i decided on a "king of the jungle" theme for my little cub's 1st birthday! it was an absolutely perfect fit. i have been lion obsessed for my little guy since my pregnancy. his name even means "blessed ruler," just as the lion rules the animal kingdom. i had so much fun going all out for the decor. i crafted just about everything you see. nearly everything else was either pulled from the decor of my home, found at the dollar store, or purchased as a sweet deal from hobby lobby utilizing their omnipresent 40% off coupon (go getcha self their app). except for that sweet lion mane my good sport stella is modeling. that sweet little thang was $8 via amazon. god bless amazon.
(thank you to everyone who made the time to come out for my little boy, or send birthday wishes! i don't know if you've ever been to a first birthday party... but it's really not that exciting for the adults! ;) but the presence of our loved ones meant the world to me, and speaks your love and support so loudly. thank you, thank you, thank you. we love you!!)
to create the invitation, i used letter stickers on burlap and those gorgeous faux leaves that were later repurposed for his high chair decor, found during a major summer floral sale at michaels. i snapped a photo, edited via vsco, then popped that over to my adobe suite to add the additional informative text. finally i simply printed as 4X6 matte photos at walmart (dirt cheap, high quality) and mailed them off! i'm so happy with the result.
all of these wall decorations were the most tedious and time consuming, but really made the theme! i don't think i ever want to cut another leaf ever again. or blow up another balloon (not pictured: the 149 scattered over the floor for fun and 58 stuffed into the fireplace). or attempt to glue 6,032 tiny pieces together, only to rip them apart as i pull my stuck-to fingers away, and stifle a fit of rage. or scrape my reddened, dried fingers together for the five millionth time as i tie balloons and strings to balloons and then strings of balloons to the longer string to hold said balloons.
i used the book "the lion inside" as his guest and keepsake book, reminiscent of his baby shower; then, the theme was "the little prince," and i had a copy out for guests to sign, as well. it's a tradition i hope to keep for many years. other interactive details i included for guests was aidric's pregnancy memory box on display, along with a new box that will be housing keepsakes of his first year. along with it was an invitation to write him a piece of advice for a time capsule, to be opened on his 18th birthday. i did something similar at his baby shower, having guests write a wish for my unborn son on stars that are now kept in the memory box.
this is another tradition i hope to keep to some extent; though i'm not sure how long i can keep up with one box per year, per future child... ;)
a test-run setup on the left as compared to party day on the right. i was anxiously prepping for weeks :)
sprinkled pom poms on both tables was a last minutes detail i loved. i thought it brought some whimsy, and was reminiscent of the lion theme with its furry texture and colors. i had these leftover from his 9 month photos.
i served a spiked lemonade and infused water, and let guests keep their glass as a favor.
maybe my favorite detail of the party, these peanut butter lion's paw cookies i made in less than an hour the afternoon before.
my own dear mama made 2 sweet cakes for us. this 'naked' one here i requested solely for aesthetics; you will see it later used in aidric's 1 year photos. :) the cake he 'smashed' was something my mom thought of herself, a mini 6-layered rainbow cake covered in chocolate that was the most magical cake i could have asked for my boy. it made for the loveliest pictures. such a wonderful unexpected gift. thanks a million, mom!!!
i made a few details for outdoors, and even purchased a yard game for the occasion. alas, it was much too warm to get outside. still, these candles were one of my favorite (and quickest) ideas i put together!!
the jars are drinking glasses i use regularly, moss, rope, and votives all from dollar tree.
the two moods of my new toddler. ;)
the little guy had too much fun getting into every new present. it is so special to see him playing like a 'big boy'. also, let's talk about that superhero getup 😍😍😍 target $1 section, man. it has got to chill! i feel personally attacked at this point. but do i really wish for them to chill? no. not ever.
his favorite present b y f a r is this awesome fire truck his grandma got him!! he is obsessed. even to say that is an understatement. he spent the first couple of days with it climbing in and out, never leaving its side for long. it even has the ability to hold water in that tank in the back, and squirt it with the hose!! i cannot wait until he can work that on his own. he has me already thinking about perhaps a firefighter costume for halloween!
this boy started off as the neatest, most tentaive eater of cake ever! he is a crowd-pleaser, so endearing and hilarious to watch. we all urged him on, cutting up his cake for him at one point to encourage using his fingers. that did the trick and he had a good time getting messy in no time.
i may have a future in advertisement. this was totally unintended, but every time i see this photo i marvel at the subtle beauty of the product placement of that almond breeze jug. i unfortunately do not have any kind of pull to even dream about being paid for something of the sort, but still, i am totally stashing this one for my make believe resume for those sort of gigs.
as i was kneeled next to my boy to pose for pictures, he turned to me and grabbed my face, burrowing his head in my shoulders. this was followed by "awwws" from our gathered friends and family, and my heart swelled 2 sizes too big and filled with pride. my sweet boy held me there for many long moments. there just isn't anything more fulfilling than to receive that kind of love from your little one. listing that moment on my "never to be forgotten top moments of all time ever ever."
it was straight to the bath for my little fella! there was chocolate in his diaper, on mama's dress, and (still) chocolate spots ground into my bath mat... they make me smile. after i do a double take and realize it's not poop, or spiders, for the umpteenth time.
my sweet big boy, all tuckered out and hungry, ready for bed after his big day. he actually picked up his blanket at the end of the evening and laid himself down on the floor with it. a moment that filled then broke then filled my heart again. i am amazed at how perceptive and clever he is every day. all of these new tricks are a reminder of how fast they do grow.
cheers to a year with you, my boy. our fun is only just beginning. sharing your life is the greatest joy i have ever known.