Last year, we had a huge party to celebrate Noodle’s first birthday. We invited anyone and everyone, and almost 100 people graced our doorstep that day! It was wonderful, but with the arrival of Baby Bee I decided to simplify this year. We went much smaller and invited immediate family and a few toddler friends. The weather that day was bright and beautiful, and we enjoyed the small gathering with some of our favorite people!
I was inspired by Gymboree’s “goldfish” line, and went with that theme. It’s funny, because I ended up not loving the Gymboree outfit that day but the theme was cute nonetheless.
Because of the impending arrival of Baby Bee, I started planning this party a few months in advance. That was one of the best decisions I’ve made, because I was able to gather things as I went along and it practically planned itself. I was also able to come in under budget (less than $100) because I didn’t need to rush out and purchase anything at the last minute. Double bonus!
We got the party started by sending invites designed by Chickabug. One lucky reader will win a $30 gift certificate to her shop in a giveaway that I’ll announce as part of our Blogoversay Extravaganza in a few weeks! I absolutely loved how it turned out, and apparently our guests did as well because we got lots of compliments. Here’s a partial screen shot of how they turned out:
I’m not sure how others do it, but the day was so busy I only had a chance to snap a few quick photos. The parties featured on other sites must be professionally done, because I was setting out our decorations just moments before guests arrived. No time to take photos, let alone make everything look styled! Please pardon the terrible photos. I’ll try better next year.
Here’s our birthday banner, which I made neutral so it can be enjoyed for years to come:
And some goldfish snacks, of course:
Like those stickers? They also came from Chickabug!
I loved the fish shaped soap favors, scented in orange creamsicle. Ooops, you can’t see the soap but they were cute! A better photo of them (along with a few additional details that didn’t make the final party planning cut) can be found in my planning post.
As for games, we had a wading pool filled with a fishing game that my mom found at a yard sale (go Mom!). The sandbox and water table were big hits, too.
Quite frankly, the activities that were the biggest crowd pleasers were playing with the ice in the beverage area and a huge hug-fest that lasted a good ten minutes (gotta love when four toddler girls get together!)
We didn’t even need the tissue paper fish craft I had on hand because the weather was so nice outside. I’ll save that one for a rainy day.
The cupcakes were homemade, which saved lots of money. I wrapped some of them with yellow cupcake wrappers, and added goldfish cutouts from Etsy:
The table was covered in a fish net from Oriental Trading Company. I didn’t get a chance to snap photos of the entire spread of food because it was hot and we didn’t want the food to spoil, but this table was covered in lots of tasty treats like goldfish shaped sandwiches for the kiddos, cut with a cookie cutter:
I couldn’t believe it when a friend gave me a goldfish onesie as a hand-me-down. I literally noticed it the day of the party when I went to dress Baby Bee!