Let’s get some cliché things out of the way:
- I can’t believe he’s already 1!
- It seems like yesterday I just gave birth to him.
- This year has flown by with him.
*He is actually 15 months right now, but this post took a long time. :)
Cliché and so so true. When he turned one I got really sad thinking of how much he’s grown. From a tiny 7 pound baby to a 20+ pound tubby. With his big hair, eight teeth and personality, he’s really not at all baby and has become a real boy. And, it’s been quite an adventure with him. Just when I think I have something figured out or a semblance of a routine, he changes and then we start again. There is no relaxing with this kid.
As a crazy obsessed mother, I have been planning his first birthday much earlier than I want to admit. I wanted it to be cozy and filled with family, close friends and things he loves. What does this one year old love? Curious George. Balloons. Without being too attached to everything Curious George, we kept the essence through the balloons, colors and some Curious George/monkey-themed items strewn about.
First, for the invitations, we got a Curious George invitation and door sign, which helped kick off the monkey-themed party.
Similar to the one at my surprise birthday, I wanted to have a photo booth for kids to take pictures. The photo booth was a hit. Kids, families and parents really got into it. The only person that didn’t? The birthday boy. He couldn’t sit or stand still to take a picture in front of anything.
My sister, the Pinterest fiend, made a multi-colored balloon garland and decorated corners of the house with bunches of balloons. This picture doesn’t do it justice.
One of the main reasons I wanted to post this party is because of all the fun I had planning and putting everything into action. And, with the menu I had, I had little to no work during the actual party. I really despise having to be running around finalizing anything after guests arrive. My house was prepped and ready to go on time.
As the party was held from 2-5, I didn’t plan a big meal but offered heavy appetizers and desserts.
- Chips/pretzels/pita chips
- Veggie platter with my creamy herb dip
- Spinach artichoke dip with tortilla chips
- My favorite pasta salad ever – recipe coming soon
- Roasted tomato and basil soup
- Grilled cheese sandwiches for a crowd
- Chicken salad sandwiches on croissant by my MIL
- Chik-Fil-A platter of chicken nuggets
- Chocolate covered banana pops that my amazingly creative friends made
- Chocolate cupcakes with vanilla buttercream frosting
- Smash cake (yellow cake with vanilla buttercream frosting)
- Favors: Caramel corn with M&Ms
We had more than enough variety and just the perfect amount of food but still have a little left over for later grazers – mostly me and my sister.
Almost everything I made (except the grilled cheese) was make ahead. So, the day of, I was really just warming or baking, which is a much better project than cooking. The grilled cheese came together in the last 10 minutes. I will definitely make it again and I’ll show you the method to make grilled cheese for a party. It’s a game changer.
The day before, I made a smash cake and didn’t focus too much on making it perfect as I fully expected my rambunctious kid to destroy it. Well, turns out he had no interest in smashing it and preferred to eat it a bite at a time with a spoon! If he would only do that with soup or any other meal.
So, because he was so careful with the smash cake, we served it up with the cupcakes. All of it – gone. Made me so happy.
Finally, for favors, I wanted a food gift that was quick and easy to make. Look no further than caramel corn, friends. I don’t know why I was intimidated at all about trying it. It was so easy, and a little effort makes a whole bunch of popcorn that really disappear quite fast. (Recipe coming soon!) Favors were stacked in Curious George containers to keep the theme of the party even as guests departed.
If you’ve made it this far in the post, I appreciate you and wanted to share this special day with you. All in all, I couldn’t have asked for a better day with family, friends, and a little boy who eats his smash cake with a spoon. My outfit was eternally grateful for that, kid.