A Circus Party ~ Grayson's First Birthday ~ The Decorations

So the good news is that my husband is quite amazing and he bought me a fancy new camera for Mother's Day...yaaaay!!! The bad news is, that just so happened to be the weekend AFTER Grayson's birthday party. Womp womp. So these pictures were taken with my little dinky point and click, and they are most certainly not the highest quality. But they got the job done.

When I was trying to come up with the "theme" for Grayson's party, I went back and forth between a few. A rockstar party was high on the list because he loves music so so much, and I also thought a pirate party would be fun. But at the end of the day I just fell in love with the idea of a circus party. I'm somewhat morally opposed to the actual circus (don't they seem kind of sad for the poor animals?), but a nice fake circus sounded great. 

Like I said, I planned this in roughly three weeks, so I'm quite pleased with the outcome. It's certainly not a "Pinterest Worthy" party, but when I realized how stressful the planning was going to be on such a cramped time frame, I quickly decided that I wanted the day to be more about celebrating my baby boy with all of our friend and family than driving myself (and everyone else) bonkers striving for perfection. So we got a slightly quick and dirty version of a first birthday part, and I absolutely loved it. And so did G man, which is what really matters.

Oh! And this will be the first glimpse into our new house! Someday I plan on doing a house tour type thing....but who knows when that will be. 

Guess we'll start outside - this wasn't too exciting, and everything out front was basically done on a whim. I decided people would need to know which house the party was at since this was the first time for most people coming to our new place, so it wasn't real thought out. But it worked!
In our front room I had my little made-over buffet front and center displaying a few photos of the baby of the hour. I also had the Dr. Seuss book "If I Ran The Circus" out to serve as a guest book of sorts. I just asked guests to leave a little note inside for Grayson to read someday. If you think this idea is genius, I totally can't take credit. I copied from one of the many circus parties that I pinned on Pinterest for inspiration. Pretty sure it was this one. But wait - don't go look at that party, it puts mine to shame.

In the front room I also displayed my favorite decoration, the chalkboard sign. I absolutely loved this thing, and it was so super cheap! I ordered it from this shop, and Racheal did such an amazing job. I hate that this is the only real photo I got featuring it. That glare, my reflection...sigh. Anywho, it was precious and I love that all of his quirky little favorites of the moment will be captured forever. 
The kitchen/dining/living area was the main area where the party took place. I ended up having two tables of food - one for sweets and one for everything else, and then we had the drinks set up on the bar - which I totally forgot to take a photo of. For food we had cheddar bacon ranch pinwheels, buffalo chicken bites, and pizza bites, along with chips and guacamole, goldfish, a few different kinds of popcorn, and peanuts - which I think people thought were just decoration, because I don't think a single little peanut was eaten. Drinks were red punch, mimosas, sangria (don't judge the alcohol, our friends wouldn't have come without it. JK!) and then just water, sprite and coke. I would say the biggest hits were the buffalo chicken bites and the sangria. Those both went quick
On our sweets table we had animal crackers, M&Ms, the goodie bags (which had rubber duckies, sunglasses, bubbles, and goldfish) , and the cakes. 

OK, can we talk about the cakes for a second? I randomly decided to post on our new neighborhood Facebook page, asking if anyone had a suggestion for someone who could do birthday cakes in our area, and like nine people commented mentioning this one woman in our neighborhood. She sent me a few photos of her work and I was sold. And you guys....they were PERFECT! Seriously, I was completely obsessed and wanted to cry when it was time to cut them. She and her mom do this out of her mom's kitchen (which sounds pretty amazing when she described it) , and they even made all the little figurine toppers and the banner! Seriously, cutest little birthday and smash cake I ever did see. Love love love.

Aside from the beverage area, which like I said, totally flaked on taking a pic of, the only other area of focus was the fireplace area where we had all the gifts, and then the backyard, which had minimal decorations. It was a gorgeous day, so several people decided to hang out back there for awhile after all the presents and cake and whatnot, so I'm glad I put up a few decorations. 

Overall I have to say I'm pretty happy with how it all turned out. Grayson had an amazing time being the center of attention, and I think our guests enjoyed themselves. I actually ended up having a lot more fun than anticipated. You know when you're the host you always feel obligated to - well, host I guess? Somehow I was able to relax a bit and just enjoy. A lot of the credit for that goes to my amazing husband, my incredibly helpful mom, and my sweet best friend Rachel, who helped blow up balloons and put out food and decorate all morning, even though she is pregnant and miserable! With everyone's help things got done and I'm pretty proud of my little last minute first birthday party. 

Now - I'll be back tomorrow (ehhhh, that's a bit iffy, not gonna lie) with the final birthday post. The one where you actually see pictures of the birthday boy :) Hope you'll join me!

Grayson's First Birthday Party ~ The Build-Up

Planning my first baby's first birthday didn't quite go down like I expected. If you guys recall, we listed our home for sale and started house hunting early this year kind of on a whim. We very quickly got our house ready to put on the market and started spending every free minute out and about, searching for the perfect place. In right around three or four weeks we sold our house, found a house, changed our minds, found another one, and got our offer accepted. We then had about a month to pack up everything in our lives and move it into our new place. I'm exhausted just typing it all out and remembering how insane it was.

After we got in to our new place and I started the incredibly fun yet ridiculously stressful job of trying to find a new place for all of our many, many things, I realized - umm, my child will be one in LESS than ONE MONTH and I need to plan an epic and memorable party. Like, yesterday. 

Oh guys. I wish you could have witnessed the insanity that my life spiraled into. Not only did I need to plan this party in less than a month, I needed to get my house in the best possible condition it could be in - like, unpack all the boxes, try and decorate it all up to my ridiculous personal expectations, paint walls - you know, all of the things that really matter. (wink wink, heavy sarcasm)

But, as A promised about 347 times in my (daily) moments of sheer panic, it all got done. Of course there were some things I wanted to happen that didn't, and decorations I forgot about, and memorable activities that I accidentally bypassed, and photos I neglected to take. But all in all it was a pretty freaking fabulous party if I do say so myself. I relaxed and had fun, Grayson adored being the center of attention, and I think our guests enjoyed themselves.

By the way, I hope the above explains at least in part why I've been totally and completely GONE from the blogging world for the majority of the past three or so months. I do intend to come back on a regular basis, but I don't think it's quite time yet. 

SO - this post was originally going to be all about the decorations and what I did and why and how and blah blah. But now that I've rambled on and on, I think it's gonna turn into a three part kinda thing. I'll be back tomorrow with the decorations, then the next day with the actual party photos that only I really want to see. That's a pretty lofty goal for a girl who hasn't blogged in months, but what can I say? I like to live on the edge. 

I'll leave you with just a couple pics of the handsome little birthday boy to entice you to come back for the real deal. 

And P.S. - I miss you all.