KEEPING THE FIRST BIRTHDAY SIMPLE

Hope JohnsonComment
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Me oh my. Somehow, a year has gone by. A whole three hundred and sixty-five days has cycled through.  The earth has made an entire trip around the sun. A WHOLE YEAR has gone by since my sweet little girl entered my arms. After two, for lack of better words, obnoxious birthday parties for my son, Finn. I vowed to keep things simple for Isla.

Finn and Isla don't care about Pinterest inspired birthdays, I know that much. It's hard though - as a creative and stationery designer, it's hard to keep things simple when its your own project and the ball is in your court. Here's how I do it:

I'd like all moms and dads alike to pick ONE thing that they really care about. It may be the cake, the location, the gift... there's something you want to splurge on.

For me, it's the stationery (clearly). Whether it's the wedding day or an event as simple as a first birthday party, the stationery sets the preface to the story you will tell.  My remaining details were kept as simplistic as possible. This really allowed me to focus in on what was important to me. ..and what was not.

These invitations were inspired by Finn's first birthday invitations. The disc spins to tell the story of each month's milestones. There was no way to create something equally sentimental for Isla, so the work was done. All I had to do was watch her grow and document this amazing first year with her in our lives. ...one I cannot image living without.

My mother always made our cakes. ...a three layer yellow cake with chocolate icing that still to this day, I can't get right. Testing my skills, I spent the morning of Isla's party making a mini, three-layer red velvet cake with pink cream cheese icing. Finn got to lick the bowl and Isla taste tested her soon-to-be mess of a cake. We learned something new that day. Isla really loves cake.

photo cred | louisiana lifestyle photography | Quaint and Whim

photo cred | louisiana lifestyle photography | Quaint and Whim

I opted for minimal decorations. The stationery was letterpress printed with a hand-drawn floral, so decorating my home with local fresh flowers seemed like decor that keeps giving. I am actually drying some of the flowers from that day. I'm in the middle of a whole minimalist attraction, so less is more. Just picking up the scattered toys and putting out a few fresh flowers was all the decorating we needed. In a random bout of internet browsing, I came across these beautiful fans - perfect for a Louisiana Saturday in August. Hip Hip Hooray read the floral banner kit by Rifle Paper Co. What's great about this banner is that I can reuse time and time again. I wanted to keep the home design simple and sophisticated, but feminine ...something that didn't scream baby. And that's it. That's all we needed. It was enough to announce that this gathering wasn't a random Tuesday. It was most definitely a party, but the focus was on sweet Isla and the celebration of her first year in everyone's lives.

Just picking up the scattered toys and putting out a few fresh flowers was all the decorating we needed.
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I've planned many baby showers, wedding showers, birthdays, and gatherings at our home. It's hard not to just want ALL THE PRETTIES. Choosing what is important to you and letting the other details fall in to the simple category has by far made this birthday memorable. I remember going to get the balloons and flowers. I remember the mess of sprinkles we made baking Isla's birthday cake. I remember the kids getting tangled in bakers twine as we wrapped treat bags. I remember making Isla's birthday hat from some scrap paper and Finn asking if he could paint it. I remember Isla smiling out the window as familiar faces walked up the sidewalk.

I ACTUALLY remember the party and being able to speak to our guests. I remember the things that were important to me - the simple things. Let's make a vow to simplicity, because more often than not, simple is better.


credits & sources

invitations | THElittleBLUECHAIR
banner | Paper-Source
cake topper | BHLDN
cake stand | Anthropologie
paper crinkle fans | BHLDN