Sunday, September 30, 2012

Golden Birthday Party!

Arlo will be two on Oct. 2 so we threw a fun little golden birthday party for him over the weekend. I had a good time making and gathering things to decorate the house. I made a Pinterest board for all the golden birthday ideas I could find and that made everything easier.

How cute is Arlo's bowtie?? Oh man, it killed me. Surprisingly, he kept it on all night. I bought it from this Etsy seller. Iris decided to wear her old American Apparel gold lame leggings to keep with the gold theme. They are 2T but still fit her at age 4!

Inspired by one of the many tutorials available online, I took two old Ikea vases that I ruined years ago with candle wax and covered them in gold glitter and now I am in LOVE with them. Almost so in love with them that I can ignore all the glitter they sprinkle everywhere. :)

I made a big gold two (using this tutorial) to hang in our living room. I'll pop it onto a bookshelf in the kids' room soon and probably repurpose it for New Year's, too.

Two is not really a "game" age, but I wanted to have at least one activity for the kids. Arlo and Iris are super, super into finding Goldbug in Richard Scarry books right now, so I thought they would get a kick out of looking for him in our yard.

I scanned a picture from Cars and Trucks and Things That Go, enlarged it a bit (not very well—thankfully kids don't care) and printed it out on cardstock. I taped chocolate gold coins to the backs of the cards to make it extra fun. None of the two-year-olds played the game after they each had found one card, but the older kids were into it.

I made two kinds of cupcakes: pumpkin with chai cream cheese frosting and chocolate with peanut butter frosting. That pumpkin cupcake recipe is AMAZING. I frosted a dozen of them and we ate the rest unfrosted last week and they were incredible as muffins, too. The chocolate cake recipe might be my new standard chocolate cupcake recipe from now on, and that peanut butter frosting recipe is super good but rich. Which is not a bad thing. I used gold foil wrappers, gold sugar sprinkled on top and stuck two gold candles into Arlo's (first) cupcake.

I baked both batches of cupcakes a week before the party and froze them. Come Saturday morning I was so glad I did that! The cream cheese frosting does really well in the fridge so I made that the night before. I made the peanut butter frosting recipe the morning of the party and frosted both batches of cupcakes in my pajamas. :)

The birthday boy had THREE pumpkin cupcakes over the course of the afternoon.

I tried to stick to a semi-golden theme with the food: pineapple, deviled eggs, mini quiches, cheese and crackers, trail mix, Teddy Grahams, goldfish crackers and cocktail meatballs. For a main course, I made this huge batch of mac and cheese, plus sub sandwiches for the adults and pb&j sandwiches for the kids (cut into cute shapes). 

For the grown-ups, Aaron made an amazing punch with rum, lemon juice, St. Germain and other tasty stuff. We also had wine, beer, lemonade, apple juice and sparkling water out in a tub of ice on the patio. Oh, and yellow and white striped straws, too, of course.

I hung some gold foil door curtains behind the food table to keep it festive. To my surprise, Arlo didn't try to pull them down once. That tablecloth is an old Ikea duvet cover! 

Inspired by this party, I bought a roll of heavy-weight butcher paper from Blick Art Materials and we hung sheets of it on the wall in our breezeway. I set out baskets of stickers and markers and let the kids go to town. I'm pretty sure that paper will be up there all winter.

I still can't believe not one kid took a marker to my rug or furniture. Nice job, kiddos!

One more picture of my sparkly! It made my cheap Costco flowers look great.

And of course we had a lot of gold balloons all over. Arlo popped one in the car on the way home from the store (nice!) and another halfway through the party, but the rest survived.

Not pictured: four pumpkins that I painted gold and stuck on the patio with some mums, little chocolate candy bars that I wrapped up to look like yellow buses thanks to this tutorial but totally forgot to set out (!!) and a few goofy crowns I made out of gold pipecleaners.

And of course I totally made a gold-themed playlist for our musical delight: "Gold Dust Woman" by Fleetwood Mac, "Golden" by My Morning Jacket, ""Gold Teeth" by Little Wings, "Heart of Gold" by Neil Young, "Fools Gold" by the Stone Roses, "The Golden Age" by Beck, etc.

Whew! It was a fun party that lasted well into the evening with s'mores around the firepit. I can't believe my little dude is (almost) two! He is awesome and I love him so much. Happy birthday, kiddo!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Party time, excellent.

Bacon-wrapped cocktail weenies. by AnneRosso

Arlo, my first son and last baby, will be two next week. We're having a party for him this weekend and I'm in that happy planning stage where anything is possible!

I love this stage. I have so many ideas and there's still time to make it all happen!

Of course, I know the stage after this one is "OMG, the party starts in three hours and I'm not dressed and the food isn't done and the house isn't cleaned and OMG OMG OMG!"

I'm not looking forward to that stage.

But! Living in the moment, I'm very excited for the party. It's his golden birthday! This is the first party I've ever thrown with a theme.

Um, holy cow, themes are AWESOME! They make all your decisions so easy! In this case, when I see something cool that could be fun for the party, my first question is, "Is it gold?"

The second question is, "Can I make it gold?"

Followed by all the boring questions of money and necessity, heh.

I'm going to try to wrestle Arlo into a cute little yellow bowtie for the party—we'll see how that goes!