Bear’s 1st Birthday • My 1st Party

These past couple of weeks have been CRAZY! I’m just now able to sit down & catch my breath. Before I dive into the party details, I wanted to explain everything that happened the week of the big day since a lot of my tips & tricks are about the party prep. I had A LOT going on the week of Bear’s party; so my saving grace was panicked prayers, lists, & scheduling out the to-do’s across the week. Not only does throwing a party create a ton of work (especially with as many DIYs as i had), but we also closed on our new house, had family & friends stay with us, and I decided to cook for the party instead of cater (which I realized is hard to do when you’re in between kitchens).

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The first step of a party is obviously the invitations. The invitations set the tone of the entire event so you really have to have an idea of what the theme is going to be as well as the date, time, & guest list. Ideally, you want to send out your invites about 4 weeks before the event. I ended up sending them out about a week late since we were out of town.

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sticks • twine • paper used | striped – similar here | hearts | plaid | kraft • tiny hole puncher here • i shipped them in these tubes

My next step was starting on all of the DIY projects I wanted to do. I love doing things myself; not just because I’m stubborn but also I love to customize things. I’d rather explain how I created something than explain where I bought it.

The backdrop I created (with tons of help from my husband & mom):

I found this font on my pinterest, I wanted a tribal look to go along with the theme. My mom printed “WILD ONE” onto a transparency sheet so we could project it onto foam board and outline it with the back of a paint brush. I then cut them out with my trusty styrofoam cutter.

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I always have my favorite white & gold paint on hand
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The supplies for the frame were from Lowe’s • the branches were from a field next to our house but if we had an IKEA close I would have used these (they would have saved so much time!) • to make the look cohesive we put a light coat of a brown spray paint on everything

Making a mini campfire took a lot more effort than I expected; hunting down the supplies was the hardest part (linked under picture). Once you get the supples it’s super easy & makes a fun little s’mores station!

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bucket used for s’mores supplies • sternos used for the fire • marshmallow roasting sticks • fireplace rocksbucket used for “campfire”
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a chalkboard is PERFECT for parties, you can change them up every time to fit the theme • you can get mine here

Since I wasn’t catering, the next HUGE step was to create the menu for the party. I love to cook & studied nutrition and food science technology in college, so this was a really fun step for me. I wanted to create a menu that was easy to eat and had a southern feel to it. The trick to cooking for 25 people is to plan ahead! I put all of my recipes on one document and printed it out; this became a life saver when it came time to make a grocery list and start cooking. Be sure to calculate how many servings you’ll need; I used this formula.

My Menu:

Chicken & Waffle Sandwiches

Green Bean Casserole

Spicy Louisiana Shrimp Dip

Fried Pickles

Cheddar Biscuits

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Balloons are such a great way to fill in white space!
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I used the same paper from the invitations as my food label cards • its an easy way to bring everything together
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I would have used real plates & silverware but used paper and plastic instead since we were in the middle of moving • these paper food trays are a perfect alternative to boring paper plates
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my mom helped me lay out the food table • there’s somewhat of a science behind it • you want the plates next to the main food item
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most of the decorations were from HomeGoods • how cute is this serving platter?!
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for alcoholic beverages, you want to have a sweet option • I chose to make a summer sangria
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we also had a few different beer options, tea, water, coke, and sprite
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make sure you include a little drink station with all the supplies your guests will need • mine included cups, koozies, cocktail napkins, straws, and a variety of sweeteners for the tea

As far as desserts, the only thing I actually made myself were the cookies & the cupcake decorations. In my opinion, sweets are sweets, and unless you have an award winning dessert, buying them is an easy way to save on time.

Dessert Menu:

Mini Cheesecake Squares (purchased at Sam’s Club)

Chocolate & Vanilla Cupcakes (purchased at Sam’s Club)

Chocolate Chip Cookies

S’mores

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I like to have a dessert area separate from the food • I used an antique china cabinet as the dessert bar
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I couldn’t find mini trees for cupcake decorations ANYWHERE so I decided to make them myself • I used these green candy melts & mini pretzel sticks • SO EASY!
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I also used s’mores ingredients to decorate the cupcakes

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I topped Barrett’s cupcake with a bear figurine (his nickname) & a gold candle

Here are a couple of other shots from the party!

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A great way to fill space is to add pictures here & there

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tip: have another outfit for your baby to change into after the cake smash • icing EVERYWHERE

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tip: since you’ll be busy hosting, assign someone to refill napkins, food, drinks etc. (thank you Honey, Bopa, Ruger, & Laura!)
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Don’t forget to have someone write down who the presents are from for the thank yous!

Thanks for stopping by and celebrating with us! Feel free to ask me any questions, I’m sure I’ve missed something.

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