03 March 2010

My First First Birthday Party!

After attending a shower for my bestest friend Katie that was thrown by a master party planner I was totally inspired! (Take a look at this amazing shower here - Seriously, can you believe how cute that was?!) Anyways, like I was saying, I got inspired! I wanted to actually pull something together for Bennett that was both homemade (read: inexpensive) and beautiful (not girly of course) but not over the top (read: I was not getting a jolly jump or petting zoo!) .

So I set out on a quest... a first birthday quest... my mind instantly jumped to one of my favorite bloggers Katrina and her son's recent 1st birthday party! Not wanting to completely copy her entire party of course, I wrote her and asked her if I had permission to copy just one aspect of her party - the adorable shirt she made for her son! Well, she wrote me back (almost instantly, I was rather impressed actually) and let me in on her secret: Etsy! She said she had just gone onto etsy.com and looked at what people were selling for 1st birthday party items and them just made them herself! HELLO?! Such A Good Idea!

So, needless to say, I was on etsy in like 5 seconds (good thing the web address is short) and had so much fun looking at all the ideas! I couldn't even believe some of the stuff I found! Like this, and this and this! Oh man I love that website!

After my cuteness overload - I had to refocus - I knew what colors I wanted to stick with since they were on the invitation: Bright Green, Navy Blue and White.

So, I was off to JoAnn's that night (husband in tow of course) and came home with some great stuff for about $20 (AWESOME!)

I only remembered to take pictures of one project - can you say rushing to get them all done in like a week?! YEAH - well, no one's perfect!
Project #1, the flags: This project took a lot of pinning (two pins per flag) and a lot of sewing. But I wouldn't change it for anything! I loved the way the finished product looked!
I used simple household twine for the "rope"
The little flags turned out pretty awesome and even thought they weren't hanging from the big pepper tree like I had imagined, they still looked great in the Prior's family room and kitchen!
Next project: Birthday Banner - should have been hanging off the side of the barn all attached to the same piece of string - but still, very cute! (thanks to my husband's great idea of how to hang these!)

Again, because it was planned as an outside party, I had this great idea to decorate with Bennett's favorite toys so when it came to a "drink bucket" I thought his little red wagon would be perfect! It did look very cute full of juice boxes and water bottles - but word to the wise: don't use your son's favorite toy and tell him he can't touch it! He spent much of the party trying to empty out the wagon and get in! (Oh well, you live and learn)

The desserts were not my doing! I mean I thought up how I wanted it to look and such, but I must give credit where credit is due - my mom and soon to be sister in law made all the cupcakes (both kinds) - thank you both so much!

We went with carrot cake as a good middle of the road, not too much sugar and still yummy option for the day. The "adults" got my mom's fabulous carrot cake recipe turned into cupcakes and the kids got a recipe I found online that actually wasn't that bad at all (I would use it again for sure!) and it contained no white sugar or flour! Oh and then sort of last minute I made a huge batch of ginger cookies because they are my husband's favorite and they are always hugely popular and well, I was worried we wouldn't have enough dessert. Funny thing is, all the cookies were gone and we had left over cupcakes!

One of my favorite things I saw on etsy was the circle garland with the little boys pictures on them. Well, as those of you who scrap book know, that garland would not be cheep with the amount of paper and ribbon you needed to buy for it - so here's what I did! I bought white poster board and used left over paint from Bennett's walls and painted poster board circles. Once dry I (actually Adam did this part for me) used spray adhesive to attach Bennett heads to the circles and we staggered them, green circle, white circle, green circle ... Now of course, these were supposed to be hanging from the big pepper tree in the back yard, but still, they looked super cute and people really enjoyed looking at the whole year of Bennett as the pictures spun around through out the afternoon.

I didn't end up making Bennett's birthday shirt - which is funny because it was the only project I set out on really doing! Thanks to Kohl's and the always fabulous "Carter" brand for choosing my exact color scheme for the party, we went with this:
As for the high chair decorations, I went with what would help me be the most relaxed! I knew that if I spent the time to make some sort of decoration like I saw on etsy and then Bennett reached over and pulled it off with his messy frosting hands I would be less than lovely to my son ("No, NO, No!!!" I can just hear me now on the video!) and I didn't want that. So, I only decorated with a balloon - I still think it looks cute!

The only "game" we had was a craft table where we asked people to make Bennett a birthday card and write a blessing for him on a future birthday. It was a big hit and we got cards up into his 20's as well as a card for his 40th and 41st birthdays!

Lastly, the party favors! I had them all in a basket (actually, it was the basket Adam and I had at our wedding on the present table for cards) and as the party drew to a close I tied a balloon on to each one and sent them on their way (less clean up and what kid doesn't love taking home a balloon?!)
(My sweet neighbor holding all the balloons with the basket in the background on the end table)
Each bag had a Kazoo and a Harmonica (blue and bright green of course - we cleaned party city in Temecula out of their green favors - sorry!) because they were the right color and Bennett's recent love of the Kazoo!

I think that is about it, other than the food. The food was simple, I'm sure you saw it in some of the pictures anyways, just snacks, we didn't serve a meal, we just made sure that it was all stuff that we would be okay with Bennett eating if he went to a birthday party (you know, do unto others as you would have them do unto you)

I had a super lot of fun with this party and I am defiantly looking forward to throwing some great one's in the future! Thanks again Alli and Katrina for getting me thinking in the right direction!


Jonathan said...

is it bad that my first thought when seeing the photo of the cupcakes was it would be funny to switch the kid friendly cupcakes and the full sugar cupcakes to see what happens? :)

The Ochoa Family said...

that is awesome sarah! i see you have tons of time! come do wyatt's party for me.

no but seriously i see you had late nights preparing and everything looked great!

i also have a friend who makes those triangle banners but she uses vinyl tablecloths so they are heavier and waterproof! just a thought

challmeyeralways said...

How cute!!! I love how all of your pictures will have the green/white/blue theme so you can scrap them all with ease :-) but you left the recipes off of you blog :-( I SOOOO want the recipe of the cookies and the flour-less sugar-less cupcakes :-) Pretty Please :-D

Great job mama!

Sarah Elwer said...

the recipe for the carrot cake is linked on the blog click on the green "recipe" in the blog and it will take you right to it. As for the ginger cookies, I just use the recipe out of the Better Homes and Garden's cook book, you know, the big red, three ring binder one that everyone has, yep, that one! It's under "Giant ginger cookies", I just don't make them giant and use salted butter instead of shortening and then I omit the salt in the recipe all together - they come out perfect!