Since Elliott’s second birthday is quickly approaching, I just realized I still haven’t shared anything from his first birthday on the blog! This past year has truly been flying by, and I can’t believe it’s been 11 months since his first party!
On his actual birthday, which was on a Friday, we took some photos to celebrate the occasion. First, we hit up a local park to take some pics of our cutie with some balloons. It was SO windy that day, and the balloons were out of control, so we tried our best!
That same evening, we invited all of the grandparents over for a smash cake photo session. Unfortunately, my dad couldn’t make it due to work.
It was also Elliott’s first time eating a cake that was just for him! He definitely had fun with it, but I think he enjoyed it more at his birthday party the next day.
One tradition I would like to continue as long as I can is making his birthday cake. For his first birthday, I needed to make a smash cake as well as a cake for his party. I decided on a simple homemade vanilla cake with buttercream.
I am one of those moms that has tried very hard to limit the amount of tv he watches. During Christmas 2018, I recorded A Charlie Brown Christmas for us to all watch together, and it turned out that E loved it! So, I turned it on periodically when I needed a few minutes to get something done while he was awake and needed my attention (which is most of the time). The only other things I turn on for him are Toy Story (the first one) and Paw Patrol. Lately, Paw Patrol makes him mad for whatever reason, so for the most part it’s just been Charlie Brown and Toy Story. We’ve recently started playing Little Baby Bum on Netflix, and I highly recommend it. The nursery rhymes are great. It’s not annoying to have playing in the background and it’s educational! He also likes Leo the Truck on Amazon.
Anyways, picking a theme for a birthday party for your little one is hard! Well, it’s not really, but you want it to be memorable and fun since it’s for their very first birthday! Since he really, really liked Charlie Brown, that was our winner! Plus, I figured that wouldn’t be a theme he would want later in life. 😉 I did so much research looking for fun, memorable ideas for the party. Like this super cute dog house my mom painted for me!! She is such a trooper, and I honestly don’t know why she agreed to paint it. It was SO MUCH WORK, but it turned out so cute, and this photo is the best!
First decision I needed to make… invitations! Since that’s my whole business, it needed to be a cute one. When I was a kid, I always liked looking at the Sunday comics in the newspaper, so I thought it would be fun to have a comic strip for his invitation.
Once I nailed down the invitation and got them in the mail, time was flying by. So many ideas and so little time! I definitely tried to do too much and the day of his birthday party was so completely stressful. I vow to never do that again. I took on way too much and made basically everything you see in the photos (except for the characters on the wall, his high chair banner and his outfit) because I wanted it to be perfect, but I wore myself down, had meltdowns and fussed over really dumb stuff. I’m thankful for their forgiveness… you know who you are! Anyways, many lessons learned. 😉
We had hoped to have the party outdoors, and I really wanted to set up our bounce house and other games in the yard. Unfortunately, it was supposed to rain, so we had to have plan B, which meant having everything indoors. Our house isn’t tiny, but it’s also not huge either when it comes to hosting lots of people! We made it work, but this year, I really hope it doesn’t rain because I much prefer to have the chaos outdoors!
One thing I really wanted to create were cute cutouts where the guests could take their photos as one of the characters, BUT I do not have the ability to draw and paint characters, so I had to figure out how to make it work. I found a website that would blow up your image, so you can print it out as large as you need it and then piece it together, so you can trace it on your board. It was a TON of work. Way more than I expected, and it took forever and ever to paint, but I think it turned out really cute once it was all finished.
I also wanted to set up Lucy’s doctor booth. It’s such a fun little scene from A Charlie Brown Christmas, so in addition to the two characters, we created the booth as well. I used my silhouette machine to cut out the letters to put on the booth. That part was EASY compared to the characters! Many thanks to Jacob for helping construct everything to make sure nothing fell apart.
I also wanted to created a fun backdrop for the food table. The ONE letters turned out perfect, and I was able to hang them right off of our curtain rod. Easy! I designed the bunting flags just to add a little extra decor to the wall. The flags played off the character’s outfits: Charlie Brown, Peppermint Patty, Sally, Lucy, and Linus.
I made two cakes for the party: a vanilla cake with blue buttercream, which was actually supposed to mock the back of the invitation, and then a chocolate cake with chocolate icing. The chocolate cake is to die for! Seriously!
I also made some funfetti cupcakes because what kid doesn’t love sprinkles!?
I made the cupcake toppers and just attached them to toothpicks. We also had a ton of cookies! Sugar cookies in the shape of Charlie Brown’s head as well as some sugar cookies in the shape of dog bones. I didn’t get to finish my icing on those, but to be honest, the sugar cookies taste so good without icing! We also had m&m cookies and chocolate chip cookies as well.
In lieu of gifts, we decided to do a book exchange that was totally optional. The whole idea is to promote reading and to also help with getting too many toys for his birthday. Basically, bring a book you already own, and then you’ll go home with a different book. I really think the kids enjoyed getting to pick out something new to take home.
I also set up a little table where everyone could sign their name, so we would always remember who came to his first birthday party, and they could also fill out a little happy birthday message for him!
Despite the ridiculous amount of stress, I really loved how his party turned out, and it’s definitely one I’ll never forget… especially after all of the gray hairs I have now. 😉 Here’s a look at a few more details from the party and also a family photo of us dressed in our coordinating outfits from one of his birthday shoots.
Many thanks to all of our friends and family who made it to Elliott’s first birthday party! I am so thankful for those that always show up to support us. Being an only child makes you rely on friends and extended family to come celebrate with you, and I am always worried no one will come, especially now that we have an only child as well. That probably sounds silly, but it is totally true! My worst fear is throwing a party for Elliott where no one shows up, except grandparents. 😉 Anyone else have this fear? HA!
Elliott’s 2nd birthday is next month, and I’m just now starting to plan everything. Here’s to a fun day filled with very little stress!! I’ll share all the deets once the party is over and we all recover! Thanks to the Coronavirus, it looks like his party will be delayed for quite some time, which means more time to prepare!