Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Ava's Barnyard Bash 2nd Birthday

Ava turned two at the beginning of September, and we had a pretty epic bash to celebrate! I had decided early in the year that I wanted to do a farm-themed party and host it at our family's farm back home in eastern NC. It turned out to be a perfect backdrop for a perfect day.

As all good parties do, it started with the invite.

I ordered these and matching address labels from Etsy seller Delight Paperie. They were backed with red gingham which I loved.

As guests arrived, they were directed down the path to the party by a tractor and balloons.

We held the party under one of the barns on the farm. The shelter at the back provided nice shade from the unseasonably hot day. Plus it provided gorgeous views of the farm.

Tables were covered with either gingham tablecloths or burlap table runners, with sunflowers as centerpieces.

Upon arriving, the young and young at heart were encouraged to don bandanas and cowboy hats.

The food table was decorated with a gingham overlay, galvanized letters spelling Ava's name, and miniature hay bales that displayed the farm-themed name of each dish.

The "watering hole" included lemonade, mason jars tied with twine and gingham ribbon and a galvanized tub full of bottled water, juice boxes and glass bottle Cokes.

To help entertain the littles, we set up a big galvanized tub, lined it with burlap and filled it with corn and toys (tractors, measuring cups, a funnel, farm animals). It was a big hit with the kids.

Ava's Pa refurbishes old lawn tractors so we set up a mini one for the kids to sit on.

Pa even took it for a spin.

But the biggest hit of the day was by far the HORSES!

Stepping Stones Stables came out with a bevy of horses for the kids and adults to enjoy.

Out on the hill the sun was shining, the breeze was blowing and I think everyone had a blast.

The chickens next door were a bit hit too. (We even had a rooster cock-a-doodle-doo-ing in the background of the party!)

No birthday party is complete without cake, and we had a beautiful one thanks to the Cake Construction Company. Even though the heat caused it to melt (the piggy and horsey went tumbling at one point) it was still delicious!

Presents were stored in the bucket of our John Deere, and Ava had a blast cruising around on her new 4-wheeler.

Favors for the kids were a personalized galvanized pail lined with gingham and filled with horse or farm stickers, a Cow Tale, a farm animal and a "hay bale" rice krispy treat from Farmer Ava.

There was also a tub of hay bales and hay stacks for the adults to enjoy. The customized bandana stickers were from Tiny Prints.

Thank you notes and address labels were from the Tiny Prints Wild Bandana collection as well.

It was an amazing day and we're so thankful for everyone who came (from near and far!) to help us celebrate our sweet girl.

Invitations: Etsy seller Delight Paperie
Photography: Garden Spot Photography
Horses: Stepping Stones Stables
Cake: Cake Construction Company
Favor labels, thank you notes, address labels: Tiny Prints
Burlap table runners: Hobby Lobby
Checked tablecloths: Amazon
Gingham Fabric: Online Fabric Store
Bandanas: Hobby Lobby and AC Moore
Cowboy Hats: Amazon
Galvanized letters: Michael's
Hay bales: Hobby Lobby
Chalkboard signs: Hobby Lobby
Chalkboard food signs: AC Moore
Ava's boots and shirt: Target
Ava's shorts: Gymboree

Friday, September 26, 2014

Nursery Update: Gallery Wall

When I shared Ava's nursery with you before she was born (over TWO years ago now!) I had a list of things I still wanted to do to finish the room. Most of them never happened (although I did get a small table lamp to go on the bookcase, which we use every night), but I did eventually get around to creating a gallery wall in the blank space above the dresser.

I framed Ava's birth announcement, a silhouette we had hand-cut of her at the state fair last year, and a picture from her one year photoshoot. The pink Ava print in the middle is a custom personalized print that Etsy seller RawArtLetterpress sent me as a thank you for sending so much business her way via the Don't Worry print I used in the nursery over the crib. She even researched that the name Ava means "little bird" and used those in the design. So sweet and thoughtful!

The second half of the gallery contains decorations and the invitation from Ava's first birthday party, which just happened to use the same pink as her room, as well as the shirt she wore that day.

I used white frames from Target in a variety of sizes, as well as one silver frame from the dollar store. 

This was a pretty easy project and I love the way it turned out. And Ava likes it too -- she likes to stand on her changing table and look at the pictures of herself. It's hard to believe that pretty soon I'll be turning this room into a big girl room! (I'm in denial about this fact and putting it off as long as possible.)
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