My Berry First Birthday Party

My first daughter/second child has a very special, close-knit relationship with Satan.

“Smile, GC…”

However, she was the best newborn baby of all time.  She slept like an angel, let me put fun things in her hair, and initially had a very calm disposition.

And then she turned one and all hell broke loose.

But before we were introduced to the wrath that is GC, she was our little sweetie pants, and therefore I thought she deserved a first birthday party that reflected her precious demeanor.

And, of course, the month of March in New York State makes us all want spring to happen as soon as possible, so we need a little fruity cheeriness.

Enter the Berry Party.  And here’s how you own a theme:DSC_0532.jpg

The first step in making a most wonderful, cutie party is to determine what kind of “mood” you want to create.  For this, I wanted a springy, bright party with happy colors, but I’m not a big fan of “girly” themes, so I went with reds, blues, a little pink, and white/cream.

… On second thought, the first step to any one-year-old birthday party is to accept that the party itself is not about the birthday kid – it’s about impressing everyone with how obsessive a mother can be about the look of the party, aka the theme.  And feel no shame, Ma.  It looks friggen awesome, so own it.

I would highly recommend scanning Pinterest for general theme ideas, if you haven’t already.  When you find the tiniest detail you like, grab onto it and build from there.  For instance, I saw this beautiful party service and absolutely died.  Though it’s light and fluffy and a little too feminine for what I wanted, I stole some ideas and made them work with my theme.  (Check out the scrap fabric banner and the individually wrapped sandwiches.)


My point is you should steal.

I continually scan Pinterest using various search words; for this party, I searched “berry party” and “strawberry party” and “first birthday” and “red checkered party”, etc.  Check out the background of this one; looks shockingly similar to the invitation I created, eh?


And from there I built a menu by searching all over Pinterest for berry recipes.

I made a spinach and strawberry salad with raspberry poppy seed dressing (to DIE for).

I also made blueberry pie pops – and the only picture I was able to get from my party was of an empty plate!  But good luck getting them to stand up straight; I basically just laid them on the plate.  But if you are, like I was, going for a “look”, I’d skip these buggers.  Messy and awkward.

The tiny decor details consisted of simple paper crafts, which were matted circles of various colors and stamped.  I used jute to wrap around the small jelly/mason jars, which you can find at Walmart, or a hardware store, or just about anywhere.

Gretta_s_custard        gretta__utensils


(My wonderful sister is a cake decorator.  Sorry, but I don’t sell her services… Yet, anyway.)

In my Pinterest searches, I found this adorable milk bottle idea, and I just had to do it.  But I’m cheap – not to be confused with frugal – and I am certainly not spending almost $50 on vintage milk bottles.  I found a different way: buy 2 or 3 packages of Starbucks Frappucchino (buy ’em at Target – way cheaper), drink or save the contents, then soak the bottles in warm, soapy water for an hour or so.  I used a razor blade to scrape off the glue and labels.  Some of the writing on the bottle is ink, so just scrub the shit out of it and it’ll come off after soaking.  And then voila – you have a beautiful, clear glass bottle.


So cute.  I filled each one with strawberry milk, and it tasted like elementary school.  And those paper striped straws are everywhere nowadays, so I’m not even going to post where I got them.  Okay, fine – I got them here, which is an excellent place for classy party supplies, though sometimes somewhat expensive.


These beautiful little suitcases were a birthday gift for my daughter, though I can’t remember now where they’re from.  But the key to an excellent birthday display table is layering.  You can use regular ol’ boxes and wrap them in pretty paper, or used wooden crates or serving platters – anything to vary the layers of food, desserts, and treats.  Remember, it’s all about the way it looks, because, believe me, your one-year-old doesn’t give a shit about any of it.

Finally, be sure to dress your kid in something that matches.  And be sure to take lots of pictures so’s you can show off later.

Happy Decorating!

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