I'm still a bit in shock over the fact that my baby turned two in November.
The night before every one of my kid's birthdays, I spend extra time checking in on them before I go to bed, and even though we had just flown home from a trip that night, I did the same the evening before my little guy turned two. I wanted to memorize everything about his one-year-old self, his sleeping face, the chunky cheeks resting around his pursed little lips, his blonde hair spread on his pillow, and his long lashes resting on his face.
We threw a birthday party for him that weekend and because of his obsession with horses and cowboys, we decided on a Cowboy Birthday Party theme. If you are looking for party ideas, take a look at what we did.
I wanted to make sure I wasn't stressed out about the party, but instead had time to enjoy it and not be worn out when the day arrived, so my main goal was to keep it mostly simple and use a lot of things from around the house so I didn't have to make much to decorate with. Since we live in Calgary and attend the Calgary Stampede every year, this wasn't too hard to do, we just had stuff laying around.
I started by gathering everything I had in the house that was remotely Cowboy/Western themed and started arranging decorations from there.
At the front door, guests were greeted with fake mustaches and sheriff's badges. They were mostly for the kids but I think most of the Grandparents and Great Grandparents ended up wearing the badges all afternoon.
Curtis's favorite part of the decor was the moon I cut out and taped to the bathroom door in memory of an outhouse. I printed off some artwork and hung it where the kid's crafts and artwork usually hangs by clothespins. A simple switch that made all the difference!
I had some random rope in the basement from an old craft project, so I threw it up on the chandelier. The centerpiece on the table was my favorite, and it was so simple! I had the ceramic cacti already from IKEA (how could I not buy them?) and I grabbed some of the train tracks and trains we had laying around and placed them in a loop around. This was a big hit with my nephews, who spent most of the party playing with the train.
The rope "2" was made by using push pins through the back of a canvas to stab the rope and keep it in place, and the brown cowboy hat on the wall was actually my husband's Great Grandpa's. It quickly became James favorite hat and he now wears it constantly.
The artwork on the wall, an old western cowboy print, was my husband's other Great Grandpa's. We had had it stowed away for a while, and it couldn't have been more perfect!
Aren't those cowboy pillows so cute? I found a vintage cowboy crib sheet at value village and had wanted to turn them into pillows for the kid's beds, and since we had this party coming up I finally made it happen (and they look adorable in their room now).
The horse was for our, "Pin the tail on the horse" game, and while we weren't using it I just taped it over the TV.
For the food, again the theme was simple, so we bought a stack of round tin baking dishes from the dollar store, like at Costa Vida, and had a nacho bar where people topped their own chips and threw them under the broiler. It was a huge hit!
The Cactus cake was so much fun to make, and my first time actually piping on a cake. Thanks to my Mom for helping out! It was an amazing chocolate cake, which I layered with stiffer, pipeable cream cheese frosting (though still much softer than buttercream, a little finicky when it came to the cacti) and some homemade dulce de leche. Again, huge hit! I think it's my new favorite combo.
The gifts that we gave James were also cowboy themed, and he loves all three of them. I made the hobby horse from a few different patterns I found online, and used a dollar store mop for the hair and Curtis's old blue jeans for the fabric. The Woody and Bullseye toys were actually a great secondhand find, so inexpensive, I love a good used find!
Happy Birthday little man, we love you almost as much as you love Woody ;)