I was the person who said I wouldn’t throw a themed first birthday party because the theme is “first birthday”. And yet, here we are.
It all started when I asked my aunt and uncle if they’d be willing to host Zee’s first birthday party. My grandmother can no longer handle stairs and they have a wonderful entertaining space, so they often graciously host family events.
There are three things you should know about my aunt:
- She loves entertaining.
- She’s incredibly creative.
- She really loves themes.
I wasn’t really thinking about themes while I shopped for a birthday invitation. I came across this one and thought it was cute. It happens to be a dragon.
Within minutes of seeing the invitation, my aunt was off and running.
She told me she bought dragon balloons from Amazon: 36″ Dragon Super Shape Foil Balloon and Grabo 36 Inch Purple Dragon Shaped Foil Balloon – Air Or Helium.
I don’t know how she made dragon balloons look elegant, but she did. I suppose it helps that she already had dragon-themed wallpaper in the foyer.
I didn’t hear much else about the decor after that. Sure, she told me that she was having her chocolate supplier, Long Grove Confectionery (http://www.longgrove.com) make chocolate dragon eggs and that there would be a mountain. She told me that there would be goody bags and a game for the kids to play. I had no idea what amazing things she came up with.
My aunt set up their library as a dragon hatchery with electric candles and the chocolate eggs. The dragon eggs were exquisite.
The kids had a great time on the treasure hunt. It was really nice to not have to worry about older kids being bored at a first birthday party.
The dragon Beanie Boos are so adorable. Zee loves the ones she got to keep – I’ve seen her carrying “Darla” around whispering to it. The overall design and glitter eyes are just so clever: Ty Darla Dragon Plush, Pink, Regular, Ty Beanie Boos SAFFIRE – Dragon reg, Ty Beanie Boos Cinder The Green Dragon Plush, TY beanie boos set of 2, Saffire the dragon and Anora the dragon.
Other fun decor included a knight’s helmet ice bucket (sorry, no source for this one – it’s a family heirloom that a great-uncle brought back from England after WWII), a castle, a treasure chest, “jewels”, and other themed decor.
Even three months later I find myself speechless looking at these photos. My aunt put her love, heart, and soul into this party and it was beyond fabulous, elegant, and fun.
Of course, no party is complete without food. My aunt made “dragon bites” with dragonfruit, raspberries, and bananas. She assembled “Baby Dragon Fodder” baskets (pretzels, nuts, and other savory snacks), made a raspberry punch, and found Vegan Rob’s Puffs, Dragon flavor. While my aunt and uncle don’t keep kosher, they painstakingly ensured that everything they prepared was kosher and prepared with plastic utensils. They really went above and beyond.
I made mini quiches (basic quiche recipe of 6 eggs to 3/4 cup milk and add fillings: lox, goat cheese, and chive; mushroom and feta; cheddar and broccoli) in muffin tins, chocolate cupcakes, vanilla cupcakes, and Zee’s smash cake. While our fantastic photographer, Laura Meyer, made the cupcakes look cute in the photo below, they really weren’t. I used to be able to make delicious professional-looking cupcakes, but I no longer have the patience for it. C’est la vie.
As I labored long into the night and got increasingly grumpy frosting the cupcakes the night before the party I resolved that next year we will order the cake from a bakery.
Zee had fun at her party. I know she won’t remember it, but Mr. Lazy Knitter and I treasure the experience and the love that went into this party.
*A note about photography: professional photography is worth the expense. Many of us moms don’t like to have our photos taken, but trust me, a good photographer will make you feel good about photos of yourself. I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to have photos of yourself with your child.
Laura Meyer of Laura Meyer Photography (https://www.laurameyerphotography.com) is our go-to photographer. She was our wedding photographer and we came back to her for maternity photos, newborn photos, and Zee’s first birthday. She manages guests effortlessly and always checks her photo list to make sure that she gets the shots you asked for. She also always remembers which side I consider to be my better side, 6.5 years after our wedding.
Moreover, family members won’t be around forever. Since Mr. Lazy Knitter and I got married in 2012, at least 6 close family members have passed away. We are so happy Laura captured photos of these loved ones with huge smiles enjoying themselves. They are priceless treasures.
She captures personalities, joy, and love.
Laura’s photos make me feel like myself. And she made my sad cupcakes look cute.