- Send cute homemade invitations.
- Cancel party at the last minute when you find out that only one person can come. Freak out a little.
- Throw together a family party the day of the party. Relax and enjoy.
Darn December birthdays. I had every intention of putting on an elaborate first birthday party like the ones you see on the Pinterest boards. I pinned and I brainstormed and I pinned some more... about the theme and the food and favors. So I'm sharing my ideas even though I didn't use them all. But I did put together a really fun (easy, inexpensive) little family party at the last minute, here's how...
This was Chase's first birthday, a December birthday, and I wanted to incorporate a winter theme and one of his favorite things, bouncy balls. Snow balls? Winter ball? I settled on just incorporating both elements individually. I used scrapbook paper to put a big schoolyard ball on the invitation, and I used a 3 dimensional sticker so it sticks out a little ...
Another theme to consider: "B is for Boy" theme combined with other B things (Bubbles, Balls & Balloons). You could put a letter "B" block on the invitation, or Sesame Street style "This party is brought to you by the letter B". This would be even cuter for a kid with a "B" name. These are all just ideas - run with it!
I was going to make this balloon garland for the party, but I will have to try that for another birthday.
But I did get some Mylar balloons from the dollar store, which I thought was brilliant because they don't pop like latex (from biting as my one-year-old loves to do). I attached super long ribbon so that he could reach them from the ground. I also got those old school punching balloons at the dollar store (again, brilliant!) that don't pop very easily, and the older kids had a blast with them too.
I got some bubbles so the older kids could entertain the birthday boy while I was making the frosting (more on that in a bit). One of the ideas I found on Pinterest was to make "bouncing bubbles" to go with the ball theme, I'll have to save that for another day.
One of his presents was a box full of various balls - bouncy, squishy, big, small - which provided some party entertainment too.
If we were having the full blown party I would have gotten a ball pit or kiddie pool to corral the madness.
For party food, I was going to do a soup or chili in the crock pot, and have hot cider and a cocoa bar. To incorporate the winter theme, I was going to make this coconut cream dip that goes with fruit and graham crackers, and put a little marshmallow snowman on the dip to look like a snow scape.
There's lots of winter food ideas, but it was harder to think of something to go with a ball theme... fruit salad with a melon baller? Meatballs? Sometimes you have to draw a line and just have nice food without overdoing the theme!
I didn't feel we needed lots of games and activities for a one-year-old and Chase was happy with balls, bubbles and balloons, but if we had more kids to entertain, I was going to let them roast marshmallows on the patio, and decorate graham-cracker gingerbread houses or cookies. Maybe even a shaving cream "snowball fight" for a lively crowd? Our little family party activity was decorating the cupcakes which I had baked and filled earlier that day. I saw some cute snowman cupcakes on Pinterest that we wanted to try...
Now before I show you MY snowman cupcakes, don't judge me too harshly.
I was rushing.
It's OK to laugh - we did!
We started calling them our Ugly Snowman Posse.
Am I right?
LOL - we used Oreos and Rolos for the hats, pretzel sticks for arms, and Oreo crumbs for the coal eyes & buttons. That giant gumball is supposed to be a ball. All it would have taken to make these cut is a tube of black frosting, the ready-to-write kind from the store, and if I'd taken the time to make some carrot slivers for the noses (and pipe the frosting more carefully ).
That's a little better, although you can see a hole where I used a straw to punch holes in the cupcakes for the ganache filling. These may be a mess, but they were a delicious mess!
As ugly as they are, I am really pleased with the marshmallow frosting. I've never made a cooked frosting and this was easy, glossy and snow-white and piped
If I dazzle you with adorable baby pictures will you forgive me for the Ugly Snowman Posse? Maybe I should have gone with the ball theme for the cake:
|From Martha Stewart|
I have posted more of my Pinterest-inspired baby/toddler ideas on my Facebook page if you want to LIKE and follow! You also might like to check out my posts filed under "baby food" to the right...