I had fun designing his party invitations, but it got more complicated and time-consuming than I'd have thought. I like designing so maybe I should look into Photoshop Elements or something like that for the future.
Anyhoo, here is the final product.
This was the main backdrop for pictures, especially ones with Levi in his high chair eating his mini birthday cake.
I thought it looked so cheery and festive...even despite the cold and dreary days leading up to the big day.
I posted pictures of his actual birthday in a separate post HERE. and some of my favorite birthday photos are in his birthday letter post HERE.
Putting on the finishing touches the morning of the party!
Levi's King of the Jungle birthday cake - I LOVE how this turned out! AND it was one of the easiest cakes I have ever made!
His mane was made up of twelve cupcakes, so I had twelve left to decorate...perfect!
I didn't realize at the time, because I've never done mostly cupcakes at a party, but I really enjoyed how easy it was for everyone to simply grab their own and go - no need for slicing cake!
I didn't get a picture of the whole table with all the food set up. Boo.
The lion cake looked so good with everything else!
This side table is actually a sofa table which has taken up residence in our dining room since we moved here last year. I knew it would hold some of the party treats but certainly not the main cake. At first it looked a little boring, so I added some height by using turned-over sundae dishes to hold some cupcakes and a pretty bowl underneath Levi's little smash cake. Problem solved!
My Mom gave me her old Pyrex custard cups several years ago because I make individual custards in them, but one got broken and they have sat pretty much unused in the back of a cabinet...UNTIL I thought of them for his smash cake. Perfect size! The custard cups I have now are much "heftier" and smaller, so they wouldn't have worked nearly as well.
I sliced off the top of two and kept the dome on the top layer. I thought it was absolutely adorable. Better than a basic cupcake but not as wasteful (or sugar-inducing!) as a bigger cake would've been.
Because we have weirdo carb and sugar junkie cats, I had to hide the cakes in the sun room with the door closed. The one time I was actually thankful for clouds because I was afraid it would have gotten too hot in there, especially with the skylights.
The straws were leftovers from Levi's baby shower, and I used the same card stock as his birthday banner to make little toppers. This was much easier to do than I thought, and it added a cute little extra touch.
You gotta have zebra cakes and brownies for a wild jungle party!
We served snacks- nuts, cheese and crackers, pretzels and veggies with dip, and some sweets since it was the middle of the afternoon.
I was glad to have found these jungle animals at Wal-Mart a few weeks ago because when I looked for another package a couple days before the party, they were nowhere to be found. I think they were under two dollars.
I went to Michael's in search of some bigger animals - I remember when the boys were small they sold tubes of different types of critters for around six dollars, but all they have now are individual animals starting at eight bucks. Um, no thank you.
I nearly forgot to get a picture of the birthday boy and his cake! Some people had already arrived and poor baby was a little nervous. This is the best I got.
This picture must be a "before" because I thought the corner with the balloons looked a little bare...
Nothing some jungle vines can't fix!
It's basic jute with some construction paper leaves taped on. It was THE easiest thing by far but I think it had the biggest statement. I just loved those vines!
Originally I was going to make vines with brown paper, but they got so heavy and bulky, and it was super difficult to get them to stay up and in place, so Plan B was a lifesaver and I loved it so much more.
The Watering Hole
We served juices, iced tea and lemonade
Still looking a little nervous ;)
And truth be told, I'd been in tears not long before this photo was taken - I thought since I never get my hair cut on the day of an event, I would do that for this day.
Only my regular stylist wasn't there (she works weekends, but I didn't know it was either Saturdays OR Sundays) and I went with someone different.
That was a very big mistake. It's probably a good four inches shorter than what I was going for, now that I've had it fixed. Ugh. But who cares about my hair when you can stare into those gorgeous baby blues!?!
I knew he was feeling better when he started giving me kisses!
We had lots of family and several friends who were able to join us for Levi's party. Here we are about to sing to him, and he doesn't look terribly sure about the whole thing.
Well okay, maybe cake isn't so bad after all. ha ha
We were really surprised that he didn't dig right into it! He was quite gentleman-like.
He looks so tiny here. And that's our oldest son on the right. My bookends.
Warming up a bit more...
I wasn't thrilled with how the confetti dots looked on his cake, but I do love the way they look all over his tray. So cute!
His little buddies. Oh the cuteness!
We played for a bit and chatted with everyone, and then it was time for presents.
I hadn't planned on opening them with everyone here, but it just worked out that way and everyone seemed happy about it.
He wasn't too sure about his birthday crown! He kept looking up as hard as he could to try to see it, ha ha!
Resigned to keep it on for now.
We played and chatted some more after gifts, but I knew Levi had had enough when he started snuggling into my neck. My sweet boy.
The next morning, Sunday, we awoke to sunshine and warmer temperatures, and it was glorious!
I wanted to take a few more pictures in better daylight. Plus it gave me an excuse not to start taking the decorations down just yet.
See what I mean about the vines adding so much?
Simple usually wins out. :)
Sunday was sort of a divide and conquer kind of day with baseball practice and far away soccer matches. When Levi woke up from his (too short) nap, I decided to do something I've always kind of thought was ridiculous.
I set up a real cake smash for him.
And I'm so glad I did! All his reservedness flew out the window and he literally went wild. It was awesome. So happy to see my little guy happy.
Overall I'm pleased that I got some good shots, but it kind of bugs me that the gold balloons didn't blur into the background like I would have expected. Maybe I was too close, or Levi was too close to them? Oh well. I'm just glad I have these cute photos. :)
And because I love to give a shout out to fellow artisans and small business owners, here is a brief supply list:
Gold foil letters and number from HERE
Wild One shirt from HERE
Inspiration for birthday crown from HERE **I think her crowns are THE cutest but I suffer from the "I can make that myself" syndrome...I wish I had just bought one of hers!**