It’s been a hot minute since I last posted folks, and I apologize. We’ve had a crazy few months, but I am back with a vengeance. And I can’t think of a more perfect post to return with, than my little men and their Dr. Suess themed birthday party. This one got a bit out of hand, but in my defense, it was originally supposed to be L’s 2nd birthday party this past February. Due to some family emergencies, we had to postpone it. I decided it would make most sense to combine L’s 2nd and T’s first birthday and make it a huge affair. I always have said I would never allow T to fall victim to the second child syndrome, and I had some guilt about him not having a special day all to himself for his first. I believe I more than made up for it with this party.
If you’re looking for a theme that has endless possibilities, where you can allow your imagination to run wild and the sky is the limit? Look no further than Dr. Suess. The man, the myth, the legend. I adore his words, the illustrations, the hidden meanings that you only understand once you are grown. One of my proudest parenting moments to date was when at a mere 3 months old, L would sit through The Lorax in its entirety and T would watch Horton Hears a Who in complete awe and amazement at 6 months. (Yeah, my kids watch television and I really don’t give a flip what you think about that.)
I knew going into this I wanted to incorporate all the books, who could choose just one?! And, I’ll warn you, I had over 6 months to plan this shindig. It never would have been this big had I not. What I’m about to share is 6 months of nights till 2-3 am, followed by 4 and 5 am teething wake up calls, disturbing amounts of coffee and Xanax and many a nap time surrounded by so much crafting crap my OCD organizational tendencies were eating away at my soul.
I found the Dr. Suess sign on Amazon and used it to mark the back gate so everyone knew where to enter. The bounce house was, of course, the biggest splurge. I didn’t realize how big it would be until it arrived. We were expecting 30 plus littles, and I was worried if we got a smaller one, they’d be on top of each other and I really didn’t want to police the number of jumpers inside at one time. I was hoping it would be warm enough to swim, but when I realized that the weather wouldn’t cooperate, I knew we needed something equally as fun as swimming. It was worth the expense simply because they came and set it up and took it down themselves. No muss, no fuss. That’s my kind of deal.
The cut-outs are hard to see in the pictures, which is a total bummer. I got both the One Fish Two Fish and the book cut-outs on Amazon as well. I punched holes in the top and strung ribbon through them to hang from the trees. I got the blue and white poofs from Hobby Lobby, and in reality they were a big rip off. Way too expensive for what they were, but they added some fun color here and there.
My biggest labor of love had to be the Suess fabric bunting I made. This was 6 yards of Suess themed fabric. I knew I wanted to decorate what we fondly call the “freedom fence” with something fun and Suessy. I waited until I had coupons for 50% off from JoAnn’s and purchased each yard separately. That saved me a ton of money. I recently learned to sew, and find a lot of peace putting these together each night. In the future, I will likely make rag tie banners for the fence, as they kind of got lost in the mix of everything.
My favorite room in our whole house, our sunroom. I would live in it if it didn’t get so damn hot here in the summers. I’m waging a war against my husband to eventually get a small air conditioning unit in here, we shall see how that one goes. Choose your battles, ladies- and this one is worth it. The Cat in the Hat poster you see, I found at a local teacher supply store. The hanging alphabet poster is actually a puzzle I got on clearance and Mod Podged together to hang.
I had decided in the beginning I wanted to DIY this party as much as possible. That included the cake or cupcake portion of the party. I will never, EVER in my wildest dreams decide to make 63 cupcakes in 4 differing flavors with 4 different designs again as long as I live. This was the dumbest idea I’ve ever had. There’s a reason we pay professionals to do this. After all was said and done, the supplies I bought to decorate the cupcakes, cupcake liners, wrappers and ingredients were probably easily as much as a fabulous two-tiered cake would have been. And we won’t discuss the price you put on your sanity after something like this. I baked the cupcakes two days before the party and decorated them the night before. The decorating itself took me over 4 hours. Between trial and error on homemade frosting recipes and the actual piping bags and tips- it was a two Xanax evening folks.
I found the Lorax wrappers, Thing One & Thing Two wrappers and the Oh the Places You’ll Go wrappers on varying Etsy shops. I loved them and would do that again in a heartbeat. I had them printed out on card stock at FedEx office, because I knew regular computer paper would be a bitch. I do suggest that you assemble them to your cupcakes before frosting. My biggest find and HUGEST shout out goes to The Domestic Rebel blog for her inspiring and effing delicious rainbow cupcakes. OMG folks. Make these. Just do it. They are so easy, and out of this world delicious. In hindsight, I should have done 60 of these. I’m pretty sure they will become a staple in our household. I thought they were a perfect fit for the pastel/rainbow-esque Oh the Places You’ll Go book theme. They looked adorable in the wrappers as well.
I made the truffula poofs out of yarn while watching disgusting amounts of Netflix shows at night. I attached them to Pixie sticks because, hey, who doesn’t love flavored sugar? The chocolate mustaches I made with a mold found at Michael’s and candy melts. They were originally supposed to go on top of the Lorax cupcakes, but were far too big. Speaking of, I made a make shift truffula topper for those with cotton candy. They were gorgeous the night prior to the party, but I never factored in humidity and cotton candy not lasting. I wanted to replace them the day of with suckers, but ran out of time. I’m not proud of them, and will never use a grass frosting tip again- but whatever!
The framed faux-chalk board signs for the boys were also an Etsy find. She also designed the front of our invites. I found the image on the back through a quick Google search. Many people make those signs into huge posters, but they cost about $50 bucks a piece and I had no idea where we would put them after. I had them printed into 8×10 photos and framed them in cheap dollar store frames. I will put them in their baby books after.
L’s current Suess favorite is Dr. Suess’s ABCs. He had my 33 year old copy and stepped on the spine, so all the pages started falling out. I couldn’t stand to part with it, so I cut up our favorite bits and Mod Podged the boys initials with them. We are hanging them in the playroom now that the party is over.
The food is pretty self explanatory. There are some great ideas to be found online, but there is so much nonsense in Suess books, you’re really only limited to your imagination. I originally ordered the rainbow glazed popcorn online as I knew I wanted it for a nod to Hop on Pop. I wasn’t a big fan of the fruit flavors, so I searched for a recipe to make my own. Good gravy, that cake batter popcorn is effing ridiculous. Go make it right now. No joke. People were devouring it and a couple moms have already made their own batches and the party was just two days ago. I found the Horton dish on Amazon, and used pink Sixlets as the specks. The brown barbaloots are just chocolate covered gummy bears. In true carter style, I procrastinated for ages on the Happy Birthday banner. I had an idea of what I wanted, but waited till midnight the night prior to the party to pull out my Silhouette and start actually making it. I threw it together in about an hour, and have to say I was pleasantly surprised by how much I actually liked the simplicity of it. I’ve had a few requests for it, so I will be listing it for sale in my Etsy shop soon. This one is being gifted to a friend, but I’ll be making them to order via my shop. The Cat in the Hat fabric panel was another 50% off find. I wanted something to cover the window that is in our sun room, and it worked perfectly.
In my humble opinion, no party is complete without a “photo booth.” the backdrop is another 50% off fabric find. It’s actual truffula tree poofs. I originally got 2 yards and realized it wouldn’t be enough, so went back for an additional yard. I really needed 4 yards total, but I didn’t realize this till I hung everything up. I found the boxes for the props in the Target dollar bin and used leftover fabric with Mod Podge and ribbon to hang them. The mustaches and glasses were a huge splurge at Christmas from Land of Nod for my boys’ Advent calendar. They work perfectly for this and I’m sure we will use them in years to come at future birthday parties. The photo booth sign I purchased on Etsy. I printed it in an 8×10 photograph and framed in in a dollar store find.
I lucked out with goodie bags and found these in the Target dollar bin. I filled the bags with additional dollar bin Suess items- pencils, erasers, water bottles, bowls and rubber, squishy fish. The tags were another Etsy shop item. I also had shirts made from two different shops for both boys. I plan on making a quilt one day of all their baby clothes, so I find them to be well worth the price when I think about being able to add them to that masterpiece one day.
I also have to give a shout out to The Cookie Fairie. When we were originally planning a much smaller party just for L, I ordered a batch of Horton and ZizzerZazzerZuzz cookies from her. They didn’t last the 3 months we had to wait for this party, but they were GORGEOUS and just as delicious.
All in all, it was an excellent party. We had a great time with all our friends, and T fell asleep that night at 6pm mid-crawl into the living room, while L was double fisting cupcakes and consumed more sugar in one day than he has in his entire two years on this planet. I love planning their birthday parties. I think a birthday is such a happy occasion and it should be celebrated as such. As a child, everything is so magical and fun- so why not make their day something to remember?