“Oh the Places You’ll Go” Birthday Party

One of my favorite parties to date is the Dr.Suess “Oh the Places You’ll Go” birthday party I planned for my son Jake’s 1st birthday.  I had so many different themes I wanted to use, but I ended up going with Dr.Suess because I loved all the bright colors and fun rhymes.  Now I realize that the first birthday party is pretty much for the parents, but I think a party is always in order because every parent deserves a celebration after making it through their first year of parenting!  We invited close family and friends and had an afternoon filled with fun, food and cake/cupcakes.  I kept the food pretty simple; we served mini ham & cheese sandwiches, “Hop on Pop” popcorn, “one fish two fish” swedish fish, pretzels, GoGo Squeeze applesauce and cupcakes.  For first birthday parties I love doing a “first years banner” including one picture from each month (12 pictures total).  It’s such a fun thing for your guests to look at and its a neat keepsake to put in your baby book!

ImageThe primary colors used were red and blue, with accents of green and lots of stripes and polka dots.  We used balloons and streamers throughout the house and placed Dr.Suess books throughout the house on display.  All of the food, drinks and cupcakes were gone by the end of the party and the kids had a wonderful time running all around the house!

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All of the cupcake toppers, water bottle labels and decorations were done by Splendid Celebrations. 

ImageOne of my favorite details from this party was Dr.Suess’ “The Birthday Book”.  When people arrived at the party, there was a poem asking them to sign Jake’s book and it will serve as a keepsake for many years to come of our dear friends and family that helped him celebrate his first year of life.  When you do this though, make sure to have several of the same type/color of pen so that its the same throughout the book; and preferably, use a non-gel pen as they tend to smudge when people rub against them!

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As people left the party, the kids were given goodie buckets with bath/pool toys, silly straws, bubbles, chalk, and a bag of snacks (puffs, goldfish, crackers) and the adults were given a bag of whoopie pies.  This is always an extra step to provide your guests, but I always think its a nice idea to give a little token of appreciation for the people who are sharing in your life experiences!  ImageSo while your baby may have no idea what is going on during their first birthday party, I know I will have fun showing them pictures from their birthdays earlier in their lives.  Everyone loves a party, especially when it involves a baby smashing a cake!  I hope everyone is having a good week and getting excited for Thanksgiving next week!!!! Make sure to get out to get your turkey sooner rather than later. 

Friday Favorites — Thanksgiving Prep

Do you ever have one of those weeks where every day feels like “Groundhog Day”?  Well, that was my week this week.  Needless to say, I’m VERY happy that its Friday and I’ve got the weekend with my boys ahead of me.  Our weekend will be filled with time at the park, long walks, hot cocoa and one of Jake’s best friends birthday party!  We love a good party in our house!

It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is right around the corner; it seems like alot of places have already skipped over Thanksgiving and gone straight to Christmas.  I normally would be a big fan of this as I’m a MAJOR Christmas fan, but I also think we should appreciate each holiday as it is and not try to rush through things just to make more money from “christmas” marketing.  Obviously no one asked me my opinion though!  In the meantime, I am starting to put together my recipes for Thanksgiving and I ran into this yummy looking savory monkey bread I’m going to try for the bread basket this year: http://blog.foodnetwork.com/fn-dish/2013/11/how-to-make-savory-monkey-bread/  I’m always looking for new recipes, so if you have a family favorite, please share below in the comments section!!
savory monkey bread
My older son is almost 2 1/2 and I’m a big fan of traditions; so this year for Thanksgiving I am making sure to bring awareness to what the holiday is truly about (not just the eating of good food).  One of my favorite things I’ve seen is this Thankful Tree: http://thrivinghomeblog.com/2013/11/thankful-tree-thanksgiving-craft-centerpiece/   While neither of my children can write at the ripe ages of 2 1/2 and 4 months, I’m a big fan of talking about how blessed we are and what we are thankful for.  I think this craft is a great tradition to start when the kids are little and break it out every year.  You can even save the paper leaves from the tree each year to look back on in the years to come! (Pictures of our tree to come!)

Another fun craft we will be doing prior to Thanksgiving is a “fruit loop turkey”.  It sounds weird, but Jake can do most of the craft himself, and it will double as working on his colors, sorting and counting skills….bonus!  http://www.puttisworld.com/2012/11/thanksgiving-kids-craft-fruit-loops.html

Thanksgiving kids craft Fruit Loops Turkey

Last but not least for my Friday Favorites is a free Thanksgiving downloadable placemat : http://www.mamamiss.com/2012/11/21/play-eat-thanksgiving-placemats-free-printable/  I know I will plan to print off several…..one to eat on then others to color! 

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend and is getting as excited as I am for the upcoming holidays! 

Vend Raleigh Holiday Event

With the holidays quickly approaching, what better way to get started early than to attend the Vend Raleigh Holiday Sip and Shop on Friday, November 17th from 6-9:30pm.  It is being held at the Halle Cultural Arts Center in Apex; more details can be found on the website: http://vendraleighsipandshop.weebly.com/

Make sure to check out the sponsors (support local!) and get a good start to your holiday shopping with your girlfriends!  Keep a look out for some Splendid Celebrations swag if you attend!