Monday, January 30, 2012

Winter ONEderland

Callum's birthday party was on Saturday. It was a Winter ONEderland theme, and I was really happy with how it turned out. All these people kept commenting on how creative and crafty it was, and while I appreciated that, and also it's totally true that it was a lot of work to put it together, I have to give most of the credit to the Internet. Elizabeth made the bunting. Misty suggested the photo chain. Pinterest gave me the vast majority of the other decor ideas, as well as pretty much all the recipes. Basically, the Internet means that you can execute something cool without having to come up with all the creative ideas yourself. WIN.

Here's the bunting Elizabeth made. Isn't it stunning? She did the whole thing--all I had to do was glue the triangles onto some silver rickrack and hang it up.

Decor was balloons, tissue paper pom poms, wooden snowflakes that I colored silver, tealights floating in jam jars tied with raffia bows (inspired by this), and blue stones in clear vases. Plus the bunting, the favors, and the photo chain. And one little blue bucket of foam "snowballs" with a little flag sign saying "Snowballs, 5 cents."

I was so pleased with the photo chain. I ordered it off Etsy and all I had to do was put in the photos. There were 12 slots when I had been expecting 13, so I just put the newborn to 11 month photos on the chain and then centered the one-year photo above it. This chain got tons of compliments from all the guests. It was such a cute way to see how much he's changed in a year. Here you can see it in more detail:

I didn't do much to give the food a wintry theme, but we did do a hot cocoa bar (inspired by this), complete with Bailey's, Kahlua, and amaretto, whipped cream, pirouettes, candy canes, and flavored marshmallows (peppermint, cinnamon, and gingerbread, plus regular). That was also a big hit--we went through over a gallon of hot cocoa!

The spread (plus bonus shot of Jeni and family) included some items made by me--chocolate cake, gingerbread cake, lemon pull-apart bread, peanut butter brownies, spinach pockets, and crab rangoon--plus assorted store-bought dips and appetizers.

The favors were hot cocoa cones, done based on this tutorial--I just replaced the Valentine-themed sprinkles with a mix of white, silver, and blue sprinkles to fit the winter theme. (I did puff cones for the babies.)

And then, of course, there was the birthday boy. He only napped for 40 minutes before the party, so that was less than awesome, but he seemed to have a great time. He wasn't at all overwhelmed by the crowd of people in the house, and he had fun crawling from person to person and seeing all the other babies. He looked very serious when everyone sang "Happy Birthday" to him, but he didn't cry or act shy. He was not, however, specifically interested in his birthday cake.

In fact, he wouldn't eat any of it. He did pick up a tiny crumb at one point and lifted it to his mouth, but then he put it back down without actually tasting it. He did, however, crack a smile when I blew out his candle for him:

And as soon as the party ended, he conked out completely. It must have been exhausting.

I was really happy with how the party came together--but beyond the details, the best part was just getting all our friends together in one place. I didn't plan activities or anything--only food and decor--but inviting a whole bunch of people with babies makes the socializing pretty easy, because everyone has a lot to talk about. Most of our friends hadn't met each other before, but they all got along great and seemed to have a good time. And it was so lovely to see so many people that we adore together in one place to celebrate our baby. When everyone was gathered around him singing "Happy Birthday," I was smiling but I also felt a little choked up. It was just so sweet.

I hope everyone had a great time. I definitely did. Though I can't believe that after all the planning and baking, my child STILL has never tasted cake. He has no idea what he's missing.


  1. Aw, what fun! I'm glad you all had a good time. Even if Callum is crazy and didn't try the cake.

  2. Cute theme! Hope Callum had a fab birthday! Can't believe he didn't try the cake! :)

  3. Wow! What a ONEderful party! Seriously. I love every single detail. I could die at the cuteness of the puff cone. Love it.

  4. What a great party! I love the hot chocolate bar (and may be copying it for an upcoming book club!)

    Happy Birthday Callum!!


  5. Love it! Everything came out so so well. And I sneaked a peek at your pictures a few days ago and am impressed with all the babies at the party. Look at all the friends Callum has! Yay. :) You did so well.

  6. That looks amazing! I feel like I should start planning Paul's first birthday party NOW so I can have something close to that impressive!

  7. What an amazing party!!

  8. Looks like a great party! I love the photo chain idea!

    Less cake for Callum means more cake for you and the guests. WIN. ;-)

  9. I'm so glad it all turned out wonderfully! Now you can start planning his Looney Twos party. ;)

  10. Yay! It was so cute! Everything was perfect. And I loved the banner. Oh and the peanut butter brownies were amazing. Think I have one in my mouth in that photo. ;)

  11. what an adorable party!! so glad callum enjoyed himself, even if he didn't have any cake (weirdo) :-)

  12. Super cute, Jess! You did a great job coming up with a theme and pulling together all the different pieces. I'm totally with you on the non-activity for the one-year old crowd. They're too young to appreciate anything organized. Yay for a happy number one!

  13. Gosh I can't believe the one years mark is here already! I haaven't visited your blog in over a years and I'm so happy to see your handsome little one in the pics!

  14. The crafts are so awesome! Seriously, super duper cute! I may have to use some of those ideas for my Patties Day party! Thanks

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