#Throwback Thursday: Ella’s First Birthday Party

It’s so hard to believe that this past weekend, my little Ellabean turned TWO! It seemed like yesterday that she was born! ¬†Since I will be posting tomorrow about her second birthday, I thought today would be a great opportunity to “throw it back” to last year, when the sweet girl turned ONE! ūüôā

We planned a “Very Hungry Caterpillar” birthday for her first one — I wanted something a little different, and at the time, this was her favorite book for us to read to her. ¬†Plus, for this Pinterest-loving Momma, I was super excited to decorate and set-up a food table for this theme!

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Tree-lined backdrop was totally worth the transportation struggles!

We hosted the party at a local park in Jacksonville, our favorite one to go to that was near our home. ¬†Transport wasn’t the easiest thing, and despite people tying to convince me to host it at home, I was hellbent on having a beautiful tree-lined backdrop for my food table (silly, I know, but hey — check out the pics!). We couldn’t have had more perfect weather — it was sunny and comfortable, which is a surprise at any time in Florida.

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Close-up of sidewalk chalk art for Ella’s First Birthday!

We hand cut the pennant bunting out of colored scrapbooking cardstock, and stapled them onto white yarn. ¬†We strung the bunting around three sides of the pavilion we set the food table under. (NOTE: This bunting was time consuming to make, but I’ve used it SO many times since making it! ¬†In fact, part of the bunting is now hanging in Ella’s bedroom!) Our good friend, Amanda, was awesome to design the amazing sidewalk chalk art under the pavilion as a welcome to party guests! ¬†People raved about this design all day, and it only cost us 50 cents for the sidewalk chalk and took Amanda about 20 minutes to draw!

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Side view of the food table

The Food/Dessert table was so much fun to create! ¬†Since it was “The Very Hungry Caterpillar,” we had a lot of wiggle-room to play with the different foods featured in the book. We assembled all of the food in my tiny kitchen — which is so hard to believe, now that we’ve moved to Orlando and my current kitchen is about 4 times the size of that one (thank you!). ¬†For food, we had meat/cheese platter, veggie platter, sandwich platter, chips, bowl of “Cuties” clementines, and butterfly shaped crackers. ¬†For desserts, we had macarons (that were colored red, light green, and kelly green), cake batter rice krispie treats, cupcakes, decorative cake and Ella’s “Smash” cake. ¬†We also had three jars of fruit in the back of the table that had apples, pears, and oranges.

The cakes were a funfetti (vanilla cake with sprinkles) flavor, and the cupcakes were a mix of chocolate and vanilla. ¬†Everything had vanilla buttercream, and fondant decor. ¬†For Ella’s “Smash” Cake, we made and hand cut fondant pieces to represent the different foods eaten throughout the book. ¬†For the decorative cake, we made a caterpillar design out of circle fondant pieces and made a mini pennant bunting to match the one above the table. ¬†Each of the cupcakes had a fondant decor piece that represented a fruit eaten in the book — and I’ll note: we did NOT have cutters for these pieces. Each one was morphed by using a circle cutter or hand cut with an Xacto knife!

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Photo Prop for Ella’s First Birthday!

For activities at the party, we had a ballpit for the little ones to play in, a photo prop, a small game of cornhole, and sidewalk chalk to decorate the path leading to the party area.  The photo prop board was also hand made, and turned out super cute!  We also handmade the favor bags, had a book signing area with the gifts, and a beverage station.

Last, but certainly not least, was the birthday girl herself! ¬†We handprinted a onesie with a “1” and a caterpillar on it. ¬†We also made the green tutu and headpiece that she wore. ¬†She was so stinkin’ cute!

All in all, although it was a LOT of work to put this all together, it was totally worth it! ¬†Everyone had a great time, enjoyed the treats, and little Ella had a BLAST! Shoutouts to our AMAZING family and friends who helped us create such a memorable first birthday — with special mentions to my mom, Granny, Amanda, Wade, Natasha, Everett, Patrice, and Abbey for being CHAMPS! Wouldn’t have been able to do it without you!

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