Theo's 4th Birthday Party

A few weekends ago we celebrated Theo's 4th birthday party. Remember his music-themed 3rd birthday party last year? About four months before his party I asked Theo what kind of party he wanted. He said, "A chocolate party!" Two months later he said the same thing. Admittedly, I was a bit stumped. I mean, how awesome would a chocolate party be!? But then again, every parent would kill me if all I served was chocolate everything. So then I came up with the idea of "Theo's Chocolate Waffle Bar Party" that would incorporate his love for chocolate AND waffles--plus, give everyone different options including savory ones.

Inspired by my trip to Dinette in L.A., I decided to use metal trays lined with a custom kraft liner. The whole look was made even cuter with these bear face party napkins from my friends at Harlow & Grey. I vowed to never cook all the food for a birthday party again (Lucas' round-themed 2nd birthday party nearly killed me) but this waffle bar was pretty easy. I ordered scrambled eggs and popcorn chicken from the Whole Foods catering department in Berkeley, made a few batches of chocolate waffles in advance and froze them, made some syrups in advance, and just cut some fruit and baked tater tots the morning of. Oh, and you know what saved me was this little guy from Amazon.

Ready for a heart melt? Lucas made Theo this birthday hat out of paper, tape and string--one for Theo and another tiny one for Theo's "baby" stuffie.

Organic fruit and syrups with custom labels ;)

Homemade chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream frosting. I really need/want to take a cake decorating class.

A family tradition!!!

Somewhere along the way Theo transformed into a ninja. Haha!

We hired the best kids band ever Your Song My Song. They were taking requests and Theo wanted "Bad Romance" by Lady Gaga. So they figured out how to play it! High five!

This is the face of a happy birthday boy!

The party favors were delicious butter waffle cookies from Trader Joe's hand dipped in semi-sweet chocolate and sprinkled with rainbow nonpareils. I packaged them in glassine bags and sealed each one with a custom label.

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Lucas' 6th Birthday Party

A couple of weekends ago we celebrated Lucas' 6th birthday party. Time sure flies--I just can't believe he is now 6! Remember his 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th birthday parties? As usual, I ask Lucas what kind of party he wants each year and then I put my own modern spin on theme. This year Lucas initially asked for a Pokemon party but later decided on a magic theme after having seen a magician called Magical Nathaniel at Playland-Not-At-The-Beach.

I designed the invitations with a clean but slightly vintage feel, complete with custom photo envelope liners and a custom rubber stamp that would be used on favor bags and food packaging. The double thick invitations were mailed in kraft envelopes and sealed with wraparound address labels.

The party took place at the Padre Picnic Area in Tilden Park in Berkeley and the we couldn't have lucked out with better weather--you never know in April! Guests set out blankets and flew kites, played soccer, baseball and tag. We hired Magical Nathaniel to perform a magic show for 45 minutes. He was amazing and kids and adults alike were in awe by his tricks. Funny how every 6-year old seems to think they know how he does his tricks.

The amazing food for the party was generously provided by Whole Foods Market. In case you didn't know, Whole Foods Market cater kids parties too and can customize a menu for you. To go along with our magic theme, the catering team made Popcorn Chicken, Grilled Corn on the Cob, Mini Chicken Corn Dogs (a kid favorite), "Magic Wand" Fruit Skewers, Classic Mac 'N' Cheese, their signature Cabbage Crunch Salad (my fave!), and Potato Salad (several people told me this was the best they have had). They also provided Organic Juice Boxes, Mochi Ice Cream by Bubbies, and Annie's Homegrown Fruit Snacks for the pinata. Thank you Whole Foods Market (specifically the Berkeley and Gilman locations)!

Per Lucas' request, I made him a chocolate cake with vanilla frosting and edible gold stars and a gazillion cupcakes for his friends.

A Jackson birthday party tradition, we had donut holes with custom designed cones--always a huge hit with everyone!

Nick and I made this awesome playing card pinata and giant magic wand for busting it open. It was actually really easy and full DIY instructions can be found on Oh Happy Day blog.

I used the custom rubber stamp for the cotton favor bags that each held Pocky Sticks (they look like magic wands!), a coin trick, fortune teller fish, and mini word game books.

Lucas had the brilliant idea of having a Make-Your-Own-Wand station. Using a wooden dowel with eye hooks, kids could use Japanese washi tape and choose colorful ribbons to make a fun magic ribbon wand.

My baby is 6!! Whaaaaat?!?

Theo ate fruit skewers for lunch.

Classic Mac 'N' Cheese and awesome Popcorn Chicken with two kinds of housemade dipping sauces--BBQ and ranch.

Grilled Corn on the Cob was a crowd favorite.

Okay, how cute is my friend Jeanne's daughter Hayden sipping her organic lemonade? And my niece Tallia waving her wand and my friends Aaron and Corrine's daughter Josephine who LOVED the corn on the cob.

Mini Chicken Corn Dogs were a kid favorite.

Whole Foods Market Gilman provided delicious Mochi Ice Cream from Bubbies. I packaged and labeled them individually in glassine bags and stamped them with Lucas' birthday logo. I chose four flavors--Mango, Green Tea, Strawberry and Vanilla.

If you don't know about this Cabbage Crunch Salad at Whole Foods, you're missing out. Not sure if every location has it, but damn, it's good.

I usually prefer the vinegar-based kind of potato salad, but this was the Best Classic Potato Salad ever!

Magical Nathaniel was awesome! He's a Cal student and does magic on the side but plans to make it his full time gig. If you need a magician for your party, you need to hire him. Nearly every kid sat still for the 45-minute performance. He was entertaining and engaging with the kids, often asking for volunteers to help him with his tricks. The kids loved it!

OMG, Magical Nathaniel solved this Rubik's Cube in a minute and 30 seconds--blindfolded!

This is the look of a 3.5-year old who missed his nap and ate nothing but fruit and donut holes for lunch. Poor Theo.

This pinata was awesome because no one could bust it open which meant every kid got a chance to hit it. Ha!

Eventually, Nick had to discreetly stab a few holes into it.

*This post is in partnership with Whole Foods Market. All words and ideas are my own.

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