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!


  1. you did AMAZING!!! I can't believe you did that all in 3 weeks time!!! I feel like that I've had so much time and it won't be this good!!!

  2. This looks amazing!!! Pinterest stresses me out! My daughter will be 8 months this week and I am already thinking of her first birthday party because these parties are getting more and more over the top. Yours is perfect! Simple, fun, and totally adorable!

  3. I have nominated you for the Sunshine Award if you want to play along. You can see it here:

    BTW: I pinned this post for a possible party for Jack. You did an amazing job!


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