Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Legend of Zelda/Link Birthday Party Recap

Last week I shared with you the M&M cookies I made for G's birthday. Today, I'm finally getting around to the rest of the birthday extravaganza recap. I'm warning you - this may be my most picture heavy post in MONTHS. Lots of months. Which is possibly part of the reason it took me so long to finally get this post up.
Legend of Zelda/ Link themed birthday party Hylian Shield Cake

You might remember from my Halloween post this past fall that my son absolutely loves Link and all the Legend of Zelda games. We're actually still working our way through earning all the upgrades, etc. in The Legend of Zelda: a Link Between Worlds (a favorite gift he got for Christmas). So it was no big surprise when he started asking for a Link themed birthday party. I was lucky when he relented on having me make a Windwaker cake (ie. a cake that looks like a giant ship with a Dragon head and a sail) and settled on this shield instead. It's a vanilla cake (which is what he always requests) with buttercream frosting, and some marshmallow fondant for the details. I've never worked with fondant before, so it got a little messy for me, but the recipe was simple enough, and I'm sure it would seem simpler if I ever do it again.

Legend of Zelda/ Link themed birthday party: family birthday plate

My son made this birthday plate as part of a family crafting project we did with my husband's family over Christmas. Plate + sharpies + over = permanent. Sort of. Parts of it started washing off after breakfast... eh... someone did something not quite right, I'm guessing, so don't expect a tutorial on that any time soon. But I do love the idea of a family birthday plate. G got the idea from my sister-in-law, who is all kinds of crafty (in the good way).

And being the amazing kid that he is, G wrote this note and gifted me ALL THIS MONEY. For his birthday. His birthday.

So then how can you say "no" to a kid like that when he wants to go to Chuck E. Cheese for his actual birthday dinner? You don't. Or, at least, I don't. And when he want to do the Ticket Blaster? Well, Grandpa accidentally orders and pays for it. Not worth it, if you were wondering, except G loved it. So maybe it was worth it? If he hadn't caught the Magic Ticket, I'm pretty sure he might have cried, though, and so would I!
Legend of Zelda/ Link themed birthday party: ticket blaster magic ticket

His actual party was held on a Saturday. As per usual (lately), I emailed the invitations out to family and friends nearby. This, of course, is an edited version:
Legend of Zelda/ Link themed birthday party: invitation

We had "decorate your own pizza" for the main course, where we set out a ton of toppings and gave everyone their own mini pizza to top however they wanted. While the pizzas cooked, we did "Pin the Shield on Link." I took this picture:
Legend of Zelda/ Link themed birthday party: party game
and blew it up poster sized using Block Posters. It's a totally free website that will blow up your picture and then segment it out so you can print it from your home printer. Just tape all the pieces together and voila! My husband did it with a wedding picture for our first anniversary, and I super loved it.

After lunch, we sent the kids on a scavenger hunt (a favorite game for G and my husband). Along the way, they found pieces of the Triforce, and a "boss key". If you don't know what those things are, I'm not sure how interested you really are in having a Link party of your own. Anyway, at the end was this treasure chest:
Legend of Zelda/ Link themed birthday party: treasure chest
I bought it at Michael's, used some stain pens to get a more weathered (finished and darker) look, then painted the edges with a metallic black acrylic paint. I taped off the edges using masking tape for a crisp line. I originally wanted to add more detail, but when it comes down to the wire, there are always things I need to cut out of my original plan. Anyway, inside the "chest" were goodie bags (one for each kid). The goodie bags were filled with the highest quality dollar store items we could fit. Silly putty, glow sticks, candy, card games, etc.

Of course, I had a ton of fondant leftover from the cake, and of course G wanted cupcakes as well, so I put these together:
Legend of Zelda/ Link themed birthday party: triforce cupcakes

The powdered sugar is still pretty obvious on the fondant at this point, but no one complained - not G, and definitely not my 9 year old nephew who took a whole plate of these home! (A whole plate? Yes, I may have doubled an already doubled recipe... it's what I do.)

I did serve a few healthier options as well though.
Legend of Zelda/ Link themed birthday party: food
Aside from the Cheetos and M&M cookies, of course. We had lots of fresh fruit, and finger sandwiches (peanut butter and strawberry jelly, and cucumber with cream cheese) - all approved by G. I always figure, if it's his birthday, why would I serve something he wouldn't actually want to eat?

As for decorations, I don't really have any pictures. I just strung up green and yellow streamers in the dining room with multi-colored balloons everywhere. It was enough to make him happy, and not so much to make me crazy.

Obviously, birthdays are a BIG deal for me. I've already started planning N's birthday party in July, but that's partly due to the fact I'm having a baby in June. I don't want N's birthday to be thrown together last minute. Plus, I figure this will mean less stress for me. What are some birthday traditions you like to keep in your family? And what is your favorite kind of cake/frosting? 
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