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  • Writer's pictureMaggie Stock

We have a 1-Year-Old | Come, Sit, Stay, Play B-day Paw-tay

Updated: Sep 16, 2022

I'm in complete denial that we now have a 1-year old. Everyone always says time flies, don't blink, they'll be a toddler before you know it and on and on and on, but... time really does fly.

Carolynn has consistently been obsessed with Porter since day one, good thing too since I decided to call this blog Big Paws and Tiny Toes. If they didn't like each other that would be a bit awkward now wouldn't it. So, naturally when deciding on the theme for her party, it was an obvious choice.

Thank you Target for having a dog themed line this year for parties, that's where we started from for decor and theme inspo. The rest, I decided to DIY to try to save some money which in the end... did I really save money... with all the driving and returns probably not, but the intent was there.

The night before her birthday we set up her main gift (big hit) and I decorated her bedroom door with some streamers... though for some reason only the blue fell down all throughout the day. Birthday morning, I had an 8:00 AM balloon pickup from Party City, highly recommend - affordable, easy pickup and they lasted for days. The night before we did our balloon arch and major decor leaving only the minor things for the day of the party. I really wanted to be able to spend her birthday morning as a family rather than rushing around doing party prep... I would say we were mostly successful doing this.

I made funfetti cupcakes and used a piping bag for the first time (there's a reason the final cupcakes / dog head cake aren't shown - mostly because I forgot to take a photo), which if I do say so myself tasted pretty dang good. We took our photoshoot photos and printed those out to have on display under the birthday banner as well as added them to our "month board". The month board only needed 13 photos, since we included her announcement photo as well, but I printed 94 for us to choose from... whoops. For food we really ran with the "dog" theme with our naming: Barkuterie = Charcuterie, Dog Bones = Frosted Rice Crispie Treats, Fetch Sticks = Pretzel Sticks, Fruit Kibble = Fruit Cups, Ruff-age = Veggie Cups, Paw-sta Salad = Pasta Salad, Pup-Corn = Popcorn, Pupperoni Pizza = Pepperoni Pizza, Puppy Chow = Self explanatory & Water Bowls = Blue Raspberry Jello.

I'm a big fan of the matching outfits, or at the very least the coordinating outfits. Since we ended up having to run inside (more on that in a bit) for the cake unveiling, we didn't get a full fam photo but here is a close up of the tank tops we wore. Carolynn's outfit we used for her photoshoot with her practice cake smash, who doesn't love iridescent Cricut iron-on.

I know I personally can never remember the time of day that I was born. So, on Carolynn's birthday I wanted to make sure to take a photo with her at the exact time she was born. On the same sentimental note another thing that we decided to do was to set up Carolynn with her own Gmail account that she'll have access to when she's older. In this account we asked family and close friends to send emails to Carolynn on her birthday so she will get to read their notes. This is something that we hope to continue for years to come for birthdays, special occasions or just fun milestones for her to look back on.

Custom Happy Birthday Banner:

Highchair "One" Banner:

Smash Cake Photoshoot: Photos by Mom

First Birthday Accomplishments Sign:

The running joke is that it rains on all special occasions in my life with birthdays, weddings, Carolynn's birth, Etc... we thought though since we've been in a drought that we wouldn't have to worry about rain on her birthday. How wrong we were. The 3% chance of rain percentage had us all fooled as it down poured to the point where we had flooding happening in our back yard. Just goes to show you can plan as much as you want but not everything will go to plan. Like I mentioned above, because of the rain we had to move our cake smash to the dining room which ended up being a bit more hectic and less planned out than I hoped.

Here was the setup that we had made outside that we intended to use, at least we got a few photos before the rain and then a few the next day before we took down her decorations.

Of course we also had to do our typical monthly photoshoot, how is this already the last one... I'm tempted to keep them going so I don't completely lose it. Porter has remained extremely patient through all of these photoshoots, it's a good thing he has had lots of practice in photoshoots of his own. And how cute is this outfit she was gifted for her birthday? Perfect fit for the party theme.

Tips & Takeaways:
  • Create an email account or have hand written letters done by family members and friends

  • If you're hosting a party, do all party prep possible in advance and spend the day with your love

  • Have someone other than you to take photos (iPhone or camera) so you don't miss moments

  • Make sure to take photos with your little one before everyone arrives - at the time they were born or just make sure to take one with them to start the day

We kept our girl busy on her big weekend with the day after being her baptism day. Stay tuned for the next post to see how she got the whole congregation laughing.

We love you Carolynn Bea.

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