It was an imperfect but amazing day. The sun was out and a breeze kept us holding onto our cups and plates but the kids all seemed to have a great time! I have a hard time coming up with birthday themes that are fun for both a boy and a girl and the twins are not old enough to want to have separate parties. (Neither do we!) Their first birthday I found some pretty generic baby’s first birthday type plates, napkins and invites and didn’t get carried away with the theme. I was pretty overwhelmed just having two one year olds, let alone prepping for a party and feeding a house full of people. When DD and DS turned 2, we had their birthday at a local farm with a petting zoo and pony rides and made it a farm theme with plates. That year I made about two tons of organic mac&cheese with veggie noodles. It was a lot of work. This year I felt up for putting more effort into their party. It was appropriate because this year they “got” it. They appreciated all the decor and fun Cat in the Hat related goodies. Like I said in the beginning, it was imperfect but amazing!
I focused the theme on Thing 1 and Thing 2 but we had all kinds of Dr. Seuss decor. To start I went on line and searched for similar themes to get ideas from other creative people. Two ideas stuck out to me. The first was Thing 1 and Thing 2 inspired cupcakes with blue cotton candy topping to mimic Thing 1 and Thing 2′s hair. The second was 1 Fish, 2 Fish gelatin. The version online had blue jello with swedish fish in them and they were adorable.
Of course I have to complicate things…. I made the cupcakes out of an organic vanilla cake mix and frosting. I bought vegetable food coloring from whole foods in an attempt to make red cupcakes which I would top with the blue cotton candy. Well, the cake batter just wouldn’t take the food coloring and they turned out closer to tan than red. Apparently it is pretty hard to get red, even with regular food dyes. (See THIS link as to some of the health implications of artificial food coloring and dyes.) Even the icing was more of a tan/pink than red. Oh well, it was covered with blue cotton candy so you could hardly tell! The thought of all the crazy additives in the cotton candy made me wince as well so I was on a mission to find some organic blue cotton candy. I found a business in Santa Monica that would ship cotton candy to me so I decided to get enough to top our cupcakes and add a little to the goodie bags we would give to the kids. (If this is of interest to you, check out the Tasty Clouds website.They have some cute party ideas!)
Next was the One Fish, Two Fish gelatin. Again, the thought of using blue dye and plain old jello did not appeal. (Ever since I learned that jello is made from animal collagen I’ve avoided it completely. Yes, it’s pretty gross. Read HERE for details.) So how could I pull this one off? I found a great product at Whole Foods called Pomona’s Universal Pectin. It gels stuff. You can use it to make jellies, jams and gelatin. I made this gelatin by starting with a white grape juice, bringing it to boil and following the directions that came with the pectin. I attempted to use my vegetable based food coloring to color the gelatin blue to no avail. No matter how much blue I added, the result was pinkish red. This was somewhat disappointing. Had I known this would be the result, I would have left it the juice color which was almost clear. If you are trying to avoid synthetic dyes I suggest using a clear juice and getting a blue marker to make a water like mark around the clear cup you put the gelatin in. (I’m kicking myself for forgetting to take pictures of the gelatin!) The inspiration for this concoction had Swedish Fish candies poked into the blue jello. I’m sure you’ve guessed by now that I didn’t want to use Swedish Fish either, right? Yeah, lots of candies have all kinds of crazy things added to them so this project led me on a hunt for an organic gummy fish candy. What did I find? Not a whole lot. I did find an organic shark shaped gummy candy! They are called Sharkies and they are for adults and kids. Everyone ate them right up even though they didn’t exactly look like fish in water. At least they tasted good! (Note to anyone attempting these, put the candies in at the last minute. I added mine when they were partially gelled and they melted overnight. Good thing I had extra!
Aside from these two food projects, I ordered a few yards of Dr. Seuss fabric from Amazon to decorate tables with along with some Dr. Seuss watches for goodie bags. I made some crayons from broken ones as well as crayons we had collected from restaurants over the years. I got some wonderful stickers from the website that I ordered the invitations from and put those on the crayons and the goodie bags. I ordered adorable invitations from Amy’s Card Creations. She has a bunch of twin cards and made a custom banner just for our party! They turned out very nicely.
I especially love having “spa water” available for everyone whenever we have a gathering at our house. It is super easy to make and is very relaxing and refreshing. Just cut up an orange, some cucumber and add some muddled mint to your water jug! Yum….
DD & DS had great fun wearing big Cat in the Hat hats as well as Thing 1 and Thing 2 t-shirts I ordered from Amazon. They enjoyed playing Cat in the Hat memory game and all the kids loved playing out back with the mini parachute! Loved this party and theme!
To celebrate one year of posting my helpful hints, eco friendly advice, and incessant ramblings I have put together a month of GIVEAWAYS! (Yes, every week this August I will have a GIVEAWAY!) Yay! I have also put together an index of posts from this last year, so that you can quickly glance at this post and find subjects you missed and are interested in.
I also wanted to make sure that ALL of you could be WINNERS this GIVEAWAY! Jeff Pirtle contacted me about an ecookbook that he has written. He has offered me and ALL of YOU a free copy! Yay! To download your free ecookbook click on the following link http://www.dinnerevolution.com/free-offer. I hope you enjoy it! I have taken a look at it and it has some great recipes that I look forward to trying! Thank you for continuing to read MommaWords.com!
Index of posts from August 2010 – July 2011
In honor of my son and daughter turning 2 YEARS OLD, I wanted to have another giveaway! Please help a momma out and vote for MommaWords in the column to the right when you stop by! It is much appreciated and helps gets word out so that more parents have access to some great information.
These hats were given to us, by my friend Rosemary, for the twin’s first birthday. I just melted when we got them! We did a first birthday photo shoot with kids in their hats and cloth diapers. So stinkin cute! The hats have since been on display atop our mantle next to two adorable framed pictures of the kids when they were just six weeks old.
I love the hats so much I asked Rosemary if she would make some birthday hats for a giveaway! She graciously (and quite quickly – might I add) produced one pink and one blue adorable birthday hat.
Would you like to own your own chunk of handcrafted birthday hat heaven? We have one blue and one pink hat to give away. Please comment on this blog to enter. First visit Rosemary’s blog HERE. Return here to comment on this post and tell me which of her crafts you like best. Include in your comment which color hat you would like or if you are a mother of boy/girl twins who would love to win both! Please leave one comment for each entry.
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The giveaway will close at midnight on March 5th, 2011 and the winner/s will be chosen at random and announced on the 6th! Hats will be mailed to those in the continental United States only. The first winner will be chosen at random. If this winner has requested both hats, they will be the only winner. If the winner requests only one color, they will get the hat they have chosen and second winner will then be chosen, at random, until a winner requesting the remaining hat has been drawn. Winner/s are required to respond to the winning notification email in 72 hours or another winner will be drawn. Best of luck! Check out the prizes to be won below!
Rosemary sells her creations from her blog and at the following locations:
A Beautiful Mess Antiques NOW CLOSED