Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Celebrating our Rookie of the Year!

Hi! It has taken over a month but I am so excited to share the details and some pictures of Chase's first birthday party!  First, I need to say that there are way more pictures of the décor than the actual party while it was happening.  I was pretty wrapped up in "hostess" mode and just enjoying everything about the day and having our family and friends celebrate Chase, that I neglected to get many pictures during the party.  Luckily I did get a family picture and some of Chase with the cake!  ;)
After spending more time than I would care to admit searching Pinterest, I settled on a sports theme...which quickly turned into a baseball theme.  I loved how easy the décor and the food were to support my theme.  Plus, the cutesy "first pitch" and "rookie of the year" stuff had me sold!  I'm not sure how it happened but I ended up with mostly red, white and blue decorations with some green tossed in so it didn't seem to patriotic.
First up the mantel.... 
 A Pinterest inspired banner, a few pictures of Chase over the year, baseballs in a vase, an apothecary jar filled with shredded paper bag filler and wood craft things (glued to kabob sticks) in buckets.

Chase's newborn picture and one from his 6 month session. 
In the kitchen I decided to showcase some of my favorite pictures from his first year.  Don't judge but I may have printed out over 100 pictures.  Allegedly. 
 The construction paper on at the bottom was courtesy of Natalie since she wanted to help with the decorations as well.  So sweet :)
Since all 100 pictures wouldn't fit on the window I decided to line the door frames in the living room and dining room.  Yes, I realize this makes me slightly cray cray but I just couldn't narrow down my favorite pictures any more.  He has changed so much over the year and we have had so much fun that I couldn't not document some (most) of those moments.    
On the kitchen table, I had a blue tablecloth and some baseball fabric along with the cookie cake I made. 

In the dining room we did more pictures, another apothecary jar and a 'C' with stars.  Oh and of course, baseball scrapbook paper.  Love me some cheap and cute decorations!

On the other side of the buffet was one of my very favorite DIY items.  It was actually pretty reasonable and super easy to make!  I used an 8x11 canvas that I already had around the house (don't judge but I always seem to have blank canvases around the house for crafting whenever the mood strikes!), paint, vinyl and my Cricut paper cutter.  I chose a more yellow-y, off white color than white so the baseball had a slightly more used/distressed look to it.  I also took a khaki color and distressed the edges to get the 'old baseball' look.  From there it was just cutting the vinyl and placing it how I wanted.  Easy peasy!  The best part?  Chase has a sports themed bedroom so this bad boy (and another one I made) are now hanging in his room.

The dining room table.

The front entry table.  Another DIY canvas, some stars from the Dollar Store, pictures and some kiddy favors.  I also had a baseball out that everyone could sign with their birthday wishes.

One thing I really enjoy doing for the kiddo's birthday parties is making a special wreath or front door item.  It then gets repurposed to hang on their bedroom door throughout the rest of the year. 
For Chase I found cardboard shapes that were easy to paint and apply more vinyl too.  The star and the ribbon are just hot glued to the back.  Another fun, easy and unique item for the kids to keep.
As I was going through all my pictures I realized in my hurry to feed everyone, I completely neglected to take pictures of the food!  Wowzers!  So the food was kind of a stroke of genius for this theme party.  I kept it super simple and TOTALLY in theme.... 
'All Star' Nachos (yes, I bought the huge container of concession stand cheese from Sam's...it was $6 and a total hit!)  with 'Grand Slam' Ground Beef.  Accompanied by jalapenos, sour cream and salsa.
'Home Run' hot dogs
'On Deck' Fruit Salad
'Strike Out' Soft Pretzel Bites (purchased from a local establishment)  As a side note, my husband and I battled over whether or not to get the pretzels bites and then how many we would need.  I argued that people love soft pretzels, they are a staple at ball parks and there is just something so right about a soft pretzel with gooey cheese.  In the end, he caved and we bought a 100 (for $10!) and they were completely gone halfway thru the party.  Not that I am saying I was right or anything....
It was more than enough food for everyone and I got rave reviews.  I think people enjoyed the fact that the food was outside the norm for a party and I loved how little I had to cook.  :)  Seriously, I cooked up the ground beef and that was ALL!  My hubby grilled the hot dogs, the cheese warmed up right in the crockpot and I convinced my mom to bring the fruit salad. 

Now dessert was a slightly different story....
Since I am not a huge fan of cakes, I prefer an ice cream sundae bar for big parties.  Don't worry, people are always very excited about the sundae bar and don't seem to feel to gipped  they didn't get birthday cake.  :)
We had brownies and cookie cake as a side item or the base of their sundae.  Thanks to Pinterest I have a delicious cookie cake recipe from Life, Love and Sugar.
The kiddos love the toppings!  I learned the hard way this time that you really need to keep an eye on the spoons though.  Luckily it was after everyone had a sundae, but I caught one stealthily little one scooping the M&M's right out of the bowl with the spoon....and putting the spoon back after using it.  #gross
I also kicked up the sundae bar with hot fudge, strawberry and warm butterscotch sauces.  SO YUMMY!!!  The hot fudge is my mother-in-law's recipe but I found the other topping recipes on Pinterest.  #ofcourse
Butterscotch Sauce & Strawberry Topping
Both were so easy and could be made a few days in advance.  Perfect!

Enjoying the beautiful weather on the swing set.

 On to the good stuff...Cake Smash!!
A sweet friend of mine made Chase's delicious smash cake.  In the shape of a baseball, of course!

He wanted to share at first....

Hmm, not sure about this.....

Yea, its so good I need to use both hands...

I cut a piece off once I realized that he would probably devour the whole cake.  :) 

Pondering life with cake...

Too busy with the cake to be bothered for a picture with mom and dad! 

 After a long day of partying the kiddos were wiped out but we had to squeeze in a family picture!
I had so much fun planning and hosting this party for Chase!  Our family and friends really made it a special day for him!  Thank you all so much!


  1. Girlfriend! This party is amazing!! I am loving all of the details... especially the smash cake!