December is the most hectic month of my (Jessica Wilcox, Modern Moments Designs) life. Every year, I promise myself it will be easier and I will plan ahead, but without fail, it seems to be crazier than the last. I know many of you feel the same way, and for me “December madness” stems from having two kids with birthdays two weeks apart, being a graphic designer (designing Christmas cards is a full time job in itself), buying presents, and also trying to get ready for Christmas! Wow, I’m tired again just thinking about it all {wink}!

Our youngest son, Emerson, who you might remember from his Office Party First Birthday last year, turned two this month! I’ve been planning a VINTAGE CARNIVAL PARTY for him since last year…

I had my dear friend, Courtney, of Courtney Jade Photography took his photos this summer at Oaks Park, a local amusement park. If you want to check out some of the photos Courtney was nice enough to post them on her blog. The photos were amazing and I knew the invitation had to be spectacular too! I designed a four-page double sided booklet style invitation.

I also included a mini envelope in the back full of raffle tickets to get the kids excited! The envelopes were lined with a coordinating striped paper. (The following photos of the finished invitation were taken by me.)

Selecting a venue is always a challenge since we live in Oregon and December isn’t exactly warm or dry here. Thankfully, my aunt and her husband were kind enough to allow me to use their family “barn.” They own a farm, Lake View Farms, and have an amazing pumpkin patch. The venue was perfect. We took full advantage of all of their amazing old crates and baskets too!

If you’re familiar with any of my parties you know that I only serve items with sugar as their first ingredient. Okay, so that may be a bit exaggerated, but pretty close. I served popcorn (with several topping options, as inspired the perfect Olde Fashion Rustic Popcorn Bar by Pen N’ Paperflowers Sudio and Designs), peanuts, cupcakes, rice crispy treats, cotton candy, cake pops, and totally stocked candy cart.

One of my clients sent me a photo of a candy cart at a local hotel, I was instantly in love with it and knew I had to have one. My Dad was kind enough to build one for me. I gave him a really small photo of what I wanted and away he went. I was so excited with how it turned out! He did the most amazing job! Thanks Daddy!

Since we didn’t have the party at your traditional kids’ party place, we had to come up with our own activities. I kept if fairly simple and setup four games.

The first was “Knock them Down.” I took chip cans from the Dollar Tree and created my own wrap. We stacked them up and let the kids knock them down with balls. The second game we set up was a “Bean Bag Toss“. The kids got to toss bean bags into buckets and won the corresponding amount of tickets. The third game was “Fish Toss” – clear glasses were filled with water and the kids had to toss ping pong balls in them. If they made it, they won a fish. Somehow, all three of my kids came home with fish! The last game was “Spray it Down” which I had intended to have the kids spray ping pong balls with squirt guns. However, finding squirt guns in December was a lot more challenging than I thought. Instead, we used Nerf guns, which ended up being so much drier and cleaner.

We set up a prize table so the kids could redeem their tickets and pick their own prizes! They had a ton of fun selecting from the huge prize table. I also designed custom candy bags that each child could fill with candy before they left! I’m sure the parents love me for that one!

All of my parties are always a group effort. I have a whole team of family and friends that always step-up to help! Honestly, I couldn’t throw these parties without all of their help! A special thank you to everyone who helped me with Emerson’s special day!

Check out some more photos from the big event. . .



– Graphic Design: Modern Moments Designs
– Event Styling: Double Take Event Styling and Modern Moments Designs
– Bag Sewn By: Julie of Tots in Tow
– Suckers (“W”, “E”, & “2”): Vintage Confections
– Fondant Cupcake Toppers: Two Sugar Babies
– Straws, Cups, Plates, Popcorn Boxes, Prize Bag, & Sucker Candle : Shop Sweet Lulu
– Cake Pops: kCreative
– Ferris Wheel Wood Cutouts: Bullfrog Laser Works
– Chalk Board Sign: Custom Chalk
– Donuts: Every Day is a Donut Day
– Cotton Candy Machine Rental: The Party Pros
– Prizes: Oriental Trading Company
– Candy Cart: Don Studer, (My Dad)
– Jars in Candy Cart: Anchor Hawking at Target
– Table Cloth: TabelVogue
– Venue: Lake View Farms
– Photography: Courtney Jade Photography

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  1. Lisa says: March 15, 2012
  2. Bethany says: May 14, 2012

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