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Caroline’s 10th Birthday Pool Party

Caroline turned 10 years old TODAY!

I swear it was just yesterday we were throwing a Twinkle Twinkle Little Star 1st birthday for her. And in the blink of an eye a decade flew by.

Surprisingly, I haven’t cried about her birthday this year even though she is growing so fast and double digits feels huge to me. As much as I would love to freeze time right now, I have absolutely LOVED watching her grow and am SO proud of who she is becoming. She is sweet, spicy, has the biggest heart, and is so easy to celebrate. And over the weekend we did just that!

We celebrated Caroline turning 10 with a pool party and it was truly the best time ever! To be honest, I was nervous about the party. Her neighborhood friend group is large, plus she wanted to invite a few girls from her old school that she is still really close with too. So we ended up with 11 tween girls for the party. And when you get that many girls together, you just hope and pray and supervise the party like crazy to make sure everyone plays together nicely and most importantly…has FUN! My strategy was to keep them busy, busy, busy with snacks, crafts, pool games, dinner, cake, prizes, etc…and it couldn’t have gone better!

Let’s dive in, shall we?

First, I am so grateful for the superstar vendors who really infused so much magic into Caroline’s big day.

Caroline planned out all her party details in a note on the iPad and shared it with me a few weeks before the party. It had everything perfectly organized, down to links for supplies and inspo photos. She had nailed down the food, drinks, colors, craft, and more. I was so impressed!

I also had a few surprises up my sleeve that she didn’t see coming though — the most colorful and fun balloons, vibrant and whimsy flowers, a dreamy tablescape, and the cutest coloring wall.

Let me show you all of it!

THE TABLESCAPE

Once we settled on a party date, my first call was to Melissa with Under The Sky Picnic. You may remember the Picnic Party Play Date she created for Caroline and her friends a few years ago. She is so talented, creative, and also the nicest person ever. We briefly went back and forth on a few details before she came up with the most colorful and happy tablescape that blew everyone away.

Smile Napkins / Smiley Drink Pouches + Butterfly Straws / Checkered Paper Plates / Flatware

We used this picnic set-up not only for eating pizza and cake, but we transitioned it to a craft station for the second half of the party which was perfect!

The girls loved everything about this set-up — the fun pillows to sit on, the dainty flowers and colorful balloons. It was a tween girl dream. Oh, and the drink pouches were a HUGE hit.

BALLOON GARLANDS

Next up, the magical balloon garlands. Melissa worked with Southern Living Balloon Co. to plan out the coolest balloon set-up. I cannot even begin to describe what an impact these balloons had on the space. It was a rainy, dreary day, but the colorful balloons and fun daisies instantly brightened up the party and made it feel unbelievably cheery. It was the first thing guests noticed when they stepped onto the porch, and doubled as an incredible backdrop for the girls to take photos in front of.

I cannot recommend this Charlotte mom-owned business enough!!! Alyssa does phenomenal work and is an absolute joy to work with!!

FLOWERS

Sweet Peony designed the most stunning florals for the tables which was the icing on the cake. The florals were wild, whimsy, and colorful — the perfect finishing touch for elevating the decor for a tween girl party. The bright smiley faces mixed with dainty florals created a perfect balance of playful and fancy. I honestly haven’t seen any other local florist create anything similar to these arrangements and could not stop swooning over them. Truly a work of art!

COLORING WALL

The coloring wall by Draw It By Mel was also a huge hit! Not only was it a cute decoration, all the girls signed and colored it — and now it’s hanging in Caroline’s room!

FOOD & DRINKS

Caroline planned out all the food she wanted to have at the party. She wanted lots of bagged snacks, fruit skewers, and cheese pizza! Super easy.

But my favorite request of hers was the fruit infused water station! She doesn’t love soda or carbonated beverages so I thought this was such a cute idea.

TABLECLOTH / PITCHERS

To come up with the flavors for her infused water station, Caroline searched Pinterest and decided on orange, lemon-lime, strawberry, and cucumber! I wasn’t sure if the other girls would be as excited as her, but they all LOVED it. I think every girl filled her drink pouch with every flavor throughout the party. Yay, hydration!

Caroline wanted her cake to be a surprise. I found an inspiration picture on Pinterest and had my Harris Teeter make the cake for $20!! It turned out so cute and she LOVED it. It was also delicious, as always, and was devoured before the party ended.

DECORATE-YOUR-OWN-BAG

Caroline found all the supplies on Amazon for the cutest activity to do with her girlfriends — they all decorated their own toiletry bags with their monograms/names/cute patches! THIS WAS SO FUN and I highly recommend it for an activity to do with tween girls! All of the bags turned out adorable and the girls had a blast making them! And it doubled as the cutest party favor.

VINYL ZIPPERED BAGS / CHENILLE LETTER PATCHES / ASSORTED PATCHES

The patches have a sticker backing, so we didn’t have to bust out glue. Just peel and stick.

I love that the girls can use these zippered bags for all sorts of things — toiletries, skincare, pencils/markers, hair accessories, the list goes on…

Aren’t these adorable?!

POOL GAMES

Last but not least, the pool games!!

A huge shout out to everyone who sent me game ideas when I polled y’all on Instagram. I shared all the suggestions with Caroline and she picked a handful of games she thought would be the most fun. Then she wrote them down on pieces of paper and the girls drew games out of the bowl throughout the party to play. And there were prizes! Caroline picked out some candy from the grocery store to award the winners (PSST — the large Twix Bars and packs of Cotton Candy Bubble Gum were the biggest hits).

Classic Pool Party Games

  • Categories
  • Silent Submarines
  • Synchronized Swimming
  • Float Race (2 girls per float)
  • Silliest Jump Contest

The float race was so exciting and entertaining to watch, followed closely by the silliest jump contest!

And that was a wrap on Caroline’s 10th birthday party. It went even better than I could have ever imagined and I know she’ll remember this party forever. What a GREAT day with sweet friends.

Sources + Credits

VENDORS: Under The Sky Picnic / Southern Living Balloon Co. / Sweet Peony / Draw It By Mel

TABLESCAPE: Smile Napkins / Smiley Drink Pouches + Butterfly Straws / Checkered Paper Plates / Flatware

OTHER: Tube Floats / Beach Balls / Tablecloth / Water Pitchers

DECORATE-YOUR-OWN-BAG: Vinyl Zippered Bags / Chenille Letter Patches / Assorted Patches

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Julie

Friday 10th of May 2024

Did you order just one set of each type of patches or two sets of each? I’m doing this with 11 girls and ordered one set of each and now I’m questioning if that will be enough letters. Thanks for the great idea!

Christina

Friday 10th of May 2024

I was worried about the same so I got the ginormous letter pack with 3 of each letters (the exact one linked!). Then I ordered a separate set of cute patches (paws, lightning bolts, etc.).

Kaye Dobbs

Thursday 9th of May 2024

BEYOND CUTE❣️ i canNOT even imagine where beautiful Carolina got all her party planning skillz from😂😂😂

Julie

Wednesday 8th of May 2024

What a perfect party for your beautiful Caroline! Your blog is at the top of my list of favorites even though I am old enough to be your mom! I always get such great ideas for my grandchildren, delicious recipes, gift ideas, and travel tips. My husband and I just returned from a trip to Asheville to celebrate both our birthdays and his retirement. I used your Asheville posts to plan it and it was one of our very favorite trips, thanks to you! We hiked in Dupont State Forest and loved seeing the beautiful waterfalls. We stopped at Sierra Nevada Brewery to eat and loved it too! We ate at Jettie Rae's and went to the Biltmore! My husband was very impressed with the itinerary I planned-thanks to you! The only thing we did different was to stay at the Omni Grove Park Inn instead of downtown and we loved it!

Christina

Thursday 9th of May 2024

Oh my gosh, this all makes me SO happy!! I love that y'all got to experience Asheville! It is truly a magical place. And the Grove Park is so cozy and beautiful!!! Congrats on your husbands retirement and happy belated birthdays!!! And thank you so much for reading along! It means the world to me! :)

Cheila Martins

Wednesday 8th of May 2024

How is she 10 already? I started following when you were pregnant with her and vividly remember your bumpdates and wanting the same for myself one day. Ten years later and I’m married and have a 2 year old and a 5 month old ☺️ happy birthday, Caroline!

Christina

Wednesday 8th of May 2024

The weekly bumpdates!!!! Those feel forever ago now!!! Time is WILD. Thank you for reading along all this time!!!

Annaliese Lemieux-Kaplan

Tuesday 7th of May 2024

I might have to steal the make-your-own pouch idea for my bachelorette party this year! That looks funf for 20-30s somethings too!! :) Haha!

What a fun party for Caroline. Loved seeing all the pictures and details!

xoxo A www.southernbelleintraining.com

Christina

Wednesday 8th of May 2024

Honestly LOVE this for a bachelorette party!!!!!!!