Thursday, December 6, 2012

Lulu's First Birthday Party


We had about 25 people at the party, so it wasn't very realistic to have it in our home.  My grandparents live in a neighborhood with a great clubhouse that we previously used for our day-after-wedding brunch and Lucia's Baptism party.  It's very affordable to rent, has tables and chairs available, a full kitchen, and a lot of space.  It was in the 60s (on December 1st!) on the day of the party, but if it had been cold, the clubhouse even has an awesome fireplace we could have lit for a little added ambiance.


After I decided I wanted to do a Teddy Bear party theme, I searched high and low for adorable, girly teddy bear printables.  I'm not exaggerating, they were hard to find!  There were many gender neutral teddy bears and many others that frankly just weren't that cute.  I finally found what I was looking for at Designs by Day.  She sells a printable party pack for many different themes, including teddy bears (in both boy and girl varieties).  Day sent me the party pack to use for Lucia for free in return for some great pictures of the party (and a giveaway - enter here!). I think they came out darling:

 on the front door

Love this "Happy Birthday" sign.   We also added some pink bear banners from the dollar store.

I got so many compliments on the bottle wraps. 
It's the small details that brought it all together.
(Printed on repositionable sticker sheets, cut out and stuck on.)

This should probably be located in the "food" section below, 
but I just had to share the great cupcake toppers that matched the decor.

Why printables?
  • When you add together the cost of purchasing the files (this package was $30) and printing, even getting them printed professionally (which I did at Staples), they are the same price or even cheaper than most party supplies.
  • They are customizable!  I'm never going to find cupcake toppers at a party store that say "Lucia". Never.
  • There are more choices.  The average party store has only a few dozen themes, on the internet, you can find amazing printables for pretty much any theme you could ever want (or even request that someone design ones especially for you).
Since we had so many great details that pulled the party together, our basic paper products, silverware, and table clothes came from the dollar store and I'm quite sure no one noticed.

Here are a few more "personal touches":

We hung twine and attached Lucia's monthly photos with clothespins.
There were 12 photos - a newborn and one for each month to 11 months.
(Yes, these are all professionals! $7.99 photo specials is what it's all about!)

We put teddy bears on the tables throughout the party, many with little crowns.
Lucia had a matching one (Queen of the Teddy Bears!)

How to make lace crowns:
Cut off lace to desired length.
"Paint" on fabric stiffener.
Let dry.
Let dry.
Glue ends together (hot glue gun).

One roll of lace made 5 teddy bear crowns and a baby crown.
Total: $14 (including hot glue gun and extra glue) 
To see a prettier tutorial, click here.
My parents have this adorable moose that Lulu loves.
He dressed as a teddy bear to sneak into the party.
Lulu's got one crazy and creative grandpa!


Unfortunately, we didn't get pictures of the food,
but here was the menu:

Veggies Cups w/ Ranch (like these)
Guacamole & Chips
Fruit Tray
Macaroni & Cheese (quadrupled this recipe)
Chicken Pasta Salad (added chicken to this recipe)

There was a ton left over, but I'd rather have extra than run out 
(and we had yummy leftovers all week!)

Now on to the goodies
(we definitely have pictures of these): 

The punch table:
water (with their adorable bottle wraps)
teddy grahams
teddy bear cars (see below)
pink lemonade punch (see below)

Yes, that pink rubber ducky lights up!

Pink Lemonade Punch:
1 can pink lemonade concentrate
3 cans water
sliced lemons
1 carton raspberry sherbet
2 liter lemon lime soda

Teddy Bear Cars (made by David):
snack sized candy bars
Teddy Grahams

The candy was picked out of a jumbo assorted candy bag before Halloween and has been waiting patiently to be turned into vehicles.  They have fulfilled their purpose and have since gone to a better place (my tummy)!

The cake table:
teddy bear cake (made by me)
cupcakes (made by a bakery - mama can only do so much!)
Lulu's smash cake (made by her auntie/godmommy)

It didn't come out perfect, but it was great all the same!
Too small to feed everyone, but I wasn't going to make more than one!
Hence the cupcakes!

 Staring longingly at the cake table.

Took her a while to really get into it, but she finally did.


The party turned out better than my wildest dreams!  It looked beautiful, but most of all it was fun.  I usually have trouble relaxing and enjoying myself as a hostess because I'm too busying running around and keeping everything in order.  This time, I had everything prepared beforehand, gave us enough time to prepare, and had tons of help from family.  It was a good day and a wonderful way to get together with friends and family to celebrate one year with our sweet girl.

 Lucia didn't really know what was going on, but she seemed to enjoy herself too.  She was spoiled with attention, sugar, and gifts.

I love this girl.


  1. I love, love, love the lace crown idea! Super cute. Happy Birthday, Lucia!

  2. You MADE the bear cake!? You are way too talented...or you captured Martha Stewart and made her do your bidding. Only explanations.

    Glad everything came together perfectly! Can't believe she's already a year old. :)

  3. Happy Birthday Lucia!!! The party looks great!

  4. Looks like it was a great party. I love the pictures..

  5. Oh, your daughter is beautiful! I love the ducky floating in the punch and the teddy bear cars. I need to remember those for the future.


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