Well, we did it! My little bean is one. How an entire year has gone by I don’t know, but at the same time I look back and remember all of these little moments, adventures and triumphs. The moments that seem so short, the days that are long and all the in-between warm fuzzies, and think to myself, it’s ONLY been a year? How is that so? I cannot recall what life was like before I met you, had you in my arms, snuggling me and kissing me. Watching me, tracking me to make sure I didn’t leave the room. So much time passes in the blink of an eye and you don’t realize it until a milestone like a first birthday comes along. And when that milestone presented itself, you best believe we celebrated in style.
Ezra’s First Flamingo Highlights:
- Pineapple/Watermelon pops
- Jumbo sized palm leaves
- Free Printable Pineapple toppers
- 6 DIY Party Décor Ideas
- Large Flamingo Balloons
- Rice Crispie pops
- Homemade Flamingo Cookies
- Patio party lights
- Oreo pineapples
There was pink, there were feathers, there was sweet corn, pop corn and cake pops. There were pineapples, giant balloons, sunscreen, bouncy castle and lots and lots of laughs. This day couldn’t have gone any better. Yes we were scrambling until the last minute while the birthday girl played with bubbles in her playpen, but man did she have a blast. Leading up to Ezra’s first birthday I thought to myself, yeah for her first birthday I think I’ll do a party, something fun and flashy but not huge. Then it started. Ezra turned 6 months and one of my close girlfriend’s son turned one. Then the other two littles in our group turned one. After months of planning and preparation I was drawn in, sucked in to the ‘first birthday fiasco’ and there was no telling where the end point would be. I had created a vision in my head and nothing would get in my way until the day of completion. This party was going to be big. Real big.
I planned, I prepped, I snipped and snapped, glued and taped. Our home was constantly in a changing form, one day our living room had different shaped ferns covering the couch and floor, the next day we had 4 giant helium flamingos hovering in the corner. Slowly our living space became quite tropical and there was no denying Ez was about to turn one. I was very fortunate to have a couple local shops come alongside me in celebrating with décor. Little Sprout Creations (Ezra’s First Flamingo Banner) and Glitter and Spice (Flamingo Teether).
The only way I got through the couple months leading up to her birthday was three words:
After planning and writing everything down on paper, I went through the stores I would need to go to, compared prices and made a ‘To buy’ list, ‘To do’ list and a ‘To make’ list. Having it all jumbled on to one piece of paper would’ve driven me crazy. Having separated each task into three lists gave me some sanity in picking and choosing what I wanted to do that day and not be overwhelmed with a list 30 items long. I looked through the things I needed to make and chose to start on the most daunting task first. The one that would take me the longest: The ferns. Even though these took the longest, they really made the event and brought all the décor together.
Here some step by step decor ideas, planning and pictures to help guide you in throwing your very own First Flamingo!
|| Flamingo Balloons:
I was looking online for where I could purchase some of thesewonderful pink breasted birds other than party city and I found them! For CHEAP. I ended up purchasing them from BargainBalloons.com ($4.50 each!). I received them in the mail within 2 weeks and went to go and fill them the day before and NO WHERE would fill them unless they were purchased from their store. I called what felt like every store around but I got word from a friend that a dollar store up the hill would do it!
|| Pineapple Donut Toppers:
I gathered these adorable little pop on prints from CreativeWife & Joyful Worker. Codi had posted these for a tropical party that she had recently done and used these toppers for donuts with a yellow icing zigzagged on top (SO cute!). If you haven’t had a chance to view her gorgeous set up with Dearlovesblog check it here
I printed these toppers off (large and small sizes) on to card stock, cut them out and then hot glued them on to toothpicks for easy attachment with the treats!
Go to Creative Wife & Joyful Workers Summer Party post for your own Cookie & Donut Pineapple Toppers Free Printable
|| Banner for Photo booth:
Little Sprout Creations provided a custom made banner for our photo booth, ‘EZRAS FIRST FLAMINGO’ If you are in need of any party décor or custom made banners, seriously, check Jen out @littlesproutcreations. She is the bomb! And such a joy to work with. (If you were wondering, yes she also did our banners for our DONUT GROW UP shoot we did a few weeks ago.
You may also like ‘Donut Grow Up styled shoot’.
Below are a few of the DIY projects I took on months before the party and boy am I glad I did! I wouldn’t have gotten them done otherwise.
1. Tissue Tassels (Light pink, white, gold, hot pink)
One of my girlfriends was planning her little ones birthday party a couple months before Ezra’s and was creating these beautiful tasseled garlands. I couldn’t help but jump on board because 1, they were super simple and 2, cost efficient! (and 3, the perfect thing to do while you’re watching survivor)
2. Photo booth
This would have been the second photo booth that hubby and I have put together, the first of which being the one we made for our wedding Reception. After doing a bit of research we found it to be quite simple to do and cost effective if you can find your supplies at a thrift store or in the discount bin. For our wedding we had used thin pieces of plywood and thought that it would be better and lighter to use was the wood with holes . Turns out we were wrong, it really curled and bent in the sun and now it is in a heap in our storage room because it couldn’t hold it’s shape. If you get the thin plywood, it is a bit heavier but worth it for either resale or reuse after the initial event!
Wallpaper > Value Village : If you know Mackenzie and I, then you know that we are diehard thrifter’s and on a date night, babysitting covered and a couple hours to spare, you can find us at the thrift shops. One of these times we just happened to be wondering through the home décor section and low and behold, tropical palm wallpaper. Obviously when I saw this, I knew that the stars had aligned and we were going to have a photo-booth at Ezra’s birthday. The entire roll (that we still have leftovers) was $7! HELLO!
Other materials we picked up along the way to make our photo booth a success:
Wallpaper Paste (RONA – $12)
Wallpaper tray (RONA – $3)
Plywood (RONA – $12)
3. Photo booth Props
I ended up purchasing the prints online and then printing on to card stock, cutting and gluing to small dowels and it worked lovely! A little bit time consuming but also very cost efficient, I paid a total of $10 for the set and dowels (Dollarama) and everyone had a blast using them!
4. Paper Ferns
These big floppy ferns took me the longest! I bought 8 green poster boards, sketched 4 different kinds and sizes of leaves that I wanted to create, cut them out and retraced each one. This was an evening project that probably took about two weeks. But keep in mind, the only time I really buckled down to do this was when The Voice or HGTV was on.
5. ‘One Year of Ez’ Frame (12 x 5×10 monthly milestone photos)
Throughout Ezra’s first year of life, She had this great big golden frame (5ft x 3ft) hanging on the wall in her nursery. This frame was passed down from Mackenzie’s grandmother and is a very special piece of memorabilia for our home. Every month I would go back to it and fill it up with current photos, family and friends in her life and milestone moments. When her birthday came around it only seemed necessary that I fill it with larger versions of her monthly floral milestone photos. Above her present table we hung the frame for all to see, out of reach from littles but perfect height for viewing pleasure!
6. Floral ‘1’ Decor (Large size)
As some of you reading this may know, I have a few side jobs where I create certain home, birthday and wedding decor. One of which are these beautiful blooming 1’s for first birthdays. (If you or someone you know if interested in these pieces, please send me an email! I create letters, numbers, Canvas Calligraphy and Macrame wall art)
|| Flamingo Cookies
These rockin’ pink feathered beauties were handmade by Ezra’s lovely and very talented Auntie Shannon.
|| Pineapple Toppers & Watermelon Toppers
I thought that instead of having larger pieces of fruit out for little hands, I would put bite-sized pieces on sticks. They were such a hit! I think they were the snack that I refilled most. (They were a little time consuming, but they looked adorable and I they were easier to hold for tiny hands!)
Donuts: Tim Hortons
Lemonade/Pink Lemonade & Sangria bar – lemonade, sliced lemons and strawberries
Cotton Candy – Safeway
|| Rice Crispie cake pops w/ icing and sprinkles:
Now this one was a doozy. Something I thought would be so simple and easy, obviously, turned chaotic quite quickly. I cut and stacked the squares and put the straws in the ends (Gold&White swirl straws: Party City) and dipped them into the homemade icing and placed them on the baking sheet. ALL the icing poured off on to the baking sheet, dripped down and pooled on the bottom. I was at a loss trying to think of ideas of what to do to save my beautiful melting creations. I quickly placed the tray in the freezer, then each time I dipped the squares, I sprinkled them and placed them in the freezer. The next day when I brought them out for the party, they were all beautiful iced and sprinkled and if they melted in the sun that was A.O.K. with me. They were beautiful and they were done.
Set Up/ Décor
We started early in the morning, but we all know that even that isn’t enough time! It really IS tricky to set up and really zone in to your project when you’ve got your one year old crawling around and pulling everything you place within arms reach. Luckily I had my amazing in laws and hubby to make this creation come to life! All up to 5 minutes before guests arrived and papa ran out to get ice and beers. Thank you papa.
FLOW: When setting up an event you want to make sure you’re envisioning the day with everyone there, not just empty and pretty looking! When I was looking for a spot to put the photo booth, I needed to put it somewhere where A) no one would constantly be walking in front of, B) somewhere that was inviting, and C) a spot that wasn’t in the blaring sun. In the end of it, I had to opt out and put it in the sun, but it worked and people took pictures! So PHEWF.
The rest of the area fell in to place naturally. In the yard, the bouncy castle would be positioned in the sun in the back corner, the play house in the other corner and the small turtle pool in the shade beside the rocker under the tree. The food/treats table would be set up just beside where the BBQ was, drinks and ice in the stand alone cooler, and condiments/plates/napkins were on the ledge of the BBQ cover. On the deck we had a large umbrella where the comfy seats were and this is where our grandparents and parents would sit. Beside them was a gifts table, if anyone brought a special treat for Ezra I wanted to make sure I had a spot that was for that instead of trying to organize where things went during the party. (On a side note, we chose not to do an ‘opening gifts’ time because there was a large amount people and I feel Ez would’ve been overwhelmed. She was so blessed that day in receiving a mountain of treasures from all who attended! After everyone had left we had her cousins help her with unwrapping.)
Touching on the concept of ‘flow’ in the party and proper roll out, I made sure EVERYTHING was prepped. If we needed more napkins/plates/bowls/cups, I had them in a bin under the snack table for easy access. I had any extra food just inside the door for quick refills and I did not bring the cake out until it was time to sing. This ensured the cake wouldn’t melt in the blazing sun or little fingers wouldn’t get to taste test before the big sing along began.
Yes, yes. The cake is homemade. Please feel free to boost my baking ego! Because dannnng did that cake have a mad lean and 12 skewers holding it up before it came out!
After the song had been sang, hugs and kisses had been exchanged and well wishes were given, it was time for the GREAT FLAMINGO CLEANUP. Naturally, we plunked all the kids in the turtle tub and carried on our way! I hope you enjoyed Ezra’s First Flamingo as much as we did!! We were blessed beyond compare with the love of family and sunny weather on this day. Now let’s hope this carries on throughout the rest of the summer! No more rain!
Scroll down to enjoy the last few minutes of our big day, take care & see you later lovelies,