navy and red floral, gingham, stripes and polka dot patterns. Using an “Afternoon Sweets” theme, I enlisted the help of the fam to create a dessert table with cupcakes, cookies, macarons, lemon bars, brownie bites and cake balls. I even got to make flower arrangements with pink and red mini carnations, red tulips, and pink daisies (all supermarket flowers!).

Best part of all, my daughter got to help with details like replacing the ugly water bottle labels with cute little flower stickers, placing the cake balls into the paper flowers, and setting up the strawberry & chocolate milk station with plastic French milk bottles and stripey straws — perfect kid-friendly projects! She was so excited to be helping out with her big girl party…

It poured rain right up until the start, and at one point, I had to break it to my daughter that we may not be able to set up the bounce house. In true form, she enthusiastically declared, “It will stop raining! The sun will come out!” And sure enough, it did!

Here’s the original board for reference, with sources:

red pom pom / fuchsia pom pom / pink pom pom / pink striped napkins / pink polka dot plates /  floral party invites used to make the “5” cupcake flag and menu cards (Target, in-store) / red polka dot ribbon / red & white striped paper ribbon / navy gingham party tablecloths / red cake ball blossoms / pink flag garland / red & white striped cupcake flags / plastic French milk bottles / red & white stripey straws / glass drink dispenser


Here are some of the D.I.Y.’s that we threw together:

  • “5” cupcake flag cut from the party invites
  • menu cards cut from the party invites, with dessert items printed on labels and cut/pasted
  • supermarket flowers in various vases, with paper ribbon tied around the base
  • standard water bottles with labels removed, and flower stickers applied


A million thank you’s to my entire family for helping make this happen! It takes a village, people!


Photos & styling by Erika Brechtel

Erika Brechtel

Erika Brechtel

Creative Director

Desiring an online space to explore well-rounded, inspired content in all topics she loves most, Erika created 'The E List' (formerly the Small Shop blog) in 2010. When not enjoying an “occasional" glass of wine and wanderlusting for even warmer climates, Erika can be found sharing laughs with friends and family, and trying her very best to keep up with her 6-year old daughter (yet failing miserably).

  1. Erika this turned out lovely! What a memory for Leighton (and for the family working together to make it all happen)! Too bad the weather made for a nail bitter on the bounce house, but I’m glad it all worked out in the end. Nice job on all the pretty details!

  2. 5!!!! Oh wow!! Happy Birthday Leighton!!! Fabulous job on the party!! I think she may be swooning over that cake! Love ya!

  3. Beautiful party, Erika! So happy the rain stopped for her party. It was coming down pretty hard last week and now it’s like dead of Summer weather! Oh SoCal!