The day of Beau's first birthday, I woke up excited and nervous. Sort of the same way I felt on the morning of my wedding. Is that weird? I'm sure some would say it is. I'd also like to mention how much of a thrill I get out of planning a party on a limited budget. It forces me to get more creative! Maybe that's why it reminded me of my wedding...I did the same thing with that event: achieved the biggest WOW possible for just a fraction of what other brides spend.
At any rate, I had been planning Beau's woodland party for months and wanted everything to be perfect!
I'm SO GLAD I thought to book the amazing Abi Martin as the party-day photographer. There is no way I would have been able to corral my kiddo, play the part of hostess with the mostest, AND capture all the details and precious moments of the party. Abi is not only a talented photographer, she is also incredibly fashionable, VERY personable, and a dear friend to my family. Abi, thank you for capturing our day. I am speechless over these photos.
Beau's birthday banner was one item I was able to create WAY in advance. It's hard to tell, but I added glitter glue around each letter. I also attached each circle to the ribbon using tiny brads. That way, the skunk and the number could be changed out for future parties, or I could even sell it to someone with a different name! :)
Remember my sketch from Tuesday's post? Messy though it was, it helped me pull off this spread:
I LOVED deciding which snacks we should include for this theme. These chocolate nests were one of the first things I thought of. Because one of our guests has a peanut allergy, I substituted butterscotch chips for the peanut butter called for in the recipe.
I framed 12 photos, one favorite from each month of Beau's life, and interspersed them among the decor.
Stanley the Gnome helped hold down the fort.
I found this cool jar at a Hobby Lobby outlet store here in town and filled it with rocks, moss, and a doe and her fawn.
Here's a shot of the goody bag contents: one finger puppet, one bird whistle, two colored pencils, two magnets, all contained in a burlap bag.
And since I believe in EVERYONE getting a party favor, I made acorn cookies for the adult guests.
Another shot of the food table, this time, with my cake topper included as the centerpiece. You'll notice the cake stand is perched on top of a log. FREE! from my in-laws' woodpile! :)
Me and my birthday boy. He'd just woken up from his morning nap, so he looks a little stunned. But, MAN, if he isn't just the cutest thing I've ever seen! :)
The cupcakes below are exactly what I envisioned as I was planning out the food table. I'd never covered cupcakes in fondant before, but the technique worked perfectly for creating smooth mushroom tops. The white polka dots were made out of royal icing that I blopped out and dried several weeks in advance. The risers were borrowed from my friend Mikie and covered in green Canson paper that I cut to look like grass. The cool thing? Mikie used these same risers (sans grass) last summer at the baby shower she co-hosted for Beau and me.
For those who aren't huge fans of fondant, we also had a handful of buttercream-topped cupcakes with paper toppers I made.
To balance out the sweetness, I made sure to include some good ol' Chex mix!
Another easy (read: inexpensive) centerpiece I made was a 14" tall cylinder vase full of acorns (picked up off the ground at my in-laws' house!) and topped with a friendly gray squirrel.
"Trail Mix" is a necessary component of any woodland party, wouldn't you say? I made Fawna's version using peanuts, sunflower seeds, raisins, mini marshmallows, and Reese's Pieces. Sweet AND salty. Mmm.
Here's the cake topper from Tuesday's post. Doesn't he look right at home on top of that two-layer chocolate cake? :)
Whenever I host a party, I'm always looking for new ideas for cute displays. I used B's party as an opportunity to try another technique I'd seen: creating paper cones to hold snacks.
Interesting side-note: this "grass" is actually the bottle drying rack we received as a shower gift when Beau was born! I just added a thin hunk of styrofoam to the base so I could insert the sticks that held up the cones.
I also made my little birthday boy a shirt, using scraps of fabric that my mom and mother-in-law already had in their attics. I'd only made two other shirts before, and the design for them was much easier. I was curious to see how easy it was to create a character using multiple pieces and interfacing. It worked well! And now that the shirt has been through the wash a few times, the canvas I used for the beard and eyebrows is beginning to fray a bit around the edges, making it that much more beardly. :)
Seeing as how it's been over 100 degrees every day for the past month (or since time began, it seems!), I made sure to have icy-cold drinks. I had a simple ice-water-with-lemon combo in a huge cookie jar I've had for years and I made cherry limeade punch in a cool drink dispenser I borrowed from my friend Natalie.
I received many compliments on the punch. And it couldn't have been easier to make! I used this recipe, with a slight alteration. I started with a double batch, following the recipe as written. Then, because it was a bit tart for our liking (and I needed to make sure we had plenty), I added an additional two bottles (2-liters each) of Sprite. Perfect!
Beau's little pals were so cute in their swim suits. Check out this guy: such a poser! :)
One of my artsy-mom friends has the cutest kiddos! We were so glad they could come to our party!
We had a puddle pool available and B and his little friends had the best time filling up cups, containers, and squirty fish.
After swimming, it was time for cake! And, boy, did Beau like it when we all sang "Happy Birthday to You."
He started with a small nibble of fondant, before realizing that the entire cake in front of him was not only destructible, but tasty, too!
And he wasted NO time tearing it up!
The last picture is one my sister Sonny captured. It's so fun to see the pure joy on his face!
Oh, what messy fun it is to turn one!! :) I love you, baby boy. It's an honor to be your mama. Mwah!