Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Cora's 2nd Birthday - Train Themed Party

This post is very late in coming, but back in early December we had a birthday party for Cora's 2nd birthday. My mom (who is extremely artistic) was in town for a visit, so I recruited her to help me plan the grand event. I got a few ideas from Pinterest and did a bunch of online searching, and then let my mom run with the outline of ideas. I just loved the way it all turned out. 

I was going for a little of a vintage feel. My invitation was a smilebox email in the same color theme as the party, and when you opened it, it played the old "Tuxedo Junction" song from the 40s. I also had big band instrumental music playing in the background during the party.

I found these popcorn baskets at Target for $1 each! We popped kettle corn and added honey roasted peanuts. Each child got to take one home as a party favor, along with a conductor's hat and a train whistle (which I found super cheap online). I labeled everything with a train-related caption. Cora has some train toys that we also incorporated into the decor.  

We put up a big "Happy Birthday Cora" banner in my living room, and my mom drew a train on the window with dry erase crayons. I found a free download online to print all the letters in the banner, and then I cut out construction paper to outline them.

I got this train track idea from Pinterest. 

I found a train-shaped cake pan and made red velvet cake with homemade cream cheese frosting that I colored and decorated the cake with. We had quite a few little ones coming, so I also made cupcakes (just a yellow cake with the same frosting).

I made my standard party meatballs in barbeque sauce. They are always a hit and not homemade so extremely easy.

My mom drew a train outline and then cut out a bunch of construction paper so each child could decorate his/her own train. She wrapped an old Amazon box in paper, and we added Cora's glitter glue and markers to it. I asked her to draw an old-fashioned train to decorate the wall below where the cake was, and I loved what she came up with. We had it on the wall for quite a while after all the other decorations were taken down.

My favorite part, and definitely the most time consuming for my mom, was the food train. We used a bunch of assorted sizes of milk cartons, and she made an entire train out of milk cartons, construction paper and crayons. I bought kid-friendly food to go in each one, and they were named clever things according to what was in them (i.e. produce car for carrots and celery, lumber car for pretzels, livestock car for animal crackers, etc.). I got this idea from a blog, but ours was much more extravagant. 

I had some train cookie cutters that I had never used before, so my mother made pb&j sandwiches and then cut them out into train cars.

So there you are. I will probably never do a party with that much prep again, because I could have only done it with my mom around and plus now there will be two little ones needing my time and energy.

The following pictures are of Cora's little friends and some of the party-goers.

Our attempt at a group kid photo

3 pregnant mommas - due June (me), April, March (yes I am huge)

Had to throw another one in there of Aimee licking her little brother

All the pregnant moms and our kids

Fun with the birthday girl

I love this one with my friend's 7-year-old who Cora adores.

Playing pin the caboose on the train