Thursday, February 23, 2012

Choo Choo E's Two

Let's just get this out of the way first- I am a terrible blogger. I know this and I think all the time "this should be a blog post" and then reality- sometimes of the tv variety gets in the way. My friend Amanda let me know her displeasure at my lack of posts at Christmas. Well Amanda, I heard you so here you go...2 months later. 

I can't believe my little dude and the whole reason for this blog will be two on Thursday. We threw him a bigger than necessary party on Saturday in our tiny house. Luckily, Mother Nature was nice to us again and held off the rain long enough for the kids to exhaust themselves on E's new fortress. 

Per the title, the theme (because what party in my mind is good without a theme?) was Choo Choo E's Two. It all started when I found this shirt on Shop Zoolu. E's pants are actually overalls by Osh Kosh I found at a consignment sale last week. So with the theme done I was off to the races with the details.

Invitations were done by my friend, Margaret, of goodinvites. In my typical fashion, I sent her the details and asked if she had time about 1 week before I needed them. Luckily, Margaret is good people and worked me in to her hectic schedule. Since I was super lazy last year and never got out thank you notes I went ahead and had her make up personalized matching cards too. 

Crafts and creativity do not come easy to me. I admire all of those people that can take a paper box and visualize a finished product or see a treat cone and whip up 20 of them while I'm still trying to roll the first one. Luckily, I married into a family of creative types who seem to gladly take on my pinterest finds and make them better than the original. 

Example 1: The Train
I sent Mamou a picture of a few cardboard trains I'd found while surfing the www and asked her if she might be willing to whip one up for the birthday party. Since she'd already made a bus & plane for E's class at school surely she could create an engine. Right? Well, this is what she did:

Not only did she create an engine the kids could stand in, but 3 cars too. The kids went nuts

We are taking it to E's school so that all the kids can enjoy it forever until the end of the week!

Example 2: The Tracks
Another pinterest find was duct tape laid out in a tracks design on a driveway.  Thanks to Maddycakes Muse for the inspiration for the outside decor."YES"- I exclaimed! Must.have.these! E's party would not be complete without. If I had attempted this execution I would have wasted more tape than applied and the tracks would have been wavy, in the grass and guests would have had to turn their heads to get the idea. Again, enter crafty husband who did this while I was out to get the cake & we still have 3/4 of a roll  for future tape needs.

Example 3: The Treat Cones

Yes- let's give popcorn in open containers to small children to wander around our house! What a perfect idea! Amazingly enough, that thought didn't occur to me until I vacuumed many popcorn kernels off the floor post party. I wanted to serve it because popcorn is an inexpensive, cute snack especially when served in treat cones.  While I had found a template for said cones on-line we ended up just rolling normal sized sheets of card stock (hobby lobby $2 on sale) into cones and adhering stickers I printed with vintage railroad logos found on google.

For presentation I had originally purchased a big foam board was going to insert lollipop sticks into each one, but that didn't work. So we placed them all in a big basket lined with tissue paper. 

I'm so lucky that I have people to help me bring my stolen reinterpreted  ideas to life! 

Here is how everything else went down:

Treat Bags:
I found most of the goodies from Train They had an amazing array of themed favors, with very reasonable prices and really fast shipping. This was a must since I thought I had placed an order only to find out I didn't. I ordered my loot with only 5 shipping days before the party and it all arrived ahead of schedule. Each bag contained a train whistle, a sheet of stickers, a pencil & for the older kids- a paint your own train.   

The paint trains were found on clearance at Target two to a pack. I just tied each one together with ribbon & a tag I printed using business card stock

I packaged them all in white paper lunch sacks and slapped another label on them using the same train image which I copied from the original invitation & then used some creative picture formatting in powerpoint

The Food:
I kept it sooo simple this year. Since the party was at 3:30 there was no need to do lunch or dinner. Just light snacks. I wanted to minimize the amount of work & leftover food we had to deal with. I had seen lots of train parties with the food in appropriately named cars: "dairy", "produce", "logs" etc. Well, I ran out of time & energy to recreate. So, I just laid out serving dishes in a train-ish shape and served pretzel logs, animal cookies, fruit, string cheese and chicken salad sandwiches cut out with a train cookie cutter. Those were gone in minutes. 

I am obsessed with Publix cakes! They are so delicious, they will make anything and you can't beat the price. I found a version of the cake I wanted on and Publix made it perfectly. The train topper was also from Let's just say there wasn't a bite left.

Thankfully, in addition to cake we also had delicious cookie pops from my friend Shelley's company Sticky Sweets and my Meme made 5 dozen sugar cookies. Mmm sweets!

It was a great party! E hasn't stopped talking about it. Next year we're either going to have a smaller gathering or move to a bigger venue. And you know I already have theme!
Off to bed. What a day!

1 comment:

  1. While I feel a little estranged learning about the adores favor via the 'nets, I heart it so much I will refrain from Best in 2012 wishes.