Without further adieu, a few details from Kaylee’s bee themed second birthday party. The first order of business was selecting a theme. After a few weeks of debate I finally settled on bees. I had originally anticipated doing Sean the Sheep or Gabba party, but both have recently taken a backseat to Curious George and I wasn’t quite ready to celebrate that love affair quite yet. So I toured the Internet looking for inspiration and stumbled on this beauty of a cake at Zoe Bakes:
Isn’t that just the cutest thing ever? When I saw it I just knew I had to do a bee party so I’d have an excuse to make those adorable fondant bees (my attempt to replicate it turned into a miserable failure – details later) Luckily, Kaylee has a thing for yellow and points out every bug-type-thing she sees by shouting “it’s a bee”, or pointing and stating “ook a bee.” So yellow and white and bees it was.
We kept it really small this year out of respect for Kaylee’s newly found shy phase. I only needed a few invitations, but I still wanted to do something special for her. I searched high and low and finally ended up just making my own in Publisher (based on an inspiration I found on Etsy). I printed them up on card stock and bought some envelopes from Amazon that fit perfectly.
I wanted to keep the decorations relatively simple this time too. I made a banner,
a flower wreath “K” (no pics – tutorial here), and some doily streamers. The finishing touch was 72 balloons, blown up by PaPa (with the air compressor), and strewn about the house. The kids had fun kicking, throwing, sitting on (and occasionally popping) them.
I drug out the mason jars out again, this time wrapped in doilies and twine (inspiration). The little flowers were on clearance in the scrap book section at Michael’s. I used the jars to hold utensils and flowers.
I also made some bee headbands based on this inspiration piece (I left off the fuzz because we were having a co-ed party and it seemed pretty girly). These were included in the goodie baskets and a few extra were left out for the adults.
We scheduled around Kaylee’s nap time, although she didn’t take a nap that day, and ended up with a lunch-time affair. Food became the focus of the party and required the most planning.
I tend to think I have more spare time than I do, and as usual, I had grand schemes when it came to the menu. Eventually reality set in as the party date neared and I ended up significantly narrowing my to-do list down to items that were either super simple, could be made ahead, or both. Enter watermelon on a stick (the family kitchen),
Tomato Basil Mozzarella Salad (Savory Sweet Life), Bee shaped PB&J sandwiches for the kids (use bee cookie cutter and Pepridge Farm thin sandwich bread), Fruit Salsa with Baked Cinnamon Chips (To-Die-For! from The Girl Who Ate Everything), super-smart individual veggie cups with dip (from Spearmint Baby),
Peanut Butter Bumble Bees (from Kraft Foods) – tip: don’t use natural peanut butter or your bees will be flat,
honey & cheese pairings with crackers (inspired by Hostess with the Mostess & Martha Stewart), and dipped Pirouette cookies (inspired by Kaylee Eylander photography/Jenny Cookie),
rock candy on sticks (Card & Party Store), Lemonade (Simply Lemonade with lemon slices), and Arnold Palmer (Tea & Lemonade) for the drinks.
That brings us to the cake…oh that lovely cake. Have I mentioned I’m terrible with cake? Something always goes wrong. Icing is not my friend. And, yet, I find myself inexplicably drawn to it. Fooling myself into thinking this time will be different. It never is…I decided to ‘make it mine’ by turning the original idea into individual mini cakes. I bought two Wilton Mini Wonder cake pans that roughly resembled bee-hives to help with the process. Two nights before the party I gave it a go. The bees were fairly easy to do and came together pretty quickly. I was confident I could make up a bunch with little trouble. I used a Betty Crocker mix and the cakes came out of the oven fine. They stayed moist even after they cooled though, and I think this may have contributed to my biggest issue; the icing kept sliding off no matter what I tried. After my third time scraping it off and putting it back on, I had half a tub left and zero patience. I managed to get the first one all cleaned up again and tossed it in the fridge before dragging myself off to bed, accepting my defeat. I knew there was no way I was going to be able to make 16 cakes, even if I stayed up all night to do it. So, I settled on trying to salvage one special smash cake for all the effort, and called it a night.
When I opened the fridge to check on it in the morning the icing had slid off once again. I’m sure this was the universes way of telling me I should just stop with the whole cake baking thing… But, undeterred, I started over with one of the uniced cakes and cold frosting, tucking it quickly back into the fridge when I finished in the hopes, by some miracle, it could make it a couple of hours. The last try worked, and no one was the wiser.
Much to my surprise, Scott stopped off at a local bakery and ordered a cake the day before the party. He left to pick it up early that morning and the day was saved.
It ended up being a very good thing that it was a small gathering since it was a blazing hot day and the party ended up staying inside. We had just enough room for people to sit and move around without feeling crowded.
We gave Kaylee a Step 2 water table, Little Tykes piggy bank, and her very own watering can (she loves to help water the strawberries).
Kaylee had so much fun playing with the kids that I only caught a few glimpses of her the entire time. She spent most of the day running here and there and everywhere, a blur of curls and giggles. It was a perfect little day.
I purchased my various supplies on Amazon and from the local Card & Party Outlet.
You can view my Pinterest Board of Party Ideas here
I shot a lot of pictures while I was working on various projects and hope to have some time to share them eventually too.
Special thanks to my MIL for all the help getting things ready to go on bee-day and to my SIL for taking some pics while I was distracted with other things