Making Life a Party: “Hi Five!” Five-Year-Old Birthday Party

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Trophies for the “High Five” contest.

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Kelly made these cookies (her first attempt at sugar cookies with royal icing!!!) using my course: Alison’s Cookie Party! 

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Hello!! I have YET another amazing human and party to share with you today for my “Making Life a Party!” series! This series is about fun, functional parties that yes, look good, but most importantly have ideas that are easy to adopt and use for your future events. See the whole series here!

I also like to make sure the party-thrower is someone I really believe is doing an amazing job of making their everyday life a party, and Kelly from Cloudy Day Gray could not be a better example of that!

I am so so in love with this theme for Kelly’s son’s 5-year-old birthday party: Hi Five! HOW CLEVER IS THAT?! This party embodies everything I love about kid’s parties, and I feel like she did SUCH a good job of not going too overboard. Kelly has an amazing story and blog, and so I’m just excited for you to read her interview. But here are a few reason’s why I chose this party for the series and things to take note of:

1. Kelly used Alison’s Cookie Party: my online course for making sugar cookies with royal icing, to enhance her theme! The cookies are SUPER simple, and she even used my little word stamping tutorial I did (see a quick video of it here or see the tutorial on my blog) to write the “HI FIVE!” Of COURSE I love that she used my class, but what I love most is HOW she used it. I love how she used the cookies as decor! These cookies take some time, don’t just feed them to people! Display them!

2. Kelly loves crafts, and has awesome tutorials for these cute projects on her blog, but I like how the cost and time of the crafts is proportional to the amount of time and use they will get at the party. She didn’t spend $10 and 2 hours on each headband, which would be a lot for an item that kids may or may not wear and will most likely throw away. She used inexpensive matericals in quick creative ways and I respect that SO MUCH.

3. And the third reason I love this party is THE PLAY ON WORDS! You guys know I’m a sucker for puns. Ok ok ok, enough of me, time to hear from Kelly. Prepare to be inspired!

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1. Tell us about yourself!
I grew up in Montana, married my high school sweetheart, moved to Australia where I had my son Parker, and now we live in New York. I used to be a teacher and reading specialist, but after my daughter underwent a lifesaving liver transplant at six weeks old, my goals in life drastically changed. We all have cloudy days, moments in time that are really difficult. I believe it is what we do with those cloudy days that defines who we are. I do my best to give, live, and love while celebrating the everyday as mother, crafter, and donate life advocate. My name is Kelly and I have had my fair share of cloudy days, but my life is anything but gray.

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2. Tell us about this party! What prompted you to throw it?
I have had my eye on a Mer Mag “hi five” print and it sparked the idea of basing my son’s 5-year-old birthday party off of it. I mean really, what better way to say hello to a new year than with a high five contest, good friends, and adorable cookies?!

3. How comfortable are you throwing parties? Is this something you love to do or kind of fear?
I have always loved throwing parties, but don’t like to go so overboard that it creates stress or becomes overwhelming. Kids don’t care about all the cute decorations or time spent on the party decor, so I try to keep it simple and only focus on a few details and involve my kids in the decision making whenever possible.

4. What was your main goal for the event?
The main goal was to celebrate being five with a high five contest. My son Parker was beyond excited for this party. Moments before the party started he told me that everything looked really cute, and he thought I did a great job. But, “just so you know, I’m having a Lego party and I am going to watch The Lego Movie with my friends.” Ha! At least he complimented me before ditching my plan! Five year olds have a mind of their own, and I was happy to follow his lead – after all, the real goal was celebrating his 5th birthday.

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5. Share your favorite part of hosting a party, and your least favorite part.
My absolute favorite part of hosting a party all happens during the planning and preparation. I love thinking of a clever theme and executing the details. I, of course, had a dance party with Alison late one night while I decorated cookies, and I enjoyed every second of it. My least favorite part, by far, is the cleanup – good thing I have a husband for that.

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6. Were there any catastrophes or obstacles you had to overcome?
Once the high five contest was over and it was time to hand out the trophies to each guest, there was some fighting over who got which one. After a couple trades and a little compromising, everyone went home happy – or at least they were happy enough to lie about it!

7. What will you remember most about this day? And what do you think your guests or guest of honor will remember most about this day?
I will always remember the excitement and joy experienced by my son right before his guests arrived. That pure feeling of anticipation is what childhood is all about!

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8. What’s something that made your party awesome, that someone else could do for their own party?
Balloons like the ones I used from Northstar Balloons are the easiest way to create big impact and can fit any theme. And, no joke, these are the first sugar cookies I have made that didn’t look like blobs decorated by children. If I can follow along with Alison’s Cookie Party and make cookies like this, anyone can.

9. You regularly blog at Cloudy Day Gray and right now are in the middle of an amazing campaign called #howidonatelife focusing on pediatric organ donation. Tell us a little more about that?
April is National Donate Life Month and I would love for you to join me and celebrate how each of us donates life on a regular basis through simple acts of kindness and joy.

You can find all the details on my campaign page, including: examples, more information about pediatric organ donation, and a short video about my daughter Matilda’s lifesaving transplant.

All you have to do is:

1) Take a photo that represents something you do to give back to your community.

2) Tag me (@cloudydaygray on Instagram) so that people can find more information about pediatric organ donation + how they can get involved.

3) Use the hashtag #HowIDonateLife – please feel free to go back and tag old photos with the same hashtag.

My goal is to collect 1,900 photos – one for each of the 1,900 children waiting, right now, for the gift of life.

10. If your party had a theme song, what would it be?
“Everything is Awesome” because that is what my son and all his friends sang the entire time! It’s better than “Let It Go”, so I’m okay with that!


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11. What’s one way you try to make your life a party?
Hold on, I am about to get really sappy, but the truth is, every single day is a party. I spent five weeks watching my daughter slowly lose her life, while my son was 2,000 miles away staying with family. My arms were empty and, just like that, nothing in the world mattered more than celebrating what I did have. So, I spent every moment that I did have with Matilda celebrating as if it was her last. I even dressed her up for Halloween! We were blessed with such an amazing gift that has changed our lives forever. Matilda would not be here if it weren’t for the selfless choice that another parent made, in what I imagine was the worst day of their life, to give Matilda another chance at life. That deserves to be celebrated every single day. So we do, by laughing over nothing, sneaking chocolates right before dinner, and giving all the hugs and kisses we can manage. Because this life deserves to be celebrated.

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Thank you SO SO SO much Kelly for the beautiful party and inspiring words!

Find all the party sources & tutorials for this amazing High Five Party on Kelly’s Blog!
Northstar Balloons donated balloons
Cookie Cutter from Amazon

Be sure to check out the other parties in the series here! And for my parties I’ve done: go here!

Happy partying!





  1. Such a clever idea! The party looks wonderful and I love Kelly’s inspiring words. Good luck with the campaign Kelly!

  2. That is such a CUTE party!! Love how cute, special and pretty it looks without being OTT. ♥

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