July 29, 2018

Oliver’s 1st Birthday Party

As I mentioned in Lilly’s party post, she hijacked her brother’s birthday theme and I’m so glad she did. I ended up loving our second option so much more. Since Oliver is always in a good mood, so smiley and chill, I went with a happy camper theme, which fit perfectly for summer. I’d, obviously, never planned a boy’s birthday before and never really work with a brown, green or neutral palette (save for some rustic elements at Lilly’s garden party) so it was really fun to mix it up. Of course, I still had to get my pops of color in there with blue and yellow accents.

How cute are these bear plates?

Wait, how old is he? Custom cookies by Mama Luu Kitchen on Etsy.

These Meri Meri plates were the inspo behind the party and the color palette was formed from them. Loved these leaf napkins and animal ears from them too.

I like to add a personal touch to the table whether it be a photo, sign or name banner. I found a white canvas O at Michael’s and decided that would be my custom element this year. I tried to echo the plaid pattern used throughout the party, even buying a sponge I cut down to a small square and painstakingly dipped into paint and placed on the oversized letter. The finished product looked like Oliver did it, which would be fitting, still, it was a little too hot mess for my taste so I covered the whole thing in blue and actually really ended up liking the second, less sloppy version. Let’s pretend it was always meant to be that way. Such vision, I have! 😉

These mason jars are from our wedding. Both my parents and Zach bitched about saving them, driving them the whole way back from Florida and storing them in their basement for years and now in our attic. But guess what? I’ve used them at least a dozen times since then for various reasons. I couldn’t decide on thin or thick ribbon and polled you guys on Stories, the new, modern day version of Choose Nat’s Next Adventure, determined  with daily, much smaller decisions than which trip to go on or how to style my hair . Love interacting with you guys in that way!

Why wouldn’t the water balloons be color coordinated? Have we met?

I often over do it. I bought blue bags I was planning on stamping with custom cut sponges in the shape of trees or teepees. After my O disaster, I decided to simplify things and used the thick plaid ribbon I opted against for the mason jars and tied them to already owned white bags and I loved them so much more than my pre-meditated, over-complicated original idea.

We stayed on brand throughout the entire party.

The favor bags included these natured themed bandages from the Target dollar bin.

And these adorable, DIY camp journals.

In addition to journals, cookies and bandages, the favor bags also contained mini flash lights, compasses, binoculars, magnifying glasses and tattoos (these too!).

I also like to have a few personal keepsakes the kids can have to remember the party by and, over the years, collect (children are amazing little hoarders!) and look at from time to time. I found this cute camper in, where else, the Target dollar bin! The journal which I had guests sign came from Paper Source.

Lilly had the honor of writing the first note to her brother.

I was originally going to do a s’mores bar (I even had a sign made and got color coordinated skewers) but we’ve done a lot of marshmallow roasting at our place and, frankly, I feel like it’s kind of overdone right now. I’m always trying to stretch myself and do something new, fun and fresh. Having said that, s’mores had to be included somehow, it’s a camping party after all. I contemplated one huge s’more cake but had already decided on a s’mores dip that I’d been wanting to try and these super easy sticks that the kids and adults alike scooped up. Should’ve made a million more. Lilly suggested a tent cake and while I love having her input, I felt like with the actual teepee and cookies bearing its likeness, we had enough of that too. Then I found these trees and was sold. A super simple, white (ice cream) cake with tree toppers and a letter set I bought but never used for Lilly’s 4th birthday party made for a perfect and pretty accompaniment to the rest of the table.

I love a big balloon. These oversized round ones (blue, yellow, green) made such an impact and with ones this large, you only need a few!

I found the tree “stump” from Micahel’s and used as a cake plate for Oliver’s smash cake that I made (can you tell?). I think it’s kinda crazy to spend a lot of money on a cake that a baby is going to destroy and he’s the only one eating it. Plus, I like putting a little mama love into it.

I always try to get flowers that reflect the theme too. Assorted kinds of wildflowers felt natural for a camping fete. I love this muddy boot vase I found from King’s grocery store, of all places. I just wish I had cut the stems shorter so they were flush with the vase and at a better, varying height to the O. It’s this kind of stuff that haunts me at night. That and world events. Yes, I’m crazy.

I used rocks from our yard to secure the s’more skewers to keep with the nature theme.

These s’mores sticks couldn’t be simpler. Melt some chocolate, crush some graham crackers and dip. It’s really fun for kids to do with you too!

My friend, Brooke, caught me in my natural element.

We kept it simple and served ice cold lemonade with the option of it spiked with vodka and your choice of mint or rosemary. (There was also wine, beer and water in a party tub over ice.)

I like to have lots of little games and activities stationed about to keep the kids (and adults!) entertained. I picked up this table tennis set from Target and used a white paint pen to add a monogram of the main man’s name to give it a personal touch.

In addition to corn hole from our apple picking party, I bought this mini skee ball set and painted it to go with the rest of the decor.

I found these fun zorb balls that the kids could bounce off each other with and roll around in the yard. It was hilarious to watch!

The guest of honor finally got up from his nap and, for the first time in his entire little life, was in a bad mood. That’s what you get for making the party a happy camper theme.

Oh well. Back to the big kids. Often, I’ll set up activities or crafts and they fall flat. One or two do them, spend a few moments and it feels like it was all a waste of time, energy and resources. But this scavenger hunt I threw together at the last minute with plastic trinkets from Party City and some of my old stationary? It was a major hit! It was so fun to see the kids get so into it!

I was also able to put those unused blue bags, originally intended for favors, to good use!

Who are you and what are you doing in my birthday ball pit?

While Ollie was scowling, his sister and her friends helped themselves to a s’mores stick or seven.

The birthday boy warmed a bit in his parents’ arms but we still couldn’t get him to crack a smile.

Leave it to Daddy to get a slight smirk.

The big moment. He was more interested in the candle than the cake.

Much like his sister on her first birthday, he wasn’t really down with the cake (yet another reason I’m glad I make the $2 box version!). A few licks of icing and he was over it. He chose to eat a Mum Mum cracker and banana instead.

The s’mores skillet dip was also super easy. Fill the pan with chocolate chips, top with marshmallows, heat in the oven for 8-10 minutes at 450 and serve with graham crackers. SO GOOD.

Please note the chocolate all over her face. Whose party is it?

What’s a good summer party that doesn’t turn into a wet and wild event?

These campers had quite the time.

Meanwhile, this guy was much happier in his house with his mama. Forget the smash cake, it was all about the cookie.

I probably say this about every one, but this truly was my favorite party. It was super small, no stress, totally laid-back and chill with some of my favs, I loved the color palette and decor and, most of all, it who it was for- the one who almost wasn’t here, my last child, my boy… It was made all the more special because we were celebrating our little rainbow baby and mostly happy camper, Oliver Thomas.

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