I think it's important to mark occasions, to honor rites of passage and to stop and think about the passing of time. We need to remember on these occasions how fleeting and beautiful life is. Plus I live for any excuse to decorate and celebrate. So, for our daughter's first birthday, we had a simple, low stress fiesta with our nearest and dearest.
I thought I'd share some of the fun decor and a couple ideas I used to make her little party a memorable event.
Decor~ Most of the decorations were things that I had on hand already. I love "shopping" my home before buying things, it's amazing how often I come up with exactly what I need. I picked up just a couple of items at the craft store to make the big pom-pom 1 and other touches. My theme was Vintage Fiesta with a nod to upcoming Day of the Dead celebrations. I combined vintage lace (the tablecloth and bunting were ETSY finds left over from my wedding), bright floral vintage tins & trays with anything I had that was hot pink, orange, yellow or had a South of the Border/Fiesta feel. The large silk roses came from the $ store and the fabric bits were all thrifted and will cycle into being Day of the Dead decor after the party. For more color and festive atmosphere I traced out the big 1 on cardboard and glued multi colored pom-poms all over it. It was a super quick project and waaaay too fun. I now want to make pom-pom everything. I strung up pink, yellow and orange crepe streamers all over and called it a day. I love streamers, they are easy, cheap and biodegradable and anything is better than balloons in my book (which I fear and despise for countless reasons).
Memories~ I printed some square photos of her big moments through the year and clipped them on the bunting with some decorative clothes pins from the Michaels. I also grabbed a pack of bright colored gift tags and wrote all of her milestones and firsts on them. They were a great conversation item and family loved reading about her first year. I saved the tags and photos to document her first year in her baby book.
Gifts~ To not get overwhelmed with stuff we asked that everyone choose a favorite childhood book as a gift. Our little one adores books so they should be a perfect keepsake for her to be reminded of who was at her party. She can read the messages guests left for her inside the covers as she gets older. Just a small gesture that is much more meaningful than more "stuff " which is so easy to accumulate and be overwhelmed by; especially when you have children. I'm always looking for ways to celebrate more holistically using tradition and happy experiences in place of the stressful, budget busting and unsustainable buying of un-needed things.
Food~ I kept the food more simple than usual and made some hefty self serve dips with crusty bread. My Mamma also brought some saucy "faux meatballs" kept hot in the Crockpot and the meat eaters were none the wiser. I opted for a healthier version of carrot cake cupcakes over a cake since the baby won't be into the cake thing until next year. We gave her a cupcake for the photo op and she was basically unimpressed that it wasn't grapes, so I'm glad I didn't bother with a fancy cake.
As usual I did not manage to take proper pictures when everything was complete but at least you get the idea. When I start cooking and guests arrive I inevitably get swept up and forget my camera. Oh well. It was fun, pretty and happy and that's good enough for me :)