Beach Party

“I’m going simple for Rocco’s birthday,” she said.  “I’m just going to give the kids peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on the beach,” she said.  “Really!” she said. 

And while she meant what she said, she could not do as she meant.

So I present to you, Rocco’s birthday beach party:

beach party

I tried so hard to go simple.  I knew I wanted to make the castle cake I saw on  The invitations I designed using the sandpaper sand castle idea also from (if you use sandpaper on your cards, Elmer’s glue does work but you have to weight the cards down while the glue is drying or the sandpaper curls up.)


I ordered beach buckets for the kids from and decorated them, then stuffed them with blow-up beach balls, squirt guns, tornado makers, leis, and a lunch that did include the simple peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, only they had morphed into peanut butter and jelly fish sandwiches.


And since the guest list was a bit on the large side, I decided to make a set of cupcakes—there are tons of variations of these on the Internet.  Vincenzo had a lot of fun setting up the scenes on each one!


My MIL agreed to make a beach ball fruit platter that turned out beautifully.


And that’s all I planned, I swear

But the day before the party we went to Costco to pick up food for the adults and came across the croissant platter and I remembered seeing a picture of crab croissant sandwiches and so this happened…


And then I started worrying that we might not have enough dessert for everyone, so I bing’d some more beach desserts and just HAD to make these oyster cookies (I used sugar cookies and pearlized sixlets):


No sooner did I add the eyeballs to the last oyster cookie when I realized I had already made a batch of Snickerdoodles the day before, and I had seen some sand dollar cookies on one of my beach party searches, and so…


Things did, I admit, start to feel like they got a little out of control at that point.

But as for activities, I planned none!  So it was a simple party after all!

The kids got tons of relaxed, happy beach time and especially enjoyed testing their new squirt guns on the cupcakes:


It took me and an entire crew of grandparents, husbands, and uncles to carry box after box of grass skirts, beach buckets, drinks, food, desserts, toys, etc. etc. ETC. to the beach…and then two hours later to carry them all back from the beach.

After the party I smiled up at Kevin and said, “Aren’t you proud of me?  I did so little this time!”  He just shook his head and went to fetch the 12×12 squares of corkboard I had ordered him to “make stand up” at 10 the night before.  I, meanwhile, have been eating the crusts of 16 peanut butter and jelly fish sandwiches for breakfast, lunch, and dinner as a self-inflicted punishment for not just giving the kids rectangular peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

And now, in the name of simplicity, I present to you a bunch of random party pictures in completely random order.

IMG_4466IMG_4474_MG_4490_MG_4498_MG_4500_MG_4528_MG_4456IMG_4478IMG_4479_MG_4487photo 3

Happy birthday, dear Rocco.  (Who is not the kid pictured here.  Damn you, Simplicity!)

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