Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Birthday girl

Two years ago today we welcomed this bundle of joy.


Waving to her public

Two years later and her smile still melts our hearts.

Thank you, sweet Em, for making us one very happy family.
Family shot

"The family is one of nature's masterpieces. "
- George Santayana

Monday, October 04, 2010

Hoot, hoot!

After last year's big celebration for Em's 1st birthday, I promised myself that this year would be more low-key.

Promises, promises.

I didn't really take on *that* much, with the exception of one slightly-over-the-top project you'll see later. I know parties can go off swimmingly without a theme, and last year was simply a color palette of brown and pink with a few butterflies thrown in. This year, though, I had fun with more of a theme theme.

I spotted these cookies on Etsy and fell head over heels in love with the idea of an owl party for Em. I think I've mentioned it before, but while I hate ACTUAL birds, strangely I don't mind objects with birds on them. BTW, I didn't even end up ordering those darling owl cookies I linked to, even though they were the spark for this entire theme.

Here's the invite, designed by this Etsy seller:

Like last year my in-laws allowed us to host the party at their place. The freaky deaky weather threw quite the wrench in the works the day-of. We wanted to hold the party outdoors, but it was drizzling when we arrived for set-up. Boo! Then the sun came out. Yay! Then it started BLAZING -- super hot! Boo! None of my original set-up ideas were going to work, but we improvised.

Now onto a gazillion pics!

Here's the birthday girl herself. She wore an adorable handmade owl dress from Etsy seller Mimi's Dress Shop. She also made the super cute deer dress Em is wearing in her invite pic! (Stay tuned for a special discount for my readers!)

Birthday girl

A few guests asked if I had curled Em's hair. Nope. She just hops out of bed with these cute waves.

Here is the food set-up inside so it wouldn't melt in the sun.

I made a ton of circle garlands, which you can see on and above the food table, using a tutorial from blogger pal Mrs. Priss.

A closer look at the goodies.

Since the party was from 3-6 p.m., we didn't feel obligated to feed our guests an actual meal. We focused on lots of sweet treats instead. JustJenn brought her amazing red velvet and brown sugar cupcakes, to which I added toppers that matched the party invite. I found a small jewelry pedestal on clearance from Urban Outfitters (cheaper than listed on the site) that I placed atop my pink cake stand. I topped that with this solar owl I found at Paper Source.

I also made some Rice Krispy treats, some of which I dipped in purple candy melts. I did the same thing with some large pink marshmallows I put on a stick. My mom made a Filipino dessert called "puto." They're sweet steamed rice cakes and a childhood favorite of mine. (They're covered with foil in the pic.) My mom also provided a savory dish -- her yummy lumpia.

Besides the wacky weather, the biggest pain of party planning were these too-ambitious owl cake pops, inspired by these.
Owl cake pops

I wanted to make one for each of the 30 adult guests as favors, but it took all my patience to get the few you see above done. Blogger Bakerella makes it all look soooo damn easy. My hat's off to her. Apparently I need much more practice. I'm not good with melted chocolate, and I'm a bit of a bull in a china shop when it comes to the delicate features.

The ears are chocolate chips attached to the cake balls before dipped. The eyes are pre-made. The beaks are candy-dipped sunflower seeds, and the wings/feet are fall leaf sprinkles.

People seemed to like them, though, so I suppose I can't be too hard on myself.

And the peeps who seemed to like them the most have very discerning taste.

Wan's daughter, The Bean
Hootie hoo!

The lovely Maya!
Enjoying an owl pop

To keep the kiddos entertained, we filled Em's pool with plastic balls for a ball pit. We also put out Em's bubble machine.

After some playtime and mingling, we busted out the owl pinata.

I opted for a pull-string version 'cuz toddlers + sticks = potential disaster. Em was a bit enamored by the crowd of her kidlet pals to pay much attention to the strings, but it was still fun.
Pinata time

I filled the pinata with lots of toddler-friendly toys & trinkets, as well as some raisins and goldfish crackers. I know, I know. Boring mom, but Em hasn't really had any candy yet.

While we had the partygoers gathered, we popped a candle on a cupcake and sang Happy Birthday.

We've been to a few parties lately, so Em somehow knew that the end of the song meant it was time to blow out the candle. In this photo, she's literally asking me, "buh-low?!?"

Took a few tries, but she was eventually successful!
You did it!

I tried to give her the birthday cupcake, but she refused it, opting for the raisins she scored from the pinata instead.
No, thank you

It's safe to say that Em enjoyed herself. She adores all her great friends who came out to celebrate with her!

Toddler posse

"There ain't no party like a Liz Lemon party 'cause a Liz Lemon party is '
mandatory.'" - Liz, 30 Rock