Wednesday, May 7, 2014

A Ruffled First Birthday

Confession: this one year birthday party planning started at three months. And it revolved around the dress. Doesn't it always? Since everything surrounding a baby girl is pink, I had planned on having her party in purple, but the dress changed all that. I was shopping with my MIL and exchanging a baby gift that was too small at a department store when I saw it. And I fell in love and knew that this was going to be my baby girl's first birthday party dress. And it is quite the party dress! But it only came in pink, so the purple color scheme flew out the window. Come to think of it , the same thing happened to my wedding colors. But I digress. Pinterest and I became good friends as I planned out little one's party. My party board has quite the collection of girly party ideas next to the Lego and Star Wars party ideas for the boys. :)
The inspiration for the whole thing, THE dress
My husband went along with all my crazy schemes, tolerating the endless ruffles, "check this out!" as I shoved my iPhone with yet another Pinterest find in his face, and near obsession with this party. He kept reminding me, probably trying to keep me from going further overboard, that Tinker would have no memories of this day and it was more for me and for the pictures. You bet it was! I've always wanted to throw a fancy decorated party and this was the perfect chance. And yes, after all that I've been through in the last year and a half, you better believe I was celebrating her first birthday!!! I have prayed for many years to add a girl to our wonderful family. God answered our prayers, but we had quite the difficult time last year. So I took this as a time to celebrate God's faithfulness, my darling little daughter, and the amazing group of family and friends who have been through this journey with us and supported us. We wouldn't be where we are without them.
photo wall 
The photo wall was pretty easy. I alternated pink and white crepe paper streamers and secured them at the top with tape. I didn't even bother coming back later after the photos were paper-clipped on to tape the bottom and they did just fine.  This was on a back wall though. If it were a high-traffic area like a door or hallway I would use tulle or ribbon instead of crepe paper for sturdiness and tape both sides. I then grabbed tissue paper pom pons at random and taped them. You could mount them onto card stock to but I thought they were cute without it and I liked the pink crepe paper peeking through. My idea photo came from this pink and green polka dot party, photo 3 of 20. I think the hardest part of this was narrowing the picture choices. This shutter bug momma likes to take pictures. :)

Party central
High chair with ruffled tutu 
I absolutely adored the princess throne high-chair idea. Tutu on the chair to dress it up? Brilliant! I also threw a disposable pink table cloth over the chair. A baby eating is always a messy proposition and there's enough to clean up after a party without taking the time to get icing out of the nooks and crannies of a high chair. And it added to the atmosphere! My cousin had made Tinker a tutu for Christmas using tulle and pink polka dot ribbon. I love it and was so excited to be able to use it for her party. Plus it was one less thing that I had to make. 

Party and smash cakes. Ruffled, of course!
What's a party without a cake? I searched and searched to find the exact cake that I wanted. After discussions with my MIL and my friend Meggan, two extraordinary cake decorators, I ruled out anything with fondant or horizontal ruffles. Vertical were definitely easier. What's surprising is how easy this was! It looks hard. the bottom layer was a white cake and the top was strawberry. The smash cake is strawberry. I used two of those enormous muffin tins to make the smash cake and merely cut the tops off. Both were iced 100% with buttercream.

Gift table
Rolls of ribbon from the dollar store meant that I didn't have to be stingy with how much was used. I asked my mother-in-law to hang them are varying lengths. The results were darling. For the draped tablecloth(photo 6) I used a light pink one for underneath and the pink damask on top. I played with the gathers until I found a look I liked and poked a hole with scissors before tying a bow with the ribbon. Simple, yet it looks like draping on a princess dress. 

Food and drink tables
Pom pom centerpiece
Pom poms are one of the easiest things to make. I bought several packs from the dollar store plus raided my Christmas/birthday wrapping box in the basement. One bag of them was made during family movie night. The process, however, was taking a while because tissue paper is like a child magnet. So I took everything to work and asked the occupation therapists if they wanted the project. My delighted residents knocked out three more bag fuels by the end of the day. One resident told me how they always used to make these with their Mexican grandmother for family parties. She hadn't made them in years and had so much fun! I had multiple patients demanding pictures of the party after that. :) We had large, medium, and small. My biggest lesson was to have at least 6" of ribbon when they are tied as otherwise they were difficult to tape to various walls. Retying one more ribbon was just one more step that could've been avoided.  The tutorial for the pom poms explains pretty well. You can also make different kinds of flowers and sizes.

I placed various sizes in glass vases that I already owned. We had enough for one on each table and one on the drink table. I think I like the square vases better.

I love how it all looked together

Dainty little bites
My three precious ones

Royalty must hold court

Love this girl

One of her favorite gifts

Playing in the tissue paper from her gifts

Making the rosette-covered "1"
The inspiration photo for the rosette-covered "1" is gorgeous. It made me think, I can do this! It seriously only took about an hour, including setting up my station and watching the video several times. Obviously, the first couple took a while. I stopped doing more than just a perfunctory fluff after about 5. Hot glue was my friend. I also just hot-glued a pink and white polka dot ribbon tot he back to hang it up.  The instruction video on Youtube is simple and thorough.

So grateful to everyone who helped us have the perfect party for our little darling and for coming out to celebrate life with us. Thankful for those who have helped us through this last year and continue to be the village for my little family. Even if we didn't have the ruffles and the frills, we are blessed beyond measure.

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