The Birthday Post!

Today is Xavier’s 2nd birthday!! I can’t believe my little baby is definitely, certainly, NOT a baby anymore. And as if on cue, the last few days have shown us a taste of the terrible twos..let’s hope this is as bad as it gets. Toddlers be crazy, yo.

So let’s talk birthday party. We had to do it a bit early this year, due to a combo of the vacation schedules at work  and Xavier’s social circle having quite a few birthdays in June & July.  This year, we found a GEM in the Scituate Community House. It was inexpensive, HUGE, AIR CONDITIONED, and extremely conveniently located (for us anyway, only 10 minutes from home!)

I’ll let pictures tell you the story, I guess.

IMG_9787 IMG_9797 IMG_9792 IMG_9791 IMG_9802 IMG_9805 IMG_9806 IMG_9810 179713_10200650644140052_1096012574_n 1002273_10200650643380033_1401416376_n IMG_9811 IMG_9832 IMG_9837 IMG_9829 IMG_9828 IMG_9827 IMG_9825 IMG_9824 IMG_9823 1043847_10200650642820019_755457276_nIMG_9887 IMG_9885 IMG_9884 IMG_9883 IMG_9878 IMG_9877 IMG_9868 IMG_9861 IMG_9859 IMG_9855 IMG_9853One of the most frequently asked questions so far has been “Where did you get those posters?!” They ARE seriously amazing, right?  I am telling you, there are artists EVERYWHERE. You just have to look. One of my coworkers did them! Here is her Etsy shop, go buy some stuff from her!

http://www.etsy.com/shop/VivaLeArt?ref=top_trail

She does custom stuff too, and also she’s the sweetest girl ever.

Don’t try to make those monster horns, they sucked ass and didn’t even taste that good. I steamed sugar cones until they were soft, dropped a few chocolate chips in the bottom and then dipped. Candi-quik worked the best for that, but these were seriously, the biggest pain.

I forgot to take pictures of a lot of stuff, the goody bags, the outside..I suck.

You’ll notice the ambulance photo..yea. The hubs decided to put the grill on the stoop..and the smoke got inside and set off the alarm. The very LOUD alarm. Since it was a public building, we had to evacuate and wait for the fire department to come shut it off. It’s a good thing it wasn’t an actual fire..because I see no fire putting out apparatus in that AMBULANCE. Way to go!

Did you see my big kid blew out his own candle? After his laying on the floor, don’t want to sing protest, that is.

As far as activities, the kids were all pretty small still, so we just read the book, and I had a basket of musical instruments for them to mess around with. It worked well enough, I think. Oh, and the fire drill.

Yes, I went a bit overboard, but I figured it was okay since I saved so much on the venue and centerpieces!

Today is his actual birthday, and I woke him up with a room full of balloons, and made him peanut butter banana French toast. When he wakes up I’m taking him to the Providence Children’s Museum.

My very good friend Katy was kind enough to make that cake. Isn’t it AMAZING? Then we just set these Hallmark ornaments on top.

Feel free to hit me up with any questions about anything.  This was a REALLY fun theme to work with, but WTWTA Merch is outrageously expensive. If you’re doing one, either link your credit card up to Etsy, or get ready to DIY some shit and rely heavily on a few key elements and color scheme to keep your theme cohesive.

 

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The Pirate Party Post.

I know, I’ve been gone forever again. Xavier has EIGHT teeth coming in and he’s cranky and busy as hell. He can walk, btw. He can RUN.  My house is a series of barricades. Barricades that need work.

But I’m going to make it up to you today. This is the pirate party extravaganza!!!

Are you pumped? You better be, hillbilly.

We rented out the Aspray Boat House in Warwick RI for his party.  This place is seriously a hidden gem and I almost don’t even want to tell you about it. I heard about it from a friend, and got super lucky that they still had a Saturday in July open.  Everything regarding this place was exactly as it should have been, and the best part was I didn’t have to waste time meeting with anyone. Much, much easier than picking a wedding venue. And much, much cheaper.

Here’s the link for info:

http://www.gaspee.com/AsprayBoathouse.html

The pictures leave a lot to be desired.  But it’s right on the water, there’s a dock and everything. Which..is a great thing for a pirate party.  Day of however, a giant, disgusting dead goose washed ashore.  I just did my best to pretend it wasn’t there, and when John finally arrived he disposed of it. Phew.   The ONLY major problem we had was that the place has NO AC.

NO AC.

NO AC!!!!

In July. In HOT AS BALLS JULY.

So I walked around lookin like Fat Sweaty Betty all damned day.

Here’s some pictures of the place:

 I know, perfect for a pirate party, right?

Okay so I’ll get down to the details, you know you want them.

Outside, I did this to pick up on the treasure map thing. (Okay, I had my brother do it.) Basically we just cut up pieces of red cardstock and taped them to the ground so it made kind of a dotted line to the door, where I was going to make a giant X out of crepe paper streamers. However, I expected to be able to CLOSE the doors. I had to leave them open to let air in because it was just too hot. So we improvised with a smaller X.

I hated that the tape was showing. But my brother was being a really good sport about helping while I was inside running around like a loon. He had already taped them once the wrong side up, gone back out and redid them, so I didn’t care complain about tape:-).

So there’s our smaller X, a pair of cuties, and some toddlers too. Ha!

Btw, those last two photos and a bunch of others from The Murphys will be smattered in here. Thank God they were there with their camera or I would’ve gotten jackshit.

I printed up free coloring pages from TwistyNoodle.com and just trimmed off the edges where the ads were.

Well, I had John trim them off anyway:-) Then I scooped up some Pirate Crayons from Iparty. Yes, I could’ve just gotten regular crayons. But PIRATE crayons weren’t very expensive at all, at 29 cents a box. I just put 4 packs on each table and it was a hit with kids and grown ups too.

I also did a pirate accessories table. I put eyepatches, hooks, swords, mustaches, hoop earrings, temporary tattoos, bandanas, paper pirate hats and even a few pirate masks. I wish I had taken more pictures of this because it was so fun.

We set up the gift table in the entranceway, and kept the decor there simple with just a net tossed over a little table. Didn’t matter anyway, it was covered very quickly anyway.

The cake was one of my absolute favorite things. I’m pretty sure my wedding cake wasn’t this awesome.  One of my mommy friend/coworkers tipped me off that we had a little cake boss working right under our nose at the store.  Who knew?  This girl was a freaking DREAM to work with. I gave her almost full artistic license, I said just make it pirate themed and delicious. And she showed up on time, with this freaking masterpiece.

I know. It was amazing, just look at it!!

Also, she did a smash cake. All I asked was no red or black frosting, and no chocolate. (Xavier hasn’t had it yet.) I didn’t say what I DID want though, which I know, is a bitch. But she came through for me with this adorable little creation:

How cute is that?!

Now, I am not going to put her name on the interwebs cuz she’s not officially in business. (But she fucking A should be.) So if you email me and ask me very nicely I will give you her info. I’ll stop raving about the cake now.

You might have noticed surrounding the cake are some cookies. Cookies that are so amazing, this whole time you’ve been like “OMG shut up about the cake and tell us where you got those amazeballs cookies right now!!” Brace yourselves.

I made em. NBD.

(That was sarcasm, in case you didn’t pick up on it.) I did make them, that part wasn’t. But it was just Betty Crocker mix and a whole lot of cussing.  Funny story about those though..I was actually running on schedule, shit was getting done and I was feeling good about it. I EVEN had a little time to relax penciled in for the night before the party to be all “I’m done lalala”  I just had to run a few errands first.

While running those errands I received a phone call from my husband, and he was using his “approaching a bear on bath salts” voice, so I knew it wasn’t good news the second I heard that tone.

“Baaabe? Yea..you kinda left the cookies down low..and Squirt kinda….ate them.”

And at this point I don’t remember much. But my brother says I recited this lovely monologue from the film The Boondock Saints:

What I sounded like (NSFW!!)

So..my “LALALA” time turned into “Bake and ice and package 35 more goddamned cookies” time. AND HERE’S THE PUNCHLINE:

After the party..I had about 40 cookies left over. Didn’t even have to do that.

Don’t you dare ask about the dog. DON’T.

Moving on. In May, a friend of mine had a popcorn buffet at her baby shower. I couldn’t wait to do one. So even though that popcorn has absolutely nothing to do with pirates, I was going to do that shit. And so I did. I borrowed the containers from her, and ordered from www.popcornpapa.com. Another easy transaction. The bags didn’t look very big though, so I ran around RI looking for backups of these flavors, only to be eating the shit for a month because I bought way too much. Figures, eh?

They have like a bajillion flavors to choose from, but we went with Kettle Corn, Hot N Spicy, Chicago Style, Extra Butter and Cheesecake.

Chicago Style was awesome, my total fave. It’s a mix of Caramel and Cheese.  Cheesecake, second fave. Extra butter and Hot N Spicy, they mean it! Kettle Corn..I’ve had better but it was decent.

It took all I had not to bust out the Xyron Machine and personalize those bags, but I had to draw the line somewhere. I wrapped the containers with twine and affixed the labels to the twine. As you can see, that was kind of a fail. Next time I’ll just cut to the chase and bust out the glue gun. No more fucking around with these polite little glue dots and what have you. (It’s late, can you tell?)

Oh! See that banner behind the table? That was SUCH an easy project, it was pretty much just like doing the invitations all over again. Leftover pocketfold invitations, brown cardstock, typed up in Word and printed it out and attached it to twine. I made it adjustable because I knew we were going in sight unseen to the Boathouse and was just guessing as to where the hell I was going to put it.  Here’s where I put it:

Are you getting bored? Here’s a picture of my kid smashing his cake to bring you back:

Hell yea he’s cute.

The centerpieces….geez these things had me stumped. Everything I found on the interwebs was just a little too pricey for 8 tables. I considered balloons, but on the serious, balloons cost too damned much to look that cheap. (Again, much like your mom.)  So these are my $5 centerpieces, and I’m sure they’re going to blow your mind.

I got the buckets, flags, beads and coins at iParty, and the shells and “gems” in the dollar bins at Michael’s. Oh, and I stole that sand from the beach. Yes, really, I did that shit.  Be damned if I’m buying bags of sand when I live in RI!

Don’t worry though, I paid for it. While I was scooping eight buckets o sand and loading them into my car, a large winged insect came zooming out of the sand I’d just disturbed and stung the shit out of my ankle. I screamed and drew a bunch of attention to myself and the eight buckets o sand I was stealing. Pain and embarassment, paid in full.

A couple days before the party, I took eight gallon ziploc bags and put everything for each table into it. Gems, beads, shells, crayons, tablecloth, coins. That way it was super easy to enlist my friend’s help without being a hypercontrolling beotch. (More than I normally am, anyway.)

I think that’s about it on the details. So I’ll wrap this up with a few more photos and call it done. I hope to be around more!

SURPRISE!!

Holy crap.

This is my surprised face.

(And possibly my O face. Possibly not. You’ll probably never know. Ask your mom.)

Anywho. As some of you may know, I am approaching a birthday. The big 3-0 specifically. Which..I am actually not freaking out about. I think that thirty is only scary if you’re nowhere near where you wanted to be by now. While I’m definitely not perfect, I’m kinda okay with the trajectory. I have a gorgeous baby, awesome dogs,  a job I don’t hate most of the time, I don’t live in a shit hole, family who loves me,  and I don’t drive a piece of shit car.

Oh yea, and I have a husband that says “My wife is turning 30 and I want to throw her a surprise party” and friends that hear him, and say “CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!” (Barney Stinson style.)

And bitches, they pulled it off. I cannot believe it.

John’s the kinda guy the minute the package arrives, he’s all “Can I give you your Christmas present now, even though it’s only halloween? I really want to give it to you right now. Can I just tell you what it is and then you can open it? Can you please just open it, please please please please pleeeeease!!!” He asked me to marry him the minute the thought popped into his head.  The man just spits out WHATEVER he is thinking, and if I’m being completely honest, it’s one of my favorite things about him. So I think this is the biggest surprise of all, is that for over a month, he managed to keep quiet about something this exciting.

And not just him! Like..ALL of my friends (here in New England) knew about this and didn’t blow it.  Amazing! Really though, I feel like I should’ve suspected. “Oh let’s have this potluck just two weeks before your birthday and everyone’s going to come.” I’m going to play the “I work full time and have a baby and three dogs” card now, because really, I shoulda seen this coming and just flat out didn’t suspect a thing.

And if you need proof, scroll up and look at my face again.  I was SO clueless, that I walked in and didn’t even look up, I just bent down and started petting the dog and everyone had this “Uhh..what do we do?” moment as my dumb ass is all “Hi Mischa you’re so pretty lalala”

Of course John makes me carry the jug of cider so I look like a TOTAL sped in these pics. I couldn’t carry the bottle of rum or anything that would make me look cool. Nooo. Of course I’m like “Eh fuck it, my bra strap shows a little who gives a shit” Of course, I forgot my camera. So all these pictures, again, are courtesy of the Murphys. As was the ziti, which was delicous.

So I’ll show you the rest of the pictures now of the amazingness.

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I got flowers, and cake, and a little ribbon that says Birthday Girl, and a balloon, and lots of cards. But really, having a surprise party thrown for you, that’s just about as good as it gets.  I’m one really lucky girl.

As a bonus, let me give you my boozy cider recipe.

Take one gallon of store bought apple cider, one bottle of Captain Morgain, and toss that shit in a crockpot and turn it on.

If you wanna make it look like you did something, chop up three macintosh apples, toss them with a stick of melted butter (yea buddy), some brown sugar and cinnamon. I tossed in a squirt of maple syrup and a shot of vanilla. Serve it with cinnamon sticks to make it look fancy. Then go to the potluck and be all “Look at my fancypants cider drink” and eat what other people made. 🙂