Friday, January 11, 2013

It's a Winter ONEderland

The cupcakes and Kaleb's smash cake
We decided to have Kaleb's First Birthday party while we were back home so that our family would have a chance to come. We also decided on doing a bit of a theme: Winter ONEderland.

Some of the sugar cookies!
It was a nice simple party, however there was a lot of prepping involved!  We cleaned, we baked, we decorated and then we cleaned some more. We made beef barley soup, we cut up veggies and we made sandwiches. We moved the couches to the second floor and we brought in 40 chairs. We baked cupcakes. Eighty-eight chocolate and vanilla bean cupcakes to be exact, most of which were iced by Jason's 15 year old brother (I think he has a future in a cupcake shop). My father-in-law and I also iced I don't know how many sugar cookies. Afterwards we decorated and set up.  For decorations we went all out with snowflakes. My mom bought different types from the dollar store (it was Christmas time after all) so we hung and stuck them everywhere! We didn't stop until 11:30, when we became zombies. 
Hot Chocolate Bar!
Surrounded by gifts!

Saturday was the big day. The morning was spent getting the finishing touches in order. Setting out the beverages, making a huge pot of coffee. Organizing the hot chocolate bar, lunch and cookies and cupcakes. 

For the hot chocolate bar I made a Crockpot Hot Chocolate recipe I found on Pinterest. Instead of using vanilla extract, I used a bean with the seeds scraped in to the mixture, and the 2 leftover beans from making cupcakes. It turned out soooo yummy. For the toppings we used crushed candy canes, chocolate sprinkles, real whipped cream and homemade marshmallows. Tip of the day: when cutting your marshmallows, use icing sugar to coat your knife, then coat the marshmallow pieces to prevent sticking. And by the way, homemade marshmallows are the simplest, yummiest thing ever! 

This picture says it all.
At first he wasn't too sure
Kaleb's party started at noon and went so smoothly. He didn't get his full nap in the morning, so we were very worried how he would do, but he was fantastic. The party was scheduled to be only for 2 hours so we wouldn't wear him out, and it was an excellent decision. We started by letting everyone eat, followed by opening gifts. Once again, he was spoiled! We are so lucky to have such generous family and friends. After the gifts it was cake time. (This time we took the cake out of the fridge the night before.) At first he wasn't so sure about it, then we managed to get him to try a piece, at which point he said yumm and destroyed the cake. He also insisted on sharing with mommy and daddy which was interesting! By the time he was done, he was COVERED in cake. It was awesome!

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