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Baby’s 1st Birthday, Part I

Our sweet boy turned one a couple of weeks ago and we hosted a baby soiree at our house.  We’re in that weird young child stage of life where our kids don’t really have their own friends, so I just make my BFF’s from high school and college pretend like a baby party is exactly where they want to be on a Saturday afternoon.  This year as I was making the guest list, I realized that we have a lot more friends with kids than we did just a year ago, so the party actually became a pretty kid-ish party, which was chaotic but fun!  Looking back at the pictures from Effy’s 1st party in 2012…boy howdy, the ones from this year are SO much better.  Just trying to be more intentional with how I composed the pictures has made a huge difference.  Also, getting out of manual and using the aperture-priority mode more (like I practiced here).

2012. Mediocre photography. Delicious food.

Effy’s party in 2012.
Mediocre photography.
Delicious food.

From Hans' party. Delicious food. Delightful pictures.

From Hans’ party.
Delicious food.
Delightful pictures.

For the visual inspiration (invitations, party decor, tablescape [yup...I said tablescape]), I drew from Hans’ baby quilt made by my super sweet sister-in-law.  I sent pics of the quilt to a graphic designer and she made invitations and I was able to use the digital file I had purchased to make a variety of items for the party.

Inspiration Quilt

This child always has a drumstick in his hand.

Invitation Collage

Printed with love, at Wolfe’s.
AND they gave me free envelopes. Bonus!

When my daughter turned one, the focus of her party was all the food.  She always loved to eat so I made grown up versions of all of her favorite foods. Hans was not as obviously interested in food the way Effy was from the get go.  After attending a friend’s daughter’s birthday party and seeing how much Effy enjoyed getting her very first party favor, I decided to focus less on the food for Hans’ party and more on creating super fun party favors themed around some of Hans’ favorite things.

The piece(s) de résistance were some custom photo gifts Hans included in his favors.  Waiting on our kitchen table with the favors was a custom magnet board I had made.  The magnet board was similar to something pre-made like this, but the same store was more than willing to do a custom board for me using the quilt graphic.  Now I can put this board in Hans’ nursery — totes adorbs [yup]!  On the magnet board were custom photo magnets for all the kiddos in attendance.  The most important person in a kid’s world is themselves, so ego-centric gifts are the way to go.

Magnet board

Each favor box had a custom luggage tag on it using the quilt graphic (shocker).  Usually these would include name and address and such, but I had the designer at Wolfe’s just use each kid’s first name for longevity.  I imagined them going on school bags, lunch boxes, etc.

Favor Table Collage

Also in the favor box:

a tiny tambourine


a train whistle

and a custom photo puzzle for each little attendee

Photo Puzzle

For the photo puzzles, I used a variety of pictures.  Some were of the kids themselves, or perhaps their dog, or maybe a picture of some artwork they’d created.  So stinkin’ sweet!

This post is getting pretty long (at least for me…and I’m getting hungry [shocker]).  I still have some more party decor pictures to share so perhaps I’ll save that for another day and let this post be party favor-centric.

I know this was a lot of energy to put into a child’s birthday party, but on the day of, it didn’t feel forced or overly-pinteresty.  It was very simple and just focused on our sweet baby boy.  I love love love him.

Hans Birthday


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