Another Birthday for the Books
Turning one is a “one-derful” occasion that deserves a grand celebration! Here is a recap of the fun filled “One-derful” Woodland Adventure birthday party we held for our little one!
Inspired by the books:
- Hedgehugs by: Steve Wilson and Lucy Tapper
- Hedgehugs and the Hattipillar by: Steve Wilson and Lucy Tapper
(If you haven’t read these books…YOU NEED TO! They are the cutest stories with rich language and pictures that really add to the story.)
A New Motto: Simplify
Another birthday has come and gone for my little ones! I can now sit back and sigh a little sigh of relief knowing that it was pulled off without a hitch! Sure there were hiccups. The day ended up being 94 degrees with a 25+ mile an hour wind, both of which makes outside parties a challenge. But we all pulled together and made it work.
As a mom who has done a “big” birthday party 7 times now, I’m realizing it is okay to just let things go and just enjoy the moment. Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook and the internet has glorified these parties to become big ordeals with gorgeous decorations, perfect looking food, and elaborate activities. They have made the whole party become a big production with all the stress of what it “should” be.
I know first hand that stress. I’ve been fallen into the trap numerous times. You can see one of them here.
The one thing that keeps me doing these parties is the fact that the girls will talk about them ALL the time. They will bring up little details throughout the year that I never would have thought that they remembered. To me that is most important. It is a big deal to them and therefore I will continue to throw them the best birthday party that I can. However, I’m sticking with my new motto of simplifying things as much as possible!
I embraced the simplification as much as possible this time around and it made the party so much more enjoyable for me. There were a few decorations that were made that added to the “one-derful” Woodland Adventure. But as you will see when you read on, my village really came through on the decorations this year! I also tried to get food that fits the Woodland theme but my other stipulation was that it had to be easy! And there were no themed games but we had TONS of water fun (totally not related to a “One-derful” Woodland Adventure) since it was SOOOO hot!
It does take a village.
The other amazing this about this “one-derful” birthday is the fact that so many amazing people pulled together to help with this party! As you can see when you read below I have some amazing people in my life! They are pretty “one-derful”! (Sorry I just couldn’t resist!) Like I said before, it takes a village!
It is tradition that my mom makes the cake and the smash cake. The girls have always loved the fact that their Mema makes the cakes for them. And let me personally tell you that not only do they look amazing but they taste delicious! Fitting with the “One-derful” Woodland theme and the story Hedgehugs, she made a hedgehog cake!
For another feature of a gorgeous cake that Mema made, check out my two year old’s Party Animals Birthday!
“One-deful” Woodland Decor:
My amazing friend came and made the high chair fabric banner with my girls while I was helping my husband lay bricks for a new patio. (Yes, we were crazy enough to put in a new patio ourselves two weeks before the party! It was down to the wire getting it done but we pulled it off and I’m so happy with how it turned out! It got a good workout the day of the party!) These banners are super easy to make. Just find fabric that matches your colors and theme.
That same friend and I actually sewed the big Happy Birthday banner for my oldest’s first birthday. I love the rich look of the cloth banner and the colors seem to work for every theme we have had. I’m not going to lie, it was a lot of work to make the banner. We had to sew all of the triangles and then ironing on the letters. I’m not a sewer so this was a daunting task. Thankfully my friend is amazing and she walked me through it. Best of all, once it is complete it really simplifies things for all the other birthday parties!
My wonderful sister had been looking at every target in the twin cities for the number one balloon at their dollar spot. She did end up finding it right before the party. When we opened the package, it was less than a foot tall and there was no way to put helium in it. Thank goodness the 50-50 Factory Outlet has every number balloon available and so she ran and got helium put a number 1 from their store!
Another amazing friend of mine helped created the adorable onsie for her birthday! It says “One-derful” on the front and has a number one with a bow on it on the back! I’m in love with how it turned out!
Those of you that read the blog frequently or who check our Instagram probably know I LOVE Shutterfly! A few months before the party I got an email with an offer for a free poster! I decided to create a number one poster with a few pictures of the birthday girl! Not only is it a cute decoration but it is also an amazing keepsake! I’d say it turned out “one-derful”!
When I was shopping for the fabric for the high chair banner, I stumbled upon these cute wooden animals at JoAnn Fabric. I nabbed up a few and set them up near the food. I also have little chalkboard signs that I’ve found at the Target Dollar Spot that I use for every birthday to label the food. These are great since I can label the food to what the theme is for each party and just erase it for the next time. Simple: my new motto here!
Another talented friend made the gorgeous 3-D flower banner that went above the food table! She couldn’t even come to the party because she was out of town but she was so sweet to help with the decorations! I love the flowers because in the book Hedgehugs and the Hattipillar, they get flowers stuck to their quills that look quite similar!
I tried to keep the food as simple as possible while still sticking to the theme. The main part of the meal was the brats (a.k.a. logs). For sides we had salad (Field Greens), fresh fruit (wild berries and melons), pretzel sticks (twigs), and celery with peanut butter and raisins (ants on a log). I put the pretzel stick “twigs” in brown paper bags with the tops rolled down. Originally I wanted to place these bags outside on the tables for people to snack on through the day however, with such strong winds we had to keep it all inside.
The week before the party I found this cute little Melissa and Doug lemonade/grocery store at a thrift sale! It worked perfect for a drink station! I knew that keeping everyone hydrated would be critical on a scorching hot day! We refilled the lemonade often as well as had water and other adult beverages in coolers near by.
Since it was a birthday for a one year old I decided I would relax a little and not stress about planning games and activities. I did cover the tables with white rolls of paper and put mason jars of colored pencils on them. (Originally I wanted to fill the jars with crayons but that would melt in the scorching heat!) People could decorate the tables with any little drawings and messages that they wanted.
Other than that, I just wanted everyone to stay cool! I told anyone with children to have them come with swimsuits! We set out our pool and our water table. (I’ve raved about this water table on our Products We Love page.) Then we borrowed a pirate water table and the giant inflatable water slide from neighbors! The kids were more than entertained for hours! They had so much fun hopping from different water thing to another. But, by far their favorite was of course the water slide! After the party my husband came to the conclusion that investing in a blow up water slide like this is totally worth it for anyone who has children!
It was another “one-derful” party for the books! I couldn’t have done it without my village. For more on my village click here!