A Simple Train Party

So my baby turned 2.  Which makes him not a baby anymore.  I thought that last birthday, but this time it is really true.Carter's Simple Train Party

Picking a theme for this year’s party was simple.  This boy loves his trains.  Big trains.  Little trains.  Real trains.  Toy trains.  TV trains.  Train Whistles.  Train Tracks.

You get the idea.

But we also wanted to keep the party low key.  All he cares about is having fun with his family.  He won’t remember how much time and money was spent making him an elaborate birthday cake.  Or how many people were there. So no going to Pinterest for ideas.  And repeating the mantra…keep it simple…keep it simple…keep it simple.

The invitation was a quick and easy find off Etsy.


Carter loved his and carried his own personal copy with him for several days.  While the making the proper “choo choo” sound effects.  I took that as his approval.

We reused the the fabric buntings from last year’s party.  Simple party tip-keep the color scheme the same and reuse all of your crap.  This kid is going to have a blue party until he is 15.

Carter's Simple Train Party

I appliqued a “2” on a blue t-shirt for the birthday boy.  In case any one was going to forget how old he was. I had not done applique before and it was quick and easy.

Carter's Simple Train Party

Well after I remembered to make a mirror image of the “2” I printed out.  Otherwise it will be backwards.  Not that that happened.

Instead of a cake, we ordered cupcakes from a friend.  And I constructed a train out of cardboard boxes, wrapping paper, and foam.  Much easier materials to work with than cake and fondant.

Carter's Simple Train Party

Carter's Simple Train Party

The table runner is made out of felt.  I bought a half yard of the blue from a craft store and cut it into a long strip.  Then I used three pieces of gray felt that you can buy in the squares to cut railroad ties.  A couple of strips of black later we had a railroad track.

Carter's Simple Train Party

My original intention was to make it no sew and just use heat n bond to attach it.  With the idea that I would just sew it later if he really wanted to play with it.

I had gotten to the third track with heat n bond when I decided that was a stupid idea.  Was there any doubt that Mr. Train would leave it alone?  Out came the sewing machine.  And it was a good decision considering this was the scene in our family room the day after the party.  He may have that at his parties until he is 15 as well.

Carter's Simple Train Party

In the background we played Carter’s favorite movie of all time.  Volume 2.  Like last year it was a compilation of pictures and video clips from his past year.  It took quite a long time to organize all the pics and put it together so this may not be a tradition every year.  But he was enthralled.  Even when there were presents to be opened.

Carter's Simple Train Party

And since most of the guests were grandparents or other family members that would be interested in watching a hour long Carter movie, we also had some as favors.  They at least pretended to want to watch it again.

For food, we had a pizza bar.  We made crusts ahead of time and everyone did their own toppings before we popped them on the grill. 

Carter's Simple Train Party

The strawberry basil margaritas were also a hit.

Overall I think he had a grand time with all his favorite people and a little bit of choo-choos thrown in.

Carter's Simple Train Party


Carter's Simple Train Party

Carter's Simple Train Party

Happy 2nd birthday Carterman!

Christmas Card Photos

I know I know....Thanksgiving is not even here and I am talking about holiday cards.  But we are on a quest for a reduced-stress Christmas.  Which sort of sounds like a reduced fat Christmas, but assure you that will not be the case.  Even though it is probably at the top of my thighs wish list.

Anyway that means getting stuff done early.  The majority of the gifts are bought and even the handmade ones are almost done.  Maybe I won't be sewing all night Christmas Eve.  Said the queen of procrastination.

Getting a Christmas card picture was also on the to-do list.  I had grand visions of recreating some pictures I took last year.  With a cooperative and non-moving 5 month old.

So easy and cute.

This is what we have this year with a 16 month old running toddler.

Or this.

This is the best we got so far.

 I am thinking I may have to let go of the light idea.

But not having a picture has not stopped me from trying to find a card.  Since looking at all the pretty pictures on them makes my toddler photographing skills seem very inadequate.

All of these are from Minted.com.  I love all the shapes they offer and that the designs are products of independent designers.  And every time I look on their site I find another design to love. 
Now all I need is a cooperative toddler. Or someone to send a photographer to the house.

*Minted is supplying our Christmas cards this year.  All the opinions and writing are my own and I just picked some of my favorites to share with you.  But if you happen to receive a Christmas card from us, it probably won't be one of the above as there are just so many great ones to choose from.  But it could include a crying toddler on it.  Or his mommy.

A Blue Bear Party- Part 2

Now that we have all those pesky details out of the way, we are ready for the fun part of Carter’s Blue Bear 1st Birthday Extravaganza.

And what is more fun than cake smashing?

1st birthday blue bear party

Hmmm this looks…interesting.

1st birthday blue bear party

Maybe I should eat it with my face.

1st birthday blue bear party

No, I am civilized, a spoon is the only way to go  But what crap is this mom?

1st birthday blue bear party

Maybe I will just feed it to everyone else.  I am a good host.  Anyone want some partially chewed and smashed cake?

1st birthday blue bear party

I’m one…but in a sugar stupor.

1st birthday blue bear party

I do like cake!

When we got to gifts, our lack of nap started to show.

1st birthday blue bear party Especially since his extended family spoiled him rotten so there was a whole lot of opening going on.   He got so many amazing things that we had to put half them away to be brought out in a couple of months.  Good thing the basement play area is almost up and ready for fun.  He did open this bad boy from his aunt. 

1st birthday blue bear party

And rode it around the house.  He did not have the whole turning thing down though so it was much better out in the yard. Minus the fact it was 104 degrees.

1st birthday blue bear party

Yep that is what a drought and extreme heat does to your grass even when you have sprinklers.  It was a little crunchy out there, but nothing his ATV could not handle.

We finished off the day with a taste of root beer for the first time.  I get mom of the year for that one, but look on his face when he felt the bubbles was priceless.

1st birthday blue bear party

Carter has had a great year and his party was the perfect way to celebrate it.  Happy first birthday Carterman!  Now I am going to try not to cry about no longer being able to classify this post in the “baby” category…