I will admit, I NEVER thought I would be THAT mom that goes so extraaaa for my baby’s first birthday but things change when you no longer are able to have gatherings where I live, COVID, etc. I do not need to say more. Also, this ended up being so much fun, and it made me really appreciate the act of celebrating even more. Celebrate everything – no matter what. Getting out of bed that morning, knocking off your to do-list, your baby eating cake…there’s so much to be grateful for!
Turns out, Bo is the best little “client” I’ve ever had! He did not pay me for my efforts though. Haha! 😉 Planning a birthday party is similar to planning any event, but a bit simpler in every way. We actually did two parties – one with immediate family when we were in Iowa for Thanksgiving, a week before Bo’s birthday, and a virtual paw-ty back home on his actual birthday. On his actual birthday, we also went and cut down a Christmas tree for the first time as a family of three. Last year, we were simply too exhausted and I remember sleeping for most of Christmas, so this Christmas was extra special and memorable! We ended the night with Zoo Lights at the zoo!
If you’re looking for any planning tips, here’s what I would suggest:
1. Simple is best
We chose a theme (puppies!) and stuck with it. I am a little obsessed with dogs, and Bo absolutely loves our dog, Casey. It was only fitting that we did a puppy paw-ty. I also decided to do a puppy themed baby shower, nursery and Halloween costume for Bo’s first year. Like I said, we’re a little obsessed with puppies!
With the two birthday parties, I narrowed it down to a handful of desserts (puppy chow, cupcakes and a smash cake). For the party we did with family, we had pizza for lunch (we homemade it but you can totally outsource this!) I also used a few balloons from the balloon kit I bought online for $10 or so to add some decor. Otherwise everything was already from our house! We didn’t spend more than $30 or so for both parties!
2. Don’t stress out about the details
It’s supposed to be fun! This goes back to point #1 – just keep it simple and do whatever is easiest for you. If it’s just a cake and a few people, that is good enough! I will say, I wanted just a few more details than what we ended up with (like dog-themed snacks – fetch sticks, toilet water/blue punch, a “Bone Appetit” sign, but it just didn’t happen). Between traveling and having to pack for Thanksgiving weekend, I also forgot to bring the puppy plates I had bought for Bo’s birthday but Nic’s mom is a QUEEN, and already HAPPENED to have puppy plates in the cupboard. So, maybe the real advice should be to find an amazing mother-in-law like Lisa in your life.
Also, with kids’ parties, you just also have to remember that babies are babies! They do not care what it ends up looking like, and it’s about the memories and the people you spend it with.
3. Be flexible with plans
With COVID, we had to make a few alterations to the guest list and I will admit, it was sad not to get to celebrate with people in person. But our virtual party was very easy, quick, and allowed a lot more people to join! We did not plan on two parties either, it just happened to be what it was. Also, don’t be surprised if your baby doesn’t smash the cake! Ours was surprisingly very tentative, but then after he consumed the cake, he got sugar high and couldn’t stop giggling. We laughed so much this day!
4. Timing is everything
Time the party around nap time. All parents know this though. Haha! We went with 2:30pm in between his naptimes and it was perfect. The virtual party lasted a total of 30-45 minutes or so, and chose to don it on a Saturday when most people were free.
End result – Bo and puppy approved!
Throwing a bone to these pawsome people (I’m funny!)
- Smash cake: Thanks to Miranda with Pipette Bakery for that adorable smash cake. Please check her business out! She gives all profits to those in need, and also happens to make the most incredible cookies I’ve ever tasted.
- One Year Board: A Bushel and A Peck – Kelsey got MARRIED on Bo’s birthday and still was willing to do this adorable board for Bo. We have worked together for a wedding and a styled shoot in the past. I so look forward to having this board for years and years! It really makes me smile.
- Family and friends who joined virtually and celebrated with us anyway! One day I will have to explain to Boaz just how special and loved he is.
- Pupcakes: Lemon Drop Bake Shoppe made those adorable nutella german shepherd and labradoodle cupcakes inspired by the special pups in our lives. We can’t get over how cute they were!
Thanks for celebrating with us!