My baby is two y’all. Holy… Holy crap. For her one year birthday, I didn’t do a theme. She’s one. I have no idea what a one year old likes… So I picked 4 or 5 colors and went to town with decor that way. It was still super cute, but I was VERY excited for a themed birthday this year. My Dad, used to make a really big deal out of our birthdays, go all out for them. I went way more into this birthday than any other event I’ve thrown… it’s also the 2 year anniversary since he passed, so it’s one way I stay semi sane… Keeping my head down and knowing he would love every detail of what I am doing for her.
I got a couple of comments from people on the extent of the work I put in, but that’s just the thing. It isn’t work for me. I started this oddly enough, 4 or so months ago and little by little would piece it all together. This saved on both stress and money by spacing it out. Maybe birthday parties are a stress for some parents, but I always sucked at math and science etc… but give me art and projects where I can dream something elaborate up and complete it with nothing but my bare hands… Nothing short of heaven for me.
Pinterest has a ton of ideas for rescue theme type birthdays. Mila is obsessed with dogs, so picking the dog theme wasnt difficult… I love that it’s about rescuing as well, considering my BearBear and most of the dogs I had growing up were rescues.
I found these puppers on Oriental Trading. 20 bucks for a dozen. MUCH cheaper vs buying individual stuffed animal puppies. My husband works at Omaha Box Company and they manufacture corrugated boxes. He made the carriers, along with the long box to put the stuffed animals in. I wrote a sign up for the kids, little steps for adopting a dog… This was a cheap white board from Hobby Lobby that I got custom framed for my studio space up stairs. I love the look of it.
As far as projects go for this, I made the signs for the carriers, the certificates and the ribbon collars… Complete with picking out fun names with the help of friends… This was the most fun part of it. Smee, Hei Hei, Odie, Le Fou, Gus Gus… Can you tell I’m a Disney fan or nah???
Drink station is above – Thanks to a girlfriend who told me about these galvanized party supplies at Wal-Mart. Of course, I can’t find a direct link to the line… but drink stands, utensil holders, serving trays… etc. I got the ice bucket from there and borrowed my friends matching drink stands. Save where you can! I served this cucumber melon sangria that was a HUGE hit with the adults, white sangria with mint… I can’t count how many times I said refreshing… Sorry to my friends for the redundancy.
As you can see, the colors I picked were pink, yellow and pops of orange. Those tin cans? Target dollar section from last Easter. I have them in black and orange from Halloween as well, stock up on little things like this that can be reused. Thought the mismatched utensils looked hella cute in them. Shout out to my MIL for the awesome banner, that woman can make just about anything off her circuit machine, with a photo reference.
Scooby doo mix and the Jell-O water bowl ideas, all off Pinterest. Make sure if you make them, you include that they are kid friendly on your tag… raised a lot of eyebrows with parents… “No, I promise I am not trying to get little Nathaniel white girl wasted.”
DESSERT BAR – I mean, I might spazz every time I see one at a party… Self explanatory goodness.
One way to lessen the load for a party… Delegate that stuff out. My MIL ordered the cookies for us from her favorite place Simply Home Sweet Home. Bones, dog houses and puppies. She also brought the chew sticks (twizzlers) and the rice crispies. Other friends brought chips, juice and corn dog muffins. Saves you some money and you can really focus on the main dishes.
I normally would stress myself out by making a cake or cupcakes… but its one thing that needs to be fresh, so I opted to try our local bakery that’s within walking distance. The Omaha Bakery gave them two ideas of what I wanted and dreamed up this bad boy of a cake, complete with Bear on top and my childs ridiculous nickname I gave her. I love sassy sheet cakes… They look perfect and then there’s something odd written on it. Quite the beautiful contradiction.
I made the Oreo pops. For some reason, I forget how hard it is to work with chocolate… wont do dipped anything for years… this was my learning lesson to stay the eff away from chocolate melts. The devil.
The morning of the party, I had an hour or so to myself… Got to break up all the party prepping by coloring with chalk in the driveway. Honestly was therapeutic… Again, art and me just go hand in hand.
Outside I set up a table for the guests to sign a dog book for Mila, koozie tray for the adults… and a tattoo station for the babies. We rented a bounce house from Bo Bo’s Bounce Rental in Omaha. They were THE nicest couple, very throughout with rules and our rental was 5 hours but we had it for about 8 hours So we definitely got our $$$ worth out of it and would use them again. The lady reminded me of my half-sister Lisa, very warm and kind. The kids went NUTS over it… reports of lots of tired babes last night so job well done there. I set up a table for coloring as well, as I am an adult who gets overwhelmed in social settings… I’m equally social/hermit and need to decompress often. Figured there might be someone who needed a play break.
This was another favorite of the decor for me… Tyler cut these out at work, I painted them and added ribbon to their necks. So bright and just fun! I also did the sign on my kid art easel. Surprisingly no kids attempted to wipe it off. Innocent kiddos.
The tattoos were a fun thing to bring out mid party. Little Russell wanted 4 total…. My kid… wanted nothing to do with it. Go figure, but that’s my girl.
So, the onesie for Mila was a mixed tape onesie from where else but Etsy. I never by fancy kids clothes unless it’s a very special occasion. Literally everything is second-hand or from Target. This was well worth the splurge.
Awkward family photos anyone? T.B. III isnt into anything else but play when kids are around and rightfully so. Grandma insisted on a picture, so we tried.
So, last week… I tried to gear her up for blowing candles out. Lit up her desert after dinner complete with me singing to her and she bursted into tears. Too much attention. Which, I totally understand. Birthdays are overwhelming for most, I never wanted to open presents in front of my friends… still don’t enjoy it. I warned everyone ahead of time that she might cry, but she just burrowed into Granny and we all sang… Had no care to blow the candles out. Sweet shy girl.
Favorite gifts from the party… My friend Stephanie MADE THIS unicorn for M. I mean… talented!!! We also got a covered wagon which is goodfor a break up of biking to the Farmers Market… Mila enjoyed snuggling up with her new unicorn friend. The most inventive gift was from a guest who donated in Milas name to The Nebraska Humane Society. A place we visit monthly and oogle at all the sweet babies who are waiting for a good home.
Mind you, all animals go through temperament testing, get spade and neutered as well as shots. They are perfect and ready to love on you forever. A common misconception is you can’t find the specific breed you want, oh but the power of Google. There are breed specific rescues in every city, from small to large dogs. Saving a life is the best thing you could possibly do in my opinion… They will reward you for years to come.
The party was an absolute success and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.