Monday, February 22, 2010

Gabriel's 2nd birthday - A Night at the Movies, Hollywood Style

The little man in my life was turning two soon, and that got me thinking about a party theme... He had just started watching his first movies (I really avoided all TV-related activities until then) and with the upcoming Oscars and Golden Globe Awards, I thought it would be fun to do an "old Hollywood glam" 2nd birthday bash.
I had an idea in mind for an invitation: the Metro Goldwyn Mayer logo, but instead of the lion head, I would have my son's face in the center.  So I called my big sister Katia for help bringing to life my mental draft.  As we started brainstorming together, she had the brilliant idea of shooting Gabriel's photo dressed as a lion - perfect!!  Since it was after Halloween, I though it would be hard to find him a costume, but with a little help from the internet, I found it online at Walgreens!!
Then we had another idea that ended up not happening (because neither of us knew how to do it!) To film Gabi roaring in the logo photo, and add this clip to a virtual invitation to be sent via email.  The hard part was to convince a "soon-to-be" 2 year-old to do so... Here's the "making of" the video (several attempts of it) which I decided to play on a TV during the party (before and after the "feature" movie.)
I printed movie-related images (film projectors, movie reels) and placed them on top of serving dishes to accommodate the food on top
On the day before the party, we got one of the biggest snow storms in the area, and I had to call everyone rescheduling the celebration... Luckily, most of the guests could still make it, and to make the trip super-worthy (specially having to deal with the hassle of driving and trying to find parking on snowed down streets), I made some warming foods such as "white" turkey chili and hot dogs ("Brazilian-style", with a sauce made with tomatoes, garlic, onions and bell peppers.)
What movie screening (for kids, at least) would be complete without popcorn?
I used balloon weights shaped as movie cameras and clapboards to display the name of the foods.
Another warm and comforting food - roasted spiced butternut squash soup with crumbled blue cheese for sprinkling on top.  It was the hit of the evening!
Support table arranged with plates, cups, bowls, napkins and utensils
The "screening room" all set with top hats for each mini guest
Oh well, I meant "mini guests", but apparently the grown men were also (if not more) interested in the movie...
Which was a Brazilian computer-animated children's fantasy film called "The Happy Cricket and the Giant Bugs" You can check the trailer here and here.
I purchased red curtains specifically for the party, and then hung some string decorations from the curtain rod.
Oh yeah, and let's not forget about the "Hollywood Stars Walk of Fame".
The biggest celebrity walking down the "red carpet" with his... convertible?
Did I mention the snow?  It came in handy to chill our beverages :-)
Dressing Room, a.k.a "bathroom door"
My favorite movie star...
I made a few VIP passes for special guests... dad sitting in the back
This mamma here got in the party mood dressed accordingly (I also donned long white satin gloves)
To add to the stress of the last-minute changes caused by the snow, we didn't have a birthday cake, since our local Whole Foods Market (where I had ordered the cake from) was closed due to the blizzard!! So we had to improvise and go on a cake hunt.  I "re-assigned" one of the decorations (the clapboard/movie reel combo centerpiece) and placed it on top of a plain white cake.  Not the best looking birthday cake, but it worked as an emergency solution.
To make up for the cake fiasco, we were lucky to have delicious Brazilian sweets (chocolate "brigadeiro" cups and guava marmalade-fresh cheese rolled sweets, also called "Romeo & Juliet" because this guava-cheese combination goes oh-so-well) made by my good friend Lucina :-)
I used popcorn paper bags to hold party favors such as gold award statues, hand clappers, clapboard and flashlight key chains, star stickers and sunglasses, microwavable popcorn and raisins to snack on (sorry, no "real" candy here.) I then created a "concession stand" to hold the bags, made with a large shoebox and some aluminum foil from the kitchen.
Para uma versão em português da festa, clique aqui.
For a Portuguese description of the party, you can head over to Katia's blog, "Casos & Coisas da Bonfa". 
That's all, folks!

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