It has been a really rough couple of days (and weeks really) Topher is working up a storm and I haven’t had my dad to fall back on to watch Phoenix like usual this summer. I’m hoping that will change soon, because I feel like even though I have fewer clients on the books that I have had in years right now, I’m just a little overwhelmed. Very little time and LOTS of side projects (which are exciting, but time consuming) going on right now. I really hate writing about how busy I am because the truth is we’re all busy, so for that I am sorry. The good news is that Kris has a day off today (his first in about 8 days) and I’m playing catch up today. So after a full morning of trying to make it through e-mail (although I still have a ways to go, if you are waiting to hear back from me, you will by the end of the day) I am taking a break to blog about my little guy’s second birthday.
You might have seen the feature on on 100 Layer Cakelet on Monday. That was so exciting since they featured his first birthday last year. I don’t think I am going to go all out with these cute “twee” parties every year, but I have to say it’s so fun while he’s little and doesn’t care too much about the details just yet. I’m sure in a few years he will be asking for spiderman parties with matching plates and napkins and I am going to be a-ok with that :)
So in case you don’t remember, this is where we started a few months back with a dino-tastic mood board.
This was the perfect jumping off point and I think we used all of these ideas, although our fossil cookies were not near as successful, bakers we are not.
Finding invitations is always one of the tricky parts for me and also So important because it is where the design starts. I don’t love designing invitations and that’s not really my area of expertise at all so I like to find something ready-made that we can just order. I found these dino ones on Paperless Post- we customized them a bit, but nothing crazy. Ironically Paperless Post is made for sending digital invites, but you can order paper too, which is what we did. I’m traditional like that and until P gets older I really enjoy sending an actual piece of mail. One of my favorite parts about this invitation was that we were able to customize the envelope liner- there were so. many. choices. which for a crazy person like me was like…totally a super important decision in my life.
Topher’s favorite was the triangle pattern which I really liked too (and what we ended up using) and that ended up being one of the main design elements that ran throughout the entire party. It was a really easy place to come back to if I couldn’t think of a good idea…let’s put triangles on it!
Here are the invitations styled up another way just for fun.
We live in a pretty large apartment complex so one of my concerns was that all of our friends and family could find our place. An address and an apartment number don’t usually cut it, so while I tried to text everyone some more specific instructions I also had my mom pick up some balloons to tie outside of our entrance (there are several entrances) and then Topher and I made a cardboard template for these chalk dinosaur footprints. We just google-imaged a dinosaur footprint, found one we liked, printed it, traced it onto a piece of cardboard, and then cut it out with an exacto knife. Bada bing! We had the perfect template to create dinosaur chalk footprints that led from the entrance to our door. Kind of reminded me of this chalk drawing experience except there was less fence jumping this time :)
This table greeted our guests at the door…you know in case the dinosaur footprint trail left any doubt in their mind. Yes, you are in the right place! Yes, Phoenix is two! Yes, please grab a ridiculous party hat and come on it!
You will see these friendly party dinos sprinkled throughout the day. I was inspired by the party hat dinos in my mood board, but also wanted to incorporate plants in some way. It’s so hard with boys because all I really want to do is create beautiful flowering centerpieces that cascade over the table, but something tells me that’s not very manly. Last year I did succulents and cactuses…and there really aren’t many other options…I had a lightbulb moment when I found these dinosaurs on Etsy. Air plants were of course the perfect solution- still adding that bit of planty goodness, masculine- check, awesome- double check. The ones we found on Etsy were obviously expensive- like $15-$30 per dinosaur, which is a very fair price, but way more than I was willing to spend. Dinosaur figurines aren’t cheap, I scoured several goodwills to collect mine, otherwise I easily could have spent hundreds…no, I’m not exaggerating at all. At hobby lobby- large dinosaur toys are like $10-$30 each. And I needed like 20. I also found some at the dollar tree, they weren’t huge, but a good size for only a dollar. Anyway, we ended up DIYing the dinosaur planters- I showed Kris my air plants and he just drilled holes big enough for the plants to nest in each dinosaur’s back. Air plants don’t require a water source, they survive off the moisture in the air (what?!?!) so that really is as complicated as it got. Super easy. I also gave all of the dinosaurs a paint job to make them a little more festive and fun looking. Some of them also had the privilege of donning teeny tiny party hats. I made those too (I’m sure you can tell), this was just trial and error figuring out the right template to cut out for them and then
burning my fingers together gluing them at the seams.
These party hats were originally pink, green, and neon yellow. I couldn’t find any even close to the colors that I wanted so they all got a quick paint job, then I just free-handedly drew spikes, cut them out, and hot glued them to the backs right at the seam. Phoenix only wore his for 2.7 seconds, but they were fun and I believe I actually wore mine for the entire party.
You can’t really see this triangle table runner I painted very well, but this was my concept of a centerpiece. Runner, dinosaurs wearing party hats, air plants, boom. done.
Another centerpiece- this happened on our coffee table- notice the dinos down here don’t have any plants in them- that way the kids could play with these (since they were on a table within their reach). Also please note the T-rex chasing the spiky-saureses (not sure of their real name, sorry), this was completely intentional. You can also kind of notice the corner of a minty green pillow in the corner. A super easy way to change up decor to match a party is to change up pillows. And no, I don’t buy new pillows. I just spend a couple dollars on a yard or two of fabric in the right color and stitch up a new pillow cover right over my existing pillows. I don’t even do any proper type of pillow button or envelope closure. I just stitch up three sides, stuff the pillow in, and then stitch the bottom closed with the pillow inside- all with my hello kitty sewing machine. They only take me about 5-10 minutes per pillow. Then after the party I don’t feel one bit guilty about cutting them off and throwing the fabric in my scrap pile.
We have a pretty large patio off of our dining room and I knew I wanted to utilize it for the party. It was SO disgustingly hot we weren’t out there as much as I would have liked, but the kids did throw sand at each other for about 15 minutes. They unfortunately weren’t interested in finding the fossils Topher buried, but the sand box was a hit nonetheless.
We had this set up on the other side of the patio. Flipping through these the other day my mom asked where this was, she hadn’t even seen it! So while literally no one hung out here because it’s July and we’re in Houston it makes for a pretty photo I suppose.
Our food table. I love doing one big table to throw all of the pretty food on and then putting things like chips and dip, sodas, etc. over on a bar or kitchen counter.
We labeled the food- herbivore, carnivore, and sweetivore and tried to have 2-3 things in each category. For herbivore we did deviled eggs and veggie cups. Kris and I had a very serious discussion on whether or not eggs really and truly fit into the herbivore category, but we went with it since we really wanted to have them. If we had made individual food labels- dino eggs would have been a cute label for these.
These definitely fit in the herbivore category. We filled those little bathroom drink cups with ranch in the bottom and an assortment of veggies. We had a full blown veggie tray elsewhere, but this was a cute way to display them.
Our carnivore foods were meatballs and bacon wrapped pineapple.
Kris was not happy with how the pineapple ended up looking- he works at a fancy restaurant so the “presentation” of this wasn’t up to par for him. But they were super delicious and they looked fine to me!
In the sweetivore section we had our dinosaur footprint cookies, cupcakes, and regular chocolate chip cookies. For the footprint cookies we put the ones that turned out the best on top…so you see what I mean that these didn’t turn out that great. I actually didn’t follow a tutorial just stamped a dinosaur toy (a sanitized one!) in the top of them. I think I could have used some advice and a tutorial on these.
I cut up airheads to use as dinosaur spikes on the cupcakes- I got the idea from Young House Love. I think our spikes wilted a bit becuase of the humidity, darn you Houston!
The punch was Topher’s idea. It tasted delicious, but looked disgustingly perfect. We made it with 1 tub of lime sherbert, 1 two liter of ginger ale, and a can of pineapple juice. The color of the punch was really cool with just the sherbert and the ginger ale so I actually didn’t add the entire can of pineapple juice since it was yellowing it out a bit.
Phew! That’s it. I hope you like my overly detailed run-down. Phoenix’s birthday parties are a really fun side project for me to plan and design, and thank goodness I have made some friends who are very talented with a camera otherwise I doubt I would afford the added expense of hiring a photographer. Thanks for looking and happy birthday little Phoenix :)