T’s 1st birthday: an old-fashioned hot air balloon picnic

When I started planning T’s first birthday I tried to keep things as simple as possible. I chose a hot air balloon theme to match her nursery, and figured I could use a lot of her room decor for the party. Of course it’s never easy for me to hold back when it comes to crafting, and my “to make” list got a little longer than I’d originally planned. Thankfully my parents were here for the last couple of weeks before the party, so Mom happily took on babysitting duties so that I could get my craft on. 🙂 Our church’s women’s retreat was planned for the same weekend as Tessa’s birthday, so I knew I had to get everything done ahead of time. I was able to spend all day Saturday at the retreat, then drove back that night so I could be there when my baby woke up one year old!

For C’s owlish first birthday party I drew an elaborate “one year stats” chalkboard, but unfortunately I ran short on time and settled for a simple happy birthday sign. I saw this idea for a scrapbook paper/lacy doily bunting on Pinterest and decided it would be the perfect frilly, old-fashioned touch. I found a pack of coordinating floral paper at Joann’s Fabric and used it for most of the decorations.

I used the clothesline display frame from our laundry room for her monthly pictures, which I cut out and glued to the center of some paper doilies I found at Hobby Lobby (look in the cake decorating aisle). A framed photo from T’s first birthday photo shoot and a mini hot air balloon set the tone for the party. I made several of these these hot air balloons by gluing dowel rods to the edges of a basket (I found a bunch at a thrift store for super cheap) and topping it with a paper lantern, banner, and silk flowers (all from Hobby Lobby on sale). The fabric runner is left over from the quilt Mom made.

I made a simple backdrop to cover up the black hole of a fireplace so we would have a cute place for photos.

We also put her high chair there for the “smash cupcake.” She scraped the icing off, but wasn’t sure what to do with the cupcake. When she tried to throw it I put a quick end to the cake portion of the party.

For the food I did end up making most everything from scratch, including two kinds of cupcakes – chocolate with cocoa buttercream icing and cinnamon with cream cheese frosting. I tweaked some recipes from my Trim Healthy Mama cookbook (more details about that to come). They were all sugar free, but most of the guests raved about them! 🙂

The rest of the food was traditional picnic fare – barbecue chicken sandwiches, potato salad, cauliflower “fauxtato” salad, fruit, chips, and salsa. A big thanks to my parents for helping with all the food prep!

We had such a wonderful time celebrating this sweet girl. I’m so thankful for all the friends and family who joined us!

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