In just a few short weeks, I will be faced with throwing a party in honor of Brynn's seventh (can I believe it? No!) birthday. She has decided she'd like her party to be in the evening on the beach under the palapa (which is a wooden shelter with a palm-frond roof). So, we'll make it late afternoon and hope that the palapa is available. I think it is a public space, but I'm not entirely sure. The menu she has chosen for dinner includes her favorite grilled chicken complimented by...sliced apples with peanut butter. Nice.
One thing that I have always enjoyed about Brynn's birthday parties is designing the invitations. We don't do pre-printed fill-in-the-blanks invites in this family. I think for her fifth birthday Brynn wrote the invites out by hand, but most years I've put them together on the computer and had them printed at a local print shop. I'm clearly not a graphic designer, but I have fun with invites anyway. Here are a couple from years past (lacking key personal info, of course):
Both of the ones above came out super cute, printed on glossy white cardstock. I really enjoy putting together Brynn's invites, but I think this year I've found a better (and easier) alternative. Today I read about these invites (and other stationery products) on the Sarah + Abraham blog and when I went to check them out for myself, I was floored! Reasonably priced, super cute, and semi-do-it-yourself! Perfect for me...if I can just find some decent card stock down here!
So, the deal is this: you pick out your kid's hair style and color, outfit and color, facial expression, eye color, eye shape, skin color, accessories and more. Then she (the designer) puts it all together into a PDF file for you. She sends you the PDF, you print your own invites. Very smart, eh? Here's a sample of one of her invites. How sweet.
For this birthday, Brynn is hoping to have quite an elaborate cake (she and Callie may or may not have watched too many Cake Boss reruns this summer while I packed up the house). At least she has resigned herself to a single-tiered sheet cake. (Callie still thinks her next birthday cake will have three tiers.) Brynn wants her cake to include a beach, the ocean, an island, and a mama turtle leading its baby turtles down the beach and back to the ocean. And she thinks that we can get such a cake at Costco. Hmm...we'll see about that. I know how the Cake Boss would make it...brown sugar for the beach, turqoise gel frosting for the ocean, and (in my best Cake Boss voice and Jersey accent) toiwtles made outta mahdling chwohcolate (that's "turtles made out of modeling chocolate" to you). I'm not so sure that Costco Puerto Vallarta has, um, modeling chocolate. Or turquoise gel frosting.
Here's a photo of Brynn with her birthday cake last year. I'm proud of the cake only because it's the first cake I've ever made that I didn't totally screw up. Like, this one was actually standing and frosted and not hideously ugly when it came time to cut it. That, my friends, is a milestone for me. (Just humor me here...notice Brynn's missing teeth in this photo? The two little bottom ones? That was about a year ago. Today she's missing four, almost five teeth. The two big top ones, one top incisor, one bottom incisor, and the other bottom incisor will probably fall out tomorrow. I don't know how she eats.)
Speaking of cakes, if you don't follow this blog, Cake Wrecks, you should. My friend Suzanne turned me onto it a month or so ago and I have to say, I laugh my rear end off nearly every day looking at the way professional bakers screw up cakes. The blogger's commentary is really what makes it, though. She's hilarious.
Is it bad that I'm half-hoping Brynn's birthday cake will make the Cake Wrecks blog? Terrible, I know, I just thought, well...if any cake could get screwed up, it would be this one.
I'll keep you posted.