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adorable turtle party dessert table and cookies

While super-duper cute, just like every party that Kate Landers does, the inspiration behind this particular party that she created in honor of her sweet baby (4-month old Noah) is very outside the norm… and it addresses a serious subject in a very creative, therapuetic way.

If you have a few extra minutes today, I encourage you to read the heartfelt words from Kate found in the party details below (directly following the images). Another thing you’ll find below the images? Links to download several different collections of free party printables designed especially for Kate & Noah! Special thanks to these designers for demonstrating once again how much generosity there is in this industry. :)

plagiocephaly helmet party

turtle party plagiocephaly helmet on dessert table with flowers and gumballs

fondant turtle cake topper with cupcakes and labels

pearl gumballs in milk bottles in blue, green and purple

Sweet Baby Noah! :)

noah landers is such an adorable baby

One of the decorated helmets (see details below) using free printables designed by Dollhouse Paperie by Dolce Drive:

plagiocephaly helment decorating printables

PARTY DETAILS, as told by Kate…

This “Tortilly Adorable” may look like it’s just another children’s party, but it’s actually more for the adults!

Party Inspiration

Finding out that our precious 4 month old son Noah has severe plagiocephaly and torticollis, was a shock–we thought, “What did we do wrong? Are we the worst parents on the planet?”

I kept thinking, “Does our sweet baby really have to suffer through wearing a medical helmet 23 hours a day, for 4 solid months?” GUILT was the first feeling that filled our hearts, wishing we could have done something to prevent this. Soon after was a flood of tears, I never thought I was going to stop crying. I only wished I could wear the helmet in his place.

{IMPORTANT NOTE: We realized walking down the halls of Children’s Hospital after Noah’s appointment, that we are truly blessed with SUCH a healthy child, and that there are far more serious and truly devastating diseases and conditions that afflict children, so we knew deep down that we are fortunate that Noah is healthy and this diagnosis is very slight in comparison to so many other illnesses parents face with their children–my heart goes out to those families, as what I have experienced isn’t even close to what they have.}

As I hopped online to learn more about plagiocephaly and torticollis, I found some comfort in the fact that it is not all that uncommon these days, and best of all, the helmet treatment, in addition to physical therapy for the torticollis, often provides outstanding results to prevent permanent deformities of the head and face. If caught early enough, as in our case, we have excellent chances of great success for Noah.

It was from my research for support groups and tips from other moms online who have had a child with a helmet, that I discovered so many parents feeling tremendous guilt as I had. I wanted to do something creative to help parents cope (personal coping mechanism in the works here as well, of course)–as it is said the babies adapt very easily to their helmets–it’s often harder on the parents/caregivers.

Therefore, I decided to throw a party! This party was not only to debut his helmet to our immediate family, but also to educate them on his condition, share the physical therapy exercises they can do when taking care of Noah, and provide creative answers to give people should they ask about Noah and his helmet.

Planning this party was great therapy for me, and I hope planning a helmet party might be therapeutic for others as well (especially as there are other medical conditions that offer helmet therapy)!


I wanted to do something cute, sweet, and appropriate for a baby. My husband Ryan and I immediately thought of turtle shells when we saw the helmet, and decided on a turtle theme.

Torticollis sounded like tortoise, and we rolled it into “tortilly”, and since Noah and other babies we saw with helmets at Children’s Hospital were so darn adorable in their helmets, we thought we’d call it a “Tortilly Adorable” party.

Color Scheme

I wanted something fun and preppy, and that boys and girls could enjoy (since I figured out this party could be done by other parents, too!), so we selected a madras pattern, turtle silhouettes, and a periwinkle/lime sherbet color story, with accents in light blue, yellow and white. Paula of Frog Prince Paperie generously donated her time in custom creating the most DARLING set of party printables for our party (see link below to download your set for free!)


With the party being for adults, we knew it wasn’t about what to serve baby, but what to serve our guests. So we opted for a cake (adorned with a darling fondant turtle), cupcakes decorated with the printable cupcake toppers, and cookies (both madras with fondant baby turtle toppers as well as turtle shaped cookies). Everyone was able to eat a slice of cake, and take home some cookies to enjoy later–very simple.

Dessert & Table Design

I went with a very small sofa table so I wouldn’t go overboard adding too many sweets. I saw the brilliant idea of a paper plate backdrop by Piggy Bank Parties, and decided to go that route, making it a double-layer of plates to look like the details on the back of a turtle shell. The backdrop was inexpensive, festive, and reinforced the color-scheme and theme with great texture, too!

I used white platters and cake stands to match the table, and just HAD to throw in some candy…so we filled darling glass milk bottles with gorgeous shimmery gumballs and those infamous striped paper straws –it added pops of color, and I have to say everyone LOVED the gumballs and took them home to enjoy later.

Little did we know that Noah’s helmet was going to be a periwinkle color–we ordered light blue and expected it as such–we in fact LOVE the color he got, and I couldn’t resist placing it on the dessert table (since it wasn’t officially worn yet) to get a great photo.

We also stacked the white favor cartons on the table, which were full of adorable printable stickers, glitter glue, faux flowers and other goodies to decorate helmets with.


Everyone said they wished they could wear a helmet in Noah’s place…so we went with that, and had everyone wear and decorate helmets they brought/we provided at the party! It was a lot of fun to see everyone enjoying themselves in the process! We set up a table with glue guns, grosgrain ribbons, foam cut outs and more, so people could pick and choose how to decorate their helmets.

We look forward to Noah’s 2 week appointment this week, where we will bring in a set of printables and the downloadable free helmet stickers designed & donated by so many fabulous designers, hoping that they may offer them to other families going in and finding out their child needs a helmet, too.

Noah is doing great, and I think a celebration will be in order to commemorate when the treatment is done!


Here are the links for the darling free downloads all generously designed and donated by wonderful gals, for parents to use for their own “tortilly cute” party, as well as many stickers to decorate their child’s helmet (and let’s be honest, these stickers are cute for almost anything!)

1. Tortilly Cute Party Printables by Frog Prince Paperie

2. Preppy Helmet Stickers by Magnolia Creative

3. Custom Helmet Stickers from Dollhouse Paperie for Dolce Drive
…..3 designs: Initial Stickers – Pink / Initial Stickers – Navy / Rectangle Stickers

4. Fresh & Fun Helmet Stickers by IDEA! Event Style
…..3 designs: Modern Butterfly, Fun Snail, and Fuschia Navy Flower

5. Absolutely Adorable Helmet Stickers by The Well-Heeled Hostess

6. Sweet Turtle Illustrations by Paper & Pigtails
…..2 designs: Big Turtle & Small Turtles

7. Darling Vintage Helmet Stickers by Free Pretty Things For You

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