SF Family Photographer | Pinwheel 2nd Birthday

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April 25, 2016

My baby boy is turning 2 years old and being the family photographer I am, I always like to capture the party scene elements. After much deliberation we decided to throw him a small birthday party at our neighborhood park in Potrero Hill. Because my son is such a tender little guy I wanted a theme that was idyllic (a word a couple of the party guests used to describe the birthday party). We decided on pinwheels and went with a pastel color palette since both mark the beginning of springtime.

The theme was inspired from a Waldorf playgroup I attended in the Botanical Gardens in SF. We walked with our children in the garden singing songs and holding hands – it was very serene, peaceful and a bit fantastical – exactly the mood I wanted for my son’t birthday party. I asked my husband, who is a Waldorfian, if there were any special Waldorf-themed party ideas, he couldn’t think of any but I think pinwheels is pretty darn close. 🙂

We wanted to simplify the party this year (last year it was a cityscape themed picnic party where we individually wrapped all the food = insanity) so I thought pinwheels would be pretty easy, right? Wrong. Apparently, the only options for pinwheels are to buy the cheapy foil pinwheels, spend your life savings buying them on Etsy or the last option, to make all the pinwheels ourselves. My husband was sooooo excited (insert sarcasm here) that we’d be making all the pinwheels. Almost 200 pinwheels later in various sizes, colors and displays we were ready for the big day.

Like last year, I contact my amazing cake lady Mitzi Cakes to create a beautiful pinwheel inspired birthday cake. She did not disappoint. It was perfectly whimsical and tasted amazing as always.

pinwheel birthday party for 2 year old boy at the potrero hill lower park in san francisco, cake by Mitzi in pastel colors and ribbons for spring partypinwheel inspired birthday cake in pastel colors for 2 year old boy's party by Mitzipinwheel themed birthday party for 2 year old boy at potrero hill lower park in san franciscopinwheel birthday party for 2 year old boy in san francisco, cake in pastel colors with ribbons sitting on top of an orange bingham tablecloth with large pinwheel bouquet, wagon and photospinwheel birthday party for 2 year old boy in san francisco with a custom cake by Mitzi in pastel colors with ribbons sitting on top of an orange Bingham tableclothpinwheel party for 2 year old boy in san francisco, extra large pinwheels make with pastel colored paper in pink, blue, green, yellow and purple for the kids to take as guest party favors

I made pinwheels for the party favors, of course. I found a book of this amazing variegated paper. Sadly, it was only one-sided so I had to glue two pieces together. It actually worked out great because the pinwheels for the kids were so big that it needed the extra stiffness so that the folds wouldn’t flop. In case you couldn’t tell, I’m an expert on pinwheel making now.

Because the kids’ pinwheels were so big I wanted to display them in a huge vase. My mom, who is an expert florist and tablescape artist, helped me figure out how to arrange them in this gigantic display. It was beautiful! And all the kids loved picking out their pinwheel to take home. Bliss.

I also made a flower inspired arrangement with the pinwheels and pinned them to birch sticks. I stuck my son’s initials to the vase for personalize it.

I’ve inadvertently started an annual tradition by taking a photo of my son sitting on one of our accent couches a few days before his birthday. Like last year, I displayed the photos on the cake table. I now have a newborn, 1 year and now 2 year photos.

pinwheel birthday party for 2 year old boy in san francisco, wagon with kettle popcorn and pinwheels in it and a pinwheel flower inspired bouquet with birch woodpinwheel birthday party for 2 year old boy in san francisco with a custom cake by Mitzi in pastel colors with ribbons sitting on top of an orange Bingham tableclothpinwheel party for 2 year old boy in san francisco, extra large pinwheels make with pastel colored paper in pink, blue, green, yellow and purple for the kids to take as guest party favorstable display at pinwheel party for a 2 year old boy in san francisco, centerpiece made with extra large pinwheels sitting on to top of a pastel orange bingham tablecloth and photos of boypinwheel party for 2 year old boy in san francisco, flower-inspired pinwheel arrangement pinned in birch woodpinwheel party for 2 year old boy in san francisco, flower-inspired pinwheel arrangement pinned in birch wood

My goal for the food this year was to keep it easy and display it in a really cute way. I used birch wood rounds as platters for the sandwiches topped with pinwheel sticks. A deep crate for the hummus and veggies and a simple two-tiered fruit server for height. I used another shallow crate for the Snapea Crisps and a cute wooden vintage wagon to serve the kettle popcorn both of which had pinwheels sticks in it.pinwheel birthday party for 2 year old boy at the potrero hill lower park in san francisco, pinwheel sandwichespinwheel birthday party for 2 year old boy at the potrero hill lower park in san francisco, pinwheel sandwiches and food spread

I like to try and dress up the environment a bit for a party too, so I made some pinwheel streamers for my tall husband and his taller brother to hang from the trees. It made the park feel that much more whimsical and the children loved it of course. pinwheel streamers hanging from tress in park for a pinwheel birthday party for 2 year old boylittle girl playing with pinwheel streamers in park during a 2 year old birthday party in san franciscolarge birthday welcome sign for pinwheel inspired birthday party with an extra large pinwheel on top

I wanted to have a little something special for the kids so we had singing and music led by Jamaroo. The kids got their jig on and loved it!2 year old boy smiling in park with pinwheel streamers in the background and toddler music taken by family photographerdad wearing sunglasses looking at 2 year old son, photo taken by family photographertoddlers playing in park during a pinwheel inspired birthday party for family funboy sitting on bench during a pinwheel 2 year old birthday partykids sitting on bench waiting for cake during a pinwheel birthday party in san francisco

This last year has truly been the most wonderful year of my life with my amazing boy. I’m looking forward to the terrific-twos with my little love bug!

Lunch Menu

– Turkey, havarti cheese, arugula and tomato sandwiches

– Pesto, smoked gouda cheese, avocado and tomato vegetarian sandwiches

– PB&J cut in heart shapes for the kids

– Kettle popcorn

– Snapea Crisps

– Hummus with veggies

– Grapes and strawberries

– Kid Pouches

Please contact me for a family session.