1st Birthday Party

We had Lila's first birthday party this past weekend, and in my (and Eric's) usual fashion, I decided that I needed to make all the decorations and food, rather than buying pre-made items. This, of course, made for a lot of work, but it was worth it as I loved that the finished product was a party that was completely us.

The plan was to have about twenty family members over to the house for afternoon lunch. A pretty casual affair. I decided to make a few decorations: two strands of bunting for two arches in our living room, a high chair garland, a birthday banner, and a wreath for the door. Hurricane Sandy actually blessed me with some time off work, so I was able to accomplish all this without too much trouble. I purchased about twenty fat quarters in fall colors from Joann's and was able to make all of the decorations from those bits of fabric.

For the bunting I used the same template that I did to make the bunting currently hanging in Lila's room. I cut out some hearts and glued them on to the flags with fabric glue. The flags themselves are sewn together, and then sewn onto strips of quilt binding.

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For the birthday banner, I cut out letters from fabric (I used some letters printed out from my computer as the stencils) and just glued them to some pieces of felt. Then Eric used a grommet tool to put grommets along the top edge and I strung them together with twine. Underneath the birthday banner, I hung 8x10s of Lila's monthly photos, which were hung with mini clothespins on another strand of twine.

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The wreath for the front door was made by tying strips of ripped fabric (about 10 inches long) around a styrofoam wreath ring (is that what they're called??) that I bought at Michael's. Then I made a "1" out of fabric and glued it on. The wreath was so easy to make and looks super cute. We now have it hanging on the front of Lila's bedroom door. The tutorial I followed is here.

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The high chair garland was just strips of ribbon sewn onto another strip of quilt binding and then a "1" made out of fabric sewn onto the front. I attached the garland to the high chair tray with double stick tape.

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As for food, we decided to make a fall "lunch" with some of Lila's favorite foods. We did order a platter of sandwiches from our local deli to make things a bit easier, but in addition we had the following:

Appetizers: caramel crisp popcorn from Garrett's, Cranberry Apple Salsa with Sweet Potato tortilla chips, Spinach Artichoke dip (Eric's mom made this), Lila's favorite meatballs with honey mustard dipping sauce, green salad and black bean and corn salad - I used this recipe but left out the barley. For mains, we had the deli sandwiches, plus Sweet Potato Chili and Skinny Baked Broccoli Mac and Cheese. For desserts, we had Strawberry Cake (which turned out pretty well, I must say! Lila loved it!), Pumpkin Poppers (delish and so easy!) and strawberries. For beverages, we had beer, wine and cider from Trader Joe's, which we heated up on the stove - so good! I'm pretty proud of how the food turned out because I am not a cook AT ALL.

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The other big thing  I made for the party was a video montage of all of Lila's 365 photos I had taken this year, interspersed with video clips taken by both Eric and I, and then set to music. It became a 45 minute film! I have to spend a bit of time finishing it (there were three days left of Lila's "365 days" after her party, which I want to add to the video) before I publish it online, but I think everyone enjoyed watching it at the party. It is so cool to see her grow through her photos. I can't believe she was ever so small!

All in all, I think the party was a success. It was nice spending the afternoon with our family members, and Lila had a great time. She was given many beautiful presents - lots of them handmade! My mom crocheted her a set of Yo Gabba Gabba dolls, Eric made her a growth chart, and a number of the toys bought for her were handmade as well - some beautiful wooden blocks, a rag doll and a train. The dress Lila wore was also handmade, purchased from Adelaide's Boutique on Etsy.

The growth chart that Eric made hangs outside Lila's room.

The growth chart that Eric made hangs outside Lila's room.

Lila having fun at her party

Lila having fun at her party

Enjoying cake.

Enjoying cake.

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Finally, this isn't birthday party related, but in the flurry that was Hurricane Sandy, I don't think I ever posted a photo of Lila's Halloween costume. She was the cutest Little Red Riding Hood ever! I knit her sweater for her so hopefully she will get some more wear out of it this winter.

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So, one birthday party down...what - seventeen more to go??? Happy birthday, sweet Lila!