Happy 2nd Birthday, Hudson! {Kids Woodland Party}

Hudson Maverick Rugala

Hudson Maverick – the Birthday Boy!

Did you really think that I’d be able to go too long without posting a birthday party? I mean, clearly, it’s all that I do in my downtime – as if planning events for a living isn’t enough, I do it when I’m not working, also. I realize this might not be normal. But what can I say? I love parties. I love themed parties. I love planning for parties. And decorating for parties. And I especially love people enjoying those parties. So as long as everyone around me keeps wanting parties, parties I will have!Happy Birthday Banner

Leading up to Hudson’s birthday I was having trouble coming up with a theme. He wasn’t really into much specifically and nothing stood out for me. Then one day he started obsessing over woodland creatures – you know, like squirrels, foxes, bears, raccoon, etc. It all started while sitting on the couch in our family room and a pair of squirrels were chasing each other in the tree right outside of the window and he thought it was the best thing, ever. So then he started obsessing over them and the birds that would fly around outside and then some how bears got tied in, ’cause you know – they go hand-in-hand. And thus, a theme popped into my head; Woodland Creatures.

Woodland Creatures10421367_860270707336514_7250375768932456706_n

What was great about that theme is that with Halloween & Autumn there was lots of decor out there and all of the Halloween decorations went on sale before Halloween which made finding cheap stuff super easy and affordable. I found most of the decor at Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, Target, and a few things at a store called Richard’s in our town. Things like acorns, pinecones, moss, squirrels, foxes, bears, birds, raccoons, hedgehogs, twigs, leaves, mushrooms etc. I also got a lot of our decor from my parents backyard in their creek! Branches, tree stumps, etc. I also made a few things like the super cute foam mushrooms – which I will have a follow-up post on how to make.

Styrofoam Mushrooms

The kids and I went on a little creek walk with my dad and we found some great tree stumps and logs and branches for the party. My dad, being the amazing contractor/carpenter/creator that he is, made us custom tree cake-stands and branch cake-pop holders. Since the party I have done nothing but try to convince him that he should do it in his spare time (Which is scarce) and I will sell them on Etsy for him. They were beautiful – he did such a fabulous job!

Tree Cake Stands

For the food, I wanted to keep it really simple and easy since I had my hands full with an 8 week old baby plus Poppy & Hudson, and I knew I just didn’t have the time or energy to do anything elaborate. We had a broccoli salad (because it looked like little trees!), orzo salad, build your own deli sandwich, acorn shaped peanut butter and jelly, fruit skewers, and little mozzarella cheese & tomato ‘mushrooms’.

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Dessert, because that is the most important part of a kids party, had chocolate ‘bear’ cupcakes, ‘hedgehog’ meringues, marshmallow ‘mushrooms’, blue bird and black bear cookies, and an adorable little tree stump cake.

10669990_860273890669529_7832120819300955947_n10678747_860270957336489_1754250700882837749_n 10424265_860272154003036_2498492578176799741_n10731050_860270917336493_543740621725172130_n10644867_860271020669816_4968809990154455706_n10417498_860271004003151_581380465005375638_n 10411111_860272377336347_3813416793150504962_n 10151163_860270867336498_3418319224511144212_n 1508625_860272310669687_5871358447842778618_n Dessert Buffet

I had all of the dessert displayed out on my entry table that was all themed decorated. I used a brown plastic tablecloth (for easy clean-up!), a moss table runner, scattered leaves, scattered acorns and pine cones, the branch & tree bark cake-pop holders my dad made displaying the marshmallow mushrooms, some little animals scattered about, and a cute acorn banner from Papyrus.

Tree Cake Stands 10428695_860273930669525_6936310500562626591_n 10731050_860270917336493_543740621725172130_n Entry Table Dessert Buffet

Check out his adorable cake!!

Tree Stump Cake

And blowing out his candle (with Poppy’s help)!


I am a big fan of edible favors so I had a whole make-your-own mini caramel apple station. I bought sticks off of Etsy and skewered mini apples and had those out on display. I had two mini crock-pot warmers with caramel in them and lots of bowls of yummy toppings; mini m&m’s, shredded coconut, mini chocolate chips, toffee pieces, chopped pecans, chopped peanuts, peanut butter chips, and sprinkles. This was my favorite part about the party! Maybe because I LOVE caramel apples… YUMMY! If the guests wanted to take them home I had silver cupcake liners & cellophane bags so that they could bag them up and take them with them.

10404870_860270734003178_8455592044877167469_n 10386315_860271527336432_1496589938069659008_n DIY Caramel Apple Buffet

Although kids are perfectly fine with just playing with toys, I always like to have activities because kids lose interest/attention quickly and need other activities for them to do.  I set up a pine-cone bird feeder station outside so that the kids could make their own little bird-feeders. I used plastic containers filled with birdseed, bowls with peanut butter and spatulas, and pre-tied ribbon to acorns so that they could be hung from trees or wherever. The kids took a pinecone, slather it with peanut butter, then dredge it in the birdseed and voila – done! It really was a cute activity and a lot of fun. Messy and clearly not ideal for anyone who has a nut allergy – but fun nonetheless!

1235956_860271137336471_1901215376001358193_n Pinecone bird feeders

The second activity I had was make raccoon and fox masks. I cut out a bunch of different sized hearts on my Cricut in appropriate colors for the animals, put out glue sticks, and Popsicle sticks, and 2 examples of ones that Poppy & I made. They were really cute and fun and most of the kids made them but I did have a ton of heart-shaped paper left over… guess it’ll be a gray & orange Valentines day this year!

10488074_860271550669763_8521420176839164427_n Fox and raccoon facesPoppy Ireland Rugala

His party was a lot of fun and he had a great time playing with all of his little friends! It was definitely a cute gender-neutral theme, too, and can be done any time of year! A twist on it would be after Christmas and doing a Winter Woodland theme!!!

Birthday Boy loving the marshmallow mushrooms. (there will be a follow-up post for those, too!)

Hudson Rugala

Oh, and I made his little Fox shirt for him to wear that day.






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