Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Octonauts to your stations!

Last in the birthday party lineup is Gabriel's Octonauts birthday. It's been tradition the last four years or so that on the actual day of his birthday I make a cake for him and we invite the grandparents over for cake and some pizza or whatever it is that we will be eating. This year he wanted an Octonauts party from Disney Jr. It's a super cute show that he has loved for awhile now however, it's originally a British show and has only been around here for a little over a year (if I'm not mistaken) so there isn't much merchandise as there is over seas. Again, I check pinterest for months for ideas on both "Under the sea" and "octonauts" birthdays and started my planning.

The day of, Gabriel got a special birthday breakfast of bacon and a big number five pancake with whipped cream and sprinkles. Poor kiddo wasn't really feeling well the whole day so he barely touched it. 

 I had baked his cake the day before and that day all I had to do was to put it together, ice and decorate. It was an ombre blue velvet tiered cake with cream cheese frosting. The awesome part about this cake was that since it was an underwater scene I didn't really need a smooth iced surface so it wasn't super time consuming. I crushed up some graham crackers for "sand" and made a small batch of buttercream frosting to pipe on some coral and sea weed along with the "Happy Birthday". I added his Octonauts toys all over the cake and some mini white sugar pearls for "bubbles". I loved the result and the cake itself was so delicious that I'm still drooling over it.
 I tried decorating the house slightly to give it that "under the sea" feel so I made a few jelly fishes out of some paper bowls, ribbons & crepe paper and hung them in a door way with some crepe paper sea weed over it.

 Then more crepe paper sea weed along with some blow up fishes in the kitchen entry way.
 Marshmallow pops made with some white chocolate tinted blue, dipped in crushed graham crackers and some baby goldfish crackers and some of the mini sugar pearls for bubbles.
 I used some leftover cream cheese frosting which I colored pink and smeared them between two pepperidge farms cookies, some wilton candy eyes and a white m&m for a pearl to make these little clam cookies.
 Octopus hummus dip. Just an orange bell pepper with some blueberry eyes (I had no olives!) in some Sabras garlic hummus. I'm addicted to this stuff!
 I saw a killer whale cucumber on pinterest and attempted to make it and pretty much failed when I was "carving" it but Gabriel thought it was super cool that there was an Orca in the veggie dip.

 For the food table I put up a plastic blue table cloth on the wall with some crepe paper sea weed and cut out some octonauts characters that I had printed out along with a birthday banner. 

 Ricotta and marinara stuffed "sea shells"

 You can sea the "sea weed salad" (really, just a mixed green salad) as well as the desserts in this picture. I forgot to get a close up of the jello cups but they are just blue jello with a swedish fish on top
 "Octodogs"(hot dogs sliced up to look like octopus) and "Sheldon's sea shell pasta" (small pasta shells, lightly buttered with parmesan cheese). We also had garlic bread and pizza that didn't make it in to the pictures.
 Birthday boy and his weirdo Daddy. See? Everyone thinks he's super serious but he's just as weird as I am.

 The birthday boy was loving his cake and having everyone sing happy birthday to him even though he wasn't feeling so great.

 The boys. Three generations of awesomeness

 Damian can't ever say no to some cake, just like his momma! And you can't blame him, the cake was pretty finger-lickin' good!


Time for gifts! Legos, clothes and the Octopod! He was one happy camper!

  Overall, the little shindig went well. The food was good and like always, it was so worth it to see how happy the kiddo was with the result. It sucked that Gabriel was feeling icky but he loved his special day and enjoyed having his family and cousins over.

Off to kindergarten

And just like that...I have a kindergartener.

"Mom! Let go! I'll be ok! Stop crying!"

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Gabriel & Damian's Toy Story Bash

Have you ever seen "My Big Fat Greek Wedding"? Well, you know how Toula meets Ian and she tells him how big her family is and how Christmas is like in her family? Well, I can totally relate. I personally don't have  a big family, but I married into one. My husband only has one sister but his mom has lots of brothers who in turn have kids that now have kids and so parties always are huge affairs. No I am not Greek, but it's what my big fat Mexican birthday parties are like. Loud, lots of food, lots of family and you have to invite everyone or they get offended. I kid you not. So having two big birthday parties within a month of each other where you have to invite about 50 people just isn't gonna cut it. Damian was born August 7, Gabe was born September 21st which means the boys get to share a birthday party. Now, we aren't sure if we are really going to keep doing this in the future since now Gabriel has started school and will probably want to do something with his friends next year so we might just scale back and do something smaller but for now, this worked for us.

We decided on a Toy Story theme this year and had the party at a local park where we have had most of Gabriel's birthday parties at. And of course, we have to be as Mexican as possible and get a taco guy. This guy has actually done all of Gabriel's birthday's and I'm not going to lie, part of the reason we have the party each year is because we want this guy's tacos. Kidding. Maybe.

 Centerpieces for the tables was a flower pot with some toy story ribbon, tissue paper, and a variety of cake pops in Toy story colors (blue and purple for Buzz, a yellow and red plaid like Woody's shirt and a cow print for his vest) and a picture of the boys in their costumes. The only problem was that the chocolate started melting and the cakepops ended up looking pretty gross. Note to self- no cake pops on a sunny day!
 Sheet cake from one of our favorite bakery's since I wasn't about to bake a huge cake for all those people. I mean, I'm crazy but not that crazy.
 Buzz and Woody piñatas and Gabriel being his usual dorky self.

 We had to get in the Toy Story theme too! So we dressed like our minis. Both of our Toy Story Shirts (technically mine is a dress) are from Hot Topic.
 My little sister and I finally got a decent picture together, I was surprised!
 Most of the pictures we ever take end up looking like some variation of this:
 "To infinity & beyond!"

 Gabriel never really liked piñatas. Most years he would barely tap it twice and then pass on the stick to someone else. I expected Damian to not pay much attention to them either or cry when they would hit his piñata but he surprised us all!

 He ended up crying anytime you tried to take the stick away from him because he wanted to keep hitting the piñata. We eventually got another stick so the rest of the kids could hit the piñata.

After the piñata we handed out goody bags which I made to look like the little three eyed green aliens and were filled with candies, a toy story pez dispenser, toy story temporary tattoos, a sheriff's badge and a hershey bar that I customized using photoshop and putting the boy's picture on it and their names


It was time for cake after all the kids got their goody bags. We attempted to get a good family pictures but this was as good as it got. Such is life.

 Someone is very ready for cake...takes after his momma!
 Gabriel was very excited to open presents, Damian wasn't too interested so Gabriel open both his and Damian's. Gabriel got tons of Legos (yay! Have you guys ever stepped on those? OUCH!), Damian got lots of cars and they both got some clothes as well.

 Chuy's parents and sister spoiled Gabriel this year and got him an Ipad mini. He was beyond excited with that gift, can't say I blame him! I wish I got an ipad for my birthday!

We had a great time and more importantly, Gabriel and Damian did too. Gabriel is already planning his and Damian's birthday party for next year. He loves sharing his special day with his family and his friends and I love making the kid happy.