Friday, March 12, 2010

My Favorite Things

The twins had their first birthday party a few weeks ago and I am just now recovering. The boys won't remember anything about the party but I wanted to do something to celebrate them. When they were born, there was no hoopla, we were just trying to get through the days with them in NICU. And life changed so much for us when we brought them home, we didn't have the time or energy to invite lots of people over.

We wanted to have fun with a the boys and with friends and family. I decided on Thing 1 and Thing 2 party theme. I think it turned out great and we didn't break the bank. It got kinda hairy towards the end as we were rushing to get the food and decorations done but it all came together.

We kept this very simple. The birthday banner and the Balloontime helium tank were free. The high chair decorations I found clearance for $1 at Walmart. It consisted of a banner for the high chair tray, a hat, bib and a mat to catch crumbs. I got the bigger plates at an after Christmas clearance and the rest of the plates, cups and table cloths we already had or found at Walmart. Walmart has nice party supplies that are inexpensive.

I found red long sleeve onesies at Babies R us on clearance. One of the pants I found there too. The other pair was clearance at Old Navy. The socks were The Children's Place on sale for a dollar each pair. Rod created the Thing 1 and Thing 2 patches using felt and iron-ons. For the blue hair, I found boas at Joann Crafts and sewed them to knit caps that I already had. I didn't sew them too tight so that I could remove them without ruining the cap. The bonus was that the boys LOVED playing with the boas. The bad thing about the boys loving to play with boas is the boas shed and our house has blue feather dust bunnies. Everywhere. I think I spent maybe $20 on each outfit from head to toe. I did find some custom made outfits on eBay but you can make these easily.

For my outfit, I wore all black and Rod made me a Dr. Seuss hat using craft foam. There was a bow too but in all the excitement, forgot to wear it.

Rod's sister made these awesome iced sugar cookies. She used edible marker to write Thing 1 and Thing 2 on them with blue and red sprinkles decorating the 1 and 2. Each bag had the two cookies and I wish I had gotten a picture of it because it was so cute.

For the kids, I found lots of free printables online. Rod created the cover and I bound the books. I found packs of crayons for less then $1. I think the books will be lots of fun for the kids since it has a variety of activities, not just coloring.

Green deviled eggs
Ham sandwiches
Chugg's chicken salad
Horton Hatches the egg roll with Circus Fish Sauce
Preep & Proos Pork Satay
Silly Sammy Slick's Sherbert
Chips and dip
Rainbow cake

Tang made the pork satay with peanut dipping sauce. She got lots of compliments on it too. The food was the most expensive aside from the venue. But luckily, I had a Sam's gift card that I got and all the food from Sam's was covered.

Cake and smoosh cake:
I found this amazing cake at 17 and Baking. The colors were so bright and I knew it would be perfect for the party. We made a test batch using the recipe Elissa had on her site but Rod did not like the taste. I was fine with it and thought we should stick with the recipe. However, we ended up using white cake mix with the food coloring. We used 1 box to make 2 layers or colors. One thing I would have changed is to use one and a half boxes to make 2 layers, so 3 boxes for 4 layers. Using the 9x13 cake pan with just 1 box for 2 layers made the layers really thin and they broke. by making the cake thicker, we could have tried to level it out. The end result was a unique cake that shocked and awed the guests and tasted good.

I really have to give my husband kudos for making this cake. He stayed up until 3 or 4 in the morning making the cake. It is so time consuming if you only have 1 oven and need to make layers of cake. The cakes have to cool and then need to make sure the layers are even and straight. Then each layer is iced or gets a layer of raspberry jam.

For the boys' smoosh cake, I made cupcakes using white cake mix with red food coloring. For some reason, the red ended up muted. The icing was colored blue and I used the star tip to make the blue hair. I wanted to write Thing 1 and Thing 2 on the cupcakes but ran out of time. I figured the boys were not going to care anyway.

My DH is so talented, he pulled this party together. I was very stressed that day but he kept it together. He is awesome.

We won't have a large birthday bash for the boys for a while. For the next few years, it will be family and close friends. That should give me enough time to think of the next theme. For twins, Dr. Seuss' Thing 1 and Thing 2 is perfect and you can do so much with it. There is a Green Eggs and Ham cookbook to get food ideas. You can use books to decorate and as party favors. For me and DH, it was lots of fun to plan and execute but even more fun to spend time with friends and family to celebrate our boys' birthday. The best part was the pure excitement and joy on Dean and Sam's faces when they discovered ... balloons.


weenie said...

Wow, happy birthday twins! They look sooooo sweet!

Long time no visit (for me!) - hope all's well!