Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Gabriella's 1st Bee Day Party

Here are all the deets for Gabriella's very first birthday party. As I mentioned before, we decided to go with a bee theme because... uh... I like the color yellow. Haha seriously! I'd seen some really cute cupcake toppers from TomKat Studio on etsy, and an adorable yellow pettiskirt from Dreamspun Kids, also on etsy, and I just knew this was what I wanted to do for her 1st. I wanted to keep within the color palette of yellows and white and keep the theme relatively light, with some small touches of black to avoid it looking too dark/tacky. I mean, this is a little girl's party after all!

I  made pretty much everything. I ended up buying a little digital party package from TomKat Studio in March (I know, way in advance!) because she was offering a 20% off discount. If you know me, you know I jump at a chance to save some money! I had the hardest time deciding between using the black polka dot invitations or the yellow stripe invite. In the end I really liked the black one, even though I had wanted to shy away from too much black (I guess I'm a sucker for polka dots!). I really wanted to be able to include a picture of Gabriella along with the invitations because, well, taking pictures of my little ham is my thing. I picked up this adorable bee outfit from last year's collection from Gymboree on ebay and snapped some pictures of her in our front yard. I bought adhesive magnet sheets and used my scalloped circle punch to cut little rounds out of both magnet sheets and wallet-sized prints of her. I just stuck the picture on the adhesive part and included it along with the invite.
Here's a better version of the photo (hard to get a great picture of a picture!):
One of the first decorating projects I embarked on was the tissue door wreath. There's a far better tutorial out there than I could give y'all and it's right here. I used a bit more tissue than she recommends... but other than that it was a simple little project that I was able to mindlessly do while watching Real Housewives. To personalize it, I attached a letter G with ribbon I found on clearance at my local craft store.
I also saw these ruffled streamers used on a party online, and really wanted to figure out how to replicate them. I just sewed streamers together, bunching as I fed them through the sewing machine. I think they made a great backdrop for my sweets table!
Speaking of which, yep, I made most of the sweets. Red Velvet Cupcake Pops, Vanilla Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting, Chocolate Mini Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting, Cheesecake Bites, Lemon Bars, Chocolate Covered Marshmallows, Gabriella's Angel Food cake... Yeah I really put some mileage on my Kitchenaid Mixer. I spent some of Thursday evening and alllllllll of Friday baking. It was worth it though, because 1) it saved us tons of money, and 2) people loved everything (I think).
I also found some honey beer to serve the adults ;-)
For centerpieces for the tables, I found inspiration again online, in the form of floral arrangements made to look like little cupcakes! I just had to have them, so I went to big lots and found the plastic containers for under a dollar apiece. I spray painted the bright neon containers white, bought some white taper candles, and picked up floral foam at the craft store. And then they just sat there. For a month. And the day before her party I realized that I had no clue where to find white flowers like the ones she uses. I ended up picking these white silk flowers up at Jo Anns for 60% off and they worked beautifully! I didn't have to worry about any wilting, and I can use the remains for making headbands and clips. It's a win win. ;-)
I took it upon myself to make tissue poms as well. I'm just not a fan of spending money on things that I can very well do myself. The very best tutorial out there on how to make these is by none other than Martha Stewart. Just keep in mind when cutting, that you don't need to cut through all the layers at once. Separate them and cut little portions, and save yourself the carpal tunnel that is sure to plague you if you didn't figure this out until you were 3 poms in like I did. Oh and check the dollar store for tissue first! I picked up the white tissue - 40 sheets for $1 there. The tissue in the packs at Hallmark, Walmart and Target, etc. is about 6-8 to a pack and costs around $1-$3 (had no other option for the yellow, but it's still cheaper than the almost $4 per pom it would cost to purchase online). I used anywhere from 8-10 sheets on each pom.

Another little project I worked on, with the help of a friend with a Cricut, was this happy birthday banner. She cut out the letters and "frames" from white cardstock and I used various yellow scrapbook papers for the backing. I used yellow, black and white ribbons to connect them together.
I wanted to display all the monthly pictures I took of G around the entrance to the party, so I used these little clothespins and a string and hung up 4x6 prints from that. It was fun watching people peruse this and listening to them pick out their fave monthly pics. (Sorry for the terrible photo, due to MEMORY CARD FAILURE - ZOMG! - I didn't get a shot of this so I just slapped it on the wall inside to give y'all the idea.)
On to entertainment! I did not want to spend the money to hire a juggler/magician/psychiatrist to perform for everyone. Yes, I knew I had to have something a little fun for the little ones that would be there, so I came up with the idea of a "Bubble Bar". I love bubbles, man. They're so fun. So why not buy a bunch of bubble toys and put them out for all the kids to play with? Totally cheap, and great since I so will be playing with these toys later. I mean Gabriella. She will be playing with them later. I also got a bucket of chalk from the $1 section at Target and set up a "Chalk Zzzzone". I'm so punny. They were both a big hit!

I wanted to get bee cookies for favors. I looked around on etsy and even in some local bakeries, and the going rate per favor cookie bagged up is at least $3-4. Crazy talk! I found this little shop on etsy and she was charging $2 per cookie, bagged with a bow! Her cookies looked fabulous so I asked if she could do something bee-ish, and she came up with these for me. I LOVED them. I also did bubbles as favors for the kiddos. I just designed a little label myself in photoshop and taped it on to the bottles I picked up at Big Lots for 50 cents.

I painted this sign on posterboard with paints from the $1 store to direct guests to the party (not like they really needed it with the navigation in this day and age... I secretly just wanted an excuse to paint something).
I printed out these little labels and stuck them on water bottles. What luck that Tatertots and Jello was giving away the perfect ones to match our theme!

Whew! I think I covered all the details! Now here are pics of the party in action!

 The Birthday girl making her entrance.
 With Grandpa and Daddy
 I think I have crazy eyes here but it's one of the few shots of me and my girl, since I was running around the whole time!
 Adam greets some of our little guests
My dear friend from high school's little boy just turned 1 two weeks ago!
Bubbles in action!
Hubby with a beer and cupcake in hand. Life is good!
It's a Romanian tradition upon a baby's first birthday to present him/her with a tray of different objects. Whichever one baby grabs first supposedly shows their destiny in life. I love keeping tradition so we did this, and my dear friend presented the tray to Gigi. The items on the tray were: a pencil, a tiny book, a calculator, an airplane, a toy guitar, a mirror, jewelry, money, a computer mouse, and a toy basketball.
She grabbed the guitar! I guess she'll be musical like her daddy :-)
Yes, Gigi, pick the calculator!
 First taste...
 Oh it's safe to say she liked it!
 This is what happens when you take cake away from a baby!

Gabriella wore a lemon pettiskirt from Dreamspun Kids (splurge alert!), along with a matching hair clip that I attatched to a white elastic headband. Her camisole onesie is from Janie and Jack, and her sandals are from the Gymboree outlet. Oh and my dress was just on sale at Macy's. :-)

It was such an amazing day and we truly felt surrounded by love. A lot of people unfortunately weren't able to make it, but we still had around 30 or so guests, which turned out to be great. It was overcast until about half an hour before the party, so I was really nervous since she was in a little sleeveless outfit, but it cleared up and turned out to be about 80 degrees... perfect! I mentioned memory card failure before - and this should be a lesson to all to always have a backup! About half an hour before the party started I began snapping pictures of everything... 15 minutes in, my camera screams at me that my memory card has failed.

Worst nightmare for a photo hound like me.

So I scramble around and find an extra, but it's way smaller and has room for like 30 pictures on it. Luckily I found another extra, and was able to take more pictures, but by then I ran out of time and guests started showing up, so I wasn't able to get alllll the detail shots I was hoping for. My sweet dad took most of the pictures you see with actual people in them :-)

Anyhow, there ya have it. Our baby girl's first birthday party. It was a lot of work, but so absolutely worth it. Everyone had a nice time and our little guest of honor had a blast. Am I crazy to say that I'm already thinking about next year's bash?


SweetNiki said...

Looked like such a wonderful party, you did a great job!

Shannon said...

That looks like a fabulous party! You are so creative!

Sandra said...

The party looks amazing!! Love all the details...where did you get the cupcake holder stand??

Mrs. D said...

Omg. I'm speechless. Jealous speechless. AMAZING party, Lexi!

Freddie and Haley said...

Too cute. I am making pond and cupcake toppers too. So sorry we couldn't make it but Bo is on a pretty regular schedule, ok really regular and it was naptime. Hope to see u 3 at bo's party if not b4. You looked goregous in the pics-i just love ur blonder hair back and G of course looked adorable.

Mrs. C said...

I LOVE bumble bee themes! You did such a great job pulling it off. I had to share this with a friend of mine. We both have boys! Maybe baby number 2 will be a girl and we can have a bumble bee theme! lol

ashley said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE. You did a fabuous job. Happy Birthday, Gigi! =)

Shannon said...

GREAT Job!!! It looked amazzzing! ;)

Kristin {Sea Cow Circus} said...

Gorgeous! LOVE all of the details - you did a fantastic job with everything.

Kristin said...

I'm in love with Gabriella's party. I'm starting to think of DD's party (in October) and I'm pinning just about all of your links on my pinterest board for inspiration.

Jennifer said...

WOW! The party looks amazing and it looks like you guys had such a great time. Good job!

Mrs. Lexi said...

Thank you so much, everyone!

Sandra- I got the cupcake stand (the one with the dangling crystals, right?) from Home Goods. They have lots of great options to choose from!

Katie said...

I came across your blog because of this birthday theme. I just wanted to share with you that I thought you did the most wonderful job with it. It is so cute.