I was a little bit worried about Eisley's first birthday party. I over-thought it for a long time before settling on a small-ish get together at the duplex—refusing to obsess over decor and food and taking perfect photos. I mean, really, the whole point of this party was to gather the people most important to Eisley's life and just…have a nice afternoon. Eat some delicious food, visit with each other, watch the wee one run around in circles while she tries to figure out how to grab an unattended cup of lemonade.
Once I decided to calm down over the whole thing, it ended up coming together quite perfectly. (Aside from the lovely heat-wave that decided to sweep over this part of the country. Sweet mercy.) But it did truly end up being just what I wanted it to be. And I'm thankful for that.
So, here are way too many photos to give you a glimpse into Eisley's big day:
We managed to fit fifteen people into our tiny duplex. I KNOW, RIGHT?
As far as decorations, I kept it simple and easy (and inexpensive). I used a doily-garland idea I found on Pinterest, and a Martha Stewart "Happy Birthday" banner that I'd bought on clearance years and years ago. I taped up a few of her birthday cards on the wall, and created a little wall-hanging that displayed photos from Eisley's first eleven months (more on that a little later). The tableware, tablecloth, and napkins were in shades of pink and yellow—all purchased from the dollar store. Booyah.
I bought cupcakes from a local bakery, and used the cutest little cupcake toppers in the world (a gift from a sweet friend!). Food-wise, we had a couple salads, hummus and pita chips, crackers and cheese, and two kinds of lemonade.
We scheduled the party for the afternoon, to be sure Eisley was in a social mood after her morning nap. The party lasted two hours, which was the perfect amount of time! (See above for Eisley having a good ol' time with my bestie, Marianne. Who is now possibly Eisley's bestie, as well. Get in line, sister!)
Here is the wall hanging I made. I had no idea what it was going to turn out looking like, to be honest. It was one of those projects that started with a vague idea and a bag of random things from Michaels and leftovers from my crafting nook.
Here's a super-quick rundown: I purchased a thin piece of wood from Michaels and used some pretty-patterned cardstock for the background. (I used Mod Podge to attach the paper! I'm obsessed.) For her name, I took way too long writing out the letters and cutting it out of regular paper and then tracing it onto some coordinating cardstock and then cutting it out of the cardstock and then realizing that THIS IS WHY PEOPLE BUY CRICUT MACHINES OMG. I also used Mod Podge to attach the name to the board once it was finally completed.
I cut out strips of fabric for the bow I used to hang it, as well as the ones to display the photos. Each photo was attached to the fabric strips by my go-to crafting product: washi tape. It's pretty much the best thing in the world because you're able to tape down the photos (it's remarkably strong!) and also remove the tape without tearing the photos to bits afterwards. Hurrah!
It only took a couple hours to complete this project, and I'm happy with how it turned out. I think I'll re-use this little display to decorate Eisley's someday-bedroom. We shall see!
Okay, I think we all need an Otter Pop break after that. Yum. And now on to the cake smash!
I bought Eisley an extra-special "big daddy" cupcake for her cake smash. I had visions of grandeur when it came to baking her a mini layer cake, but I think we all knew that wasn't going to happen. (I mean, let's just be honest here.) I loved how it came out, though, and she was thrilled when we plopped it down in front of her.
(We put her highchair in the center of the room so we could all stare at her while she ate. Because that's not awkward at all. Oh, the things babies must go through!)
"This is glorious. And confusing."
"Well, fine. I guess I'll just take a nibble."
(Not pictured is her chucking the cupcake onto the ground right after this, and then bawling her head off for two minutes after everyone laughed. Poor girl is easily startled. But I did get her to calm down after a bit and she returned to her sugary treat.)
"Frosting and a tiny little bird! Does life get much better than this?"
"This mound of cake and sprinkles will be my most wondrous creation."
"Okay, folks. I'm done. Wait, are the Olympics on back there?"
After cleaning her up as much as possible, she opened her gifts (well, I opened her gifts—yay!) and she had too much fun with all the new things to play with. Everyone was so thoughtful and generous! Eisley was quite the social butterfly the entire afternoon, and did so well! It was such a special day with so many special people. I'm so thankful we had this day to celebrate our little girl.
Eisley lingered by the door after our visitors had left, and seemed a wee bit forlorn. I guess this means we need to have more parties?