E’s 2nd Birthday!

7 07 2014

We had much to celebrate this weekend between the 4th of July, my son’s birthday, and my birthday! Here’s a recap of E’s 2nd birthday party!

birthday 7-5-14 - 2

Photo credit: KM

The theme | I chose trains because E exclaims every time he hears our local train pass through our town. It was a super-easy theme for decorations and invites, too!

Birthday shirt | My mom made E a really cute birthday crab shirt to wear at his 1st birthday party, so this year I was hoping she could make something similar to fit the train theme. Not only did she make him the cutest little shirt with his name, but she also embroidered a few other shirts as presents! (I’ve edited out his name just for the blog’s sake.) She designed the shirt from this little sketch I texted her and then came up with color suggestions based on her template. Thank you, mom!! 🙂

birthday shirt edit

The food | We kept it simple with animal crackers, Oreos, kettle corn, a veggie tray, chips/dip, watermelon, 3 varieties of meatballs in the crockpot, and cupcakes. We served lemonade, sodas, and water. I loaded most of the finger foods into little pans I found at Target and labeled them as train cars, and used a Disney train for the engine. I cut out wheels I printed from my computer and taped them on.




Inspiration here.



Drink inspiration here, but my husband came up with the other drink labels.


The cake | I also wanted to keep his cake simple this year because last year’s cake took me most of my birthday to decorate. I bought 4th of July icing and mix while it was BOGO free at Target. I consulted Carolina Charm’s cupcake decorating tutorial, and went to work.

Cupcakes 7-5-14

After a quick search on Pinterest for the best way to easily display the cupcakes, I engineered a Brio train track around our dining room table and built train cars as platforms for the cupcakes. The platforms were made from toothpicks, marshmallows, and graham crackers. Super easy! I fashioned all this right before the party, although E and I baked the 4 batches of cupcakes the night before.





birthday train cake 7-5-14

Photo credit: KM

The guests | We were so blessed to celebrate with lots of friends and family! One sweet family we invited couldn’t make it because they were busy delivering a baby of their own, who now shares a birthday with E!





While everyone else was outside, I came in to find E eating lunch with his great-grandparents, just the 3 of them! So incredibly sweet!


The decor | I hung two homemade birthday train banners, and most of the other decorations were around the food. I setup two train tables. We hung balloons around the inside and outside of the house. My husband got huge red/white/blue helium balloons off the cars at a local dealership (with permission). We put canopies and chairs outside with the corn hole, ladder toss, playground, and water table. I also filled an apothecary jar with our old wooden Brio cars.

Birthday banner 7-5-14

Birthday banner - edit

At a local park, I photographed E running around inside a toy train and in a train station that happens to have our last name on it, then cut out those pictures to make one of the train banners.


My husband also surprised me with an angel food cake he made with E for my birthday, which was the next day. His buddy (a firefighter) lit all 30 candles while my brother blocked my vision, and I don’t know who started the singing, but it was all very sweet! The cake was demolished with just one tiny scoop of leftovers!

birthday 7-5-14 kissy

birthday 7-5-14

Photo credit: KM

Thanks to everybody who came over to celebrate our sweet little boy! Thank you notes to come soon! 😉




2 responses

9 07 2014
Week 29 | Bumps and Wiggles | Running MOMentum

[…] moments this week: So many! 4th of July fireworks, E’s 2nd birthday party, my 30th birthday, holding my friend’s […]

28 07 2014
Mariah Olson

Hi Ashley,

My name is Mariah Olson, and I am a representative of Birthday Express. My job is to search the internet for outstanding children’s birthday blogs that deserve recognition. When I came across your party for your son E’s birthday, I knew immediately that there was a great deal of time and effort spent on this celebration! The special details that you included like those beautifully decorated train car platforms and cupcakes. I have never seen something like those platforms before…that was ingenious! I really like the bread foils used as train snack cars as well.

On behalf of Birthday Express, we would like to offer you our “Best Birthday” badge for throwing such a sensational party. Congratulations–you and your little one deserve it! If you are interested, let me know at mariaholson12@gmail.com and I’ll send it your way. Again, congratulations, and thank you for your time!

Best Regards,

Mariah Olson

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