At the end of September we had Clarice's first birthday party! I have probably been planning and mulling over this party more than most of the other ones I've thrown, and I picked my theme months ago when I ordered our gorgeous invitations. Despite all my mental planning, I didn't actually buy anything else until a week before her party, but I am happy with the way it turned out!
Tissue paper flowers: I made them from a kit that I got on clearance at Joann's - they were so easy! You could easily make them without a kit, and maybe one of these days I'll do a post (or find one already written) to show you how.
String of balloons: The best idea I ever got from Pinterest.
Lemon drops and tea cups: The tea cups I have had for a while - whenever I find a pretty on in an antique shop I snag it, so they were perfect for my "tea party" vision.
Rose-shaped dessert mints: My mom made these for Clarice's party with an old family recipe! They fit in perfectly with all the decor. Thanks, Mom!
Tea pot: I've been wanting one anyway, so when I saw this Pioneer Woman tea pot at Walmart, I figured this was the perfect excuse to buy it!
Milk bottles with chalkboard tags: I bought some extra milk bottles, because these are my favorite cups for the kids - if they leave them around the house, they kind of look decorative! I added some chalkboard tags with these little cut-outs that I found at Hobby Lobby for $3.
Chalkboard: My attempt at hand-lettering! Don't laugh.
Water bottles: I got some scrapbook paper that looked like aspen tree bark to replace the water bottle labels, and I taped them on with pretty washi tape. The mint-colored tub I already had (Hobby Lobby).
Punch: Cranberry juice and Squirt. It's simple and very good.
White cabinet: Can you believe I won that in an Instagram giveaway? It was very exciting.
Small "dot" banner: Minted!
"Happy Birthday Clarice" banner: Minted!
"Sips" and "Treats" table signs: Minted!
Cupcake toppers: You guessed it - also part of the Minted party kit I received earlier this year!
Cupcakes: I made those, strawberry cake mix, store-bought strawberry frosting. Keeping it simple.
Jello Popcorn: See recipe here, minus the peanuts.
White chocolate leaves: I made those with Almond Bark chocolate and some leaf molds.
Flowers and Aspen tree candle holder: Hobby Lobby. I just loved the candle holders when I saw them, and it was very convenient since I could use them for Clarice's party too!
THE CAKE: All caps, because I am so proud of it! My sister made this cake - isn't she amazing? All I told her was that I wanted an "aspen tree stump", and the cake turned out better than I even imagined!
Glitter candle: I saw it on another Instagram account, and when I tried to find it again later to look at her DIY, I couldn't find it! So I just winged it and used Elmer's glue and glitter to cover a "1" candle. It worked out nicely.
Banner cake topper: I got the little triangle cutouts at Hobby Lobby and strung them between two paper straws that I already had.
Clarice's birthday dress: I found it on Taylor Joelle last year, and it just happened to work perfectly as her party dress!
Headband: I bought it from this shop.
So there you go! A year's worth of mental planning, and now it's over. It's a little sad really - where did the last year go? HOW IS MY BABY ONE?! It's cliche, but it really does go by too fast.
My baby girl just turned ten months old and I have to tell you, I am feeling the first birthday party pressure.
There is a lot of pressure to have Pinterest-perfect birthday parties for our kids these days, and it would be a good thing if we all just relaxed a little bit. You know what my favorite birthday party memories were? Decorating with whatever we could find in the cupboard and having relay races with my little group of friends. I think it doesn't have to be big and fancy to be memorable and fun.
(I made these ice cream cone pins so guests could wear their guess - blue for boy, red for girl.)
It started with the fact that we decided to try doing this party at a park - I thought, "Self, won't that be so much easier on me, not having to clean the house for a party?" Ha! It was a lot more complicated trying to figure out a park location than I thought. We finally picked one that was first-come-first-serve, with plans to get there several hours early to claim our spot.
Then we got there and our park was taken!
Enter 15 minutes of internal panic for me as we drove around to find another location. We finally settled on a park shelter that we thought was our only option. It honestly didn't look to impressive from the road, but when we walked over there we realized it was actually a perfect (and quiet!) location!
(Our color scheme ended up being aqua and red, since those seemed like good ice cream social type colors - and the black was just a necessary evil because of how we wanted to do the reveal, but in the end I felt like it worked.)
Derek and I got the park set up, and I figured since we started about 3.5 hours early we would be sitting around bored for a couple hours - I was wrong! We took that entire time just to set up and eat lunch. It's a good thing we thought we had to get there so early to claim a shelter!
(We provided basic vanilla ice cream and toppings.)
(Ice cream floats, of course.)
Guests started arriving, and we had them pin on their guesses! Initially when we were planning our party we didn't know how many people would be there, or if everyone would know each other, so we prepared some games. We almost always have a couple games at our parties, because it breaks things up if some of the guests don't know anyone, and it keeps things from lagging - but we honestly didn't end up using any of them, because it was a smaller group and everyone ended up knowing each other! The visiting was going so smoothly that we didn't think we needed to interrupt it with games. But I'll include our ideas anyway, just in case you want to use them.
Gender Reveal Party Game Idea 1: Sticking with the ice cream theme, we were going to give everyone slips of paper with an ice cream flavor on it (some common, some obscure). Everyone would be allowed to ask each other yes/no questions to try to figure out each person's ice cream flavor. They could write their guesses down on a piece of paper, so be entered into a drawing for a prize (in our case, $5 Cold Stone gift cards).
(Prizes for the people who guessed the gender correctly. And I didn't get around to coloring them all because my pink Sharpie was a nightmare, and I didn't have time.)
(I sewed up this bunting one day, since I had fabric on hand that matched our color scheme! I thought we would use the bunting as a "finish line", but we didn't end up needing it for that, so it was just a cute decoration.)
The park ended up being perfect, because there was hardly anyone there except us. The kids ran around and played on the playground, and the adults visited, and we all ate ice cream. My dad kept saying he thought it was really twins, and he even pointed out one of the ultrasound pictures that kind of looked like it - I kept telling him that they told me there was only one!
Gender Reveal Game Idea 2: Since this was an ice cream social/picnic type thing, we thought we would do traditional picnic races! We would divide the guests into Team Boy or Team Girl (according to their guess), and have them pick representatives from each team for the races. We were thinking of doing a sack race, a three-legged race, and possibly an egg-and-spoon race. We would keep score, and give prizes to whichever team won the most races.
Gender Reveal Game Idea 3: One of our contests did actually work out - on our invitations we told guests they could bring ice cream to share if they wanted, and the most interesting flavor would win a prize ($5 Cold Stone gift cards)! Since we had an extra prize, I picked two winners - my friend Brianne brought a custom ice cream flavor based on my favorites, and my friend Ashley brought Marionberry Pie ice cream!
(All the big siblings.)
(Derek and me at the party.)
I don't have any pictures of the confetti because I realized during the race that my friend's child was sitting under THE balloon, and I hurried over there to move him so he wouldn't get confetti in his eyes.
Then the confetti balloon popped . . . and all the confetti just kind of fell to the ground. When we tested it out at home the confetti flew everywhere, so that wasn't quite what we thought would happen.
Then some of the glitter confetti we used kind of looked blue in the sunlight, and it mixed in with the red confetti. After all the twin talk, everyone just kind of looked at me and Derek since the colors were a little confusing...
So we called out "It's a GIRL!"
Yeah, not exactly how we planned it, but it turned out okay!
We are so excited to be welcoming a sweet little girl into our family! It'll be so fun to have another baby girl to dress up, and I'm already scheming on how to buy all the headbands I want (because it just seems like she should have some brand-new ones)!
Overall, I am really happy with the way the party turned out - it was fun, and even though I was more stressed during the planning phase of this party, the party itself was one of the most enjoyable for me! It ended up being the perfect group of people, and we had a great time.
I have to mention though, that Wyatt was really disappointed that he didn't get to take a turn racing, so we might have to invite some of his little friends over soon and remedy that.
(Note: I also picked a winner for my Starbucks giveaway for guessing the gender correctly - and Kristy H. won! Thanks to all of you who played along - I had so much fun reading all your reasons for your guesses!)