Tuesday, August 23, 2011

First Birthday Party Organization

There are two and a half weeks until Baby Boo's 1st birthday and her 1st birthday party!!!

I'm not usually a list making kind of person - I'm just not that organized. I did make one this time though because I want to try to make the actual weekend of the birthday party relatively stress free and that means I can't leave everything until the last minute. This is what I came up with a few months ago:
  1. Rent park pavilion
  2. Figure out color scheme
  3. Make decorations
  4. Try making marshmallow fondant trial cake
  5. Figure out design for actual cake
  6. Figure out food for party
  7. Design invites and order them online 
  8. Send out invites
  9. Buy Hailey's birthday presents
  10. Decide on a birthday outfit for Hailey to wear

As you can see, there are several things already done which I am very proud of - half of the list to be exact so that is pretty good.

   1. Rent park pavilion - The park has been rented out for a few months now. I didn't get it for Baby Boo's actual birthday which is a Saturday because that date was taken months before I even asked. I did get that Sunday though which works fine for a kid's party.

   2. Figure out color scheme - Just this past weekend I decided on a color scheme for everything. I am going with pastel yellow and peach/coral. If you ever want some great inspiration for colors - whether it be for a party, a bedroom, or clothing - I highly recommend checking out Design Seeds. This website has swatch after swatch of beautiful color combos and I rather enjoy scrolling through them all. I really like this one for the party:

   3. Make decorations - Being a simple birthday party, I'm not sure that I will incorporate the green in the mix simply because of the number of colors, but maybe I can get a splash of it in here and there too. Now I need to check party supply stores and see if these colors are feasible for plates, cups, and table cloths. I don't think it will be too huge of a party so I don't have to break the bank getting the supplies. For the decor I would love to make tissue paper pom poms. Here is a great tutorial for them from Martha Stewart's website:

They look pretty easy to make, I just need to find a good price on tissue paper in the right colors. That might be easier said than done, but I will try. If that doesn't work out I can always do a pretty balloon garland. That would be less labor intensive for me since I can just get my hubby to blow balloons up for an hour the day of the party. The rest is just stringing them up.

   4. Try making marshmallow fondant trial cake - I am definitely using marshmallow fondant for the cake on party day. Check the link on the list above to check out that recipe and see how well the trial went.

   5. Figure out design for actual cake - I still don't know how I want to decorate the cake itself. I do know I want to make it a 2 tiered circle cake and that I want it to be somewhat minimalist, but I don't know any specifics. For months I have been checking out pretty fondant cakes on Pinterest or google images and getting ideas. Now my head is chock full of ideas, but I can't narrow it down to what I want. Hopefully I will come up with something soon. Who knows, I might just wing the design - some things I do much better off the cuff versus planning them out.

As for the cake itself, I am considering doing a chocolate cake with raspberry filling and white chocolate buttercream. I need to find a recipe for that because no, I have no idea what I'm doing. The reason I'm thinking chocolate is because I like the contrast and unexpectedness of the dark chocolate color compared to what will be a crisp pastel colored outer layer of fondant. I am a sucker for a delicious white cake though so I am not 100% set on the chocolate yet. I would consider red velvet, but that is kind of a huge distraction from the color scheme, not to mention a potential nightmare with the stains that little kids can produce.

I need to do a smash cake for her too. That will be made of buttercream only because I want it to be extra messy!

Before I move on, there is one last little detail about the cake; I bought a cake stand the other day. I have never owned a cake stand so I figured that I should probably get one eventually. I found a cute white porcelain one from TJ Maxx a few months ago and decided that if it was still around come August, that I would buy it. If I remember right, it was originally around $50 and was reduced down to $24.99. I went into TJ Maxx last weekend and there was 1 left in the size I wanted. It didn't have a price sticker on it, but I knew it was more than $30 so I decided to go for it. At the register they hemmed and hawed over the price for a couple of minutes. I told them that I thought it was $24, but I didn't know for sure. A manager got called over and she told them to give it to me for the price of the smaller cake stand from the same line. That stand was $12.99, but was on clearance for $9. . . so I got my large stand for $9! Woot!!! The stand is made to have a ribbon strung through the skirt of it so I can customize that however I want. Here is a photo I found online of a similar stand to give you an idea. the one I bought is chilling in the trunk of my car still.

   6. Figure out food for party - I am pretty sure I want to do grilled meat and veggie skewers for food. That way there is variety so that everyone can enjoy, and it is relatively simple to set up. The only down side is that it could get a little pricey depending on what kind of meat I decide to use. I'll revisit this a little later I think.

Secondary to the main meal of the party, I want to make little meringues as little treats in addition to the birthday cake itself. I got the idea from Sweetapolita which has some amazing eye candy on their website/blog. Here are the meringues:
They are pretty, feminine, classy, yummy, and easy to make.
Sounds like a no brainer to me.

   7. Design and order invites online - The invited were designed on Photoshop and ordered off of Winkflash. They came in yesterday's mail and they look great. I like Winkflash because they are one of the few places that I found that allowed me to print a custom 4x8" photocard. Almost all card places make you use their templates which I was not interested in.

   8. Send out invites - I need to address envelopes tonight and get them mailed out so that people have enough notice. Lots of family and close friends already know about the date so the invite is just a cute extra anyway. Here is the design I made using good ol' Photoshop:
Hopefully I have enough stamps.

   9. Buy her birthday presents - If you look very closely on the invite (you may have to squint), I put no gifts necessary on the lower right hand corner of the text box. The reason for this is that my house is rather overrun with toys and Baby Boo won't care one way or another if she gets anything. I'm sure plenty of people will still buy her things, but I don't want them to feel pressure to do so at all.

For that same reason I had a hard time coming up with something good for her present from us. I did decide that Baby Boo would really enjoy some classic wooden blocks - something we really don't have at our house. I ordered some nice ones from Amazon for her. I got her a couple of wooden baby puzzles for her too. I'm hoping to have very few toys that require batteries in my house.

  10. Decide on an outfit for the birthday girl to wear - I haven't put much thought into Baby Boo's outfit yet. I may go with a pretty dress, or maybe a onsie with a tutu that matches her party colors. I definitely need to revisit that one too. I may do both a dress and tutu since I will be needing a pre and post smash cake outfit.

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