Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Our Little Bird is One...

So we figured since this is the last time we're going to celebrate a 1st birthday, we had to go all out with it.  I wanted this to be something that I've never seen done before and it was my opportunity to let the crafting diva in me shine.  And shine she did.
First on the to- do list was to pick a theme.  I decided to go with a birdy theme.  My little one is such a breath of fresh air and so lively and sweet. Plus her tiny mouth resembles a beak sometimes... it was perfect.  And since moving to Connecticut left me a little homesick for some sunshine and green, this was the perfect opportunity to bring a little Spring to the cold winter months.  Now, considering we have 6 birthdays just in our little family of 8 between the months of November through January AND Christmas... I had to manage making a big impact with a small budget.
 First budget conscience decision was the location... we had our celebration at home. A few little details that helped pull the theme together included 2 small wooden bird houses on pedestals that I bought for $1 each at Michael's. I do believe it worked in my favor that I was planning a spring-like themed party during the fall when all of the last seasons goodies go on sale.  And since I wanted to make this a one-of-a-kind birthday, I insisted on making most of the decorations myself.  In some ways it was a little pricier to purchase the necessary tools to achieve this (ex. hole punches, fabrics, die cut letters, shape punches)... but in the long run these tools came out handy for several different projects. I was able to achieve a one-of-a-kind look and will be able to do so for any other occasion that may come in the future. Considering we have 6 kids... I considered these tools an investment. And when you consider I only payed a fraction of the price using the stores mobile apps, I thought it was a bargain. I downloaded Joann's Fabrics and Michael's apps onto my smart phone and used them on every single visit. I never walked out of Michael's without saving at least 40% on an item and Joann's coupons look very similar to those of Michael's in savings. If there was no coupon, there was no shopping. Unfortunately for daddy, there was always a coupon available.
Also, our local Dollar Tree was a gold mine. They're floral section was my go-to for my daughters giant flower headbands and also to put together the birdy wreath that greeted our guests at the door. I'd buy an entire bushel of flowers for a dollar. I would then go ahead and take the flowers apart, then put them back together either doubling up or even triple up on the petals to make one very full and fluffy flower. They turn out especially pretty when using two toned flowers.
The glass jars for our candy buffet were purchased at Homegoods which I found to have the best prices for details such as this. It was also really hard to walk through their store and not walk out inspired by all the unique decorative details on display. In their children's section is where I found baby's party dress. The look I wanted for baby was nothing less of what would be ideal for a little princess. I fell in love with the fluffy, cotton-candyish look of the petti skirts I came across on Etsy one evening. These beautiful little creations came with an understandably high price tag of $60 or more. Homegoods had this little hidden treasure of a dress hanging in their children's costume section for $19.99!  Had to have it! Along with her birthday sash from Party City and birthday crown from Target.. our little one partied away as a fluffy little princess on her special day.
Another great way to pull a theme together is with food. Or in this case... with our "TWEETS".  Dry chow mein noodles and melted marshmallow made for some super adorable birdy nests. Peanut M&M's resembled birdy eggs. Delicious and a definite UMPH in the cute factor for our theme.
After many trips to our local Dollar Tree, Joann's and Michael's and about fifty 40% off any regularly priced item coupons scanned... We pulled off the perfect little birds themed birthday to match our little ones bright and cheerful disposition. Sure, I burned off a few layers of skin on some of my fingers with the glue gun. And yes, it took a whole lot of time doing tedious work such as puffing up the 140 teeny tissue poms-poms that shaped out the letter "M" that added that little extra personal touch. She may not ever remember this day. But it was certainly one of the sweetest milestones for us as a new family.  Our first 1st birthday together and possibly our last of the bunch. It's so Bitter-TWEET! (I just couldn't resist.)