Submarine, Troll Hunters, Nijago….Oh my! Those are just 3 of the one billion birthday ideas my soon to be five year went through until finally landing on dinosaur theme and by landed on, I mean I had to cut him off from making another change.
The bonus of his final selection is that everyone and their mama or son or even daughter loves a good dinosaur birthday. There was no shortage of Pinteresting ideas splattered all over the internet so it will come as no surprise that his birthday was just a mock up of my Pinterest board. I am pretty sure the only unique idea for the party was the enchilada casserole I prepared for the parents.
This event, I’d have to say, was my most successful to date and I have to thank my sheer determination and Microsoft Excel. For every party I have ever hosted, I am usually still finishing up when people arrive and, more often than not, not even changed into hostess presentable clothing. However, this time I was not only dressed, there was even make-up. Can you believe it?!
I started off, of course with my usual plan to prep baked goods 2-3 days before the event. If you don’t know about this, you better ask somebody. Like seriously, ask a baker. Baking ahead and freezing is a Godsend and the baked goods still taste wonderful on party day.
This little handy dandy project is something I learned from YouTube and my new obsession with learning about baking. Turns out, you don’t have to let your cakes form and dome. You can put this make shift cover over the pan and save yourself time and a sample of your treat. OK, that last part is the downside of this method (wet a long piece of paper towel and place over foil, fold the foil over the paper towel so the towel is not exposed and wrap it around the cake pan).
Now it wouldn’t be me if I wasn’t being honest, my cake was a bit sunken in the center. I attribute it to the thickness of my wrap. I think I went a bit far. I am willing to give it one more try and see if I can get an evening baked cake.
Below is the finished product.
When I tried it with the second cake, I saw the same phenomenon happening so I pulled off the foil wrap, but it was too late, I lost the center. Never fear, I worked with it.
Despite chocolate not being my favorite, this recipe was phenomenal. The best part, the freezing helped significantly. I was able to flip the cake upside down and because it was still frozen it was easy to spread the frosting and the ganache handled like magic. The cake got rave reviews so this is definitely going in the books for a chocolate go to. Should we be surprised though? It did come from Ina after all.
The chocolate cake turned out so beautiful, I almost did not want to continue on to the overly ambitious dinosaur themed cake for which I had intended to use this part of the cake.
The top layer is the poinsettia cake that I made last year for a cake tasting party with an addition of food coloring. I wanted to design a dinosaur landscape type cake, but due to the softness of the buttercream frosting and the incorrect piping tip the grass was not too clear. However, I am sure the point came across. Especially with the chocolate bundt volcano cake at the top. Interest three dinosaur toys and no one is the wiser.
If you have followed my events, you know I am obsessed with chalkboards. Don’t ask why, just know that I am. This is one of only two for this event, but it was the first piece to greet guests at the door. Unfortunately I didn’t remember to take this picture until after the party so the smears are just a reminder that kids will be kids.
Drawing didn’t stop there, I was in a space for this event and busted out my art skills…too bad art is so challenging for me, it apparently masks my ability to spell.
My prize pony for this event is this gem, I sketched and painted free hand for a fun bean bag toss game
The triceratoss game was funny, especially since the only party hats I could find were from Jurassic World.
Note to parents, free play is all you ever really need. It was like pulling teeth to get kids to play structured games.
Decorating for this was pretty fun, I mainly was going for dinosaurs in their natural habitat type of theme so thanks to Amazon, Oriental training company, and Micheal’s, I was able to create a very green event.
I ordered cute labels from Etsy, OMG they are my favorite go to for awesome label templates. I printed everything on natural color cardstock from Michael’s to give it that earthy feel.
The template package even came with an awesome template for the birthday sign. This is also cardstock.
I staged the play area in the playroom which also has a chalkboard wall…insert chalkboard #2. The kids had a ball with this one.
The craft table was a hit too.
To guide kids to the playroom, I placed these cool footprint stickers on the floor. I think they are from Oriental Trading Co., but it could be Amazon.
To no surprise, the dessert table stole the show. The streamers were actually up for 3 days before the party. I was super serious about completing this time around. Even the table was up complete with Dollar Tree table cover.
These dinosaur cookies are everything and took everything to prepare. Thank goodness my husband suggested using this special syringe I had on hand because otherwise, this would not have happened. The cutter is so cool and can be found on Amazon.
These cupcakes are where I give myself a hearty pat on the back. At 5:30 am when I was up in the kitchen after only 3 hours of sleep, I realized I had a lot of time and decided to mentally plan for making a quick batch of cupcakes as I felt like not only I did not have enough desserts for the kids and the parent, the current desserts were heavy on the chocolate. Well time went by and I found time and literally squeezed in some vanilla cupcakes and used left over frosting from the green cake. I totally think I am ready for one of those timed cooking shows.
The gift bags were fun to prepare, but the plan to fill them slightly backfired in that I expected them to be filled as the party was in progress. The kids did a dinosaur egg hunt and even were able to put in a dinosaur for which they adopted (sadly did not get a picture and it was such a cute steal from Pinterest), but I forgot to have them get candy and there weren’t enough desserts to take home.
The bags did look cute sitting on the table though.
My son and all his friends had a ball and the food and dessert got rave reviews, most importantly, I finished everything and it all due to this special little list.