Declan's Dino Party

Today we celebrated my little man's birthday. I have been planning his birthday party for what seems like months, so I am thankful that it was a success...and that it's over! I have realized that I am not one of those moms that can take the easy way out. When it's time to sign up for who brings what to the class parties, I physically cannot bring myself to sign up for the plates and napkins or the jug of juice. No, I am the mom who volunteers to make the cupcakes or the goodie bags. I love a good party, but what's more, I love all the details that make a party really special. I obsess over the menu, the decorations, the favors, the dessert, the outfits...every inch of it.

So here is the breakdown of Declan's party, inch by inch.


For the menu, I wanted it to be really kid-friendly foods. So we decided on the following:

-Spinach & Artichoke dip (ready made from the grocery store)
-Homemade salsa & mexican dip with tortilla chips (by my mama)
-Chicken nuggets (from Chick fil-a)
-Mini hamburgers (frozen section at Sam's club)
-Mini bagel dogs (also frozen section at Sam's club)
-Turkey pinwheel sandwiches (courtesy of my mother-in-law)
-Mac-n-cheese (frozen from Sam's club)
-Fresh fruit salad
-Veggie cups
-Pasta salad
-Cake pops
-Vanilla cupcakes (made from Sprinkles mix) with the Sprinkles buttercream icing recipe

The nice thing about the menu that we chose, was that there wasn't a ton of advanced preparation. We made the pasta salad and sangria Thursday night. We made the cupcakes and cake pops Friday night.
So I've been wanting to make cake pops ever since I stumbled upon Bakerella's blog a couple years back. I decided to take a very simplified variation of her amazing creations. Basically you bake a store-bought cake mix according to the directions, let cool, crumble with your hands, add 1/2 container of icing, form 1 inch balls, and then dip into melted chocolate and then decorate to your liking. We used a devils food cake mix, chocolate icing and then blue candy melts (from the baking section of the Michael's) to coat the cake pops, and assorted colored sprinkles.

They weren't as neat and pretty as I had imagined in my head, but for our first time, they turned out pretty good. Plus, they were sooooooooooo delicious! Here's a closeup:

I think one of my favorite parts of the menu were the little veggie cups I made. I got little orange plastic cups (the size one might have used to make jello shooters in college) and filled the bottom with ranch dressing and then stuck two celery sticks and two carrot sticks in each one. They were great for the kids: super portable and not messy! See:


This banner by Sassy Photo Creations that I found on Etsy hung in the morning room. She also made the cupcake toppers, food tags, and the favor bag stickers.

I also made a photo montage of Declan using my favorite pictures of him throughout the past year. Isn't it cute??


I decided to set up a candy buffet of blue, green, and orange candy that the kids could scoop into little treat bags to take home with them.

I also made each kid an initial tote bag filled with dinosaur coloring books, a mini crayon rollup made out of Michael Miller's dino dude fabric (made by My Sunshine Designs on Etsy) and a package of dinosaur-shaped magic grow capsules. The two babies in attendance went home with these mini ribbon loveys in the same fabric (made by The Posh Tots on Etsy).

Everyone seemed to have a reaaly good time. And, like any good party, by the end of the evening, Declan had stripped off his cute T-Rex shirt (available here), slapped on a tie and looked a little something like this:

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