Although my wonderful mama (Charm City Grandma) is a champ and started helping me get ready for the party several weeks in advance, we were both overwhelmed and exhausted the day before and the day of the party. The next thing we knew people started showing up and we hadn't set up the food, tables, and we were still in our work clothes. In about 30 minutes, with the help of a few of my good friends that arrived early (I have the BEST friends), the place set up and we did our quick changes into decent attire. Here's the main spread in the dining room...
Pictured: My homemade cupcakes, pig-in-the blankets, DIY tissue poms (leopard), and a hot dog/hamburger spread.
I was still running around most of the time making sure the essentials were out, so the pictures are lacking with hardly any close ups--sorry about that. I was the crazy first-time, first birthday mom trying to do it all and telling myself you have to put in the hard work for at least one of your kid's parties with all of the homemade mom touches. It is your rightful baptism as a mom. I told myself this, so that I won't feel guilty about taking the easy road next time. You know like taking the kids to the zoo or Chuck E. Cheese and you let the staff do all the work---yeah---like that. But my fondest childhood birthday memories were the ones at home that my mom organized and I can't help wanting to do the same for my family.
I also found a very reasonable petting zoo for a steal! I am so proud. The animals were a hit and the operators were professional and very permissive with the children. I highly recommend if you live in the area. We had goats, sheep, chickens, ducks, and bunnies.
I am also proud of the adorable felt animal party hats my mom and I found at Michael's craft store on clearance for $2.99! The hats were appreciated by adults and kids alike.
Are you looking for what I promised to reveal that I actually sewed myself? Well, I ended up just assisting (cut, pinned and partially sewed) my mom in the construction of a table runner which cannot be seen in any photo. Except for the one close up I took of my imperfectly perfect cupcakes. Look for the green jungle looking runnner!
Also here's another DIY tissue pom I made..zebra!
Also the tablecloths for the the outdoor tables were made by good old Charm City Grandma. We hope to use them for years to come as my mom made a a similar set of tablecloths with cloth napkins for my older sister when we were kids and they appeared at all of our birthday parties.
We sang happy birthday twice b/c daddy was lingering around the house and I realized this and had to stop everyone mid-song and wait for daddy to come into the room to witness the magic/confusion of Olivia enjoying hearing everyone in the room sing her name.
And finally, what the first birthday is all about...eating the cake! Olivia wasted no time at all and devoured half of a giant cupcake I made before daddy confiscated it.
So we started here...
Then daddy tried to keep it from getting too out of hand...
But it didn't take long before it got to here (complete with icing in hair).
Olivia actually had to take a nap that extended through the first hour of the party b/c of all of the excitement of visiting cousins and people setting up before the party.
For me it was a power-packed three hours. One thing I've learned about myself as a hostess, I'm terrible at delegating tasks b/c I want to retain all control until the last-minute when I give up caring or finally realize there are many things that others can and want to help with. I never get to socialize as much as I would like when I host parties and I am going to make a better effort to do less during my parties so I can enjoy myself more. Charm City Daddy always enjoys himself. Other than that--I wouldn't change a thing. Yay! So glad we survived! Happy Birthday Olivia!