A Hoot of a Time
:: Megann’s Kitchen ::
|:: owl themed 2nd birthday party ::|
What can I say, I just love birthdays. The thought that someone has set aside a special day of celebration just for you is just that, special, and shouldn’t be taken lightly. I am not one to pass off birthdays as just another day, you deserve recognition of the anniversary of the day you were born. I also have had brief inner yearnings for being a small event stylist & when I was given my very own little person to “party plan” for, well, I went a little OTT, or OCD as my sister neatly put it in a text message! Being able to think kids birthdays is just incredible & brings a smile to my face every time.
You see, I have incredible memories of tremendous cakes that mum used to make as a child. She would dutifully slave over her creation for hours on end & the result would be... “WOW!”. I don’t know what my memories would be like if it wasn’t for the origional Women’s Weekly Children’s Birthday Cake Book, but it was the source of so many of my birthday cakes. Now, I have this book in my bookshelf and mum has passed the birthday cake baking baton to me, so here I go.
|:: welcome owl sign with matching mini bunting ::|
|:: owl invitiations, with an invisible magnet ::|
|:: our beloved "hoot" owl ::|
This year it had to be an Owl theme. My little munchkin loves owls. He watches “Giggle & Hoot” as part of his bedtime routine & loves all owls as a result. I knew straight away it had to be an Owl theme as soon as I saw some gorgeous invites by Hipp that matched the vision that I had in my head. I themed everything to the invite & I can’t tell you how much fun I had!
|:: the "before" of the owl cake ::|
|:: the "after" of the owl cake! ::|
Why I decided to try fondant icing for the first time ever on an Owl cake of this size (2 x 22cm cake tins), the word insane comes to mind, but the end result looked surprisingly good! I had many conversations with my local cake shop & the chef at the Newcastle Essential Ingredient (very helpful, thank you!) to gain some inside knowledge + tips & tricks of the trade. I was given the “easy option” & the “harder but will look better if you manage to do it” option... can you guess which one I went for at 2am? Harder. Yes, I am crazy. An artistic background helps, but tired, blurry eyes don’t!
|:: owl "ginger hoot" cookies::|
|:: platter of "ginger hoot" cookies with owl tags ::|
I also decorated my first batch of Gingerbread Cookies with Royal Icing & they turned out not too shabby. I couldn’t believe how they came together. Even with the leftover mixture I made a few tiny stars which I used as well. I found a great handmade copper Owl Cookie Cutter online from the US, cheaper than you would ever find it here. Copper Gifts have a vast range of cookie cutters & decorating supplies, perfect for your next function or themed event.
|:: vanilla cupcakes topped with chocolate buttercream & owl fondant cupcake toppers ::|
|:: owl chocolate cake pops ::|
|:: owls lined up in a flock ::|
I also sourced the Owl Cake Pops. Now, I did research this new trend but decided at the last minute that I was too time poor to create these beautiful & delicious delights myself. A local Hunter duo, The Iced Queens, have established themselves making & baking for markets in the Newcastle & Hunter Region with their amazing creations of perfection. I informed them of my colour theme & they were able to create an Owl Pop customised to my desire. I supplied them with Owl tags that I had individually stamped to add a great touch. You can now find them frequenting the Newcastle Farmers Markets with Pops & cupcakes, hurry, I hear they are a sell out!
|:: owl "bird seed" with wafter crackers & tied with owl tags ::|
I also wanted a healthier option for the health conscious mummies & bubs out there. I put together cello bags tied with Owl Tags of “Bird Seed” which consisted of sultanas, sunflower seeds & pumpkin seeds which my little boy loves. I also placed a bowl of apples on the table, another favourite, but his sweet tooth worked overtime that day & apples didn’t get a look in!
|:: customised paper buntings ::|
I made my own Paper Buntings from matching wrapping paper & themed colours. Just make sure the paper you choose has a high gsm otherwise it becomes too flimsy in the wind. I personalised them by printing & cutting out a “Will's 2nd Birthday” message to scroll across the bunting, with matching owls of course!
|:: owl artwork at its best ::|
|:: owl masks... hoot hoot ::|
I wanted some Owl themed party hats, but came up with Owl Masks instead. I found a printable version of an Owl Mask online, printed them onto card & cut them out, spray fixed the ink, attached elastic & one magic Owl Mask! Now, multiply that by 17. The result was beautiful. We had one little “Owl” who didn’t take her mask off, just adorable!
|:: asian lanters add colour & style ::|
I found some light blue & red Asian lanterns to hang from our awning in a local discount shop, a great find for any party. I love the “lace” effect these lanterns have as they allow light flicker through them during the day, a soft & colourful touch. These are a great & cost effective way to add colour to any back yard gathering. Simply swap out the colours for your themed event.
|:: home photo with daddy's thumb ::|
|:: photo board- day 0-2yrs ::|
I also created a photo board. The board is simply an A2 piece of card covered with quality wrapping paper from Kikki.K. I got some kitchen twine & wrapped it around, affixed from the top & bottom, then went through a collection of photos I had taken from when Will was a baby until now. I then set about hanging them up with an additional Owl touch, cutting out some Hootable creatures along the way. The “baby pegs” can be found in any craft store.
|:: sweet table with some classic treats ::|
|:: take home thank you bags ::|
|:: classic chocolate crackles made by my neighbour- always a hit ::|
|:: a quick snap of the table before all the food went ::|
Food for the late afternoon event was fun. I had additional chocolate crackles, honey joys, sausage rolls, a cut baguette, all the party classics! For later in the evening we had chicken skewers & a Hunter Valley cheese platter to finish the day.
|:: owl figures- a special touch ::|
|:: chocolate crackles gone in an instant ::|
I am glad that there were some pictures of the day. As you can imagine I was extremely busy in the kitchen & surrounds that I didn't have time to do my usual happy snaps, so thank you to those who picked up my camera! I had such a great time creating this memory for my little man, I can only hope that he grows up to love birthdays just as much as I do.
|:: a very happy boy blowing out his candles ::|