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Backyard Water Slide Party

As thermometers are near bursting, Texans (as best we can) are taking it easy in the shade, and so can you for your kid's summertime birthday. No need for elaborately arranged decorations or cuisine. Keep your cool and plan a birthday party that will satisfy the guest of honor, like the back yard water party Kristie Ramirez threw for son Cruz on his seventh birthday.

// Click on image at left to view more images from this slippery celebration.

“We're not throwing overwhelmingly calculated parties. Everything is pretty low-key,” says Kristie, a contributing editor at FD Luxe, style editor at Texas Monthly and busy mother of two. She took the simple route and gave Cruz what he always wants for his birthday, a water slide party for him and his friends. “He's a creature of habit and if he could have the same party every year, he would,” Kristie says.
 
Kristie rented an 18-foot inflatable blue water slide with an attached pool. The slide fit well in the generously sized back yard at their Lakewood home with trees providing ample shade. She bought minimal party supplies (plates, cups and utensils, and a few silver and blue balloons) from Party City to go with the slide and set them up on a long table on the grass with folding chairs for an afternoon party. Kristie’s go-to venue for invitations is Anne Grace Paper, with blue and white stationery to match, and voilà. Color scheme complete.
 
To add a little flavor, Cold Ones Artisan Paletas, a mobile frozen-treat company, parked its bike with attached freezer and handed out their traditional Mexican Popsicles, called paletas. “My dear friend Jackie Bolin told me about them doing a party for her store, V.O.D.,” Kristie says. “I thought the idea would be darling for Cruz's party, and people loved it. I thought it would add a fun element to the party and be the perfect way for guests to cool off.” For Cruz’s party, they brought orange vanilla bean and lemon lavender paletas, handmade with local and organic ingredients.
 
The kids munched on Cruz’s cookie cake from Mrs. Fields and pizza from Papa John's, and washed it down with Lorina French Lemonade. “They ran around like 7-year-olds do and had fun in the water slide,” Kristie says. “I don't muck things up with activities at their parties. The kids getting together to play is enough.” And for Cruz, enough was plenty.