My little man turned 2 this past Sunday and I just wanted to record a few details from it.
Decor was not as much as Dustin’s birthday, I was going to print out bathroom labels and treat/drink menus but I ran out of time. I think this is the last time (or maybe my birthday next year) will be the last time I will be using the primary colors plus green birthday pennant banners. It was one of the last projects I made with my first sewing machine. It worked, but the power cord needed to be shimmied to keep the power on so trying to wiggle that but keep fabric straight made my projects very wobbly. As soon as I can figure out how to enlarge letters on my newer machine (Christmas last year), I will embroider pennants. I wanted to make an “About Me” birthday board for Henry last year but did not get around to doing it. The closest thing to making one was a paper print out I slapped together the day before. I chose free fonts from this website that I have used for years without issues. Many fonts are downloadable and free for personal use and you have the option of donating to different creators. Henry’s full name is scribbled out, but the fonts I used for this were Sketchy, Sadhira Demo, and DK Running Hipster. I used to love Hipsterish Font but it came out a little comic sans-y in 28 point so DK was a nicer choice.
The bulk of our time the morning of was spent making the food as we made a giant roasting pan full of homemade pancit from scratch, and 50 pieces of vegetable and pork lumpia from scratch as well. This is one recipe I found online for the pancit and here is the recipe I used for the pork lumpia. I could have improved on the lumpia by sticking to the correct proportions of cabbage and carrot to meat. Also, normally I make home batches of 25 lumpia or less, but turns out 50 pieces of lumpia for the nine people we had over was just barely enough. Next time around I will probably just aim for 100+ pieces of lumpia to be on the safe side.
For sweets, we had fresh baked organic chocolate chip cookies and organic sugar cookies. The dough was made beforehand so Dustin popped them in the oven the day of and let the smell of cookies fill the apartment. I also set out some organic fruit roll-ups that the kids/young adult seemed to enjoy. There is a recipe for homemade fruit roll-ups on one of my Pinterest boards but I have not gotten around to trying it out yet. Something from my childhood that I wanted to share with our guests were these jelly straws from a local Asian market. I used to get these or jelly cups and loved eating them as snacks. They ‘re super affordable and ended up being pretty popular at the party.
Dustin warned me that nobody was going to touch the organic veggie plate, but I insisted on grabbing a small one. Little H tried a tomato and he did not enjoy it. Little E. grabbed a broccoli upon entering and I saw him take a bite, but I do not think any guests ate any veggies besides what was in the lumpia and pancit. We had a lovely fruit plate that D. dished up with pineapple slices and watermelon slices. I love fruit plates because I get to reap the leftovers for tasty juices for the next couple of days.
For drinks, we had bottled Crystal Geyser water, because we like the taste of this brand of spring water when we do not have our regular local Spring Water. In addition to this we had organic tropical punch CapriSuns and organic fruit punch CapriSuns for the kids. I really like the Simple organic juice boxes from Target but we were doing a two stop shopping trip the night before the party so these were the best options Vons had. For a soft drink options we had Hansen’s mandarin lime soda for their natural sugar and organic sparkling cider.Normally we do not keep any of these drinks in the house but I thought they would be good for a party.
I do not normally listen to Top 40 music, but as an improvement from our last party, I just put a random (clean) 2016 party playlist from YouTube hooked up to our little speaker and that worked out fine. After pre-screening some 2016 kids dance party music the day before, I thought it would be silly to play Frozen or Despicable Me tracks when Dustin, Henry, and I have never seen those movies. We stopped the music to sing happy birthday and blow out the candles about 30 minutes after Uncle Troy’s family arrived and Henry did so well. We all sung the whole song and Henry froze up a little under the spotlight, but after Dustin gently cued him, Henry blew out all the candles. We got the cake from Paris Baguette since we happened to be in the area. Everyone seemed to like it very much except for one child who only ate the strawberries out of the icing.
This time around, we still did not have party games planned, but the ottoman/Henry’s toybox sufficed as entertainment until after gift opening, then the kids played with his new car track set from D’s parents. At that time I snuck away to our room to collect myself as the introvert I am, but I also took that opportunity to write up thank you cards to hand out to the families before they left. I am really glad that I asked everyone to take a group picture before leaving because I did not do so last year. We have camera shy family members so in respect of them I will not be posting the photo online.
Henry did not cry at all on his birthday, save for a little whining right before the party started. He also went to bed early because the party time kind of stole away his nap but that worked out nicely for us as parents. At the end of the day, I chuckled to myself because I realized how ironic it is to be an introvert that likes to host parties but it is something I like to do. My family means so much to me and they inspire me to be ambitious and hopefully impressive. I am no where near being a professional party planner, but getting people together to celebrate my loved ones is definitely a simple pleasure by itself.
*Disclaimer: I am not paid by or professionally affiliated with any of the above companies, brands or font makers. I just like them and want to shed some spotlight on a few of my favorite things.