We had such a wonderful time celebrating Liv’s first birthday. You only get to do a first birthday once (and I suspect future birthdays will be dictated by the little one) so I took advantage and had a lot fun planning out and preparing for a big day.
I’m not sure how the theme initially came about, but a striped, circus-y party slowly developed as we planned. (Okay… get ready for way too many pictures.)
We’ve had record breaking warm weather (think low 80′s) here this January so we planned for a beautiful day at the park (that and our house has a bit of open construction going on right now). Oh we were biting our nails though… 5 days till the party and the weatherman promised 10% chance of rain, 2 days until the big day and my iPhone notified me we were up to a 60% chance of rain! and that morning we woke to a forecast of 20% chance of precipitation. Thankfully we had a quick sprinkle when setting up but other than that a dry – albeit a bit chilly – day. But no matter, we had a great time anyway.
After deciding on the carnival/circus theme, I came across this party and was immediately inspired to create a similar tablecloth for our food/dessert table. I purchased 10 yards of Ikea striped fabric and used Stitch Witchery to hem a skirt and a top piece. I included elastic in the top hem of the skirt to create the ruching effect and kept the skirt and top pieces separate so that if I ever wanted to cover a different sized table it would be easy to adjust (these two 6′ foot banquet tables are covered on three sides, but my skirt would easily wrap around an entire 8′ table, for example). I think I may go back and sew my hems into place now that the rush of getting ready for the party is over…
We dined on Kevin’s smoked pulled pork sandwiches and potato salad, and washed it all down with homemade pink lavender lemonade (Kev’s new recipe that he coaxed out of one of our favorite local restaurants).
Friends and family helped pull the little dessert bar together (my Grandma made her famous wedding cookies, peanut butter cookies and adorable iced ’1′ cookies) and a big thanks to friends Liz and Stephanie for adding cookies and the awesome cake pops to the mix!
I made Liv’s first birthday cake from a box mix and covered it whipped cream icing and handmade pink fondant polka dots.
There were just a few yards of fabric leftover from the tablecloth and so I covered a few pillows from the house for the picnic area. All of these red fleece blankets were scooped up on sale at Ikea for $2.50 a piece – much cheaper than renting chairs!
And added a string of matted black and white photos from Liv’s first year.
Luckily I had family in town for the weekend so that our little army could assemble the entire party Sunday morning (Mom, you are the best!). I was so nervous that our spot at the park would be taken (it was a holiday weekend, after all) that I asked my dad and all of the brothers to take shifts ‘guarding’ it from 7:30am on. But in the end we were the only party on this cloudy day!
Liv was quite unsure about her birthday cake. It could have been the 30ish people standing around and watching her but she was verrry hesitant before finally tasting and diving right in. I did attempt to light the candles but the breeze wasn’t having it .
We offered forks to any other kids that wanted to help her with her birthday cake – I feared a sore tummy was inevitable!
Finally, we played and played. I found pink bouncy balls at Toy’s R Us for $1.99 and bought a dozen animal beach balls as prizes for the little relay we set up.
One of Liv’s birthday presents was an adorable peach tutu from her buddy Gigi. That inspired some serious running with balloons during clean up after everyone had left.
Yes, that is her dress awkwardly tucked into her tutu.
You know how I’m always talking about all of those uncles? Here’s a visual.
Too bad this one is just a little out of focus… but it’s adorable! Dad and Grandpa are in the mix too, but she has seven of these wonderful guys (two are missing) as uncles looking out for her!
And there it is, Liv’s first birthday celebration .