Wednesday, April 28, 2010

birthday planning

Birthdays are a big deal around our house. Like really big. Like we decorate and have balloons and we make cakes. ohhh - cakes. The tradition started about 7 or 8 years ago. A client of mine was trying to be a very sweet husband and made a cake for his wife. He described it to me, and said that the whole thing wound up looking like a volcano. Which inspired me to make a volcano cake for my birthday that year. I'll update this post if I find the picture, but we filled a flower pot with cake mix and cooked it for an unbelievably long time, flipped it onto a sheet cake and then decorated the whole thing with chocolate and candy (twizzlers for lava, brownie bits and other chocolate for "rocks"). It was delicious and fun and from this a tradition was born.

We've gone on to make all sorts of cakes, relying on all sorts of themes. For example, my partner Heather is a big video game fan. So one year, I made her this:

In 2007, she surprised me with not only the best pirate-themed surprise party I've ever had but also this great cake:

When my niece turned 12, we threw her a huge luau theme surprise party and at the time she was totally into monkeys, so we made this:

Oh, and I can't forget Heather's 37th. She's a huge Cubs fan, so my sister and I made this cake:

And of course, Emily's birthdays have all included fun cakes. Her first birthday was ladybug cupcakes. Last year, for her 2nd birthday, we went all out with a Sesame Street theme. My sister, Felicia and I made these character cupcakes:

This year will be no exception to the rule, but this year I will have a plan because not only are we going to make the cake at home, but I'm also going to attempt to make the majority of decorations on my own. The theme for her party this year is carnival/circus which I was debating before I saw this amazing post on odeedoh, which lead me to the full story and the amazing pictures here. These pictures totally inspired me, and it looks like such a FUN birthday to work on that I just can't resist. Emily has never been to a carnival or a circus, but I think she'll love it as it all comes together. She's already talking about the fact that her birthday is coming up and one of my big tasks with pulling all of this off will be to incorporate purple as much as possible (without it becoming too purply) because she has told me she wants a purple birthday.

So tonight I'm putting my plan of attack together. Here's the categories to be attacked:
jumphouse rental
yard preparation (read finish raking up the yard, pulling weeds and plant summer annuals and possibly building a retaining wall)
party games
party favors
thank you notes

I plan to make pennants similar to Evan's birthday but am still debating between paper and fabric. I want to make a "Happy Birthday" sign, but I haven't quite decided what form/shape I want that to be in yet. There are a few games that I want to have and need to prep for. Lots to do, and only 5 weeks to the party! This will give me a great opportunity to break in the new paint room. I finished up the organizing last night and have just a few more things to hang on the wall but none of that should delay the planning session that will take place tonight.

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