Ethan’s 2nd Birthday Party!! – The Planning Coming Together

 First off, I cannot believe my baby will be 2 on Tuesday!! It just doesn’t seem possible! And second, I am going to do a separate post filled with tons of photos of the happy day (I have to wait for some from Grandma Ann)! This post is just to showcase the decorations and all of the fun planning ideas I had put into play. Starting with the dessert/favor table below!

I wanted to use some of the photos I took of E for his 2 year photos (more to come in a separate post) so I just printed out a few 4x6s (actually I printed about 185 photos all from his second year of life!) to showcase under his birthday sign. I used double sided sticky tape and put them on the ribbon to add a bit more color. You can see the cookie favors, the cupcakes and the cake pop favors. More about all of these later.

I found an adorable balloon wreath tutorial over on How Does She. I thought this would be a great decoration to start the party off right since every guest had to pass by the door to get to the party. But looking back I wonder if many realized that it was there since our door was wide open for most of the party so people could come in and out as they pleased.

But the wreath was super simple to make and I can now reuse it every year for the kids parties so it was worth it. I can even change out the balloons for different colors if needed. And I love the sign that Adrienne made to fill the hole in the middle of the wreath. It tied everything else in perfectly.

I saw some cute Elmo and Cookie Monster cupcakes all over the internet so I decided to ask Melissa over at Le Petit Kupkak if she could recreate them for me. She also did E’s cupcakes for his first birthday too. And she did an amazing job again! Not only did the cupcakes taste amazing, they were so fun. Everyone raved about them as they were grabbing a second 🙂

Cupcakes are just perfect for kids parties. No need for plates and forks and they’re somewhat mess-free. Unless your kid is like mine and likes to eat their cupcake with no hands. Ya know, just goes right in head first? At least it gave us some fun pictures!

In keeping with the Cookie Monster theme I made 120 chocolate  chip cookies to give away as favors to all of the guests (including the adults!). I really wanted to put some sort of note on the cookies so I started looking into favor tag designs. I wanted something very simple and basic and finally decided on a simple picture of Cookie Monster and Elmo with a nice Thank You on the back of the tags as a way of showing our thanks for those who came to the party. I used a 1/8″ punch to make the hole for the ribbon.

From the reactions we received from our guests they were very happy to get some yummy chocolate chip cookies! I was really worried that we were going to get “stuck” with a few bags that we’d have to consume within the next few days. Luckily it didn’t come down to that as every bag but one was taken and happily eaten by someone other than me.  I already had to worry about the two extra cupcakes that kept calling my name from the fridge…

I also made some cake pops. I’d been dying to try them out ever since I saw them on Bakerella’s blog years back and I finally jumped in and did it. I really do think it was a great decision even though they weren’t as pleasing to the eye 🙂 What can be bad about chocolate cake, vanilla frosting and a chocolate coating? Plus they were on sticks!
I purchased a Happy Birthday banner for E’s birthday last year and bought one that I could use up until he was 5 years old (it had interchangeable numbers). So I didn’t stress too much about a Happy Birthday sign. Until Janelle asked to borrow it for Charlie’s birthday and I couldn’t find the banner! I found the numbers… but no banner. So I started to search for a cute looking banner for the occasion. I figured why not go with the Cookie and Elmo theme and make the banner match the favor tags. 
I didn’t want a long, continuous banner so I saw this idea from an Etsy vendor and decided to try it out. I had Adrienne print out the 3.5″ circles and I just used my trusty standard hole puncher and put two holes on either side of the circles. I then put some ribbon through the holes and staggered the rows to achieve the look I wanted. 

Adrienne threw in some extra 5″ circles of Elmo and Cookie Monster so I took full advantage and used them for other decorations around the house. I used some paper streamers to decorate some of the walls and used the Cookie and Elmo cut outs to go in the middle of each draped loop. This  completed the look and theme of the whole party. I didn’t even think of it before hand but will now use it whenever I use the paper streamers! I was also able to make a little “Happy Birthday” sign from the extra wreath circle and left over Cookie circle (see what Elmo is holding below at the snack bar…)

When I decided on food I wasn’t quite sure how to go. I knew it needed to be kid friendly and it needed to please a large group of people. Oh, and it couldn’t be too expensive. Cause then we wouldn’t be able to get the jump house. And every 2 year old’s party needs a jump house 😉

So I went with E’s favorite things. I ordered pizza from Costco, made hot dogs and had various other favorites available for the guests to snack on. E loves fruit so we got a fruit tray that included his favorite, cantalope. We also put out popcorn, chocolate chip cookies, and potato chips. There was even a little kiddie snack bar set up with bowls of cheerios, cat cookies and pretzels.

When I’m at a party I am all about easy access to food. Because when E is hungry I want to jump at the opportunity for him to eat and don’t want to wait for something to be offered to me to feed him. As soon as I wait 5-10 minutes for food to be served he’s already busy with the next task and might refuse to eat until the next meal some few hours later. Typical toddler…

So this is why I always have a variety of snacks for people to munch on before and after the “main meal” is ready.

I also included pictures of E’s 2nd year in a picture frame that used to have our wedding photos in it. I was going to make a sign but ran out of time 🙂 I’m pretty sure most people missed this little “decoration” but that’s ok! I had 185 pictures developed at Costco and was planning on making a photo album for guests to view as well if they got bored (they didn’t…) but never got around to buying the album. So that’ll be a project I’ll have to tackle soon. We’re now enjoying the pictures and reflecting on the last year as we talk about each one. It’s been quite a fun journey!

More party pictures to come!!!

Pinterest Inspiration


  1. You did a great job, Danielle!
    You forgot to mention the castle jumper and rain proofed patio.

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