Friday, October 9, 2015

Brooklyn's First Birthday Party

Brooklyn’s first birthday party was a success!  I had a vision in my head of how I wanted it to turn out, and this time I believe I succeeded!  The decorations were beautiful, the food was delicious, and the guest turnout was amazing!

I’ll start with the decorations. I decided I wanted to finally use my cricut machine because I wanted specific decorations and I was not interested in spending a butt load of money on Etsy to get them.  After patrolling Pinterest for several days I decided I wanted to make a banner that said “Happy Birthday”, a banner that said “ONE” for her high chair, and a banner to display a picture from each of her first 12 months.

The Happy Birthday and "ONE" banner were a bit of work but they turned out great and exactly what I wanted. I hung the “Happy birthday” banner over the window in our dining nook – which was next to the high chair.  As you walked further in to the house, this was what you first saw.  I hung her “ONE” banner on her high chair, perfect for pictures of smashing her cake.

In addition to the “ONE” banner, I also attached 4 balloons to the back of her high chair.  It completed the look and gave a little extra color to the kitchen.

I also created a monthly banner to display a picture of her every month, starting at 0 for newborn.  This was a neat way to show how much she grew each month.  I thought it turned out great.  I hung it in the living room where everyone walked in and it ended up being near where we opened all her gifts.

I saw a cute idea on Pinterest for a caption contest. We decided to make a challenge because we didn’t want to have games.  I used publisher to make the file and then saved it as a PDF and printed it out.  I found a lot of silly pictures of Brooklyn throughout her 12 months and taped them on some matching paper so that guests could write captions on them.  We didn’t end up getting very many, and I believe it’s because we didn’t specifically tell people to do it.  It was just on the wall as guests looked around at all the decorations.

For Brandon’s 30th birthday I had seen an idea to make the number 30 out of pictures.  It was such a hit that I decided to do it for Brooklyn’s first. I created a giant number 1 out of 4x6 pictures.  I was thinking it wouldn’t be enough pictures, but once I got it up on the wall, it was enormous and had plenty of pictures.

I also created a first birthday chalkboard poster.  I found a really cute free file here and then used my free photoshop trial to edit it.  I had to download the font pack though. I just performed a google search for KG Font and found the free package for download.  If you have an old version of photoshop, you may not be able to use these fonts.  Then I saved it as a JPEG and printed it in 8x12 size at Costco.  They were by far the cheapest.  I decided to hang it in the kitchen so as people waited in line for food and drink, they could read all about Brooklyn’s favorite things.

I wanted something out front designating our house for Brooklyn’s birthday.  I created a "Fun to be One" sign that we staked in to the grass in the front yard.  I attached some balloons to it.  It was windy though, so the balloons were just blowing around like crazy.  It still worked though and helped people find our house easier.

I also wanted to have a cute way to display Brooklyn’s smash cake.  I saw a super cute idea on pinterest to take a plain cake stand and glue some frilly ribbon.  I was able to find some supplies at Goodwill and created a cute cake stand for her smash cake.

The final decoration I had was a Sparkle sign.  Again, I used publisher to create this file.  I wanted to add a little bit of sparkle.  We have a weird little nook in our walkway from the front rooms to the kitchen and family room area. I decided this 5 x 7 size would be perfect in a frame sitting here. The nook has a light also, so I turned that on to highlight the sign as people walked through.

The food was a hit.  Brooklyn’s birthday party was a brunch.  Again, thanks to pinterest I found some great ideas for food.  The first was mini-chicken-and-waffles (what better brunch food? It literally combines breakfast and lunch in ONE dish!).   I used mini Eggo waffles from Walmart.  We toasted them in the toaster and then we put a drop or two of maple syrup in the middle of the waffle and topped it with a Chick-Fil-A chicken nugget.  I placed a toothpick (with a flag that I made) through them to hold them in place.

We also created donut and fruit kabobs. We were shocked at how fast these went.  I didn’t expect them to be as big of a hit as they were.  We bought glazed donuts at Walmart, Strawberries, and bananas.  We cut the strawberries and sliced the bananas.  Then we placed them in the following order on a wooden skewer: donut, strawberry, banana, donut, strawberry, banana.  These things didn’t last very long!

We made some mini quiches to bring some more savory to our brunch.  This is the recipe we used and it was actually relatively easy. We just had to make several batches which took a while.  There weren’t many quiches left over at the end of the party.

We made some mini apple pies that added some more sweet in addition to our fruit.  They were super easy and would be a great dessert to bring over for holiday parties.  There were none leftover at the end of the party - and I didn't even get to try one first!

Finally we made some pumpkin dip to add some seasonal flare!  We served it with vanilla wafers and everyone said it was delicious.  The recipe makes a TON though, so we still have a ton left over.

I was able to reuse some decorations I had saved from my baby shower and some things that were brought to us after Brooklyn was born.

I first used a mason jar to house the paper straws I bought. I cut a piece of pink ribbon and a piece of gold ribbon and tied them around the jar in a bow. I then used my fall serving tray (which I hadn’t had a use for yet!) to place the straws, cups, napkins and plastic ware.  I placed the plates just next to the tray.  I think it was a great set up.  I used mason jars that were from my baby shower to hold the plastic ware and just covered the ribbon that was already on them with a pink ribbon I had.  I used tape to hold the ribbon so I didn’t have to get out my glue gun…and I can also remove the ribbon if I need to use them again.

I put some beverages in glass pitchers that we received for our wedding. I used orange juice, milk, and spiced apple juice.  We put them in a tin bucket that was filled with ice to keep them cold.  We also brewed coffee and had water bottles in an ice chest in the backyard.  I forgot to take pictures of these.

I covered the tables with plastic table cloths I purchased at Party City.  I was able to cut them all to size to fit my tables and ended up having extra.  It worked out because I was able to place some of the extra under her high chair for her cake smash.  Although, she still managed to get cake in places where there wasn’t a table cloth liner!  I was even able to put table cloth on the gift table (chest) to keep it all tied together.  On the tables, I placed a mason jar with glass marbles and pink flowers that were from my baby shower. I was even able to use the ribbon that was already on most of these jars.

Finally I hung a couple of balloons on the banister at the bottom of the stairs.  We bought a helium tank from Walmart for $35.  You could just go to Party City to have them do it for you, but then you have to drive them all the way home.  It was more convenient for us since her party was early to just have the tank ourselves.  And I was able to pick and choose how many I really wanted and which colors as I wanted, rather than having to try to figure it out ahead of time.  It also comes with a bag of balloons so now I have some for future birthday parties!

The party was so much fun and Brooklyn had a blast.  She wasn't sure about the cake at first, but after she got a few tastes in, she devoured it!  And it ended up in her hair, on her headband and in her ears!  We want to thank every one who came out for her party and celebrated her big milestone!  She was spoiled by everyone and it was so nice to see so many of our friends and family!


Anonymous said...

Wow, you went all out! I love seeing photos like these, Brooklyn looks like she's having a great time! (And that cake on her face looks great, hahaha!)

Happy birthday, little Brooklyn. It's been great to watch her growing up <3

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