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


  1. You are awesome. Great job, mama! And now I'm thinking it's time to maybe think about Finn's 2nd birthday. :)

  2. you did an AMAZING job!! i got tired just reading about how you made the bakerella cake pops. I adore her site- but who has time?!
    happy bday to the beautiful lil lady!

  3. Omigosh this is the CUTEST party! You worked hard on this but darn did it pay off! What a lovely 2nd birthday for such a lovely girl!

  4. Your owl pops look awesome!! I def. don't have the patience for that kind of thing.

    And omg - I am obsessed with owls right now. I love them in nurseries.

    Oh and Em is GORGEOUS!

  5. Love the owl dress and the cake pops- you did amazing on those! Sometimes I hate living far from you when I miss things like this and now to make it worse, I missed lumpia and puto too. Argh. Happy Birthday Em!

  6. Beautiful party and beautiful little girl! :) you know, I am so incredibly jealous of perfect little baby girl curls!

  7. Jessica C9:30 AM

    I think your cake pops look great!! I am thinking of making some jack skellinton ones for halloween!! Cute party!

  8. What a sweet party! I have a weakness for owls! :) Your cake pops turned out great!

    Looks like the birthday girl had a good time!

    Welcome to the Terrible Twos! :)

  9. What a great party! I think your cake pops are too cute and I'm glad to know that they aren't as easy as Bakerella makes them seem. I was thinking of doing some snowman ones for my Lily's second birthday in a few months. I might rethink them now.

    I bet my girl would go for raisins over cupcakes too. I'm so that boring Mom too.

  10. What a great party! I love owls. Too bad Claire wants to do a Bug's Life party this month!

  11. Super cute party- it all turned out so perfect and cute. Glad your little one enjoyed and i was a part of the festivities in my own way! ;o)

    Mimi's Dress Shop

  12. Anonymous7:02 PM

    Everything is so cute--especially the b-day girl herself!!!
    I think your owl pops looks amazing and like they each have their own little personality!

  13. every single detail is so absolutely adorable! i love, love the owls! such a great theme! and that pinata! wowza! so bummed we missed it, but look forward to #3 :)

  14. What a fun party! I think her owl dress is adorable!!! You did an amazing job, I would have crapped out on the owl pops...just thinking about it gives me hives. I am so not crafty. You did fab Mom!

  15. the party was a blast! too.darn.cute!

  16. I seriously missed out! Everything looks amazing! LOVE the theme too. Wow - I have so much respect for you for even attempting to make those owl pops, and more so for being successful at it! Those came out great! Anything Bakerella makes looks so easy. I'm really bummed I missed out on lumpia and puto...those are my favorite too! Looking forward to #3 too :)

  17. I'm so sad that I missed this party! What a cute theme. As much as I hate birds, I like cartoon birds. Hehe, as I was reading this, I thought "if I was there, I would have snuck her a piece of candy." Such a bad friend.

  18. You did a fabulous job!! The owl pops, in particular, are just too cute! I'm glad everything went so very well. :)

  19. This is kind-of my own dream birthday. I'm an owl fiend!

  20. we had such a great time! everything was lovely, and you did a great job :)