Thursday, February 2, 2012

Best 30th Birthday Gift for the Best Boyfriend

I always thought of myself as a creative person.  And granted, although I still believe I am, I often wonder to myself: how did I ever live without pinterest!  Okay, so perhaps that sounds a little silly.  Of course I can live without this website and I could definitely live without most websites like, facebook, twitter, even Linked In. But I really, really love pinterest, it’s my favourite social networking site to date. It’s every visual learner’s wet dream.  It’s where creative ideas come together to be seen.

So, why do I love this website so much? From it I found this very sweet birthday idea, which I did for my boyfriend’s 30th birthday this year.

The Idea: Fill 30 balloons with helium and attach a ribbon with a photo for each year of the person’s life at the end of the balloon.  Gather them all together (I used the bed for photo support) in any room in your house and wait for the birthday surprise.

I couldn't have done this without the help of his mother, who sent me all of the adorable photos. I took each one, cropped it and then affixed it onto white paper to make it look like a Polaroid picture.  The last step: number each photo.  An optional step: add a message on the back of each photo.

I was just gushing flipping through each one, such a cutie!

So serious but adorable, at Disney world.

This was one my favourite photos. How perfect! A father/son photo of them fishing ... well, actually not fishing (I learned afterward from Mike) they were only pretending to have caught that fish (funny story).

I made sure to have as many different coloured balloons as possible.  They looked so pretty in the light I didn't want to move them.

Tools you will need
  • 30 balloons - any colour, all colours
  • 30 long pieces of ribbon
  • 30 photos, numbered and with an optional message on the back of each
  • Helium tank that can fill at least 30-35 balloons (I rented mine from It's my Party!)

The very happy birthday boy looking at his pictures and reading the messages.

My only dilemma throughout this gift making process, something that weighed on my mind quite a bit before I got started was: are balloons recyclable? With this being a green blog and all I of course had to acknowledge that question and do some research.  The answer was better then imagined.  Latex balloons (which are what I used here) are biodegradable (even better), meaning they can be broken down and composted. This is a good news seeing as I still have 30+ balloons floating around my house to dispose of.

And for dessert, his favourite: apple crumble!

Oatmeal Cookie-Topped Apple Crumble
Recipe from 500 Vegan Recipes, p.410

For the Apples:
4 apples, an flavour of your choice, unpeeled, cored and cubed
1 tbsp whole pastry flour
1 tbsp pure maple syrup
3 tbsp apple juice

For the Topping:

1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
2 tbsp creamy natural peanut butter
2 tbsp canola oil
2 tbsp plain almond milk
1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 350F
2. Line an 8-inch baking dish with parchment paper
3. To make the apples: Combine the apples, flour, syrup, and juice in the baking dish and stir to coat
4. Cover with foil, and bake for 30 minutes.
5. To make the topping: Whisk together the flour, oats, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in a medium size bowl
6. In a small-size bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, oil, milk, sugar, and vanilla until emulsified.
7. Stir the wet ingredients with the dry.
8. Remove the foil: crumble the cookie dough evenly on top of the apples.
9. Bake for another 10 to 15 minutes, until the apples are tender and the cookie topping is golden brown and cooked through.
10. Serve warm or at room temperature.



  1. What a neat way to celebrate! I found you on Pinterest :)

  2. New follower! Found you on Pinterest, love the idea! Definitely planning on doing this for my husbands 35th!

  3. Brilliant idea! I also found this via Pinterest and can't wait to do this for upcoming birthdays.

  4. This is so cute - would be great to do for a kids birthday as well. Would love to potentially use this as inspiration for a future post. Please let me know if you are ok with that.
    Thnx! Morgan

  5. This is so perfect! you could also use this for an anniversary and put a picture of each year together! so going to use this! thanks for the Idea!

  6. "Every Visual learner's wet dream" Um gross. I could have done without reading that comment this morning. Thanks.

    1. So sensitive. Have you been on the internet before? :)

      Anyway, wonderful idea here!

    2. You are no fun

    3. ...and I could have went without reading your petty irritating comment. Seriously, focus on the point of why you clicked on this page OR maybe you just need to LOG OFF! People grow up & get over it.

  7. I think I'll do this for my son's h.s. graduation this year, a picture from each school year! Thanks!

  8. This is such an awesome idea. Thanks so much for the tutorial. It was great!!!

  9. My ex proposed to me like this. Had never seen the idea before. It was 100 balloons with post cards attached to it of things relevant to us. he wrote a note on each post card. it's a beautiful idea!

  10. Hello, I fell really Upset about this proyect, it´s perfect to wonder a love one. Sorry my english grammatic,

    Now, I follow from the Caribbean blue island

  11. Further step: after composting baloons, make a scrapbook album with his fotos!

  12. I love this party idea so much! I pinned it but woudl you come over to Cast Party Wednesday and share it with us? Thanks, I hope to see you there! ---Sheryl---

  13. Thanks for sharing and being a Pinterest friendly blog. I just had to go and repin:

    This is so adorable! I wish I would have found it last week, my daughter's birthday was Thursday. Cest la vie.

  14. Totally doing this. Except having his friends from around the world send a memorable picture and a message. I really hope he likes it! Thanks for the idea!

  15. I love this idea. And so pretty. But was concerned about the amount of helium being used. I read an arrival recently about helium supply's being drained and there being a shortage in 5 years. Helium is used in MRI scanners (which I didn't know) which with out it will not work. I have tried to think of an alternative but so far my thinking head has not turned on.

    1. Politics as usual

  16.'s so unique. the first time i saw it.
    visit me to at

  17. Thnx for the terrrrrfc ode

  18. This is a very cool idea !!!!!!

  19. Very cool! But I will note that if you are trying to be green, helium is not. It's recovered as part of oil and gas drilling and right now there is an international shortage of it

  20. I can't wait to use this for my parent's upcoming 40th anniversary. One question... was the picture on the paper enough to weigh down the balloons? Or does anyone have any suggestions on how to weigh down the balloons if your ceiling is too high?

  21. Just gathered all my pictures. Ordered 50 balloons and getting ready to put it all together for my husbands surprise 50th birthday party next weekend. Thank you so much for sharing such an amazing idea. I am sure the people who will be attending his party will duplicate it for sure. I was originally going to get cloud balloons but that so boring. This tells a store with the different color balloons as well as the many different pictures.

  22. This is so creative! and yay for Pinterest! :D

  23. Thank you so much definately going to try this for my fiancee birthday...Such a thoughtful present.

  24. The only questions I have are:What about the helium? Isn't it a non-renewable resource?

  25. hi, great idea may I knw that r dey gas ballons? coz the r toching the celing:)

  26. Cool idea! Thanks for sharing!

  27. This is such a cute idea, but funny...because we are celebrating my father's 100th birthday in 2 weeks in Canada. Him and Mom are still on the farm there.

  28. Super neat idea. I think I am going to modify this idea and use it for my daughter's graduation. I have photo's of her each year with her teachers. I am thinking of going back to some of her favorite teachers and have them write something to her. Also use pictures of friends and family with my daughter.

    Thank you so much for sharing this idea!