03 February 2014

Animal-Themed Birthday Party

For Cora's 2nd birthday party, I found these invitations in my stash of stuff from (pre?)college.

Looks like my party theme just chose itself. Animals!

I looked at Pinterest a little bit, but I'm not one to go crazy with a theme. A lot of the Pinterest stuff narrowed it down to one category of animals (jungle animals, mostly). I decided just animals in general would make my life easier. Plus, the guest of honor was turning 2. She didn't give much input.

Let's start with purchased stuff. I bought some plates and napkins at Wal-Mart and Meijer.

I really love those cutesy animal plates and matching napkins, but they were part of a Baby's 1st Birthday line, and were the only things without the number 1 on them. I probably would have bought the rest if it was a year ago. (They were from Wal-Mart and very inexpensive.) On the right is Zoo Pals plates because I love them--each one is a different animal.

From Party City, I got a Pin the Nose on the Lion game. Even though there were no other young kids in attendance, it was a hit! B's brother and cousins were into it, and my mom forced me to play as well (and then I forced B, so basically everyone under the age of 31 played.)

This "blindfold" came with the game, but it only fits kids.
I love painter's tape a bit too much . . . 
Okay, onto the food. 

First, what animal-themed party would be complete without animal crackers? None, I tell you. None.
I bought some of the iced ones, too. Yum!
The rest of the food all had animal 'themes' (in a loose sense of the word).

Snake sandwiches. 5 dollar footlongs from Subway that we cut ourselves.
Yes, that's a tomato tongue.
Kangaroo kabobs
Protip with these that got figured out as we went along: half an apple is perfect for jamming the pointy ends in to.

Manatee meatballs
Panda Pizza.
These were just bagel bites, but I should have bought more than 2 boxes. They went fast!

Tortoisse Tortilla Chips & Salsa. (Again with the painter's tape.)

Camel Chips & Dip (my kid loves camels)

Cheetah Cheese & Crackers

Seahorse Soda and Walrus Wine

So after we played games, devoured all the food, opened all the presents, we of course had to have some cake.

Yeah, I made that.
The cake was strawberry with vanilla frosting. It was so good!

I also made Cora her own little cake using a mug cake recipe and making it in a ramekin (in the microwave).

 While we were singing to her:

Just like last year, I had to cut it first before she really dug into it.
But then there was no turning back!

Some other thoughts on this party:

  • My mom bought Cora helium balloons from the Dollar Tree. A buck for each balloon, seriously the best deal in town. (Yes, the fill them for you, too.)
  • From now on, I will be making sheet cakes for birthday parties because there was barely any of this cake left. Also, it is really hard to write on round cakes because there's not much area on the top.
  • I will also have more chocolate for the guests. The only chocolate at this party was Cora's cake. I debated buying Zebra Cakes, but ultimately decided against it. A peanut and M&M "elephant food" mix would have been a good compromise.
  • I will check my food coloring before hitting up the store. Those zebra stripes were supposed to be pink, but my pink had gotten old and had to be chucked. Ah, well.
  • More bagel bites!
I'm glad my mom was here to help. Not sure if she'll ever come back for Cora's birthday again because the weather here is awful in January--and then her flight back got cancelled, of course. There was basically a blizzard happening the day of her party, but there was no way in heck I was cancelling. Everyone showed up, though! (My in-laws drove up from Indy and the first thing they said was, "We're moving your birthday to June!") And everyone had a great time. We will continue January celebrations, even if it means she is only celebrating with Mommy and Daddy and her stuffed animals.


  1. You are so creative! Cuteness.

  2. That's a great birthday party theme! You did a great job on everything - the cake looks awesome! I'm really glad your family was able to make it for the party, despite the bad weather. :)

    I am currently in the throes of researching a birthday party theme, which will probably be multi-themed since we're doing a party for all the kids before Mike leaves, since he'll miss all their birthdays. Trains/owls/my little pony theme is good,right?