Sonic Drive-In Birthday Dinner

If you’ve been reading here a while, then you know my mother-in-law, Marla, goes ALL OUT for birthday parties.  This year I attempted to mimic her over-the-top decorations and throw her a little birthday dinner to reciprocate.  Marla has always been a fan of Sonic.  She loves grabbing Sonic Diet Coke and one of my kids favorite things are a little Sonic date with “M”.  I thought it was only fitting we created a little Sonic theme for her special dinner.

I’ve seen Andrea create these balloon garlands over and over again.  She happens to tout about how easy they are.  Well, I’m speaking from one very un-crafty person with experience…it wasn’t easy.  I texted Andrea the night before the party to ask if there was a special kind of way she ties balloons without making her thumbs and pointer finger bleed.  Both of my thumbs and pointer fingers were RAW, in pain, and basically, if I walked by you, you could smell the rubber as I passed escaping from those fingers!

Next time I’ve already decided I’m gonna beg Andrea to make a garland for me.  πŸ™‚

I followed right along with her steps and used all her recommendations.  I’m not kidding that it wasn’t as easy as I was expecting but I think if I were to do it again, it’d be much easier. And it’ll look a little better.  I struggled to get those hot dog balloons to stay!

This pump saved the day when it came to blowing up all the balloons.  I grabbed a little garland kit, which came with the plastic garland you attach the balloons to and a wide variety of balloon sizes.

I got all the balloons blown up and attached.  Then I asked Tab to help me get it to stay up on the mantle.  This is where things got real tricky.  Tab and I work very well together 99% of the time but on Christmas Eve after hours of getting Santa things put together we’re at our very worst.  Well, you can add this little balloon garland session into that 1% now.  It was late on Thursday night.  We were tired, ready for bed, and agitated.  Tab got a little wire to attach it to the mantle and please note in that picture there are tons of balloons up there without confetti.  Only eight contained that special surprise.  I’m gonna give you ONE guess on which balloon Tab popped with that little wire.  

Any guesses?

Yep.  A confetti balloon.  Wouldn’t you know it?  So, he popped it and we’re both covered in confetti instantly.  It basically burst our anger bubbles and we both cracked up.  WHAT are the odds?  We got it to stay and the next morning I just had to tweak a few balloons.

I loved the way it turned out!  It was a fairly easy {I’m telling you-it’ll be easier next time!} way to pack a big punch with some decorations! 

I ordered this AMAZING cake from my friend, Carrie.  She did such a great job!  Those fries and tots are made of icing!  And it tasted even better!  If you’d like her information, just e-mail me and I’ll get it to you.  Just don’t want to put her phone number out here.  πŸ™‚

My girl, Jennifer, made these incredible cookies.  She’s so creative and will make custom cookies for your next event!  Local girls-you can find her at Gimme All the Sprinkles over on Instagram.  You’ll love her!  Or you can find her here on Facebook.

If you’re local, I definitely recommend both of these ladies!

Our local Sonic was so sweet and gave me some paper products to use!  I offered to pay but had the cake in the car with me and the guy took one look at that, then refused to take any money.  

I just added some paper baskets, confetti, place cards, and candles to the table.

Marla had no idea what to expect and was so excited when she arrived!

Burgers, a big salad, and a few little appetizers were on the menu!

I got something for all the kids to wear but let me tell you-the boys are much more willing to go along with a birthday party “get up” when grandma is asking versus mom.

We ate dinner, chit chatted, and then…
sang, “Happy Birthday” to the birthday girl!

We’re so thankful to have M in our lives!

I totally murdered the “M” on the cake when I was getting it out of the box.  Then I tried to reapply and my big thumb was just making it worse.  😩

Marla opened her present {I got her those cute earrings Shay keeps wearing!!} and then we ended the evening chilling on the patio.

A little proof I was there too.  πŸ™‚

Thanks so much for reading today, friends!

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Leave a Comment


  1. 10.1.20
    Elspeth Mizner said:

    This is soooo cute!! I love all the little things to make this look so fun!
    Thanks for sharing! Happy belated birthday to Marla!

  2. 10.1.20
    Julie C. said:

    Such a fun party theme!!!! You did such an amazing job Erika!!!! And I 100% agree on that darn balloon garland. I made one back in May & it was NOT as easy as Andrea made it look/sound πŸ˜‰ We don't have a fireplace, so our biggest issue was figuring out where to put it & how to attach it. It was definitely a crazy 30 mins or so around here!! LOL!!!!

  3. 10.1.20
    Amy Heinl said:

    You did a great job and I am sure she was thrilled and I loved your balloon arch. Bravo for a party well done

  4. 10.1.20
    Dustie Day said:

    You nailed it! Themed parties (throwing them) are just not my jam

  5. 10.1.20
    Unknown said:

    Looks wonderful! I’m sure you all had a blast! I love seeing and reading about how other people throw parties. I know I would also have a hard time with the balloon garland and I laughed about you and your husband because it would be the exact same with me and my husband. LOL!

  6. 10.1.20
    Sheaffer {Pinterest Told Me To} said:

    You did such a great job!!!! I bet M felt so special! Loved this post. πŸ™‚

  7. 10.1.20
    Kelly S said:

    That is seriously impressive cake and cookies. OH MY GOSH. I sort of love the birthday theme idea, but I lack creativity and the ability to pull it off. I might give it a try for my kids' next birthday. I laughed at you and Tab. Man, my husband and I are the same when we get super tired and have a deadline πŸ™‚ Thanks for keeping it real. πŸ™‚

  8. 10.1.20
    Sassy Sarah said:

    Looks so much fun!

  9. 10.1.20
    The Stantons said:

    I’m commenting BEFORE I finish the post…..the balloon arch!!! I had the exact experience with the one I made for my daughter’s birthday….all inspired by Momfessional! My husband is the same as Tab… after 18 years…we crush everything together. Except for that balloon arch! We laugh about it now but it was a harrowing experience! Momfessional…..needs to Youtube how it’s β€œeasy”. I’m talking…sweat…stress…getting it up….holy moly!

  10. 10.1.20
    Mix and Match Mama said:

    Erika!!!!! Everything was AMAZING!!!!! I'm ready for you to open up your party planning business!! πŸ˜‰

  11. 10.1.20
    Trish said:

    You did amazing!!! What a perfect party for Marla!!! You filled her shoes well!!

  12. 10.1.20
    Beautifully Candid said:

    This came out so good! What a fun idea for a birthday theme. I've never attempted a balloon arch and feel like we would end up with a bunch of popped balloons and one big mess lol.

  13. 10.1.20
    Unknown said:

    Yep, those balloon garlands look SO EASY when someone else is doing it! And I agree, the construction of it is pretty easy, but hanging it up is a whole other story.

  14. 10.1.20
    Kelly Henderson said:

    Such a fun party! I cracked up when I read about the confetti balloon bursting, what are the odds? It was exactly what you needed to break the tension. I enjoy reading about REAL LIFE and in real life, this how spouses act with each other. It totally reminded me of my husband and some of the silly spats we've gotten into when we are tired or stressed or whatever. Too bad you didn't take a picture covered in confetti! Or did you? Ha

  15. 10.1.20
    Julie Bradford said:

    I've been waiting for this post!!!! You did a great job!!!! I don't know M better watch out with your skillzzzzz πŸ™‚ How FUN!!! Happy Birthday to M!

  16. 10.1.20
    Jen said:

    Great job Erika! I bet Marla was proud!!

  17. 10.1.20
    Dawn said:

    Excuse me, but Marla is 66???!!!! Whatever she is using, bottle it up and sell it immediately!!!!

  18. 10.1.20
    azbaby24 said:

    Let me tell you I have tried all of Andrea's tricks she posts for that garland and I just can't get it. I am at the point where some people have it but I do not. I try and my kids appreciate it but it is not anywhere near her crazy skills.

  19. 10.1.20
    Brooke said:

    Looks like an awesome party! Next time Marla does a party maybe she can give some pictures/commentary of all the shenanigans getting it ready. She makes it look easy though! Really you did too!

  20. 10.1.20
    Amanda @ That Inspired Chick said:

    Erika!! You did such an awesome job!!! That cake and those cookies are amazing and the balloon arch turned out so great! Love this!

  21. 10.1.20
    Joanne said:

    What a fun party!