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Hudson’s 1st Birthday Party

To me, a first birthday party is just as much about the parents as it is the birthday kid. Let’s be honest, that first year is tough and I kind of think of that first birthday party as a “congratulations parents you survived” just as much as I see it as a celebration of your child’s first year of life. So, I kept that in mind when creating this party and theme. I was inspired by all of Hudson’s favorite things, which all happened to start with the letter B: Balls, Balloons and Bowties and threw in a few of mommy’s favorites too like a Bubble Bar. 😉  I liked this because it gave me direction without being too specific. I decided on the colors blue, yellow and green and had so much fun with it. I love that the theme incorporated all of Hudson’s favorite things, but wasn’t such an overbearing theme that I can look back on it three years later and still be totally in love with it. I mean, it really is the only party for your kids where you get complete control so you might as well create a party you love!

first birthday family photo

I made a guestbook showcasing the highlights from the past year with space for guests to write Hudson messages like where he will be in 20 years and his best trait. I used the wedding guestbook template on Shutterfly, then changed it up to make it work for a 1st Birthday Party and absolutely love how it turned out.

hudson's bowtie first birthday party guestbook

I printed out Hudson’s weekly photos and hung them to the shutters above the welcome table using clothespins I had dyed blue, green and yellow using this tutorial.

first birthday guestbook bowtie display table with weekly photos hanging

I made bowties for all the guests to wear. You can find instructions here.

first birthday diy no-sew bowties

We had a photo booth with tons of fun props. You can get the details for my DIY Photobooth here.

first birthday party diy photobooth

I bought a few of those funny mustache and lip pacifiers and set those in a bowl along with paci wipes so our littlest guests could get in on the photo booth action too.

hudson's bowtie first birthday party photobooth strip

We had a ball pit using an inflatable kid pool, which was a huge hit with the kids.

diy ball pit is a great idea for a first birthday party

We had a bubble pool with tons of wands for the kids to play with. I think the big kids enjoyed this one more than the little kids. 🙂

first birthday party bubble pool

We had a bubbly bar for the adults. 😉 I bought the buckets from Joanns and added a “shelf” to two of them so I could stack mason jars.I tied ribbons around each jar and bought straws from shop sweet lulu to make them more festive.

bubbly bar for bowtie first birthday party with mimosa bar

We served lemonade, iced tea, water bottles with wet your whiskers labels on them, champagne and juices for making mimosas.

hudson's bowtie first birthday party mimosa bar

For food we had: manwhiches (sandwiches from Subway), fruit cups, bowtie pasta, veggie cups and puffs. I know how hard it is to eat as a mom running after your little one, so I tried to serve the food in small portions that could be eaten on the move. This approach  worked well for the kids too. Above the food table I hung a banner I made showcasing Hudson’s monthly photos. I also made labels for the veggie and pasta containers and made flags for the sandwiches using Bella Blvd washi tape.

bowtie first birthday party food table with manwiches and bowtie pasta

Cakegoodness created an amazing dessert bar consisting of tons of candy, cake pops, mini cupcakes, #1 rice krispie treats and Hudson’s gorgeous vegan cake. I made the banner and treat bags and ordered bowtie and #1 cookies from the RP Confections on Etsy.

bowtie first birthday party dessert table

bowtie ruffle cake for first birthday party

real men eat dessert bowtie cupcakes for first birthday party

bowtie first birthday party dessert details-bowtie cupcakes, one rice krispy treats, one cookies and candy

For the centerpieces, I bought buckets from Party City, filled them with hydrangeas from Costco, and stuck homemade bowtie sticks in them. For a last minute centerpiece idea, I thought they came out looking really cute.

bowtie first birthday flower centerpiece using bucket and hydrangeas

For favors, each kid took home a bottle of bubbles with a personalized label to match the theme.

bowtie first birthdya party bubble favors

I also found Hudson’s vintage highchair on-line, sanded it, then Nic spray painted it. I made the ONE banner and ordered the hat, Hudson’s onesie and his special bowtie from Etsy shops.

bowtie first birthday party vintage high chair, candy bar sign, hat and diy i am one banner

We sang Hudson happy birthday and watched him dig into his cake.

first birthday party cake smash

The best part of the day though was sharing it with all of our favorite people. Our families and friends helped us get through a challenging and extremely rewarding first year and it was so fun to celebrate Hudson’s big day with everyone. We are so blessed to have so many wonderful people in our lives.

hudson first birthday party ideas collage

bubble gum gender reveal 3

Gender Reveal Photo Ideas

I love making big, important announcements fun and creative so when we found out we were having our second boy I knew I wanted to do a gender reveal photo shoot. My photographer and I had discussed some ideas before the shoot and decided that bubblegum would be a cute announcement. Our original plan was to have Hudson pop the wrong bubble, but he was scared of them and kept running away crying every time we blew one. We still incorporated him into some of the other shots though and to this day this is one of my favorite photo sessions.

Apparently, other people liked it as well because the bubble gum shot went viral! It was kind of crazy, kind of weird and kind of fun. I once had a mom “recognize” me at a Gymboree class and friends were seeing our picture pop up on mom’s groups and Pinterest all over the world.

gender reveal photo using bubblegum its a boy

A friend of mine also recently informed me that a few of our photos from that shoot are included in an article on Tiny Prints that provides gender reveal ideas.Here are the photos featured in their post:

gender reveal photo using balloons its a boy

gender reveal photo its a boy bubblegum

gender reveal photo bubblegum its a boy

Here are a few more of my favorites from this shoot:

gender reveal photo its a boy

gender reveal photo its a boy

gender reveal photo using balloons its a boy

gender reveal photo using balloons its a boy

I hope these give you some ideas for your own gender reveal announcement.

A few quick tips if you plan to do the bubblegum one: We bought the cute blue and pink gumballs for the photos, but used bubbleyum for the actual bubble blowing. Even though we practiced ahead of time, bubble gum blowing isn’t the easiest so be patient and have fun with it. We were cracking up the whole time.

To view more gender reveal ideas, you can check out the tiny prints article by clicking here.

Photos were taken by The Letter B Photography one of my favorite photographers who I highly recommend. 🙂

gender reveal photoshoot ideas using bubblegum balloons and baby clothes