My son loves robots (at least that’s what mommy tells him). So, for his 1st birthday I incorporated robots and aliens into the party theme. I am planning on avoiding typical character themed parties as long as possible, so robots & aliens felt a little less predictable than say, Mickey Mouse. I am dreading the day when he requests a party themed around a Disney movie or popular character, and I have to drag myself to the Party Store and fill my cart to the brim with 99¢ trinkets. Mickey Mouse stickers, coloring books, Mickey ears, Mickey birthday banner, oh and don’t forget the coordinating plates and cups. No thank you. When your child is turning one, the party is more for the adults anyway. A splash of bright color here and there, a cute invite tied in with the color scheme, yummy food for the adults and you can call it good.
I ordered the alien invite from TinyPrints.com, which is one of my favorite sites for personalized cards and great when I’m too lazy to make my own (which seems to be almost always, now that I’m chasing a toddler around).
I also made a large poster with special pictures of his first year for guests to look at during the party. It was basically a really big scrapbook page on foam-board. I had robot paper, which was the initial inspiration for the theme, so I used that as the background. I tied in the green, orange, and blue, found in both the invite and the robot paper and used those as my overall color scheme. The poster was a great focal point on our table and gave guests something to chat about and remind them of how much he had grown that year.
His birthday banner was made from the same paper as the letters on the photo board. The letters were die-cut at my local scrapbook shop, and I cut some simple triangles to place in between the words. I used a thin hole-punch at the top points of each letter and strung a thin orange ribbon through. I will admit, this banner took the man-power of 5 of my best girl friends and a couple of bottles of wine to produce. Mounting all those die-cut letters on a shadow
background is very time-consuming. And then the hole punching and the stringing… It was tedious. But in the end I have a great banner with my son’s name on it, and I will probably keep it in the rotation of birthday decor for the rest of his life!
The food was definitely my favorite aspect of this party. I tried to keep it to finger foods, instead of a heavy meal. This kept people mingling around the food and also allowed me to use my smaller appetizer sized plates for less mess at the end of the day. [Food pics below were taken by my wonderful friend Genevieve]
The caprese skewers are very simple to put together, and they are always a party favorite when paired with my yummy dijon balsamic dressing. (I will post links to these recipes soon).
I made three types of tea sandwiches: White bread with salmon spread and dill, turkey on rye with cream cheese and apricot chutney, and gooey monte cristo filled with ham, provolone and swiss. I also served teriyaki glazed meatballs to round out all of the sandwiches.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a 1st birthday without some sort of birthday cake. Every parent anticipates their child’s reaction to their first taste of cake, and we were right there with them. I was so curious if he would dive right in, or be the polite child who merely pokes it once and asks to wash his hands. The answer – he was somewhere in between those reactions. He watched us closely to gauge our reaction and see if it was ok to touch it. Once he realized there were 30 people surrounding him, cheering him on, he decided to poke at it once. I was not about to have that cake go to waste, so I decided to cut it into smaller chunks for him and see if he’d eat it then. And he did… It was pretty cute watching him shovel in the frosting (of course the frosting is his favorite; he is my child after-all).
Since he demolished the small cake on his own, I was prepared with home-made vanilla cupcakes with buttercream frosting for the adults, dressed in coordinating cupcake wrappers in orange, blue and green. The cake was was a custom-order from Whole Foods. I gave them color samples so they could match the specific shades closely, and asked for varied medium and large dots of icing. It turned out perfectly!