We just celebrated Ava’s 1st birthday and it was soooo much fun for me to plan.  I have loved all three birthdays for Grayson, but there is something really exciting about all that pink in one room. 

Let me start by saying I can’t believe that I’m already uploading these and sharing them with you.  (I am typing this on Saturday night after the party)  Mostly, it’s because I’ve been too exhausted to do anything else.  I just keep looking around at all the scattered toys and pink icing smeared everywhere and I guess I just think it will somehow combust itself out of my house.
It’s kind of fun to post something craftier…I’ve definitely gotten my fill for a while.  We went with a loose cupcake theme…loose in that whenever I felt like it, I threw something random in there.  And lots of pink.  I’ll try to go through the details for those of you who love it….Lara, my sweet sister-in-law who is a wonderful mom and avid party planner, has insisted that I post all the goods, not just 3 “blog pics.”  I am more than happy to oblige…it was a very special day and I am thankful I have you guys to share it with.
Thanks to my sweet friends, Anna Lauson and Sara, who helped hang this streamer wall….such a fun and inexpensive way to set the tone.  You can see a close-up of the banner in one of the collages…I took 2 coffee filters and glued them together with tacky glue.  I then added a 3 inch circle of cardstock (cut with my cricut) and glittered around the edges with silver and pink, alternating colors.  I used the cricut again to cut out the letters and attached them with sticker-doos…the raised dots…to give it that extra dimension.  And now we have a banner that I’m sure we’ll use time and time again.  I love how pretty the coffee filters hug the letters….it looks like little flowers.
I added this turn of the century pressed back chair that I’ve been working on to the decor…I loved it!  It was just a sweet surprise sitting to the side.  I haven’t reupholstered the seat, but I’ve had several people tell me they love the way it looks.  Crazy, right?  But I do love the chair.  It’ll be listed soon for $75; if you’re interested, let me know!

After I started planning and decided on cupcakes, I thought it would be fun to set up a pink “treat bar” to go along with them.  When I decided to skip making a big cake and stick to the cupcakes and Ava’s giant cupcake, I thought it was an even better idea.  And when I saw it on How Does She? I was sold.
Using my cricut (because it was my best friend these last two weeks, I used the “celebrations” software (that I got on clearance for $20) to cut out the embellishments for the invitations, favor bags, and tags for the treat bags.  I’m sure there’s a thank-you note somewhere in its future.  I scored a bunch of that great Martha Stewart glitter on clearance at walmart, so I even added it for the sprinkles on the cupcakes.  See what I mean about getting my fill on the crafting?
Here’s the desert bar….
in all of its pink glory.  :)

I tried to use things from Ava’s room, like the tiny white votive holders and white wooden candlesticks and I loved pulling out all my cake stands and white platters, especially the hurricanes and my dress me up platter I got while working with Southern Living at HOME–you can tie any ribbon in it to match the decor.  I used a flower arrangement from her room for the dining table; doing this helped me save a ton.  Just shopping around the house for unexpected containers is such an easy way to add character to a party.
The giant cupcake.  Whew.  Now don’t get me wrong, I love to bake, but I’m not a huge piping decorator.  I usually have someone make the kids’ cakes, but i wanted to be all hands-on and make memories.  It was a lot of fun and it turned out pretty cute.  Not perfectly decorated, but I thought it special and sweet just like I had hoped.  I found a giant cupcake pan and made the buttercream to frost it.  And if I do say so myself, the cupcakes all looked and tasted scrumptious.

I made a simple white cake batter and tinted a vanilla buttercream Wilton’s Rose Petal Pink and Rose for the pink frostings.
From this collage you can see a close-up of the banner,  the go-to for one of my tables…blue mason jars filled with pink flowers,  the station to sign Ava’s birthday page in her baby scrapbook and the “time capsule” we had for people to fill with notes and mementos, and my attempt to make cupcake pops.  I didn’t have a flower cutter, and the heart I had on hand didn’t quite give me the shape I wanted, but they were so cute and they tasted great.  And like I tried to remind myself, if I had wanted it to be perfect, I could have bitten the bullet and paid a professional.  My budget nor my heart allowed me to do so….but, it wouldn’t hurt my feelings if I could have. :)
I served a great pink punch (2 cans frozen pink lemonade, 1 can frozen pineapple concentrate, 1 gallon cranberry juice, 2 liters of ginger ale) and added frozen peaches and heart shaped ice-cubes (i’m not sure why I went to that trouble) for some fun.  The menu was simple since I spent more on candy and treats: I made chicken salad on small croissants and tart shells, fruit that I poured up into my vintage (and cheap :) sherbert glasses (I also borrowed some from my mom), and cheese straws.  Easy, simple, and relatively inexpensive.  I made a “birthday girl” sign to stick in her high chair and I also threw a white tablecloth over it to make it less, well, for lack of a better word, ugly.

You’re actually getting quite a peek of our house right now, but since it’s pretty clean, I don’t mind.  :)  See that lamp on the right?  I’ve got a tutorial coming up pretty soon on how to “antique silver” something.  Anyway… I wanted you to see the poms hanging from the ceiling.  I ordered them from Crazy4tutus on Etsy and they were so cute and well made!  Shestill has this listed…all 5 for $20!!  Go check her out….it comes with 3 medium and 2 larges…in pretty much any color you can imagine.
Favors for the adults were simple….a treat bag to fill with candy and a wallet of the birthday girl.
Um, Grayson was probably just as excited as I was….he’s not usually allowed standing on furniture, but I thought it was a great shot!
And here’s a few of the birthday girl….
This was our gift to Ava…a vintage doll baby crib, white and distressed (and I did buy it this way–kind of sad I didn’t paint it, but it was adorable as is) and a surprise newborn cabbage patch kid.  How cute are they?  I loved the cabbage patch kids when I was a little girl, so I had to pass on the tradition.
And the big, giant cupcake?
It proved to be too much for little Ava.
She took one grab and proceeded to lick icing off the other hand for 5 minutes.  Homeade pound cake and vanilla buttercream?  No big deal to her.
It was such a fun day; thank you to our friends and family for all the help and for celebrating with our little one!
Hope you guys didn’t go into sugar shock reading this…and if I could, I would ship you each a 1/2 pound of the pink candy we’ve got left.
:)

**also linking to my favorite parties found in my sidebar and under “friends and inspiration.”
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