Yes, I'm obviously biased. However, this little sunshine party, full of cheery yellows and spiked with accents of hot pink, would be great for any little one! I was inspired initially by this lovely spread over at the Hostess Blog, and then took it in a few of my own directions.
One of the very first things I knew I wanted to do was make sure that there was plenty to entertain the kids. I also know firsthand from my own experience at little kid's birthday parties that as a parent, you usually spend most of the time chasing your own kids around, while not really being able to relax, eat and socialize with the other adults. It's just how it works! I really wanted to see if there was an alternative to that however, so I ended up making my best party move potentially EVER and hiring two of the most amazing teenagers that we know through a family at work. These kids ROCKED. They were the best party entertainers ever, and delighted the kids with everything from balloon animals to face painting to active games and more. I had set up the children's area in a big grassy area on the bottom of the decks where the adults would be, so parents were able to still see the kids and what they were doing, while still being able to socialize.
Kids favors were a variety of kid toys/treats, such as coloring books, crayons, twirly straws, punching balloons, etc., in bright beach pails that I found in the dollar section at Target.
Of course the grown-ups weren't forgotten. For adults, I feel there's really no better entertainment than good food. Especially when guys are involved, I am a big believer that although decor is definitely crucial, having a solid menu with great food is almost even more important! To follow the light-hearted and summery theme, I decided on doing pulled pork sandwiches, along with corn on the cob, honey cornbread, potato salad, cole slaw and chips. Let's just say that 20 pounds of pork and 40 satisfied adults later, I was pretty sure the menu was a hit. Sorry for the lack of pictures, but basically all hands were either working or eating... no time for the camera!
I love being creative with the drink stations at parties, and what better end of summer treat than lemonade? A Lemonade Bar set up with 4 different simple syrups (strawberry, blueberry, lavender and basil), fresh berries and fresh herbs was one of my favorite parts of the party.
It is usually guaranteed that at a first birthday party some of your guests will still be the kind not yet on solid foods. Since our party had 8 little ones under the age of 1, I set up a Baby Snack Bar with an assortment of puffs, yogurt melts and dried fruit.
And oh, the Dessert Table.... Amy Atlas I am nowhere near, but I can aspire. I was very luckily able to borrow some amazing cake plates from my mom, sister and friends, which really made the whole tablescape. One of my favorite parts were the too-cute-for-words individual banana puddings in tiny ball jars, complete with a dollop of meringue on top. Let's just say I hope they tasted good, because they were gone in minutes so I never tried one! :)
And of course you can't forget the crucial play list.... putting together a soundtrack for your soiree can set the tone and mood for all the guests, so don't overlook this detail. Sunshine songs were so much fun to put together and added a lighthearted mood to the beautifully sunny day.
All in all, it was a delight celebrating our little girl, who truly IS the sunshine of our lives... isn't it obvious??