Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The SnakeKeeper's Birthday Party.

So, I've mentioned before that Max is one of those slightly strange kids who loves reptiles. I have to admit, I am hoping that when he gets a bit older, he'll realize that the "snake guy" is never the one baggin' all the babes and he'll opt for something a little less creepy, like skateboarding or maybe woodworking- I don't know. In the meantime, I am doing my very best to embrace and encourage his interest, so when the request was made for a "Snake Keeper's" birthday party (yes, this is what he refers to himself as), I had to comply.

As further evidence of the peculiarity of my child's passion, I was unable to find any Snake party decor- anywhere. I thought, surely with the world wide web being as large as it is, some wierdo out there would be manufacturing boa constrictor cake plates and python printed goody bags. I was wrong.

I couldn't disappoint my little man, so it was time for me to get crafty, and ladies, I am a good many things, but I honestly cannot include crafting among my arsenal of personal talents. That said, I have to say that I was rather proud with the end results. I don't think M-Stew will be calling me anytime soon, but I'll share with you my recipe for a successful snake party.

Although I didn't have much luck with actual snake goods, I thought a jungle theme would suffice as a starting point. I swooped up some tropical, leafy print table cloths and plates to start. Now, the real crafting began. I stumbled upon this cool DIY on how to make jungle vines out of paper bags and enlisted the hubs for a night of brown bag makeovers. Throw in some super cheap jungle leaves found at Oriental trading Company and tah-dah:


Thanks to Grandma Cath, as always, for lending us the party house :)

The sign was a little photo shop job I threw together and printed up at Kinkos . We enlisted the help of a local party store, Sweet Celebrations, to whip us up some twisty snake balloons:

snake <span class=

After some consideration, I decided to throw some other reptiles in the mix, so our little frog friend made the cut (even though he's technically an amphibian- woops). I was particularly fond of him though:

The next element required no crafting on my part, just a little bit of research and some frayed nerves. After a few positive reviews from the Berkeley Parent's Network (surely these granola hippies knew about positive influences?), I dialed up "Desert Dave" to see if he was available to bring his posse of creepy crawlies to the party. After sending a check for the entire amount (Desert Dave ain't cheap) in the mail to a guy whose name was NOT Desert Dave, I started to get a little anxious. Deeper digging and a closer look at said reviews revealed a bad review on Yelp when Desert Dave did NOT SHOW and that the reviews I was previously looking at were actually from several years ago!! I started envisioning the scene from Parenthood when the anxiety riddled seven year-old loses his sh*t because Cowboy Dan doesn't show. What will I do?? Perhaps ship the hubs off to Petco for a few garter snakes and a turtle and hope for a lenient return policy? So, naturally, I begin stalking Dave, who half of the time, sound as if he has just fallen off of a barstool somewhere. I tell myself I'm just being paranoid. I call morning of to ensure "Dave" is en route and "Dave" answers in a voice that indicates heavy Bloody Mary consumption at 9:30 AM. It is now revealed that Sebastian, Desert Dave's assistant, will be coming in his place. I try not to panic, and find solace in the fact that someone who speaks intelligibly is on his way with reptiles to entertain my 4 year olds. He may not be named Desert Dave, but as long as he's wearing a freaking Safari hat and some khaki shorts, I know the little dudes won't be the wiser.
Well, surprise! Sebastian did not show up looking like Steve Irwin, but rather, Steve Irwin's Goth nephew- complete with greasy black hair and Doc Martens.

Fortunately for me, Max was muuuch more concerned about Sebastian's little friends than he was with Sebastian's likely possession of a Hot Topic frequent shopper card, and I do have to say, Sebastian was a totally nice guy. I guess you can't judge a reptile keeper by his cover.

Max 4<span class=

Despite my smile, I am slightly horrified.

Hud has no fear.

And for the final piece de resistance, I dusted off my apron and made a snake cake. Thanks to two bundt cakes (halved and re-aligned), a little carving, some M&M eyeballs and a licorice tongue, we came up with the following masterpiece:

And he was sssssso delicioussssss.


  1. Great work haute mama!! I bet M-Stew would have featured the party in her summer issue ;)

  2. OMG, Nate would have died and gone to heaven at that party-you are quite the awesome haute mama party planner-I am in awe...

  3. i am SO impressed... that cake is awesome! we have a buzz lightyear party coming up next weekend, but the only bounce house left was shrek! oh well!

  4. OMG...too funny.. I love your decorations! Now I am going to be soo nervous that our "
    Reptile Expert" won't show up!

  5. OMG...too funny.. I love your decorations! Now I am going to be soo nervous that our "
    Reptile Expert" won't show up!