When I was a kid, I remember birthdays as some of the best days of my life. We did not play hooky from school, or go on big trips, but we always had the party we wanted (within reason!)- which would explain why I had TWO bowling parties (and still have the personalized bowling pins from each). Our birthdays were celebrated with friends and family, often more than once. We had a party, we had a family cake night, we had special dinner- for me there was always a Flyers’ game with my name up on the jumbotron. My parents made sure that they celebrated us on our special day each year, and for that I am forever grateful.
And so… Addie’s first birthday!
A few months ago Addie began to show interest in Chicka Chicka Boom Boom more than any other book. We focus A LOT on reading in this house- Addie hasn’t watched any TV, yet- and I was loving that she had a favorite book already. And so, her first birthday party theme was born!
With lots to do for the big day, I started my planning early! My first step was… what would my baby girl wear? A very talented reader of the blog had contacted me a while ago and wanted to make something for Addie. Lisa is the designer for Heavenly Things for Angels on Earth. Her designs were so elaborate and beautiful that I immediately knew I wanted her to make Addie’s birthday dress. When I emailed her my idea, she went out of her way to find the fabric I’d seen AND made a banner, socks, hat and hair bow!
This was the picture that Lisa posted on Facebook and when the outfit arrived, I began to plan the party around it- deciding on invitations that were less bright and more of a vintage feel. When I contacted Sarah from Sweet ‘lil You, she asked me just what I wanted, gave me size options, took down all the information for the wording and then came back with this on the first try- JUST WHAT I WANTED! She emailed me a code for Vistaprint and the invites (with design) cost the same as ordering from most online retailers!
Then, there was the house. We have a craftsman-style home, built in 1928, with it’s original moulding- which lends itself to becoming coconut trees! Hooray! All of the decor in the house was done with recycled paper and construction paper and items I already had! We did mini-cupcakes, instead of cake, had letter magnets, and my mother-in-law made an umbrella for the kids’ picnic table that looked like a tree! I made centerpieces using tubes from wrapping paper and a table runner and vases we had. The poster in our front hall was actually our Chicka Chicka cover from the anniversary edition. The pictures were hung on the stairway and behind the highchair using butcher’s twine we’ve had for years, and clothespins from my baby shower! Favors were bracelets from our LPA District One and bubbles! Our menu was kid and health friendly, with paprika baked chicken, alphabet pasta salad with organic dressing and veggies, string cheese, and a big fruit bowl! All of our paper and plastic ware, table runners, paper banners and mini-bowls (awesome for kids) came from Oriental Trading, and were in the theme colors of lime, pink and orange. The inflatable palm tree cooler and magnets also came from OT. Check it out:
We had friends playing and Addie being silly with her cupcake (she’s not a fan of sweets). All-in-all, it was an absolutely beautiful day. We had SO much fun, and although the house was PACKED, I think everyone enjoyed playing both indoors and out- especially in the sand table (which was a rice table for us)! Chicka Chicka Boom Boom!!
As if we didn’t have enough fun at our house, my parents wanted to have a party, too (who am I to say no?). It was very different… but very awesome, as well! We had lots of family, including my sister and nephew from Florida, and my friends from school were able to come and meet Addie. We also had new friends there- like Kate!
Of course the decor and cake were amazing- we recycled lots of the items I already had to go around the house, like the banners, cooler, strings of pictures and palm tree centerpieces I’d made. My Mom rented a lit up palm tree and hung letters my brother painted on it- so fancy! Lochel’s Bakery made a raspberry marble pound cake and it was SO good- it could have been wedding cake. Addie’s picture from her 3 month photoshoot was printed on top of the cake, and the colors my Mom decorated with were less bright and more vintage- so perfect for the theme! Of course, Addie wore her beautiful dress again (AND all the icing came out of it with a little hand washing- thanks Mom!).
The parties were beautiful and as a parent, I have a new found respect for all the things my parents did for me as a child. Thank you to my in-laws and Mom for all of their help making Addie’s celebrations so special- and to my big sister for making the trip (at 2am) to Philly to be with us! So many came together to show Addie how special she is to so many people- and for everyone’s support, we send you all of our love and appreciation! It truly takes a village, not to just raise a child, but to be a whole family. Thank you, Village!