how we survived: planning a first birthday party
To birthday or not to birthday? That is the question for a lot of first time parents, who are a) tired and b) tired. Party planning even on the smallest scale is a lot of work. But, if you know me, I'm big on the special events. I'm also that person who starts planning vacations a year in advance, so first birthday logistics was a welcome challenge.
We decided to host Avvie's party at a townhouse on our block that you can rent out for special events. There were three distinct spaces, so we could pile all of the baby toys in one room, have tables in another, and food in a third. We had been originally looking at private dining rooms at restaurants, but we had a big invite list and booking PDRs for that many people is almost as much as preschool tuition.
We went somewhat minimal with the big decorations: Mike picked up balloons from the party store and my cousin Mel raided Home Goods for some amazing streamers, centerpieces, and cupcake toppers. I also ordered a monthly photo streamer from Etsy, which I unfortunately didn't get a good photo of, but it's hanging over the fireplace in the picture above.
Etsy, by the way, is a treasure trove of fun, personalized birthday items. I got these initial napkins, some colorful straws, and worked with Pipsqueak & Bean to customize a matching party hat and birthday cake topper.
I wanted just a plain white cake with no decorations so the topper would be the star, but the bakery at the grocery store didn't quite follow instructions. Ah well. The real desserts were the cupcakes from Two Little Red Hens, which I honestly think are the best I've ever had. We also had blueberry and white chocolate cookies from Gotham Cookies, since berries are Avvie's absolute favorite. I ordered personalized stickers from Zazzle to customize the wrappers (but Gotham Cookies can do that for you as well!).
Food we had catered from Nova Catering. We had a variety of pastries, quiches, croque monsieurs, and even single-serving smoothies.
Avvie loves her music class at Kidville, so we had two of her instructors, Trista and Will, come do a mini-class for her and her baby friends. They also have their own company, Sunny Songsters, and I highly recommend them if you need entertainment for your next baby or little kid party. They even bring props!
Avvie has had a weird fear of Happy Birthday for a few months now, so I wasn't sure how the candle-blowing would go. I wouldn't say this is the happiest she's ever looked, but we avoided tears! Her dress is from Luli and Me (similar styles on Saks).
Thanks to everyone who helped celebrate with us! And especially to all our family, who braved a sleet storm to help decorate and clean up the space. We couldn't have done it (or any of the first year) without you.