“Chloe & The Gorilla” Themed 2nd Birthday Party

Holy smokes, where on earth have the past two years gone? It feels like just yesterday heaven sent my husband and I the most precious little treasure…

…And today, that little treasure has grown into a vibrant, beautiful two year old. Celebrating her sweet little life comes far too easy.  Our daughter Chloe is happy and spunky and too darn smart for her own good, and we’re soaking up every minute of it!

Oh, and she also happens to think that gorillas are the coolest!

Right on, Little Bean.

It all started last year when her Uncle Joel and his fiancee Katie bought her the Rumble in the Jungle children’s book for her 1st birthday.  It quickly became her favorite book, but even more so, she insisted on us turning to the page with the big gorilla and the baby gorilla. She always pointed and said, “Baby gorilla!”

From then on, she always got excited whenever she came across something with a gorilla on it (actually, she still does), and she soon started asking for the gorilla in the book as well as wanting to watch videos with gorillas.

Many early Saturday mornings, I could hear African tribal music streaming from the living room, and I would find her curled up in her daddy’s lap watching some real life gorilla documentary on Youtube.  For real.

We’ve become quite educated on gorillas, my husband and I. 🙂

Chloe loves the way they bang on their chests and hoot and holler.  She imitates those silly gorillas all the while giggling herself silly.  It puts a great big smile on my face just thinking about it.

Then, this past summer, she finally got to see a real life gorilla at Como Zoo, and she was thrilled!

All that to say…since the gorilla has been the most memorable and long-standing feature of Chloe’s 2nd year, naturally, a gorilla themed birthday party was in order.

Of course, the trick was to take this often intimidating yet gentle animal (ahem, I’m kind of an expert now) and weave it into a girly theme.  After all, pink IS still her favorite color (she even insists on her pink sippy-cup dare I offer her one in another color), and the gorilla is finally, after all this time, stepping aside to make way for the different princesses that she keeps asking for these days.

It’s been fun while it lasted. Now onto the party details!  

(To see Chloe’s 1st pumpkins & butterflies birthday party, head over HERE)

I made just about everything you see below from the wood cake stand to the mini chocolate cupcakes to the cupcake toppers.  The cupcake display was, hands down, my favorite detail of the party!

 

I used this recipe for the chocolate cupcakes, and this recipe for the frosting.  This has to be the best chocolate frosting recipe I have EVER made.  Seriously, it’s uh-mazing.  If you like to bake, go make these babies stat.  You’re welcome.

While I did make the cake topper below, I did NOT make the pretty pink cake.  The fine bakers at Target made this lovely cake for me.  I did, however, get the idea for this style of cake from this darling party over on the Hostess Blog.

Flowers!  Flowers!  Chloe loves flowers!  I love flowers!  Who doesn’t love flowers?!

As a matter of fact, Chloe gets super excited and yells, “Flowers!” any time she sees them anywhere…like at the farmers market, in someone’s yard, heck, even in the ditch.  While I have my own affinity for flowers, I knew Chloe would be particularly excited about these lovely, vibrant bouquets, so I placed them in every room just for her.

I wanted to create a unique backdrop for the dessert table that tied in with design of the invitations I made.  Remember these invitations?

I spent hours making this sign, and I really loved the way it turned out.

The funny thing is that as soon as the party was over, Chloe kept asking for this sign, so I gave it to her, watched her drag it around the house and eventually watched her graffiti over all of my artwork with all shades of chalk.  This poster is officially destroyed, but it served its purpose, and I am happy it brought joy to my little girl in more than one sense.  Ha!

I actually got the idea for the fabric chandeliers below from some decor at my church.

Yep, months ago, the ladies at church strung hemp rope like this with fabric tied all along it across the ceiling rafters at church.  I thought it was so cool that I snapped a photo with my iphone and later came up with a chandelier take on the same concept.  The chandeliers had a sort of funky/jungle-y vibe that I thought worked well with my theme.

 

This chandelier I made turned out to be huge.  Seriously, it’s like 5 feet long!

Okay, so I cut out about a bazillion sparkly hearts months ago thinking I would have some use for them.  Well, I had no use for them whatsoever.  Then, the night before the party, I whipped up a quick heart garland just to not be wasteful, and you know what?  It turned out to be another one of my favorite details. Who knew?

Umm…so, I made a bunch of these time-consuming place cards.  Guess what?  I didn’t use a single one! They are all still sitting on a shelf unused in my basement.  Good grief.  BUT, I felt compelled to share this photo with you to make myself feel better for wasting so much time on something I didn’t even use.

Okay, so this is kind of a terrible photo.  It was an evening party, the lighting was terrible, and my hands were too shaky from one too many cups of coffee at this point in the day, so this photo is entirely BLAH, but it’s the best one that I have that encompasses the dessert table.  Oh well!

In other news, did I mention that my hubby is a fantastic cook?  Yep, he whipped up some good comfort food for the party, including a crowd favorite: ham & cheddar cheese soup along with a big batch of chili.

When it comes to parties, I usually take a break from the typical day-to-day cooking.  Instead, I focus on the decorating, and my husband does the cooking.  Dividing and conquering in that fashion has always made for minimal stress come the day of the party.

AND the best part about the whole day?  Our little girl was ecstatic.  She was so happy!  I honestly couldn’t have asked for a better day.

Thank you to my hubby, grandparents, and all of the aunts, uncles and cousins that helped celebrate our Little Bean.  She is one blessed little girl, and we love her more than words can say.

Happy 2nd Birthday, baby girl!

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