Thursday, February 28, 2013

a sesame street inspired 1st birthday party

Once fall time hit, I realized I should probably start thinking of ideas for themes for Audrey's first birthday party. Of course I still had a handful of months left until she turned 1, but thanks to Pinterest, I felt the pressure to plan a cute party that I would be proud of. Pinterest is both a blessing AND a curse in my book. It has SO MANY awesome ideas, that you can use..but then, you also want to make everything in your life as cute as it is on Pinterest!

Initially, I was going to go with a Ladybug theme. Ryan was pushing for something involving Valentine's Day (and he calls ME cliche), but I was against that. I also thought that I should probably make it girly, but I just wasn't impressed with any of the princess or Minnie Mouse type themes. One day while perusing Pinterest, I came across some ideas with Sesame Street that were adorable! I also really like the bright color scheme, and just went with it! Audrey does like Sesame Street and really seems to enjoy Elmo, so the theme was born!

After the holidays, I began my quest to start party prepping. I had explored some Etsy shops for decorations and as cute as they were, I was not about to spend $30+ on one birthday banner I would be using once..not happening. So, I decided to make my own. I also wanted Audrey to have a tutu to go along with her outfit (which I had a friend make) and after checking out prices of those, decided again, I'd make my own. With this party, I certainly tested my creativity limits! And I must say, I am pretty proud of how everything turned out!

I started crafting back in January because I knew it would take awhile to get everything done (with a very active baby running around its near impossible during the day!!) and I did not want to be rushed. I decided to make a birthday banner, a high chair banner and a monthly banner. I went to Joann Fabrics and purchased all of my supplies. A lot of things were on sale, so I was able to get all the supplies I needed for all of these for less than $30. This also included my supplies for the tutu. As for the invitation, I made that as well through Photoshop. It took a little time to get it just right as I'm quite rusty in PS. I use it to edit photos, but hadn't done any design work in it for quite some time. I based the design off of some ideas I found, and I think it turned out pretty cute. My only complaint was the priting quality. I probably shouldn't have taken it to a 1-hour place, but oh well. Next time, I'll go more "professional" quality. But, I paid $5 for 55 invites + envelopes. Can't beat that!

When it came to menu planning, I had all kinds of ideas in my head, but ultimately, decided to go the simple route -- pizza & salad. I figured that hey, Elmo's favorite food is pizza, so its sticking to the theme..right?! Of course I had all these grand plans to incorporate the characters names into all the food (Murray's meatballs, Bert's banana wands, etc etc) but lets face it, I simply did not have enough time. I am a stay at home mom, yes, but I also work part time five nights a week. Time is money! Plus, people like pizza and salad. I know I do! And, the birthday girl loves, problem solved ;)

I also was going to make the cupcakes myself and order a smash cake. Of course, I found adorable character faced cupcakes that I so badly wanted to try my hand at. But then I ran into the problem with time. You obviously can't make cupcakes more than a day or two in advance and there was no way I was going to be able to bake & decorate cupcakes the day before the party because of course, I had to work that night. So, I ended up ordering them and was pleased with how they turned out. I went with Sam's Club. 30 cupcakes for $14 plus they threw in a free smash cake! Sold.

I also came across a DIY cupcake tower on Pinterest and wanted to make one. I have those little metal cupcake stands, but they just weren't as cute to me, and so I decided to make my own, which was actually quite easy. All it took was some ribbon, poster board, soup cans and some hot glue. Easy enough!

The rest of the decorations were simple. I bought some crepe paper & balloons in primary colors and added some strands here and there. I also bought the plates, napkins and utensils in primary/rainbow colors too. Loved all of the colors!! I was very happy with how everything came together.

The party was a hit. We had a great turn out and were so happy to see so many people come to celebrate our little girl's milestone day. I got a lot of compliments on my decorations and the party in general, so that made ME feel good. My Aunt even mentioned I should do party planning (HA!) but that made me smile.

And this little sugar faced sweetie had a blast, loved all the attention she got and really, thats all that mattered to me in the end :)

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