Monday, April 6, 2020

Mia in ONEderland: Mia's First Birthday Party

Oh hi! How many pictures of my daughter's first birthday party were you hoping to see today? Oh a million okay cool! 

(PSA: No babies were put at risk for this photo, you can just barely make out that Jeff and my mom were both behind the table holding her!)

We threw a Mia in ONEderland theme party for Mia's first birthday party, and it was so, so fun to put together. If you're looking for some party inspiration, or maybe just some cute photos of a baby tasting frosting for the first time, then this is the post for you! 

I've been putting off writing this post because I knew how much work was going to go into it. But, since I waited, it's already incredible to look back. The party was on March 1st, and I didn't think twice about having thirty people over to our house. I'm so glad we were able to have the party before the pandemic hit the US and we started social distancing. I know it's such a little thing when there are so many more sacrifices being made in the world right now, but the party brought me (and hopefully Mia!) so much joy. 

I first started really thinking about Mia's first birthday party the week after Christmas when we were staying at my in-law's house. I was up with Mia waaaaaay before everyone else, so I hit up Pinterest to start looking for ideas. I wasn't actually setting out to have a true theme, I was really planning on just doing some pretty pink whimsical decorations and calling it a day. But the idea of an "Alice in ONE-derland" theme party was so fun it just stuck with me! Alice in Wonderland is such a fun theme because there is SO much content from the book and movies that you can really take it in a lot of directions and incorporate little touches everywhere. 

I started with the idea for the greenery backdrop. One thing that always bothers me when I host parties is that I don't have a great staging area. My photos always end up with my giant bookcase in the background, which I usually love but ends up taking away from things. My initial thought was to just take everything off the bookshelf and decorate it with Alice in Wonderland themed items, but then I realized I could just cover everything up! I bought this green topiary backdrop, which is basically just a super-lightweight sheet, and draped it over the bookcase. (It was literally attached with packing tape after I kept neglecting to buy zip ties, whoops!) 

The "Mia in ONEderland" words are just cut from cardstock on my Cricut. You can find them here if you want to download. Sorry, it isn't editable for you to be able to pop in another name - I don't own the font or I would! I'm happy to quickly edit the file for you if you shoot me an email. 

For the display table, I mostly just shopped my house to find things that would work on top of this moss table runner. Some ideas of things you could use would be pretty jars and containers, cake stands, tea pots/cups (I bought this toy set on Amazon and planned for it to be one of Mia's presents), keys, anything rabbit-related, clocks, watches, top hats, etc. I added some "eat me" signs that were made with removable vinyl on my Cricut, the file to download is here. I added Easter candy (timing worked out pretty well for me!) but you could also order pastel candy online, as well as frozen macaroons from Trader Joe's. Yes, that is a thing, and yes, they were delicious!! 

The cakes were by my friend Laura at Butter Cream Flour. (Cakes because yes, I did get a separate smash cake. I figured, if I was going to go for it, I should really go for it.) I wanted something that looked like the cake in the Disney movie, and she delivered! Laura is actually just starting doing custom bakery here in Chicago and is incredible, everyone was raving that it was the best cake they'd ever had. If you're looking for a custom cake or other dessert (her Reese's cheesecake was honestly one of the best things I've ever had and I don't usually even like cheesecake) be sure to hit her up

The one thing I really knew about planning a first birthday party ahead of time (besides letting the baby eat some cake!) was that it was your chance to put all of those month-by-month photos on display! 

I took photos in Mia's crib every month using the same sheet and similar outfits (all with some pink!) so they'd feel consistent. If I were to do it over again, I might also try to figure out how to get consistent lighting, as I just used natural lighting which was dramatically different in every picture and took some (pretty poor) Photoshop editing to attempt to correct. 

Anyway, I got all of the photos printed as 4x6 prints, used a hole punch on the top corners, and then mod-podged month numbers on them. I used this gold glitter paper, and cut them out using my Cricut. You can download the month numbers file here

The hanging flowers on the fireplace were an impulse buy from Michael's, they're just faux-floral garlands (not available online but here is something similar). I had Jeff hang them using little command hooks. They're so pretty, they're actually still up. Don't judge me, I swear I took down the rest of the decorations! 

Another fun idea I had was to print out a bunch of photos of Mia from throughout the year, trying to get as many extended family members in with her as possible. I hung them on our little display board, and added an extra floral garland around the frame with more Command hooks. 

For Mia's outfit, I wanted to find something that resembled Alice's outfit from the movie but wasn't a costume. This dress is so cute and easy (and the cake washed right out too!!) and could work for a number of occasions, but with the black hair ribbon, white tights, and black shoes, it was definitely a nod to Alice. 

For beverages, I used a big drink dispenser with a "drink me" sign that was more removable vinyl that I printed with my Cricut - get the file here. I used this punch recipe, but since there were a bunch of kids on the invite list I left the alcohol on the side. 

I made a couple of other things on the Cricut too, including This Way/That Way signs (vinyl stickers on construction paper) that I had lining the staircase as you enter our unit, "Recycle Me" and "Toss Me" removable vinyl on our trash and recycling bins, tea cup cutouts on one of the walls, little Cheshire Cat window clings around the room, a Cheshire Cat smile on the bathroom mirror to freak people out, and the "every adventure requires a first step" window cling on the mirror in our entryway. Here is a zip file with all of the free SVG files you can print yourself! 

I designed the invites too, but ended up sending out a Paperless Post so the one in the pictures is one I printed at the last minute before the party. 


Party Supplies 

Cricut Supplies

General Furniture / Home Goods 

Mia's Outfit

And now, in case you're here for the photos, here are approximately one thousand more:

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