Wednesday, April 29, 2015

"Milk and Cookies": A 1st Birthday Bash!

Last Sunday, 60 of our closest family and friends helped us celebrate Harrison turning the big 0-1, via a "Milk and Cookies" birthday bash!

I purposefully selected the theme for two specific reasons: (1) I was so very proud to have nursed each of my babies for their first year of life; so, this was a shout-out to those three years of love, pain, and hard work. Breastfeeding is not always easy: with Harrison, alone, I suffered through mastitis, many blocked milk ducts, pumping, having to go dairy- and soy-free for several months due to his milk protein allergy, etc. So, I wanted to have milk as part of the theme to (selfishly) celebrate what is, undoubtedly, one of my greatest accomplishments; and, perhaps more importantly, (2) My little buster loves alllll things sweets. So. "Milk and Cookies" it was!

Here, first, are the specifics of the party details: 

The invitation: My awesome friend Amy, of One Good Name, created all of the adorable printables for the party, which included the invitation, food and drink labels, signs, and banners. She was so wonderful to work with and customized everything based on the vision I shared with her. If you need printables, she's your gal!

The cookie station: What good would a "Milk and Cookies" party be without cookies?! Anyone who knows me knows that I am much more of a baker than a chef (ha! slight understatement), and I was so excited to create the sweets menu for the party. While we had appetizers for the adults outdoors (more on that below), indoors was all about sweets for the kiddos. I homemade and decorated two special cookies for the occasion as well as the cupcakes, which were frosted with chocolate-chip cookie dough icing (made from scratch and quite heavenly, if I'm being totally honest). The rest of the sweets were easy: I got them from Costco. Cost effective and tasty-I'll take it!

The Cookie Bar.
Cookies, cookies, and more cookies.
The menu.
Fun "chocolate chip" shortbread cookies I made for the occasion...
As well as milk bottle cookies
And I can't forget the scrumptious cookie dough cupcakes!

Some of the other treats offered.
 Have I mentioned a time or two I am obsessed with bunting? Ha! I handmade most of these during naptime over the last couple months and loved how they looked all together as a backdrop.
I think the tassel garland was my favorite, which was cheap and easy to make!
And how cute are the printables for the cookie and milk bars (more on the latter below!)

The milk station: With all those sweets, the littlest guests would surely need something to wet their whistles. Enter: the milk bar, which offered a selection of strawberry, chocolate, and white milk. 

The Milk Bar.
Again, shout out to One Good Name for the sweet printable details.
Can you guess which two milks were the favorites? I'll give you a clue: not white. ;)
 Bottoms up!
A little baby's breath to freshen up the place. :) 

The birthday boy's throne was placed right next to the milk bar and was festive and ready for dining!

Party fun, Part 1: Cookie decorating station: As if the cookie bar wasn't enough, why not offer more cookie-eating opportunities in the form of a cookie decorating station? If the amount of sprinkles on our porch after the party was any indication, this activity was a hit!

 The calm clean before the storm ;)

 (Store-bought) sugar cookies, icing, and sprinkles awaited the guests!

Party fun, Part 2: Cookie jar guesses: The kiddos were also invited to guess the number of cookies in the jar to win a prize (i.e., the jar of cookies-surprise!). The winning guess was just 20 cookies off!

Party fun, Part 3: Bounce away! Because we were expecting 30 kids, ranging in age from 11 months to preteen, I knew we needed a little something extra to really keep the party going (and help the kiddos burn off all that sugar!). We rented this jump castle from A Bounceable Time, and they were absolutely fabulous to work with, even agreeing without hesitation to let us postpone the rental from Saturday to Sunday with only 24 hours notice and no extra charge. 

The favor table: As if there STILL wasn't enough sugar, guests were invited to take home their own (white chocolate) milk mustache, which were made by Chootzies. 

 The favor table
 One Good Name does it again...
and again!
 I found the cute picket fence containers in the Target dollar bin. With a quick coat of spray paint, some floral styrofoam to hold the mustache pops, and a little greenery, they were ready to go!
A view of the screened in porch, which housed the cookie decorating station, cookie guessing game, and favor table.

Adult food and bevs: We couldn't forget all of our dear friends (i.e., the parents of our sweet guests!) and their food and beverage needs! Thanks to a trip to Costco for some Cowboy Caviar and jalapeno pimento cheese (yum and yum!), as well as several dips (spinach and artichoke; hot corn dip) made with love by my momma, the adults were not forgotten. Beer, wine, and Mudslides were on tap for sipping and there was plenty of bottled water for guests of all ages. 

 A view of the backyard. Thank goodness for no rain!!!
And now, the important stuff: the people! We are truly indebted to each and every person we invited to the party. These are the people who have walked alongside us the last year as we have adjusted and transitioned to life as a family of five. They are so very important to us, and we were so touched to have them with us as we celebrated not only Harrison turning one, but also the fact that we made it, relatively unscathed, through newbornhood and infancy. We love our village--our amazing family and friends--and are absolutely blessed to have them in our lives. 

First, let me proudly introduce our Harrison, the guest of honor:

 Bowtie and suspenders by The Littlest Gentleman

And our little family o' five:

Lastly, a few fun shots from the party:

We honestly could not have had a better time celebrating our sweet 1-year-old. Thank you again to our wonderful family and friends who traveled near and far to help ring in Harrison's birthday!

And with that, we're off to tackle Year 2, as we continue to work through our sugar high. :)

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