Jasper’s Second Birthday Backyard Bonanza!

OK, so that’s the video highlight reel, here are all the details: In general, the colors were kraft paper brown with blue highlights because blue is Japer’s favorite color! There were other touches of red like in the red bandana napkins and red checkered table cloths.

The invitations..

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Sunflowers were a great decoration, $7.99 a bunch at the supermarket, stuck in a water pot:

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I designed a wanted poster and had two 16x20s printed at costco for $6 each. We put one on the front door and one out back above the drinks. The cow skull decoration was from Party city. You can also see the cow print balloons we ordered from shindigz, I tied them with natural color raffia as well as a teal ribbon.

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The birthday banner was incredibly easy to make, much easier than last year’s. I just bought 8x5x11 cardstock in a color called “paper bag” from the craft store. I printed directly on it (no cutting, yay!) and then attached them to hemp twine with clothes pins. Easy Peasy.

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The table was decorated with mason Jars full of peanuts:

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I used design elements from the invitations to print out fun little labels for some of the snacks, including Trail mix as pictured here, “BBQ Spuds” for the BBQ potato chips, “wagon wheels” for the round pretzels and “kettle corn” for the popcorn.  I just cut out the rectangle and then used a glue stick to attach them to a larger rectangle that I cut out of some Amy Butler scrapbooking  paper I bought ages ago and never found the use for until now!

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This was a big glass jar of iced tea and lemonade:

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The party favor bags were from Oriental trading. They came with the boot bags AND the goodies to go inside for $4 each. I added in a blue bandana for boys and a pink one for girls and the sheriff’s badges  so I could put each child’s name on it to personalize the bags:

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The cake was the same recipe from Last year (thanks again to Kimberly!) but thank god this year I learned to delegate and had my mom bake the cake and make the icing.   I still had to assemble and frost the cake and make the marshmallow fondant shapes.  I was SO glad I posted the recipe and Kimberly’s tips on my blog last year because I referred back to them OFTEN. The black fondant was a PITA because it took like half the bottle of Wilton’s coloring to get it black, and even then it didn’t look so black:

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It looked better from far away and with a cowboy carrying it :)

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I’m including this shot because you can see how the red, blue and kraft brown colors work together with the napkins and plates and table cloth:

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At the last minute I had a panic that even doing the double recipe that the cake was too small to feed 40 people, so we also bought giant cupcakes from costco that I made these cupcake toppers for:

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I say “made” rather than “used” because I had my friend Jen help me finish these just before the party and then of course I totally forgot to use them :( This shot was staged for the sake of the blog! The J*J is for “Jasper Jack.”

OK, now on to the fun & games!

We used Jasper’s rocking horse and a wood wreath thing that I found at the dollar store to play “coral the horsie” where the kids had to toss the hoop around the horses neck. I don’t have a picture of the game, but here is Jasper and Daphne enjoying the horsie:

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I WANTED to do a “shoot out” game with water pistols where you would line two kids up and see who could squirt a plastic cup off the ledge first, but the kids were enjoying themselves so much just running around I sort of gave up on doing organized games altogether.  I couldn’t even FIND water gun pistols anywhere, only these spaceship looking ones that the kids enjoyed playing with:

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I also had a hot potato like game with a plastic snake lined up, but again we sort of just let things happen. I’m posting about it here just in case anyone was looking for cute cowboy game ideas!

Now, onto the photo fun..

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This was a cheap plastic banner from Shindigz that we couldn’t figure out where to hang so that the opening would be accessible. Then I realized Jasper’s playhouse was a great spot because it has a low doorway!

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Here is a pullback. You can also see the prop table for the “photobooth”  which I am about to explain…

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PHOTOBOOTH:

I used my 53″ savage sky blue seamless and my backdrop stands and put them on the side of the deck. Out of the way, but still part of the party.  I put out a table with props including cowboy hats of course, a red feather boa I bought at party city, a Melissa & Doug cowboy guitar I bought a while back at HomeGoods and these adorable props from Maro Designs.

As I would mingle and greet everyone, I would eventually ask them to step over to the photobooth to get a picture.. which is why it was nice that it was close by. Here is a pull back that shows the area I had it setup in, you can see the setup on the left:

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And here are some of the pictures:

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There are soooo many more, here is a link to the full photobooth set on flickr. I love them all! I ordered 4×6 “proof prints” with black borders that only cost .25 each and I will include the prints with the thank you cards.   I will also make a little album for Jasper to remember everyone who came to celebrate his second birthday party with him!

Whew! I think I covered everything.. let me know if you have any questions.  Oh, one last thing, ordering Pizza instead of cooking or doing BBQ for everyone like last year was the BEST decision we could have made. I was able to enjoy this party so much more than last year where I was stressed beyond belief.. we also got incredibly lucky with the weather, all in all it was an amazing day and I thank everyone who helped make it happen. My mom for baking the cake, my cousin Ryan for helping out with the decorations and party games and Jen for her expert cupcake topper making skills.

The only downside to having the perfect party is how to top it next year? :)

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Lindsay says:

Love your blog… I just happened to stumble across it last night! I am totally doing this party theme for my little cowgirl!!

Bridgette says:

ah, thanks lovely!

Have a great weekend and hang in there (from your last post)….and remember nobody can do it all!

Bridgette says:

Can I ask where you got the props for the photos (glasses, lips, stache, etc). I’ve been looking for something like those.

THANKS!

Leah says:

i’m speechless! this looks like the cutest little party evah! and i love all the photos.

ariana says:

Juliana, no photos with mommy (except blowing out the birthday candles!) because as you said, I’m always the one taking the pictures :(

Kristen, I usually shoot one test shot while everyone is putting on their props and check my histogram and make adjustments.. so yes, I changed for each group of people if any amount of time had passed since the last group.

Kristen says:

Love, love, love everything. I think we’re doing the no party thing this year, instead a family trip to Yosemite as a break, but next year, I may steal this! It’s too cute to be able to think of anything cuter!

Quick question, I checked the flickr set, but the stats weren’t there. Do you know settings for the photobooth? Did you have to keep changing settings or were you able to stay about the same for everyone? That set is priceless for Jasper to look at for years to come :)

Juliana says:

Just saw the post and loved the party theme. But I couldn’t find a picture of you and Jasper!! Will he be like my kids who have photos with everybody else, exept me who is always behind the camera, hehehehe.

Sarah says:

All of the details are absolutely AMAZING! I am so impressed. Looks like a blast, too; so glad you enjoyed yourself this year. I’m trying to keep that “enjoyment” part in mind as I plan for Finn’s 2 year party…

OMG, Ariana, you outdid yourself! Love all the details.

Did you take all of the photo booth photos or did you set up a camera on a timer?

Sarah says:

I love every bit of it. I can’t believe how creative you were in such a short amount of time. Love the idea for the cake–simple but so cute!

wanderluster says:

What an incredible party! The details were incredible and so well tied together. And most importantly, it looks like everyone had FUN! Well done momma.

Melanie says:

WOW!!! Love it all!! What a fun party! :-)

Cathy Mahoney says:

wow, like I posted on facebook I am amazed!I can not stop looking at the pics and beeing fascinated by the ideas and how things are done! when do you find the time…do you ever sleep ;O) no really it looks wonderful!

Katie says:

Oh my goodness Ariana you have completely outdone yourself this time!!
Every little detail is perfect and fun and I love that Amy B got in to a cowboy themed party ;)
And so glad this party was not as stressful for you and more enjoyable than the last. Your right sometimes we need help and to delegate jobs – I keep having to remind myself this with my upcoming wedding :)
your so inspiring girl!

cristina says:

Wow! Everything looked fabulous. I was wondering if that was Circus font on the invitation and what font you used for Dead or Alive font as well.Thanks

ariana says:

Cristina, the font is called “outlaw” How appropriate :)

Nakai says:

Fantastical!! That party looked like so much fun! I love all the photos! I agree with Jeff, Chuck E Cheese next year… give yourself a break. lol :)

ariana says:

Hi Lisa,
I used Lightroom 3, though Last year I used Windows Movie Maker and it is the same sort of thing.. I LOVE not having to export all the images and leave LR, but LR doesn’t allow mixing of video and images, which I did last year..

Lisa E says:

Ariana- Simply Amazing!!! How did you make the video that you posted???

ariana says:

Thanks everyone! Last year I said chucky cheese for sure, but honestly this one was really wonderful, I would be sad not to do it again next year.

Thanks for the tips Kimberly, I actually was thinking the same thing (about chocolate!) as I was kneading, and kneading, and kneading some more!

Alexandra, trust me, it’s much better to have it here safely over the internet than in your own fridge taunting you LOL!

Alexandria says:

The party looks adorable! And that cake looks so good. Thank you for making me want frosting and chocolate.

Jacqueline says:

Impressive! What a lucky little guy!!

Kimberly says:

Ari… Amazing!!! What a beautiful party all beautifully documented (of course)!

The next time you make black fondant, I would recommend making chocolate fondant rather than white… You will use a LOT less black dye.
:-) To do that, add cocoa powder to your melted marshmallow until you get a rich, dark color, then add the powdered sugar like usual to get the texture. Hershey makes a “Special Dark” cocoa that yields a much darker chocolate color while regular cocoa will make a more milk chocolate color. :-)

HamiHarri says:

Looked like an amazing party! Good work! I also loved how you had some family/friends pitch in to make it so special for Jasper and his guests!

Loved the slideshow too!

Ava says:

Yeah, I’m with Daddy on this one :)
Take a year off!

I really wanna do something small for G next year. As Shane mentioned, ideally Disneyland. He’ll be old enough to enjoy it, my parents are close-by there (within an hour), and I’ll be planning a birthday bash for S. I’d rather not have to do two big parties in a year if I can avoid it.

Daddy says:

no topping it, next year Chucky Cheese.

Laura says:

Everything is fantastic! I love the details and I may have to steal your idea for my son’s next birthday party. :)

kari says:

ahhh-mah-zing (in my BEST rachel zoe voice)
wow!
great job on all of the details – this is one to be proud of, and for the party planning websites!!!

the photobooth pics are out of control!

i love everything about this party!

Lindsey says:

SO cute! We are doing a cowboy party for Ben’s 2nd b-day too (to celebrate his Texas roots now that we live in Oregon). Thanks for all the fabulous ideas! I LOVE the photo booth!

Wendy says:

You did a fabulous job on the party decor!! I love the “wanted” posters you did. Jasper is so cute :o)

jbhat says:

You are amazing! This is such a fantastic party idea. From the clever concept to the flawless execution of all the details, it was all just as perfect as can be. Looks like fun too. Congratulations! And as for next year, something in Jasper’s life will inspire you again. He’ll be into something or doing something that will trigger yet another right-on party theme.

xo

jbhat

Shane says:

Holy $$%^## i’m exhausted reading this! Makes me feel even more unprepared for G’s party on Sunday. As for topping it next year!!! I think we all need to ‘take a year off’ with a low key party so you can reset the expectations. Maybe not for Year 3, but maybe Year 4 — then you’ll be ready for another 2-3 year stint of amazing parties. Ava wants to do a destination party spot for either Year 3 or 4 (Disney likely).

Busted says:

What a beautiful party – looks like so much fun!

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