Annabelle’s First Garden-Party-Themed Birthday Party

When I first started planning Annabelle’s 1st Birthday Party, my sister-in-law, whom I love, asked me what the theme was.  I said I hadn’t decided yet, but inside I was thinking, “Oh crapitty-crap, I need a theme?  For a First Birthday Party?!”

Of course I didn’t need a theme, it wasn’t required, but once the idea was presented to my craft-lovin’ brain, I knew I wanted one.  I started getting giddy brainstorming ideas and projects.  (Yes, folks, this is my idea of a good time.)  Since Annabelle was too small to really have any interests strong enough to base a birthday party theme on (I mean peek-a-boo is cute, but it’s not a really good theme), I had free rein.  I relished in it, knowing that the days of my getting to choose her birthday party theme, along with her Halloween costume, are numbered.

Since we were already planning an outdoor party at home, I decided the theme would be a Garden Party.  It sort of fell in line nicely with an outdoor summer bash and I thought it was a sweet idea for a little girl.  Once I had a theme, everything…the decorations, the food, the favors, the games, everything, sort of fell right into place.  That’s the great thing about having a theme, right?

Since I am in full-on party planning mode for Annabelle’s second birthday party this weekend, I thought it would be fun to revisit her first big day.

So, here’s a little run down…

The Decorations:  I roamed the isles of The Christmas Tree Shop and Michaels looking for anything that said “Garden Party.”  There I found a bunch of super cheap things that I turned into decorations.  The rest I crafted myself…

A little sign out front directing people to the party…

The tent before guests arrived…

Watering cans with fake flowers…

Butterfly frames…

A mommy-made Happy Birthday sign…

Bug spray and Sunblock Basket…

Fans…

Monthly Framed Photos…

The Food: For appetizers we did simple chips and dips…while lunch was good ol’ BBQ. Whenever possible, I like to buy things for parties that I can reuse somewhere down the line.  So instead of buying large plastic bowls for the chips and dip from the party store that would just get tossed, I decided to look for cheap bowls I could keep.  I found sweet little white ceramic bowls with pink flowers on them at the Christmas Tress Shop for a dollar!   And large glass bowls, perfect for chips, for two dollars!  (Since Annabelle’s party, I’ve used these bowls tons of times.)

Here’s some snacks for the tiny ones…

Lemonade Stand:  Since I knew I would be serving lemonade at the party, I thought it would be cute to make a little “Annabelle’s Lemonade Stand” sign.  Before the party, I did a little photo shoot with Annabelle so I would have some “lemonade themed” pictures.

Favors: For favors for our little guests, I turned to the Dollar Store and the Christmas Tress Shop.  There I found butterfly baskets perfect for the girls and green plastic tubs for the boys.  I filled each with Garden Party themed books and trinkets.  I topped each with little name-tags I made to look like ladybugs and caterpillars.

My cousin had given me a hand-me-down bumble bee Halloween costume that was too big for Annabelle’s first Halloween, but would be too small for the next, so I was determined to somehow use it since it fit in so nicely with the bug and flower theme.  So I did another little photo shoot with Annabelle in the bee costume and used the pictures for little tags in the gift bags that read “Thank You For Coming To My Bee-Day Party.”  (Mike thinks she’s going to want to kill me for that one day, but I think she looks adorable!)

Crafts/Games For The Kiddies: I had a little craft table set up for the kids where they could make their own caterpillar magnets.  I also put out coloring book pages that I had printed of flowers, bugs and butterflies.

Annabelle’s grandparents had given her an inflatable bouncy house for her birthday, so we had that set up for the kids to jump away in.  For the really little ones we set up a toy area in the shade.

I also made a huge flower that the kids could take a picture of themselves “in.”  This is Annabelle testing it out a few days before her party…

Games For The Big Kids (i.e. adults): Lawn games scream Garden Party, so we had a bunch of games, like bocci and corn hole, set up for everyone to play.

Dessert: No birthday party is complete without cake!  I found a recipe on Martha Stewart for a Sunflower Cupcake Cake made out of mini-cupcakes.  I traded out the shades of yellow and orange for hues of pink.

And then, since I wanted a cake that said “Happy 1st Birthday Annabelle” on it, I made an ice cream cake by layering ice cream, crushed Oreos and chocolate syrup.

My sister-in-law made this adorable number one…

And I made a little smash cake for Annabelle.

Here’s our whole little family getting in on the birthday cake fun…

It was a perfect day filled with family and friends all there to help my little love celebrate one amazing year.

Now, with birthday party number TWO this Saturday, I’m crafting and planning and baking away.  Do you want to know what the theme is?  Ok, I won’t keep you in suspense…this year’s theme is….

Sesame Street!

While last year she had no idea what was going on, this year Annabelle is beside herself excited about her upcoming party.  When we told her she was going to have a Sesame Street party her little eyes opened REALLY wide and she started smiling and giggling.  Now, she keeps walking around the house saying “Sessie Street Birthday Party!”  She just can’t wait!

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Comments

  1. Illanna says:

    I love reliving that day through this post! We still have Desi’s 2 coloring pages from Annabelle’s 1st up on the fridge, and they were his first art projects. He still loves to read his little snail book too. It was such a sweet day, and it’s hard to believe this year went by so fast.

    • I love that he still has his little art projects. Knowing Desi, he can probably read that little snail book all by himself by now!

  2. This birthday party looks amazing! I love the frame with monthly photos, I think I might use this idea for my little girl’s first birthday next month. Can’t wait to see the 2nd birthday party pics!

  3. We still have our caterpillar magnet on the fridge!! I can’t believe that was a year ago!!

  4. I LOVE your garden party theme! I can’t wait to see what you come up with for her 2nd birthday! So glad that we have connected and I’m looking forward to following along! Have a great week!

  5. We can’t wait either!!!

  6. What a wonderful birthday and a delightful “theme”. I can’t wait to see pictures from the Sesame Street party! Happy Birthday to your little one!

  7. donnaheaney says:

    Thanks for walking down memory lane and showing pictures of last year’s party. It was great to see Annabelle one year ago and compare her to the adorable toddler she is today!

  8. Sweet, sweet, sweet! I wish I lived in the US! I think the people there are less cynical than us Brits. Thinking of recommending your blog to my sister who has a 15 month daughter, and my sister-in-law who has a 5 month old daughter, but they might then see my posts, and we Brits are (usually) an inhibited lot and we’re not all comfortable at showing emotion!

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