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A DIY Memorable (and budget friendly) Milestone Birthday Party

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I love a lavish party. But the thought of paying for it and organizing it makes me break out in hives. I also know that my mom detests big and grand affairs but was turning the big 75 this year and wanted something special.

Brainstorming ideas gave inspiration to things like: a trip to Paris, a hot air balloon ride, a sky writer wishing her a Happy Birthday. None of these were feasible.

I kept thinking to myself, “How do I make a fabulous 75th birthday party??!!” And then the answer came to me-

What does any grandparent want? MORE TIME WITH THEIR GRAND KIDS!

So I did what I could. Emma and Owen were available. But her other grandchildren were traveling both abroad and back east. It would rely heavily on Emma and Owen. But we could do it.

First we piled on the sap.

Not the tree sap kind, but the sentimental kind.

We made a list of 75 things we loved about my mom. Our Oma we call her. She’s German. Then Emma cut the list in little strips of paper and we put it in a very affordable apothecary jar (found for cheap at TJ Maxx!). We tied a little ribbon on it.

DIY birthday parties grandparents milestones frugalista blog

I bought an amazing cake at our local bakery, found some glorious, yet not too pricey champagne at Whole Foods, and we ordered vegetarian Vietnamese food from a family run restaurant in town, which I knew my mom would love.

We took a poster board and folded it in half. We found so many old pictures through the years, scanned them and printed them and pasted them in the card.

I found a DIY banner at Michael’s that we also clipped photos too. I also picked up at Michael’s a chalk board sign that we used for the mantle. Using my coupons everything came to around $15!

DIY birthday party grandparents milestones frugalista blog

I picked out two photos of our families featuring the grand kids and printed them off Shutterfly for just a few dollars. I found 8×10 frames at Bed, Bath and Beyond and used coupons there too. This way she had some prints of her favorite people to display in her home.

In our digital age, sometimes, a good old framed photo of loved ones is just what a 3/4 centenarian could hope for!

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So without a lot of expense or embarrassing fanfare, we celebrated my mom in the best way we could. She loved the hours of hanging out at our home, listening to her family read 75 reasons why we love her, and cherishing the people closest to her.

I also picked flowers from my yard to add to the decor.

If you have a special birthday coming up for a grandparent, or loved one that you want to add some memorable little touches- feel free to borrow any of my ideas.



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  1. Well done sweet daughter of this brilliant woman … I enjoyed seeing the events pictures. And truly enjoyed reading your planning…. Of course she loved every moment !

  2. Yes, Oma loved every minute!
    I was also very touched by the care for detail that you all did.
    It’s forever in my memory.

    Thank you, your love truly showed. Hugs and love❤️