A "Wild One" Birthday

Our baby boy turned ONE year old this month! I can't believe a year has gone by with this beautiful, sweet boy in our lives. It has been so fun watching him grow and learn, and to experience parenthood as new parents. Of course, as his mama and a planner, I spent weeks gathering the best ideas and photo worthy moments to capture this important milestone! We celebrated his birthday with our closest family and friends this past weekend and I just couldn't wait to share all the details right here on our blog. Here are some pictures from his special party and the scoop on how I made them myself. #diymama

When it comes to childhood decor and party themes, I go for more muted color schemes and whimsical illustrations vs. mainstream bright and cartoony themes. This whimsical, woodland animal themed invitation from Paperless Post brought my vision to life! I have been obsessed with foxes recently and those adorable canvas, play teepees. However, I also wanted to incorporate the "Wild One" theme as a nod to the "Where the Wild Things Are" storybook. Which I thought tied in well together for him to be the Wild One and the theme to have woodland critters (not monsters). Ironically, Dominic's nickname is "The Prince" so having him wear a crown, similar to the one Max, "the king of all wild things", wore in the book was perfect! I chose the color scheme to be orange, mint, mustard and light blue. I choose wood accents and whimsical woodland creatures to tie the theme together. 

The Invitation

In this day and age of technology, paper announcements and invitations are falling by the way side. Which I am sad about because I LOVE receiving snail mail. However, I researched different party invitations, I wanted to give the electronic invitation a try without sacrificing quality. I was pleasantly surprised when I found Paperless Post. They not only have an awesome selection of invitations for all occasions (including holiday, wedding, save-the-dates, birthdays, etc.). But they offer printing and electronic options for each design. So I was able to send an electronic invitation to 95 percent of our guests, then have a couple printed to send to my grandmother and have a keepsake for Dominic's baby book. Additionally, it tracked the activity of each invite. Here is how it works: Once I emailed the invitations, it would tell me whether it was sent successfully, if the person had opened it, who would be attending and who regretfully could not attend. This was so nice to simply log in and see the number of people who would be coming and to ensure I had good email addresses. The tracker function also allowed me to send follow-up reminder emails to people who hadn't responded yet. As a wedding planner, I have to say this is one of the most frustrating parts of planning a wedding and I will be recommending this option to all my future brides. Plus isn't the design adorable? The cost was super reasonable too. I paid about $.60 per invitation and $5 per printed invitation. I saved on stamps, envelops and printing costs and it was an earth-friendly option. 

The Banner

Instead of the traditional, bubble-letter happy birthday banner, I made one out of woodland-themed cardstock and wooden letters to make a banner that said "Wild One". This of course was all for the perfect photo opportunity. I found the cardstock at a local craft store then traced the banner shape using a banner I had from a previous event. I then hole punched and threaded some thick jute rope through each piece to give it a more woodland look and feel. The wood letters were actually those wood letter gift tags from Target. They sell each letter separately and this was just want I needed to give the banner some dimension while pulling in a wooden accent. 

The Outfit

For the outfit, I wanted Dominic to be comfortable and dressed casual- after all he is just a ONE-YEAR-OLD. I picked out this navy blue and white striped Burt's Bees outfit, which looked great on him and went well with the crown. My mom and I made the crown ourselves and it was surprisingly affordable and easy to do. I found some wool felt in a mustard yellow color and some faux fur trim at a local craft store. I printed off a crown template from HelloBee. It was pretty easy to trace the outline on the felt and cut. We did add some batting and sewed two pieces together for extra support. Then we added the fur lining onto the bottom. I love the way this crown turned out so much! It might even be his Halloween costume this year.

The Cake & Cake Topper

For the smash cake, I found a sugar free, healthy recipe on HelloBee with bananas and honey which was so yummy! The cake tasted like a denser banana nut bread. I made some extra cupcakes for the little kiddos (and me)! For the cake topper I took some of the felt scraps from the crown, some baker's twine and wooden dows to make the banner. Then I topped it off with some chocolate sprinkles and placed it on a wood log slice! Dominic loved smearing the icing and smashing the cake! Another great photo-worthy moment.

The Milestone Chalkboard Sign

I fell in love with these chalkboard signs where you can outline your child's milestones, weight/height, favorites, nicknames, etc. I first saw them on a few Etsy shops. After more research I found a way to make one myself without Photoshop, because let's be honest - I am no graphic designer....lol. Instead I found this blog post from Our Home Made Easy with links to free digital fonts and a tutorial on how to make this sign using Powerpoint. Me being a Mac person, I used Keynote, the Mac equivalent to Powerpoint. I had so much fun making this myself. I incorporated my color scheme, a handful of fun fonts and dingbats (google it they are super fun!), and a chalkboard background. It was pretty simple to build just adding lines, text boxes and the Woodland Animals illustrations by Lovely Clementine available on Creative Market, a platform for handcrafted, mousemade design content from independent creatives. After I created the file and saved as a pdf, I simply sent it to FedEx Office to have it printed. I got three copies for under $8. Now I have the digital file I can easily update for his future birthdays and it was exactly what I wanted to fit our theme. I received so many compliments on it and I love that we can hang onto this snapshot of his milestones for years to come.

The time and effort that went into planning this party was so worth it! We had such a great time visiting with family and friends. We took some great photographs and made some awesome memories. Most importantly, Dominic had a great time; he wore his crown all day totting around "talking" to everyone and holding onto his balloons.