I can't believe Theo turned two in August. It's amazing how time flies when you're having fun. And when you have kids. This year's party was really similar to his first birthday party -- a pretty low key celebration at our home with family and friends. By the time Theo's birthday rolls around, I feel like I'm just coming down from the excitement and craziness of Lucas' birthday party in April. This year's theme wasn't so clear cut -- Theo generally likes whatever his big brother likes, but no interests or obsessions in particular stood out in particular this year. I realized later that the big difference between Lucas and Theo is that Theo loves to eat. So why not a food-themed party?
The invitations I designed were inspired by his eight favorite foods, which include: blueberries, peanut butter, pretzels, and bok choy. I photographed each of the foods, and laid them out against a white background so they stood out. Under each photo, I inserted the name of the food, followed by Theo's own pronunciation. The invites were flat-printed on heavy, bright white cotton stock, and mailed in a kraft envelope with a custom liner (Theo's yogurt-covered face of course!). Finally, the envelopes were sealed with a black and white wraparound address label. My favorite line on the invitation was, "If you know Theo, you know this kid loves to eat." I mean, he wears the same size pants as Lucas except they're way too long. ;)
We decided to make breakfast at one of our favorite spots, Elmwood Cafe, a tradition on birthday mornings for the kids. We threw on the birthday crown for Theo and I snapped a bunch of sweet photos of the boys on the steps on our way to the car. Lucas has been the most amazing big brother in every way and Theo simply adores him.
It's always so hard to choose just a few items here. Everything is so delicious! We ended up getting the frittata with summer squash, peas, and poblano peppers with organic greens, a mushroom, egg, and cheese breakfast sandwich, a cornmeal waffle with organic O'Henry peaches and Vermont maple syrup, a soy latte for me, a house coffee for Nick, and orange juice for Lucas and Theo.
While we waited for our food, I busted out the bag of good ol' random Legos and Matchbox cars to keep the boys busy. It's always fun to see how serious Theo gets when building things. He's got some pretty great fine motor skills for his age (whereas Lucas excels in those gross motor skills if you know what I mean).
After breakfast we walked down the block to pick up our giant order of donut holes from Dream Fluff Donuts for the party -- a tradition at every Jackson kid party. I designed the paper cones using abstract grayed out elements from the invitation as well as Theo's "signature". These are always a big hit with kids and grown ups alike.
And the biggest hit (other than Theo the birthday boy of course) were these S'mores Pot de Creme party favors. To go along with the food theme, I wanted to give something away that our guests could eat. We hired the amazing Andie from Bakin Bit again this year to cater our party (guys, she is crazy talented but also crazy busy!). I had seen these amazing creations she made for Oh Happy Day and asked if she could recreate it using Ball jars that would be given away as favors. They couldn't have bee more perfect -- food themed, delicious, super cute, and the jars are reusable! Many of our friends and family said they were the best dessert they'd ever had. I'm going to have to make these and store them in my fridge! I designed some coordinating labels for each jar to make them even cuter.
For a food themed party you have to have awesome food, right? While brainstorming menu ideas, I thought some sort of bar would be perfect for little ones. My first thought was a grilled cheese bar but then I remembered how last year Andie made this incredible mac 'n' cheese that people wouldn't stop talking about. I suggested a mac 'n' cheese bar and she went with it! She whipped up gooey mac 'n' cheese and had a slew of toppings people could choose from -- breadcrumbs, cherry tomatoes, pea shoots/peas, parmesan cheese, sauteed mushrooms, bacon bits, feta cheese crumbles, jalapenos, green onions, and sriracha sauce. She also made a strawberry, peach, and blueberry (all of Theo's favorites) salad with mint, a kale quinoa salad with cucumbers, and turkey dogs rolled in puff pastry on a stick (another crowd favorite).
The party REALLY got started when Eric (Theo's magical preschool teacher) and Jaime from Your Song My Song showed up to play music, sing, and dance in our backyard. They are just plain awesome and everyone loves them! They also sang Let It Go and you know all the kids got their groove on!
More dancing and noshing from the mac 'n' cheese bar!
The ever so sweet Jeanne from Shop Sweet Things and her adorable kids and hubby George (rockin' the polka dots!)
Not sure what Eric and Jaime did here (did someone take their pants off or something?) but I'm so glad I captured this photo! Theo's confused.
It was way past Theo's nap but Nana was secretly happy about that because look at Theo's little pudgy body melting in her lap.
It's cake time!!! I made a large carrot cake and a bunch of cupcakes. Remember how I said Theo loves to eat? Well, he ate that cupcake AND half the liner!
This year's thank you cards were postcards. Designed with a full bleed photo of Theo walking to pick up donut holes, along with his "signature," these postcards came out super cute while saving money on stamps and envelopes.
Thanks so much for everyone who came to celebrate Theo's birthday. We missed a bunch of friends but there's always next year! :)