you’re invited: state fair birthday party.

So, we had this little state fair birthday party yesterday. You know, the one I’ve been telling you about, for the (now two-year-old) Wee One. I’ve been stringing pennant garland and fashioning felt animals for three solid weeks now. And if you think I have a Farmers’ Market Monday post today, you’re wrong; because unless you want my recipe for buying pre-made broccoli slaw and adding matchsticked fresh carrots to it to make it look classy, I don’t have anything for you. What I do have is a little recap of how the day was spent, and some of the other food I made for the party.

Today is also my blog birthday, people. It’s been one year since I started working on this, and I’m happy to say it’s been great. To celebrate, I’ll be rolling out a few new sections on the blog over September, and I hope you like them. I’ll be back in a few days with more recipes, and we’ll be back to our normal fun around here. Right now, I have some felt animals to clean up.

Enjoy the party, and thank you for coming.

Once upon a time, a two-year-old had a birthday party. She was my two-year-old. So, balloons were gathered…

…buttermints, farm animals, and cake servers were readied…

…and Kim’s old-fashioned pink candy popcorn was made. Twice. Because it’s a proven fact that I can not make candy without it getting screwed up at least once.

There were corn cookies baked on sticks and arranged in gumball-filled mason jars. Because the only way to make Momofuku cookies more fun is to bake them on sticks. Period.

Still more mason jars were filled to the brim with Jennie’s outstanding maple nut granola

…and magically transformed into favors using random leftover fabric, some textured cardstock, miniature clothespins, and a few inked stamps.

Of course, there was a concession stand. One of the offerings? This cake.

Yes; this cake. Did you want a closer look? Okay.

There we are; the Momofuku Chocolate Malt Cake, which was crazy to make and even crazier to unwrap and eat. The recipe (and a major new round of tips, because this one involves some tricky, sticky components) will be on the blog shortly.

There was a cornucopia of other food, all of it very picnic-like.

There was a dollhouse break because frankly, my Wee One doesn’t love crowds. She’s her mother’s daughter, after all, and would much prefer to be skittering about in the kitchen rather than socialize.

And so, we celebrated with some farm animals…

…opened an absurd amount of presents…

…partied under pennants…

…and eventually the guests wandered through cake crumbs and found their way home.

The End.

 (I’ll see you in a few days.) 

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  • Reply Kim Bee August 20, 2012 at 10:14 am

    Please throw my next birthday party!! This is beyond incredible. I absolutely love that you made the pink popcorn. It’s so girlie it just has to made for girlie parties and showers. I adore that cake. I cannot wait to see your tips. I made one of their cakes once and it was a freaking nightmare. Love the granola in the jars, and the cookies on sticks in the jars was adorable. Honestly I really want you to throw me a party after seeing this.

    • Reply shannon August 21, 2012 at 2:31 pm

      Kim! i feel like i should start hiring myself out for birthday parties now; you all make me feel so special for my little felt and posterboard animal faces! 🙂 it was very girly and sweet, and the cake was the (other) star of the day. the momofuku cakes are not easy, for sure; this one was the most difficult one i’ve done, and i really thought it wasn’t going to work when i started the layers. but it did, and i was relieved, because if i had ruined the Wee one’s birthday cake? TEARS. PANIC. awful.

      thank you so much for that old-fashioned popcorn recipe. it was BIG at the party. i was so happy i tried it a second time (i knew what i did the first time and it was completely my fault). it was DELICIOUS. i’m still snacking on it today. there’s only a little left, so i can’t let it go to waste. it VANISHED from the table on party day.

  • Reply movita beaucoup August 20, 2012 at 10:31 am

    MOTHER OF PEARL!! Best party ever. And so exciting to see where the various farm animals ended up. I kinda want to hang pennant garlands all over my house…

    • Reply shannon August 21, 2012 at 2:33 pm

      my sister and i liked the pennant garlands so much, we decided that:
      1. i will keep these up for as long as they will hold,
      2. we’ll be doing fall-colored pennant garland in Nashville when we gather for Thanksgiving festivities, and
      3. we see no reason not to have appropriately-themed pennant garland for every holiday.

      because pennant garland? fun to make, fun to look at. just fun to be around.

  • Reply Jennie @themessybakerblog August 20, 2012 at 11:00 am

    I may not be a wee one, but I would totally love to enjoy this themed party as an adult. You did an amazing job, Shannon. Everything looked so festive and cheery. And, OMG, that cake is gorgeous!

    It makes me all happy-like that you used my granola recipe. See you in a few days.

    • Reply shannon August 21, 2012 at 2:36 pm

      thank youuuuuu!
      i would so throw you this party; i mean, it’s pretty low-tech, but it does manage to be cherry and fun for all involved, adults and children alike. it’s fun to watch the adults walk in all googly-eyed at the decorations; you’d think they were the ones who were two years old! sort of the best kind of party when adults get excited like children.

      granola = HUGE hit. my sister ate hers i think that evening. 🙂

  • Reply Carol Anne @ Rock Salt August 20, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    Amazing. Amazing. I cannot stop thinking the word ‘amazing’. Really though, you’re basically a superhero and i have no idea how you made everything so PERFECT! Can’t wait to read more posts about everything.

    • Reply shannon August 21, 2012 at 2:40 pm

      Carol Anne, i do not deserve your superhero praise, that’s for sure. you’re awfully kind to say that, though; it makes me so happy knowing all of you like my silly little party so much. 🙂 i suppose it’s a testament to what one can do with scissors, cardstock, felt, and some basic drawing skills. and i think you have to really enjoy it, and i really, really do.

      that cake was a labor of love, but it was a labor, for sure. hardest part of the entire day, but well worth it. i’m sure it’s nothing compared to the ridiculously crazy shaped cakes you make, for sure. they don’t make cake rings for the things you do. 🙂

  • Reply Katherine @ eggton August 20, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    Happy birthday to your Wee One and to your blog! I love the pennants. Perhaps I should make some and leave them up all year round, since this house is pretty much a carnival anyway.

    I love the last line of this post. It made me feel nostalgic for the party–like I wanted it to keep going–even though I wasn’t there to begin with.

    • Reply shannon August 21, 2012 at 2:44 pm

      the wee one says thank you, as do i. 🙂 the pennants are staying up; she and i made an executive decision that what goes on here on a day-to-day basis is so carnival-esque that the garland fits right in. i bet Thunder and Seymour would LOVE it.

      i’m happy you noticed that! i was going through the day in my head, photo by photo, and was getting a little nostalgic myself, even though i was tired (in a happy way) and had just finished cleaning up. we had a really great time. things like this are a lot of work, but oh so much fun in the end.

  • Reply Jen @JuanitasCocina August 20, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    So, I want you to adopt me. Because I want a fair party next year.

    I’ll be a good house-adoptee. I’ll make baked goods and Mexican food any time you want.

    • Reply shannon August 21, 2012 at 2:46 pm

      we really need to get moving on that adoption paperwork. until then, i would be happy to make you a party. I’ll need you to be in charge of making me gain zillions of pounds by making all the lovely food you make.

      can you do that? done. adopted. sign here. 🙂

  • Reply Jen @JuanitasCocina August 20, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    And happy blog birthday to my favoritest shannon in the world. <3

    Luvz ya'.

    • Reply shannon August 21, 2012 at 2:46 pm

      aw….:) (blushing) thank you.

  • Reply Amy @ ElephantEats August 20, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    wow, check out that cake! I’m dying to know exactly what’s in it…it sounds like the stuff dreams are made of 🙂 And happy bday to your little one!

    • Reply shannon August 27, 2012 at 2:29 pm

      hi amy! thanks – that cake was really fun to put together, but it was a process, for sure. It came out great, and i’ll be sharing the recipe soon (with lots of tips and tricks if you decide to make it) on the blog. those momofuku cakes always take me a few weeks to put words to. 🙂
      the little one says thank you. 🙂 she had lots of fun. technically she’s still living her party, because i leave her decorations up for a few weeks for her to enjoy, then take them down little by little and pack them away. win/win.

  • Reply Emma August 21, 2012 at 6:11 am

    What was Wee One’s favoritest gift? It looks like she had a dream of a party. I was always scared of birthday parties when I was little, so I never had any. But if only I had been thrown a party like this…. my whole life would be different!

    • Reply shannon August 21, 2012 at 2:53 pm

      favorite gift? the big easel we gave her for her blossoming interest in art (yay!). she LOVES it; one side is a chalkboard and the other is a white board, and then there’s a big paper roll on top she can use for crayons and colored pencils and painting. it’s pretty rad. I also logged about ten thousand hours on ebay meticulously putting together an array of fisher price little people dollhouses (circa 1960’s a-frame to 1970’s tudor to an early 80’s 2-story), furnishing them with era-appropriate furniture and people, and making a village of vintage schoolhouses, airports, and other things. it was SO MUCH FUN. i’ll be giving those to her over the next few months; she has enough presents right now and i don’t want to overwhelm her with awesomeness. 🙂
      honey, we speak the same language. i was scared of parties, too. my mom threw me a surprise party exactly one time, and it freaked me out so much we never did it again. it was traumatic. when i knew all the details ahead of time, however, it was okay. as long as we stayed in my comfort zone (small gatherings), i managed to have fun. and my mom? she threw us parties JUST like this. this whole thing is the result of artsy genetics. 🙂

  • Reply Faygie Moorvitch August 21, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    Looks like the party was amazing!!!

    • Reply shannon August 21, 2012 at 2:55 pm

      faygie, this party was SO much fun! aside from a ‘dramatic episode’ (2-year old meltdowns before and after the event, you know how that goes) we all had a great time. i was happy and also felt like i could sleep for two days, but in a good way. i think that’s the best sort of exhaustion. 🙂

  • Reply natalie August 21, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    omg everything looks so lovely. you’re so amazing. you deserve at least several medals for pulling that off. think i can commission you for my bday next year? 😉

    • Reply shannon August 22, 2012 at 3:51 pm

      natalie, thanks! i had my mom and my sister here to help, and without them i’d probably STILL be sticking animals to my walls! it’s why i make them fly in early; cheap labor. 🙂
      i could totally do your birthday, you just pick the theme. 🙂 i feel like your party could be right in line with what the Wee One will want next year, so we can double-use the decorations. i’ll fly them to AZ.

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