I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not the most creative, craftiest person around. But there’s just something about planning a baby’s first birthday party that got me really excited. Once I could decide on a theme, that is.
There are SO many cute party theme ideas floating around out there. (If you’d like to go down a rabbit hole of awesome themes, I suggest you check out Kara’s Party Ideas.) We narrowed it down to either a Little Man party or a Puppy Party. I went with the Puppy theme for two reasons. 1) D LOVES dogs. It’s pretty much the only word he says with any consistency. And his little face just lights up whenever we see a dog. 2) The Little Man party seems like a timeless classic that we could do later and really have some fun with (like with fake mustaches and such) but the puppy theme might only ever work this year since it’s very baby-ish and kids seem to get opinions as they grow up. (Which is why I dress him in the cutest, most humiliating outfits I can find sometimes. Bunny sleeper with a cotton tail on the butt? YEP!)
Once the theme was set, I spent way too much time picking out invitations. As you may recall from an earlier post, it ended up looking like this.
I loved the blue, green and orange combo and decided I’d run with those colors for the rest of the party decor. But after a stop by Party City, it turns out orange is a really tough color to find in party supplies, so the colors morphed into just blue and green. I also agonized for far too long over the photographer, the cake/cupcakes, the smashcake, and probably everything in between. But enough talking. Time for showing! Ignore my red walls in the background. Looking back, I probably should’ve moved the table to the other side of the room so it wouldn’t clash so much.
For the cake, I ended up just going with a smashcake, cupcake-cake, and extra cupcakes from Walmart – in white and chocolate flavors. I added the dog bones which were just graham cracker Scooby Snacks. My mom made the pawprint cake using a pawprint cake pan she found at Michael’s. We used food dye for the icing, and funfetti cake mix. Here’s a close up of the pawprint cake.
Table cloth, dog napkins, pawprint balloons, birthday banner and dog pinata were from Birthday Express and the rest of the napkins, cups, utensils, balloons and the rest of the decor were from Party City.
My photographer was a friend I’ve gone to school with since about third or fourth grade. I still paid full price but she does great work.
Of all the decorations though, my favorite was this photo display I put in our downstairs hallway leading out to the patio. I took one photo each week of baby D in a different outfit, then printed the photos and made corresponding numbered tags and hung each one on a ribbon with mini clothespins.
These “doggie bags” were from Target and I made sure each of the kids/babies that attended left with one. Each bag included a little tennis ball (Target – pet section), a frisbee (Party city), Scooby Snacks (Walmart), and a plastic bone with bone shaped crayons inside (Birthday Express). Also not pictured was a box with “Free Puppies” so that each kid could “adopt a puppy” – aka little stuffed puppies I found at the dollar store.
And what would any puppy party be without D’s FAVORITE puppy?
We got really lucky with good weather, despite the forecast for rain, so before the party started we staged a little photo shoot in the back yard.
I’m surprised our photographer was able to capture these smiles because D was CRANKY. (Chair was $5 at Walmart in case you’re wondering.)
It should also be noted that the birthday boy fell asleep about 5 minutes after those photos were taken and slept through the first 45 minutes of his party. He was diagnosed with an ear infection two days before the party so little man was struggling to recover and was NOT happy about being woken up and forced in front of about 35 people.
But cake makes everything better so as soon as he got up, it was cake smash time.
Surprisingly, he dove right in and ended up eating almost half the cake!
Boy was a MESS after that so we gave him a quick dunk in the bathtub and then back out to mingle, though he pretty much clung to me the entire time. He managed to play with his baby girlfriends for a few minutes, but it didn’t last long. Then we opened presents while everyone chowed down on hamburgers and hotdogs, potato salad, macaroni salad, chips, fresh fruit, puppy chow (naturally!) and of course – cake. By 5:30, the party was over and we were exhausted! But we couldn’t end the day without letting the birthday boy play in his birthday present from mommy and daddy. A new splash table!
I think he liked it.
Happy first birthday, baby boy! Can’t wait to see what this next year brings!