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Sunday, March 11, 2012

DIY Party Hat Garland

While searching for first birthday party ideas on Pinterest, I came across this and knew that I had to make one for Jackson's party! It was a really fun project!

Supplies:
  • several photos of your birthday subject (I picked 12, one from each month of his first year)
  • scrapbook paper or cardstock
  • ribbon
  • rick-rack
  • pom poms
  • hot glue
  • mini clothespins
  • Command cable clips


Steps:
  1. find several photos of your child (make sure that their face is straight on)
  2. use photoshop (or other editing software) to zoom in on the face
  3. print pictures, 4X6, in color or black and white
  4. carefully cut out faces
  5. cut triangles out of scrapbook paper/cardstock (mine measured 3.5" wide by 4.5" tall)
  6. glue various ribbon/rick-rack/trimmings to bottom edge of triangles
  7. glue pom pom to top of triangle to finish the party hat
  8. glue party hat to face
To hang, I stuck three, evenly spaced, cable clips under the edge of our fireplace mantle and then strung rick rack through them. I tied the ends of the rick-rack to the clips to make it more sturdy and able to hold the weight of all the party hats. Then, I used mini clothespins to hang the party hats. It worked perfectly! Finally, I used some leftover ribbon to hang the first birthday cutout in the middle. This turned out so cute that I still have it hanging a week after his party!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

One Year Old in a Flash: Party Details

I love a good party and what better reason to plan a bash than a first birthday! I had so much fun scouring the internet and Pinterest (of course) for ideas. Since, Jackson is only one there wasn't really an obvious theme choice and I didn't want to push a random theme on him... When I came across this party, One Year Old in a Flash, I was sold immediately!! I've probably talked about how fast time went during Jackson's first year about a thousand times! Plus, I'm obsessed with capturing every moment on camera (even tantrums). This particular party was designed for a baby girl, so I tweaked the color scheme (ours was teal, lime green, and navy) and also made some menu changes (we went with more hearty snacks and less dessert options). Here are the details of Jackson's party!

Invites:
I absolutely loved the custom invitations that were made for the inspiration party, but we saved some money by designing ours on Shutterfly. You can see the full design here.
I thought the pictures along the side, on the front, and along the top, inside the card, had the effect of a photo strip. I wanted to make the theme a little more obvious so I searched for a camera sticker or stamp to add to the card. Luckily, I found the perfect stamp at my second stop (Paper Source).
The invites were complete!

Photo "Booth" and Props:
While browsing at Paper Source for the stamp, I was thrilled to come across a photo prop kit! I didn't even know that such a thing existed and had planned on making the props myself. I thought the $14.95 price tag was well worth the time and energy it would have cost me to create them from scratch. All I had to do was punch out the shapes and attach them to the dowels, that were included, with a little hot glue. They turned out great!
As you can see, I also added a frame prop. I used the frame from an old mirror that was collecting dust in the basement. I just removed the mirror and painted the wooden frame lime green (I used some left over paint from Jax's nursery).

I set up the photo "booth" in our office because it has good natural light and was out of the way of the rest of the party. I used duct tape to secure a queen size sheet to the wall and then hung some extra party decorations to add a little more pizazz.
The party pics were zoomed in so the bed and attractive duct tape edging didn't show. Everyone who attended the party had their picture taken (some with a little more prompting than others) and signed Jax's guest book. I'm going to add each group's picture next to their message, so Jackson will have a nice keepsake from his party. I'm also planning on sending everyone their picture, along with the thank you notes, as a souvenir. I'll include some of the pics in another post, once we get them back from our photographer (my darling and talented cousin Becca).

Decorations:
This was my favorite part of planning the whole party! Besides this package of first birthday decorations and some balloons, I made most of the decor myself. My absolute favorite was the party hat garland.
I made another, more simple, garland using Jackson's monthly pictures.
I also made a banner for Jackson's highchair (inspired by the one from my copycat party).
Finally, I designed little cupcake picks.
I will detail all of my DIY party decorations in future blog posts!

Food:
This was definitely my least favorite part of the planning... Shocking, I know. We decided to keep things as simple as possible because we didn't want to spend Jackson's party in the kitchen. Since the party was at 2pm, we didn't have to worry about serving a meal (which would have been impossible with close to 40 guests and limited space). Instead, we had heavy snacks and dessert (and beer and wine). In all of the hustle and bustle of the party, not only did I forget to take a picture of the food table, I even forgot to put out a couple of things! This is what was served:
Everything was made ahead of time or came straight out of a bag. Unfortunately, we forgot to prep and put out the fruit. Oh well, we had lots leftovers so hopefully it wasn't missed...

So there you have it! We had a blast and I think our guests did, too! Thanks to Elle Belle Creative and Pinterest for the inspiration, my husband for putting up with my craziness in the days leading up to the party, my cousin Becca for taking pics, my mom and sister for babysitting while we prepped for the party, and to everyone who came to help celebrate!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Big 0-1!

Oh, my little sweetie, you are one year old already!! Where did the time go? You have grown from a tiny 5 1/2 pound peanut, to a sweet little 6 month old, to a strong, rambunctious toddler in the blink of an eye...
You weigh 23.5 pounds and are 31 inches long. You love being the center of attention and easily command it. You seem to light up every room you enter. We are pretty certain that you can say 3 words: mama, dada, and gee (for KG). You are a busy, busy boy:
crawling
climbing
and WALKING!!!
On Valentine's Day you mastered walking with your walker toys (as seen above). You probably could have done this sooner, but I never gave you the chance. I always held the walker so it wouldn't get away from you. When daddy saw me doing this he told me that I was smothering you and that you could do it on your own. I didn't believe him, but the second I let go, you took off! (Okay, maybe I am a little overprotective). After practicing this for a couple weeks, you took your first unaided step (on March 1)! You were standing by a bookshelf and I was sitting next to you. I held out my arms and, instead of crawling to me like usual, you took a giant step/leap into my arms! When daddy got home we had you walk a couple steps back and forth between us. I have a feeling you'll be running by next month!

The morning of March 1 was very eventful for you! Your first step occurred early in the morning and just a couple hours later you had your first "official" kiss. We were at our weekly ECFE class and you crawled over to a sweet little girl, sat right in front of her, and leaned in for a kiss. It was adorable! All of the moms went crazy and, since you seemed to like the reaction you got, you gave her a couple more kisses. Then you became a bit more aggressive and stuck your hand in her mouth, so I had to intervene (sorry sweetie). I have a feeling that you're going to be quite the ladies man. Here you are practicing in the mirror:
video

Speaking of kisses, Valentine's Day marked your last, first holiday. Here is the one and only photo that turned out from our photo shoot. You do not sit still for longer than a second these days, so you are a blur in most pictures I take. Luckily, I do not give up easily...
Earlier this month we had an unexpected first- our first call to poison control (after you decided to have spackle for breakfast). Daddy got up with you on a Saturday morning so that I could sleep in (he's the best). He was doing some spackling in your soon to be new playroom. Well, he must have taken his eyes off of you for a second and you took that opportunity to check out his work. When he turned around you had spackle on your hands and mouth. Of course he panicked and ran upstairs to wake me up. I was deep asleep, so panic didn't set in for me right away. However, the warning on the back of the spackle was enough to snap me out of my daze: IF INGESTED DO NOT INDUCE VOMITING. GET MEDICAL ATTENTION IMMEDIATELY. We called poison control fully expecting that we'd be told to call 911 or bring him to the emergency room. Thankfully, they reassured us that Jax would be fine. (Apparently, it's not a big deal unless you eat the whole jar). Whew! Disaster averted. All you needed was a bath to get all the residue off... Good thing rubber duckies aren't toxic!

Other than spackle, you have been eating more and more finger foods (and I am slowly getting over my fear of you choking). Your favorites are bananas, carrots, peas, couscous,  and barley. You're very good at feeding yourself, but about a week ago you realized how much fun it is to play with your food and smashed a bunch of banana into your hair (of course this was right after I had given you a bath). As talented as you are at getting food into your mouth, I am constantly finding it in odd places (like in diapers, ears, and stuck to the side of your nose).

The highlight of the month, by far, was your first birthday party (on March 4). It was a perfect celebration! Nearly 40 family and friends came over to help you celebrate the big day!! Our house was VERY crowded, but we felt blessed to know that everyone came because they love you. You are one lucky little guy... The theme was "One Year Old in a Flash." I set up a photo booth and put together some silly props for everyone to take pictures to put in your guest book. My cousin Becca was kind enough to take the pictures; she also took some of you before the party. I can't wait to see how they turned out! I think your favorite part of the party was the cake. You were a little cautious with the first couple bites, but once you got a taste for the sweet frosting you started taking larger and larger handfuls. It was pretty hilarious! I had to be the bad guy and took it away before you ate too much (hey, it was for your own good).
As your birthday gift, Dad and I re-purposed our junk room into a much more functional playroom. Your friend Christopher's dad re-built the cabinets and we re-painted it from a very pretty lilac to calming aloe (at least it's a little more masculine)... We also got you a ball pool (dad and I are both jealous). Here you are swimming in the ball pool and posing with a few of your other presents:
You were a little off your rocker for a couple days after your party- maybe it was all of that frosting... Yesterday afternoon brought the biggest tantrum I have ever seen out of you (all because I closed the gate so you couldn't climb up the stairs). You turned bright red and kicked and screamed for what felt like hours. Nothing I did could calm you down.
You finally got so tired that you allowed me to pick you up. I got your cozy blanket and boppy and we nestled into the massive recliner in the basement. You slept in my arms for two blissful hours. And I watched you- took in your pouty lips, your round little cheeks, and your long eyelashes. I couldn't help but think that you will outgrow this before I know it. It breaks my heart... Then I drifted off to sleep (apparently your tantrum took a lot out of me, too). Daddy was "nice" enough to snap a pic of this moment...

Today, you actually slept until 6am, which was a big improvement from the typical 4:30-5am wake up time most of this month. You even took an hour-and-a-half long nap this morning!! (Let's hope this is the start of a new trend). This afternoon we went to Sealife Aquarium with your friend Chris to celebrate your big day. Look, you guys are holding hands!
Motherhood is hard, but you have made this past year the most amazing experience of my life, thus far. Although I have only been a mom for 12 months, I can't imagine my life without you. You are the light of my life. I am sad that your baby days are behind us, but am thoroughly enjoying your emerging personality and watching as you learn new things and experience life. I cannot wait to see you continue to grow, but what do you say we try to slow things down just a little bit... Deal?
Happy first birthday, peanut!!
Love, Mom