When I found out I was having a baby, it was surreal. The feeling of a new being growing inside.. it's indescribable. After 9 months of carrying her, and spending a full year earthside, I can definitely say she is the best thing ever. She has filled our homes and our hearts with so much love!
It was no doubt that I wanted to celebrate this milestone for her!
In this blog post, I wanted to answer questions I received about her birthday and share some ideas with all of you!
Her birthday theme was a little bit of "Up Up And Away" with hot air balloons and clouds.. and I LOVE rose gold, so I threw that in too. Can't go wrong with rose gold - amirite? It was an intimate gathering with the people she sees most in her life, which truly gave her time to play with everyone! She is SO happy to be around those she loves, so I wanted to make sure we celebrated this way.
I added our vinyl decals from our permanent line (I'm sure the reusable grade vinyl would have been fine too) to our entrance balloon, and I think it turned out ADORBS! See above. I kept this one subtle with light grey on a white balloon. I found the large round balloons from Amazon, and we created and transferred the decals ourselves. I include instructions with all of our decals, so you can feel comfortable transferring them on! You just need to be a little careful, as you don't want the balloons to pop!
You could also get foil balloons, and transfer the decals in advance and them blow them up (since they stay flat). We didn't go this route, but I also love how it looks.
Since we were going to have several kids in attendance, we wanted to give them something fun they could do indoors. We used FunTime Inflatables for a bouncy castle, and it was a "Combo Bounce" that had slide and bouncing area.. the kids LOVED it! We even had adults join in on the fun.. it was SO nice to see! Their team was amazing - responded to calls right away, came early for setup, and took their time to take it all down. I would highly recommend them again!
For another piece of entertainment, we used Paul Kilshaw, a local Balloon Artist and Magician in Victoria. He was SO good with the kids! He made the best looking balloon creations - I was amazed! I had never seen his work before, but trusted the reviews and his lovely personality via email. I initially said I wanted a magician, and he offered to do balloon art as well, and he would add in magic tricks. He even went around to the adults and floored them with his tricks - like, how does he do that?!
I wanted to create a "guest book" that wasn't so traditional. I have created these for several other birthday parties, as my customers have loved the idea. It was a given that I would want to create one for Aarya. I did hot air balloons surrounded by clouds, so that the guests could put a quick message and their names in each of the clouds. I printed onto a 16x20 foam board, and absolutely love this little memory. It's not only adorable to display, but also reminds us of the special people who celebrated her day with us!
I included some birthday games that involved Aarya (How Well Do You Know..." and "Guess Aarya's Firsts") for the guests to fill out. The "How Well Do You Know.." game was a fill-in-the-blank style game, and I tried to include answers that guests could find on her milestone board (I used the same one at her Cake Smash).. or things I mentioned at the party. The "Guess Aarya's Firsts" was for guests to guess the month that she experienced the listed firsts - these were things like her first food, first swim, first ferry ride.. It was actually fun to create too, because it gave me time to reflect on the past year!
I made winner bags with a starbucks cup, gift cards, face masks, and other fun practical items! It's nice to go home with a little something.. at least, I think so!
The other side of the table had a guessing game - how many Ferraro Rochers were in the bowl, and the winner would get the bowl full! We had TWO guests who guessed RIGHT on! I was SO amazed! Super easy and a fun addition for the guests to enjoy - from KIDS to ADULTS!
The last thing on her welcome table was her time capsule. I thought this would be a great addition to her welcome board. This time capsule is for when Aarya turns 18. I made small cards that guests could write a message on, that they want her to read! I added the date to the print out, so that Aarya will know when the message was written. I've had a box started of goodies to include in this, and this was the last touch! If you want more details on this.. let me know!
I went through all of Aarya's photos from her first year, and picked out all of the ones she was EATING! She loves to munch on goodies, so I had a few fun ones (including her first pizza slice!). I printed these at 4x4 squares and attached them to the bottom of helium filled balloons. Then, I put them all around the FOOD table! Fun idea, eh? I thought it would be a great way for the guests to see more photos of Aarya (because we're terrible at taking a million photos on our smartphones, but we don't SHARE or PRINT!?!). I had a lot of great feedback on this area.. and I'm so happy! It's always nice when people see the little touches ;)
The final touch for this space was another round balloon, where I added a pink vinyl decal saying "lets eat!"
It isn't a kids party without a sweets bar, is it? Hehe. Although, I think that candy bars are good at ANY party! Who doesn't love to munch on these sugary treats. Yep, I'm Mrs. Sweet Tooth. Are you team sweets, or are you team salty? The candies were purchased from Bulk Barn (such a great selection), and the jars and scoops were from there + the dollar store + what we had at home. We had a few treats at her main table (cake pops, cookies, and the cake), and the rest of the treats (nanaimo bars, cookies, etc) at the food bar!
I got LOTS of questions about her balloon "1" and it was super easy peasy to create! I cut the shape out of a white foam board (you can find some at the dollar store), and I blew up leftover balloons I had at home from her bouquets. I didn't make them too big, and I tried to mix them up in size. I used hot glue and glue dots to attach them to the board, and to one another. It was a fun little craft, and added something extra to the table. I finished off the Sweets Bar, with Aarya's Cake Smash board.. fitting, isn't it? I took a few favourites from the shoot, and printed it onto a 11x14 foam board. I love printing onto foam boards as I do a matte lamination, so there's no glare in photos... AND, I love that I don't need to go shopping for frames. I love a classic, simple look.. and sometimes finding simple frames is such a headache. We also don't have an IKEA on the Island,... so, that's not an option.
Her cookies, cake pops, cupcakes, and two layer cake were all made by Amy from Sweet Avenue Bakery. She is SO amazing. Not only is she a gem to work with, she created my vision to life, surprised me with AARYA cookies (HOW CUTE), ...and, everything tasted AMAZING! For the cake, we did chocolate and vanilla buttercream for one layer, and vanilla cake with oreo buttercream for the other. We received so many rave reviews, and I would completely agree! The cookies, cupcakes and cake pops were so soft and melted in your mouth!
We had guests that do not eat eggs, so we opted for eggless cupcakes. The other half were red velvet (mama's favourite!). The cake pops were vanilla, and had some sprinkles to top it off!
I made a hot air balloon cake topper (sparkly white base with a pink top layer), and stuffed a little basket (from Michaels) with cotton balls. Amy had made little round fondant balls to depict clouds, and it was perfect. I loveeee how it all turned out. Writing this post makes me want cake now. (See Mrs. Sweet Tooth comment earlier :P)
Her main table backdrop was put up by Decorate Victoria, and they were lovely! We had a balloon arch that was EXACTLY like the photo I sent them and a plain white backdrop fabric. I added "Aarya is One" with clouds and hot air balloons to personalize! It was perfect. We added a bouquet of balloons (filled at a local dollar store) that I purchased from Amazon (links below).
We took first year photos with Sarah from Fawn Lily Photography, and I wanted to showcase more than her cake smash! I created a "Our First Year with Aarya" board, and included 3 photos per shoot at newborn, 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, and 1 year. It was so lovely to go through these photos once again, and be able to see her growth through the year all on one board.
Her table also included her milestone board, and I love how nicely it fit her theme.
For table centerpieces, I made little jars with clouds/1's/A's and included a photo of the birthday girl! Can you tell that I love photos? I wanted her loved ones to see the growth that we witnessed through the first year, and thought this would be a great way to do so. I printed 4x4 photos, and made them a little higher than the other elements. I finished the jars off with white rocks that I had already at home! You could also do cotton balls, paper shred, or any other medium you have at home, so there's not a bunch of extra costs!
Loving all of these photos? Most are by Shot by G! He's not usually into event photography, but I think he did amaaaazing! Love how he took detailed shots of the special touches, and such quick turnaround time!
Last but not least, I wanted to share Aarya's birthday pinata! I MADE THIS! Yup. From scratch. I was soooo delighted with how this turned out. I couldn't find an appropriate themed pinata to match her theme.. so, this is what crafty mamas do. We make it ourselves!
I used an old box (from a Christmas gift) and cut out the shape that I wanted. Once I attached this all together, I added tissue paper fringe all around. I cut out the eyes/mouth, and ta-da! I made sure to make a hole at the top to put the candies, and hot glued ribbon around to help with hanging. I grabbed a plastic bat to make hitting it easy, but still safe. Honestly.. I think this was the funnest thing to watch at the party! It took the kids SO long to bash this thing! I was SO proud it withstood so many kids.. even the older ones, who always bash pinatas down!
Would you want to see a tutorial with photos? Let me know in the comments!
Last, but not least, I made a personalized Snapchat Filter for her party! I wanted to incorporate her theme, while still leaving room for people's photos. I attached one of the photos I took above (before I added the personal touches to the backdrop).
Although these are little details that make mama bear happy... my favourite part of the party was Aarya's permanent smile! She was just so delighted to see everyone, go down the bouncy castle slide (thanks to brother bear!), play games, and eat!
A huge shoutout to my family and friends who helped setup and clean up everything that day.. it truly takes a tribe to bring a vision to life.. especially when Little A keeps calling for mama :P
A final thank you to the vendors involved, that I mentioned throughout the blog (clickable links):
Photography: Shot By G
Cake/Personalized Treats: Sweet Avenue Bakery
Food/Catering: Kuku's Restaurant
Backdrop/Balloon Arch/Easel Rental: Decorate Victoria
Bouncy Castle: Funtime Inflatables
Magician/Balloon Artist: Paul Kilshaw
Aarya's Professional Photos: Fawn Lily Photography
Aarya's Outfit/Headband: Urban Baby Apparel
Other info that people asked about!
Aarya's Shoes: H&M
My Outfit: H&M head-to-toe
Hubby's Outfit: R&W
Printed Square Photos from London Drugs
The full list of items by Creations by Sonia:
Boards: Milestone Board, Welcome Board, First Year Board, Cake Smash Board
Game + Sign Prints
Cake and Cupcake Toppers
"The Sweets Bar" Banner
"Aarya is One" + Clouds + Hot Air Balloons for Backdrop
Clouds/Hot Air Balloons hung from ceiling
Lets Eat + Aaryas Birthday Decals
Labels for Favour Bags
Custom Snapchat Filter
Lastly.. Here are a few links of the items I purchased off of Amazon*. I found the prices a lot more affordable than in-store - plus, save the driving around with a one-year-old! I also found that I didn't see any of the larger round balloons in-store, so this was much easier :) (Oh! We used them for her photoshoot too!)
Rose Gold "1" Balloon: https://amzn.to/2Uf1lUq
Rose Gold Balloons: https://amzn.to/2H6gPqh
Large White Round Balloons: https://amzn.to/2T4Iwqw
Large Rose Gold Balloon: https://amzn.to/2tK4NuF
Happy Birthday Air Balloons: https://amzn.to/2tIYUy7
Tinsel Backdrop: https://amzn.to/2EEbgxx
Rose Gold Tablecloth: https://amzn.to/2T4P9co
* FYI - these are affiliate links. I get a small portion if you order through my link :)
Wow! I think that's the longest blog post yet!! I'm sure I've done the blog Gods wrong, but I wanted to share it all in one post :)
If there's anything that I missed, or that you'd like more info on.. let me know! I'd also LOVE to know what your favourite thing from the party was?