Well, we went and pulled it off. I’m not sure I’ll be ready to do it again in another year (or ever), but we pulled it off. And most importantly, the birthday girl had a ball partying in her pink bikini and digging into her smash cake (after about 10 minutes of daintily picking the sprinkles off one by one).
I will admit that fell into Pinterest land and started drinking the crafty mom Kool-Aid, which led me to think I could make my own cupcakes, smash cake, and unique party favors and do it all with style and grace. I forgot that I was…me. There was a definite moment the night before the party as I was standing there in our tiny kitchen surrounded by cake mixes, sprinkles, and ribbon where I just went – WHY? But with a little of God’s grace and some help from hubby and mom it came together just in the nick of time.
Family & Friends
We were so touched by how many family and friends came to celebrate with us – many driving from out of town! Our good friends Holly and Heyward were so kind to let us crash the pool at their townhome complex, and the venue couldn’t have been any more perfect for this.
And oh look! My sister and brother-in-law Josh made it to the party! Hehe.
Cake & Goodies
We did make those “beach bear” cupcakes that I mentioned in the first birthday party planning post, since Lucie’s nickname is Lucie Bear. We decided on Funfetti cake mix and store bought vanilla icing. We sprayed them with blue icing color spray for the “water” and sprinkled them with fine yellow sprinkles for the “sand.” Not sure if it’s clear from the photo, but the swimming tubes are gummy peach rings and the “beach towels” are cut up fruit roll ups.
We decided to make her smash cake, although after the cost of the Big Top Cupcake mold ($10 at Bed Bath & Beyond) I’m not sure we saved any real money. Besides a hole in the top we managed to cover from icing (from me forgetting to spray the mold with Pam), it turned out great. I would recommend a thicker cake mix for the mold. We used Betty Crocker Super Moist butter cake mix, but I’ve heard chocolate mixes with pudding work well for this.
For a bear-themed party favor, we stuffed candy into empty bear honey jars. I thought I would get all creative and make little bear party hats with felt and pom poms, but I gave up on them after 3 lopsided cone-looking things and a couple of glue gun burns. They looked pretty dapper with just lids and bow ties.
I was a late afternoon party between meal times, so we stuck with finger foods:
I’m not sure we’d do the jalapeno bites again, but the tortellini skewers were a big hit. I think Lucie even found a new favorite snack.
After it was all over, Lucie collapsed for about 14 hours, we had some pals over for pizza and adult time, and overall had a blast the whole day. Almost makes me want to do it all over again. Almost…
I honestly can’t fathom a world where I had the money, time, or creativity to plan a first birthday party for Lucie that looks like this:
This is almost ridiculously gorgeous, and I’d love to be able to put on such a production (mainly to post the pictures on Facebook, let’s be real). But here I am with just over a month left until Lucie turns one. We just spent all of our money fixing our dog, who is deathly allergic to everything. I recently started a new full-time job, we’re still working on our house, and I can barely find time to get my butt to the gym.
Who has the time and money for this stuff? Really, I want to know.
Anyhow, Pinterest has been my best friend as I try to plan an affordable yet memorable first birthday celebration for Lucie. We decided on a teddy bear theme, since we nicknamed her “Lucie Bear” when she was still in the womb. She’s now known as “The Bear,” “LB,” “Baby Bear, or, occasionally, “you messy little troll.” A bear theme seemed more appropriate.
Our budget is very small. It’s hard to justify spending loads of money on something she won’t even remember. The main goal is for everyone to enjoy themselves – especially the birthday girl. She’s a total water baby, so it made sense to have the party at a friend’s outdoor pool.
These cupcakes looked simple enough to make myself, and they’re also super cute. I’ll probably make these instead of splurging on big birthday cake:
Instead of ordering party centerpieces that will most likely be thrown away, I was thinking it would be cute to order a few books like this on Amazon and use them as centerpieces. Maybe surround them with little bowls of “bear” snacks, or pictures of Lucie throughout her first year.
I also love the idea of clothespinning photos to a string for additional decorations. This is especially neat for a one-year-old’s party, so friends and relatives who don’t get to see her much can see how much she has grown and changed.
Party favors are a little tricky since there won’t be many kids, and the kids that are there will be different ages. I was thinking maybe some mini Uno cards (fun for families), bubbles (which Lucie loves) and candy of some sort.
It’s shaping up nicely – in my head, at least. This should be interesting come showtime!