Part Two — The Food. Ha! What a lie that is! If you’ve followed this blog for awhile, then you’re well aware that the whole food part of parties is totally not my forte! Thank goodness I know how to use a phone and call for pizza! So while, this is technically the “food” post for this party, we’re starting with the showstopper… The Pickle Truck Cake!Ever since I spotted their work at the Olivia party last summer, I have used and abused the insanely talented Alicia and Sarah of The Crimson Cake. I highly suggest that you do the same if you’re a Southern Californian. It seems there is nothing they can’t do! Their reaction to “Can you please whip me up a pickle truck cake?” was “Oh my gosh! We LOVE Richard Scarry! We wish the cake was bigger so we could do more characters!” These are girls who are so passionate about their work and it truly comes through in the quality.Of course since Wiley is so obsessed with pickle trucks, our choice was obvious when it came to the cake. It was adorable. Now, please note, the (highly deformed) cake pops were NOT made professionally. (Hello, Captain Obvious!) I thought I’d give them a spin myself and once again it just goes to prove that we should leave the hard stuff to the pros. For me, these were the PITAs* of the party. But usually the PITA is always food related for me. I just don’t enjoy it. I call them UFO pops. What’s up with that ring? Who knows! But at least it was a “Things That Go” party. UFOs fit right in! The photo above were the good looking ones. But most of them legitimately looked like this. I’m sooooooo good at this stuff. Such a beautiful piece of art.Thankfully when grouped all together, it was hard to see how bad they really looked individually. Plus, shouldn’t every cake pop have a little character?I certainly did not get my mom’s skill when it comes to making pretty things to eat. Crafty Jan whipped up these adorable “things that go” cookies! Now, she should actually go into business!Oreo wheeled cars!Wiley Mack trucks!Big honking buses! And airplanes and helicopters too! She blows my mind! Oh – so that was the dessert… did we actually eat? Yep – but I totally phoned it in. Literally! I ordered 12 large pizzas (they all went!), made pasta salad a raspberry-blue cheese green salad and called it a day. Costco veggie trays rounded out the selection and I’m pretty sure everyone’s tummies were just as happy as they would have been had I slaved away in the kitchen for days. I guess my advice is pick what you’re good at and fake the rest. Hee hee!We had tons of beer, wine, juice boxes, and water bottles. I used the same “Golden Book” pattern on the water bottles as I did on the favors.And life was good for the birthday boy who had about 10 cake pops and was seriously OBSESSED with his pickle truck cake. Part 3 tomorrow! Photobooth time! See you then!
Part One — The Decorations. I honestly, truly thought that for this party I was going to keep things simple, but the truth is that Simple & I aren’t good bed buddies. What we got instead was a full-on explosion of street signs, book pennants, box buildings, and vinyl roads. My brain just wouldn’t quiet down and I knew that if I didn’t “just do it” I would be bummed. So, here goes. Here’s a big fat “Cars & Trucks & Things That Go” KABOOM blast for you.Come on in and let’s get motoring. I mentioned before that I used the pages from about 5 books for this party which left me with the covers. I hung one book shell on the door as a welcome sign but covered Richard Scarry’s name with Wiley’s. Not sure if anyone even noticed that but I’ve realized that so many of these details are things that I do just because it makes me happy even if no one sees. Oh the things I spend my time on.Upon entering, guests were greeted with a license plate wall (more on that later in the week)……a pickle truck made from a box (Wiley’s favorite car in the book), and a vinyl ‘road’ leading you down the hallway and to the party.I bought an irregular 25 yard roll of vinyl on sale from US Cutter and added yellow duct tape to make a proper road. (I am selling it right now in my Etsy shop. *UPDATE* The road has been sold!) It turned out super rad, though I have to admit I totally felt like Dexter while preparing this thing. There’s something a little creepy about essentially tarping your living room. But once the yellow lines were in I felt better about the whole thing.We took all the furniture out of our living room so we could make a circular road for the kids to play on. We got out all of our big trucks, set up street signs, got our box city up and let the kids go bananas.The box city was based on buildings in the Richard Scarry Puzzletown toy that my brother, sister, and I grew up playing with. The real toy “town” decorated the tables. It’s truly the most creative toy ever that even though my parents still have the one we grew up with, we actually scoured eBay last year for all the packs to give my older son as his 3rd birthday gift. They love it just as much as I did.But back to the box buildings. I wanted to stay true to Scarry’s line-drawn style and since I’m not a perfectionist anyway, I kept things super loose by hand drawing the details and purposely not paying attention to keeping things super straight.Town Hall was in one corner……the barn in the other. (My mom made the barn sign which is why it looks better than everything else!) I used makedo bits to make working hinges on the doors. Pretty cool gear for box cities and box cars if you ask me!Using book pages (many of which were drawn on by previous owners and/or upside down… again – I’m no perfectionist!) and seam-binding, I sewed about what seemed like 20 miles worth of pennant banners and strung them throughout the house. (I am also selling these right here in my Etsy shop.) They tied the book into the party a little more and were so bright and colorful they just made me happy.Can you see some of the black sharpie on these pages? I’m glad that these essentially “ruined” books got another shot at life. (If you buy these, please note that they are NOT perfect but they look great all strung up together! Just want to manage expectations here!)I also used book pages to make the birthday boy’s banner. I just printed directly onto the page, cut it out, and sewed it up. This technique was also used for “the loo,” the bag room……and above the food table.Speaking of the loo……Goldbug (who is a big fixture in the book) turned up in there to say “Hi!” My mom had a license plate purse that we turned into a towel holder. Don’t neglect the bathroom, peeps! Now that I mention Goldbug, he seemed to turn up just about everywhere at the party! In the book, he is hidden on every page and my boys know exactly where he is on each one. Using that philosophy, I hid him all over the house. First he hid by the baseboards.Next, he turned up on a mirror.Then he hid behind the Yield sign on the mantle.And finally he popped his cute little face through the window in Town Hall.
Funny little bug. The mantle was decked out with a Dip sign (that my husband stole for me in high school because for some reason that’s what I wanted for Valentine’s Day. See? Even then I was off my rocker.) and a Yield sign that I think someone gave to me at some point because we just found it in our garage when I fished out the Dip sign. The license plates are part of a larger collection that I will explain later this week. I got a Lowly Worm piñata from Birthday Express and used it as mantle decor instead of hanging it. (More on this later in the week as well.) We also found a Lowly Worm stuffed animal that was on sale around Christmas so I snagged him up. My mom made ALL of the cool rosette things you’ve seen throughout the party. I love her perfect touches. We moved our couch and coffee table outside for the younger kids to play on and it worked out perfectly. We also set up the ‘town’ on the table outside so kids could gobble up their pizza while playing. And luckily for us, it didn’t rain – though it did the next morning! The party gods had my back that day!For favors, we sent each kiddo home with 10 personalized bookplates.I bought these cool business card sized clear boxes from Clear Bags. They were just what I had envisioned and I love when what’s in your mind actually was in someone else’s mind at one point too. Thank you Clear Bags! My mom has this fabulous display dealio that we’ve used for everything from cake pops to glitter animals and it was 100% perfect for displaying these. These bookplates were printed on label paper so that they can be placed into the inside cover of books, so the back of the label was not pretty. Therefore, I put a little thank you note from Wiley in on the opposite side of the labels so it would be cute from all angles.The yellow pattern is supposed to mimic the “Golden Book” spine of the book itself. I’m not sure if the kids were excited about these favors or not – I’m sure they were a little underwhelmed and would have probably preferred a bag full of candy and a plastic yo-yo (I know I would have as a kid!) However, I know now that I’m a mom how much funky little junk can kids accumulate from God knows where so I didn’t want to add to the junk piles in anyone else’s house. If one person actually used these, I will feel pretty good about it.I printed on a page of the book again to make a pennant flag. “Find yours!” Now get out of here! More posts to come on food, games, and the photobooth set-up the rest of this week! I hope you’ll keep coming back for more! Have the best day.
You’re invited! I’m sure most everyone reading this blog grew up with Richard Scarry books. I know I did. But I had no idea how seriously OBSESSED boys can be with Scarry’s “Cars and Trucks and Things That Go” book until I had my rugrats. (If you have a boy and you don’t yet have this book, seriously go out right now, spend the $9 and get it!) My husband apparently would ONLY read this book with his mom each night as a kid so I guess it’s in the genes, but both of my sons are seriously beyond the point of obsession and are quite possibly addicted to this book. It’s seriously awesome.My littlest guy is the most obsessed one in the bunch so there was no other theme choice when planning his birthday party. He literally talks about ‘pickle trucks’ at least 14 times a day. I know that Richard Scarry is having a bit of a resurgence – there’s “Busytown Mysteries” on TV and games all over the place lately – but I really wanted to keep the focus on this book specifically since it’s my wee one’s first love. I scanned in the both the front and back of the book itself and altered the wording, keeping the font choice the same as the book. Simple as that.On the back of the book where there is normally a blurb about Richard Scarry, I chose to explain the reason we threw our little man this party.I changed the bar code to his initials WSL and his birthday 01.20.10. I’m such a dork at heart.I bought about 5 used “Cars & Trucks…” books online for pennies and cut them up to use as envelopes (as well as throughout the party which you’ll see more of this week.) Every invitee had a different page wrapped around their invite. And that’s that!
So… you’re invited to come check out this party this week! Hop in that pencil car of yours and come on along!
Well, first of all, Happy New Year! Apologies for being so missing in action but the party season is just kicking off so I’m sure you’ll be seeing many more posts from me in the coming months. I’ve also been a little bit of a hibernating bear because <yahoo!> we’re expecting our third little wee one this July. For me, that means I become a pale, sick, sleepy zombie with fro-y hair and lifeless eyes, especially during the early months. It’s not pretty. But somehow I mustered the energy (and got out the hair straightener) to get my little guy’s second birthday party together. Yay to that! I declare next week “Cars & Trucks & Things That Go!” week! Get ready for a fun ride!