Wednesday, February 17, 2016

The W I L D one

I am so excited to finally get to share pictures from Rajan's first birthday party!! I know I am a few months late (his birthday was 10-24), but with all of the holiday posts, I wanted to wait until I could really focus on the excitement of his party. 

We were so fortunate to be able to celebrate his birthday party on his actual birthday, I feel like being with family and our closest friends made celebrating the day of his birth so special and more than just a birthday party, but an actual day of thankfulness for our little blessing. 

I had been thinking of Raj's birthday theme almost since birth. I knew I wanted it to be something special, personal, and something that meant something to Raj and D and I. I had been reading books to Rajan since I was pregnant, and I don't know if it is the fact that I taught preschool for 10 years or that since I was a child I have just always been fascinated with books, but even when I first found out I was pregnant, the first thing I purchased was a book; not an outfit, not a blanket, but a book. For my baby shower, we had guests bring a children's book to sign instead of a card, so early on Raj had a wonderful book collection. Since the day I brought him home, I always made sure to read at least one book a day to him. It was pretty exciting early on to see his interest in books grow, pretty soon he was showing preference for certain books and showing an interest in their pictures and rhythm of story. 

"Where the Wild Things Are" quickly became a favorite, not just of his, but mine. I loved reading this book to him because I would giggle to myself about how even so early on, I always saw a little bit of Max in Rajan (the main character in the book). Max is curious, spunky, a little rambunctious, but in the end, the sweetest little guy... yup, felt familiar. I could see Raj light up at the pictures every time I pulled out the book, so special! As Raj got older and we grew closer and closer to his birthday, using the theme of the book became more and more apparent, and since we did a book theme for his baby shower, it was pretty special to do the same for his first birthday; and so forth came 
"Rajan's Wild Rumpus!"

The invitation was a custom order from Smitten Design Studio. It was originally in a chalk board style layout and the wording was slightly different, but when I messaged the owner, Amanda, about changing the little details I wanted, she was so sweet and open to making it more personal and exactly what I was looking for. She was really quick and so easy to work with and created the exact image I wanted. I had the files made in a 5x7 pdf and printed them myself. Here is a little tip: when ordering images for cards, announcements, or even holiday cards, instead of using the photo print option (too glossy), I always find that printing the files as a "large business postcard" from Staples gives me the exact type of quality I want. They are on thick card stock, great color and quality, and when you order in bulk (for our large family we always have to order 100+), they are so much cheaper than ordering invitations or cards off the more traditional sites, and they still come with envelopes!

Rajan's cake table was one of my favorite aspects of the party. I put so much personal work into it and tried my best to create something a little more unique and personal instead of replicating something from Pinterest. As the backdrop, I used tropical plants to keep with the jungle/island theme of the book and strung across one of my favorite decorations of the party, the "Rumpus" banner. The banner is from Studio Pep and was one of the first items I wanted to order. I love a great banner, but I also love the large gold balloons a lot of people have been using at parties, so when I found these banners it almost seemed to good to be true. What I loved most about the banner was that you can create a custom saying and/or names and they can make the balloons any way you like. There were so many great options and when I received the banner, the quality was just as wonderful as it looked in the photos, not to mention, incredibly budget friendly!! The banner stood out in the entire room and was such a hit, most of our guests had never seen anything like it. 

The rest of the items on the table I made myself. I purchased the different size wooden crates from Michael's and love how they staggered, they made the perfect dessert displays. The extra leaves scattered around the table were from a plastic tree bush from Hobby Lobby.

The main birthday cake and Rajan's smash cake were honestly too perfect for words and equally as delicious. One of my favorite cakes shops in the OC is It's All About the Cake and they have become a cake go-to for all of our family events. 

The wooden Wild Thing quote board and the book theme letters on the table I made myself. The wood cut out was purchased at Michaels and I used paint pens to write the quote, and the letters were also purchased at Michael's and I cut out pages from an extra copy of the book and used Mod Podge to paint the pictures from the book onto the letters. What was awesome about that project was that we got to save the name display and now have it up in Raj's playroom!

We didn't play too many games, but I did want to have some activities for the kids. Since it was a costume party and Halloween was the following week, we set up a stations where the kids could decorate Trick or Treat bags. It was such a hit and so easy to do. We ordered all of the games, prizes and treat decorating items from Oriental Trading Company, so inexpensive and easy!

A candy bar was a must with Halloween just a week away and I love the way the colors added so much bright details to the room. The custom made candy bags were such a hit and our family and friends have mentioned that they have actually kept them as souvenirs and still have theirs to this day. We ordered the small personalized candy bags for our guests from Sixpence Press and I was so impressed with their entire shop. From personalized bags to tees and onesies, they can do custom designs on virtually anything. The bags were the perfect touch, and as you will see below, we also used their shop for Rajan's cake smash onesie! 

The candy and hashtag signs I made myself. The boards were purchased at Michaels and I used chalk pens for writing. To make the crowns I cut out a crown shape from card stock paper and ties ribbon on both ends so the kids could wear them at the party. 

To keep something for the memories, I had a photo book made of pictures we took in Rajan's first year and there was a table set up for friends and family to sign a page in the book sharing their favorite or first memories with Rajan. It has been so fun having the book set in our living room and I always notice our guests going straight to it to look at it, I can't wait to give it to Rajan once he is old enough to understand it. 

Rajan's adorable costume was from Pottery Barn Kids. It was a little bit big but that almost made it even more cute on him! Look at those squishy little cheeks!!

The custom photo booth boat was a huge hit. It was made by my cousin who designs and makes custom wood pieces, John's Creative Yard Furniture. He is so incredibly talented and quick with making orders and he made exactly what we wanted. Same with a lot of the decor, it is a piece we were able to keep, and will probably be turning it into a sand box this summer! We also used it for his first birthday photo shoot, as seen HERE.

For center pieces I wanted something unique but that also went with the theme. Flowers were just too girly for the style of the party and for Raj's personality, but succulents seemed like the perfect "plant." Again, the crates were also purchased at Michael's. 

Oh the glorious cake smash!! We were so anxious to see Raj's reaction to the cake. He has always been quite the picky eater and had never really shown an interest or care for sweets when we had tried to offer them to him before so we weren't even sure he would care too much. Turns out, the cake was so delicious that he actually ended up getting really into it! Although, to be completely honest, I think he had more fun with the destruction part of it!! 

The adorable high chair banner and #1 crown are from Little Love Lane. With the crown I was originally torn between the larger or small size, but the owner was so sweet about suggesting the larger size and I am so glad she did!! The smaller one has a string that goes around the neck, and I think that had we got that one, Rajan would have tried taking it off; with the large size it was so light and fit so soft that I don't even think he ever noticed he had anything on his head!

Cake smash onesie also from Sixpence Press!

I am so thankful to have these sweet memories with our family and friends and know Rajan will love looking back at these pictures as he gets older. I know so many people who have said that having a first birthday party is a waste because the babies don't remember it, and although I can see why they feel that way, I must say I disagree. That first year can be the most rewarding, but also challenging transition, not only for baby, but for parents, family and friends as well. Adding a new person to a group of people is a huge adjustment, and I think there is something to be celebrated when you have completed that first year. I believe that the first birthday party isn't just about the baby, but also about the family, and especially the parents who made it through the first year. 
Life is a gift, and I believe it should be celebrated. 

Hope you have enjoyed this journey with us!! My husband made an incredible video which was meant to be played at the party, but due to technical difficulties, it unfortunately didn't get played. I will be sharing that special video tomorrow and I can't wait, it really was so sweet and I know he put his heart into it. 

With love,

Special THANK YOU to all of our vendors and party extraordinaires:

Wedgewood Banquet Center - Aliso Viejo


Event and day-of coordinating 
(party Goddess, and my right hand during the entire day): 




Wild Thing Costume: