Saturday, October 6, 2012

Charlotte's Hot Air Balloon Birthday Party

Her party was months in the making. 
Literally, a project here. A project there. All done in little 15 minute snippets because time is not something I have an abundance of at this time of my life!

Charlotte was born on a Saturday two years ago - in the middle of the annual balloon rally here in town. Had Charlotte not been born that day we likely would have attended that balloon rally.
As Charlotte's birthday party fell on the Saturday of the balloon rally this year, I thought it appropriate - and fun - not to mention darling - to have a hot air balloon themed birthday party!

Then, I found these invitations and I was off and running!

A quick preview of what's to come!

No matter how much prepping I do before a party - or how much help I have the day of - I am still running around like a crazy person trying to get it all thrown together. And I always manage to forget something critical. No. Matter. What.

The cake table. 
Originally, I had planned to have the cake table outside under our covered porch. At the last minute I decided it was best to have it inside. So while this wasn't my original "vision" it still worked out!

I learned to sew just a few months ago JUST so I could make a tablecloth like this!
True story.
I couldn't justify buying a pink, ruffly tablecloth knowing full well that I would likely never use it again. Then when I got to thinking about actually making one, I couldn't justify all the time involved in making JUST one tablecloth.
So I made a changeable ruffly tablecloth!
Each ruffle attaches to the tablecloth via velcro! So I can mix and match the ruffles. Add ruffles.
All with minimal work AND cost!
Win! Win! Right?!?!?

Ok...moving on to what sits on top of that pretty, pink, ruffly tablecloth....the cake!!

Long story, but I ended up getting two cakes both with ruffled butter cream! And I am SO happy I did!
We ate the pink cake in it's entirety on the night of the party and had lots of leftovers (the lavender cake) for the rest of the week! I think I will do this from here on out!!

Hats off to those of you that can make and frost cakes the day of a party. I don't have the nerves - or the undivided attention - to make that happen!

I found the topper here and had it made to look like Charlotte.
Little blonde pig tails. A dress to match her party dress. Even the little hat looks like Charlotte's birthday hat! I just love little details like that!

The pink cake had chocolate on the inside and the lavender had strawberry cake on the inside. I usually don't stray too far from chocolate cake because it's my fav but the strawberry was REALLY good!
I am in love with Frost Me Sweet! It makes the two hour round trip drive to pick up the cake SO worth it!

Charlotte's darling party hat was made by Jessica at Prop Shop Boutique
She is amazing and a doll to work with! After seeing her creation, it inspired me to make hats for all the kids! No where near what Jessica is able to create but fun to make nonetheless!

Desserts included cake - of course - pots of ice cream, decorated marshmallows, 

French Macaroons, 


the cutest sugar cookies EVER!!
Check out the hot air balloons? Don't they look just like the invitation?

And the numbers? And Charlotte's little name? And the clouds? 

Darling and delicious! 
Hayley from Hayley Cakes and Cookies recently graduated from college and is starting her own cookie business. Would you not kill to be able to decorate a sugar cookie like this?!?!

Finally, it was time to get the girls dressed and ready!

I searched and searched for a birthday outfit for Charlotte.
Then I found some black and white hot air balloon fabric and then I found a perfect pattern...

and this is what I came up with!
(I made Grace's dress too! Pattern from the same shop!)! It's your birthday!

That's better! There's the birthday girl!

Now she's getting excited!

So glad I got a few pictures of Charlotte in her birthday hat because I forgot to put it on her when we blew out candles. I know! I am STILL kicking myself!

As guests arrived, I had each child pose in his or her own hot air balloon.
My little photo prop didn't turn out nearly as wonderful as I'd hoped. I'd seen lots of inspirational pics on Pinterest but I just ran out of time. Those big balloons are very delicate and thanks to a local helium shortage (for real!) very hard to find someone to fill. I wasn't willing to risk fancying up the balloon to make it look more hot air balloony. 
I took pictures of each of the children (with my iPhone - yep I was the mother who didn't have a media card for her camera on the day of the party! So lots of these pics are taken with my iPhone (UGH UGH). But my brother saved the day and got me a media card on his way to the party! THANK YOU JABB! I owe you one!!) and then sent them their picture in the thank you note!
Just a fun little reminder of the fun we all had at the party!

I did have time to make some silly props though!

The weather totally cooperated as did the temperature of our pool.
It literally felt like bath water.
The kids loved it!

What it's all about right here.
Fun. Family. Together. 

Snack time for the kids!
Cocktail hour for the adults!

My only break the whole night...and I didn't even have a glass of wine!

Next up? Piñata time!!

So I learned a thing or two about piñatas.
First, if you make your need to tape the sucker up REALLY well!
I used only masking tape and the piñata made it through about two whacks.
Next time I'll be using duct tape for sure!

The second thing I learned and should have known - let the little kids go first. They don't know what to do with a piñata and when they do make contact they tap it ever so gently. The big kids know what they are doing. They are coordinated and strong. 
Second kid. Second whack.
The piñata was dust.
I guess that is what I get for making a piñata in the shape of an actual two!

Now that the kids had their tummies full of candy it was time for dinner!

The weather was gorgeous so I set up tables outside. One for the kids and a couple for the adults.

And after all that effort I didn't get one picture of the tables. Not the little bags of utensils or the hot air balloon treat bags for the kids. Not the hot air balloon center pieces. 
I am KICKING myself!

Once dinner was over, it was time to move indoors.
Time for cake!

Still can't believe I didn't put Charlotte's party hat on her before she blew out her candles!

The lavender cake was smaller so easier to carry across a room of dodgy kids so that is why Charlotte blew out candles on the purple cake. Why did know one tell me my hair was doing this crazy wave thing?!

Charlotte opened gifts and after each one gave the giver a hug and said thank you!

All the kids were so good and so patient as Charlotte opened her gifts!

Half way through, I let Grace open a special present. She had been such a trooper leading up to Charlotte's big day and had been so sweet to Charlotte the whole week!

So glad Court was able to capture Grace's reaction! She was absolutely thrilled to receive Jasmine!

Almost six months ago, Grace had spotted this Jasmine doll in a toy store in Seattle.
It wasn't a day for a special treat - we really try to limit the special toys and such to special occasions - so I had to drag Grace from the store in near hysterics.
Since that day, I'd been looking and looking for a Jasmine. You know, for a rainy day!
I couldn't find it anywhere. For months.
And I started to feel so sad for Grace because I know what is like to see something, want it and know that you might not never find it again. 

Luckily, Disney is in business for the sole purpose to make money so eventually I found one!

Grace was ecstatic!

One of Charlotte's favorite gifts: rocks hand painted by her cousins!
They know how much Charlotte loves rocks so they made some extra special ones just for her!
So thoughtful!
They have been carefully placed under Charlotte's pillow for safekeeping!


And an extra special big hug for Charlotte's great Aunt who blew everyone away with her handmade Hungry Caterpillar quilt! So awesome!
Not sure if Charlotte even knows this is hers. Grace hijacked it and has it on her bed!
Damn older sisters!!

And with that, our darling Charlotte turned two.
We are so grateful and appreciative of the family who shared this day with us!
Hope you all had as much fun as we did!

A long winded post - I know - but I can't end it without a slew of thank yous .
For hauling around tables and chairs, for buying all the adult refreshments, for running last minute errands, for grilling all the food and remembering all the little things that I always seem to forget on party day.
We are a good team!

Mom & Dad:
For making the trek. For support. For entertaining the girls so I could get stuff done.
For cleaning dishes and waking up early - on your "vacation".

For comic relief. For perspective. For being ready, willing and able to help with any detail.
For putting everyone else first.

John Andrew:
For saving the day with a little pit stop at Wal-Mart!

There are only so many times we are all together. Thank you for prioritizing and for making little Charlotte's day so special.

1 comment:

Julia said...

You always have the most fabulous parties!! I love every single little detail. The hot air balloon theme is awesome! The girls look adorable in their sweet dresses! Happy 2nd Birthday Charlotte! Oh, and I love your dress, too!