Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Owl Invasion & A Birthday Party

Last weekend was Calah's birthday party and we decided to have it at our dollhouse house and hoped the rain would hold off so we could be outside since there was no way to fit 30 people comfortably in our cracker jack box house.  

The plan:
1. I asked Hubs to build this cool kids' car wash I found on Pinterest (similar) out of PVC pipe, pool noodles and sponges.

2. I had printed off coloring pages and planned for the kids to make owls out of felt.  I cut out the shapes beforehand.   That was no easy feat, BTW.  My fingers were actually pretty numb for about 24 hours from all the felt cutting.

3. I wanted to make an owl cake.  I've never made anything like this so I looked around on Pinterest for ideas. (similar)  I planned to make Calah's cake out of bananas and applesauce so she didn't ingest all the sugar in the regular cake.  We like to give other people's children sugar and send them home :)

4. Sherbet and Sprite punch with food-coloring dyed orange slices for a colorful look.

5. Hors d'oeuvres and cake/ice cream bar.

6.  Calah would open her presents after cake.

What actually happened:

1.  Hubs made the car wash and the kids loved it!  They had a ton of fun and we have a newly-formed mud pit in our yard.  :)  Totally worth it though.  We have had a lot of cooler, rainy days here lately but I'm hoping we'll get to use it again soon.

2.  Between the car wash and moving the party back and forth because of the rain, I totally forgot about the coloring pages and the felt owls.  The kids seemed to really enjoy themselves outside and in the play room though, so I figured we could save those for later.  The boys were coloring them on Tuesday when I went home at lunchtime and we made some felt owls at home last night:

Benji's owl - he's flying!

Jo's owl - he has two sets of eyes; one blue set, one red set
3.  I made the owl cake but realized I didn't have the right size bowls to make it like the picture on the blog I found.  But, I took a stab at it anyway.  I used two boxes of Betty Crocker Yellow Cake mix with pudding and chocolate butter cream frosting for the body.  The instructions said to grease and flour the stainless steel mixing bowls and I did but Hubs came in and suggested that the bowls I was using may not be oven safe so I changed the plan to the corning ware dishes because that was the only bowl/pan I had for the shape I wanted.  BUT, I forgot to grease and flour it before pouring the batter in because I was in a hurry and so when the cake came out of the oven, it broke in half.  :(

I baked the two bottom pieces in a corningware dish

Then I leveled both of them - here's where you can see the bottom piece that fell apart.

Close up of the body with one part frosted

Here's what it looked like before I smoothed it out

This was the final product until I realized Hubs told me the eyes are too small
THIS was the final, final product: 

I used yellow frosting for the belly and the ears, red icing to draw on the nose and little hairs on top of its head, one Oreo cookie and two chocolate chips for the eyes.  These were "glued" on by some of the chocolate frosting.  I built the ears with smaller pieces of the leftover cake tops and supported them by inserting lollipop sticks (I didn't have toothpicks, but this probably would've worked, too).
All in all, it turned out well and everyone said the cake tasted great, too.  Success!

4.  The punch turned out great but I never did get the oranges thawed in time and the punch was pretty clouded with the sherbet foam so I don't think anyone would've seen my green and blue orange slices anyway.  The pin really doesn't give detailed instruction, so I might have to try it again a little differently next time.

5. I made meatballs in the crock pot and toasted ravioli in the oven with some Italian seasoning.  I liked them but Hubs said they turned out a little rubbery.  I wonder if that's the reason the bag didn't include oven cooking instructions...  "Uncle Dave" made some double baked potatoes that were dressed nicely ;-) and then we had fruit and chips and Oreos (yes, I bought a whole package for ONE cookie to use on the cake).  I bought candy for the ice cream and I think the kids had fun with that although I have a ton of leftovers now. #notgreatformydietplan

6.  We sang happy birthday and gave her the smash cake.  She did pretty well and by that, I mean she didn't cry or throw the cake on the floor, lol.   She dug into it and made a nice little birthday mess.  I didn't get any great shots of her, though.  About five minutes after we sang, she was still trying to eat the cake but about to pass out at the same time! 
After a few minutes of us laughing at her, grandpa was merciful and cleaned her up so I could put her in bed.


She fell asleep right away and woke up about 20 minutes after everyone had left.  So, we tried to get her to open presents but she was not interested at all.  I LOVED all the cute dresses she got and have been putting them on her any chance I get this week. 
It was a really fun and exhausting day.  The rest of the weekend was mostly just chill time with the family which was totally needed.
Thank you to everyone for loving on our baby girl this weekend and this past year.  We love you guys and are glad to call you family and friends!

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