Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Charlie's 1st Birthday Party (and finally getting it right)

There are things you learn when you get a chance to do them a second (or third or fourth time). For me, sometimes it takes a bit of trial and error but once I figure it out, I'm set. That's how I felt with Charlie's first birthday. When Henry turned one we threw a HUGE party. Our house was bursting at the seams with people, I spent way too much on fancy cupcakes, and felt like I had used all of my energy actually planning the party, rather than enjoying my sweet boy turning one and all the love surrounding us. I told myself after that year we'd never do that again! But then his second birthday came and although I reminded myself to tone it down I went crazy with decorating and still found myself stressing out over details that let's be honest, don't matter whatsoever in the scheme of things. For Henry's third birthday I finally wised up. We had his party at a local gymnastics gym, I made homemade cupcakes, and the favors were small bags stuffed with little snacks and a small car Henry picked out himself. Easy. And so, so enjoyable.

So as Charlie's birthday got closer I promised myself I would keep it small and simple. This time we were only inviting the people that were actively in his life, not all of our friends just because they're our friends and we're having a party. Our guest list was small, and I was excited about that- it felt nice knowing there would just be family and a handful of friends helping to celebrate our Charlie. When I started to plan the decorations I felt very strongly that I didn't need to spend any money to have a great party and as it turns out, I didn't, outside of a few dollars for a big "1" balloon. This was helped by working with Tiny Prints on the invitations, but homemade invites would have been a great option too. Other than that I borrowed a garland from my sister (I'll share sources below the photos), used pictures I already had to make the photo "1", and ripped Charlie's birthday month page from our calendar to serve as the table backdrop. I typed up the "Time Capsule" sheet on our computer and printed it at home (leave your email below and I'm happy to send you the PDF), and used washi tape to hang it along with a large photo on the wall. As far as favors I wanted to avoid giving things that would end up being thrown out, so I bought some $3.50 plants at Trader Joe's and wrapped them in paper and my friend Jana made the "1" balloons that matched the invites. The kids (and adults!) LOVED them, and it was fun giving a favor that would last.

The day was SO great. I felt 100% stress free and really felt like I could enjoy the entire party, both the simple prep and spending time with people, and my focus was on what mattered- the birthday boy! I definitely appreciate a beautiful, elaborate party, and admire parents who can orchestrate them, but moving forward this little family is going to continue to keep it simple. I of course forgot to take photos for most of the party, but I do have a few to share. Thank you for all of the birthday wishes on the previous posts too, we appreciate it so much!

Happy 1st birthday, sweet Charlie!


Sources:

Stendig Calendar page- calendar via Crate and Barrel
Succulents- Trader Joe's
"1" balloons for succulents- from my friend Jana's Etsy shop
Time capsule- leave your email in the comments and I'm happy to send you a PDF
Birthday invitations- c/o Tiny Prints
"1" cake topper- I made this from heavy glitter card stock and glued a toothpick to the back
Tassel garland- borrowed from my sister, she bought it from Studio Mucci
"C" crown used as a birthday crown- Little Blue Olive
Large "1" balloon via Amazon
My dress via Anthropologie

30 comments:

  1. Looks so lovely and relaxed. Thanks for the reminder to enjoy ourselves without too much pressure to orchestrate a circus :) Happy Birthday, Charlie!

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  2. My little guy is turning one at the end of September and I love the idea of doing something simple and easy. I think we are planning on doing his favorite things all day long and having a very low key, small, party with famiy

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  3. Thanks so much for posting this. We are planning my son's first birthday party next weekend and definitely trying to keep it simple. It's so easy to get carried away and it's just not necessary (darn you, Pinterest!!)... I would love a time capsule PDF :)

    Lpjones10@gmail.com

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  4. looks like such a sweet day. charlie is the cutest :).

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  5. Oh! Nice! I'd love the "time capsule" PDF!!!

    Beautiful party! It's important to find balance in life by trying to stay in the middle path.
    Everything looks perfect!

    You should've pursued a career in advertisement, I'm sure you'd be amazing!
    (Hi, I'm rambling, somebody stop me! haha)

    Congrats for Baby Charlie and you! <3

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  6. I'd love the PDF for the Time Capsule! Thanks for offering it!

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  7. The past two birthdays I have struggled with trying to make the festivities smaller and more low key. You're totally right in that it's easy to get carried away. (I blame Pinterest)

    Either way, big or not, it looks like Charlie had an amazing birthday celebration! The time capsule is probably my favourite idea. We definitely did one for our girl's 1st birthday, and I can't wait to read them once she turns 18!

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  8. Oh, I love this. My daughter turns one in a few weeks and we're opting for something low-key with family, but I might just have to order one of those crowns...and for sure some heavy glitter card stock. :)

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  9. such adorable and simple decorations - I love that you kept things easy while still adding personal touches and giving things a special quality.

    6000milestohome.blogspot.com

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  10. Looks perfect...for the record, we threw a HUGE birthday party for the twins 1st, but that's a bit different knowing they were it for us, and not having time to see people in the first year. I don't regret it, but it was stressful. This year was cake + candles...SUPER simple, ha. And yes, much more enjoyable.

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  11. this looks perfect. my two year old's birthday is just a few days before Christmas so he's never really had a PARTY party. both years we've just made a bunch of tamales the day before and invited our immediate families and a few close friends over to eat, no gifts. sometimes I feel bad that he'll never have the big, crazy blowout kids party that so many other kids get, but most of the time I think it's nice to celebrate in such a cozy, intimate, and inexpensive (especially during the holiday season!) way. plus, kids are perfectly happy with so little - a tamale, some cake, a few balloons and a handful of his favorite people and my son is in heaven. happy birthday, Charlie!

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  12. I love this so, so much. My son is only 6 months old, but I have lots of friends with babies who have already had their first birthday parties. It often seems like a competition on who can have the biggest and most boisterous party. I really loved the idea of the time capsule - what will you do with/where will you keep all the notes until Charlie turns 18? Also, do you encourage people not to bring gifts? I feel like gift giving can get out of hand so quickly when you have lots of friends with babies who are also having parties…it adds up fast!

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  13. How fantastic!! Having 4 babes now, I have learned not to do the crazy over the top parties anymore. Love the plants as party favors and the individuals servings of veggies and dip, that is perfect. When it comes to inviting people, we do the same....just inviting family and friends who are a constant in the kids' lives. Happy 1st birthday to Charlie!!

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  14. Oh how I wish I'd figured that out sooner. Simple parties are the best. We now do family breakfast parties and have for years. Cinnamon pull apart bread is always the main attraction!

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  15. Awh these are such cute photos. Happy Birthday Charlie!

    xo
    Steph
    http://www.iolablog.com/

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  16. Ah, how lovely! Also, serving veggies in a cup with dip in the bottom is freaking genius.

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  17. What a beautiful day! And exactly what a birthday should be: friends and family and love. We are celebrating River's first birthday on Saturday and I would love the PDF!
    vasqueztribe@yahoo.com

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  18. Such a fun party and great reminder that sometimes {most times} less IS more! My sweet Smith will be one on 10/01 and love the idea of the time capsule...thank you for sharing the PDF!
    khuteson@yahoo.com

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  19. wish charlie a happy birthday from me. you must have had a lot of fun

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  20. This is great - simple is always best, in my opinion! I love the succulents, too. They're such a lovely parting gift.

    Can I ask where you got your pear print? Is it an Etsy find? I love it!

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  21. Beautiful family! I just wanted to let you know I added your party table to my pinterest and I was sure to give your blog credit!

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  22. So adorable!!! It actually looks like you spent a lot of time with the decorations. I'd love the time capsule pdf. Thanks:) alwayskissmegoodnightblog@gmail.com

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  23. What a beautiful little set up for a beautiful little boy. I love the way you decorated and that you handed out succulents as party favors!!! Such a wonderful idea! :)

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  24. I'd love to get a copy of your time capsule PDF. This post couldn't of came at a better timing. I am currently planning my sons first birthday and I am so over whelmed at everyone that we wanted to invite. Simple and small is what I'm going for. Thank U

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  25. gabbycruz@sbcglobal.net ::: I forgot to leave it in my previous comment.

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  26. love it! just goes to show a good party is all about the people and decor is just icing on top. happy birthday charlie!

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  27. Hi Daniëlle! My name is Annick and I've been reading your blog for several months now. I really enjoy the way you describe your life with your boys :-) My e-mailadress is annickdeconinck@hotmail.com
    Thank yo

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  28. Good for you, Dani! It looks like a beautiful party. Happy Birthday to little Charlie. <3

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  29. i think that this the perfect first birthday! i am throwing my sons in a few weeks and would love to use the time capsule pdf, if you are still emailing it out! my email is penny.leah@gmail.com! thank you so much; you are an inspiration!

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