The last few months of my son’s first year were bittersweet; each day he discovered something new and did something exciting, but each of those days he was also starting look less like a baby and more like a little boy. At about 8 months old, friends and family began asking us if we had started planning his first birthday party. Although I knew the last 8 months had flown by, I shrugged it off like I had plenty of time. But really, deep down inside I was sobbing that my once tiny baby was going to be a toddler soon and I couldn’t bear to think about it for more than 5 seconds.
We were struggling to pick a theme. Hendrix is a very easy going baby and hasn’t shown a clear obsession for a certain character or idea yet. If he could tell us what he wanted it would probably be a party that revolved around puffs and strawberries (the kid loves to eat). In hindsight, that would have been much easier.
One day, the husband came home from a Publix shopping trip with stars in his eyes. He decided to peruse their cake book and fell hard for a dinosaur cake, “Come on, it has a VOLCANO!!!” The funny part is that the three of us are gluten intolerant and could not even eat the dinosaur cake. That didn’t matter; he wanted it for his baby boy and I couldn’t break his heart. Hendrix’s nickname is “Tiny” so once “Tinysaurus Rex” popped into my head, I was sold on the dinosaur theme as well. And Hendrix thinks it’s hilarious whenever somebody “roars” so we went with it.
Here are some of my favorite details from his party…
Jitterbug Performing Arts
I searched Costco, Tinyprints and a couple other sites for invitations and couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for. I decided to check Vistaprint and not only found the perfect invitation, but they always have sales and coupons so I got a great deal. I got 40 custom 5×7 invitations with adorable matching envelopes (return address already printed) for $35. And that included fast shipping. My mother-in-law designs and makes cards, so she worked up this adorable thank you note to go with our theme!
I found a lot of fun ideas on Pinterest and molded them to fit our venue, budget and design. I loved the invitations so much that I based our colors and feel off of them. Some of the ideas I found on Pinterest were dino footprints, photo banner, chalk board details, fun names for food, and matching shirts. I bought textured craft paper, printed off and traced a mini dino foot onto regular card stock to make a stencil, and I had some help cutting them all out. I used regular and green burlap on all the tables as a base and added footprints and miniature dinosaurs on top. I also used the plain craft letters “RAWR” to decorate the front table with lots of pictures clipped in picture frames.
The moment I saw the baby face photo banner online I knew that if I only did one decoration this had to be it…I was in love. I took equal size faces, one from each month of his life, turned the triangle banner upside down to make hats and hot glued a little poof on top. I ran out of time and had to leave the string off, so I just used masking tape and attached it above the “RAWR” letters on the wall.
The chalk board turned out okay. Nothing like the cute ones on Pinterest, but it got the job done.
I waited too long (of course!) to order the t-shirts from Etsy, so I went to Big Frog in Marietta to see if they could help. They were wonderful and got me exactly what I wanted in 48 hours! They were a splurge, but we will wear them again and again!
- Stegosaurus Nest Supplies: Veggie Tray and Garden Salad
- T-Rex Wings: Chicken Wings
- Quicksand: Hummus and Multigrain Crackers
- Pterodactyl Salad: Chicken Salad
- Raptor Snacks: Fruit
- Tinysaurus Park: The infamous Volcano cake
We had normal party drinks, but also added Lava Juice just for mommies and daddies if you know what I mean…
Hendrix’s smash cake was an adorable panda bear. I know what you’re thinking…what does a panda have to do with dinosaurs? Nothing! It is tradition in my husband’s family that children get a panda cake on their first birthday from grandma. And this panda was gluten free! It was his first experience with a sweet treat!
We don’t have too many baby friends yet, so 90% of our guests were adults. Of course, we still needed some fun stuff for the kiddos, so I set up a jungle adventure with a parachute, balls, a tunnel, musical instruments and set the mood in the theater with fun lights and music. Last but not least, we set off his first set of birthday balloons into the sky and said goodbye to the best year of our lives thus far.