When we celebrated Emily’s 1st birthday (6 years ago!) the party decor, cake, food, and favors consisted mainly of store-bought items. Nothing at all wrong with that, I know, but I remember feeling like my biggest contribution was handing the party store my credit card. I’m a fairly creative person, and it was frustrating that there wasn’t one thing at the whole party that had my hand in it. I guess I was a little disappointed in myself – I knew I could do better.
When Emily’s 2nd birthday rolled around I wanted her party to have a few more personal touches, more elements of “me” in the mix. Especially the cake. My mom made such memorable cakes – my favorites were a giant teddy bear that actually looked fuzzy and a clown-head cake with candy making up all of his features. I always knew that I wanted my kids to have memories of cakes I’d made for them, and since I hadn’t made her first cake I was extremely determined to make her second.
I hand-made all of her invitations, with the tagline for the party being: “Our Little Lady is Turning 2!” I basically cut the shapes I wanted out of patterned scrapbook paper and arranged the pieces on cardstock, writing the information for the party right on the card. I wish I’d thought to take a picture of the invitations, but I promise they were cute!
I did order the party favors (I’m pretty sure they were from Birthday Express), but I added the Bug Bites cookies and the crayons. I made tags with the guests’ names on them and tied them to the cute little favor boxes.
I also made a coloring book for each of the kids. Since most of her friends were only 2 as well I didn’t see the need for lots of games, and figured a few coloring books and a plate of crayons would suit them just fine. I used Google to search free ladybug coloring book pages and printed up a few that I liked. Then I stapled them together and made a cover out of red cardstock. I stuck the books on a table with the plate of crayons to color during the party, and let the kids take them home at the end.
Food was pretty basic, I think we just did a typical summer meal: burgers, hot dogs, watermelon (which kinda resembles ladybugs now that I think about it), and chips. I found a huge red chip bowl and used a giant posterboard permanent marker to draw black spots on it. It stunk to high heaven, so I think if I ever did this again I’d make the bowl a week early and let it air outside for a few days.
The cake turned out better than I’d even hoped. I had searched online (this was pre-Pinterest, mind you) for ideas on how to make a ladybug cake, and chose a simple design. It was so much fun to make, and I love knowing that one day she might look back and be impressed that I made this just for her, the way I’ve always been impressed at what my mother accomplished for me.
It was a wonderful party, close friends and family (including her beloved Uncle Kevin) came to celebrate her special day with us. Everything turned out exactly how I’d hoped it would, and I succeeded in adding some of my own personal flair to her party. And I love how simple everything was!