Working on it Wednesday: Second Birthday Inspiration

I can’t even believe it… but, it almost time for us to be celebrating my son’s second birthday! It really feels like his first birthday was just a hop and a skip ago. Yet, next month my munchkin is turning two!

Party Inspiration for a Second Birthday Party:

I’m not ready for this big day AT ALL. I seriously have been planning one party in my head for about three months and then decided to switch it up entirely two days ago. YIKES. The things I do have set in stone are the color scheme and the invitations. Just need to pop those suckers in the mail! (I received invitations free of charge from Tiny Prints to feature in my upcoming party. They are gorgeous!)

Second Birthday Inspiration Board

Invites from Tiny Prints / How to Make a Party Hat via Oh Happy Day / Cardboard Playhouses via A Beautiful Mess

So, I’m obviously keeping it simple this year. As much as I like big crazy birthday parties… I have a two-year-old that still wakes up at night. I am not going to be able to go crazy. We’ll be having the birthday party with friends in our backyard. Our food plans are pretty simple as well— birthday cake, fruit, veggies, and popsicles (or ice cream, haven’t decided that one.)

Second Birthday Party Activities:

I’ve had a thousand and one ideas for themes and fun decor ideas. But, I’ve been totally stumped on the activities. (I didn’t do so bad on his first birthday activities.) Seriously though, I can’t wrangle one two-year-old to do a structured activity. How am I supposed to wrangle several? Thankfully, I have very smart friends! I asked Twitter to give me some two-year-old party activity ideas and got this awesome response:

two year old birthday activity idea via twitter

I then put the two-year-old party activity question up on Facebook and got some super ideas: 

  • “Last year we did dinosaur train (PBS show – it’s genius by the way). I made salt dough Dinosaurs that we put in t-shirt boxes and covered with sand. Each kid got a pair of Dollar tree safety goggles and a paint brush. The box lid came it with it, so it served as an archeological dig and a favor. We did that party by the pool and are doing a pool party again. August 5th in Oklahoma is hot!” —Jill
  • “Water! Those little ones love to play in water.” — Melissa
  • “Pajama party! Kids (and parents) came in the morning in their PJ’s. We had breakfast casserole, breakfast breads and fruit. Donuts stacked as a cake for birthday kiddies. Over in time for everyone to be tuckered out and back to bed ( in PJ’s of course) for nap time. Hands down parents favorite birthday. Kids had a great time too. Decorations included fun bedding, pillows, nighttime reading like goodnight moon…party favors were slippers! Teddy bears set out completed decor but would have been cute favors too. Cutest pics ever. I could go on and on…” —Heidi
  • “It’s pretty simple, but most kids love the ‘keep the balloon in the air’ game.” —Julie

Do you have any advice for an awesome second birthday party?

 

Featured: Farm to Table Fete on Eat Drink Pretty

A couple of weeks ago we celebrated my husband’s birthday with a Farm to Table inspired party. I shared some of the pretty details and recipes with Eat Drink Pretty and it is featured today!

Continue Reading…

{Real Parties} Rainbow Themed First Birthday

The little lady that I threw the Woodland Baby Shower for last January is now one! Time sure flies… Her mom and dad pulled off an amazing Rainbow Themed First Birthday for her recently. I’m super excited that they are letting me share some photos of the event. This makes for a wonderful first birthday party. I also think some of the party details could easily be transformed into an awesome Wizard of Oz party or, with the addition of a bucket of gold, a great St. Patrick’s Day Party. 

Continue Reading…

{Real Party} It’s the End of the World!

This year’s birthday “theme” was “It’s the End of the World!” Do I think the world is ending today? Nope. Did I have a blast planning an End of the World themed party… YOU BET!

This was absolutely my favorite birthday party to date. I didn’t have to clean or cook! Myself and about 28 of my friends went to The Original— a Dineraunt here in Portland, OR. The food was SO good (hello, donut burger sliders—YUM), the drinks were great, and the service was really wonderful.

I’ve put together some of the images taken from that evening, along with some DIY tips that you can incorporate in many different themed parties.

Invitations: If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times… the invitation sets the tone for the entire party. I wanted everyone to know that we’d be having cocktails and yummy food. But, I also wanted to relay the message that this was going to be a FUN party. My favorite part of the invite was the little dino reminder. It had a glittery eyeball and a message reminding guests that the party was on 12/12/12 on the back. People could hang them on a tree, the front door, or their fridge!


Decor: The Original has such a hip, fun decor already that I knew I didn’t need much to make this party stand out. And, I’d never suggest to anyone to bring in a ton of decorations to a restaurant. (See my post on hosting events at a restaurant here.)
So, for decor at this party I made little flags, glittery dinosaurs (they were at the last end of the world!), some “fortune tellers,” and a few activities. I sprinkled the tables with the items. I then used the favor bags as part of the table’s centerpieces. Balloons and party hats finished off the party space. I loved how bright and celebratory everything looked!

Activities: I tried to keep the activities simple for the party… I didn’t want to annoy other guests or anything. But, I still wanted some activities that guests could do because not everyone knew each other and activities are a great way to break the ice.

I made little “Draw Your Future Action Figure” sheets for people to “tell future inhabitants of earth what your action figure should look like… don’t want to end up with short little arms like T-Rex!” I the fortune tellers (or cootie catchers) and small talking cards with bucket list items.

Mostly everyone chatted and enjoyed the food… but, it was fun picking up the action figure sheets at the end of the night!

Photo by Bee of The Spicy Bee, Instagram @thespicybee
Favor: I filled bags found at Oriental Trading with all sorts of goodies just in case the end of days is upon us. The favor had the following items:
  • Beer: “The end is near… time for a beer!”
  • Chapstick: “If I’m going out… I’m going out MAKING OUT!”
  • Chocolate: “The first end of the world would have been much more enjoyable with chocolate.”
  • Mints: “Just because the end is MINT to be… your breath doesn’t need to be so stinky!”
  • Bubbles… well, because Bubbles are fun. 

I didn’t take many photos… but, I loved seeing the Instagram photos that everyone took! I was really fortunate to have so many people with cameras and/or camera phones in attendance or I’d barely have a photo to post today!

Check out these awesome instagram accounts! 

DISCLAIMER: I was in no way compensated for my opinion on The Original. Just my opinion from this experience.


{Real Party} Pink and Glamorous 25th Birthday Party Decor

I’m going to let the photos talk today on this Pink and Glamorous 25th Birthday Party I helped throw for my friend, Suzannah of Adventures in Dressmaking. I’ll be going over some great recipe ideas for a vegan bash, DIY decor elements, DIY favors, and party activities throughout the week. 
BTW, the party took place in her beautiful new house that she is blogging all about over at her blog! 

25 Reasons We Love Suzannah Guest “Books”
The Bar

Goofy photo from the “photo booth” area

Lots of pink, glitter, and sequins for this fabulous 25th birthday girl! 
Oh, and yeah… she made that dress! 
Check back tomorrow for some easy, and pretty, DIY decor! 

{Free Printables} You Are My Sunshine Party

9.25.14 UPDATE: These printable files were lost. I’m currently redesigning the sets and will have them up as soon as possible. The redesigned pink set is available for download. It is slightly different than the set pictured below, but very similar! Click here to download your pink Sunshine Printables!
I made a bunch of printables for my son’s birthday. I loved the grey, blue, and yellow color scheme and the printables really helped bring the theme throughout the party. My printables were pretty personalized (his name on everything), so I recently created some new designs for a You Are My Sunshine Birthday Party.

First Birthday Favor Ideas

I had NO idea what to give everyone as favors for a first birthday party. We were going to have little kids there as well as adults. I didn’t want to give the adults things that they were just going to throw away. But, I didn’t want to give the kids things with tons of sugar or that they wouldn’t care about. So, I opted to make two different favors and package them the same way.

Continue Reading…

First Birthday Activity Ideas

Ahhh… the First Birthday. Such a weird age to throw a party for! You get the food done and the decor done and then it is like…
What is everyone going to DO?
Often a first birthday will have an array of different ages of people. Our first birthday had about 20 adults, a teenager, a 9 year old, and 5 babies! I was completely stumped for a long while trying to figure out some fun activities for everyone. Mostly everyone chatted, played with the babies, and took a lot of photos. (Common… 5 babies together, not crying, is probably one of the cutest things EVER.)

Here is what we came up with for our particular spread of people….

For the adults—

  • We had lots of food and beverages. Some of those beverages were adult-only type beverages. It made the whole party go smoother in my opinion.
  • Instagram/ Twitter Hastag Fun— I planned this one, but then forgot to put out the sign with the hashtag or use it myself. But, Adi’s Where the Wild Things Are party did a GREAT job with this idea!
  • “I Remember When” and “Advice for your Birthday” slips for people to write memories or advice for the birthday boy. (Look for a free printable next week!)

 

For the Babies— 

We wanted happy and comfortable babies for the event. So, we wanted to provide shade, food, and toys. I don’t recall any of the five kiddos having a melt-down!
  • TOYS! Put out some baby friendly toys for the kiddos. We put out several of X’s stuffed animals, cars, and wooden toys. The main event though were the yellow beach balls!
  • Do a baby time with a story and some songs. If you have ever brought your kiddo to “Mommy & Me” groups, Gymboree classes, or Book Baby programs at the library then you know what I’m talking about. Pick out a few fun books to read (in excited voices with lots of movement). Break up the story time with songs that have movements. Of course, we had to sing “You Are My Sunshine!”
Books that would be great to read at a You Are My Sunshine First Birthday:
Songs to Sing:
 
You are my Sunshine, My only Sunshine
You make me Happy, When Skies are Grey
You’ll Never Know Dear
How Much I Love You,
I Love You More, and More
Everyday!

* Photos by Motormouth Studio
** Some of the above links are affiliate links. Affiliate links help support the bloggers that post them. I do not link items I have not used and/or do not like. For more information on my Advertising Policies click HERE.

 

{Real Party} You Are My Sunshine First Birthday

The song “You Are My Sunshine” has been one that I often sing my son. Living in Portland, Oregon the sun only really shines during the summer and early Fall. So, my son keeps me smiling year round. 
I hired Macey from Motormouth Studios to hang out at the party all day and take photos. She did a fabulous job!
There were a ton of DIY details that I want to share with you, including printables, recipes, and activities. But, they all can’t go in this one post. So, today will be a picture overload. Stay tuned this week for all of the DIY items!

{Real Party} Fancy Pants Birthday Party

My birthday falls right before Christmas… Which means that funds are usually low and my mind is always somewhere other than on planning or enjoying a party. But, it is also among my favorite days of the entire year. I typically use it as an excuse to get dressed up and hang out with my friends. So, this year, with a lot of help from my friends, I threw together a Fancy Pants birthday party.

This is the first year I’ve used Christmas decor in my birthday party. I typically like to keep it all separate. But, it turned out to be a inexpensive and festive way to decorate. I created the paper goods for the party, created fun appetizers with the help of trader joes, made some fun signature cocktails, created a few activities, and had a great time! Over the next few days I’ll post about the recipes, decor, and activities. I’ll even add a few freebie printables so you can have your own fancy pants party!

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

{Recipe} Sweet Potato Cake with Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting

Mmmm… birthday cake. Is there anything better?
I really enjoy making my friends birthday cakes or cupcakes. I like to play around with flavors and frostings. I like using things I have on hand or going to buy something special. I made this cake  (featured in the Rustic Birthday Party Post from yesterday) using some of the sweet potatoes that came in my weekly veggie box delivery.
And, boy oh boy was it a good use of vegetables!
The cake didn’t look perfect. My frosting job was a little wonky. But, it tasted pretty awesome.
The sweet potatoes made the cake moist. The marshmallow gave the frosting a fun kick.
Then, the crunch of the walnuts made me want another slice.
Sweet Potato Cake Recipe
Recipe loosely based on epicurious.com recipe
changes and additions made by me
INGREDIENTS:
  • 4 8-ounce red-skinned sweet potatoes(yams)
  • 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Topping:

  • Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting (see recipe below)
  • Walnuts (or pecans)
DIRECTIONS:
1. Poke yams with fork and bake until tender (about 1 hour at 375 degrees F). You can also do this in the microwave or used leftover mashed sweet potatoes ( approximately 2 cups worth). Peel yams and smash once done.
2. While yams are baking prepare a pan for cooking. You can use a muffin tin with liners for cupcakes. I used a springform pan and sprayed it with a little cooking spray and dusted it with a little bit of flour to prevent sticking. Preheat oven to 325 F.
3. In a medium bowl sift together (or put in bowl and stir around with a whisk or fork) flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
4. In a large bowl mix 2 cups of (cooled and mashed) yams with sugar, vegetable oil and syrup. Then mix in eggs 2 at a time. After mixing in eggs add in the flour mixture and mix until just incorporated. Add in vanilla extract and mix one last time. (I use a hand-held mixer, but if you are lucky enough to own a kitchen aid stand mixer then I’m sure that would work as well.)
5. Pour cake batter into prepared pan. Bake at 325 for about one hour or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
After the cake was done and cooled I sliced it in half, brushed the tops with a little bit of whiskey (a simple syrup would work as well) to keep it moist, and then frosted it. I put marshmallow icing and walnuts on the first layer before addign the top layer. I then frosted the entire cake with marshmallow icing and topped with walnuts.
Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting
I improvised this frosting recipe using my basic butter frosting as a base
INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 sticks butter- room temperature
  • 1 8 oz jar of Marshmallow Cream
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • milk or cream if needed for consistency
DIRECTIONS:
1. Whip up two sticks of room temperature butter until fluffy. (I use my handheld mixer.)
2. Add in 1 8 oz jar of Marshmallow Cream- whip until incorporated. I spray my handheld mixer with a little bit of cooking spray to help keep the marshmallow cream from sticking to my mixer.
3. While mixing, slowly add in powdered sugar.
4. Add in vanilla and salt and mix.
5. If the frosting is too thick add in tsp of milk or cream. If it is too runny add in a little bit more powdered sugar. I found that I usually don’t need any additional milk or sugar.
Add candles and a song and then you’ve got yourself a birthday cake!
I’d love to know if you decide to make this cake.

{Real Party} Rustic Dinner Party

On a previous {Working on it Wednesday} post I shared an inspiration board for a Fall dinner party with a color scheme of whites, tans, browns and blues.
Guests were in charge of bringing desserts or appetizers while I was in charge of making a main course dish and two sides for 20 people. I challenged myself to keep the whole party within a budget of $125. The decor could only cost $25 and the food, favors and two bottles of wine had to ring in under $100.

The Budget Breakdown
Decor:
$3 on plastic zoo animals
$4 on spray paint
$13 rugged burlap
$9 on flowers
Total: $29
 The rest of the decor were items I already owned
and items I made from things I already owned.
Food, Favors, and Wine: 
Wine— Two Bottles Free
Had leftover from Halloween party
Favors— Takeout boxes for guests to fill with desserts
$6.75
(Boxes were $13.50, but I split the costs with a friend
who needed the other half of the box order for Thanksgiving)
Food— $82.00
The biggest part of this cost was the meat for 15 people.
I also added a vegetarian main course dish and a birthday cake to this shopping trip.
Total: $88.75
Total Party Cost: $117.75

Check back this week for recipes and DIY decorations.

{Working on it Wednesday} Fall Themed Birthday Party

Birthdays are my favorite excuse to throw a party.
My friend’s birthdays are my favorite birthdays to celebrate. 
(Well, until my little guy’s first birthday… I’m sure.)
Alicia’s birthday cake from last year—Carrot Cake!
My friend Alicia has a birthday near the end of November which gives me the perfect excuse to have a Fall themed Dinner party in her honor. I’ve been brainstorming on the party for about a week now and I’m getting quite excited about it. 
Table from Alicia’s birthday dinner 2 years ago.
I’ve decided to make the party a sort of challenge for me to help me keep it on budget and to inspire me to do some fun DIY projects for the blog.
The Details:
Guests: Approximately 16 Guests
  Color Scheme: Browns and Blues inspired by this Inspiration Board from Creature Comforts

 Inspiration Board Links: Burlap and Lace Poms from Jenny Cookies,Winter Tablescape from unknown via Pinterest (if you know please let me know so I can link), Color Inspiration Board from Creature Comforts, Clear Bottles as Candle Holders

I’d like to explore different textures and lighting for this party… 
and of course have some delicious food!

Food Inspiration Board Links: Braised Beef Short Rib Pot Pies from Martha Stewart, Spinach with Garlic Chips from Pioneer Woman, Roasted Carrots from Pioneer Woman, Cake inspiration from Jenny Cookies


 
The Challenge Rules:
Decoration Budget: $25 (must use mostly items that I already own)
Food & Favor Budget: $100
As we are a foodie group each of the guests are bringing a bottle of wine and a dessert or appetizer.
So, my food and favor budget must cover the main course, 2 sides, 2 bottles of wine and favors for 16 people. Certainly a challenge, but totally doable!
Gift Budget: $0— Must be completely homemade from supplies I already own. 
This would be slightly less possible if I didn’t already have something in mind and have an over abundance of supplies at the moment.

{Real Party} Breakfast for Dinner Birthday

A few weeks back I helped a friend Joan throw together a simple, but fun “Breakfast for Dinner” Birthday Party for a mutual friend, Ryan.
His only requests were “Bacon and something with Chocolate for dessert.”
Gotta Get Paid
Awesome Portland Events
Googleicious Ads
Super Sponsors
Check This Awesomeness Out
Past Posts
Follow Along


Follow on Bloglovin


Want the News?

Fill out this short little form to sign up for our newsletter. We promise not to overload your inbox and to send fresh new printables with each newsletter!

Free Printable Blog Planner