Friday, May 9, 2014

the big first birthday party

So, I already mentioned that I got a little excited when it came to my girl's first birthday party.  I'm not denying it, I was totally that mom.  But the way I see it, my baby only turns one ONCE, and it's the only party that I get to fully decide on and plan, so why not go all out.  I didn't go as crazy as I could have (I did have a budget to stick to...) but I definitely crafted my heart out and it was a day to remember.  {note: all of the pictures in this post were taken by my wonderful friend Audrey, of Audrey Frantz Photography.  you had to assume I would hire a photographer for this event, right?? I'm so glad I did - she captured all of the great memories for us, and I didn't even have to get my camera out once.}

Let's start by talking about how stinking cute this girl is.  I spent a lot of time trying to decide what she should wear for the big day, but in the end I actually went rather simple.  Her outfit consisted of a plain white onesie, which I ironed on a "one" decal that I printed from my home computer, and a tutu I made out of tulle and ribbon.  We accessorized with a custom headband (ordered from etsy shop LuLuandChaCha), and moccasins (ordered from etsy shop SophieKate Moccasins).  

Not only did she look super cute, but Lilly did absolutely fabulous the day of her party - I was full of anxiety thinking that she was going to be in "stranger danger" mode, or just get overwhelmed by all of the people and attention, but I couldn't have been more wrong.  Despite only getting one short nap in the morning, she was a dream for the whole party.  She loved being held by all of her guests, was giving everyone kisses, and generally just seemed to love the fact that the day was all about her.

Moving on to the actual party, and my decor {aka craft central}.  I didn't get to do all of the projects I had in mind {but who am I kidding, I could have spent an eternity trying to bust out all of the Pinterest projects I accumulated}, but I'm really pleased with the ones I did.  I made 2 banners, one out of the monthly onesies and pictures I took all year, and then a pennant garland out of some of the fabrics from her weekly photos. I also set out her baby book, the album of her birth photos, and a photo book I made of her weekly photos {separate post to come about all that fun stuff}.  I wanted something for guests to be able to sign as a keepsake for Lilly, so I ended up buying Hippos Go Berserk by Sandra Boynton {love all her books}, and set the  book out with a Sharpie and a sign, so everyone could write a little note on one of the pages.  Now, whenever she reads that book she gets to see everyone's birthday wishes inside!  I think I want to continue that for her parties each year, so she has a fun little collection of books and notes from family & friends.

Other than that, I just used a lot of purple, and the occasional hippo. :)  I didn't have a real "theme", but my 2 favorite things are hippos and the color purple, so I went with that.  Lilly's probably going to grow up with an unhealthy love for both of these things, and have no idea why.  Sorry about that, kid.

Next up is the all important FOOD.  We did mostly snack foods, as the party was in the afternoon and not over a real meal time.  The menu consisted of ham & swiss sliders, fruit cups, veggie cups, tortilla roll ups, spinach & artichoke dip with pita bread, cheesy corn dip, and for the kids I had little cups of "Lilly's favorite snacks" - aka veggie sticks, cheddar bunnies & cheese cubes. :)

I made the little label cards by just printing the labels out and attaching to cardstock, and the little hippos were made with my cricut Imagine.  I made about a billion of the little hippos, and planned to use them in a million different places, but ran out of time and ideas. 

As for desert, we had several options, naturally. :)  I made chocolate & vanilla cupcakes with buttercream frosting, as well as peanut butter cup brownie bites.  I didn't mean for it to be a chocolate overload, that just sort of happened.  But really, can you ever have too much chocolate??

I also ordered some custom decorated sugar cookies for party favors {ordered from Raven's Cookies} - this was one of my favorite things, I thought they came out SO CUTE.  I know I've dabbled in cookie decorating here and there, but no way could I have done cookies like this.  They were just adorable, and she even took the design from my die cut hippos and drew it on some of the cookies.  Not only were they adorable but they were delicious too!!  I am currently looking for an excuse to order another set of cookies...

And then we have the CAKE!  I just made a small smash-cake for Lilly, everyone else got cupcakes.  I found an idea {on Pinterest, of course} to use a loaf pan and cut the cake into the shape of a {1}, and then got a little excited with sprinkles.  I think it came out pretty cute though, and Lilly sure seemed to enjoy it!  I thought about making a kid-friendly cake {most were some sort of pea or carrot concoction}, another Pinterest idea, but then I decided to just let her enjoy some sugar for once.

Lilly got the whole cake to herself, and she took her time but she definitely got her fill.

At first she was very dainty about it....and then she dug right in. :)

With a little encouragement from Daddy, she went face first, didn't even bother with her hands anymore.  It was definitely a mess, but quite adorable.  She was just a big ham the whole time, too, absolutely loving the fact that the entire room of people were watching her. :)

{she probably ended up eating quite a bit of sugar, which is something she's never really had, so needless to say I was a bit concerned with how the rest of the evening would go after the inevitable sugar rush. spoiler: didn't change a thing.  she went to bed right on time, without a fight, and slept like a dream that night.  score. I'm guessing that will never happen again.}

we debated whether or not to open gifts at the party, and decided to go for it since she was in such a good mood. she had a little help from her cousin Lexi - both of them actually had quite the time with all the presents.

it's pretty stinkin' cute to watch these two, now that they interact a bit with each other.  I can't wait to watch these girls grow up together. :)

Lilly participated more in the gift opening process than I expected her to, actually. At a certain point she was more interested in the cards, but she definitely got a kick out of opening everything and seeing all those new toys. we stashed most of them a way, and have been giving them to her a few at a time ever since the party - the gifts that keep on giving. :)  

well, that about covers all that was the first birthday party adventure. whew!  if you made it all the way to the end of this post, you deserve a cookie! or at least a high five.  As you can see, Lilly's first birthday party was a smashing success {see what I did there}. I loved planning it, and call me crazy but I'm already looking forward to the next one. :)

now, I'm off to go make a photo book with all of these memories. 

Happy first birthday baby girl!  You are the ray of sunshine in our lives, and we're so lucky to call you ours. Stay the happy, giggly, sweet, goofy baby girl that you are today, you always make us smile!  We love you always & forever ~Mama & Dada