Thursday, May 4, 2017

Tot Turns One!

A year ago, my whole world turned right side up when our little one was born. And boy, has it been an adventure ever since. Their first birthday is a rollercoaster of emotions - one second you're so proud of the little person they've become and the next you're wishing time would just stand still so you can soak up every ounce of joy you feel in this very moment.

With those never-ending surges comes the added pressure of incapsulating all of this into one elaborate first birthday party. I've seen all the Facebook pictures, all the Instagram posts - you Mama's go above and beyond for these little ones and their birthdays. I truly don't know how you do it. But, when did a birthday celebration turn into a circus of events that overwhelm even the calmest Mama's I know? Where did we go wrong as parents allowing our little ones to think they deserve a petting zoo every year at their birthday? I mean, I love pony rides as much as the next person - I just needed a more realistic balance of what Tot can expect from her birthday parties over the next 18 or so years...she's on her own after that..maybe.

After much soul-searching and a few Pinterest searches (I know - I caved and used Pinterest. I swear this never happens), I realized that all Tot needed was an atmosphere of love, adoration, and just overall fun. Enter - the Pizza/Pool Party! What better way to celebrate a birthday on a budget then with a simple homemade pizza party by our pool. And you know what? Tot had the TIME of her life and so did we.

I had to get creative - I mean, I was inviting a group of people to smoosh into our 1200 square foot apartment. It's not like we could have some elaborate theme with balloon animals and a goat to pet. I needed simple decorations, a flow of traffic to the patio and pool, and lots of fun trinkets for Tot to enjoy.

Decorations were my first obstacle. I've been having a ton of success with the $1 bin at Target and decided to hit up a few local stores to check out the selection. Don't get me wrong, just because I wasn't planning an elaborate bouncy castle in the shape of a heart didn't mean I wasn't planning ahead. I've been scoping out the local sales bins at Target for a few months now, collecting things as I go along. From the garland to the straws - every thing decoration related was picked up from Target. Here are a few of my favorite things:

Finished Product


This part was an easy solution for us as we are the proud owners of a Pronto Pizza Oven. For those of you not familiar, it is a portable pizza oven that can be placed on your patio or porch and make delicious pizzas for you and your family without having to pick up a phone! Developed in the Bay Area, it's been such a great thing for us to have year-round. Since we purchased it over a year ago, it's been a journey of pizza making for our little family - testing new dough and topping recipes all the time. For parties? It's such a fun, group activity where we ask our guests to bring a few fun ingredients to add to the dough and cheese we provide. You should see some of the combinations our guests come up with - deliciously scrumptious. I make the dough a few hours before and let it rise in time for your guests to jump in and make their own pizza'licious treats. 

For more information on the Pronto - click here:

Birthday Cake

Through all my Instagram creeping, I found that the most important part was the cake - DUH! I wanted Tot to have her own little cake to smash, as well as one we could share with our guests. But, I wasn't willing to spend $100 on a cake my little one was going smoosh into her face and let's be real...her Mama's face. One of my best friends (and amazing Mama herself) introduced me to Nothing Bundt Cakes a few years ago and my life has been forever changed. If you've ever had a bit of their red velvet treats, you know what I mean. For organized freaks (like myself) you can order online far in advance and even add any extra treats like balloons, cards, etc. They also have a variety of sizes and flavors that will fit all your guests needs - even tiered cakes SERIOUSLY. Tot had a white chocolate raspberry bundlet to devour, while our guests enjoyed a larger red velvet cake with a princess hat and sparklers attached. For Tot's classroom party at school, I ordered a dozen bundtinis for all her classmates to share. As you can see, we're a tad obsessed with Nothing Bundt Cakes! 

To see if there is a location near you, check out:

At the end of the day, Tot had the best day swimming and being the center of attention, and Mama spent less than $100. With all our friends capturing the party on their iPhones, we had plenty of pictures to share with our family and friends that couldn't join in on the fun without the added expense of a professional photographer. Parties don't need to be filled with extravagant or expensive things in order to be successful & fun. When you shower your little one with love and simple things they enjoy - that's truly all that matters. I hope Tot will learn over time that her birthday isn't about spending a lot of money on material things, but being surrounded by her favorite people doing some of her favorite things. 

From this new toddler Mama to each and every one of you - thank you for all the birthday love for our little one! 

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