Posts Tagged ‘caroline’s first birthday’

Steppin’ Out: Caroline’s First Birthday

Sunday, December 18th, 2011

Party picture post tomorrow, but I thought I’d do my party outfit today. Technically we didn’t step out to anywhere, but the house was so festive with lights and decorations and friends it felt like we were someplace really special!

On Caroline:
Onesie dress – Target
Tights – Gymboree

On Me:
Dress – H&M
Sweater and hair flower – Sears (Yup AND I used a coupon)
Tights – Rue 21 (pro tip: “One size fits most” means “one size fits if you are less than 5’5″ otherwise you’ll be tugging them up all damn night”)
Heels – Missoni for Target
Belt – Betsy Johnson (bought at TJMaxx)

I spent weeks online shopping for a dress – because I wanted to be a little fancy as the hostess but not REALLY fancy because I’d still be cooking and making drinks and chasing kids – but didn’t order anything in time. When I ran to the mall to pick up the play kitchen I dashed into H&M and grabbed ever party dress. Let me tell you, I am WAY TOO OLD for about 75% of the stuff they sell. There is nothing about knit fair isle leggings with a crop top that appeals to me. But this tulle dress was cheap and cute (and a bit short, hence the tights) and I was thrilled that I fit into a nice, reasonable size 10 at a trendy store. Although considering how much I ate at the party, it probably wouldn’t fit today!

Linking up with The Haps!

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Steppin' Out {2}

Caroline’s First Birthday: Good Ideas

Friday, December 16th, 2011

This feels a little bit self congratulatory (especially since the party hasn’t even HAPPENED yet, so I have no proof these things actually WERE good ideas) but I am pretty excited about some of the stuff I’ve put together. This is the 4th party I’ve thrown since I discovered how much I LOVE hosting, and I’m finally getting the hang of it. And by “getting the hang of it” I mean “not spending a zillion dollars on unnecessary crap” and “make sure the guests have fun instead of just making the pictures look good”. So here are a few of the details I think are worth explaining a little more in depth than the coming soon post-party picture post.

DIY lace paper

A fancy hole punch can make regular paper look expensive. I bought this Martha Stewart edge punch at Michael’s with a 50% off coupon I tore out of a magazine. I’ve had it in a drawer for months and has started to think it was a dumb purchase, but it ended up being PERFECT for Caroline’s invitations. Then I carried the pattern over to the signs for the cocoa bar, food labels, cocktail recipes and the favor bags. One $10 box of blank invites and one package of white cardstock was the only other cost. There are tons of patterns that would be cute for other party themes, but the lace worked nicely with my snowflake decorations.

Party favors

I’ve spent a lot of dough (PUNNY!) on stupid crappy plastic party favors in the past, but I’m really excited about this idea. I made two double batches – one pink, one blue – of sparkle play dough (using this recipe I found on Pinterest), divided each color up into 10 smallish balls, popped them in sandwich bags and stapled on a label. It worked out to pennies per favor and I think they kids will really like it. I also made a triple batch of plain white glitter play dough I’m going to have out with a bunch of plastic cookie cutters for the kids to play with at the party. They’re all going to be COVERED in glitter but I figure then they’ll just match my theme better.

Christmas tree turned into a Caroline tree!

Twinkle picture in action

I figured since the Christmas tree was already prominently featured as part of our decor (because it is a GIANT TREE covered in lights in the middle of the room where we have parties) I should make it more Caroliney for her birthday. I am very conscious of the “My birthday never felt special because it was too close to Christmas” problem EVERYONE I MET told me about when I was pregnant. I dreaded telling people I was due December 26th because they always told me about their mother/brother/cousin/dog who was born that week and has hated it their whole life. My attempt to prevent that feeling in Caroline is why we are having this party at all, so I’m doing my best o make the day ALL ABOUT HER. But really, photos + clothespins on the tree is a cute idea with ANY photos.

Which reminds me I made this:

I crack myself up.

 

DIY Pull String Pinata

I think this is the project I am most excited about. Ever since I saw Young House Love’s party post about their daughter’s 1st birthday I’ve been dying to try making my own pull-string pinata. The idea is a one year old is too young to smack a pinata with a stick (and also hello December birthday in New England, we’re INSIDE, maybe giving kids bats to swing isn’t the best idea) put they can pull a ribbon and have the treats fall out. To make the base, I followed their tutorial here. My original concept was a giant snowball or snowflake but I like how this ended up even better. I just folded coffee filters in half and glued them around with hot glue, overlapping layers.

Close up of the coffee filter petals

My last good idea isn’t so much a really good idea as just a “Why didn’t someone TELL me that before?!” I bought a small glass pitcher at Goodwill to put the cream of coconut in for my grown-up drinks. I figured no one could identify white stuff in a glass pitcher as cream of coconut, so I was just going to write on the glass with a black sharpie and it would be my cream of coconut container FOREVER. But it turns out magic eraser takes permanent marker off of glass super easily.

p.s. I have terrible handwriting

It also worked on clear plastic, which is perfect for my dipping sauces. Regular dry erase would get smudges and illegible as soon as it got dripped on/touched but I tried smudging the sharpie and I can’t.

I’ll try to have a full party recap up on Monday, unless I am so exhausted I end up sleeping straight through Sunday. It’s entirely possible.

Thirty Hand Made Days

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Gooey Vanilla Sparkle Cookies

Tuesday, December 6th, 2011

Thanks to Duncan Hines for sponsoring my writing. There’s no limit to the baking possibilities, so grab your favorite Duncan Hines mix and Comstock or Wilderness fruit fillings and Bake On! www.duncanhines.com.

Oh hi, who wants to talk about dessert? Or drinks? Or maybe holiday parties? How about a fancy sparkly dessert themed holiday party I’m throwing for my baby girl when she turns one this month? I’ve got myself on a pretty strict baking schedule to get as much as possible done in advance, so my house is FULL of sweets right now. After the cake near-disaster at Evan’s 2nd birthday, I decided maybe fancy frosting is little outside my skill set, in the same way running a marathon is outside my skill set. You think, come on, it’s just running. Anyone can run. Here, let me just run right into the kitchen and make a cake worthy of its own TLC special. (more…)

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