Thursday, October 30, 2014

Pumpkin Patch Birthday Party

My little baby isn't so little anymore.  He turned two this past week.  I am amazed on a daily basis how much he can do.  Just today he helped my push my cart through the store and put items in the basket (some we needed some we didn't).  He's in the big boy class at church now which means he gets to participate in the Christmas program.  They practiced for the first time tonight and I watched with tears in my eyes.  It was an incredible moment as a mom.

For his birthday this year, I wanted to do something outside of the box.  I realize a pumpkin patch in the middle of October isn't too out of the ordinary, however, you don't often see them as birthday parties for a two year old.  This party was a lot more simple to plan than you might think.  What made the party extra special were the details (it's ALWAYS in the details!)  Thanks to the Dollar Tree, Hobby Lobby and Target I was able to pull this off without breaking the bank.

Let's start with the invite.  Formal invites aren't sent out now a days for parties.  We use social media to create and invite people to events.  It makes it easy and convenient but I love designing my own invites!  So I decided to design them and text the image to our guests.  It's a win win to me!

I knew I wanted to have labels set up at each area. You know, just in case someone confuses the gift table with the food.  You never know.   I had envisioned little chalkboard prints everywhere but I didn't want to design them and use valuable resources (time and money) to get them printed.  So this genius idea just came out of nowhere!  I wrapped the glass of the frames in butcher paper (thank you Dollar Tree) and wrote on them with a chalkboard marker (Wal-Mart).  Didn't they turn out great?!  You can't see me but I'm patting myself on the back.  This was a really good idea and one that will be repeated in the near future!

For the chili bar, I had two crockpots of turkey chili and one of quinoa sweet potato and black bean chili (one of my favs).  We had corn bread, gluten free cornbread, sour cream, avocado, lime, cheese and Fritos.  I browned the meat and onions the night before and a few hours before the party started, I threw the rest of the ingredients (beans, tomatoes, tomato sauce and seasonings) into the crockpot. We invited our friends from My Plant Based Family to come so I made sure we had gluten free and vegetarian options available. 

Let's move onto to the apothecary jars.  Great idea for a party of little boys who just want to eat the candy.  Don't they know it's only for decoration?  (We aren't fans of candy corn in our house, I'm sorry.  Don't be mad.)  I bought 4 bags of candy (1 Taffy, 2 Pumpkins and 1 Indian Corn) and filled the jars which I already had.  They are really thin glass so I don't use them for serving, just to decorate with.  Thankfully, they survived the party.

Orange.  Orange everywhere!  It's moving up the scale on my list of favorite fall colors.  I bought the utensils at Wal-mart for .97 per pack.   

I covered the drink and paint tables with butcher paper and wrote on them with chalkboard marker.  They turned out so cute! There were 5 little boys at the party ranging in ages 2-5.  Each of the boys had their own pumpkin to paint.  I wrote each of their names on the table to set their pumpkin when they were finished painting. 

The polka dot pendent is from Target for $3.00.  I thought it was PERFECT.  It even matched the invitations (which everyone noticed.  Okay not really, but I did).

  Pumpkin confetti, very necessary and also from Target.

I used white paper plates as their "painting plate".  I had most of the paint but bought a few more bottles at Wal-Mart for .50. How can you go wrong?!  The paint brushes came from the Dollar Tree, however Wal-Mart had a really big bag of brushes for .97 that I should have bought instead.  Good to know for next time.

HAY BALES!  Yes.  I was so fortunate to get these for FREE!  Our church had their annual Trunk or Treat and I was able to use the hay bales after the event.  Otherwise they would have been about $7 a piece.

They made great benches for the kids!  I covered them with orange table cloths (.97 at Wal-Mart) to keep the boys from getting too itchy.

Painting pumpkins was a huge hit!  All of the boys had a great time.  It makes a great party favor for them to take home!

Last year I sent home mini pumpkins and stickers for the kid's to decorate at home.  But seeing them all paint together was priceless!

The birthday boy's pumpkin.  Be still my beating heart.  I can't believe he's TWO!

And finally, what's a pumpkin patch birthday party without pumpkin cupcakes?  I used this recipe for the cupcakes.  I changed the icing slightly by adding mapeline to make a maple cinnamon frosting.  

The pumpkin picks are from Hobby Lobby and the sprinkles are from Target.  

He approved!  And so did we!  It was one of the best nights we have had in a long time!

Happy Birthday bubbers!