Waldo and I decided that since Lily made her big debut three days before Christmas we would have to have her birthday parties a couple of weeks early. You know, in order to avoid all of the holiday hoopla or have her birthday confused with a Christmas party. The date of her party has been set for months now, that was the easy part. I’m going to just go ahead and say it now; I have no idea how to throw a party, I had no idea where to start or what I needed to do. I just muddled my way through this whole thing.
Last year we had a little birthday party for Lily’s 1st birthday and it was suppose to have a snowman theme. I say suppose to because I didn’t really decorate for it and the snow white cake that the whole thing was planned around was a flop. So when I was talking to Waldo about the party he said that I should do the cake again to redeem it, I thought that was a great idea and ran with it. I grabbed snowman things whenever I saw something that caught my eye. I got some really cute little felt snowman buckets in Target’s dollar section, I got 5 or 6 snowman cookie trays at different places and a few other snowman decorations here and there. I figured they didn’t need to really match as long as it was all snowman related it would work together. I decided that I needed to make Lily a birthday banner, kind of like all the cute ones I’ve seen online. This banner became a little bit of an obsession for me and I’m sort of glad I didn’t keep all the receipts; I don’t want to know how much it ended up costing.
Besides the few decorations the most important thing to me was the food. I purposely decided to have the party in between meal times so all I had to do was snacks. Since I love to cook and bake I was really looking forward to this part. Then like fate was smiling on me I got a holiday cookie issue of Food Network Magazine in the mail. It was full of cookies and I was inspired. I decided to make Snow Capped Macaroons that looked like little mountains, meringue snowflake cookies and rice crispy treats. Somehow the rice crispy treats morphed into a table of snowman part treats. I made rice crispy treats into little balls so they were the snowballs, then we had pretzel sticks (arms), baby carrots (noses), whoppers (buttons) and junior mints (eyes and mouths).
I think I might have forgotten to mention that while I knew what day and time the party was on and what food we were going to have and what decorations I was going to use, I had no flippin idea where the party was going to be held. We live with Waldo’s parents and while they have a nice home it is nowhere near big enough to hold all of the people that were coming. And even though we live in California it’s still December so we couldn’t really have the party outside, and I was trying to keep this party on budget so I couldn’t afford to have it at a place that we had to pay very much for. Luckily my Grandparents live in a retirement community that has a clubhouse, unluckily when I called about renting it they wanted a bunch of money for it. So I asked my Grandpa (Pop) to go and ask and he bartered a deal so we got it for free, yay for musical grandparents.
I spent a lot of evenings, after Lily went to bed, cutting out circles and gluing them together and using glitter glue and puffy paint. It was a lot of fun. After the snowmen were done I spent a lot of time admiring them, I don’t often feel creative or that my creations are cute (besides Lily of course). I was very proud of my snowmen.
I had wanted to get Lily a cute 2nd birthday or birthday girl or snowman shirt to wear at her party, but didn’t think of it early enough to order it online and couldn’t find anything in the local stores. Sure I could have ordered it and paid crazy shipping, but I could write a whole post about how much I HATE paying shipping and will work super hard to get free shipping or just wait longer for the cheap option. Since I couldn’t find anything good locally I gave up on the shirt and then a few days before the party I realized I had all this puffy paint and glitter glue left so I went to Walmart (another post could be written about how much I hate that place with the passion of 1000 stars) and found a really cute plain red shirt for $3.50. I only picked up one and I knew that was a bad idea. After Lily went to bed I set up my crafting station (two tv trays) next to Waldo and set to work. Just as I was putting the finishing touches on the hat Waldo reached over and placed a few peppermint hershey kisses (love them) on my tray and of course set his hand in my wet hat. He felt really bad, but he hadn’t even realized I had started on the shirt because he was watching something or playing something. Back to Walmart we went and this time got two of the cute red shirts. I decorated both and in the end I’m really glad I did. I again spent a good amout of time admiring my craft because I was pretty darn proud of it.
The day before the party was a blur of sugar, flour and egg whites. I used approximately two dozen egg whites and two whole eggs, oddly enough for me I’m totally not exaggerating. The only thing that I baked that had yolks in it was the chocolate cake for the snowman’s hat. Oh and by the way I only knew how I was going to do the cake like two days before. I had just planned to do a double layer 9 inch cake and never thought more about it, but then I was talking to my mother in law (who’s made lots of cakes and has taken cake classes) about it she pointed out that with the number of people we were going to need more like 3 cakes. Talk about scrambling. After a lot of discussion I decided to make a cake in the shape of a snowman, it really only made sense.
Between all the cookies and cakes it took me A LOT longer to make them all then I had expected and we (my wonderful Mother in law and myself) were still decorating the cake moments before the party started. I was so stressed. We were suppose to get to the clubhouse at noon and the party started at 2, but because of my over ambitious plans we didn’t get to the clubhouse till 1:30. Luckily a few of my cousins were already there so they helped decorate. It wasn’t how I planned it, but it worked out great.
I had planned on the snowman banner being on ribbon, but changed my mind at the last minute and figured we could just use double stick tape to hold them up. I’m not super please with that decision, but I can’t change it now.
I am so glad that Waldo recommended that I try to redeem the cake because it was so darn good. It was moist and delicious and the white chocolate buttercream was a bit fussy to make but so worth it. I think the frosting was my favorite part. I had all these high aspirations of piping all the little details onto the cake but ran out of time and almost broke down but then Waldo recommended using the snacks from the “snowman parts” table. I was overall happy with the outcome, it wasn’t what I had in mind to begin with but I thought he turned out pretty cute.
I made two batches of the rice crispy treats: one was the regular way and the other I added chopped up peppermint Hershey kisses. Yummy.
I may have muddled my way through, but I was pretty happy with the outcome. But let me tell you this now, next year Lily will have cake at home on her birthday and that’s about it.