Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Construction Site 3rd Birthday

Gabriel turned 3! Granted it was in January, but who is keeping track?

Gabe has an obsession with construction trucks, power tools, basically anything that reminds him of his dad; the resident handyman. When it came time to plan his birthday party the theme was a no brainer: Construction Site Birthday Party!

It began with the hubbs building a saw horse for me. I said it would serve a dual purpose; useful for him and fun for the party. I spray painted it yellow, then marked off the top and applied the black spray paint. The sign was homemade on leftover cardboard. My sad little balloons didn't fair very well. It was high 80's that day, and the balloons began to sag almost immediatly.

Black and yellow streamers helped announce the party was here

To jazz up the backyard I ordered these construction signs off Amazon. Gabe loved having us read the different signs to him. We also used yellow and black streamers to create caution tape on the jungle gym and deck. It helped spread the constuction site feel all over the yard.

For food we wanted simple, easy to grab, playful, and scrumptious.

The "dig in" sign I made by cutting a piece of cardboard and spray painting it black. Then I taped off the black border and did two coats of yellow spray paint. Finally I used a black sharpie to write the words and draw the excavator. Free, fun and easy. My kind of project.

Cheese puff "pebbles". I looked everywhere for these stinkin cheese balls!! Finally found them at Target.

Fruit skewer "nuts and bolts" We have fruit skewers or cups at every party. It is always a hit, and our friends with dietary concerns love them. Also chocolate donut "truck tires". You know, to balance out all the healthy fruit.

Mini baked corn dog "Boulders". I made corn bread, poured it into muffin tins, and put a piece of turkey hot dog inside. They were a huge hit! Tip: when making corn bread use buttermilk. It makes it so moist and flavorful.

Chocolate dipped pretzel "drill bits". When I dipped them in chocolate, I twisted them as I pulled them out creating grooves in the chocolate that looked like drill bits.

Orange Gatorade  "Gear Juice" I used an orange sharpie on the lid so only the G was visible. Created the tags for the bottles using word and a free dump truck clip art.

Rice krispies cookies with chocolate and cookie crumbs. I cut out the krispies with construction cookie cutters (dump truck, drill, hammer, saw), coated them in white chocolate, and put them out for the kids to decorate. Ok, maybe more than a few adults enjoyed them too.

Now for the real labor of love: the construction site birthday cake. I saw a similar cake on Pinterest, and decided to make my own version of it.

Yellow and dark chocolate cake, and milk chocolate frosting. For the top I dug out a small hallow in the cake prior to frosting, then filled the void with crushed oreos and chocolate rock candy.

 Gabe loved blowing out the caution cone candles.

The best (or most friggin frustrating) thing about the cake was the inside.

 I used this technique to create the caution tape effect in the cake. Be warned. This was a pain in the but. I made two tester cakes before his birthday, and this was still tricky for me. But worth it. Because I am crazy and a glutton for punishment.

Gabe was blessed with so many wonderful gifts. Things he truly adored.

See that box in the background? I wrapped all of his gifts in craft paper then used a black sharpie to draw different construction trucks on each one. He thought it was the bees knees and named each of them before he shredded into his presents.

Side note: notice my poor husband bent over and looking miserable? He felt like crud this day. Went to the dr's the next morning and found out he had the flu!

Had to call all of our party guests "Hey, thanks for coming to Gabe's birthday! Hope you had fun! By the way, we may have infected your whole family with the flu."

Luckily after meds and a few days rest he was feeling much better.

Sadly, this is the best photo I got of his birthday shirt. I ordered the bulldozer graphic on Etsy, then used a printed transfer to make a shirt for him. He asks to wear it all the time.

Gabe's favorite present of the day!! We found this incredible all wood tool bench and tool set at Kohls at Christmas time. The price was unbelievable, and there was no way we could have made one this awesome for that price. So we pounced and stashed it away for his birthday.

Gabe and his sister play with it every day. Which, depending on how you feel about kids hammering on a toolbench is either a good or a bad thing.

His new Lightning McQueen scooter. Abigail was a sweetheart and offered to help me build it. Such a helper, my daughter.

I'll be honest, he still has trouble with this one. Because there are two wheels in the front rather than one, it is really hard to keep balanced. We're working on it though.

Other than Trent being sick, it was a great day. There were great friends, good food, and most importantly the birthday boy loved it.

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