I’m not sure how much longer I’ll be able to get away with setting the theme for Clara’s birthday parties. We did a very vague and simplified Beatles theme for her first birthday party (Here Comes the Sun on a poster, in reference to that song playing when she was born) and last year’s theme was, of course, the Yellow Submarine.
This year, I did a play on All You Need is Love, but did Owl You Need is Love instead, taking advantage of the abundance of party decor available in both hearts (the benefit of her birthday falling so close to Valentine’s) and owls, which are crazy popular lately (is that because of Harry Potter, or is there no relation?)
At a baby shower that I did last month (blog post to come), I got creative in using an extra set of sheer curtains to create a draped effect under the table. I did that again for this party, adding some extra gauzy material to the top of the table as well.
The glitter origami mobile above wasn’t exactly owls, but I loved the combination of the pink birds hanging from the branches, with the white curtains behind making a gauzy (whimsical) back ground.
(The mobile I bought at an artisan fair we had at work; a 90 year old woman makes them by hand and sells them).
I also decided against helium balloons for a few dozen pink and white balloons that were inflated and scattered beneath the food table.
Because we were doing owls, hearts and feathers, I borrowed the two feather trees my girlfriend just happened to have in her inventory. The small one was perfect for the table and looked perfect with the pink owl and heart cupcakes my dear friend Deb made for the party (at 39 weeks pregnant, I should add).
I used her larger, 3′ tree in the kitchen play area where I set up a craft area for the kids to decorate ‘heart trees’.
Guests also had the option to write a message to the birthday girl on heart shaped paper ornaments and hang them on what became a feather ‘wish tree’.
And for the first time ever, I tried my hand at tissue paper pom poms. I loved them and am so making them again!
In the front foyer (where there was no rugs or upholstered furniture), I set up the other activity table for the kids – a cookie decorating station with trays of sugar cookies in the shapes of hearts and owls and supplied pre-made Duff icing in kid-friendly tubes in red, white, pink and aqua.
I ordered the cup cake toppers and banner off Etsy and was extremely pleased with the quality of product that was delivered to me a few days before the party by Lili from Beautiful Paper Crafts.
The framed white photos on the mantel were shots we took last summer on my mother’s front steps in Halifax. It was meant to be a surprise for my mom, who had plans to fly up for Clara’s party, until a huge storm that swept from Ontario through to the East Coast kept a lot of planes grounded, hers included.
And because it was an early day party (11am-2pm) on a Sunday, I kept the food light.
Individual veggie cups.
Fruit and yogurt.
Cheese and crackers, using thinly sliced cheese and cookie cutters to get owl and heart shaped cheese (something so easy impresses people so much – it’s funny!). Heart shaped sandwiches (ham, cheese, and strawberry jam with cream cheese) and the again, the heart shaped pizzas that were such a hit last year. Chips and dip, pumpernickel and spinach dip, cupcakes, the cookies the kids had free access to and, of course, an ice cream cake.
I made up pitchers of Shirley Temples and pink lemonade for the kids, and a pink sangria for the adults, along with a tub of beer in the garage for those so inclined.
I was dying to use the apocathery jar I’d borrowed for Deb for something (the ceramic owl is also hers and was a perfect touch). My original plan was to fill it with pink cotton candy, but when I couldn’t find it, I decided to make some chocolate peppermint bark, which I’d been craving anyway.
As far as refreshments go, it doesn’tget much easier than that (unless I had to do the cupcakes, which thank
god Deb, I didn’t.
The personalized gift bags for the kids included a feather boa, paper owl mask, a couple of crafts, some stickers, a mini box of popcorn, some ‘owl eggs’ and a little tub of valentine themed gourmet jelly beans.
I also made sure to have cupcake boxes on hand so we wouldn’t be left with a dozen cupcakes.
My husband said afterwards that I’m crazy, but that I throw a great party. But honestly, the only opinion that mattered was that of the birthday girl, who oohed and aaaahed when she saw everything, said it was all beautiful, and then thanked me for her party.
You’re very welcome, sweet girl.