I'm it a bit of a funk today and needed a pick-me-up! What a perfectly timed post :) I know it drives some of yall nuts how far behind I always am with my blogging but I enjoy getting to re-live precious memories :)
I was inspired to do this theme for Brittlynn's first birthday party after the baby shower Casey and Courtney threw for me while I was pregnant (you can see that post HERE! And no...we did NOT play the "put the sperm on the egg" game at the birthday party haha). Really I knew I'd do a snowflake party even before we knew Brittlynn was a girl! I knew if she was a girl then this would be the first birthday party theme she'd be having :)
With a December birthday you KNOW so many people are gonna associate her birthday with Christmas. So I know I can't do holiday-ish themes for too long. I don't want her to feel like her special day is lumped together with the holiday so I'm sure in the coming years we'll do many different themes. I already have one in mind for next year that will def not be anything remotely Christmas related! However, I liked the snowflake idea for her first birthday :)
When planning this party I was in a bit of a dilemma. I liked that Kye's first birthday was ALL about HIM. He was one. He didn't need any games or activities at his party. But for Brittlynn's party I had to decide what to do about the older guests. Kye and several other kids Kye's age would be at the party. I felt guilty spending part of Britt's party budget on stuff that she wouldn't even be participating in, ya know? I didn't want the focus to be on THEM I wanted it to be on HER. So I decided to keep it simple. I had one craft for them to do then told them they could go play outside. We have the nice playground now plus several other outside toys to keep them busy. And if it had rained? Well then we would have told them they could go upstairs and play in the playroom. I was determined not to be worried about the older crew being entertained!
One of the things I LOVED that they did at my shower was have the guests decorate a Christmas ornament. I bought a bunch of these snowflake clay ornaments from Hobby Lobby for 50 cents each! I bought enough for every person to decorate one but just the kids ended up doing them so I had a good bit of returns which is never a bad thing ;) I got the cute little basket from Hobby Lobby as well for 50% off. I think it ended up being like $3!
I bought a tub of markers, lots of holiday stickers (All 1/2 off! One BIG advantage to having a party near a major holiday...lots of good deals!), and pulled out the foam stickers that were left over from Kye's golf party! I set it all up in our breakfast nook and I got MORE compliments on this activity than I typically do when I throw a party. I think the 3-4 year old age range is a great time for crafts and parents love stuff that they can show off yet also have an excuse to pack away!
I've decided Pinterest is a blessing and a curse when it comes to party planning. I spent HOURS browsing through for IDEAS. There are just TOO many ideas out there now! If it didn't exist I could have planned this party a lot quicker, that's for sure! I also think so often things on Pinterest trick you. They look awesome. They appear easy. But then you go to do them and you FAIL at them or they don't turn out how you expected.
This happened with me when it came to Britt's balloons. I loved this party I found where they used CLEAR balloons and filled them with confetti. It looked so cool and tied in the party theme. So we did it! Zach was SO SWEET to fill the clear balloons with the snowflake confetti I found. Huge fail! First of all when he went to blow them up the confetti caused several to pop (yes, we were picking up little confetti pieces EVERYWHERE the morning of the party!) and then when they were done you couldn't even SEE the confetti. It just settled in the bottoms of the balloons. I realized when I went back to look at the balloon picture I pinned as the example that what they probably did was SHAKE the balloon before taking the picture...tricksters! Oh well. It was a neat idea anyway and luckily I had some pink balloons we could use to mix up the clear ones. And we left a lot of the clear ones filled (the confetti also made them HEAVY so they didn't float all that great...) and just let the older kids play with them outside! I know Kye LOVED it!
Zach complained that I was super stressed over the party, but honestly I wasn't. This was THE least stressful party EVER. What I DID stress over was Britt's baby book. I hadn't written in a single page up until the week before her party. I had Kye's baby book sitting out for guests to look through during his party and I wanted to do the same thing for her. I want to do my best to have things "even" when possible. I KNOW people have told me I need to not worry about it...and I get that. But a baby book is in my control. Her birthday slideshow is in my control. So I stayed up late. I stressed out. But I got that junk done. If you didn't look at it...you should...it's a masterpiece ;)
I also debated our Christmas decorations for the party...wait till after to put them up? take them down? ignore them? I ended up taking down anything that was in the dining room that clashed with the decor (like my red little Santas!) but kept everything else up. I chose option c: ignore them. I didn't want to wait until AFTER the party to put out our Christmas stuff. I love that we put it out early so we can enjoy it for longer! A friend on Facebook said they have a December birthday and have always felt LUCKY to get to enjoy Christmas fun around their birthday time and that it's all about how we present it to her. I like that! I DO love Christmas time and I will do my best to make sure that Britt sees it as an advantage to have a December birthday :)
It is PURE coincidence that our stockings have snowflakes on them! I promise, we have these same ones last year and it wasn't planned..I'm not that hardcore about my party themes people!
I am thankful Casey gave me this frame after her wedding!!! It was actually originally Katie's grandmother's (who probably had purchased it from someone else years ago as she was a yard sale QUEEN) then Casey bought it at her estate sale and used it in her wedding...then gave it to me and I used it at Robyn's baby shower...and am using it yet again! (If you're local...come by the Bridal Expo on Sat and you'll see it being used AGAIN haha!). Anyways...I bought some blue ribbon and Zach and I stapled it across the frame. Then I spray painted some clothespins hot pink and printed off one of Britt's pics from each monthly post. I LOVE it. VERY simple and cute! I displayed it at the fire place as I always like the gifts to go there...great focal point!
Views of the living room!
Of course, we had Britt's Birthday Video playing on the tv! I STILL have Taylor Swifts "Never Grow Up" playing in my head (thanks to Rach for the awesome song recommendation...I also had it play "You are My Sunshine" which is my song to Britt and "My Girl" which Zach sings to her)
I spent a lot of my planning time tracking down a store on Etsy that had a party printable pack to fit what I wanted to do. I knew I wanted snowflakes. I knew I wanted blue and pink. I also knew I did NOT want anything about "winter ONEderland" or "our little snowflake!" Nothing against those phrases...I'm just not very "cutesy" with stuff :) I was SO impressed with the Etsy shop Your Blissful Day they allowed me to customize a party pack to better suit my needs AND didn't charge me extra to do it! Yay! It was by total CHANCE that they used a chevron print...went so perfectly with her dress :)
Since the Christmas tree was in front of our living room windows...I put the banner across the dinning room ones which really made more sense anyway to keep all the party stuff kinda together!
The shop was so sweet to also make me a high chair banner with her name on it! As I was making it Kye kept asking if he can have one on his chair for his birthday ;) I DID promise him a big balloon like her snowflake one! We pulled her high chair into the dining room so she would get to be in the action when she dug into her cake! I knew I wouldn't want her to risk ruining her dress so I grabbed a cheap 1st Birthday bib at Hobby Lobby. We displayed her smash cake on her high chair during the party then just removed the tray before lighting the candle so we could all sing to her. It went flawlessly!
My mom made Kye's smash cake for his 1st birthday and it was super cute. I debated attempting to make one...but I am just not very crafty when it comes to food. I tried to get Heather, who made Kye's FABULOUS Woody cake, but she was taking a break from cake making over the holidays. I ended up calling Pubix and they said they would make one for only $10! Technically, they don't make smash cakes...they make 5 inch cakes. But whatever, at that point I just wanted a CAKE! I was further excited that they said they could do pink and blue frosting and snowflakes. I was pretty pumped to see the final product. Zach picked it up that morning and it was SO tacky!!! I love the frosting colors but the snowflakes...omg. They are like these plastic things that they just THREW on it. I was super disappointed (and the bright gold foil it's sitting on isn't too great either) but didn't have any other option than just to roll with it. What was I expecting for only $10, right? I had some party themed cut-outs I put around the cake on the tray to cute it up a bit haha
My FAVORITE thing I did for this party was also a minor detail that I'm sure no one really paid attention to...but I glammed up her birthday candle! I saw it on pinterest (see the pin HERE!) and thought it was adorable! I bought a standard "1" candle then got blue puffer paint and some jewels then went to town. I already had a lot of the gems so it was an inexpensive craft. A little side story...I had a tough time finding the puffer paint at Hobby Lobby. I asked a lady and she said (with a TON of sarcasm in her tone, complete with rolling eyes...) "What is this for? Something you saw on that Pinterest?" I might have fibbed and said no haha
Kye has also requested a similar candle for his birthday...I just kept focusing on that fact that he'll get a birthday themed balloon ;) I don't think Daddy would appreciate him have a bejeweled candle!
IGNORE the snowflakes...focus on the cute candle instead!
And yes, I did both sides of it!
I was super excited to have pictures from Britt's one year photo session to display!!!
I bought these super adorable snowflake cup cake papers...I ALWAYS forget that you can SEE the cupcakes through them! I have had that happen so many times to me! REMINDER TO SELF: only buy DARK, plain colored cup cake papers! I wanted them to be girly so I dipped them into fine pink sparkle sugar dust and then got snowflake toppers to stick on top. I am a huge cupcake fan for a birthday party. So much less of a hassle than cake! They were super, super yummy...I might have eaten six of them in one day...
I had bought a bunch of beads and such to decorate the chandelier with...again...saw it on Pinterest. I got it all home and asked Zach to help me put it together and he vetoed the idea and said that the plastic beads were tacky. Instead he thought up the idea to tie snowflake ornaments (I bought them from Walmart...a box of white, pink and blue all with lots of glitter on them!) onto string and hang them at different lengths from the light. I think it turned out cute but, more importantly, I LOVE that he contributed an idea to the party and helped me achieve it! Such a good daddy! I literally CRIED while he was helping me with everything. My children are so, so blessed to have him as am I :)
Also I already had the silver ornaments in the center of the table...they are part of my Christmas decorations and I thought they went fine with the theme so I left them!
Every time I host an event I go OVERBOARD on food. Like it's ridiculous. And I'm over it. I spend too much money worrying about everyone enjoying the FOOD. I want the focus to be on who I'm hosting the party FOR (in this case, Brittlynn) not on what food we're serving. With Pinterest and all the cute parties I have seen I have noticed that most parties do NOT have a ton of food. Majority of them tend to be just sweets and not even legit food anyway. So that's the route I decided to go. I'm all about having a CUTE party and it always annoys me how most of the time the food I serve doesn't fit the theme. So this time, it all did :) Plus all of the birthday parties I've done have been at 3:30ish so no one should be expecting a ton of food anyway! I didn't even have enough of each item to feed all the guests we were expecting...and I still had a lot of leftovers.
Here's all the food we had:
What are snowballs? I have no idea. But they are pink and are called "snowballs" so, duh, I got them.
I had white melted chocolate left over from the pretzels and I had an entire unopened package of Oreos from the Turkey Cookies so I figured I'd make some choc covered oreos! Huge hit!
I told Zach to buy ANY pink food he could find at Walmart. I LOVE wafer cookies. This was the one party food I snacked on pre-party ;)
Strawberry Whoppers...pink and ball shaped, worked for me!
We had SO many left over donuts! It was nice to get to use these chargers I brought back from Hawaii...thanks Aflac!
After I got a stomach bug at Kye's 3rd birthday party I just have this distain for chocolate covered food. Isn't that odd? Kye helped me make these and did a GREAT job!
I have an AWESOME rice krispie treat recipe but everyone and their mom has pinned the cake batter recipe so I figured I'd give it a try. Everyone said they couldn't really tell a difference between them and regular rice krispie treats so I'll def not be doing this recipe again. It was MUCH harder than a regular recipe! We also had pink lemonade to drink but I forgot to get a picture of it ;)
As soon as I decided on snowflakes as the party theme I knew I wanted to serve snow cones to the party guests! Who doesn't love some snow cones? And since we live in the south where it's not even COLD in December...I thought having something cold as a treat would make it feel a little more like winter ;) I went ahead and invested in a heavy duty snow cone machine. We plan to have lots of children and I KNOW we'll put this thing to good use in the years to come! It was a BREEZE to use and clean! I hunted around to find some cute snow cone serving cups. Of course the old school cones would have been fun but I needed something practical. I lucked out and found snowflake ones :) I also bought a couple bags of straw spoons and picked out all the pink ones to use! The only real negative to having snow cones in the winter time is I could not find SYRUP anywhere!!! I was at the Dollar Store and a worker there actually suggested using Hi-C so I just bought some pink colored Hi-C and poured it into little squirt bottles to use as the syrup. Kye loved it when we did a trial run and I think everyone enjoyed them on party day too :)
I decided to leave out our little mini Christmas tree for the party and decorated it with the same snowflake ornaments as the chandelier. I used more frames and the mirror from Britt's room to display more of her photo session pics and her party invitation.
For favors I LOVED the idea of doing mason jars filled with sugar cookie ingredients and attached a snowflake cookie cutter for each family. I think these are my favorite favors EVER. And I have such great memories of making them. I cracked myself up at Publix trying to do the math on how many bags of flower and sugar to buy (and ended up asking some random lady to help me haha), Zach and I spent a good chunk of time CRAMMING the ingredients into the jars, and Robyn was so helpful tying on all the cute ribbons just perfectly ;)
I hand wrote out the ingredients to add-in and instructions on little "thank you" cards that matched the party theme!
I'm really so pleased with how the party came together. This is now my 4th birthday party and I feel like I'm getting in a good rhythm at this point. I am still perfecting how MUCH food to offer...but otherwise I'm learning what is worth my time and energy (and money!) and what isn't and how to keep things simple yet have it come together in a cute way :)
One negative about pinning all my party ideas is that many of you who follow me on Pinterest already knew what was coming! If you're looking to host a snowflake party you can check out my inspirations (and many ideas I didn't actually do!) on my Pinterest board HERE! Also I am SO pumped that they now offer "secret" boards. I'm pinning away ideas for Kye's party and none of you know it ;) You can look back at Kye's first birthday party decor HERE!