3.26.2014

Camp Huck Turns TWO!!

On St. Patrick’s Day, our sweet Huck turned two years old! We had so much fun celebrating and it started the day before his actual birthday, with our families gathering to celebrate. I planned a woodland themed/”Camp Huck” party with all sorts of woodsy touches and details and it was such a cozy, warm-our-hearts, kind of a day, as we got to party with the people who love Huck the most!

A couple weeks before the party, I sent out these adorable invitations that my friend Mackenzie of Cotton Flower Press and Honeycomb blog, designed for me (in an absolute time pinch too). I printed them on craft paper, enclosed them with little fern stickers, and of course had to get nature detailed stamps too… they were so perfect. 

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For Huck’s party attire, I picked out a woodland inspired outfit that was cozy, comfy, and cute. I found the this perfect “Brother Bear” shirt from Loved by Hannah and Eli. I loved that it would work for his birthday and as a “big brother” shirt throughout this pregnancy and on the day the baby is born, so that I could really stretch my dollar and the use of such a cute little tee. His Elk leggings are from Etsy shop DandylionCo (she is also a local Portlander and waived the shipping for me) and I loved the mustard color and Elk design to match the whole theme of the day. 

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Andrew and I picked up the supplies for an A-frame tent and followed a tutorial I had pinned from a blog. After picking out the fabric, Andrew made the entire tent for Huck himself and got major daddy/husband brownie points! 

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I put a flannel blanket under the tent, tossed in Huck’s reading cushion and the cutest Huckleberry Finn Baby Lit board book. I was most excited about this adorable fabric campfire set from the Land of Nod. I had bought it for Christmas, but it was backordered and didn’t arrive until after the new year. It was a splurge (even with a discount code), so I decided to save it for Huck’s birthday and base his whole party around it as inspiration. It’s super cute and a lot of fun to “build” and “roast” over. I also tucked some of Huck’s animal friends into a basket beside the tent, so there were campfire critters to join the fun, like a fox, bunny and deer.

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The main table held all the “camp grub” and it was fun to put together. The wood table itself made for an easy main focus, and I hung chalkboard pendants from Michaels Craft store over the area on the wall and wrote “Camp Huck” on them. I also found some forest tree scrapbook paper and cut out fir trees to string on twine for an added woodland detail. On the table I set out fresh daffodils in an enamel pitcher, and these lovely twiggy branches with blossoms that we have outside our front door in an old glass bottle. I put silverware in mason jars and found the perfect timber napkins at IKEA, as well as a silver lantern, complete with a flickering tea light. I also found some kraft-colored divided paper plates at Whole Foods that added a nice “mess hall” or “camp” look to the food table.

For extra touches I put all our food in containers we already owned, like wooden bowls, plates, platters and cast iron ware. I picked up some cheap tin foil bowls at the dollar store and one of my favorite touches were the birch tree straws that I found cheapest at a local store (New Seasons) and displayed them in an enamel mug, alongside a tiny red one for Huck.

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Since we eat a whole foods, plant based diet, I knew that all the food we served would be vegan (and a majority also gluten free), but wanted them to go with the camp theme and not scare anyone off. I picked up a Costco pack of Field Roast sausages and cooked them in our cast iron skillet, which also served as a decoration. They were a big hit and are soy free, made from lentil, spices, wheat flour, vegetables and other wholesome ingredients. The smoked apple and sage was the perfect flavor for the party, but everybody loved sampling them all and they were gone in no time. I added some whole grain mustard into a honey bear squeeze bottle that I found at Whole Foods (and was given for free!) and set out little toothpicks for easy snacking. 

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I picked up Trail Mix granola bars from Trader Joes and cut them up into bite size pieces. I’ve found that the smaller the portions at parties, the more likely and comfortable, people seem to feel filling up their plates, or sampling a bit of everything (and the less waste leftover). 

For simple things like carrots and celery with hummus, I gave them a woodland name of “rabbit food” and put the hummus in a tin container, as well as placing popcorn/”for the birds” in a tin foil bowl and calling pretzel sticks “kindling”. I also made “ants on a log” with almond butter and raisins for a nice throwback to childhood. Super easy and cheap, yet still on key with the theme.

My mom provided a big fruit salad, full of lots of berries and I baked fresh cornbread that morning from Bob’s Red Mill’s gluten free mix. I made it vegan with flax egg substitutes and coconut oil instead of butter. They were a huge hit and pretty cute in the red and blue gingham cupcake liners I found in the dollar section of Michaels. 

All the food labels were printed onto kraft colored paper with a font called driftwood, that I downloaded for free online. 

We also had a drinks and dessert focal point in the kitchen… 

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I made a big batch of cider in our enamel dutch oven and it made the entire house smell delicious. We also has “fresh creek water” that I tossed frozen blueberries into and lemonade served in mason jars with twig straws and glass milk bottles that I have had for a couple years for parties. 

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Over the drink and dessert table I hung a pendant banner on twine that was cut out of this great wood styled paper I found at a local craft store called Collage. I also hung up the gold glittery “Happy Birthday” banner from his St. Patrick’s Day party last year. To add some “nature”, I used fake green plants in metal pots that we already had in our kitchen window, and set out all the goodie bags for the little friends and cousins. They were actually never were given out due to a playdate cancellation, etc., but they were still  a nice decor touch. I stamped the little ones names on the bags and inside were woodland stickers and bubbles for our playdate party friends, and some adorable twig colored pencils, woodland stickers, bunny gummies and the cutest little deer bowls (from Target) for cousins at the family party. I secure the back of the bags with the cutest woodland animal washi tape that I picked up at Collage.

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I made a little coloring station with crayons and a big piece of paper taped to the table with a little campsite drawing and greeting. I printed out some woodland drawings onto kraft printer paper that I had downloaded online for free. 

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The cake was one of my absolute favorite touches to the party. It was a “two-ingredient cake” and perfectly fit with the theme (see the big reveal below) and my desire to have a natural, no sugar, treat for Huck. I used two sparkler candles from Target, and at Michaels I picked up two little deer as cake toppers and a wooden plank as a cake stand that everyone ooh’ed and aah’ed over as such a perfect detail for the day.

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I also bought some vegan Trail Mix Cookies from Trader Joes and made some vegan, gluten free S’more Cookies. They were the perfect camp treats to serve our guests and were really delicious. 

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Huck wasn’t sure what to think of everything being moved around in the house and set up, just so, but he sure liked the attention and all the fun new details and decorations. He is also a master at hiding… 

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And he is just plain cute and makes a very handsome two year old. 

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Here are some random photos from throughout the party (opening presents, photos with Mommy and Daddy)…

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Now for the big cake reveal! First off, it was incredibly funny to watch Huck have the same expression as last year when it came to singing “Happy Birthday” to him. Clammed up and looked all confused, and concerned about the fire…

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The two-ingredient cake was made from… (drumroll)…

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Watermelon and whipped coconut cream. That’s it! I got the great idea from former Portlander (and awesome vegan lady) Sayward of Bonzai Aphrodite. Huck LOVED it. Two of his favorite foods! 

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It was a great trip “into the woods” and we loved seeing everyone wearing their flannel, loving on Huck and enjoying all the food and attention to detail that I put into this party. I love love love planning events and hosting parties and celebrating. I am not trying to be a “pinterest” mom, or make things over the top - I just love doing this, and I still enjoy the day and all the little moments that come with it. I know Huck will not remember this day, but I will, and these pictures and words will serve as a memory of such a special day for such a loved little two year old! 

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