Weekending: Second Birthday Edition!

More birthday fun was had as it spilled into this weekend. We had a pretty large party with lots of family and lots of friends. I think at times it was a bit overwhelming for Ellie (she did NOT want to blow out candles or have people sing Happy Birthday to her) but she enjoyed her one on one times with many of her friends and family members. There were lots of smiles and busy play and presents this year took on a new, much more exciting meaning too. It was a lovely day with so many wonderful friends and family to celebrate with.
2 wreathThe “Two” wreath I made up-cycling from last year’s. Ellie is a big Sendak fan (Where The Wild Things Are, The Night Kitchen and One Was Johnny are some of her favorite books), so I felt a watercolor “Max” would be perfect.
the houseA shot of our little house decked out for the party. I printed out Ellie’s Monthly Photos from 12 months to 24 months and hung them banner style in the main room.
carouselI could not get a decent shot of the centerpiece I made (so forgive the darkness in this photo). I worked on this centerpiece for weeks to get it right. Last year, my mom made hot air balloons as the centerpiece and this year, since one of Ellie’s most favorite things is riding the carousel and another favorite book of hers is Up and Down The Merry-Go-Round, I thought I’d try to recreate a little merry-go-round for her.
horseysI bought blank wooden horses from here and sanded them till their edges were smooth and rounded, wood burned the designs on each of them and then used watercolors to paint them. Lastly, I sealed them with a non toxic sealant and rubbed them down with beeswax so give them a softer texture. I was very happy how they turned out and Ellie has been carrying them around all weekend (they aren’t attached to the carousel).
The carousel on the other hand was a lot more difficult to figure out. The base was just a round wooden blank clock piece I found at the craft store. I used an old lamp shade, cut it in half and mod-podged a whole bunch of fabric scraps to it. Then I sewed a mini tent for the top, attached that to the lamp shade and made a banner for the very top out of felt and fabric. Everything is attached to the base by a simple wooden dowel. I hot glued some straws to the wooden base and attached ribbons to each of them. Then I placed the horses in front of the straws to make it look like they were attached. It ended up a bit on the crooked side, but I think it still worked. Ellie loved it, so I guess that’s all that matters right?
the whole set upAnother angle.
mac and cheeseWe had a little mac and cheese bar for the little ones (with all of Ellie’s favorite veggies like peas and broccoli) and a make your own sandwich station outside.
ribbonsA line full of fabric scraps to brighten it up outside.
tentsWith one of last years tee pee’s making an encore appearance, we had books and balls and musical instruments and tunnels and two sensory bins to keep the kiddos busy.
cupcakesAnd Jeff worked overtime the night before, cooking 75 carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. We were all frosting, minutes before guests arrived (and no, we didn’t have 75 people. We just wanted to make sure we had seconds. This recipe was so delicious thanks Shannon)!

g parents

Unfortunately, I did not get a great picture of the birthday girl in her handmade Gramma dress.

dancingBut it was adorable on and Ellie loved the pockets and I’m so grateful I have a mom who can sew up a special birthday dress- she’s amazing!

peggiesWe sent everyone home with a little hand-painted birthday gnome.
ta daRealizing days before that we had more children coming than I had anticipated and therefore was short on gnomes, I’m thankful I am connected to an amazing online community and Claudia was able to send me out more little blank peg dolls just in time for me to finish these guys for the party.

It was a really wonderful day and I hope one that Ellie will remember, or at least enjoy seeing pictures of later on.
The rest of the weekend was a nice one. We had Nana and Papa with us (they are here for two weeks staying in the next town over). We enjoyed some time at the beach, played with new birthday toys and Ellie really enjoyed seeing the super moon and reading about the moon (a new fascination these days).
super moon date

moon books

*those lovely wooden moon toys are from here.

-joining Pumpkin Sunrise for Weekends.