Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Teddy Bears' Picnic 1st Birthday Bash

Okay, bash is a bit of a stretch, it was definitely closer to a celebratory playdate, but holy so much easier, more enjoyable and less stressful than trying to throw a bash.  Probably for everyone, not just me.

Our friends who attended all said what a great job I did and how cute things were, yet I brushed it off because in reality, I reused so many things we had and really didn't have that many crafty DIYs - something I usually go overboard on.  However, looking through these photos I am seeing it through a different set of eyes and am really proud with how everything turned out, even if I felt like it was a bit half assed compared to how I usually plan a party.


As I previously mentioned, we went with a Teddy Bears' Picnic theme.  I have a copy of the book from my childhood, one of my favorites that I made sure to keep, and we read it to Ashlynn often. It actually still has the record in the back, not that she'll ever understand what that is outside of a funny looking frisbee.  While Kenley isn't obsessed with story, her favorite little lovey (next to her linus-style carry everywhere blankie) is her little teddy bear.  I thought it would be cute to have all the kids bring their teddy bears and since we would be decorated for the holidays sticking to a theme based around red and white would keep my OCD from either taking down all the holiday crap or completely bugging out over things completely clashing. 


We only invited a few local friends since we wanted to keep the number of children to a non-stressful amount, less than ten, and knew rsvps might be low during the holiday season.  We had it Sunday morning from 10-12 knowing that anyone with kids would be up early enough, that it would hopefully fall between any naps, and everyone would be home in time for football and Sunday relaxing.  After trying to think of "bear" related foods, I just nixed it and went with easy brunch.  Panera bagels, donut holes, and some fresh bearies with yogurt dip.  Of course I threw in some cups of Teddy Grahams and had to have some cookies and cake with it being a party and all. We also had a coffee bar of Irish Coffees with Baileys and Tullamore Dew, Bellinis, and chocolate and strawberry milkboxes for the kiddos.  





The happy birthday banner I bought for Ashlynn's first birthday and have reused it for every birthday since. 


The letters I DIY'd a few weeks back.  I saw the cardboard letters at JoAnn's while picking up gingham fabric for Kenley's skirt.  I think they were about two bucks each and I just painted the bottoms white for a dipped dyed effect.  I actually had planned to make a lot more with the red gingham fabric, but alas, never got around to it.  My left over yardage left me with the perfect table runner to cover our white table cloth I never got around to ironing, and concealing the majority of the wrinkles. This is real life. 


I took a complete risk attempting an at home "naked" cake for Kenley's smash cake.  I used box cake mix (always) and homemade buttercream icing.  I used this tutorial by The Alison Show to make the little mini cakes since my smallest round cake pan is 8" and Kenley didn't need to smash into that!



Emily at Dear Owen was so sweet to offer to design us some adorable placemats.  I made one for each "older" kid, as in could sit in a child size chair to eat.  The reverse side was an adorable play doh mat.  And while I should have made another batch of homemade playdough like I did for Ashlynn's favors, I grabbed a set of ten fruit scented generic mini tubs at Target for $5.  I threw in a mini fruit shaped cookie cutters so the kids could cut out play doh shapes to fill their picnic baskets.  I took the PDF downloads Emily sent me to FedEx and had them printed and laminated.


The only other DIY aside from sewing Kenley's skirt and baking the cookies and cake, were the bear ear headbands. After getting a few quotes from bow shops, I decided to just try it myself.  I ordered 10 headbands for about $7 total and used felt (and hot glue) I already had in my stash, but it probably wouldn't have cost more than $3.  Emily supplied the cute print to play off the story book, which I just printed at home.  And truth, I made those headbands at the 12th hour the night before while continuing my Serial binge that I started when I was making the cookies a few nights prior.  I'm hooked, but back to the party.



You may remember the giant bear from one of my Instagram saved snaps posts.  As soon as I saw it, I knew it would be the perfect activity for toddlers.  The downloadable package from Caravan Shoppe included all the numbers (which I used over the table) and lots of items, like this bear with hats and bow ties.  I knew most of the kids would be too short for the hats, so I went with the bow ties.  It didn't even cross my mind that that bow ties could be hair bows, #girlmomfail. So cute seeing the kids try to stick them around.  The prints are super easy too, I just took the files I wanted to Staples and told them I wanted them printed on the black and white engineering printer at the size I wanted, 36x48.  It's about $7 per print, can't beat that for statement decor or activities.



It may seem like I went out of my way to find and dress Kenley with red tights with a bear on the bottom, but nope, just a coincidental hand-me-down from Ashlynn that I found that morning when thinking it was probably too cold for bare legs.  Her ONE onesie?  Another hand-me-down. 


Of course, after all the snacking, playing, and coffee talk, it was time for cake.  Kenley started by trying to pinch of the sugar sprinkles before really digging in.  She also had a little helper showing her the way, naturally.





It was the perfect little party and was followed by Sunday naps by all.  I can't believe my little bear is officially a toddler and not my little baby.  While I'm sad that these years seem to pass at a speed I never could have imagined, I can't wait to watch personalities and relationships grow from our whole family. There is nothing that brings me more happiness and joy than my family.



30 comments:

  1. omggg im SO impressed with all the beautiful decorations and those cookies are AMAZING! xo jillian - cornflake dreams

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  2. This party could not have come out more perfectly! I love it!

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  3. So sweet! I love all of the decorations :)
    XO Kelly
    www.dettecakes.com

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  4. It looks perfect and adorable (although I've come to expect nothing less from you!). I love the theme. And everything is perfect.

    And serial. Its just so good. I get sad when I'm caught up and can't binge listen.

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  5. Looks like so much fun and what an adorable theme! Happy 1st Birthday to your sweet baby girl:)

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  6. Everything is so cute and perfect! I love the theme. Will you come "half ass" one of my parties....because, seriously it's amazing!

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  7. Adorable theme!!! Such cute ideas! Love all the little touches

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  8. What a fun party - you put me to shame!!

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  9. Such a perfect first birthday party, love the theme and the color scheme!! Happy first birthday to your sweet girl, I can't believe she's one already!!

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  10. Maria Amalfitano StoehrDecember 9, 2014 at 12:46 PM

    Such a cute, cute party. Happy first birthday!! I also love when things just work out, like the red bear tights!!

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  11. I love how everything turned out!! and love that you were able to use some of Ashlynn's stuff, too!! So cute!

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  12. Seriously, crepe paper, paper plates, straws.. teddy bears,etc. Almost all stuff I already had in my little party stash. I guess compared to always having lots of food and treats and lots of different DIYs and decor I felt I phoned it in. It's refreshing to see that just having some statement items and little touches go a long way. Even if its just bagels and fruit! I might be my fav party so far!

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  13. I know, I saw them and had forgotten they even had a bear on the bottom. Was so excited how fitting it was!

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  14. Amanda {Tickled Pink}December 9, 2014 at 5:25 PM

    Seriously beyond cute! Loving the original theme and also that it didn't overwork mom! Love your sweater too! Happy first birthday!

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  15. Thank you! And you're telling me!

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  16. Seriously, I might half ass parties from now on. I'm happier how this one turned out, probably due to less stress and actually getting to enjoy it!

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  17. I still have a few eps to go, it's really the perfect thing for baking or crafting!

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  18. Thanks! The sweater is an oldie, but goodie from Anthro... probably pushing 4 yrs at this point, but I'm glad it doesn;t seem too dated!!

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  19. You did such an amazing job! I love everything and what a great theme!

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  20. Such a cute party, and still Pinterest worthy even though you "half-assed" it. I think everything looks fabulous. And I know I already told you on IG, but I LOVE that sweater.

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  21. LOVE the theme! And love the smaller party idea! This is how we did Scarlett's 2nd bday and it was SO much nicer for everyone!! I want to do it all again the same way this year but had hoped Hadley would be okay with that until she went to a party this past month and has now talked about having lots of FRIENDS come. Ugh, small is so nice and you can still do lots of details with small!

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  22. It definitely does not look like you phoned it in - everything looks great! Love the coordinating family outfits too - happy birthday to Kenley!

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  23. Happy Birthday Kenley! What a perfect party! I love these "simpler" home parties with just a few friends.

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  24. I will never do a big bday again... maybe at 16, but from now on we'll just be inviting local friends and keeping it small and stress free!

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  25. My husband actually put that shirt on all buy himself, I didn't tell him to match. I guess I just have him trained well!

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  26. Oh my gosh, adorable party!! Good work momma. :)

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  27. I have to tell you I am totally going to try to copy your cute teddy cookies this week for O's class teddy bear picnic party! Any tips?

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