I warned you it was coming…and here it is. My pride and joy. The project I have been dreaming about since the day little Noo was born. In all its glory, The Woodland Wilderness First Birthday Bash. I have been designing odds and ends for the big event over the past 6 months. I know that sounds lame, but it just became something I enjoyed working on in my spare time. My affinity for all things woodland and forest dwelling began way back during Lars and my 2009 wedding planning. Our theme became “love birds” and thus was accented with wildflowers, trees, lanterns, etc. Of course Lars had to throw some robots in there too. When I was pregnant with Noo, I found awesome tree and bird wall decals for her nursery. At the time I was also a preschool teacher and lovingly (of course) referred to my students as “little squirrels”. So I am sure you are sensing a pattern. The really fun thing about having a “life theme” as I like to think of it, is that people catch on. Family and friends began to contribute to my obsession by giving me all sorts of fun woodland accessories during my pregnancy. One of my girlfriends even had her very talented husband make me an amazing squirrel shaped pillow. So you see, all those around me became enablers of my forest frenzy. This build up of woodland wackiness all contributed to the planning and execution of the main event. And here it is:
Remember these? The invitations to the big shindig…these were just the beginning.
The owl flag greeted our guests as they entered the forest. Purchased by Tam Tam months ago at a Pier One Imports sale, I told you they are all enablers!
A little “alice in wonderland” inspired signage for our visitors. I may have gone a little crazy with the poems, but come on! It’s for the kids!
Everyone has a photo booth at their weddings now, so why not at a first birthday? Remember the wall decals I told you I found for Noo’s room? Well, they contributed perfectly to the party. This photo booth was adorned with the curtains from Noo’s room as well. It was so easy to set up. The spring curtain rod fit perfectly between the molding. We tied them back with a little twine, slapped on the decals, set out Noo’s handmade table (from our VERY talented Aunt Carol) to hold the owl masks, and done! The kids had a blast with it. You will see…
The guest book table. Using Snapfish (LOVE) Lars and I created a photo book of Noo’s first year. We set out colorful sharpies and a sign asking guests to leave some love for our little owl. The vases holding the sharpies and the owl masks were actually handmade by my mom-mom, mom, sister and me for the wedding. We made about 100…whew! They were soup cans covered in fabric and lace. They held up pretty well too! The Happy Birthday sign was cut out and strung by my sister. The letters were a free printable from my FAVORITE website, HWTM.com (hostess with the mostess). I love her work! I used several of her creations throughout the party decor, all of which were designed for her own daughter’s first birthday!
Nola Kendall banner made with printed letters, card stock and fabric (from our wedding). I did this by simply cutting strips of fabric and tying them onto a piece of twine after attaching the letters. I will definitely be using this permanently in her room!
I made about 25 of these to scatter around the party. They were a lot of fun, and SO easy to make. Just some card stock, double stick tape and popsicle sticks. Done! They were a hoot!
My mom has given every woman in our family a “dress me up” cake plate. In fact, I am pretty sure she has keeps a secret cellar full of them somewhere. Whenever one breaks or is damaged…poof! Another one magically shows up. They are really a lot of fun for even the simplest parties. All of us use them like crazy. From Christmas dinner to the Memorial Day picnic, they adorn each occasion with the right amount of pizazz. Of course, Noo’s party was no exception. I tied on some ribbon and stuck on one of my sweet owl characters (purchased from etsy.com). The tree in the middle was another contribution of my sister. She found it while we were doing some planning during family vacation. Next thing I knew, she had bought it and printed and cut out 10 of them for the party! They really added to the forest feel.
Ahhhh…Rebekkah is her name, being cute and lovely is her game. Tam Tam found her in the garden section of Lowes…all alone…needing a home. She became the center piece for the table scape.
My friends at the Critter Candy Bar.
We did a candy bar as our party favors. Notice the owl favor bags in the frog cookie jar to the left. I went to a local Amish Grocery store called Bylers for the candy. I didn’t spend more than $15! They had an awesome and colorful selection too. The jars and vases were a combination of mine and Tam Tam’s. The FABULOUS gumdrop tree was my mom-mom’s. She used to adorn it with candy for lots of different occasions. I think she was glad to see it being put to good use. We had candy necklaces, circus peanuts, mike and ikes, coconut bon-bons, watermelon licorice and salt water taffy. Yum!
Another awesome free printable from hwtm.com. The labels for the juice boxes were probably totally unnecessary, but I could resist. Just a little card stock and my tape and a few minutes is all it took.
Did I mention I got a little carried away with the poems? The really fun part of this is my misspelling of “forest”. Love the font, but caused me to not notice my error until it was too late. Maybe everyone drinking the punch caused them not to notice either. 😉
My owl cupcakes. I made these in February for my nieces’ party. They loved them. This time I got a little experimental with the colors. And pink Oreos…I mean REALLY, what a find!
You almost feel bad eating them! Look at those eyes!
The dessert/drink area.
We hung some silly pictures of the little squirrel herself over the buffet.
Now for the rest of the food…
Lunch on a Stick (fun food magazine)
Owl and squirrel shaped sandwich cutters from AC Moore. We made ham/cheese, turkey/cheese and pbj. Easy!
Sweet and salty trail mix also from Fun Food. Popcorn, teddy grahams, mnms. pretzels…add a dash of cocoa powder and cinnamon sugar. A perfect kid friendly snack!
Chocolate dipped marshmallows. My dad came to the rescue with another one of his great inventions. A foam cup covered in fabric to hold my “chocolate toad-stools”.
Chocolate pretzels. Another easy thing to do the night before.
The First Birthday Hat (in the background) is a tradition in our family. Nola’s smash cake and two cupcakes for the other birthday girls (trish and me).
The party begins! As the last of the preparations were being made, Riley and Noo found themselves momentarily unsupervised. They ended up in the toy cradle together. There is still no answer as to whose idea it was…
My birthday girl and me! Adorned in owls. A dress given to Noo when she was just 3 months old from a dear friend of mine. I knew the moment I saw it that it would be her birthday dress!
And so began the photo booth fun…
LOVE this one!
Smash cake time. Of course, this required a second outfit. I made the smash cake using alternating colors of batter, in hopes that it would have a fun rainbow effect. We though Noo would surely be hesitant to “smash” into it…we quickly discovered she was not!
Here we go…
She even shared…
Needless to say, this was followed by a bath…
Presents…and ANOTHER outfit change!
A very sleepy little owl…
Nothing like ending a party with a good bounce…”The Owl’s Nest”!
My woodland wonder with her daddy. Still awake and smiling after many photo sessions, cake smashing, 3 outfit changes and presents!
I have to say, this day is definitely up there on my list of favorite days. What fun we had! Family, friends and feathered forest creatures alike! I can’t wait to get planning for next year!
Now it’s back to work! I have a t-shirt design for a 5k, a birth announcement, wedding programs- all to do this week. Whew…love it! Thanks for reading this rather excessive post!