I neglected to mention to you all last week during our marathon step rebuild process that one of the reasons that we were in such a hurry to finish up those steps was the upcoming birthday of our crazy little 4 year old and the little party that we had planned. I wasn't so concerned about the steps being finished in time so that they would look nice for the big day (while that would be nice, our family & friends have gotten used to seeing our house in various states of disrepair over the past year, so a little stair construction wouldn't have phased them.) The concern was that once some of that wood started to go down on the steps, we wanted to have it stained and polyed before we had dozens of people walking on them and potentially staining or damaging the wood. So I worked my little preggo booty off and finished up on Sunday night, which gave me approximately 5 days (evenings after work and bedtime) to put together a little pirate birthday worthy of our first mate.
I couldn't have done it without Pinterest and the community of extremely talented bloggers out there who provide free printables and ideas to use. I'm not embarrassed to say that I didn't use a single original idea or design this party, I just borrowed from blogs like Poofy Cheeks, Cottage Industrialists and Paging Supermom by printing out a bunch of different free printables they provided and cutting and assembling them in the evenings while chillin with the Hubs and watching a little TV. A huge thank you to these blogs for making our little man's party look pretty with very little effort!
I've learned from past birthdays and kept the menu really simple with "Yo-Ho-Hogies" (french bread sandwiches with assorted meat and cheese that guests could apply their own condiments and toppings to), "Island Fruit Salad" and an assortment of pirate themed snacks like Chips Ahoy, Swedish Fish, Goldfish and Pirates Booty. Using Cottage Industrialist's pirate ship sail cupcake toppers on the sandwiches made a simple, and easy to prepare menu item look fun and right on theme.
I loved this bunting template from Poofy Cheeks, and so did Ry who insisted that his birthday include "those triangles you hang." (I've created a monster.) We've found that big jugs of water (which I added cucumbers and lemons too) as well as Strawberry Lemonade with cups guests can write on and reuse really help reduce the amount of waste at a party. (No more house full of dozens of half empty water bottles.)
By far the most fun piece of eatable decor was the cake though. I used this cake image I found on Pinterest as the guide for my cake, which I made on Saturday night before the party. For those who haven't used fondant before, or are frightened of it, I swear by this recipe and instructions from The Cook Duke. I whipped up the fondant on Friday night, which gave it 24 hours to sit before decorating on Saturday night, and it was pretty easy to work with.
The best part of this party- by planning an easy menu in advance, I could set everything out on the table just before and barely think about it during the party, giving me plenty of time to hang out with my little man and all our guests to enjoy the day. That is, when I could catch him.
Did I mention that he totally loved his cake?
Happy Birthday to my energetic and zany little 4 year old!