Sunshine Party

This is not a party planning blog, or a craft blog, or even, strictly speaking, a mommy blog. However, I am a mommy, and I am (in fits and spurts) crafty, and I do LOVE an excuse to throw (or attend!) a party. So indulge me for a moment while I share the details from S's first birthday party this weekend.

And lest you think I've strayed too far from my Hyde Park-centric mission: #1: The party was here, in Hyde Park, at my home and #2: Where possible and appropriate, I'm noting where things were purchased. Full circle, people.

S doesn't watch tv, so no Dora, no Elmo. We're not gender-neutral in our house, but we are conscious of the Princess Thing, so no princesses, either. When considering themes for her party, we settled for awhile on bubbles (which she loves), and which I maintain is a great idea for a theme (feel free to use it!). But, after all the consideration, we went with sunshine. It felt nice to have a February party so full of brightness and warmth, and it fit her personality perfectly.

Decorations:
I (with help from my sisters and mom) made everything. Thanks to Pinterest, Martha Stewart, and Party City in Bridgeport.

Tutu Wreath

A tutu wreath welcomed our guests (just because we're not princessy doesn't mean we're never girly!). No tutorial needed: I simply cut long strips of tulle (in this case yellow, orange, and hot pink) and knotted around a wreath form. A time intensive but simple endeavor.

From the same tulle, I also made S a tutu, B a buttonniere, and myself a super-cool headband that you can't see too well in this pic...trust me that it was frothy, flappery perfection...if Daisy Buchanan had gone to Disneyland, this is what she might have worn on her head.

Tutus for All!

Most of our decorations consisted of poms...lots and lots of poms:

Poms!

And crepe paper flowers:

Crepe paper flowers

The poms aren't hard, and you can easily find a tut. We secured ours with pipe cleaners instead of floral wire. Cheaper, easier to work with, and it made hanging them a breeze. The crepe paper flowers are even easier: just cut waves or slits or notches into a looooong strip of crepe paper and roll tightly, adjusting as you go. Secure with a tiny bit of scotch tape.

For party favors, I bought a bunch of dwarf sunflower seeds and packaged them in tiny envelopes of orange wrapping paper (I'd used the same orange wrapping paper to send invitations).

Sunflower Party Favors

Menu: Brunch (Because that's when S is awake)
The menu was pretty yellow and orange, with some diversions into S's favorite foods: her cake was a yellow cake, cooked on my electric griddle to look like pancakes. It featured sprinkles and I didn't get a good pic before she got into it. The rest of the menu: french toast triangles; banana pudding shooters; homemade yogurt with citrus fruits; gruyere spinach puffs; sweet potato scones with cinnamon honey butter; lemon sunshine cupcakes (a crazy recipe that results in a cross between a cupcake and a muffin...so delicious and sticky!); and yellow potato and pepper frittata. I served sparkling lemonade for the kids and mimosas for the adults.

The Spread

French Toast Triangles

Almost everything was self-contained to cut down on the need to use paper/plastic dishes. I got just about all of the groceries for this feast for $130 at South Loop TJ's, and I was PLEASED. We threw a big BBQ last summer and spent close to $1000 on food and drinks (admittedly, it might have been the vast quantities of beer that killed us there...).

Two more small things: #1: We also had a sunshine-themed party playlist, which was B's project and totally cute -- everything from Sesame Street to Elton John to Bob Marley (there was also some Cream in there, maybe...it was pretty eclectic and amazing). #2: Since we'd asked people to forego presents, I got this adorable little blank journal and asked all our guests to leave S birthday wishes. The notes are super sweet and there will be room for a few more birthday parties, too -- I think it will be a really nice keepsake for her as she gets older.

We hosted around 30 people and I think everyone had a blast. I certainly did, and I was so grateful to my friends, who came over Friday night to help me prep food; my family, who helped with decorations and clean-up; and everyone who came to help us make S's special day such a super-fun, memorylicious endeavor.

Filed under: Parenting

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