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  • Writer's pictureKaty Key

In Just One Year

In just one year, I became a mom again to a special little girl who is wild and carefree. I also got to finally plan and celebrate a first birthday. By the way, planning and executing a first birthday party is not as simple as it might seem. My goal was to keep it simple, budget-friendly, and most importantly, fun for kids! Sometimes I think we get caught up in planning Pinterest-perfect parties, when really kids just care about cake and fun!

Front Porch Decor

The cake and photo backdrop were kept on our front porch. I didn't want to have to include tons of decor, so I concentrated almost all of it on the front porch. Our back deck and pool area were used for eating and swimming, of course. There was little to no decor in the back of our house, so most of our unicorn items were in front.

This table included the time capsule and our sweet treats!

I loved this tablecloth! I wanted a gold sequin tablecloth for the unicorn decor, so I bought in on Amazon. I also liked that I could probably re-use it for other parties, or in my classroom. The unicorn plates and napkins were a mix of Amazon and Party City.

Since we had about 25 people, I wanted to have a cake and some cupcakes. These were done by a friend who has a cake and cupcake business called Let Them Eat Cupcakes. You can find her on Instagram on I wanted the cake to represent the unicorn theme, but also that she was a rainbow baby. I love how it turned out!

The cupcake toppers were also from Amazon. You can find them here.

This time capsule is one of my favorite ideas. Essentially, each guest writes a piece of advice, prediction, or wishes for the child's future. The letters are sealed and placed in a time capsule to be opened by the child on their 18th birthday. You can find this poster here. I believe there are other themes that you can choose for a poster as well if you'd like to do this.

I also decided to include some pink rock candy, because we didn't have enough sugar with the cake and cupcakes, of course.

It's hard to get tiny guests to look at the camera :)

Friends celebrating the birthday girl

I see so many beautiful photo backdrops at parties, however so many of them are very expensive. I just feel like at a one year old's party, they don't remember it anyway, so I decided to do a cheap photo backdrop. I used two white plastic tablecloths from WalMart, and I used Gorilla tape to hang them. I also purchased a kit from Amazon that included a 40" one balloon, other balloon colors that I used to make a balloon garland on the back deck, and tissue poms. You can purchase that here. My husband hung the poms and the one balloon with fishing line, and I set a few poms on the ground as well. This made a very easy and simple photo backdrop. I took a photo of each guest with Avery in front of the photo backdrop before the party started.

As soon as we took photos in front of the backdrop, all of the families got into our in ground pool for a pool party. I purchased a few dollar store items, including bubbles, sidewalk chalk, and squirt guns to use by the pool area.

After the pool, I got to use my walker!

Getting ready for cake by trying to eat flowers, first.

If you want kids to have fun, just buy dollar store bubbles!

Avery's swimsuit is from the Cat & Jack by Target brand and her swim turban is from Tiny Turban Shop.

One photo of little miss in her birthday dress, for cuteness!

Avery's birthday dress and crown are from Alessandra's Little Bowtique. She makes beautiful things, and we love to shop small! You can go here to look at her beautiful birthday dresses and crowns.

We then grilled hamburgers and hot dogs on our back deck, and moved to the front porch for cake, which was Avery's favorite part!

Mom and Dad with the birthday girl.

The "one" banner was made by one of our close friends.

The horn was Avery's favorite part! She eventually ripped it off and ate the fondant (which I didn't think was something people normally enjoyed).

As guests left, there were gold goodie bags for the kids that contained Ninja Turtle masks, bubbles, bouncy balls, scented stamps, and bubble gum, that they could take with them. Sending out big thanks to all of the places that I ordered from, and most importantly, our wonderful friends and family who came to celebrate our sweet rainbow baby!

Overall, we had an amazing time at Avery's first birthday. When you're planning a first birthday, just remember, it doesn't need to be fancy and expensive. All you need are some dollar store items, a few decorations, and of course... CAKE!

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