Happy Belated Birthday

Did ya'll know Claire turned TWO? Yeah, *shamed blogger face*, like 3 weeks ago. It happened to be the most special and fun little celebration. Claire's Oma and Opa decided to rent out a beach house for and ENTIRE week (7 days!!!!!!!) and planned it around her and her cousin Jude's 2nd birthdays (they're one week apart).

Of course, this meant that my sister-in-law, Kate, and I got to collaborate on this little joint-birthday-venture. Our first instinct for a theme was....*drum roll*...BEACH THEME! Super creative, right? We are both blog addicts and soon began scouring the internet for cute, hip, original ideas to theme the party around. It soon became apparent that by sticking too literally to the beach theme that things could get cheesy, real fast. Which, really, is not usually a big deal because it's a party for TWO YEAR OLDS! But...we're kind of dorky and obsessive about things like this. So we got together and brainstormed. Turns out Kate has most of the lightning and thunder (ba-dum) and I was along for the ride. I did contribute in terms of the color scheme (yellow and red) but she was BRILLIANTLY inspired by those wonderful, vintage,striped, beach changing rooms.
So we started thinking more patterns (stripes, textures, colors) rather than piling seashells and beach balls. We almost got overly ambitious because we wanted (again, Kate's idea) to construct a striped changing room with an awesome yellow/white striped sheet I snagged at a neighborhood estate sale. But alas, our good senses won out and we ended up using the sheet as our tablecloth instead!

Theme: Vintage beach, with touches of literal beach element (i.e. sand)
Colors: Red, white and yellow
Setting: Beach house overlooking Rockaway Beach, OR
Background Music: Neko Case....Claire's insanely absolute favorite.
Challenge: Make it cute, original and gender neutral

Overall, we wanted to keep it simple. But we also wanted it to look really cute and unique....perhaps a bit chic? Let me tell you, planning this with my SIL was a TOTAL blast! And my other SIL chimed in some AWESOME ideas here and there too. We stayed up late the night before crafting our decorations, listening to music, bouncing ideas off each other and having fun.

What do I take away from this experience? I've decided I want to go into business with Kate. What do you think about that, Kate? Sure, we live like 2 hours away from each other...no biggie ;)

But really, I've loved planning things ever since I our wedding (almost 3 years ago), however, nothing has ever been this fun to pull off because having someone to do it with really made it worthwhile and pretty stress-free (that run-on sentence is basically how I talk...grammar has never been my shtick, fyi). So, three years ago I discovered I like to plan/craft parties but even more, three weeks ago I found that I love to plan/craft parties WITH someone else who loves to plan/craft parties!
Our simple cupcake tablescape. We snagged a frame from the wall, put some brown paper bag inside, outlined the 2. Kate bought boxes of red and yellow ziploc-like bags from Ikea, we cut those into squares, scrunched them and hot glue-gunned them into place. LOVE THE FINAL LOOK! Good call, Kate! And kudos to me for burning off my fingerprints in the process ;)
Kate already had these cupcake liners and we decided they'd be perfect for our theme! Also decided to add little flags(with my scrap fabric/paper bag), kind of like a little changing room on the beach that have little flags sticking out on top. We gave the cupcakes a sandy look by crushing animal crackers in the blender and putting them on the frosting. Again, subtle but themey too :)

Kate and I both bought these yellow/white plastic plates from Target for 25 cents so we hot glued (for stability) them onto a couple short glasses from the beach house. When we were done it was easy to dismantle them by running hot water over the plate and popping it off of the glass.

Since we weren't hanging anything from the ceiling (poufs or balloons or anything) I wanted to have *something* that would add height to our table. I decided to make the little accordian folded circles, attach them to some kebab skewers and topped them with the red circle I cut out from the bottom of a cupcake liner and stuck them in the middle of a cupcake! VOILA!

For lunch we had pulled BBQ pork sandwiches, lil' smokies wrapped in crescent dough, chips/salsa, carrots/dip and fruit skewers. You can't see it but the fruit kebabs are stabilized in place by sand! Nice lil' beachy touch, ay? ;) turned out to be a cute little centerpiece for the food counter. Also had a scrap of red/white fabric of mine that served as a little runner for the food counter. My SIL wrote out a cute little sign for the fruit that read, "2T fruitie". HOW CUTE!!!

Loved Amy's touch here, too with the Lemon-Aid :) hee hee. She also came up with the idea to get some driftwood from the beach, make a 2 and take a picture.

After the party we realized all of our food had been finger food. Oh well! This was another fun little touch that Kate came up with...spray-painted food cans with paper bag 2's and ribbon.

Can you believe we forgot to get candles? Thankfully, Cannon Beach had a cute little candy store with these candles. I was forced to depart from the color scheme...but that's probably a good thing right? You can't have EVERYHING match.

We could have done all kids' all-time favorite cupcakes (chocolate) but again, it wouldn't have had the same *look*. Thankfully, Claire and Jude don't seem to be bothered -- they demolished their cupcakes prettttttyy quickly.

My nephew, Jude, is such a handsome little firefighter.

My lovely 2-year-old chef :) *apron from Auntie Amy!* I wonder what she's cookin' in that kitchen!


The Pond Pad said...

Can you plan Sadie's birthday party? This was so cute! Way to go!

James said...

Holy smokes! This is so so cute; you're even inspiring me (the uber-non-crafter). So love that you take such pleasure in it all. It shows!

James said...

Also, this is Jamie.


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