Lessons learnt from a one year old’s birthday

Here are three things I learnt from Jamie’s first birthday and baptism celebration:

Firstly, if you have any perfectionist or OCD tendencies, you cannot organise your one year old’s birthday party in one week without giving up sleep. For the whole week.

Secondly, it is very hard to track down plain white paper cups. And by plain white cups, I mean the ones that don’t scream Dora, Wiggles, Spiderman, or Barbie. The ones that aren’t pink or pastel blue or charcoal grey or bright purple. The ones that aren’t plastic. The ones that don’t require a minimum order of 2000 because the supplier thinks you own a coffee shop or two. If you are after a niche business idea, I have the answer for you: plain white paper cups.

Lastly, if I were to star on The Apprentice, I want my husband and my father-in-law on my team. “Put those chairs in the car! Bring those two crates! Grab the gazebo! Pack, pack, pack! Drive, drive, drive!” Such were the instructions I was shouting at home about an hour before the party was due to start. Yes, one hour. And at the other end? “Put up the gazebo! I want tables here, here and there! No, I don’t want this table anymore. Move this back over there. I want that one. Yes, that one! Hang that garland up. And that one. Make it look nice. Bring that table back inside. Put up those streamers. Yes, put them close together. Yes, hang them all up. Make it look good! Ice in the bucket please. Twenty minutes to go? We need to move faster! Go, go, go!!!” Okay, slightly dramatised, but you get the picture. I was one stressed out mummy. But my amazing husband and his dad made it happen. They are legends. They did everything I asked and they helped make my vision happen. Oh, how I love them!

And so. A run through of what Team Mason did:

Believe it or not, this welcome table was an entirely impromptu setup. For some reason, it had completely escaped my very exhausted mind to have a place for the orders of service and the ‘welcome’ sign. That’s one of the prices you pay for late-night, last-minute party planning. Thankfully, I’d packed all these ‘back-up’ items (as you do, I mean, who doesn’t grab old Pepsi crates, bags of lemons and pot plants from the laundry and bathroom when leaving for your kid’s birthday?), and they sure came in handy!

The chalkboard was one that we made ourselves using a white photo frame and a spare chalkboard sticker/decal that I had in storage. Rick cut the decal down to size for me and it worked brilliantly!

This was my most favourite table of all: the party favours table!

From left to right:

  • Play Doh cone favours! Basically I made cones using white cardboard, Kraft paper and yellow washi tape. I then used yellow tissue paper to line the cones before placing a small tub of Play Doh inside. It held together really well, and I was then able to place them in the pail like a bouquet. I got the idea for Play Doh when I stumbled across a packet of nine for only seven dollars! And more importantly, they were a hit with the smaller kids.
  • Pinwheels made using the DIY tutorial and free printable from Oh Happy Day. I was stingy and didn’t want to use up all our toner to print the black stripes so made up for it with the stripy pencils from Smiggles. And guess what, they actually do spin!
  • Little bags of ‘Gold Nugget Bubble Gum’ from The Little Big Company. When I saw these on their website, I knew they would be perfect for the bigger kids, and I loved how they tied in with our yellow/vintage theme.

As for the rest of the table, I used two hessian sacks as the table cloth, and Rick’s old suitcase from when he was a little boy as a prop for the pinwheels. I’d also designed and printed some small cards to label the three different favours. We used a smaller table too so that the kids could see it at their eye level.

I actually think that the party favours were the hardest part of planning the party because I wanted to do something a bit different yet I didn’t want to spend too much. But all the mulling paid off in the end. I loved how it all turned out, and it was great that the kids got to choose more than one favour to take home!

Thank goodness Schweppes was on sale at Coles and thank goodness they have nice packaging, with colours that co-ordinated conveniently with my so-called theme. We also had bottles of mineral water on ice for the kids, along with some lemon and lime diet cordial. The metal bucket and the burlap table cloths were from Bunnings, and yes, I found my paper cups in the end. Yellow, not white.

I have to thank Facebook for all the lovely food, because it was through Facebook that I learnt that my friend Alice had just launched a sweet treats catering business. I wasted no time in contacting her and was very proud to be her very first customer!

Seriously, if you are looking to outsource the sweet foods for your next party, Alice is the one to call. Not only was she ever-so-accommodating with customising her menu items to suit my (OCD) needs, but she delivers to your doorstep and her food is divine. Everyone loved her chocolate cookies, coconut cupcakes, butterscotch madeleines, and chocolate banana brownies, and the kids particularly loved her vanilla cake pops with yellow sprinkles!

And of course, the birthday cake: an amazing coconut angel cake creation by Alice with an ever-so-fluffy sweetened whipped cream topping. It was de-li-cious. Every single bit of it disappeared. Every bit. I’m not even sure whether Mary (Rick’s mum), who was busily helping me cut the cake, managed to get a piece!

Originally, I was going to fashion mini bunting as a cake topper but at 4am in the morning, any ability to use my hands abandoned me. So instead, I simply designed, printed and cut out the letters of Jamie’s name and then stuck them onto skewers. Worked a treat! The lovely cake stand was on loan from Mary, the colour of which inspired me to bring along an aqua ‘Lunch’ sign from our family room as a backdrop for the cake.

And naturally, some photos of the boys:

In terms of what we did to keep the kids entertained and amused, that will have to be a whole other post!

p.s. You see that yellow pom pom garland you see in the background of Angus’ photo? That only took me about five or six hours to make. I refuse to throw it out because I intend to use it over and over and over and over again. You’ll see.

51 comments

Prue April 2, 2012 at 10:14 pm

You were Martha Stewart in a previous life without the criminal tendencies and the previous life, weren’t you?! It looks amazing.

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Pink Ronnie April 2, 2012 at 10:31 pm

Criminal tendencies!?

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Prue April 3, 2012 at 11:59 am

She was in jail (or gaol) for a bit there. : )

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Pink Ronnie April 4, 2012 at 11:00 am

Goodness, I had no idea!

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Rick April 2, 2012 at 10:32 pm

Thanks girly.

A great write up of Jamie’s B’day. Thanks for all you did in preparation and on the day.

R

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Pink Ronnie April 2, 2012 at 11:29 pm

Thanks for all that you do everyday.
Love you.
xo

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Katie*Belle April 2, 2012 at 11:17 pm

The party looks amazing! If I only looked at the photos, I’d have no idea things were stressful leading up to it. I’m sure everyone had a beautiful day!

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Pink Ronnie April 4, 2012 at 10:42 am

Thanks Katie, the party/baptism went very smoothly. The boys had fun!
Ronnie xo

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rooth April 3, 2012 at 12:25 am

Wow – you ARE super mom. The party looks like it was wonderful and all those treats look so good. My favourite picture is obviously of the birthday boy though. That is how birthdays should end, on the floor with a balloon in your hand!

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Pink Ronnie April 4, 2012 at 10:43 am

“That is how birthdays should end, on the floor with a balloon in your hand!”
LOL, I love that!
Ronnie xo

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Monica April 3, 2012 at 12:27 am

the photos of the boys are my favourite!! they all look so beautiful.

man, this sounded so stressful. i was very glad to hear you didn’t do all that cooking. i appreciate even more what giving up perfectionism has meant for me. LOLOL

those sweet treats look really good.

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Pink Ronnie April 4, 2012 at 10:44 am

Maybe one day you can write/blog about how you gave up perfectionism? I would be very interested in reading! And there was no way I was going to do the food myself, hence Alice was my life saver…
Ronnie xo

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Cecilia April 3, 2012 at 12:36 am

love it! it looks so effortless and cohesive. i love how you didn’t do ALL of it yourself. now that’s inspiring!

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Pink Ronnie April 4, 2012 at 10:47 am

Thanks Cecilia. I had no choice really – with less than an hour to set everything up, I needed all the ‘man’ power I could get!
Ronnie xo

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Barbara April 3, 2012 at 4:28 am

So sweet, love to get one of these popsicles, please!!!

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Pink Ronnie April 4, 2012 at 10:47 am

I know, those cake pops were soooo yummy. Crunchy on the outside, so soft and lush on the inside.
Ronnie xo

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amanda {the habit of being} April 3, 2012 at 5:03 am

seriously? one week? it looks amazing. maybe you need to go into event planning…

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Pink Ronnie April 4, 2012 at 10:52 am

Funny you should say that – I dreamt about it when I was little! Maybe…one day….
Ronnie xo

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Charlotte April 3, 2012 at 9:22 am

What a gorgeous, sunny party! Way to pull it off. :)

Peter looks quite mischievous in his photo…

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Pink Ronnie April 4, 2012 at 10:53 am

Oh yes, he’s our cheeky one. Love him so much!
Ronnie xo

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Soyoung April 3, 2012 at 9:47 am

Beautiful party! All of the details are so gorgeous. I really love the pops of yellow throughout, and I’m also really loving the burlap (?) table cloths!

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Pink Ronnie April 4, 2012 at 10:54 am

Yes, it’s burlap – or hessian as we call it here in Oz. We bought about 8m of it from the hardware store. I love it, and hope keep reusing it.
Ronnie xo

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Pink Ronnie April 4, 2012 at 10:54 am

p.s. Thanks for visiting!

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Penny April 3, 2012 at 10:51 am

What an awesome party! Nice work. Looks like a great day was had by all!

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Pink Ronnie April 4, 2012 at 10:54 am

Thanks Penny.
Ronnie xo

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kristina April 4, 2012 at 4:47 am

oh my gosh ronnie, i’m so jealous of your boys haha! i would love to have you put together a party for me ;) ;) you are quite the event planner, i am sooo impressed with what you’ve put together here – i’m sure everyone had the best time!!!! p.s. loving those play-doh cones ha, so cute ;)
xoxo
k

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Pink Ronnie April 4, 2012 at 10:56 am

Thanks Kristina! You are so sweet. They were my favourite, those Play Doh cones!
Ronnie xo

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Johanna April 4, 2012 at 6:55 am

Wow…I’m speechless. Your theme was so simple yet so sophisticated and you did it in one week? Amazing. I love the color scheme and the treats. I have one month to pull a bday together and I am scratching my head on what to do as an activity. You set the bar way high…lovely!

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Pink Ronnie April 4, 2012 at 10:59 am

Is it a party for a little person? I didn’t have space to write about it in this post (was saving it for another post), but all I did was buy a game called Finnska for the older kids and their parents (they loved it) and I put together a craft kit for the younger kids…. would love to know how your party goes!
Thanks for visiting my blog and for your lovely comment.
Ronnie xo

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vitaminA April 4, 2012 at 2:14 pm

this is absolutely amazing and gorgeous in every way!!! i can’t believe you planned this in such short time. how lucky your boys are to have such a talented mommy! i’m sure everyone had a blast! thanks for sharing :)

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Pink Ronnie April 9, 2012 at 10:27 pm

Thanks Amy – I didn’t get much sleep though!
Ronnie xo

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Laura Gofton April 5, 2012 at 10:17 pm

What a party you put on Ronnie. Amazing. I just adore the colour scheme too. Well done mummy.

And a big Happy Birthday to Jamie too!!
xx

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Pink Ronnie April 9, 2012 at 10:27 pm

Thanks Laura!
Ronnie xo

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rachel April 6, 2012 at 3:42 am

This is amazing! You are amazing! Holy smokes, so cool. Best party ever!!!

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Pink Ronnie April 9, 2012 at 10:28 pm

Haha, thanks Rachel. I was a huge relief when it was behind me…
Ronnie xo

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Alicia April 9, 2012 at 4:30 am

This party looks great! I love the favor table and all the yellow accents!

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Pink Ronnie April 9, 2012 at 10:28 pm

Thanks Alicia for your lovely comment, and for visiting.
Ronnie xo

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Emmie Rae April 16, 2012 at 2:19 pm

WOW! this is so amazing, coolest mum ever! I am in awe. God, I’d even love one of those play doh cones myself…. beautiful blog! xxxx

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Pink Ronnie April 23, 2012 at 1:29 pm

Hi Emmie,
Thanks for visiting my blog and for your awesome comment. :)
I’ll have to come check out your little corner too.
Ronnie xo

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Fiona August 7, 2012 at 6:18 pm

What a fabulous looking party, Ronnie! You are an amazing party planner! I love the bright yellow theme and the vintage details. It would be great to read a post on how you go about putting a party together (hint, hint!). I also fall into the category of planning a party in a week, but this one is awesome!
Hugs, Fiona xoxo

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Pink Ronnie August 28, 2012 at 2:12 pm

LOL Fiona, hint taken! I shall add it to the list.
Ronnie xo

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Jane November 5, 2012 at 3:17 pm

I hope this doesn’t sound weird, but I secretly wished this was my birthday party! What a fabulous party – one for the books!

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Pink Ronnie November 5, 2012 at 7:49 pm

That’s really sweet Jane – feel free to copy it! :)
Ronnie xo

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exterior veneer December 27, 2012 at 5:56 am

Pinned that Play Doh. it is lovely. You are good at party planning. Thanks Ronnie and wish you merry Christmas. xo
~ Herman Swan

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Ritz February 26, 2013 at 1:32 pm

The more I read your blog, the more I am in awe about everything :)
You are a super mom! I love love love those boys photos and all the planning…
I love yellow and you used it so perfectly.

Also, I am OCD and find it v hard to let go but it was an eye opener to read about your outsourcing things. I am inspired in so many ways.

XOXO

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I love hearing from you!

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