Friday, May 18, 2012

A Party for Harper

We had Harper's birthday party a couple of weeks ago. I didn't really do a "theme" but just went with pink and turquoise colors and wanted it to have a shabby chic/vintage feel to it. I also wanted to keep it really small so I could enjoy the sweet milestone moments instead of being overwhelmed with hostess duties. It was just family and close friends and while I hated that I couldn't invite a lot of our friends, the number of people (especially kids) was a lot more manageable than Harrison's party was and it made for a much more relaxed mama. I figured we can have a big party next year, right?

The main inspiration for the party decorations was the fabric scrap bunting and birthday outfit that I made for her 1-year pictures. It was really easy to do and so worth the effort to save the money by doing it myself.  Of course the ideas came from Pinterest...seriously, what did we ever do before Pinterest?


I had some of the fabric already and bought 1/2 yard cuts of other various coordinating fabrics. Then I just ripped them into strips and knotted them onto a long strip of tulle. Easy peasy. I used the leftover scraps to make her tutu and wreath. I added lace and burlap to mix it up a bit and loved how it turned out. Her pink shirt came from a garage sale for 50 cents. I cut out the 1 and ironed it on with steam-a-seam and then just hand-stitched around the edge. Total cost was $5.50 since monogramming cost me $5 and I already had the fabric and steam-a-seam. Not too shabby, right? (pun totally intended because I'm a dork like that)

Birthday wreath

I used leftover scraps for the wreath and wrapped twine that I already had around a cardboard 1 that I picked up from Jo-Ann. I also already had the pearl ribbon so total cost for this was approximately $3 for the 1 and the wire circle. Another easy project, and an added bonus -- it matches her room and is now hanging on the inside of her door.

Here is the drink table. I got more use out of the fabric bunting as you can see. There was pink lemonade in the drink dispenser and iced tea in the pitcher. Tienna provided the mason jars and of course I had to garnish them with lemon slices and those adorable vintage paper straws. The non-glass options were juice boxes for the kiddos and bottled water. It's hard to take pictures in front of a window so sorry for the bad quality on some of them:




I've been wanting an old window for a long time now and we finally snagged one at Canton last month for $15 (more on our Canton trip later!). I'm planning on incorporating it into our home decor eventually and in the meantime it worked great for a party decoration. There is pink scrapbook paper behind the panes and I printed off pictures of Harper throughout her first year.

Next is the food table. I love that the lace and crocheted table cloths were my grandma's; definitely made it so special for me to be able to incorporate her memory into Harper's big day. For the banner, I cut rectangles out of some leftover burlap and just glued on letters cut out of turquoise scrapbook paper to spell out her name. The turquoise frame has already proven to be multipurpose -- we used it as a prop for her pictures and is going to eventually be hung in the playroom to display the kids' artwork. It came from Hobby Lobby and I painted it with leftover paint that I used Santa's elves used to paint her chair that she got for Christmas. I had seen a picture of a cute ruffle 1 on Pinterest but the link didn't have any kind of tutorial. What I ended up doing is taking streamers and sewing a ruffle stitch down the middle. Then I cut them and glued them onto a 1 that I cut out of poster board. Then I glued the 1 to some burlap and here is the finished project:

 

 

I made the ruffle H by just sewing a ruffle stitch down one of the leftover scrap strips and hot gluing it on a cardboard H from Jo-Ann. The other table decorations came straight from Harper's bedroom.

I took a huge gamble on the cakes. My SIL is the crazy-talented cake baker of the family but she is 8 months pregnant with her FOURTH child, so there was no way I was going to ask her to bake one for me. I stopped by a local bakery and when I saw that it was going to cost $60+ for just one really simple cake, I quickly decided to take a chance baking them myself. The only time I've piped frosting was for Harrison's Cookie Monster cupcakes, so I was a little intimidated...but I gotta say that it was actually really easy! And if I can do it, anybody can.

For the main cake I decided on a round 2-layer strawberry cake with turquoise butter cream frosting rosettes. It is a super healthy recipe...4 sticks of butter, 8 cups of powdered sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, a little vanilla, and a splash of milk. Very close to calorie-free, I promise. Ha!


For her smash cake, I knew I wanted to do pink ruffles a la Martha Stewart. I bet you didn't know that I love ruffles, did you?


I also made some cupcakes since I wasn't sure the main cake would feed everybody. (It totally would have, btw, and we ended up with a dozen leftover cupcakes that my dog knocked off the counter and devoured, paper liners and all. BAD DOG!)


As far as food goes, I decided on pinwheels, chicken salad sliders, baked ham and cheese sliders (seriously sooooo good), fruit salad, fresh veggies, pineapple cheese dip, a cheese & olive plate, banana pudding (also really good, and no-bake), and dipped marshmallows and pretzels.


 

The favors were a last-minute idea. I was originally going to just put some candy in a plain brown kraft bag with a doily and call it good, but then my over-achieving nature came out. I wanted them to be more personal and unique and I wracked my brain trying to come up with something and then ran around at the eleventh hour putting them together, you know, because everybody cares sooo much about party favors, duh! I decided that since my little Harpie-harp is synonymous with joy, I would incorporate a little play on the word. The bags were filled with Almond Joys and a wallet size photo of her and I ran the bags through my printer with a template design I created in Word.


They read: thank you for helping us celebrate the sweet girl who brings joy to our lives each and every day. "He will fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy" Job 8:21
 

I added a few more party decorations to the entry. I just used tulle and some of the ruffled streamers that I made and slapped a couple of balloons up.


Another birthday banner that I can keep and reuse down the line:


And finally, a photo banner for the mantel with all of her monthly pictures. 


Now for some pictures of the party festivities:

Let's get this party started and while you're at it, take this ridiculous hat off my head, please.
Tienna with Hollyn and Harper with her grandma
remembering how teeny tiny she started off as

Harper and Aunt Ashley!


We tried to get a picture of her sitting in the chair...

But she had far more important matters to attend to!

Only slightly creepy.

Harper's birthday buddy. I remember when he turned 1...how was that 6 years ago?


Trina and her sweet boys
Mamaw and Uncle Connor
Hollyn with her daddy

Donna and her granddaughter, Elizabeth

Time to dig in!



Grateful for nice weather
At least one person cooperated :)
How cute is a miniature picnic table full of miniature people?
Wish I could hear their conversation...those sure are some interesting expressions
Mmmmm....sugar!
We tried to get a family picture on the "spider web"...
But two little bitties weren't really feeling it.
Can't forget about Bad Dog.

Harrison and Beda



Boys roughhousing

My best friend of 20+ years

And now for the best part...cake!

Oh no...this stupid hat again??

Making a wish (for time to slow down)

Hmmm...this is a nice surprise!
What is this intense feeling of energy coursing through my veins??


OH YEAH! Now this is what I call a party!

Get. In. My. BELLY!
And in my hair.
Do I have anything on my face?
The After
Pink and turquoise...I think I might be obsessed.

After cake it was time to open presents.



Aunt Tienna helped her get started.
Harper thought it would be more fun to eat the paper...you know, because she didn't get enough cake.
So many cute things...felt like MY birthday!
Harper's bestie
Brother decided he would help since Harper's method of chewing the paper off wasn't very efficient.
At some point she decided she was over opening gifts.
And decided to crawl over to Daddy and ham it up for the camera.
Oh how I love this silly little girl!
And I had to add this picture...look at Harrison dressing himself up with the ribbon. Ha!
Harper and her sweet friend, Abigail

with her Unkie

After the party, we got cleaned up and headed to Kemah for dinner. Since Tony & Tienna were visiting from out of state we took them to see the bay. I SO wish they lived closer to us because they are beyond awesome and we always have such a good time when we're together!

Harper playing with her new toys in her super cute new outfit. Did I mention I love ruffles?

Uncle Tony with a matching goofy expression.

Two of my favorite ladies

And a big thank you to all the lovely girls in my life who helped me pull everything together. I was starting to panic a little the night before the party but they came to my rescue. From Mary and Tienna staying up late working on some craft projects to Mom and Katie and Tienna helping out with the food...I so appreciate all of your help. And thank you to those who came to celebrate our sweet little girl. She sure is loved and blessed to have all of you in her life (and so am I)!

2 comments:

Jocelyn said...

So sweet! You are so wonderfully and awesomely over the top with party planning (like my friend Marci), and I LOVE it! You did a wonderful job.

Tracye said...

Everything was beautiful!

I'll try to remember all my thoughts...

1. I LOVE those baked ham/cheese sandwich thingies. Seriously, soooo good!

2. Don't EVER tell me you're not crafty again. EVER.

3. Thank you for not asking me to make her cake! There's no way I could have said no, even though I would have needed to say no. Yours turned out perfect.

4. That picture of Rick? Waaaaaay more than slightly creepy.

5. I hate that we missed it!!!

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