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Birthday Parties

Birthday Parties

Joey’s First Birthday Party Inspiration

July 13, 2015

I am in total denial that in exactly one month my newborn becomes a one year old. What? How? He’s not such a newborn, but still so pudgy and cuddly. We’ll be having a small party to celebrate his first year of life. First birthday parties are very much for the parents and older siblings since the baby isn’t really old enough to get into all the festivities. However, that is not an excuse not to have a blast celebrating!

My husband is half Italian and his extended (very fun) family still mainly lives in the Brooklyn. He loves the culture and is proud of his immigrant heritage. While Sam looks like my Scotch family, Joey has nice dark prominent Italian features. Someone comments on his perfect eyebrows and lashes every time we leave the house. Not kidding. I thought a party that pays homage to his Brooklyn Italian lineage would be fun. It also happens that nearest city to our current military station is Manhattan, Kansas. America’s “Little Apple”. We’ve grow quite fond of this little gem of a city and will be leaving next Spring, so Joey is going to have a “Big Apple Birthday in the Little Apple”. I’m impressed with my own creativity on that one.

Manhattan has a recently developed “shop, play, live, explore” area with a museum, European bakery/coffeehouse, yoga studio, children’s museum, lofts and water feature park that is set-up for kids to play (sort of a pretty “splash pad” concept). A NY style pizzeria is just a block away as well. My plan is to have a mid-day get together with moms and kids at the park so the kids can play in the water. The menu will be good (okay, amazing) NY pizza, a big antipasti salad for non pizza eaters, some veggies and beverages. For the cake I think it will be an Italian buttercream layer cake.

Since we’ll be outside I’m keeping the decorations fun and minimal without it looking too “I Heart NY” cheesy. Kanas is windy most of the time so anything not weighed down usually flies away. Maybe clear balloons filled with black confetti weighed down with NY themed children’s books. I’m still working through all my ideas, but here is what caught my eye as initial inspiration.


Joey 1st Birthday Inspiration


Napkins| Taxi| Invitation| Print| Shirt| Balloons

Birthday Parties, Entertaining

Sam’s Third Birthday Vintage Camp Party

February 26, 2015

Last weekend we celebrated Sam’s third birthday with a small Vintage Camp themed party. In an earlier post I shared my inspiration. Many of my ideas came straight from this darling party featured in 100 Layer Cake-let.

As previously mentioned in the inspiration post, I wanted to plan a party that would be full of fun details for the kids without requiring tons of work. Using lots of items I already had on hand and a few new ones, I transformed our dining room into the “camp”. Moms and younger babies hung out in the living room. Our home is small so I opted to keep the guest list small and have planned activities to keep the party contained. Sam loved every moment of his party and I think his little friends did too!

Sam requested tomato soup for the main dish but in order to keep the mess down, he compromised with Annie’s Mac and Cheese, a veggie tray, milk and apple juice. Kids sat on an over sized faux fur throw on the floor to eat their lunch “camp style”. Adults enjoyed a chili bar, corn muffins and iced tea set-out in the kitchen. Sources: Plaid Throw, Blue Enamel Cups, Orange Enamel Cups, Cabin Set, Field Notes, Wooden Utensils, Log Pencils are from Marshall’s

I found vintage Boy Scout merit badges and cards from Ebay as part of the decor.

Wooden utensils and kraft paper plates added to the rustic feel of the party.

Kids received a little Field Notes book and bark pencil as a fun take home favor.

Across from the food table, I set-up a little camping vignette with a canvas tent, felt bonfire and a few other items. The kids loved playing in the tent between activities. The banner is a quick DIY. The little green lantern is from a darling camp set Sam received as a gift from his Godparents. This has been a source of endless fun! Sources: Fox Set, Felt Fire, Canvas Tent

As the kids completed each game or activity (fishing, “archery” clothespin game, art and fire safety) they received a merit badge to pin on their shirt. The badges were a simple DIY made of felt and hot glue. The invitation noted attire to be “plaid shirt and jeans”. Sources: Fishing Set

After a very cold week of snow, Saturday turned out to be sunny and beautiful.  The kids loved running around in the warmer weather before getting a quick lesson in fire safety and preparing s’mores in the backyard.


After the bonfire, the kids came inside to sing happy birthday and enjoy cake. My little Sam LOVES chocolate (just like his mom) and requested a chocolate cake with chocolate icing. I made a basic chocolate cake with added mini chocolate chips. For the icing I made a raw cocoa buttercream frosted in an ombre design. Sources: Cake Stand, Moose 

Photos taken by my sweet and talented friend Lori Barnes!