Last weekend, we celebrated Yosef's third birthday. According to Jewish tradition, a baby boy gets his first haircut at age three, signifying his beginning his Torah education, so this was a huge milestone that we had been preparing for a while. You can learn more about this special tradition here. More than just a haircut, the upshernish really marks transition from toddler to little kid, there's something about losing his curls and starting to wear a yarmulke and tzitzis that makes them grow up overnight! Anyways, the last three years have literally raced by, so a race car theme was only fitting for our little car enthusiast.
For the kids table, we made one long table -- kids size of course -- with a checkerboard runner along it. Settings plated individually made it more welcoming for little friends, and juice boxes kept them from blowing away. We also set up a stack of race car coloring pages and buckets of crayons. As a finishing touch, Hot Wheels cars scattered all over doubled as entertainment and as a favor to take home.
I started by pinning some ideas on Pinterest, and knew I wanted to go more in a vintage race car direction than anything that would involve loud plastic colors. Of course, Meri Meri had the perfect partyware, and I used the color palette to guide the entire event.
Any Occasion Events was the perfect source for furniture and linen rentals. They carry virtually anything and everything you might need for any kind of event. Lynne immediately understood the assignment and suggested light blue denim-look linens with racetrack-inspired checkered runners to complete the look. My favorite part were the long tables we used for the kids, complete with mini chairs. If you're in Houston, I couldn't recommend them more! The delivery team was so great and set everything up well in advance so it was one less thing to worry about.
After doing some internet searching, I found JoJo's Raceway, a local business that delivers kiddie race tracks and race car themed bounce houses -- it was definitely the highlight of the party, and the older kids even took over the race track until they were reminded that the three year olds were the target audience here.
We wanted the food to be kid-centered but elevated, so homemade pizza made on-site by our favorite chef, Johann Schuster was the perfect solution. We met Chef Johann a few years ago already and he never disappoints. To compliment the pizza, we served crudite and hummus in race flag checkered cups and popcorn in fuel boxes. Instead of the traditional birthday cake, we opted for a donut bar (spare tires!) and fresh berries in mini cups. It was easier to serve individual portions instead of dealing with slicing and using more disposable dishes.
For a personalized party favor, we ordered custom yarmulkes with the same car logo, and linen bows for girls, and invited Michael Layne, a Houston based chainstitch pro, to monogram onsite. Everyone loved how it turned out and it was a cute momento of the event for guests to bring home. My only regret is not ordering more!
Of course, we used our traditional "birthday chair" for the upshernish boy to sit on while guests took turns snipping off his curls. Ever since our older son Mendel's upshernish, we've been pulling out the same stool for the birthday person to use on the special day. It's fun to add our own family traditions as the years go by. The idea was to create a photo-ready backdrop with a race day themed balloon garland but it ended up being only half completed -- oops!
All in all, it was a really fun day and Yosele felt so special. He wasn't shy and confidently greeted all his friends and even led us all in some Torah verses all on his own :) Head over to Instagram to see more of the party in action! And if you're planning a race car themed party, this one's for you! Pro tip: pin the images from this post to save them in your idea board!