Happy Birthday Dear Chase

Happy Birthday Dear Chase

Part of my old persona that was left behind with the placenta, was “party planner extraordinaire”.  It has been way too long since I hosted a big bash so I decided Chase’s birthday party would be the perfect excuse to throw myself into the planning.  I also thought I’d take advantage of the fact that my son can’t talk yet and do the party planning around my tastes.  I’m sure next year it will  be all about Chase’s current obsession whether that be cars, Thomas the train or Mickey Mouse.  This year’s theme?  Hot air balloons in bold primary colors with a bit of a retro vibe…think red & white stripes, pennant flags, pin wheels and retro candy.  This is what we did:
  • Invitations:  I used the Martha Stewart Craft Studio app on my ipad to make a custom invitation that I emailed to guests.   This took me all of 10 minutes and I saved on postage and paper.
     Attire: At the market we found a cute t-shirt with an iron-on tie for $10 so we paired that with the smallest Levi’s I’ve ever seen in my life!  We polished off his outfit with a pair of matching black high tops with lime green laces. 
    – We tied balloons in primary colors to the front outside Bannister with colorful ribbon (a classic idea for kids birthday’s yet so perfect with our balloon theme)
    – We blew up red, yellow, blue and green balloons and strung a needle and thread through the knots of them to make a balloon streamer that we hung from each corner of the room.  The kids loved this!!  Another great idea off of pinterest!
    -We had 4 various sized  & colored paper lanterns that were hung at different lengths above the buffet table. One of these paper lanterns was made into a hot air balloon by hanging a favor basket off the balloon using red & white bakers twine.  We also adhered a monogram “C” on the front of the paper lantern
    – My sister used pictures of Chase throughout his first year to make a collage in the shape of a “1” which we printed and hung on the wall at the party.
    – I ordered a set of fabric pennant flags from a vendor off Etsy.  She did a fantastic job making them to our specifications and now that the party is over, they make a great addition to our play room!
    – The dining room table was covered with a white table-cloth and set up for guests to serve themselves buffet style.  The guests worked their way around the table collecting coordinating plates, cups and cutlery then moved onto the food and drink spread on the other side of the table.  We had a cute little cupcake stand displaying cupcakes with white icing and sprinkles.  A jar filled with layered  retro candy such as jelly beans, tootsie rolls, peppermints, suckers and candy sticks, was placed as one of the centerpieces.  The other centerpiece we made using an Ikea fabric bin from our playroom that had he number “1” on it.  We placed flower foam inside the bin and covered it with shredded crinkled white paper.  I made pin wheels in my scrap room using retro hot air balloon paper and coordinating brads and mounted them on straws with red and white stripes.  I stuck a bamboo skewer inside each straw and stuck the pointy end of the skewer into the flower foam creating a bouquet of pin wheels.
  • fruit skewers in rainbow presentation
  • pasta & potato salad
  • hot dogs & cheeseburgers with all the fixin’s
  •  lemonade punch
  • sundae bar complete with whipped cream, chocolate syrup, cherries & sprinkles

Instead of cake we opted for cupcakes.  My mother in law baked my favorite kind of carrot cake with pineapple, coconut, raisins and walnuts and even made mini cupcakes for the babies.  My sister-in-law iced them with cream cheese frosting and threw on some rainbow sprinkles.
Our guests were varied in age but since it was a baby’s birthday, we decided to skip on games and make it a more casual BBQ & play time.  My sister-in-law had primary colored bins in the living room filled with little people and wooden toys that kept the babies entertained in between the typical birthday party events.  We did however have a  photo booth set up for a mini session with my brother-in-law,who was kind enough to be our photographer for the day. Check him out here: http://www.scottoldford.ca/ We found a giant wicker basket with handles and tied primary colored balloons filled with helium to the handles and used red balloons as “sand bags” .  We stationed this outdoors to get a tree backdrop and had each of the kids sit in the basket for photos.  This was a great hit with the parents.

Party Favors: 

Next to the door we had an old-fashioned candy jar filled with bundles of yellow, red, blue and green suckers that were tied with red & white bakers twine.  The kids also had fun with party hats and rainbow favors, like my niece Olivia.

Well, Chase had a ton of fun at his party but was super tired.   It’s a long day for a one year old!  Birthdays are  known for the gathering of friends and family, the gifts, the food…which we certainly enjoyed, but I also took the time to reflect on his actual birth and all that he has experienced this past year.  I thought about how lucky he is to be with a family who loves him, who will ensure he has everything he needs and more and I realize more than ever how important it will be to instill certain values in him.  Responsibility, accountability, appreciation, humility and generosity.  Oh, how delightfully intimidating it is to know we are entering the prime years for teaching values.  So, I guess I also took the time to reflect on the year to come too.  Happy birthday dear Chase.



  1. Stephanie - October 16, 2012

    Looks like so much fun Sarah! Wish we were there <3

  2. MrsV - November 5, 2012

    This all looks amazing!

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