Allie’s Winter One-derland

It’s been a couple of weeks since Allie’s first birthday party…but, I only just took the decorations down. So, I thought I might as well share a few photos of our baby girl’s big day!

Since Allie has a February birthday, I decided to go with a Winter One-derland theme. As soon as B heard about the theme, she asked me every day if it was “time for Allie’s wintery party?” That kid loves a good celebration!

I found an adorable invitation on Etsy, and set to work pulling together some pink and gold decor, which was a mix of DIY elements and repurposed Christmas decorations.

Some “in-progress” shots from the party prep

Chester was especially excited to spend an evening punching out a million little snowflakes for the garland, as seen above. And, since I hadn’t done anything remotely creative in forever, it felt good to pull out the glue gun again.

Everything all together, over the fireplace

A’s monthly photos and some of my after Christmas Target/Pier One finds

And, then, because the universe is hilarious, it was 73 degrees and sunny on the day of the festivities. I suppose this was fortunate, because I forgot to get tights to go with Allie’s tutu and onesie ensemble. At least her little legs weren’t cold!

For the food, we ordered hoagies and sides from Primos, but I did make some snowflake shaped sugar cookies and setup a hot chocolate bar with a variety of toppings. This slow cooker hot chocolate is my new favorite, mostly because the longer it sits, the thicker it becomes!

The centerpiece of the buffet was this amazing cake from Sweetbox Bakery. We had this cake for B’s second birthday and it’s now our go-to special occasion dessert. The cake itself is light and fluffy, and the icing is a combination of marscapone, cream cheese and, I assume, crack.

Allie was in a serious mood on the day of the party, due in part to some teething difficulties (which have yet to result in an additional teeth making their appearance). She didn’t let that get in the way of enjoying the sweets!

Slightly confused by the “Happy Birthday” serenade

I was especially excited that the party would provide an excuse to entertain in our new home. We would have never been able to fit 20 plus people in our old house. And, as a result, most of our family gatherings have either been at my mom’s or in the case of all of B’s birthdays, at an outside venue. I’m looking forward to filling our home with family and friends for years to come!

And, finally, what would a post about a first birthday be without sharing a few photos of Alice’s cake smash session with the talented April Ziegler

Not as pretty as our Sweetbox Cake, but I made it myself!

She was hesitant at first, and seemed unsure if she could touch the cake, let alone eat it…

But, I put a little icing on my finger and she quickly got the hang of it!

She certainly did not have the same tearful reaction that her sister did!

Allie loved this birthday crown, and I was so surprised that she kept it on for her photo shoot AND party!

First Birthday Bash!

We continued to celebrate Little B’s birthday into the month of September with a fun, little party for family and friends. Turning one is a big milestone, so it totally deserves multiple celebrations, right?

In my typical fashion, I overthought every element of the party (an occupational hazard of a career in event planning is that it has a way of taking some of the fun out of personal celebrations). Starting with the location.

I wanted to keep things pretty casual and cost-effective, but there was no way we could host a group of 30-plus people in our tiny house. I thought about renting a picnic area at a local park, but wasn’t thrilled about having to deal with permits or inclement weather. The local play places (such as Nest and Smith Playground), were nice, but pricey. These options will be great for the future, but with a guest list comprised of mostly adults and kids that aren’t really walking yet, they didn’t seem like the best fit for our group either.

At a loss, I asked for ideas on a local parenting message board that I frequent, and someone shared that they hosted a first birthday party at a frozen yogurt bar in their neighborhood. This seemed like a brilliant way to keep the kids and adults happy. So of course, I stole the idea and called up at Zoey’s in the Italian Market. They had a small, private room in the back that was the perfect size for our group and every flavor of frozen yogurt and type of topping imaginable Perfect!

I considered a few themes, but in the end, decided to keep things simple and just focus on the birthday girl and her milestone age (that, of course, didn’t stop me from obsessing about what color plastic utensils to buy, of course. Everyone who works at the Party City in South Philly now knows that I am insane.).

The pink/orange/polka dot/chevron decor followed from the adorable printable invitations, banners and favor tags that I purchased from Etsy seller Ooodles and Doodles. We added in a few DIY elements, including a chicken wire picture frame to display her monthly photos (thanks, Checkter!) and cupcake liner flower centerpieces that I stayed up way past my bedtime to put together (if you are wondering, I debated over just the right colors/patterns of said cupcake liners for way longer than necessary. Everyone who works at the AC Moore in South Philly also knows that I am insane). We brought in hoagie trays from Sarcone’s and a seriously delicious Funfetti cake with vanilla buttercream from Whipped Bakeshop and we were ready to party.

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And, of course, everyone had all the sweet treats that they could handle! (It’s a little hard to appreciate in these photos, but I would like the point out that the birthday girl fit right in with the color scheme with a special outfit from Etsy seller PDS113. She also had an adorable headband from Pretty Little Elm, that didn’t stay on for long).

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Vanilla yogurt and mango sorbet for the birthday girl!

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She was scooping up yogurt by the handful during these photo ops!

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With Auntie B, Uncle B and Joey!

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She had no problem smashing up her cake here!

We were so fortunate to be able to celebrate B’s special day with our amazing family and friends.

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With Grauntie, Granny, Lola and Lolo. Even after several takes, we failed to get a photo in which everyone was looking at the camera.

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Former carpool buddies, plus one!

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B’s newest friend + the youngest party guest, four-week old Carmendy and her dad, Richard. You must click over to Louisa’s blog for the story of how she made her entrance into the world.

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Jack, B’s future husband.

Thanks to everyone who joined us!

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The after-party, at home