January 26, 2013

What a HOOT!

Luca turned 1 year old in earlyDecember and we had a family gathering to celebrate! Since I had chosen a construction theme to decorate for my oldest son Nicholas' birthday this past July {see this post for all the details!}, I wanted to choose a theme for Luca's birthday as well. Now, Nico's theme was very representative of him as he absolutely loves tools and construction! I had put a lot of time and effort into the decorations, but had ordered a cupcake-cake and had simply placed some toy tools as decorations on the cake.

For Luca, since he is too young to really determine his likes and dislikes, I went with an OWL theme. Owls are so hot right now! I actually wanted to decorate his nursery with an owl theme, which I may still do. And from my previous post, you can see that I purchased owl ornaments to represent Luca and Nico for our Christmas tree this year.

This time around, I chose to focus on the cake, as opposed to the decorations. My reasoning behind this was that it was such a busy time of year with the holidays that I felt it would be best and as impactful to create a little buffet area with the decorated cake as the main focus and a few other touches to show the theme. So, I made my owl cake first!  
I think it turned out pretty good! I made a french vanilla cake for the top {head} and a swiss chocolate cake for the bottom {body}. I then made two different recipes of frosting: a milk chocolate frosting and a simple vanilla frosting {the blue frosting}. I also made 4 baby owls from the leftover french vanilla cake. 
I used open oreo cookies with smarties and M&Ms for the eyes, and Gold Fish crackers for the noses and feet. Basically, I used whatever snacks were on hand or left over from Nico's halloween bag! Ha ha ha! I think the owl cake was a hit and my guests were quite pleased / impressed!

To decorate the buffet area, I crafted a simple owl out of supplies I had on hand, and chose to affix him on the plate that already decorated my wall.  Since the colors were similar, the owl just mixed right in. I chose a picture of Luca at a few weeks old, and a picture taken just a few weeks ago, and stuck those onto the small plate and picture frame that were also already on the wall. Ta da!

I wrote a message on my mirror / dry-erase board that read "Luca 1 an" {Luca 1 year old}.

Finally, to bring the owl theme home, I printed some owl printables to use as food labels, and hand wrote the food name or description. I used adhesive tape and tooth picks to arrange them on the plates or stick them in the food directly {pardon the missing food; I was prepping / chopping and decorating / taking pictures at the same time}.

Three elements is plenty to demonstrate the owl theme! 1: the cake,  2: owl wall decoration, and 3: owl food labels. Perfect!

What surprised me the most was that Luca actually did not cry when we sang "Happy Birthday" and he was not COVERED in cake when he ate his baby owl! My previous first birthday party experiences with Nico, nieces and nephews have always resulted in crying babies and bath tubs full of cake crumbs and frosting bits!
I think poor Luca was just happy to be feeling better as he had started antibiotics the previous day for an ear infection and a staff infection! Fun! Happy birthday to you {sarcasm of course}!

All in all, it was a great gathering with the family that were in town! One year has just flown by... and we love him more every day!

Happy Birthday Luca Jason Beadow!
Just 2 days old.

Already 1 year old!

Love you Luca!