Sunday, August 11, 2013

Vivian's First Birthday

Our little one has turned one! She is the most delightful happy smart baby and I'm so deeply thankful I am her mom. For her for her birthday we decided to have a circus theme!
What I have learned now from being a mom for 3 years is that birthday parties are fun but they are even more fun when you keep it simple stupid. For Lydia's first we invited every person we loved in the world. It was too much. It was too much for her. She did great but it was too busy for a one year old. This time we kept everything significantly smaller.

However, I love throwing kid parties. I love the themes. I love the chance to get people together. The way I see it you only have a handful of years to do it before your little one doesn't want a party anymore or they would rather have a fun activity with specific friends.

I dressed Vivi up like a little clown in the pictures above for the invite. I just bought the tie and used lip stick for the nose. I didn't really over think the outfit itself. I snapped a million pictures and those were two of my favorites.

We kept the food simple. Eliot's mom made a great pasta salad and my dad made empanadas. He ended up making over 80 of them for our small party! I had seen this snack mix on pinterest and it had a great free printable. We made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in the shape of elephants. The kids loved them! I picked out a 3 Ring Circus cake from Publix and they actually include a smash cake for free decorated in a similar style as the cake selected for $25 why would I make it?

In terms of décor I didn't do too much. I had a Happy Birthday banner and table cloth in the circus theme that I got very discounted at Target. I made signs on the computer in circus colors as well as a flyer for Vivi's stats. I was inspired by a cool new trend I saw on chalk boards that were set up at parties. But I didn't have the chalkboard and I figured I could save it and add it to the scrapbook. I love balloons, so got a few and put them around the house. To me balloons means festive.
For Lydia I made everything by hand from scratch and took months, I wanted to be sure to be as thoughtful but less work, so I ordered a simple paper banner from Amazon, the Martha Stewart collection and glued Vivi's monthly growth pictures. I purchased a make your own banner kit so I could put up her name but I can use it for any event in the future. I had collected circus bags from Michaels for the goodies bags which contained, animal crackers, circus stamps, punchy balloon and bubbles.

Outside we had a handful of games set up. We had a bean bag throw, ring toss, knock the cans, the piñata, fishing games, and the sand & water table. We had a sno cone machine that we brought out because, really why not. To be honest it was nice however it was terribly hot outside. We managed to have everyone popping in and out fairly comfortably.

The games I just put together. The ring toss was a set of water rings with baby cereal containers. We filled the containers with rocks and drew silly faces.
Bean Bag toss, well I had bean bags you can make those too if you like but I didn't. I did just right scores on plates that were weighed down with rocks and it worked like skee ball.

The knock a can I unwrapped 5 cans, wrote what they were on the bottom, so I could use after the party, put them a small table and that was that.

We created a baby toddler friendly "circus" inside. I purchased a circus tent from Ikea, and a floor cushion that looks like an elephant. We had a crawling tube and a riding horse (thanks to Grandpa) that we included and he last "circus" item was a small blow up pool with balls in it. It was a hit! Kids from age 8 to 12 months enjoyed it!
The inspiration for this party was this wooden cut out of a clown. My mom has always loved clowns and she actually dressed up as one and let the kids wear different parts of her outfit. They loved the surprise and the pure silliness. This sign was outside of a neighbors house in the alley of our old house. I asked if I could have it and they gave it to me. I meant to turn it into more of a photo booth but didn't get a chance. It was a great day and Vivian enjoyed her party a lot. It really was a special day.
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