Saturday, November 20, 2010

James's woodland themed first birthday

Only once do you celebrate a first birthday!
From start to finish James's party was a success.

Back in August I wrote: "I am so excited for James's first birthday. I know James will not remember a darn thing from the day, and don't even have high hopes that he'll not be overwhelmed and fussy, but I want to celebrate. I want to celebrate a really great kid and a year since I became a Mama.

So I've started. For awhile now I've been thinking about and planning his woodland themed first birthday party. (I want to base it roughly off his nursery). I want to use all autumn colors (he is a Thanksgiving baby after all), have some of the decorations based on woodland animals and plants, and try to make my house feel like a magical forest."

So that was the plan. I've been working since August, and this week has been crazy! One day James and I went to a kitchen supply store to pick up real bamboo plates, one day we went to my mom's to borrow her glass toadstool collection, we've been cleaning and prepping for weeks.

I wanted everything perfect.

To make my home look like a magical forest I decided to collect the prettiest autumn leaves the day before the party and staple them to streamers, so they could be hanging from the ceiling. It worked well, and was super easy. And the magic? James thought the house was beautiful, judging by how often he'd point to the leaves and smile.
I loved how the mantel turned out.
Looks like a magical forest birthday party!
Lunch comprised of lentil soup, chips and clam dip (this recipe is a family party tradition!), turkey sandwiches on sourdough or chicken salad sandwiches on rosemary bread, and fruit salad. I also bought some fun sodas and wrapped each one in autumn paper, it pulled the entire table together.

Dessert was classic. I used the bunny cake tin my mom used for my birthday cakes the entire time I was growing up. And I made toadstool mini cupcakes. At first I was disappointed because the cupcakes looked pink, but as they set, the pink deepened to a nice red. And the bunny cake was a super easy pumpkin spice cake that everyone adored. Also, because it was a cold November day, we had to have wassail!

We tried to fit as many chairs as possible in the living room. It didn't seat the 18 guest, but it was close.
Kitchen ready for guests to arrive.
The table was great. The banner on the window behind the table is his Wolfy photos I sewed onto a ribbon.
I love the soda wraps. So easy and totally ties it into the color theme.
Aren't the glass toadstools perfect for the woodland party?

Red toadstool cupcakes!
And I was super happy with how the bunny cake turned out.
James really wanted to try some of my root beer. This series cracks me up.
Hmmm... what is this?
I must ponder this new taste sensation.
After lunch was served, presents were opened and James got totally spoiled. Seriously, who thought that he could get so many really awesome things?! He is so loved.

Red toadstool cupcakes makes for red tongues.
Present time! The xylophone was a huge hit.
Love this photo of my brother and James. They both are thrilled with the drum set Brandon brought.
Isn't this the cutest? James loves his Granny Con.
Lots of presents for a very spoiled little man.

After a mini meltdown and some time with Dada, James wanted birthday cake. I had made him his own little cupcake and topped it with a 1 candle. I wanted to light it and sing. The only problem is, as soon as he saw the cupcake he grabbed it (before the candle was lit) and shoved the entire thing in his mouth, cupcake paper and all. He LOVED it. And when it was time to pull the cupcake paper out of his mouth, he made it very clear he was over tired and ready for a nap.

Overall, it was a complete success and a ton of fun.

As I said, before I even had a chance to light the candle, James grabbed his cake.
Quite quickly he started gobbling it!
And then we tried to light the candle and have him smile without the cupcake wrapper in his mouth. Big mistake.
And it went downhill from there. Poor boy.
And I was super happy with how his birthday outfit turned out. I appliqued the store bought shirt with felt and buttons. The toadstool even has a half dozen mini buttons. Easy and fun.
PS - We missed my Grandma today, she was unable to attend due to her injuries. We missed her a lot.

PPS - We also had a photo station set up and asked each guest to take a silly photo of themselves with props provided. That post will have to wait for tomorrow, because now I'm tired, and headed to bed. Goodnight. :)


  1. Happy Birthday James! I LOVE these photos! I just love them! We will be out in Utah next week. I hope we can pop in and say Happy Birthday to Baby Man in person!

    The woodland theme is adorable and I loved all your special touches. The Wolfy pictures and the paper covered drinks are perfect. LOVE IT!

  2. Wait...I didn't mention his shirt! You made that?! I think it is the cutest shirt ever!

  3. What a fun party!! Jessica you are so creative. I'm in love with it.
    I can't believe James is already one. He's getting so big.

  4. Anonymous1:33 PM

    I had so much fun!!! Everything was so cute! All the decorations were amazing. The food was delicious too! Oh man, you should host my birthday party!

    Auntie Melissa

  5. You did an amazing job...seriously. Love the decorations. Happy 1st Birthday to James!!!!

  6. Looks like James had such a fun Bday! And what an awesome mommy you are to put so much hard work in to it. The decorations, food and his cute outfit look amazing!!

  7. This was a great party!E and J worked so hard on it and it really paid off! Thanks you guys for letting have so much fun at James' first birthday!Love you!

  8. Awwww, Happy Birthday, James! He is soo adorable! I love the theme of the party. And great idea for leaves for streamers.


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