Birthday success (what I live for)

I did it guys. I threw this fucking party. It almost killed me and my parenting took a real nose dive in the short term, but I did it. It wasn’t perfect. I could write a list longer than this blog of things I didn’t get to, but that would probably be annoying, so I’ll try to hold back on the nit picking. The one place where I really failed though, was the photos for this blog. I mean how the fuck do other bloggers do it? I mean on Go Day, I am operating at capacity. There’s not time to bring things over to the good light and take a thousand photos. I got a few quick shots with my phone and on to the next thing. Despite screaming at my family: “always be taking pictures! Do that thing where you’re not in the moment because you’re too focused on taking pictures that everyone complains about on Facebook” there’s still a lot left undocumented.
If you read my Practice cheater donuts you know I promised I was practicing for something big at my son’s birthday. I was nervous about it working out, but it worked out beautifully

Elmo donuts, and Cookie Monster donuts *tutorial coming soon*
   
Abby, Big Bird, Count, and Oscar donuts (it kills me that I forgot the Oscar eyebrows, kills me)

 I made all the decorations ahead of time out of marshmallow fondant and candy melts. Morning of I picked up 3 dozen plain donuts and dipped and decorated them. My mother in law helped me assembly line the process and was very nice about dealing with my insanity.

Also this other stuff

   
    
    
    
     

  
By the time it was time for candles, almost all the donuts were gone. The kids had a blast, my home is destroyed, I’m totally exhausted. I have plans to do nothing tomorrow to recover, but it was awesome. 

 

 

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Oscar the Quiche

My son’s second birthday party is barely a week away and I have so much to do. It is a lot of work to host a Pinterest perfect birthday party, especially when you can’t start any projects until after 8:00PM. Frankly, it’s not a great idea. If you have any other way of fulfilling yourself creatively and personally, I suggest you do the other thing and order a cake from the grocery store. If you insist on going all out, you’re going to need food—themed food.

Now, sweet themed food is easy. You can decorate cakes and cookies with icing, build characters out of fondant, modeling chocolate, or marzipan, mould candy, or wrap store bought candy bars in decorative paper; you’ve been on Pinterest, you know all this. But you can’t just serve sweets at a party full of toddlers. It doesn’t matter how cool your mom friends are. There’s going to be some judgement if you don’t at least throw a carrot stick in there.

Savory food is harder to make on theme, double so for something healthy (ish). So I’m really proud of how this came out.

I present to you

BAM BA BA BAM

Oscar the Quiche

I’d love to give you a tutorial, but honestly, I did so many things wrong that it’s a wonder it came out. I went wrong trying to make a spinach quiche with a layer of cheese and egg on top. I wanted a nice white background so you could really see Oscar. Unfortunately, despite my best efforts, the layers mixed. To smooth it out, I just kept adding eggs, milk and cheese. I stopped measuring. The cheese formed a crust on top that made it impossible to get the spinach to stay on. Because it took so long to cook, I was up until 2:00AM. It’s a good thing my kid likes Sesame Street, because he watched a lot of it the next day. Yay super mom!

Instead of telling you what I did, I’ll tell you what I wish I did.

Blind bake a roll out pie crust according to directions on the box. Or, you know, use homemade if you’re fancy. Cut a scrap of dough for Oscar’s eyebrows and bake on a lined cookie sheet along with the crust.

 

 Find a recipe for a white quiche and prepare it. If it’s just too weird to serve a plain quiche with spinach toppings (is it weird? It feels weird, but I can’t really articulate why), layer spinach leaves at the bottom of the crust before pouring in the filling. That should work, right?

Fill the crust and bake for 10 minutes less than the recipe suggests. While it’s cooking, blend a cup of spinach in the food processor, and beat one last egg. Take the quiche out and arrange the spinach and olives into Oscar’s face. After sewing a dozen Oscar puppets, I’ve become fairly familiar with the features. Use small amounts of spinach for more control. Place the crust eyebrow in place and carefully brush the egg all over. Bake for the remaining 10 minutes.

 

 That should be it.

Oh, and I also made this far less impressive bacon snuffleupagus quiche.

Inner Peace Through Party Favors

I can’t believe my baby is almost two. It’s crazy that someone not only let me have a baby, but take it home and make decisions about it. I often have thoughts like, I wonder if my son will feel bad that all his friends have grownups for moms, and he doesn’t. you’d think something as earth shattering as having a child would disabuse you of the notion that you are a fraud of an adult, but mostly it just reinforces those fears.

But that’s not what I want to talk about, I’m not even sure why I brought up the raging sea of doubt beside which I have built a summer home, when I want to talk about PARTIES! After all who but a grown up could throw the perfect party? A real, solid grown up, with nothing to hide and no reason to be ashamed.

I do like throwing parties. It’s fun. It’s the culmination of many things I’m good at, and I like doing things I’m good at. It makes me feel competent. I once considered becoming a professional children’s party planner, but a wedding planner talked me out of it.

So I’m stuck with a few good parties a year to throw and get it right. This usually results in me overcommitting myself with projects and freaking out a few times. It’s not fun, but it’s part of my process. A phrase commonly heard in my house is “I don’t want this to be the wedding invitations again.” Said by my husband after I insisted we DIY the most beautiful wedding invitations anyone has ever seen for roughly a thousand dollars and what he claims was 200 manhours. It was worth it to me, but keeping with this request every subsequent party has had an emailed invitation.

For his second birthday we’re throwing a Sesame Street party. It’s exciting, because while I went all out last year for his Fraggle Rock party, he had no idea who any of them were and no real interest in anything else that a party could be thrown around. The amount he has developed this past year is astounding. He turning into a little person with his likes and dislikes and he LIKES Sesame Street.

 

 The first craft I made any headway on were these Oscar the Grouch bath puppets. I had actually intended to make them for his party last year as Doozer puppets, but didn’t get around to it. So with the left over green Ikea towels, I made Oscar. If I didn’t need to use up the green towel I probably would have done Elmo and Cookie Monster. They’re more popular, and I wouldn’t have needed to sew on that eyebrow. But, Oscar’s dirty, so he needs a bath, there’s some internal logic to it.

  

I started by printing out a hand puppet pattern, and two pictures of oscars face. One of the face pictures I cut out and taped to the head of the puppet, the other I used to cut out the features. I wanted the eyes to be perfectly round so I could put the eyebrow on top and not have to line them up properly. I found a quarter was about the right size, so I used that rather than a paper pattern. I cut the puppet pattern out of the green ikea towel doubled over, so the two sides would fit each other perfectly, and I cut the features out of some dollar tree wash cloths I picked up for the project. I hand sewed the face on with embroidery thread and embroidered on the pupils of the eyes. You could probably use a machine for this, but I’m still a little afraid of my sewing machine, and hand sewing let me do it while watching tv.

 

 After the face was sewn on I pinned both sides together inside out and sewed around the edge before flipping the puppet back rightside out.

  

Half way there.

  

In the future I think I’m going to make the “arms” a little wider and a little squarer. They get pretty thin and stumpy because of the amount of space taken up by the seam allowance. Over all I’m pretty happy with how they turned out. My son is excited for them, I think he’s going to love his party, even if it’s a little bit about me.