Good Monday morning evening, my friends! I hope you all had a nice weekend. :)
Today I have a GINORMOUS post for you, all about Little Bear's birthday party ... I hope you don't mind a bit of "oversharing," lol! As many of you know, Little Bear turned one back in May - but for a few reasons his party was moved to August. Luckily the day was not too hot or humid as August can be here in New England - in fact, it was just about perfect!
Our party theme was "animal crackers" because LB just LOVES animals and animal sounds of all kinds these days. Orginally I toyed with an owl theme, inspired by my boy's love for this book, but we decided animals would be A. easier and B. more fitting right now. :)
So anyhoo - here we go, on a "little" tour of Little Bear's party ...
We were expecting a good size crowd (40ish) so we rented the tables and chairs. The price was not too bad and this way everyone had a place to sit down and eat, all together. We purchased the tent (which came with windowed sides you can lower or raise) - it was basically the same price to buy as it was to rent and it fits our patio perfectly.
The tables were set with soft shades of green, blue, yellow and orange.
The centerpieces were also multicolored and relatively inexpensive:
First I laid down a small felt mat in animal stripes or spots. The vases were candy-hued mason-style jars (set of 6 on sale at AC Moore for $5) filled with sunflowers and mums purchased at Trader Joe's. The small wooden frames I found at AC Moore ($1, unfinished) and were painted by my mother. She applied colorful animal stickers once the paint was dry, and I picked out favorite pictures of LB through his first year, one for each frame. Not shown is the tiny Beech-Nut "Just Bananas" baby food jar (emptied and washed) filled with tiny asters from the garden.
Here's a look at all the frames together, six in all:
And I found these wooden animal masks at JoAnn Fabrics for $1 - Crackerjack painted them for me and we stuck them in big pots of sunny marigolds.
Most of the party was held outside, but I'm not a fan of serving food al fresco (bugs drive me nuts, lol) so I set the buffet tables up in the sunroom.
(This was taken early in the day before everything was ready.)
A small table set to the side held plates, napkins and mason jars filled with plastic cutlery ...
Windows and walls held (more) pictures of Little Bear taken throughout his 1st year!
Appetizers included light fare such as chips, salsa, veggies and dip, shrimp with cocktail sauce and cheese and crackers ...
... while lunch consisted of "heartier" fare: shredded barbecue chicken and sloppy joes (served from the larger crockpots) and baked beans (in the small slowcooker). (Love this Honey-Peach bbq chicken recipe! So easy and makes a ton.) Sliced garden tomatoes and onions, assorted pickles, soft rolls, turkey and ham calzones, fruit salad, green salad, pasta salad and deviled eggs. All typical New England fare. :)
Now, the drinks we arranged outside, under a canopy ...
Another reason I was so glad the weather was nice!
Bill set up a couple of tables for beverages and some comfortable seating nearby.
Now, you might have noticed, I have a real thing for Mason jars lately! They're fun and look "vintage" but they're quite practical, too - I find so many uses for them. Here I used them for serving drinks ...
My mum and I made little name tags from golden scrapbook paper and tied them to the jars with twine. Folks coud jot down their name and have their own glass for the afternoon.
An old (but pretty) tea tin held paper straws ...
... and a wooden zebra kept the napkins from flying away.
In addition to this "Bear-y Punch" we also had pitchers of "Lion-Ade" and "Tiger Tea." (Fruit punch, lemonade and iced tea, respectively.) My new beverage jar ($20 at Paper Source) was perched on a rather old garden pot. :)
It was such a nice day for sitting and chatting ...
... and lawn games.
Little Bear was all over the bocce balls!
This was supposed to be my "zebra-safari" outfit but I think, perhaps, I looked a bit like a gondolier, lol.
Next it was time for presents!
And then of course, it was time for CAKE!
For Little Bear's first birthday I made an assortment of "small cakes."
I baked chocolate and "funfetti" cupcakes and made up a batch of buttercream frosting. I also had a couple of cans of "key lime" and "blue raspberry" frosting in the pantry so we used them as well. We added some colorful sprinkles and animal crackers. Fun!
Happy Birthday, dear Little Bear!
This was his face when we sang to him:
Shy boy. :)
We also served up a few tubs of ice cream from a local shop - freshly made peach, raspberry, blackberry and blueberry! All fruit was picked at farms in the area (save for the blueberries - they came from Maine where everyone knows they grow the very best blueberries). :)
Little Bear waltzed around sampling flavors ...
A little bit from Mama, a little bit from Nana, a little bit from Aunt Ami ...
Hey you, cameraman? You have any ice cream for me?
A lovely day - so nice to spend time with our loved ones ...
It's a blessing to share Little Bear's sweetness with our family and friends. I think he had a really nice day ...
Thanks so much for taking the time to read, and look through my photos. I am now onto my next "project" which is school reports and ed. plans due this month. (How did it become August already?!)
Have yourselves a lovely evening, my friends ... see you here again very soon!