Monday, September 26, 2011

Woodland Friends Birthday Party

We had a very busy, but fun time this past weekend. It was Henry's 2nd Birthday!!! The grandparents all came into town, along with Aunt Kristi and Uncle Austin. And, of course, lots of local friends (of the big and small variety). The party this year was at Irvine Nature Center in Reisterstown. The facility is new and the building, and site, were designed to be very environmentally friendly.  The room where the party was held is one of their preschool rooms, which is the perfect location for a party for a bunch of little kids. The Woodland Friends theme I chose coordinated both with the activities that were planned during the party (by the nature center staff), and then I tried to go with colors that didn't compete with the pretty busy preschool room. I think it turned out pretty well, given that I'd only seen the room once before. Maybe I have one of those color reading chips in one of my eyeballs. That would be AWESOME! And I wouldn't need the app for my phone. If you're interested in using the invitation or some of the printable decorations for a shower you're hosting, please visit my Etsy shop . I will be very happy to work with you to customize colors and text!

I blogged about the centerpieces last week. I used a variety of animals such as birds, bunnies, hedgehogs, and owls.

I also blogged last week about my technique for making this garland. I really love this garland. Probably more than a normal person should love a bunch of crepe paper knotted up on twine. I should string it from the ceilings in my house.

I tried to keep the food fairly simple, since the children never really eat anything but the cake or cupcakes anyway. The food really served as snacks for the adults who were trapped enjoying the party. My friend Julie made Buffalo Chicken Dip. Perhaps she should post the recipe on her blog so I can post the link to it? Yes? I made a BLT pasta salad, which was really delicious. I had to have bacon somewhere on the menu and I couldn't really find a way to fit bacon jam into the mix so this was the next best thing. I used this recipe (originally found on Pinterest) and my only alteration was that instead of fresh thyme I just used some italian seasoning I had in my spice collection and I didn't serve it over bib lettuce (would have done that if the party had been at my house but I figured the lettuce would be very wilted if I included it as suggested in the recipe. I had my mom make sausage balls, which are the standard old-school southern party staple. I also had my mom make her cream cheese brownies were are too ridiculous for words. I know I'll have requests for that recipe so once I get it I'll post it. I made the sweet potato brownies from Bake It Pretty. They are the perfect fall dessert! And of course, really cute cupcakes from a local supermarket, Graul's.

I made really quick and simple favors for the children at Henry's party. I bought little sticker books from the Irvine Nature Center gift shop, found small magnifying glasses at Michael's Crafts, and then threw in a few packs of gummy bears (I found these small packs in a HUGE bag at World Market). I wrapped it all up in a bandana (you can find at most craft stores and even the $1 store).

We had a fantastic member of the Irvine Nature Center staff lead the kids through story time. Each of the children also had the opportunity to pet a turtle, a hedgehog, and an owl.

The birthday boy!!! He was very excited about his raccoon shirt (mostly because he liked to say "raccoon")

Henry running around in circles, apparently for the entertainment of the other kids.
Me and my birthday boy.
Sometimes he's a little goofball.

After reading a story and torturing petting the animals, all the kids went outside for a bug hunt. I do not believe any insects or worms were injured. Henry's pants did sustain some serious mud injuries from him running around like a wild man.

Back to the party for cake and gifts. Henry LOVES him some "cakey" (as he calls it). I wasn't thinking and didn't attempt to hide the cupcakes (all 35 of them) when I brought them home on Friday night. So he had one for dinner that night and he spotted them the minute he arrived at the party.

Henry and other children pretending to eat food that isn't cake.

He finally got to eat his cupcake! 
Henry got lots of really fun toys and he has been in toy heaven all weekend!

 Irvine Nature Center has a really nice natural playground on-site. After the party the kids had a great time climbing around on the logs and hollowed out trees.

Henry had a great time and managed to survive the day with his sanity intact despite only having a 30 minute nap in lieu of his usual 3 hour nap. I guess it's time to start planning his 3rd birthday party!!!!


duchessofginger said...

OMG!!!!! LOVE IT!!! You did such a great job and the kids look like they had a fantastic time. Wish we could have made it :( Glad I didn't get him the plane. ha ha.

Candy said...

Awesome! The banner is such a great idea and the centerpieces are super cute.