We celebrated Abe's first birthday almost a week after he turned one. He loves fish (that's one of the animal sounds he can make, and it's sooo cute), so I started gathering inspiration for a fish party a few months ago.
|Fish in a bag invitation.|
The invitations were one of the last things I figured out. Our long drive to Nashville gave me a lot of time for brainstorming, and after deciding against trying to make these favors, I suddenly realized I could make fish in a bag invites instead! (More information on the invitations tomorrow, along with a free download!)
|His cousins brought a pet fish as a gift!|
We set up a photo booth with the goldfish piñata I made, and included some speech and thought bubbles for guests to write messages on. The kids mainly used them to interact with the fish!
(Go here to see how to make sandcastle sandwiches.)
|"Happy birthday, Abe!"|
Being diabetic, I generally think in terms of healthy (as apposed to sweet) when it comes to party food. I expanded on the fish theme by incorporating another one of Abe's favorite things - the beach! - to create a lunch menu that was fun and nutritious.
|Go Fish Jello Jigglers|
|"Lake Water" Lemonade|
|Fish and Starfish Melon Skewers|
And did I mention, it was easy? I was able to prep most of the food the day before, so I just had to cut the melons and make the sandcastle sandwiches that morning. My brother came early to help, and made a sub sandwich for the adults while I was taking pictures.
|Pasta Shells with "Seaweed" Pesto|
|Yellow pepper, carrot, and celery sticks.|
|Happy Birthday Bunting|
I picked up a this stack of card stock from Joann Fabrics to make the birthday bunting, and used the scraps from the bunting to make sandwich flags and thank you notes for the party favors.
|Submarine Sandwiches for the Adults|
|Blue Lemonade with Fish Ice Cubes|
When we got married, my husband and I collected glass cream containers to use for centerpieces. The thick glass bottles were also perfect for serving drinks! I just covered the name of the dairy farm with stickers made from some of the same card stock I used for the bunting, and labelled one for each of our guests. I found the cute polka dot paper straws on Etsy, and made fish ice cubes using trays from Ikea.
I kept the table decorations simple with just a couple jars of sand and seashells we've collected on trips to the beach.
I decided to do a #1 cake after seeing this sailboat-themed cake. I liked the flags and boats but didn't want to get too far off track, so when I saw these cake toppers I had to try to make one for Abe's cake! I basically followed her directions, but cut the tissue in a fish shape instead of a circle. Luckily I had just enough orange tissue paper left over from making the piñata!
Since I didn't have the time to bake a cake from scratch, I picked up a couple boxes of Devil's Food cake mix at the grocery store. For the filling, I used one package of chocolate pudding, but followed the directions to make pie filling instead of regular pudding (reduce the milk to 1 3/4 cups instead of 2). Easiest and yummiest cake filling ever!
My husband ran to the store for me twice to pick up cream cheese frosting. I thought one container would be enough but in the end we used three, along with almost half a bottle of blue food coloring! Someday I'll learn to frost a cake without getting crumbs all over...
It was fun watching Abe tear into his birthday cake. He did eat some of it but mostly just mashed it up and squished the frosting between his fingers.
|This is his "I'm so excited" scream.|
I was glad I made his ironed-on #1 shirt from an already stained onesie because I know I will never get those blue frosting stains out!
|The goldfish piñata.|
When I saw this post about how to make a number piñata, I was immediately inspired. It looked so easy! No balloons, no papier-mâché - just cardboard, tape, and crêpe paper. Probably something I should have started more than a week before the party, but with a long drive up north and back, followed by a few days with a sick baby who spent a lot of time sleeping, I somehow managed to finish it in time for the party!
I was a little afraid Abe might get freaked out to see his cousins whacking the goldfish with a stick, but they gave him the first swing and he thoroughly enjoyed it.
For the party favors, I found these metal pails in the dollar bin at Target (in just the right colors too), and filled them with homemade sidewalk chalk and a thank you note from Abe.
|Beach Bucket Favors|
|Homemade Sidewalk Chalk|
I wasn't sure if Abe was really old enough to appreciate a party all for him, but he really seemed to enjoy it, so I'm glad we put a little time and effort into making his day really special.
|Abe's new fish.|