Baby’s first birthday partyPosted: September 14, 2011
So I knew I had to have a party of some kind for my little one. I may be neurotic about throwing a party for myself, but for her I can do anything. I have always loved carnivals and everything that goes with them but I wanted to use the theme in a way that wouldn’t offend those of my friends without children.
After finding some amazingly cute carnival style goodie bags, masks and stickers at Michaels with my friend Leslie one day I thought, perfect we’ll go with this. Now I just had to put the rest together.
I always wanted to use these mailing tags that I found at Staples so I used them for the goodie bags and used an elephant stamp to decorate them along with each childs name. Each bag had a fun licorice eraser, animal crackers, mask and stickers.
I found a great spot on Pico Blvd. called El Payasito (the clown in spanish) where they sell pinatas and
all the goodies to put inside them as well as all kinds of party supplies. I went and got some party horns for the kids and yellow streamers for the tables there, and simple ketchup and mustard dispensers.
The tables were set up by the pool with white table cloths and brown craft paper placed on top. On the food tables we laid some ric rac felt ribbons to give them a striped effect.
The outdoor terrace at my complex downtown is fabulous and it was the perfect place to entertain an end of summer party. With a great view of the city by the pool, and grills for cooking up some BBQ, I figured it would serve as a perfect meeting spot for kids and grown ups alike.
Chocolate covered pretzels, caramel apples, fresh popcorn, fruit kabobs, PBJ and Nutella/Bannana finger sandwiches, goldfish, jellybeans, beef and turkey sliders and of course hot dogs. The cupcakes were a Leslie Sarna special with two varieties, peanut butter chocolate and vanilla with pink icing. See Leslie’s websiteLeslie’s Website, The Dainty Vegetarian, for more details.
Candy apples are decadent to eat, and look great too. I had never made them before and used this recipe for help. With many different carnival inspired colored ribbons I tied them up in wrappers and used the same ribbons for trim on the jars of the jellybeans and Goldfish.
The Happy Birthday sign I hand made with scrapbook paper I bought from Michaels and hung up along the fence with hemp twine hoping the wind wouldn’t have it’s way with it.
I had the idea for pinwheels and made them with the same scrapbook paper as the sign, #2 pencils and gold pipecleaners. I used them as a sort of substitute for a flower centerpiece on the tables as well as for the goodie bags and decoration.
I used instructions on how to make them from this video on you tube:
I really wanted the vintage theme to carry through the party in a clean and updated way. The popcorn bags and the bottled drinks with fun straws really helped tie things together. I got the popcorn bags and the straws from a wonderful shop on ETSY called Hey Yo Yo!. Amanda Graff has all kinds of great inspiational items such as vintage cake toppers and cupcake liners. All of the items are priced well and are always being updated!
ETSY is such a plentiful resource for handmade and hard to find items!
The less cleanup at a party the better so I went with having all the drinks be bottled and served cold in colorful ice buckets, with plenty to go round. I’m also a stickler for keeping things green, so we used Bambu plates for serving. I love mexican coke so we had that along with orange soda, water and coronas for the adults. Mimosas were also on hand for some extra celebrating.
The brown box the coke came in made for a great centerpiece for the drink table and the brown box seemed to fit in with all the natural touches of the twine, butcher paper table clothes and the pinwheel stems. I love symmetry!
What would a birthday party be without a cake? I love a little shop on Sunset Blvd, in Los Feliz called Lark Cake Shop. They just know how to make everything look special and beautiful.
I ordered Colleen’s Caramel Cake, white cake, topped and filled with caramel icing and Kosher salt sprinkled in the layers. Perfect for a carnival theme I thought! I am also a sucker for caramel, note the caramel apples as well!
The cake topper was a great big lollipop candle courtesy of Hey Yo Yo! of course! I went ahead and had the real giant lollipops on hand as well.
What the heck. Los Angelenos are not known for eating sweets, carbs or any of the like, as they are most likely dieting or on a cleanse of some sort, but in this case I figured all that was salty and sweet was appropriate. A person only turns one once!
As for activities to entertain the masses we had my wonderful brother in law, Ron Yavnieli, who is a talented animator draw caricatures!
My long time friend Tanya Perez was generous enough to lend her hand at ballon animals and brought along a kids karaoke machine for much needed dancing!
Speaking of balloons, I am a big fan of them, at any occasion. They are so uplifting and cheerful! I had to go and have good ol Van from The Balloon Lagoon, work his magic! We just gave him a budget and he created two small bouquets in a carnival theme.
All in all we had a very successful coming of age with grandparents in attendance, good friends to sing happy birthday with us and a fantastic afternoon by the pool. The summer may be over but my life with my little girl is just beginning.