Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Happy Birthday, Master W.!

Last weekend we celebrated Master W.'s first birthday. When it came time to choose his birthday theme, I knew I had to find a way to incorporate his adventurous personality. One of his favorite activities is destroying Miss C.'s carefully constructed castles. (Miss C. isn't always a big fan of this activity, but most times she's willing to play along by building him something tall to destroy.)

Master W. is a miniature Godzilla these days, so a monster theme was the natural choice. First on my list was creating the design for the invitations and goodie bags. I just love how my monster trio turned out, especially the big guy holding the balloon.

Once the invitations were printed, addressed and posted to the mail I turned my attention to the party favors. What do you give six kids ranging in age from 2 months to 3.5 years old? After a little Googling, I hit upon a party planning gold mine: Juicy Bits, an amazing blog filled with handmade lovelies. One of the posts was about a monster-themed party she threw for one of her kids. At one point in her post, she has a photo of a small handmade monster; that's when it hit me...

Plush monsters... mmmm... yes, the perfect party favor for little Master W., Miss C. and friends.

Later that evening my first little monster came to life, and a few nights later I had a half dozen furry friends ready to party. Each little monster was made using scraps of furry fleece, cotton and felt. I assembled the monster bodies using my sewing machine and hand-stitched the faces. I can't help but think they're the cutest bunch of little monsters I've ever seen!

Miss C. helped assemble the goodie bags, giving each young guest a pack of crayons, some monster coloring pages (printouts of Mike and Sully, Grover, Cookie Monster, and a couple other less-than-scary monsters), stickers, a few bags of Goldfish crackers and their very own plush monster.

Almost everything was done by Friday morning. The only thing I had left to do was make the cupcakes. Now let me just say for the record that I did my homework and picked what I thought was going to be a slam-dunk cupcake recipe. Ummmmm... not so much.

I pulled the first dozen out of the oven and immediately knew something had gone very wrong. They were flat. They were greasy. And they just didn't taste right. I knew something was amiss when the recipe didn't have me cream the butter and sugar...

This, of course, put me behind schedule. I was supposed to have two dozen cupcakes baked and on the cooling racks by the time the kids finished napping. Instead, I had a dozen cupcakes in the trash and was furiously scouring the web for a new recipe when Miss C. woke up.

New recipe in hand, Miss C. and I whipped up a small batch of vanilla cupcakes in record time. Thankfully, the new batch came out perfect. Whew! A few minutes later, Master W. awoke from his slumber and we had to head out the door to pick Hubby up from work. So while I had finally found a good recipe, I still only had half the cupcakes made and I was quickly running out of time the night before the party. Eek!

Fast-forward through dinner and bedtime for the kids and the last batch of cupcakes went into the oven right after the kids conked out. I spent the next couple of hours frosting (the first cupcake recipe may have been a dud, but the accompanying buttercream recipe was incredible!) and decorating each one and sunk into bed around 11:30 p.m.

All in all, the party was a great success. The kids had a blast chasing each other around my in-laws' house and the adults enjoyed hanging out and catching up over lunch.

Happy Birthday, Bubby! I love you!