Monday, June 30

Puppy Party: Our Boy's 2nd Birthday

A puppy party. 

I saw the idea of a it just a few months after his first birthday.  Yes, I know. 

While there are TONS of cute little boy party themes to choose from on the grand ol' world wide web, so many seemed just a little too old for, super heroes, Legos, camping.....all of those are super sweet and fun, but none of those are things he has an interest in just yet

And he loves my parent's black lab.  So it just made sense. A puppy party it was. 

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, none of these ideas were originated entirely with me.  Pinterest provides lots of inspiration y'all.  

When we have Sunday Family Dinner at my parent's, my aunts and uncle and cousin all bring their dogs each month, so this was another great reason behind doing the puppy party, because what fun is a puppy party without dogs, right?

I looked at lots of ideas on Pinterest for the invites and combined several ideas to come up with this:

I decided to stick with red and blue with the Fourth of July being just days after our little guy's birthday.  I mean why reinvent the wheel, right?  Stick with red and blue and then whatever is leftover can be used the following weekend.  Can I get an amen? 

Peanut has a friend in her preschool and his birthday is July 2.  I was talking to his mom and she said she's done some sort of red, white, and blue theme for all five of his birthdays.  This last year he wanted superheroes party and her first thought was, "Red, white and blue....superheroes....?.....we can do Captain America!"  I love how she thinks! 

This last winter I found the cutest little dog t-shirt for him on clearance at Gymboree.  I paid like $5 total for both the shirt and shorts.  It was in reds/blues/greens and I totally made it work. 

On the menu were hot dogs (what else, right?) with all the fixings and potato salad (homemade because store bought is just blech!) and a fresh fruit platter.  I also did Puppy Chow, because, of course.  And then cupcakes and homemade chocolate and vanilla bean ice cream.  The chocolate was this recipe, and the vanilla was this recipe.  They were both amazing.   

My mama gave me a Cricut cutting machine nearly six years ago and I had a cartridge that had a little puppy face cut out.  I used that for the treat {doggy} bags, the bunting banner, the cupcake toppers and even the paper circle garland.  To make all those crafts probably cost me less than $10.  My mom had bought me a lifetime supply of white paper lunch bags at our local restaurant supply store prior to Peanut's Elmo party nearly four years ago.  While I thought it extremely excessive at the time, those bags have come in handy each year since.  I had red, white, and blue card stock from my prior years as a Stampin' Up demonstrator, and I had white thread for my sewing machine for the paper garland.  Really all I had to buy was the red/white baker's twine for the bunting and the navy/white star scrapbook paper for the background for the bunting and red/white washi tape.  Because I've seen this washi tape trend all over and I finally had an excuse to try some!  Plus, the twine, scrapbook paper, and tape I got all on sale.  So it really took more time than anything!

For the treats inside the bags, I got dog bone shaped graham crackers (dipped in chocolate) and blue racquet balls.  So the kids could play fetch and get a treat.....get it???!?  Also included but not shown were "dog tags", whistles, sidewalk chalk, blue bandanas (which we forgot to pass out!), and bubbles.  Those were all purchased--that did not come from my stash!

I found straws and cupcake sugar pearls from this Etsy shop....and let me offer you a little public service announcement when using sugar pearls for cupcakes.   First off, it had nothing to do with the brand or where I got these sugar pearls from.  The Etsy shop owner was oh so great!

I was so disappointed in the cupcakes I didn't even take a close up of them.  Right: the one that held up.

But here goes.....because I am a planner and list maker extraordinaire, I knew I would be busy with decorating and last minute food prep the day of the party.  So naturally, I baked and iced the cupcakes the day before.  Because I made cream cheese frosting, I refrigerated the cupcakes.  And because that would be grody to leave cupcakes in the open refrigerator air, I put them all in covered containers.  All but one cupcake, because the last one didn't fit in said containers.  So there he sat in the open refrigerator air all night long.  Don't ask me why the cupcake was a he.  He just was.

I'm no scientist, but my theory is the condensation had no where to go but on the little sugar pearls and cause them to bleed all over.  The one in the open air?  Held up beautifully--and still is three days later.  I might have totally had a meltdown the morning of the party.  To the point of tears and considering using cleaned tweezers to take the melted sugar pearls off and replace them with new sugar pearls.  Then my mom suggested that was way too time consuming {which it was} and scraping off the icing and starting over would be much easier {which it would have been}.  But then, that just seemed INCREDIBLY wasteful with all those in the world who don't even have enough food on their plates each and every day (I'm dead serious).  It took nearly everything I had, but in the words of Elsa, I "Let It Go."  It was a very hard thing to do.  But like my sweet six year old daughter reminded me, "They'll still taste good, mommy." 

Out of the mouth of babes, right? 

Anyhow, after that little spoiled sob story, here is my PSA: if you make cupcakes ahead and use sugar pearls and feel the need to refrigerate, DON'T cover the cupcakes.  There.  I feel so much better having shared that with the masses.  

Oh, and then the weather.  What a blessing THAT was.  Ten days ago it said the day of his party was forecasted for rain.  And rain it was up to the day of the party.  Even several people who came to the party said they drove through downpours and showers all the way to my parent's house.  But my parents house?  A slight sprinkle the morning of and even slighter sprinkle that afternoon.  That was it.  It even ended up being slightly sunny for the better part of the party.  To the point of all the older kids swimming in my parent's pool!  In 68* weather no less!!!  But that's another story for another time....  All that to say: we were blessed immensely.  Praise the Lord!

So finally:  Our boy had such a fun time.  And he didn't say a word about the cupcakes.  He loved seeing his cousins and aunts and uncles and over of course, his Papa and Gamma.  He was a big fan of the fruit platter (he loved on mango for the first time!) and he generally didn't. stop. moving. for nearly six hours.  He enjoyed all there was to enjoy and then some

He had a blast at his pawty--no pun intended, as he can't quite say his R's yet. 

Next up?  He is so excited for the fow woks {fire works} because what boy doesn't like explosives? 


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