Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Animals on Parade {Birthday Party with Friends}

Whaaaat? Another party? Wellllllll...guess when you're TWO you should have TWO parties, eh? He he all seriousness, we decided to split our birthday partying into two celebrations...our
red, white and TWO! family party on Hudson's actual birthday and a simple but fun Animals on Parade: Swing like a Monkey, Splash under the Elephant's Trunk friend party last Saturday at a local park/splash ground.Some of Hudson's grandparents couldn't come on Saturday, so this worked out great for everyone...and I got to plan 2 parties! I know, I know...some of you may be cringing at the thought, but for me it was FUN!

I wanted to keep this party veeeeerrrrrrrryyyyy simple (hush, hush...I hear you snickering from way over here)...almost like a the park...with cake. I knew I wanted to focus on 3 simple things:

1. Animal Crackers. Hudson LOVES crackers. Asks for them at least 987,654,321 times/day.
2. "Swing like a Monkey". Because he is our very own monkey and to tie in the monkey bars at the park.3. "Splash under the Elephant's Trunk". Because Hudson LOVES animals and I LOVE the way he says "efant" for elephant.......and because it was just perfect to tie in the splash ground at the park! So here's the super simple cake & party favor table...told you it was simple ;) Perfect for the park because it was VERY windy...thank goodness for the breeze because even though we had the party at 10am, it was already close to 100 degrees! Hurry up with the sunblock mama, I'm ready to get this party started!! Right after we greeted our little Ella Kate here with my BFF was time to let the fun BEGIN!I decided to pass out the party favors right as the party started so that the kids could use them at the party. Last summer I found these cute recyclable bags at
Toys-R-Us and decided to buy a bunch of them. At $1, they were too cute to pass up! I knew they'd come in handy soon enough!I just wrote each child's name with a sharpie and stuffed them with a giant bubble wand and an inflatable beach ball. I put names on everything...even the wands, bubble trays, and beach balls just to make it easy on the parents.

I think they party favors were a hit. A gallon of miracle bubbles in a bucket...probably the best $3 I've ever spent!
Dip......and BLOW!Water + Bubbles = FUN!While the kiddos played, the mamas relaxed...HA!
Who am I kidding? This was a rare moment between chasing & wrangling kids and enduring the heat. But these are two of my dearest friends...we go waaaay back...we met in college and became the best of friends...we all worked at a gymnastics gym these girls! My dear friend Michelle who helps me brainstorm creative projects is on the left and my BFF Jammie is on the right who is the calmest and most down to earth person I've ever known. Good thing because she's a doctor and we need more good ones like her.....AND...... because she just shared some very exciting news with me and I'm just over the moon happy for her and her beau Xavier.

Seriously, is this not the cutest baby you've ever seen?????? Oh, baby Payton, you are just the sweetest little baby ever!
A whole new meaning to up, and uP, and UP!Even the grown-ups had time to play - love it!Practicing for the World's Strongest Man Competition... 2030 edition. This little guy was on the GO the WHOLE TIME!NOT happy to get called out of the splash zone for cake. Only the promise of juice could slow him down long enough for us to sing Happy hat. Double Boo!
He's going through a hat boycotting phase. Wouldn't even wear the cute fisherman's hat that matched his swimsuit. I had a feeling he wouldn't wear the party hat so I didn't even bother making him a coordinating Lulu & Co. birthday hat for this party...anyone want to be my official hat model? tee hee hee
Happy Birthday to you...
(see those 2 little fingers just dying to get in the cute!)
Happy Birthday dear Hudson, Happy Birthday to you!Make a wish...2 if you'd like......and BLOW! Yaaaay!
(I LOVE his puffed up cheeks!!)
Told you he was a monkey...even cake...on the GO!Yum, Yum, Yum, Yum, Yum!Forget the cake...forget the ice cream...this boy LOVES his animal crackers! Yay for boy toys!!! Thank you sweet friends for celebrating with Hudson and for the fun presents too!Dear Hudson,

You are getting to be such a BIG BOY these days! I can't believe we're about to change your nursery into a big boy room *sniff*
You are the sweetest, cuddliest little boy in the whole world (just slightly biased *wink*)...What a wonderful 2 years we've had with you! I thank God every day for the gift of being your mama.Can't wait to see where these little piggies will take you this next year...All our love always,
Mama, Daddy & Grace

Monday, June 27, 2011

red, white and TWO! {Hudson's 2nd Birthday}

Oh, what a fun theme this was!!I wanted something classic and all-boy...just like our sweet Hudson...and one day while picking up his room, this fun vintage plane caught my eye...My dear friend Heidi gave it to me when we found out we were having a boy - I just love this little plane - and suddenly I had it. A twist on the classic red, white, and, white and TWO! Perfect. And since Hudson's birthday is just a couple of weeks before the 4th of July I knew the decor would be super easy.My favorite birthday boy! Oh, how I love you, Hudson!I love setting the mood for any party from the moment the guests walk through the door... I also try to incorporate many of the items we already own and just give them a little twist - you'll see lots of that throughout this party, like these paper fan decorations (the "blue" matching set to the red ones from Hudson's Dr. Seuss 1st birthday). And the cute bunting...anders ruff DIY printables!...and the aqua blue "H" from his bedroom that Lance spray painted red for me.One of my most favorites recent finds was this gorgeous vintage pane window. I'd been looking for one with glass for a while and I couldn't believe my luck when I found this one on the way back from our trip to Sea World. When I was setting up Hudson's party table, I wanted a deep, navy runner to anchor the lighter blue and all the red and white pieces but I didn't want to spend a lot of money on something I probably wouldn't use very often.

As I was shopping my house (please tell me you do that too??), Hudson's nap mat from MDO caught my eye. It was the perfect shade with the cutest red/white piping AND it was monogramed to boot! Lucky for me it was monogramed on both sides so I simply took the pillow insert and the mat out, flipped it over and voila! If you look closely you can see a hint of the velcro strap in the center, but for a "free runner" I could overlook that little detail *wink*And the blue polka dot display...organizing bins from Hudson's closet turned upside down. Let's talk goodies!Marshmallow pops, of course!
My littles love these and would eat them every day if I let them. A simple Italian Cream cake with a fun little bunting I made using anders ruff DIY printables. Chocolate dipped pretzels...salty & sweet...yum!
Some healthy treats too! Fresh-picked blueberries...
A yummy berry trifle......even cuter served in my vintage mini bundt pans! {someone liked them...a lot!} My friend Bridgette, who just started a cake business, was so sweet to make Hudson some yummy treats like these star-shaped cookies... Cookie pops (my littles gobbled these up!)...These DELICIOUS fluffy and did I mention DELICIOUS? And a scrumptious vanilla almond cake with raspberry filling and buttercream frosting that had everyone wishing they'd eaten dessert first (pics below).
ThANk YoU, Bridgette!!

Add 2 little candles and it was Cake Time!
But first, how about a hat? Not just any hat...a
Lulu & Co. party hat! (a little shameless self-promotion *wink*) No way jose! Definitely NOT into party hats today. Boo!Make a wish...a BIG one!Cookies...Cupcakes...Cake - Oh my!
the ups and downs of cake...just keepin' it real folks ;)
Did someone say presents??? What???!!! My very own Thomas choo choo?! Woo hoo! How did you know it was what I always wanted, Daddy??!Our little familyHanging out with the grands...
(while holding on to that "cow" movie! No way he was letting go of that prized possession!)
More hugs from aunts, cousin, and great grandma...Quite possibly one of my favorite family pictures ever...Hudson enamored with his great grandma Lea (Memema)...this one just melts my heart. Party Favors!
When I found these cute nautical mini trivets at Michaels, I knew they'd be perfect for the party favors I envisioned...
...Mini smores kits for TWO!!
Hudson LOVES smores and he'll actually sit still long enough to help me make them :)...I tweaked one of the blank printables from anders ruff to make the custom labels. LOVE diy printables!
My cute little assistant wasted no time passing these out and telling everyone how to make them "put one graham cracker down, add the chocolate, plop the marshmallow down, add another cracker, SMASH it down and put it in the microwave for 15 seconds. Sooo easy peasy" HA! She makes me laugh Cracker jacks ode to simpler times. So that's it...a fun little red, white and TWO party on our favorite little guy's birthDAY.I think he had fun... {We did!}Happy 2nd Birthday, Hudson!We love you more than you'll ever know!

Hudson's Jon Jon: Prissy Peacock
Grace's Dress: TaDa! Creations
Party Hats: Lulu & Co.
Printables: Anders Ruff
Paper Fan Decorations & Blue Polka Dot Napkins: Party City
Paper Lanterns: Dollar Tree
Polka Dot Melamine Plates, Flower Buckets, & Striped Paper Plates: Target
Striped Nautical Mini Trivets: Michaels