Sunday, May 1, 2016

Ellie's First Birthday Party

I'm excited to share some photos from Ellie's first birthday party this past Saturday!  Our house would best be described as cozy, so we tried to keep the party relatively small.  Even though it wasn't a big, extravagant event, I wanted to be sure to add some personal touches.  Tyler and I were up until 2 a.m. Friday night (or I guess it was technically Saturday morning) working on party prep and were back at it again at 6 a.m.  Despite our late night efforts and planning for what felt like months, there were still a few things that I wanted to do that didn't get done - half made decorations, things we bought but didn't have time to put up, and things around the house we didn't have a chance to get done (like clean, oops).  I was kind of bummed at first but completely forgot about it once I saw how much Ellie was enjoying her party, which is the most important part about a birthday party! :)  I wasn't sure how she would be with about 25 people in her house since she still gets a case of stranger danger every once in a while, but she did awesome.  She was such a perfect little hostess and made sure to make her rounds and say hi to everyone.  It was the sweetest thing in the entire world to watch her do her thing and have everyone get to see the real (happy) Ellie! :)

For the party decor that did make it up, a balloon arch was one of the very first things I wanted to do after searching Pinterest months ago and finding this elaborate number.   Tyler put five small nails in a upside-down U shape on the wall, then attached a thing piece of wire around them - he shaped it so it would go around the "E" I made.  Then I went to town attaching the balloons I blew up for Ellie's birthday last week.  We found that it was best to spread out a few big balloons and then fill in the smaller ones.  We only used scotch tape to attach them to each other, the wire and the wall.  The E came out pretty cool, but if I were to do it again (and I might eventually), I would probably paint or stain the E and then add a couple flowers down the side instead.  That would also be WAY less time consuming than the million leaves I had to cut, shape + glue onto the wooden letter.  This whole party was definitely a labor of love! ;) 

For party favors, I bought these kraft paper boxes, wrapped a thin piece of twine around them and added these "Ellia's First" stickers on top.  This was my first time ordering from Zazzle and I will definitely be doing it again.  It was so easy to personalize the stickers, they arrived super quickly and were pretty inexpensive.  This shop in particular has some really cute stuff, but there are so many awesome things you can find on Zazzle if you do a little digging!  The boxes were just filled with an assortment of candy we grabbed at Target.  Ellie was the only kid at her party this year, but next year we know for sure there will be at least one other (her baby cousin, Elijah!), so I will have to think of a kid-friendly goodie bag too... and can't wait!

I made her smash cake using these pans.  I used a funfetti boxed cake mix, which filled all five mini cake pans but I thought three layers looked better than five once I put it all together.  I attempted my first naked cake, and finished it off with one of these candles and this cake topper.  The felt flower I made and the cake stand is from the Target dollar section.  Also, the "tablecloth" is a beach towel from Target! ;)

For everyone else, I made assorted cupcakes plus we had ice cream, cookies and chocolate chip squares.  For actual food, we bought a ton of cold cuts and made our own deli platter.  We also had meatballs, pasta, grilled chicken and a few different kinds of salads.  I googled how much deli meat to buy per person and always came back to the same thing: 1 pound for every 3-4 people.  If ever I have this for a party again, I will never buy that much because we have a ridiculous amount of leftovers.  At least we didn't have to worry about anyone going hungry!


Ellie looked ADORABLE in her party dress and I kind of want to dress her in it every day. She loved her smash cake, got lots of awesome gifts, and most of all enjoyed spending time with her favorite people! :)

With that, Ellie's birthday celebrations are almost complete... we have one more very exclusive Ellie + Grampy birthday party coming up on Mother's Day weekend. ;)  I know it probably seems like a lot of celebrating for one birthday, but I'm a big believer that life is way too short to not party like it's your birthday!  Another year (or one year) older is certainly something to celebrate and never take for granted. :)

A HUGE thank you to everyone who helped us out with anything + everything party related, including (but not limited to): my sister for taking 95% of these photos (without her, I'd probably have two from the whole day), my mom who is a cleaning ninja and didn't leave a single dirty dish for me to have to take care of, and my husband for helping me hang balloons up on our living room wall at 2 a.m.  Also, a big thank you again to everyone who came to Ellie's party and helped make her day extra special.  We love you all! XO

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