Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Emma's Woodland Party

Planning for Emma's 4th Birthday party actually began when we were at a friend's baby shower.  The theme was woodland/forest and I was looking at all the cute decorations and thought this would be perfect for Emma's birthday. So I approached the host, we made a deal for me to purchase the decorations and I began pinning party ideas that were related to children's woodland birthday parties.

First up - party invitations.  Can't believe I have not figured this out earlier...invitations on Etsy!  So glad the host of the baby shower mentioned it to me. You pick the one you like, place your order, they e-mail you the digital copy, and you print at home.  All for a very reasonable price.  Here was Emma's by Printable Candee Designs.
I think I could write a whole other blog post on the discussions around the "invite list".  This was our first birthday party with Emma's friends from school.  Every time we sat down to compile our list Emma wanted to invite everyone plus we had our neighborhood and daycare friends.  But my sister reminded me many times during this process "it's her 4th birthday, not her wedding!".   So we got the list narrowed down and the invites went out.

Next came the decorations.  I was more than excited to be reusing decorations from the baby shower including the banner that I just put new letters on.

These were cute little stickers I found on sale at Michael's.  Emma and I picked pine cones in the backyard and I used them as place markers at the lunch table.  

For Dustin's First Birthday Party I had planned some children's games for the older kids in attendance.  They were somewhat of a disaster so I was a little nervous to plan some for Emma's party.  I'm certain the kids would have been happier to spend time on our play structure but I organized everybody (including some parents who were very good sports!) to go on a nature walk.  Emma kept saying her favorite part was the nature walk so I hope the kids enjoyed it! The nature walk ended with painting bird houses and a little pin the eyes on the owl. 

The menu consisted of mushrooms made from mozzarella cheese and tomatoes, Snail tails (ham and cheese wraps), ants on a log (celery, PB and raisins), sticks (pretzels), pumpkins (clementines with a celery stem), grapes on a stick and rabbit food (veggies).

We'd already had two birthday cakes so this party got owl cupcakes.

And as always I struggled with the treat bags.  I wanted to keep with the theme but couldn't find everything I wanted.  I'm also aware of the fact that I need to practice what I preach thus try not to fill the bags with things that will just end up in the garbage.  So the kids received a small bag they could decorate with markers, a juice box, coupons for a free treat at Wendy's, a pencil/eraser, their painted bird house and then bird seed molds that I made using this recipe.  I found I had to add a little more bird seed than what the recipe called for and I greased the inside of my cookie cutter with some lard but other than that they worked perfect.
As I mentioned, my sister gave me a lot of grief (all in fun) about this being a birthday party, not a wedding.  But I get a lot of joy from planning, preparing and throwing a party and I know I must have done something right when Emma is still talking about the nature walk four days after her party.

And of course, no party would be a success without the help from my fantastic family and friends (and parents who stayed for the chaos!) - everything was covered-crafts, food, and clean-up.  Thanks for all your help and generous gifts for Emma!  We are so grateful for the love you surround us with everyday!  



  1. Looks like it was a great party and I am sure the children invited are still talking about the nature walk. I love the theme! I am definitely going to use some of your ideas in the future. Something about your party reminded me of being in Brownies as a child... could be the owls, birdseed or the nature walk.

  2. I love you Elizabeth - you remind me of me!!! Keep it coming!!! I know where to turn if I ever need advise. :)