Monday, May 23, 2016

Caroline's Mickey Mouse 2nd Birthday Party

On May 7th Caroline turned two and we celebrated with friends and family over the most perfect afternoon of hot dogs, cake, bouncing and more. It was pretty much her dream party. Here's a recap of the best day in way too many pictures!
Before our guests arrived we took some family photos with Taylor. She knocked them out of the park and was magically able to get Caroline, Thomas and Jackson to cooperate for dozens of pictures in under 15 minutes! She even got them to wear Mickey ears! Huge success.
How cute is this birthday girl in her smocked Minnie Mouse dress?
My good friend Sara made these adorable Mickey shirts for Thomas and Jackson.
 Time for the party to begin!
We had just over 50 guests attend the party, half of which were kiddos! Thankfully the weather was perfect and we were able to host the party in the backyard. 
Mimi and Grandad surprised Caroline on the morning of her birthday with a bouncey house! I've never seen this girl so dang excited. She's been in a few of these recently so before the house even finished inflating she had already kicked her shoes off and spent the entire party bouncing around with friends.
We also filled Caroline's pool with 6 bags of sand for the kids to dig around in.
Last year the biggest hit of the party was the water table so we made sure to have that out, erghhhh, next to the sand box....
By the end of the party we had a mud pit in the pool and in the table! ha! We totally saw that coming though and loved watching the kids have a blast with it.
For lunch we set up a hot dog bar. This was probably one of the best food buffets I've ever done because it required very little work to put together and I could leave it unattended the entire party! So once the party started I didn't have to worry about replenishing or reheating any items.
I owe a huuuuuge thank you to my friend Kristen for giving me the Hot Diggity Dog sign, all the hot dog bar recipe signs, some fun pom poms and a few other things which made our buffet such a hit!
The Hot Dog Bar cast of characters:
  • Hot Dogs & Buns: The morning of the party I slow cooked 60 hotdogs in a crockpot on low for 4 hours (by themselves, no water added) and dumped them into disposable warming trays right before guests arrived. So easy. 
  • Baked Beans: I poured these in another disposable warming tray and let them slowly warm in the oven for about an hour before the party. Again, so easy.
  • Chips
  • Dill pickles
  • Cole Slaw
  • Condiments: ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, relish
  • Toppings: lettuce, onion, tomato, bacon, cheddar cheese, peppers, chili
  • Serve ware: Red, yellow & black napkins, red & yellow plates, red & yellow forks
I also had a few snacks available for the kiddos: cheerios, animal crackers, pretzels and Mickey shaped cheese!
And for drinks we served milk and juice boxes for the littles and mimosas, beer and rose for the adults!
I was so unbelievably impressed with the $17 cake that Harris Teeter made for Caroline!
We have ordered their round white cake with raspberry filling many times before and it's always such a huge hit. They really do make the most incredible tasting cakes! And they nailed the design too!
Caroline of course made sure to run her fingers all over the cake before passing out slices to her friends.
Caroline's best friend from school was also by her side the entire time. These two are so dang cute together and share birthdays one month apart. Here they are just chatting over cake together like best buds. Gah, I have loved watching this friendship grow!
Once all of the kiddos were loaded up on sugar it was time for more bouncing, sliding and belly button flashing!
I am still in disbelief that this picture actually happened...
I have to admit, not being stuck in the kitchen replenishing food items or being attached to my camera trying to capture every moment made all the difference for me. This year I actually mingled with guests, played with my kids, drank a few mimosas and enjoyed the party. I am so thankful Taylor took the photography off my hands so I could focus on what really mattered and what I want Caroline to remember...
All of Caroline's friends took home Minnie Mouse cookies as a party favor.
 And that's a wrap! 
Well, actually, let me leave you with one last moment of icing kisses goodness...
Party Sources
Photography: Taylor Stading Photography
Caroline's Smocked Minnie Mouse Dress: Smocked Candy Etsy Shop
Thomas & Jackson's Mickey shirts: Facebook // Blog // Email
Mickey Mouse Welcome/Goodbye Signs: Free Pinterest Download
Little Tikes Jump n' Slide Bouncer: Amazon
Fisher Price Spiralin' Seas Water Table: Amazon
Disposable Pop Up Sterno Warming Food Trays: Amazon
Disposable Red & Yellow Napkins, Plates and Utensils: Walmart
Minnie Mouse Cake: Harris Teeter
Mickey & Minnie Cookie Favors: Delicate Delites

Blogging tips