March 29, 2010

My Little Night Owl's First Birthday Party


The baby's first birthday party was fabulous. We had a lot of fun with our owl theme - making our own invitations, decorations, cupcakes, and bookmarks to give to guests.

Hand-written Invites

The kids and I created these invites and wrote on them with a nice black pen -

Guess Whooo's 1?
Come celebrate with us!
Lunch and cake served!

Simple, cheap, and a great craft for older siblings of little Viking babies. My son said it was the most fun thing he's done this school year. I felt rather shamed since I have slacked off on the hands-on and crafts so much with a baby in the house. I'm glad they enjoyed the creating and crafting.


Each one was different - colors, papers, imaginations run wild...


We served a yummy lunch of Lasagna Roll Ups, Lasagna Roll Ups Florentine (with Alfredo instead of marinara - and no meat), stuffed mushrooms, rolls, garlic bread, and garden salad. My husband made the mushrooms, I made all the lasagna pans, and my wonderful family brought the salad, rolls, and garlic bread. It helps to enlist extra hands for food prep when you plan to serve lunch at parties!


Mushrooms and owls just go together so nicely. I guess it's the forest element? Whatever the reason, I adore stuffed mushrooms. They are really easy to make, so I don't know why we make them so rarely. Recipes for many of these things are on my food blog - just click the "Food" link on my sidebar and search by keyword over there!


We hung these cute owls that the children made from our ceiling fan, down the stairs, and from our kitchen light over our breakfast table. They looked great with brown ribbon and orange paper streamers.


You can't have a first birthday party without balloons. You know that, right?


When shopping for the last of our party groceries, I happened upon these pussy-willows at Sam's Club for 4$. They went great with these orange roses. I love fresh flowers. I'm still enjoying them - they make the dining room look bright and happy.


The snacks were a hit - and we tried to avoid a ton of junk food... we served a fruit tray, pita chips with hummus, olive bar goodies, deviled eggs, and chips with nacho-cheese dip.

Can you believe that I forgot to set out the crackers and cheese and pickles? I also forgot to make the punch. Good thing we had plenty of Coke, Sprite, bottled waters, and Aunt Linda's home made iced tea. Southern sweet iced tea is the mainstay at all of our gatherings - no matter the occasion.


Our colors for the party were brown, green and orange. No particular reason. Those happen to be the nursery colors, the colors we did for the baby shower, and my favorite colors (my daughter's favorite colors, too). The balloons, plates, cups, napkins, utensils, streamers, and cupcakes all fit the theme nicely. We even managed to find green and orange Easter basket grass to fill our party favor tins.

The tins were from Target in the dollar bin section - and so were the Slinkies and pencils we gave away. We filled them with candy and made owl bookmarks for each child. I gave each kid a package of sparklers or pops to take home in their tins, too - and made sure to give the tins away as they were LEAVING (so they wouldn't catch my house on fire... I'm sure their parents are all praising me now for this wonderful parting gift). We had planned to make them each a home-made various artist CD, but time got away from us. The wee little babies got board books instead. Much, much safer than fireworks.

Our bookmarks came complete with hand-written poetry:

Wise old owl sat on an oak;
The more he saw, the less he spoke;
The less he spoke, the more he heard;
Why aren't we like that wise old bird?
~ Unknown


Morgan mixed up our cake mixes (we did one set in Gluten Free because we have some friends and family that can't eat gluten) and I made the fudge icing. Originally, it was supposed to be light and fluffy chocolate icing... but it ended up more like fudge. We used open mini Oreos for the eyes, dark chocolate M&M pupils and a side-ways Reece's Pieces for the beak. I would have spent more time on them if I had not still been working on them when the doorbell started ringing. Another cute addition would have been halved large Oreo wings.

My icing was a first try, as I had never made chocolate icing before. It came out too thick... so it got hard before I finished sticking things in to the faces of the owls. You live and learn. They tasted yummy, and that was all that mattered.


The baby was excited to open gifts. He wasn't really old enough to enjoy it at Christmas, so this was a treat. I was surprised that he stayed on my lap and participated. Morgan slept through her first birthday gift opening after having a complete meltdown and needing to nurse just after her cake episode. The pink icing on her cake caused her face to break out, too. Her 3 year old big brother got to open all her presents. This party went much better for baby number 3 - and we tried to keep things moving as quickly as we could - knowing that he was missing a nap.


At 1 year of age, it's not taboo to taste your presents. This adds a whole extra sensation to gift unwrapping.


We made a little time for play after the unwrapping frenzy. Each toy was tested before sharing with friends.


When all was said and done, though, it was the ball-point pen that stole the day. There were many tears when mama finally pried it out of his death-grip. Unfortunately it was AFTER he wrote on one of his new shirts. Hope I can get it out with some rubbing alcohol.


This candy wheel/nest was a cute addition to the dining room table, but I'm not sure it was such a great idea for the kids. Thankfully there was plenty of sunshine and most of the hoodlums er, children disappeared in to the back yard for pop gun fights and outdoor play. I'm quite sure that they all had plenty of glucose flowing through their veins, though. As if the cupcakes weren't enough.

The baby got a lot less messy this time while eating his cake than he did on his 'real' birthday when we let him dig in to a store-bought cake. He stayed comfy in his pajamas all day, too - which made skipping nap time less traumatic; I'm sure of it.


However, there were a few party guests who weren't able to skip naptime. I can't wait to attend little cousin Heston's birthday party next. I think I'll take all the stuff we planned to make punch with. Isn't he cute?


Angela Mills said...

This is so adorable! I have a friend who loves owls, I'm going to send this to her.

livinginbetween said...

Well, Hooooo's so clever? You are! Loved every bit of it. :)

Kara said...

You throw an awesome party, love it! I love your owl ideas. I'll have to share your post with all my Molly the Barn Owl watcher friends:)

Billie Jean said...

Very cute and much more celebratory than our family. Then again, we don't have any other family local so we just do a dinner/cake on birthdays. As for the pen on the shirt - good ol' hairspray should take it out. Spray, rinse, repeat as many times as needed then wash and it should save the shirt. Done this many times through the years of laundry......

H-Mama said...

So sweet! Great job, Mom! ;)

The Mayor said...

I love the whole night owl theme, how appropriate. I'm usually not into this kind of stuff but you really put something fun together.

Michelle said...

So glad to be back reading my favorite blogs! That picture with the ballpoint pen is my favorite. He's so adorable! I know ya hated to take it from him but what's a mama to do?!

My daughter will wish she was there-she loves owls!

MarshaMarshaMarsha said...

Wow, what a full day! I am impressed with your put-together-ness and tying in of the owl theme. You are pretty much awesome.

Too bad I can't have a similar party for my 35th next month. Snacks, party favors, and moving the gift opening along sounds like great fun! And if I get cranky, just blame it on it being my naptime. :)

Unknown said...

In case you haven't had time to try to get the ballpoint pen out, hair spray will take it right out. Something in the propellant does it. I've used it many times.

birthday party theme said...

This is the cutest party I've seen! Love it! I blogged about it and am sending people here to check it out.
Thanks for sharing. :)



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