10 Ingredients for a Happy 1st Birthday


Tomorrow, Wednesday, January 13th, 2010, my sweet daughter Elizabeth will be ONE YEAR OLD! I cannot even believe that is possible. She has been so much fun and such a doll. To celebrate, on Saturday we had her birthday party. In honor of her birthday here are 10 ingredients you need to throw a great party.

#10 A TIME, and equally important, A PLACE.

Time: You need to consider your baby’s schedule, especially her nap time. You should try to be considerate of any other children you invite. Let’s face it, hanging out with a pack of tired and hungry babies is about as much fun as plucking your eyebrows.

Place: This should be fairly simple for most. Home is always the easy way to go and if you are lucky enough to celebrate in the summer, anywhere outside works. However, if you happen to live in a teeny tiny apartment and the weather has ceased to be cold and is just plain frigid, you need some options. We went unconventional and rented a coffee shop for a couple hours.

Elizabeth’s Party was at Aspen Coffee Company in Stillwater, OK.  This was nice because the adults could enjoy complimentary coffee drinks during the party and we got to support a local business. (A special thanks to the in-laws for help with renting the place!)

#9 Invitations

These can be anything from a traditional store bought card, a photo card you can can create online or something homemade. We went with something homemade. I went to marthastewart.com for some inspiration and she had the cutest idea for homemade invitations. The idea was to cut an apple in half the way you did when you were little and the seeds made a star. Then you cut some wedges out of the apple half and it will make a flower stamp. I loved this idea. Well screw Martha Stewart and her perfect apple stamped flowers! Mine turned out mostly deformed! I ended up using the paper I stamped as a border and ended up with these relatively decent invites.

#8 A Good Night’s Rest

I cannot stress how important this is for everyone. Baby needs to be rested so she can have fun at her party. Even more important, Mom and Dad need to be well rested so they can be patient and sweet to the birthday baby and so they won’t be grumpy with each other. So, make sure you get some ZZZ the night before!

#7 A Cute Birthday Outfit

Okay, so this probably isn’t necessary, but picking the outfit out is so much fun for mom and baby. Twirly skirts are always good for little girls! Elizabeth wore her tutu skirt and a soft billowy top with some striped leggings. She was stylin’. Keep in mind, your little one will want an under shirt or a change of clothes they can get cake all over.

#6 Decorations

Or not. Ours stayed in the bag we brought them in. We never even hung them up. Parent fail, but who cares? She isn’t going to remember that her loser parents didn’t put streamers up when she turned one.

#5 Gifts

Okay, so these aren’t actually a must! But they sure are fun! If you want to do something different: Instead of accepting gifts ask for donations to a local charity. For example, you could ask for dog and cat food for an animal shelter or diapers for a women and children crisis center. Just make a note on your invitation. And you can always let close family members give gifts so they don’t feel left out.

#4 Family & Friends

Family: You have to invite those Grammies and Grandpas and Nanas and Papas. And you can invite other family too, but don’t feel obligated to invite every single long lost relative. Your baby having a fun first birthday is more important that Aunt Ethel twice removed getting to pinch cheeks and leave lipstick smudges.

Friends: Hopefully your little one has started making friends and you can have a little baby get together! Plus it is always nice to see other parents so you can catch up and swap funny stories. And gift favors for baby’s friends are fun, but beyond bubbles, good luck with coming up with something a one year old can have as a party favor.

Family and Friends coming to the party is one of the most important part. You don’t need gifts or decorations to have a good party. Most of the fun is letting everybody hang out and watch a cute baby have fun. A celebration isn’t a celebration without good company. So make sure you enjoy the party with your friends and family, because toys will break and cake will be eaten, but the fun memories are what stick around.  (Thanks to everybody that shared Elizabeth’s birthday with us. We love you guys!)

#3 A Yummy Cake

I made this cake from scratch. It is a double layer banana cake with cream cheese frosting. I even did the decorating myself. My next entry will feature the recipe for this delicious cake. I just wanted to make this for Elizabeth’s 1st birthday.  A cupcake tree or a store bought cake would be just as good. I did choose this recipe so it would be easier on the babies’ tummies.

#2 A Cute Birthday Baby

You can’t have a party without a sweet little baby to feed messy cake to and open presents with. Fortunately I had one on hand, as you might have noticed.

#1 A Nap After the Party

Well, now you know how to throw a hoppin’ 1st birthday party!

Stay tuned for the recipe for #3 A Yummy Cake.

-Sarah, One Curly Mama


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