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Saturday, January 15, 2011

Abby's Cowgirl-Palooza!

My sweet pea turned two in January and we threw her a rip roarin' hootenanny. Red bandanas, happy sunflowers and cowprint were the prevalent themes throughout.

To set the tone and get our guests excited for the country fun to come, we sent out fab invites made from actual denim pockets stuffed with a square of bandana fabric and the paper invitation details. The were a total show stopper and found for a steal through Etsy seller LuckyStarLane.

We set up a small table on the front porch with piles of cowboy hats and stick ponies tied with red bandanas for the little buckaroos to get in the mood as they entered the party. The ponies were an amazing find at the Dollar Tree, and, as I was still debating themes for Abby's second birthday when I happened upon these beauties, they sealed her cowgirl fate!

Inside the house, the western theme was continued in the kitchen where the chow and party favors were set up. I baked and decorated the birthday cake over three days, which as I'm typing this sounds ridiculous, but I find if I take things in little bites I'm less overwhelmed when the big day arrives. So there were about a gajillion royal icing cactus prickles, sunflower oreos (complete with ladybug red hots) and a giant white chocolate number 2 to make before the first cupcake even got iced. Having way more baking failures than successes under my belt, I was thrilled with how everything turned out.

Chocolate and peanut butter pony pops.

Elvis always has to make an appearance at Abby's birthday bash because she and the King share the same birthday. In fact, her first birthday party was an Elvis themed extravaganza - complete with bedazzled jumpsuit and gold lame' cape for the birthday girl.

Have a hunka-hunka birthday cake!

Favor bags filled with plastic six shooters, spurs and sheriff's badges.

Favor tags featuring the birthday girl's mug.

We decorated the back yard with more bandana banners, balloons and huge tissue paper sunflowers. I also made some banners out of yards of burlap and hand cut felt letters. One reading "Scurvy Varmints" to hang over the Wanted posters we put up on the garage. As the kids arrived, we took Polaroid shots of them and taped them to the posters to add to the western feel. We then handed them to the parents at the end of the party as a take home souvenir. The other banner read "Rudy Mining Co." and was hung over the gold mining station (a water table filled with sand and gold painted rocks).

Wanted posters.

Gold mining station.

The kids loved panning for gold.

Pioneer gift wagon.

Other activities for the kids were a craft table with red tin buckets full of crayons and cowboy themed coloring pages scored for free off the net. We also tried a game of pin the sheriff star on the cowgirl, with a picture of the birthday girl's face standing in for the sheriff. I soon found out that attempting to blindfold a gaggle of 2 year olds would turn out to be a bit of a joke. I finally gave up and just encouraged them to just shut their eyes and give it a go. Remarkably, each and every one of them hit the badge right on target every time. There is no honor in the two and under crowd! The other "activity" was the Okey Dokey Corral we set up with two plush rocking horses for the little ones to play on.

Pin the star on the sheriff!

Rockin horse corral.

The party was a huge success despite its culminating in a boot shaped pinata that was apparently made out of concrete and COULD NOT be destroyed. Lesson learned - no more freaking pinatas! Everyone had a great time and we got lots of fabulous feedback, which makes all the effort worthwhile.

Mmmmmm.... Cakey!

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