Sunday, November 20, 2011

Happy 3rd Birthday Tristan!

Today was the big day. We had a party for him with family and a few of his daycare friends. It was a monkey-themed party and it was a success :) Success because the food all turned out and nobody cried at the party.

We gave out invitations a week and a half ago but I think next year I will give them out sooner. It's nicer to know in advance and to book people before they have plans :) Two weeks in advance would probably be better. For this year's party, we got a little more formal. I hand wrote invitations out of construction paper cut out as bananas for some of his friends who I didn't have emails for at daycare. Here was the message I used on the invitations:
Monkey see, monkey do, 
Tristan is turning 3!!!

Monkeys love to jump and run,
Come join us for some monkey fun!
We’ll go bananas if you can come!

We decided to play games this year! The idea seemed alright and the games we picked were easy. At least we thought they were. For Tristan and a couple of others though, it just didn't work out. On a good day, Tristan would have been fine but today, he didn't want to obey. We played one game, then ate, then played the other two games.

  1. Draw the best monkey: All the kids had to draw a monkey. The best monkey drawing won a prize. All the kids were between 3 and 4. Apparently, the drawing ability between 3 and 4 is huge. My 7 year old niece was the judge. One of the kids was not in the mood to draw a monkey so he drew a roller coaster. Somehow that got into Tristan's head and he started drawing a roller coaster too. Therefore two kids didn't even draw a monkey:(
  2. Best monkey imitation: Each child had to show us their best monkey impersonation to compete for a prize. I initially pictured kids making monkey noises and jumping around with their arms like monkeys. In reality, most of the kids were shy or wasn't interested in playing. Then there was Tristan who decided to impersonate a tiger instead. When we told him "no, not a tiger, a monkey," he almost cried. Yeah, I would call that game a fail too. Don't know what it is but lately for the past month or so, Tristan has been pretending to be a tiger for fun. A better party for him would have been a tiger. Or an astronaut. At least for the next little while until he is interested in something else.
  3. Throwing safari animals: I initially got this idea from a similar one where kids throw banana bean bags through a monkey hoop painted out of cardboard. We couldn't put that off so we settled for a jungle drawing with a hole on the ground and bought a bag of safari animals. Each person throws all the animals in the hole. The person with the most animals inside the hole wins a prize. It ended up being harder than I thought but this game worked out a bit better.
Nutella cupcakes & chocolate cake
 Now, what is a party without talking about the food? In previous years, I have always made at least most of my food and then I would buy a nice cake. This year, I decided to make everything from scratch, including the cake. People that know me know me for my cooking. Only in the past year have a started to bake more and feel more comfortable with my decorating skills. At my mom's birthday a month ago, I made her a cake and felt pretty good about it. Now that Tristan's cake is done, I'm glad I decided to do it this year :) It really was a lot of fun. I'll try to write a post on it later for those who may be interested.
Like the banana food labels we made? :)


  • Foie gras & fig jam on mini dry toast
  • Cheese & meat plate, crackers
  • Chips
Main dish:
  • Pesto chicken vegetable pasta
  • Three cheese tomato tart
  • Tuna sandwiches (cut out with monkey cookie cutter)
  • Banana, oranges, persimmons
Pop, pineapple juice boxes

  • Monkey cake
  • Monkey cupcakes
  • Lemon vanilla sugar cookies

I tried to incorporate monkey-themed food here and there but I mostly just had good food. We had real bananas cut up and around for decorations. We had a pineapple for decoration and served pineapple juice boxes. I made tuna sandwiches, which I cut out using my monkey cookie cutter. We served lots of oranges too because I heard that monkey love both oranges and bananas. The dessert was all monkey-themed, as you can see :)

Some times when I am in such a rush to cook, I just don't taste test. Today I made the mistake of not taste testing the pesto pasta and it turned out it was missing salt. No wonder there was so much left! People were probably too polite to ask for salt. Lol. I was also running a bit late so I skipped a few things. I wanted to present the cut up fresh fruit in rows with the pineapple top on one end but I ended up just cutting fruit on plates. No one noticed and probably wouldn't have cared but me anyway.
The party was from 11-2PM. Jean-Louis and I were so busy getting ready still that we were at least 30 minutes late setting up all the food. That was a bit embarrassing. Next time, we need to do more preparation the night before. However, once all the food was laid out, I got to sit down and relax a bit:) See? I told you I would try to relax during the party!

Monkey-themed parties are totally cute! I knew that if I ever wanted to do one, it would have to be now while Tristan was still young. I think it's just cuter when they are young :) The other reason is that when they get older, they tend to want to choose their own party themes. That's what I hear anyway.


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