Saturday, August 10, 2013

A very orange birthday

Two days ago, Sophie turned four. I know. How did that happen? One minute she was a screaming, yelling peanut of a 5-pound-12-ouncer, and now she's a talking, walking, sassypants of a 4-year-old. Who isn't afraid to tell you exactly what kind of birthday party she wants, no less. "A Lorax party," she unceremoniously announced 3 weeks ago, and so it was to be (even though we were in the midst of Jude not being around, me having a busy season at work, and the on-going renovations of our flat).

In retrospect though, I did have fun thinking of all the different ways to incorporate the Lorax story into her party-- designing the invites were easy since there are tons of templates for Lorax party invitations online. As for treats, it's as if the story was designed with a kid's party in mind-- Humming Fish (goldfish crackers), Brown Barbaloots (teddy grahams and marshmallows-- a concession to the movie adaptation), Truffula fruits (grapes), and Truffula seeds (jellybeans). We also served some chicken nuggets and homemade popcorn as per the birthday girl's request.

Two things I was particularly excited about was the party favours and Sophie's birthday cake. Since we were already laying out treats for everyone (plus a piñata stuffed with candy), I didn't want to pack more goody bags; instead, we prepared little glass cups with four pinto beans on damp cotton balls for the kids to grow their own bean sprouts. It was Jude's idea actually and I thought it was brilliant. It's a novel favour that'll help the kids learn something about plant life and it's totally in sync with the theme of the Lorax story as well!

Pinto beans birthday favours (as Truffula seeds)
"The last of the Truffula seeds..." 

As for her birthday cake, it was the perfect place to bring in Sophie's favourite part of the story-- the Truffula trees. Sophie's still dairy-allergic so I was going to have to bake her vegan cupcakes anyway. So I ordered a regular chocolate cake for everyone else (from an old favourite, of course...) and made a batch of vegan chocolate cupcakes for Truffula trees. I frosted them with green sugar crystals (for "grickle grass"), stuck in striped straws, and topped each straw with a tuft of cotton candy. Voilà! Truffula trees!

Truffula tree cupcakes
Truffula forest

All in all, I think everyone had a good time, especially Miss Sophie-- she got balloons, glitter tattoos (four, to be exact...), hugs galore, a candy-filled piñata, all the treats she wanted to eat, and free-flow of undiluted Ribena :) We didn't get to throw her a proper birthday celebration last year because my grand-dad had just passed away-- and she really didn't know any better then-- so it was nice to finally do something with her surrounded by family, friends, and neighbours. Her parents were thoroughly exhausted by the end of the night but seeing that happy and satisfied glow on her face after was worth all the cupcake-baking, paper-cutting, and stencil-making that went into making her Lorax party a reality :)

[click for more photos]

1. Girl with balloons, 2. Teddy graham and marshmallow "Brown Barbaloots", 3. Gong Gong gets in on it too!, 4. Yiyi love!, 5. Jubee the Lorax/ Gnome ;), 6. Hovering around the snack table with Ely, 7. Happy birthday, sweet sweet love!, 8. The closest we got to a family shot, 9. With Debbie, the amazing glitter tattoo lady

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