Content and Photo courtesy of Christina Enriquez, Guest Post for The Bubbly Hostess. Thanks to Christina for also recently writing a column about her daughter’s birthday in the The Southeast Valley Ledger for me!
When it came time to plan my daughter’s 1st birthday party I felt a bit conflicted. Being that she is my only daughter and my last baby, I wanted to go all out and all girly but felt I couldn’t because all of my friends have boys. I didn’t think that a bunch of little boys would be too thrilled to attend a sparkly, girly tea party. So the search for a party that would appeal to both boys and girls began.
Thank heaven for Pinterest! Of course that’s where I started my search. I headed over to Kara’s Party Ideas Pinterest page and searched her boards. I finally came across this adorable nautical birthday party that was submitted by Nellie Leis of nellie*design. Nellie Leis planned a super cute nautical, shabby chic event full of mason jars, sails, and sand for her daughter Navy’s 1st birthday party. Nautical birthday for a girl named Navy, perfect right!? After looking through all the pictures and details of the party there were a few key elements that I just knew I had to incorporate into my own event. Of course I’d put my own twist on it all and make it my own. Here’s how I did it.
One element that had to be the same as the nellie*design event was one that I believe sets the whole tone for any event, the invitation! It’s the party’s first impression. The invite that inspired it all for me and began my party planning was simple and sweet. The front of it was white, with two navy colored lines and a cute pink anchor. The back of the invite was navy in color and adorned with tiny white polka dots. I ordered these personalized invites from Nellie Leis’ own Etsy site.
I printed my invites through overnightprints.com, postcard style with rounded edges. I mailed them off to our family and friends in a shabby chic flat, Kraft paper bag from Bahana Splits Boutique on Etsy that was covered in white polka dots and sealed shut with a simple stripe of pink chevron or stripped washi tape. So many of our guests contacted me simply to comment on how adorable the invite and packaging in which it was presented was.
When the day finally came to celebrate the inevitable, my baby turning one, guests were greeted with a homemade “Welcome Aboard” sign that had the familiar navy stripes and pink anchor.
Our tiniest of visitors were greeted with a goodie bag. Each brown with white polka dot paper bag (from Target) was embellished by a handpainted navy anchor and the name of each guest stamped onto it. Anchors and paint were purchased from Michaels. Making sure that each guest received the proper bag was essential due to each favor being personalized. The children received a white sailor cap decorated with a patch that sported his or her name. The sailor caps were purchased on Amazon and I commissioned Kari of Handcrafted by Kari to make the name patches that I attached to the caps. I owe a BIG thank you to her. Kari of Power Ranch is responsible for all of my favorite elements of our day. Not only did she provide the patches for each child’s sailor hat, but we also purchased my daughter’s birthday shirt and perfectly paired headband from her at a fraction of the price of many Etsy shops.
OK – some real fun stuff, the décor! I used navy and white patterned fabric to cover a few areas but since that gets expensive I also used some plastic table covers. My favorite of all the décor would have to be the “Happy Birthday Addison” banners I made using a Cricut machine. I alternated navy blue and light pink papers and patterns of stripes, chevron and polka dots. I thought it would be a bit much but I think they came out great and party goers thought so as well.
I also really loved the pink and white roses that were around the house. I used large mason jars as vases and wrapped twine around the tops of them, the twine also held a white and gray anchor to the “vase”. Mason jars were also used to display candy for guest and held utensils.
Sometimes the simplest of details make the biggest impact and get the most response from people. Guests washed all the goodies down with some amazing strawberry lemonade made by my mom and little brother. It was delicious! Like Nellie Leis, we dispensed our awesome drink from non other than a giant Mason jar, well a Mason jar drink dispenser that I found on Amazon. People loved the drink dispenser and lemonade of course.
|Food and Cake Table|
|Mason Jar Dispenser Full of Strawberry Lemonade|
Obviously the best food of all, the cake, was a big hit. My daughter especially loved the smash cake that I made her. The main cake was pretty large but I’ve never been shy to eat left over cake for breakfast so we went big. The cake was two tiers and each tier was composed of 3 layers. The bottom cake was three tiers of strawberry cake with cream cheese frosting covered in white marshmallow fondant and pink sugar polka dots. The top cake was chocolate with cream cheese frosting it was also covered in the same white marshmallow frosting and wrapped with two navy blue sugar stripes. My sister did a great job on the cakes.
My daughter’s smash cake was something I wanted to do all on my own. I made her a two tier chocolate cake, iced it with the same cream cheese frosting that covered the other cake and frosted it using a petal frosting technique I found on Hot Polka Dot in pink frosting. At first she wasn’t sure about the cake so she sheepishly poked it, tasted it, approved it then dove in! She had a blast, it was so cute but cleaning put the mess wasn’t so cute. Totally worth it though.
|Birthday Girl and Her Smash Cake|
Besides watching my daughter dive into her cake, our other forms of entertainment came from the great people at DreamlandBouncers. We have been renting from them since my sons first birthday and have always had great experiences with them, I highly recommend their services. For this party we rented a bounce house and cotton candy machine. My son would not get out of the bounce house, except for cake time that is. I hadn’t intended for the guest to make their own cotton candy but when they saw how much fun I was having doing it, they wanted to join in on the fun.
Watching my party go from a vision in my mind to a great event is always fulfilling. I can’t wait till the next one and hopefully I have inspired you go throw your little one a nautical party as well.