1-year-old buggy birthday bash

The morning before my daughter’s birthday party I had nothing ready. Sure, invites were sent out, but my “bug” theme was looking more like a non-theme, and I was beginning to peg it as my ghetto fabulous party. But alas, my mom showed up and saved the day.

Photos by Forever Bliss Photography

When I had went Dollar Tree shopping with my husband earlier in the week he rushed me the whole way through the store and asked why kids needed goodie bags anyway. Needless to say he just didn’t get it. Luckily, my mom has 5 kids and dozens of birthday parties under her belt, so she knows how it goes and helped me get everything we needed. THANK YOU MOM!

My mom

Here’s the invite for my party courtesy of April Showers. She’s getting into party design and she designed some buggy decor to use at the party as well as Lil’ J’s party banner. THANKS APRIL!

So, the Dollar Tree was selling bug catchers and we picked up a bunch of those to use as goodie bags. We filled them with water guns, animal crackers, little snake toys for boys and butterfly hair clippies for the girls. We also added balloons, playdough and bubbles.

We got napkins, tablecloths and plates at the dollar store too.

We ordered 25 plain cupcakes from the grocery store, and my sisters and I decorated the cupcakes ourselves. My sisters were a LIFE SAFER! It’s crazy how growing up we seemed so far apart in age, but now we can all hold adultish conversations and enjoy each others company. It was kinda nice to be a big sister boss them around again like the good old days. haha.

We made the cupcakes look like pink ladybugs, bumble bees, frogs (which eat bugs), and flowers. They were a lifesaver too because I wouldn’t have been able to decorate them all in time.

I did make Lil’ J’s big ladybug cake. I tried to make a double layer but for some reason I couldn’t get the layers to stack right. I need to practice baking more or something. Or maybe I was suppose to chop off part of the cake so it could sit flat. I dunno. It didn’t matter because she didn’t come close to eating most of it.

One of Lil’ J’s BFFs
Table decor by Aprils Showers

The party itself got off to a slightly awkward start because Lil’ J was napping when we left. I told my husband to bring her in a little while and that my family and I would go set up the decorations. Well, she showed up about a half hour into her party. Luckily we had lots and lots of food to keep people entertained.

Photography by Forever Bliss

That stressed me out a little, and people joked about the party girl being fashionably late, but in the end everything worked out. She arrived and we all made our way to the splash pad, which Lil’ J loved. At first I think she was like “what the heck is this?” But then she warmed up to the idea and played in the water. We also had a playground next to our pavilion so she got to swing in the swings. Another one of her favorite things aside from water.

My photographer, Tara and her hubby

I didn’t have to work about taking pictures, I was able to just enjoy the party thanks to Tara who handled all of the photographs. THANKS TARA! 

When everyone seemed to have had a good time in the water and I noticed people heading back to our pavilion I figured it was about time for dessert. Everyone gathered around and got ready to sing. We put the candle in the cake and we attempted to light it, but it was windy so it wouldn’t stay lit.

My poor husband went through what seemed like half a box of matches when finally he got it lit, but when he blew out the match he also blew out the candle. After a few more tries we decided it was ok that she  didn’t have a lit candle since she couldn’t blow it out anyway. 

We sang and clapped, and she stared at her cake wondering what the heck it was, but once she got a tiny taste she was all about it.

This was her first taste of cake but she seemed to like it. Actually, she liked all the food we had, especially the grapes. Like her mama, that’s her favorite food right now.

I made sure everyone got a cupcake and a goodie bag, and we took some more pictures of friends. We had a great turnout of so many friends and I was so happy to see everyone there. Having my mom, sisters and dad in town made me realize how nice it is to have family on hand. I missed them the moment they left.

My dad and three sisters

My mom took her presents to the car and we opened most of them at home. Except the one from my dad, so he could see her open up her box of cute clothes. She got adorable things from a Mr. Potato, to a homemade wooden box of puzzle toys, to books and purses and swimsuits, she loves it all.

After everyone left we went back in the splash pad and she had so much more fun than the first time. She begged me to put her down and crawled and splashed around. She grabbed at the water and laughed and snorted. It’s probably one of her happiest moments to date.

I survived my first birthday party! If I’ve learned anything it’s to start earlier to avoid last minute stressing. I think I’ll start planning her second party in November!

Here’s some more photos from the party…

Baby friends!
Not hers, but I couldn’t keep her out of it. We may have to get her one.
More friends!
More baby friends!

Now we’re off to Utah for EVO 2011 and a little vacation. Happy 4th of July!

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  1. Thanks for sharing….seemed like a fab 1st bday party……oh btw bought my 14 mo old dd a pink Step 2 buggy….and she absolutely loves it…we take it for walks..to the farmers market, park….i def would recommend buying one for lil j..

  2. Thanks for sharing…its hard to believe she is a year already…seems like she had a fab 1st bday party…oh btw..i bought my 14 mo old dd the pink step 2 buggy..and she absolutely loves it..we take it everywhere..and we get a lot of compliments on it also…i would def reccomend buying one for lil j 😉

  3. Awesome party. So cute. If you have an Aldi close they had cars and other fun kid stuff. We got our lil’ man the cozy coupe car for $30

  4. For a double-layer cake, yes you do need to cut the top off the bottom layer to make sure the top layer sits correctly.

    Looks like a great day was had by all!

  5. Such a great first birthday! Glad she liked the water. I started planning Addison’s first birthday 4 months in advance and it took me the whole time to get it done! Who knew that parties could take so long to plan?!

  6. Parties are so much fun. Even though I’m not due for another 4 weeks, I’m already thinking about the possibilities for my daughter’s first birthday party.

  7. Jen: Your little “Bug” is so adorable. I can’t wait to meet you and Lil J. I might be in Austin next weekend to visit Tara, but sounds like you might be in Utah. If you ever need a place to stay in Salt Lake City, you and your family are welcome to stay at our house. Thanks for sharing all your pictures. Anne Carter (aka Tara’s mom)

  8. wow this post was awesome! I loved all the little pictures and loved all the ideas… you look AMAZING and good idea to get a photog,, i will have to work on that. enjoy your fourth!!

  9. Thank you, thank you for sharing Lil J’s wonderful birthday party. It looks great fun. She loves adorable in her little tutu.

    HAPPY 1ST BIRTHDAY little girl.

  10. How cute, looks like you had fun. My niece’s first birthday had a cute ladybug them and two years later ladybugs are still a hit. Again congrats on the first of many.

  11. Aww, that last picture of you guys in the splash pad together is a definite keeper! Great job on the party,
    and love the bug theme!!!

    Things like being able to host the party at a splash pad definitely make me wish that Ava’s birthday wasn’t at the end of December (even though it was in the 70’s the day of her party this year!!!)

    Have a great trip, and happy (belated) 4th!

  12. Thanks for sharing these memories with us! I had a butterfly themed party for my baby a few weeks ago and the dollar tree was a life saver! I had spent lots of money at Party City and a few days before the party I went to Dollar Tree and they had butterfly bday goods. I also saw the bug catchers which are so cute! I didn’t have the money to spend on filling them up so I opted for bubbles instead but they were hard to resist. By the way I saw what looked like the same bug catchers at Learning Express for 9.99!! Gotta love the dollar tree 🙂

  13. Awww how adorable! I love your hair and Lil J’s outfit. I totally agree with you when you said, “My sisters were a LIFE SAFER! It’s crazy how growing up we seemed so far apart in age, but now we can all hold adultish conversations and enjoy each others company. It was kinda nice to be a big sister boss them around again like the good old days. haha.” There are 8 and 10 years between me and my 2 sisters and now with them being in their 20s we get along so much differently. Now I’m on to start pulling everything together for Nia’s 1st bday party in a little over a month!

  14. Holy….wow!!! You look just like your momma. And your daddy!?! They are so young….wow. Your family is lovely and I just know lil J enjoyed her buggy party.

  15. Oh, what fun!! What a special day – Lil’ J’s first birthday party! I still can not believe that she is 1! So, so crazy. 🙂 and, need I say it for the millionth time — what a total cutie she is too!

  16. You looked fabulous and your friend did an amazing job taking pictures!

    By the way, you have a beautiful family and you look just like your mom. 🙂

  17. Cute party! I love your hair curly like that, so pretty! You know I saw those buggy’s last weekend for the first time at toys r us, saw one in pink too 🙂

  18. I don’t know if you remember me, but I was RaisingUtah on Twitter. Little J has grown up so much! Esper turned 1 recently and I blogged about it too. She has that little push car and she LOVES it. I got it used locally through classifieds.

  19. You did such a great job with the party…well you AND all the other party planners you enlisted :).
    It was smart having it out doors. Not much cleaning to do at home. Lil Man will be 1 in August and forget that outdoor stuff, I won’t even want to set foot out there. So I guess lots of cleaning up to do before and after!

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