Our sweet Clara turned two a few weeks ago. It’s hard to believe another year has gone by, but we are definitely enjoying this new stage of toddlerhood. She’s grown into such a fun little person – talkative and affectionate, with the most precious little giggle. I love celebrating her birthday, and unlike last year, I didn’t have a hard time deciding what type of party to have this year. Clara loves breakfast food; it’s usually the biggest meal she eats. It just made sense to host a brunch party, and it worked out well since the party was over before her nap time. That’s definitely a win in our book.
Before Clara was born, I read a piece about the etiquette of dining out with children that Andrew Knowlton wrote for Bon Appétit. In it, he talked about how brunch was the perfect meal for dining out with children because you get “smiley face pancakes for the kids and alcohol for mom and dad.” It’s probably been five years since I read that article, but I still think about it now that we are parents. If we’re going to eat out with Clara, breakfast or brunch is way easier than trying to grab dinner somewhere nice. I wanted to capture that laid back brunch feeling for the party, providing foods (and drinks!) everyone could enjoy.
Since the party was from 10:30-12:30, I knew the menu wouldn’t need to be very heavy. Still, I wanted to make sure there were plenty of items to choose from. I tried to include foods I thought people could easily snack on while chatting (or chasing kiddos around). As usual, I chose foods that could be made in advance so that I could simply set them up the morning of the party. This makes for a stress-free (or, at least much less stressful) day of. We also had a few extra sets of hands here to help us set up before the party started.
I didn’t get a great shot of the food setup, but this at least gives you an idea of how it looked. The geometric fabric was a last minute find, and I really like how it looked as a tablecloth.
Our menu for the party included:
Chicken and Waffles with Maple Butter Syrup
Cheddar and Chive Scones
Yogurt Parfait Bar (with vanilla yogurt, almond granola, strawberries and blackberries)
Blueberry Pancake Cupcakes with Maple Caramel
Mini Doughnuts for dipping
Cold Brew Coffee (with vanilla bean simple syrup and milk available)
Water, orange juice and juice boxes
Like last year, I designed the invitations and food tents in Photoshop and had them printed locally. I love, love, love the way they turned out.
I didn’t plan on having a theme, but I took the triangles from the invitations and just ran with it on the food labels, and suddenly I had a geometric theme.
The cold brew coffee station was a huge hit at the party, and I loved the way the coffee looked in this container I picked up from Home Goods. I used the extra triangles I cut out to scatter across the table as confetti.
My collection of random bottles came in handy for the drink table. I didn’t need fancy labels and just made these with scrapbook paper and washi tape.
I made this garland and the one hanging over the drink table with scrapbook paper I already had on hand. I hot glued the shapes to twine and simply taped the strands on the window frame. I made the garland behind the drink table with the same paper and actually used the leftover strips to make this one.
Clara loves these books, and I set them up in the play area so that the little ones could easily grab them if they wanted to. They doubled as a cute decoration when they weren’t being read.
The doughnut dipping station was probably my favorite part of the whole party. The kids loved this, and it was so much fun watching them play. I had goodie bags so that they could take home their doughnuts when the party ended.
I cut a paper tablecloth for the table and also put a bigger piece of it on the floor under the table. This made cleanup super easy. I found the bowls at Target, and they were the perfect size for little hands.
I made this piñata from a cardboard box and decorated it with crepe paper. Instead of making the usual beat it with a stick version, I made this a pull string piñata. I filled it with stickers, bubbles and some coloring packs and kid jewelry from the dollar spot at Target. I didn’t want to know which string was *the* string, so I blended it in with all the others. The kids took turns pulling the ribbons until the loot fell out.
I bought aprons and used a paint pen to make a personalized one for each child. I didn’t know how messy the doughnut dipping would be and wanted them to have something to cover up their clothes. Bonus: they doubled as cute party favors.
Abby was never far from the (cupcake eating) action.
The birthday girl loved her “burble” cupcakes, and we had so much fun celebrating our little munchkin with our neighbors and friends (and Eric’s sister who flew all the way from Alabama to be here for the party).
I can’t wait to share the party recipes with all of you. They’re headed to the blog soon!
Fabric for tablecloth: Hawthorne Threads
Clara’s dress: Tea Collection
Printables: Designed by me, printed at Print 1
Drink Dispenser: Here it is on Amazon, but I got it for half this price at Home Goods.
Piñata: Made by me, following this tutorial. I figured out how to make it a pull-string version mostly on my own and am happy to share a tutorial if you guys are interested.