Well she officially became two years old even though our sweet Lily has appeared to be in ‘the terrible twos’ months ago! On Saturday (her actual birthday) we had a backyard BQ complete with fun water play to beat the brutal summer heat.
My dear friend Emily Ley created her invitations and I LOVED how they turned out! With a BBQ theme I stuck to red gingham as the main color/print followed by blue, white and a splash of gold here and there. Emily created a gold ‘hooray’ ticket to help weave in that color. Craft paper envelopes completed the BBQ theme feel and I used my embosser for the return address (I got mine from Paper Source). To take it up one more notch I found these awesome stamps from Zazzle that had “I want you to BBQ” with the iconic Uncle Sam (the yellow scribble is to omit my address & my parent’s). With Fourth of July right around the corner I figured I would be able to score cheaper party materials with a BBQ theme and in red, white and blue colors.
The great thing about toddler parties is that you can be specific about the time of the event. We used the same time frame as last year with the celebration starting at 11 am and ending around “naptime” which falls around 1 o’clock. With the brutal Florida heat, full bellies and exhaustion over hard core sprinkler fun all the kids were ready to call it quits at the same time!
The party was held at my parent’s lovely home about four minutes away. We have a pool that takes up most of our backyard, and to get the non-swimming toddlers wet in our backyard would mean all the moms or dads would have to get in. I wanted to just sit back and watch lily and her buddies have fun (with a beer in my hand…so we opted for my parent’s house with a very large grass backyard.
The party fare was of course BBQ with pulled pork sandwiches, summer vegetable pasta salad, sliced watermelon, corn on the cob and more fresh fruit (strawberries, blueberries and grapes). For the littles, we had popcorn chicken from Publix (local grocery store), same sliced watermelon & fresh fruit, applesauce pouches and corn niblets (easier than on the cob). The vegetables in the pasta salad were chopped and the pasta was whole grain so they had that as an option too!
We prepared the pulled pork sandwiches ahead of time to keep it easier and guests had their options of three different sauces. I found the plain plastic condiment bottles from Amazon and applied craft stickers (Martha Stewart’s line a Staples) with the names of the sauce printed on them.
Last year I used paper as the tablecloth and wrote directly on the table to label the dishes. This year I didn’t label everything and used cute mini chalkboard clips I scored from Groopdealz. I continued using chalkboard as a way to label other party décor with some tags I made (this simple DIY project found here). When I think of BBQ red gingham and galvanized metal comes to mind. I picked up a few galvanized bins from Home Goods (that place is so dangerous) and the two tiered stand from Target. The red gingham material is actually cloth napkins I purchased from Amazon and these will be re-used as actual napkins throughout the summer and for other future parties (none planned but that’s my rational thinking).
All the drinks were kept together on my mom’s kitchen island right in front of her double doors leading out to the backyard. Refreshments stayed cool inside, but were close enough for refills to stay hydrated with the heat and humidity. Fruit infused water (used sliced Fuji apples) and sangria (with sliced Fuji apples and oranges) were served in decanters with my DIY chalkboard tags. I propped up a small chalkboard (that was purchased from World Market over a year ago) to let everyone know that beer was outback in my parent’s metal cooler. The cooler had a built in bottle opener on the side so that was super convenient. In a galvanized bucket I had mini water bottles and Honest fruit pouches (apple juice & grape juice) for the kids. I used a woven basket tray to organize drink napkins, cups (kept it classy & simple with plastic) and fancy red stripe straws in a cute metal straw container (found at Home Goods).
I kept the dessert SUPER simple and made two chocolate bundt cakes (recipe here). This is my absolute favorite chocolate cake and I make it often. For Easter I brought it over to Emily Ley’s house for a get together with friends and it was a hit with everyone….so if it ain’t broke…don’t fix it right? Last year I made a smash cake, cupcakes, rice crispies and Starbuck’s cake pops….which was just too much. The bundt cakes were made the night before and lightly dusted with powdered sugar the day of….beyond simple. I displayed the sweet treat on my mom’s buffet. I covered the wall with paper fans some that I created (post coming soon) and some purchased from Amazon. My mom owns a few vintage wood boxes that I used to prop up the cake, hold the utensils and the party favors.
Besides that red gingham napkins and paper fans I spread out mason jar vases around the house. Each vase had burlap and red gingham ribbon hot glued on. A few of them had a gold “L” I bought at Joann’s and spray-painted and the rest had more of those DIY chalkboard tags with the number “2”. I am obsessed with the little gold L vases that I can’t bear to embellishments off!
Lily’s first birthday was based on a DIY fabric bunting my mom and I slaved over and I swore I would never make another fabric anything for another party. Insert foot in mouth! I just couldn’t help myself and I made some fabric garlands that hung from my mom’s TV mantel, the favor box and around the huge chalkboard that displayed pictures from the past year. A DIY post on the fabric garland is coming soon!
Stay tuned for part two of Lily’s second birthday tomorrow because this post is getting too long and this weekend has left me exhausted!