Tuesday, June 25, 2013

5 tips for throwing (and enjoying) your child's first birthday party

 I posted a few days ago about Tobyn's First Birthday and how wonderful it turned out. I had a absolute BLAST putting it together, it even made me think about starting a party planning business until I realized 1. I live it the WORST place for that right now and 2. That I am not superwoman and can't add anything else to my plate right now. 

But I would not be being honest if I didn't tell you also how stressful putting the party together was. If I hadn't had my humongous family there to help, I would have probably been curled up in the corner crying at 4 am the night before the party. 

So I decided to give some of my tips for throwing a great first birthday party. I mean, I've only done it once, but I learned quite a bit. 

So here goes:

1. If you don't want to spend a ton of money, plan to DIY a lot of everything. 
I went to Lowe's and bought paint like for the walls in the little sample jars ($3 baby!) that way I could choose the exact shade I wanted, then I basically bought everything I needed on discount. If it was the wrong color then painted it with the matching party colors. 
I researched ALOT in the months before his party, I searched for DIYs, cheapest supplies, party ideas, everything. Then I set in place about two months before what was needed before I even started purchasing. 
2. Ask for help
I would have been screwed if my family hadn't been there to help e. Originally I thought I was going to make 7 different desserts to feed 45 people the night before all by myself. My family offered to come a day early to help though, and I'm so glad they did. Ask a mom, sister, aunt, friend, anyone that you know is creative but would respect your wishes. 
3. Draw up plans for decorating before party day
This may sound a little crazy, but I had all these decorations and I didn't want to have to run around the house the day of the party trying to figure out where to put them. So I drew up a simple sketch of where I wanted everything to go. I actually ended up handing it off to family member so it was nice that I didn't have to explain it to everyone. 
4. Make several lists, so you don't forget anything
I made a list for all the food, all the party necessities, a list of all the DIY items needed and then a list of all the actual DIY projects to be done. It kept me super organized and helped me know what still needed to be done for the party in the weeks before. 
5. Remember, this party is for you child and they are going to have fun no matter what. Make sure you enjoy this moment with them.
I did my best at this, but I was running around also making sure everyone was having fun. I did do my best to stay with Tobyn though, and enjoy every moment with him: The presents, the cake.
One thing I'm still kicking myself about is when we put him in his highchair to eat his cake, he was pretty overwhelmed at the 45 people staring at him so we hurried and gave him the cake, totally forgetting to sing him Happy Birthday. Oh well. Kid loved his cake anyways. :)

So, mistakes are going to happen. 
It's life, it's a party, a celebration. It won't matter when they are 20. Just enjoy the day with your family, and do everything you can to make it a great one for you child. That's all that matters.
I hoped these tips helped someone, if they did or if anyone has any other tips please share!


Sunday, June 23, 2013

Happy Birthday Tobyn!

I wrote a post on Tobyn's birthday about this past year, you can read that here.
Yesterday though, we celebrated his birthday with all our friends and family. 
All of my family lives at least 3 1/2 hours away, but that didn't stop them.
It was a wonderful day!
The theme was elephants, simple and adorable. 
I handmade everything with a some help from family, and all the food was made by my sister and her huge family. Seriously, they were like a catering team, all 6 of them helped in some way or another.  
And it turned out so beautiful!

The cake stand was one of my favorite pieces, did you know how expensive cake stands are??
I wasn't about to go broke for a cake stand I liked, so since the theme was elephants, I made a elephant "pedestal" like they use in the circus. I bought a $13 flower pot  from Lowe's, turned it upside down and painted it with some paint I already had for the party. VoilĂ !

I love all the details from the chevron napkins, to the paper straws. The napkins were from the  Oriental Trading Co. Straws, plates, cups and balloons were from the very affordable Birthday Direct.

You can't see them too well here, but these platters turned out so good.
Again, I wasn't going to pay $40 a platter. So I found four ( two small, two large) gorgeous pale blue plates on major sale at Kirkland's for $.78 a piece! (That's what I'm talking about!)
And then two candlesticks on sale at Hobby Lobby for $2 a piece. I painted those red. 
A little bit of hot glue and BANG. Perfection

Vintage Roasted Peanut Bags from The Sugar Diva, they had elephants on them. So cute!

Nutella Bruchetta is the bomb. Just as a side note, do yourself a favor and make this.
The platter they are sitting on, you can't see very well, but I just bought an out of season plastic platter at Hobby Lobby and painted grey, red and blue chevron, It turned out precious!

We love the Starbuck's coffees you can buy at the store, so I just collected the bottles for a few months for a "vintage milk bottle" counter. We offered cold milk, because with all those sweets, it was a must. 

Our "First Year" Window.

We used golf tees to sick balloons in the ground and lined the walkway all the way to the door!

Got this idea over at Life's Little Celebrations. I love it!

 And he obviously had a great time!
This "One" banner was made by me, it turned out so well and was super simple!

It was a wonderful day, but there were some things that worked and some that didn't. 
Things I wish we'd done but forgot.
I'm going to write a post about my First Birthday Party Tips in the near future, so keep a lookout!


Thursday, June 20, 2013

one year has passed.

My baby, he isn't a baby anymore. He's walking, jabbering, laughing. He has his favorite things, foods, people. 
He knows how to say "light" and "uh oh","hot", "dadda", "momma" ( sometimes). 

I have heard it a million times "Don't blink, you'll miss everything". 
I don't think I missed anything, I feel like I honestly can say I did my best to not take one moment, one stage, one developmental change for granted.
I photographed EVERYTHING this year.
But, I did blink, somehow it's a year later. And my sweet baby is 1 today.  
Happy Birthday Tobyn Iver, I hope we can bless you as much as you've blessed us.
We love you.

photography by me.