1. Narrow down a way-too-long list of possible places to celebrate, decide on a place that's not really convenient for anyone, but seems good anyway.
2. Create handmade invitations, and mail them out to everyone I know. End up spending waaaay more than expected, in time and money.
3. Make decorations. Hundreds of them, all with a personal touch.
4. Food. Lots of food. And make it all at home, by myself, while taking care of an almost-toddler. This ended in TONS of leftovers. I actually just threw out the remainder of the Costco sized box of Goldfish last month.
5. Bake a cake for Raina, and cupcakes for the rest of the party-goers. Also crazy considering I was working 4 days a week then and had one day to accomplish all baking and cooking tasks. Thanks GOODNESS for Auntie Karen! She saved the day.)
6. Find a special outfit for Raina to wear, head to toe
7. Take the cupcake theme and run with it, scouring catalogs and websites to find every last perfect touch
8. Research the best prices on helium tanks. Seriously.
101. Make lists. Reorganize. Make more lists.
Pictures? I've got a few...
( the cupcakes... although they looked more like this in my daydreaming/wildest party planning imaginings...)
It was quite a production. I've joked that I planned mre for Raina's first birthday party than I did for my wedding... and I'm only half joking! (Or maybe even 25% joking) It cost more than I expected, and it was a LOT of work. Not that she wasn't totally and completely worth it... but for party #2, I was looking for a little less stress.
This year, my list was slightly shorter:
1. Reserve indoor playground 4 minutes from our house
2. Send email invites (from Pingg.com) to immediate family, Raina's little friends, and a few of her other favorite peeps.
3. Order a cake. Broken stove = no homemade kitty cake. (Okay, that ended up changing. Stove got fixed the morning before the party, so I DID manage to make a kitty cake... Even wothout an Auntie Karen to help this year!)
4. Convince other people to bring snacks ("Wouldn't it be fun to have an Edible Arrangement at Raina's party??")
5. Make cat lollipops for favors (Raina's favorite part!)
We had a blast. ...and I'm pretty sure the guests did, too! :)
(and just in case you were wondering... both Raina's flower clippies and my flower pin came from this shop: Murdock Design on Etsy I love her bright designs!)