I chose pretty simple food - veggie tray, tortilla chips, homemade queso (ha, who are we kidding, Velveeta & Ro-Tel!), baked potatoes, toppings, and chili - and stuck to pretty simple decorations. I made the chili in advance, and put my mom on potato duty the morning of the party. Thanks to my Cricut machine they were simple! I was able to cut out a bunch of "birds" and "ones" and hang them up all around the house. I even made a "Happy Birthday" banner. Using my Cricut was a good excuse to spend a day on the couch "relaxing" and trying to get better quicker. I had about half the decorations up and let my sister Amber finish it up when they got here.
(We had to get a little creative on where to set up everything. We left the dining room table open for people to eat it. So the food was all lined up in the kitchen, and the cupcakes/punch was in the foyer. I also had saved a bunch of Bean's bird stuff from my Kokomo baby shower.)
(We even gussied up our chandeliers)
("Watch Me Grow" banner)
I spent probably way too much time working on pictures for her party. I had a "watch me grow" banner made up of all the "month" photos I've taken of Bean over the past year. I also completed her record calendar (it's just a do-it-yourself calendar that I started from day 1. I'd record milestone and events in it. I just had to add in some pictures for each month), put pictures in her baby book, and made sure it was up to date (baby books are awesome! My advice is to fill it out as you go!). Between the blog, the calendar, and her baby book, Bean's first year has been well documented! I think I did it in a simple way that I should be able to upkeep these records for future babies. We'll see when the time comes ;-).
So back to the picture project, it took me about 2 hours, 5 attempts, and 2 visits to Walmart to finally get the pictures I wanted. I had issues ordering the photos at first and had to keep scrapping my order and starting over. Once I got them ordered, I was able to zip over to Walmart (which is like 5 minutes away). Later that night, when I went to work on them. I discovered they were printed wrong and a lot of the photos were cropped (people missing heads and limbs). Ugh. So I called the photo lab and they said I had to come back in and they'd fix it. I didn't have time that night, and went the next day. 2 hours later, I walked out with the photos I wanted (I had to reorder about 20 of them, selecting them one at a time from my phone, send in the order, and wait to get them). They didn't charge me, but I lost a chunk of my valuable time. In the end, I'm thankful I did it, just should have done it the week before, ha.
My good friend Sara made cupcakes and an adorable bird smash cake for Bean. Since a good portion of my family is gluten free, she lent me one of her recipes and I attempted to make Gluten Free Buckeye cupcakes. They turned out pretty good, but there's something about a cake without gluten. . . Those cupcakes were probably the most intense part of Bean's party. They took me almost an entire day to get them prepped, baked, iced, and decorated.
(How adorable is this smash cake?! Thanks Sara!)
At 11:30, my dad, brother-in-law, and Steve got to work moving furniture around, putting Bean's toys up in her room, and set the living room up for the party. My mom was working on a little purse for Bean (she made me one for my 1st birthday), my sister was getting her kids ready, and I started to finish up the food. A couple friends showed up just before noon, and I assumed they were just early to help out. But when everyone else started showing up, I realized the party started at noon, and not 12:30 like I thought. OOoops! Good thing I was so far ahead ;-). I quickly pulled out the food and barked what orders I could muster in my head.
(More of the bird decor I had from Bean's room/baby shower. We had quite the turnout of people! Friends from church, neighbors, and family both from Ohio and Indiana. Bean also had a lot of gifts sent to the house from those who couldn't make it. Bean is blessed!)
(I had a craft station set up for the kids. I had pine cones that the kids were to put peanut butter on and roll in birdseed to take home. There were also some little wooden birds they could decorate with markers. This table ended up being taken over by people eating, so the kids got kicked to the floor for the craft. They didn't seem to mind!)
(Bean got to be front in center for the whole afternoon. She of course loved it and did more of a show for people than actually eat. Of course, she didn't care for the cuisine I made for lunch. So she ate her favorite - cottage cheese! I had some left over pasta that she picked at - and then apparently threw on the floor.)
(Bean loved being sung to! She just smiled and looked all around.)
(Mmmmm, cake. Bean was so dainty about eating the cake. At first, she just stared at it. I had to put her hand in it and give her icing. At first she refused - she isn't very trusting of me with food. Her friend Emelie, however, wasn't bashful! She came up and stole some icing- don't worry, I let her do it! No sense in the cake going to waste since Bean was being dainty!)
Thanks to everyone who helped out and made Bean's day so special! I definitely couldn't have done it without everyone! We are blown away by everyone's generosity and love for Bean. She got quite the haul and is enjoying every gift she got!