Thursday, April 3, 2014

Luke's big party

Last Saturday, on Luke's actual birthday, we had a little party for him with his grand & godparents.  We plan to have an actual party for him with some of his little friends about his 5th birthday but until then we will be doing this small celebration. (So far the guest list for that 5th birthday party is pretty much his cousins...boy has a lot of them.)

As I've mentioned multiple times, I spent a lot of time in the kitchen the two weeks before his party.  I like baking and I like having people to bake for.  This was a pretty good excuse to try some new recipes. 

Menu: (pretty much all from Annie's Eats...I'm not lying when I say she's favorite)
Barbeque chicken burgers on homemade buns
Fruit salad
Veggie plate
Home popped popcorn
Samoa cupcakes
Lemon raspberry cupcakes

The Samoa Cupcakes turned out a-mazing, in my completely biased opinion.  (As a former Brownie of the Year, these were always my favorite Girl Scout cookie.)  They were easy enough to assemble but I also did a lot of prep work in advance (making homemade caramel sauce, homemade caramels, toasting coconut, making the shortbread cookies, and chopping the chocolate for the ganache.)  I find that is key to keeping my sanity...lots of early prep, doing whatever I can in advance. 
I ate a leftover cupcake right before starting this post...still salivating thinking about it.

Anyways, I baked up a storm and we had a pretty easy prep time on Saturday morning.  I had been mentally planning this party for months and it was fun to see it all actually come together.  We didn't do a theme (unless "Luke" counts as a theme) but kept everything blue & green since that's our whole house anyways.  And we have serving dishes and everything in those colors.  It's nice when pretty much everything we have works as party decor.

cupcake stands using our normal cereal bowls and serving platters
With a small guest list we were able to use our "outdoor" plates, our usual plastic cups (we super rarely use glasses), our usual silverware, and our cloth napkins (all of which were shades of blue & green, other than the silverware).  I very much liked not having to buy anything disposable besides cupcake liners.

With Pinterest and more blog reading in the past year I wanted to do a few small projects and decorations.  All told, other than food and his gifts, we easily spent under $10 on decorations and things.  I made a photo collage of all his monthly pictures (which we had printed for his baby book anyways) and scrapbook paper I had on hand.  The banner is one of my favorite basement cleanout finds.  I apparently made it back in the day of Print Shop and our old Apple IIe computer.  It was only partially colored in so I finished it (the orange was started otherwise it would be all blue & green).  That's a bunny on the guess is I was making this for my Dad's or sister's birthdays since they fall around Easter but it also works for Luke's.  I want to get it laminated and keep it forever. 

I bought crepe paper to decorate Matt's office door.  I would have preferred to have it go to the floor but knew Luke would tear it down instantly so half way it was. 

I made this glitter one for the front door (most of our decor expense was on glitter which I still have gobs of left).  I might post a tutorial on this even though it was about the easiest thing ever (other than constant glitter clean-up).

For favors I made "L", "1", dinosaur, and truck sugar cookies decorated with royal icing.  That sugar cookie recipe is going to be my new go-to because it was really easy to make, cut, and tasted wonderful.  My royal icing technique could definitely improve but it was fun to try.  I did dinosaurs because Luke likes them (whether he knows it or not) and came home from the hospital in a dinosaur sleeper.  And he really does like trucks as well as it being his first word. 

That was all the prep in advance.  We both had a wonderful time celebrating with some of our nearest and dearest and Luke seemed to have fun too.  He was very into his cupcake:

But not so into the present opening:

 Luckily his cousins were very eager to help. 

with Grandma & Grandpa S. (Matt's parents also attended but left before any of us thought to get a picture.)
Luke with godmother DD and his ever present hammer
Luke with godfather Carter and his girlfriend, Sarah (and the hammer)

We got Luke a Star Wars tent (a 70% off Target find), a bike helmet (which he doesn't love but doesn't matter because he's going to wear it anyways), and a Camelbak water bottle since he loves mine.  (We have to watch the water bottle usage though because water goes right through him...had a few leaky diapers since his birthday.)
hanging out in his tent

checking out his water bottle
I don't know that any of the pictures really show it but he's wearing a Luke Skywalker t-shirt.  We bought that the day after we met him, when we were at Target doing a big diaper/formula/last minute purchase run.  When we bought it, him actually wearing it seemed so far off but now here it is (even if he has a little growing to do still).  

It was a really wonderful afternoon celebrating our little guy.  I know all the baking and details and all that really doesn't matter.  Luke is what does and it was so fun celebrating him.  He was a pretty happy little guy all day and such a joy to have people celebrating him with us. 

We may have already started discussing the menu for next year.  I am a bit of a planner...


Erin Heckber said...

I love Luke's smile as he is in his tent. too cute! and the cupcakes were delicious! Thanks for sharing!

diana said...

That's about as excited as he got about the tent. haha. He'll like it in time. Glad you liked the cupcakes! I still have some around here!