So, Jax is officially not my “baby” anymore. Toddler. Even the word is such a mouthful. It’s so funny to watch him drift back and forth between demanding independence (read: slamming a ball against the glass entertainment center, even when I show him how to properly use it with his basketball hoop) and still clinging to Babyhood (read: clutching my leg in unfamiliar places).
I wanted to throw him a First Birthday party that celebrated both these parts of him- something that fit a growing boy, but was still whimsical. And I was also hoping it would serve as some shameless self-promotion for my burgeoning event planning and design business that I have started with a talented friend.
A party for my little Sock Monkey!
I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on the invite, so we scouted an area near our house with a nice fence and did a mini photo shoot with some bananas and Jax’s Easter Basket from last year. I did the design work myself and I’m really happy with the way they came out!
As is my usual style, I took on WAY too many DIY projects, and was still up gluing and creating banners at 6am the night before the party! I also didn’t anticipate how hard it was going to be to carry everything we needed for the party to the site at the Pond. All the decorations, food, tissue poms, mason jars, etc were pretty heavy and required a lot of trips. Thankfully, I had a lot of friends and family who were able to help carry items and set-up.
DIY Tissue Poms are actually really fun to make when you do it with a friend over a glass of wine.
To make the 12-month Birthday Banner, I blew up (to 5×7) one picture from each month of Jax’s life, affixed them to striped scrap book paper, and punched holes for the ribbon at the top. So simple, and such a nice personal touch.
I made the bunting from three different, coordinating fabrics- red polka dots, blue striped Dr. Suess fabric and a red sock monkey fabric. I have a new appreciation for people who quilt because cutting out all those triangles was painful! I also have to say that I don’t sew (gasp), so many thanks go to my great friend and business partner, Jessica, for bringing over her sewing machine and actually sewing these for me!
Unfortunately, I didn’t get any pictures of the food cards. But there were things like “Monkey Vines” in the candy bar and “Jungle Juice” as a refreshment.
I stamped little muslin bags with a sock monkey that could be filled with candy as a favor for the older kids and adults.
These rice crispy treats are a perfect example of one project that had to cut! I was going to wrap each on individually in wax paper and striped bakers twine, but just ran out of time. I left one there as a memento.
I baked all the cupcakes and Smash Cake the night before (again, with help from Jessica- we had quite a baking/craft night!) and topped them with these adorable cupcake toppers from Apple Blossom Cupcakes.
This cake was a gift from Nil’s godmother and it matched so perfectly with what I had in mind. I couldn’t have gotten anything better from a cake shop!
It is hard to tell how big this “cupcake” is from the pictures, but it was a perfect size for a smash cake. I used this oversized cupcake mold to make it.
I love, love, love the way Jax’s “I am One” sign came out (I designed it myself)! This is what it said: I am one. I have 7 teeth. I can say “uh-oh” and “da-da.” I like the beach and to eat any food that comes from mommy and daddy’s plate. I don’t like getting my diaper changed and loud cheering. I can walk (but mostly like a robot)!
The guest book was a Melissa and Doug building block set that guests could sign or provide words of wisdom about growing up.
What I loved most about this party, was that there was something for everyone. Babies had a blanketed area with age-appropriate toys, teens were throwing the football and playing soccer, and adults were mingling with the little ones. I couldn’t have asked for a better fall day and a better location for Jax’s first Birthday!
This Sock Monkey Flag was made by my mother and is truly special and one-of-a-kind. We now have it hanging in his room!
The favors for all the babies and little kids were filled with banana-shaped cookies and topped with mini sock monkeys.
I filled a shadow box with some early memories of Jax (including our first picture together and little booties made by his great grandmother) and placed it near the Guest Book area.
Didn’t get a good picture of the “Firsts Banner,” but it had a collection of pictures of Jax’s “firsts” laid out in the shape of a “1.”
As centerpieces and table decor, I made mini bunting to match the large bunting and attached it to the party invitation. It sat in a trio of mini poms that also matched the larger ones.
Smash Cake time!