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As I look back on 2009 with enormous pride and joy, I am grateful for the abundance of professional opportunities I have had in the last twelve months. I also realize while I have offered bits and pieces of some of my most memorable events, I have not thoroughly shared the beautiful images and details of them. As we begin to bid farewell to the year, please join me as I showcase some of the best events I have had the privilege to plan and coordinate in 2009.

Andrew’s Third Birthday Train Party

There was never a question of what the theme of this party would be, as this three year old boy is deeply committed to his train tracks, engines and play regime. While Thomas the Tank Engine is his favorite, his mom wanted the party to be personal, creative and thoughtful.

The information on the invitation was thorough, yet presented in a creative verse. This set the tone for the party and gave guests an idea of what to expect.

The wooden train glued to the loot bag was purchased pre-cut at a craft store (they have many other non train options) and gives the bag a clean and natural look. Painting them at the party was an activity on my rain plan alternative in the case of inclement weather. Each bag had a pin stripped conductor hat, a red bandanna, a wooden train whistle (sorry parents!) an individual box of train shaped cookies and candy.

The play list of train themed songs we created for the party was burned to blank CDs for guests to take home. This is an inexpensive favor or filler for any type of party. The CD cover was customized to coordinate with the invites, loot bags and over all concept of the party.

This activity book was made special for Andrew. It featured trains and his birthday. It was filled with pages to color, mazes, puzzles and photos.

I used Martha Stewart’s train punch to make the cardboard trains resting on each miniature cupcake. The cupcakes sat on wooden train tracks surrounding the cookie bouquet. They took main stage so no traditional cake was needed. The birthday candles rested in a deep glass of m&m’s. Train lollipops and railroad gum adorned the table. When entertaining in a client’s home, I try to use their service pieces when it’s appropriate. It seems fitting, but in this case the client’s beautiful crystal vases would have been a classic contradiction to this casual kid’s birthday party. Instead I found Pellegrino bottles in their recycling. The colors coordinated perfectly!

These are Brigadeiros, traditional Brazilian candies. The young guest of honor is half Brazilian so in honoring his culture these were served with dessert. Made with sweetened condensed milk, they are beyond delicious!

The activities were a train pinata, Put the Conductor in the Train Game and swimming.

Good luck planning your next birthday party!


Thanks to Andrew and his family for allowing me to help them celebrate this special day. Thank you to fabulous Michigan photographer, Jen Kroll for capturing the details of this birthday party.

What are the fondest birthday memories from your childhood?

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