Thursday, October 3, 2013

Rio's First Birthday Party!

This past weekend, we celebrated one year of Rio!  About a month or so ago, I picked a date, sent out an informal 'save the date' for friends and family and did some mental planning.  I didn't want to do anything over the top but I did want to create a fun, positive party atmosphere for our guests and little lady (I can call her that now since she's ONE!).  

A few years ago, we hosted a Garden Party (1, 2, 3) in the backyard to celebrate finally pulling the trigger and getting a privacy fence.  We had such a good time and in my head, I kind of looked at Rio's party as another sort of Garden Party except with an actual purpose :)  We LOVE our house but as a typical mid-town Tulsa home, it's not the biggest nor can it house a ton of people so the backyard is our best place to have a shindig!  

About a month before the party, I made a list of allllll of the projects around the house that I wanted to complete from repainting a room to installing base shoe to reorganizing allll of our wall art; we had our work cut out for us.  Luckily for me, I've got a pretty stellar mister who is a hard worker and puts up with my crazy demands ;)  We crossed almost everything off of that list!

We didn't buy any decorations except for three balloons my brother-in-law got to put out front (I'm honestly a little scared of balloons so I had nothing to do with them!  Ha!) so the night before the party, I decided that we needed, yes needed, a banner flag.  So what did I do?  Make one, of course!  Super, mega easy and fast.  I'm actually toying with making some of these to sell to help clear out my fabric stash!  The little pennant flags were the cutest baby shower gift from my friend Renee.  It was a make-your-own pennant kit!  I screwed up my spacing on 'birthday' but other than that, I thought it was adorable.   I pulled out a few cocktail glasses we had and threw in some popcorn and called it a day! ;)

We totally threw the backyard together last minute but I'm so, so pleased with how it all turned out!  We are crazy lucky to have two hammocks (one, a hand-me-down) so those were naturally a hit.  We also recently installed a baby swing in a tree which was super popular with the kiddos.  I popped up my show tables covered with hoarded tablecloths and set up random chairs (we added more after this photo that my folks let us borrow).  In the back, you'll see the yellow striped wall.  Well, that's just a sheet nailed up with two pieces of art my brother-in-law had made for us before Rio was born.  Spelled out with guitar picks is 'Rio' 'Rae', each in its own frame.  We haven't found the right place for them in the house yet but I knew I wanted to use them somewhere for the party and this was perfect.  We used that area to do cake eating and picture taking :) 

Sometime in the past year or so, I saw something somewhere that talked about a grilled cheese bar.  I filed that away in the depths of my brain and that idea made its way back out when I was thinking about this party!  I googled SO MANY grilled cheese recipes; I had NO IDEA there were so many possibilities!  I basically took note of ingredients that I saw over and over again.  I didn't want to buy too much but I wanted a little variety.  The night before, I wrote up lists and hung them on a cabinet door of cheeses, breads, sauces and toppings so people could see what was there.  That also helped me organize my thoughts about the sandwich building process as I got a little overwhelmed with it the night before!  The process was simple though - build your sandwich to your liking, take it to the grill, have it grilled and eat it!  I also had some homemade tomato soup that I made from tomatoes from my Papa's was delicious!  For those that didn't want soup but did want that tomato taste with their sandwich, we also had a Bloody Mary bar :)

The toppings and such that we went with were Gruyere cheese, Fontina cheese, Cheddar, Swiss, American, Mozzarella, bacon, basil, tomatoes, pears, apples, avocados, limes, jalapenos and alllll sorts of sauces.  I think every sandwich was delicious!  I would definitely recommend this as a party idea!  Big time thanks to my mom who sliced and diced and got this set up an hour before the party.  Lifesaver.  I wish I had taken more food prep photos but alas, this is all you get.

This kid cleaned up when it came to presents.  We have such generous friends and family.  It's time to get rid of our more 'baby' toys to make room for these toddler toys! ;) My sister wasn't able to be here for the party so we FaceTimed her throughout the party so she wouldn't miss out.  Technology, you are awesome!

We made sure to get one family picture before we pulled out the cake and got messy.  I did make her little dress, and actually finished it the day before.  I worked on another one for a week before her birthday but ended up not liking it so I scrapped it and made this one based on another little dress she had.  It's a hair big around the neck (always my problem area!) but that just means she'll be able to wear it for a long time :)

We went with a simple carrot cake as we hadn't ever given her sugar so I wanted something at least a *little* healthy.  My mom took the reigns on that and got a cute one for her that Brent got his hands on too :)  Rio wasn't quite sure what to think at first but ended up getting a few good handfuls in before tiring of it.  A quick bath happened after this :)

It was a perfect afternoon made even more perfect by our family and friends.  It's hard to believe that Rio is one.  REALLY hard to believe but every day she gets more and more awesome making our journey with her magical.  Happy Birthday, Rio!

1 comment:

  1. I love parties like this!!! She is just precious and sooo cute!! Happy Birthday Rio :)


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