How to Throw a Successful First Birthday Party

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Having your little baby turn one only happens once and you want to make this first birthday party special. Where do you begin?

Having gone through the experience 4 times with each of my children I have a few tips that been helpful to me.

Here are 5 tips for throwing a successful first birthday party

1. First Birthday Party Theme

The theme is like pizza crust. You can’t start adding all the delicious toppings until you have your crust. The theme can be as simple as a color, number, or letter. You can also go with characters from movies or books. Sometimes the theme ends up being whatever was on the clearance rack.

For my oldest son the theme was construction. He got a Tonka truck that year and 9 years later he still uses it!

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Baby #2 was Cupcake theme. Delish.

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Baby #3 was One Happy Camper

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Last, but not least we just recently celebrated with a Fun to Bee One party.

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2. Party Time and Location

The most important part here is to go with what you know works best for your child. If their bedtime is early have an afternoon party on the weekend. If your child is uncomfortable in unfamiliar places stay home.

3. Enlist Helpers for the First Birthday Party

You cannot do this alone! You should be enjoying this special event and you can’t do that if you are running the whole show. Here are some jobs that you may want to assign to close friends and family, or a professional.

  • The food and drinks
  • Cake
  • Decorations
  • Photography/ video
  • Someone to watch the baby during set up
  • Someone to keep a record of what gift is from whom for thank you cards.

4. First Birthday Party Schedule

You don’t have to stick to the schedule, but it is better to change it as you go than make it up as you go. Given that your child is turning one, short and sweet is going to be your best bet for this occasion.

Here is an example schedule from our last first birthday party

1:00 pm guest arrive

1:15 Eat (pizza, salad, snacks, and drinks)

1:35 Sing happy birthday and eat cake (change baby’s outfit after cake)

2:00 Open presents

2:20 Piñata

2:45 Watch slideshow of guest of honor

3:00 Party ends

5. Some Things to Consider When the Party is for a One Year Old

Throwing a birthday party for a one year old will be different than any other birthday party. You will want to decide how to handle some of the party activities before hand.

Here are some questions you may not have thought of
*Who is REALLY going to blow out the candle?
*What will the baby wear before, during, and after the cake?
*Is the party going to be after naptime and how long will it last?
*Who will help the baby open presents and how much will they assist? 

*What is your backup plan if the guest of honor does not seem to be enjoying things? 

Pinterest is full of ideas and it’s fun to incorporate your own special touch. However, don’t let unrealistic expectations get in the way of being able to enjoy the moment. You can’t control if your baby cries through the birthday song or if he or she is disinterested in the presents. Just be prepared for whatever happens, the more relaxed you are the more your child will be. Have a good time and be sure to document it. The guest of honor probably won’t remember their first birthday party, but down the road you can remember how special it was and later don they can hear all about how fun it was and see pics of how cute they were.

By | January 6th, 2017|Parties|0 Comments

Broken Jewelry Decor

 

I’m all about birthdays this week. Remember the tea party from last March?

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I do and I will never forget it and how special it was!

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One of the things I shared when I blogged about the decor was this simple wooden letter S. It was a nice little addition to the party theme, but unlike the piñata and the desserts that I talked about yesterday this is a piece of art that we get to keep!

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I have a cute story about this S that has traveled to a new place in our home. SJ got her own room yesterday. We were waiting to find out the gender of the baby to decide how to split the rooms up in the new house. Then when we learned we are having a girl we still had a bunch of boxes in the room to unpack. Finally we got the room straightened out when  my in laws came to visit this past weekend. That was the motivation we needed to set up a bed in there. After they left yesterday SJ moved in. We still haven’t really moved any of her stuff, but she wasted no time getting her toys, a photo of herself, and this letter S.


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She is so proud of the new room. I would share pics, but I don’t have any since at this point it is really not much to look at. The thing that cracked me up was the moment she got home from school and started setting up camp in her new room I overheard her yell “Ezie get out my room!!!” It was the first thing she said, almost immediately after she claimed that territory. Ahhh, siblings.

She slept through the night in there all by herself which is saying a lot because she is 5 1/2 and she has never been in a room by herself. Her and her brother have shared since day one.

Anyway, I bring all this up because that lovely letter S that she cherishes so much was a super easy DIY project and you can make one too! All you need is a wooden letter, some old jewelry, hot glue, and some fabric. The whole tutorial is over at Little Dove Creations today! Stop by Little Dove Creations to see all the details.

By | September 9th, 2015|Crafts, Parties|1 Comment

A Homemade Birthday


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I wasn’t going to do anything major this year for Z’s birthday because of the baby on the way and all that. So I kept his party pretty low key… kind of. I mean, I didn’t have a theme so that should be proof that I did use some restraint! I did however get a bit crafty with certain aspects of the party and I think it went really well. Z was so happy and his reaction to all of the surprises that I made for him was totally worth the effort!

He said his favorite part was the piñata.

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This is the third Piñata I have made for his birthday and it was pretty simple because it was just a box made to look like a  Minecraft Creeper. Everything in Minecraft is made up of pixels so cutting tissue paper out in squares may have been tedious, but the design was very basic.

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Everyone got a turn to whack and smack the creeper with a plastic bat.

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Even after all the candy flew out they continued to play with it and the boys got to be boys as they tore the Minecraft enemy to bits. They made it look so fun I thought I might need to take up piñata fighting as a hobby.

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The funny thing is all of my “art work” for the party are things that are meant to be devoured or destroyed, but I don’t mind. I prefer to get a picture before hand, but I am totally cool with how temporary it all is. The memories are what last.

Z also had a big cake with Mario popping out of the top.

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I cheated with this cake because I bought the chocolate fudge cake pre made from Kroger and then just made a confetti bunt cake and stacked it on top. I covered the whole thing with store bought chocolate frosting and stuck Mario in the middle of the bundt cake. It was far from pretty or perfect, but Z loved it. The kids ate the bundt cake in a matter of minutes and our family has been snacking on the leftover fudge cake which everyone agrees is capital D-licious. I definitely considered this cake a success!

Lastly, Z really loves fruit pizza and we have had some fun creations in the past, so I knew I wanted celebrate this occasion by making one of his favorite characters out of fruit.

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Emmet from the Lego movie was a natural choice. Z loves Legos and it’s kind of like the Minecraft character because when you are working with things made from cubes (or Lego bricks in this case) the shapes are way easier to replicate than with something found in nature. The fruit pizza was not only super fun to make and to surprise Z with, but it really is so yummy! Seriously, everyone always goes on and on about how amazing these simple sugar cookie fruit creations taste. I have the recipe here.

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So that was pretty much the party other than lots of food and 14 children ages 1-8 running around slipping and sliding for two hours. It was a perfectly chaotic, wild, and messy time. I love having some family traditions like these. Casual, frugal, homemade fun. Next up Ezie’s birthday!

By | September 8th, 2015|Crafts, Creativity, Parties, Projects, Uncategorized|3 Comments

Links to Some of My Favorite Home Design Blogs

Right now my budget, my kids, and my schedule are all pretty much anti-home decor, but I love the idea of getting to start up another home remodel or even just room makeover.

So to close out this week’s theme of home renovations I wanted to point you to some bloggers that I have gotten connected with through a group called The Blog Love Project. These ladies are so talented and creative! I encourage you to take a long look around their sites especially if you are wanting to spruce up your own dwelling place.

Let’s start with Maggie from Less House More Home . She is just now getting her blog going, but has some really adorable ideas on her site and she’s thrifty too so you know I love that! Check out this frame wall tutorial.

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I love the whole look, especially the camera print and the splash of yellow.


Then there’s Betsy from Happily Ever After Etc. There are tons of great projects, tips, and pics on this blog. I just LOVE this little challenge she participates in called The Thrift Store Swap.

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The idea is for several bloggers to pick out random items from their local thrift store (for $10) and mail them to each other. So everyone has a surprise item that they have to repurpose and let me tell you it is the coolest thing to see what they come up with! I told them if I weren’t in the middle of preparing for a baby I would so be joining  in on this one. Hopefully in the future. Anyway, you have to check out Betsy’s thrift store swap posts.

Next I wanted to share Meg’s blog Green With Decor because she is all about interior design and her favorite color is my favorite color. GREEN! Along with before and after photos of her home renovation projects, house tours, and practical cleaning tips, she also gives a lot of decorating advice like this post called 10 Design Tips for a Bathroom Renovation

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Our House Now a Home is a DIY blog by Emily. You could probably spend all day looking at all the cute projects she does. For example this Paint Dipped Coastal Style End Table Redo is just too cute.

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Her tutorials are always very thorough and budget friendly.

I’ve recently gotten to know Justine of Little Dove Creations through the blogosphere and although her blog expands beyond just decorating she does have a lot on there about their home renovation and decorating ideas. One of my personal favorites is the DIY Pallet Wall. Drool.

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I want to do this one of these days.

On a side note if you are really just love looking at interior decorating then you have to check out GoHaus’s list of 5 Inspiring Interior Designers to Follow on Instagram.

Photos from Angela Kounnas Instagram

Photos from Angela Kounnas Instagram

This has been a fun little miniseries. Just to do a recap on my post for the week we have

Home Improvements

The Seven Year Flip

The Importance of Good Flooring

How We Installed Hardwood Over Carpet Part 2

and last up is today’s list of lovely home decor blogs you should definitely check out. I am chomping at the bit to get some stuff set up in our new home, but first we just need to finish unpacking.

 

On that note I will go ahead and sign off. Have a great weekend everybody!

By | July 31st, 2015|Projects|4 Comments

How We Installed Hardwood Over Carpet Part 2

After getting so much positive feedback and tons of interest in our little laminate wood flooring installation project we decided to do a follow up along with a little time-lapse video of how the floor removal process went. For part one click here.

Our little experimental project consisted of laying a floating floor over the carpet in our apartment. We like the aesthetics, but mainly the dining area was carpeted and we knew that wasn’t going to work especially with three small children! So we laid the floor down over it and that definitely simplified clean up after eating (and potty training for that matter).

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Still, we were unsure at the time exactly what the carpet would look like after years of being smashed under our layers of flooring. It turns out it looked great! WAY better than if we would have been living our daily lives trying to spot treat that area!

In the video you will see J removing the planks, followed by the removal of the subfloor which was OSB, and then vacuuming the carpet underneath.

Since we didn’t really document the original process we thought this video would be a nice way to see how it all came together. Even though it is of the removal, just reverse it to see how the installment would work.

A lot of readers have questions over the past couple years including-

“How long did it take?” It took about 8 hours once we had the materials ready

“Did it end up being damage free for the carpet underneath after removing?” YES!

“Is it strong enough to use as a dance floor?” I don’t know. Our three kids ages 2,5, and 7 have used it as a dance floor in some ways. It’s held up pretty well, but it had some minor evidence of wear and tear after a while.

“Would this work for an upstairs apartment? How is the sound for the downstairs neighbors?” If you are really concerned about the noise you can add a layer of floor muffler underlayment in-between your OSB and laminate planks. We did live in an upstairs apartment so it’s definitely doable, but I guess it depends on how much of a priority the volume control is for you.

That’s pretty much it. In the end we got our full deposit back after we moved and the carpet looked like new. I can assure you that would not have been the case had we not laid down the floors. And the best part is we didn’t spend all that money just for those years in the apartment, we got to take the floor with us and we are reusing it where we live now.

Our only regret was not continuing the flooring into the hallway because it is also such a high traffic area and it took a lot of abuse. If you are interested in doing a flooring project like this in your own house or rental property and you have any other questions please feel free to ask. If I can’t answer them I’ll get with the handy man that works behind the scenes here and I’m sure he can get you some info.

Good luck with your project!

By | July 30th, 2015|Frugal Living, Projects, Simple Living|18 Comments

Paper Plate Cow Masks

 

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My family LOVES Chick-fil-A Cow Appreciation day. I can never remember to dress my children in green on St. Patrick’s Day, but not a summer goes by that we don’t participate in a holiday made up by a fast food chain that allows you to get free food!

Whether you are looking for an easy way to get a free meal on July 14th, or you have a school play to dress up for, or maybe you are just looking for a fun craft, these DIY paper plate masks are so simple. You may have all of the supplies on hand, if not they are cheap and easy to find.

supplies

 

Supply List

Paper Plate

One sheet of pink, black, and tan/brown construction paper

Scissors

Hole punch (or just use scissors or something sharp)

Black marker

Glue/and or tape

String (preferable elastic)

 

First cut out a 5 inch triangular shape out of the plate for the mouth. It will be close to a fourth of the plate.

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Next cut an oval out of the pink paper to be used for the nose. It will be slightly smaller than the widest part of the mouth. About 4 inches. Then draw two ovals for the nostrils.

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You will also fold the tan paper in half to cut out two identical horns about 3 inches long. Then some ears made of black paper that is a pointy oval shape, along with the same shape in pink that is about an inch smaller.

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Cut holes for the eyes (put the mask on to pencil in the approximate width) and punch holes for the string.

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Lastly, glue or tape all the parts into place and tie your string into the holes.

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Now you are ready for the fun to begin!
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Enjoy your new mask!

By | July 7th, 2015|Crafts, Frugal Living|9 Comments