Entries Tagged as 'kids’ parties'

the no-party birthday


Party pooper @ohbotherblog

As I stand holding the third invitation we’ve received to a carnival/circus-themed kid’s birthday party this year—this one complete with big-top tent, popcorn machine and balloon-animal-making clown—I feel both relieved and slightly guilty.

Holden’s second birthday is this Saturday. I’ve opted not to throw her a big party this year because I. just. cannot. I think the party I threw for her first birthday was cute and not really too over-the-top and even that was more effort than I care to spend this year. I mean, don’t tell me you’ve forgotten about those damn rainbow cupcakes.

Rainbow Cake Fail @ohbotherblog

So for Holdy’s birthday, we’re taking a trip to the zoo and then we’re inviting grandparents over for a cake that I will (hopefully) make. I like to think I’m not depriving my child or traumatizing her by not throwing the big party.

I enjoyed having a summer birthday growing up and, if the weather was nice, we’d spend the day at the pool and I’d get a thrill if my birthday was announced over the loud speaker. I was usually able to invite a friend to the movies and then we went back to my house for cake and ice cream. It was enough for me.

Part of my inspiration in starting this blog is that I think we as parents/homeowners/cooks/humans are placing too high expectations on ourselves to lead a Pinterest-worthy life. It’s exhausting.

Birthday tradition: clock photo showing birth time @ohbotherblog

So I’m taking myself out of the game on this one. I can’t compete with the photo booths and handmade decorations and popcorn bars. There will be no clowns or paper garlands or custom party favors. There will be zoo animals, and birthday pizza, and a (hopefully) handmade cake and, of course, the birthday clock photo. And it will be enough for me. And for Holden.

Let’s all just cut ourselves some slack.

oh and p.s.—this is the cake I’m attempting tomorrow night: The Best White Cake Recipe. Just because I’m not throwing a Pinterest-worthy party doesn’t mean there won’t be Pinterest fails.

Remember this one?

Pinterest FAIL: Oh Happy Day's mini cakes @ohbotherblog

why? because we like you: mickey party.


Mickey Mouse Birthday Banner @ohbotherblog

I was in the presence of true birthday party-planning greatness this weekend. One of my best friends (since we were like 10), DL, has always been so crafty. She gets it from her mom, who is the craftiest of the crafty. From puffy paint sweatshirt parties in elementary school (it was the 90’s!) to making her wedding decorations (and my wedding centerpieces!), these ladies having been crafting Pinterest-worthy creations before Pinterest was even a thing.

For her son’s second birthday, DL threw a Mickey Mouse-themed birthday party. Not only was everything handmade, it was absolutely freaking adorable.

Can we talk about these goody bags?

Mickey Mouse Birthday Party Mouse Ear Goody Bags. Doggie gift bags with Pluto for guests' dogs. @ohbotherblog

DL played all modest like, “oh, it’s just construction paper on a red gift bag.” Come on! So much work went into those perfectly round ears and four perfect dots on those buttons. And the polka dot tissue paper? Such attention to detail that I just don’t possess.

And, yes, those are doggie treat bags for the guests’ dogs. Again, adorable.

And then there were the cupcakes!

Mickey Mouse Ear Cupcakes with Oreos @ohbotherblog

Huge, delicious chocolate cupcakes topped with cookie crumbs. Toothpicks in the cream part of the Oreos and plunked right in the top to make Mickey’s ears. Super easy and super cute.

I mean:

Mickey Mouse ears cupcake - Mickey Mouse birthday party @ohbotherblog

And she made it all look so easy. Crafty friends are the best friends to have! Great job, DL! Happy Birthday, Conner!

cheater thank you cards


Hi, have we met? I’m totally lazy. If I can find a hack or an easy way around something, I’m totally going to take it.

I was, however, raised to be gracious and appreciative and to say, “thank you.” That means thank you phone calls for birthday cards and thank you cards for birthday gifts. And seeing as Holdy’s birthday was a few weeks ago, it was time to say thanks for the ridiculous amount of stuff she got.

Guess what: I hate writing thank you cards. They’re time consuming and I always get such horrible writer’s block and then I end up writing really stupid-sounding messages. The worst. But necessary, of course.

So I decided to cheat a little when it came to Holdy’s thank you’s. The idea was this: add a fun picture from the party, have a cute ready-made thank you poem printed inside and then write a super brief message that acknowledged the gift.

I googled “birthday thank you poem” and then found a first birthday thank you poem in an old Babycenter forum that I tweaked.

Here’s what I ended up with:

Easy (cheater) thank you cards for first birthday. Birthday Thank You Poem. @ohbotherblog

Here’s the poem:

The party is over. I’m officially ONE!
Thank you for coming;
I hope you had fun!
Sending big kisses,
from me to you.
See you next year,
when I turn TWO!

So far, no one has said that they were horribly offended by the card, so hopefully it was okay. I’m banking on it being so, because it’s probably going to be my approach from here on out!

holden’s {colorful} first birthday party


A colorful first birthday party @ohbotherblog

For Holden’s first birthday party, I wanted to fill the house with color to celebrate the little girl who has brought so much joy (among other things) into our lives this past year. I started with a plan and an idea board. Here’s how it all turned out.

Colorful birthday party - rainbow color pompoms, bunting, colorful flowers @ohbotherblog

Yes, I actually made those tissue paper pompoms! I totally lucked out by finding those gorgeous rainbow-dyed flower poms (at the grocery store, no less!)

Rainbow water for a colorful birthday party; Wine bottles in a sand bucket @ohbotherblog

I added fruit of all colors to my beverage dispenser to make “Rainbow Water” (that tasted awesome, btw). Sand buckets made great impromptu wine buckets!

Have birthday party guests sign a copy of Dr. Suess' "Happy Birthday to You" as a party memento! @ohbotherblog

Guests signed a copy of Happy Birthday to You by Dr. Seuss with special messages for Holden.

Of course, the famous rainbow cupcakes made their debut:

Rainbow cupcakes at a colorful first birthday party @ohbotherblog

While the rainbow cupcakes were a win, my attempts at making Holden’s smash cake were a big ol’ fail. Luckily, my favorite cupcakery saved the day: their huge cupcakes make the perfect-sized smash cake. Holden, it turns out, is a big fan of the sweet stuff:

First Birthday Smash Cake @ohbotherblog

Overall, I’d say the day was a huge win. It was a lot of work (and a lot of fails in the process) but a lot of fun. Even Sal was pooped out:

Dog in a teepee @ohbotherblog

Oh, I forgot the cutest part—check out her adorable rainbow romper from IAmDezigns (etsy)!

Rainbow Romper for a colorful first birthday @ohbotherblog

Happy Happy Birthday, Holdy!

a bunch of birthday FAILs


Birthday tradition: clock photo showing birth time @ohbotherblog

So, despite the title of this post, Holden’s first birthday was actually pretty great. But, as per ushe, a few things had to go wrong.

Clearly, our new birthday tradition of taking a photo with a clock at her birth time wasn’t exactly well received.

Another birthday tradition I’ve decided to start that Holden actually did enjoy was… birthday pizza!

Birthday Pizza @ohbotherblog

And, while the rainbow cupcakes for tomorrow’s party turned out fabulously, Holden’s smash cake was—yet again—a FAIL:

Mini layer cake FAIL @ohbotherblog

Looks like I’ll be running to my favorite cupcake bakery, Just Cupcakes, tomorrow morning for a last-minute-emergency smash (cup)cake!

Otherwise, tonight has been spent baking, cleaning and decorating, all in preparation for tomorrow’s birthday party. Stay tuned for pics tomorrow!

first birthday eve


It’s almost here! It’s almost here! I can’t believe it. Holden will be one year old. Tomorrow. Tomorrow!

I’m bummed because I have to work tomorrow, but I figure… she doesn’t know it’s her birthday, right? Plus, her party is on Saturday, which I’ve been spending all week getting ready for. Including an epic trip to the grocery store tonight (shout out to my MIL for watching her).

I’ve been thinking back to where I was this time last year. I worked late, then went for a long walk in the park with my dog (trying to get that baby out!). At this exact time last year, I was probably lying on the couch, propping up my humongous feet. My feet were so swollen toward the end of my pregnancy that a random lady stopped me on the street to point them out to me. Yes, lady, thanks. I was fully aware.

If you care to read the whole gory story of Holden’s birth, you can check it out over on Spearmint Baby, or you can just read the birth story live tweet here.

But you should definitely check out the video above. It’s the slideshow I made for Holden’s arrival, including some of those baby message photos I posted about the other day.

I’ll be posting Holden’s first birth time clock photo tomorrow night. I’m so excited to celebrate this milestone… and to get her party over with! And speaking of party…

I made the rainbow cupcakes FOR REAL tonight. And they were…. a success!

rainbow cupcakes for first birthday party @ohbotherblog

pinterest fail 004: mini cakes


Pinterest FAIL: Oh Happy Day's mini cakes @ohbotherblog

top (good looking) photo by Paul Ferney for Oh Happy Day

So after my massive FAIL with my first attempt at Holden’s smash cake, I wanted to try again. While I figured out the rainbow cupcakes this time around, I experienced a second heartbreaking fail when it came to the smash cake.

I had been eyeing the super cute mini cakes that you make in soup cans on Pinterest for a few years. Oh Happy Day has a gorgeous and (I thought) easy-to-follow tutorial for mini cakes on her site. I was envisioning making Holden’s smash cake white, with multi-colored frosting in between the layers. Adorable, right?

From Oh Happy Day’s tutorial, it looks like the mini cake should go like this:

  1. Regular box cake mix
  2. Empty a soup can. Clean it out. Flour it.
  3. Fill the can halfway with batter.
  4. When the cake is finished and cooled, cut it into layers.
  5. Frost in between the layers.
  6. Admire the cuteness.

Did it actually work out that way? Spoiler alert: no.

So I mixed up the batter and floured the can. I think I went wrong right from the start because I used a larger pineapple-chunk can when I probably should have just stuck with a little Campbell’s can. Why do I always try to go bigger?

Mini Cakes Fail Step One: the mix @ohbotherblog

Then I filled that can halfway (the rest of the batter I used for my rainbow cupcake win):

Mini Cakes Fail Step Two: fill the soup can halfway @ohbotherblog

And I baked it up. Let’s be honest, it wasn’t looking good:

Mini Cake Fai Step 3: deflated top @ohbotherblog

My cute little cake was looking a little… deflated in the middle. Not wanting to make the same mistake I did with the first batch of rainbow cupcakes and overbake, I took it out of the oven. Oh hey, look at that: the cake isn’t cooked at all in the middle, yet it’s baked on the outside! It’s a big hollow ring o’cake!

Mini Cake Fail Step Four: Take the cake out of the can  @ohbotherblog

So clearly the cutting-into-layers-and-frosting-them-with-cute-rainbow-icing part didn’t work out. Again, pretty sure this whole fail is due to the fact that I consistently choose the wrong cake mold, haha. Now you know: it is possible to pick the wrong kind of aluminum can.

I’m not entirely sure what I’m going to do about her smash cake now. Not sure if the mini cake is worth a redo or if I should just suck it up and buy something. There definitely will be rainbow cupcakes at least!

Seriously though, check out Oh Happy Day’s mini cake tutorial if you want to give these a shot. Her whole site is beautiful and she has so many great party ideas.

pinterest WIN: the rainbow cupcake!


Pinterest WIN: Rainbow Cupcake @ohbotherblog

you read that right. take two on the rainbow cupcakes was a success. (in case you’re just catching up, I want to do a rainbow/colorful theme for Holden’s first birthday party, which is two weeks away. My first attempt at making Spearmint Baby’s gorgeous rainbow cupcakes was a raging Pinterest fail.)

I did everything the same this time around, but instead of being aggressive and trying out my huge Wilton cupcake pan (I was thinking smash cake), I kept it reasonable and went with your standard cupcake.

Rainbow Cupcake, Take 2: Pinterest Win @ohbotherblog Rainbow Cupcake, Take 2: Pinterest Win @ohbotherblog Rainbow Cupcake, Take 2: Pinterest Win @ohbotherblog Rainbow Cupcake, Take 2: Pinterest Win @ohbotherblog

It was late so I got lazy with the icing and just went with Betty, but I’ll make my own for her actual party. I usually make Magnolia’s vanilla buttercream icing, but I may try something new. I’ve had my eye on that coconut milk frosting that’s all over Pinterest (another fail on the way?)

Rainbow Cupcake, Take 2: Pinterest Win @ohbotherblog

So this is how I eat a cupcake:

How to eat a cupcake: tear off the bottom and place on top. BOOM: cupcake sandwich @ohbotherblog

Tear off the bottom, plop it on top. BOOM: cupcake sandwich.

Rainbow cupcake Pinterest win @ohbotherblog

Thanks again to Spearmint Baby for the inspiration!

If you were hoping I’d screw it up again so I had another Pinterest fail, don’t be sad: I also tried Oh Happy Day’s Mini Cakes last night. So yeah, I have another fail to tell you all about. But we’ll save that for another post.

let’s try this again


Rainbow Cupcakes, Take 2 @ohbotherblog

I’m attempting the rainbow cupcakes again tonight. Wish me luck!

we’re having a party


Holden’s first birthday is less than a month away. I’m still going with a bright and colorful first birthday party theme, though I’ve adjusted a bit to be less “rainbow” and more “You are my sunshine,” whatever that means. These puppies hit mailboxes last week:
Girl's First Birthday Party Invitation - including clothing size and likes on the back to help with gift-giving @ohbotherblog

I went the Tiny Prints route because I find them and Shutterfly to be the most stress-free for invite (and announcement, Christmas cards, etc.) shopping.

Mr. B told me that including Holden’s clothing size and things she likes on the back of the invite was rude. I thought of it as being “helpful.” What do you think?

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