Austin’s Winter ONE-derland

As promised- the birthday party post. Since it’s so overdue, it will be brief and heavy on pictures.

In preparation for the party, the week prior, Chris was busy childproofing the whole first floor- including removing houseplants the day before the party. We got a couple extra panels for our playpen, and we set the newly grown pen in front of the fireplace. Me? Well, I’ve been cutting out snowflakes since the beginning of November.

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I had seen this fun first birthday theme online, and decided to turn our home into a winter wonderland for Austin’s first birthday. So, we’ve had snowflakes slowly going up on our walls all winter long. We even hung tissue snowflakes from the ceiling. Our Christmas tree had a backdrop of snowed up windows, and was themed blue, silver, and white. It stayed up for the party.

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We decided to make a photo booth so people could take pictures with their friends and families- and Austin, of course! So we cut out some props, made a yarn frame, and set up the camera on a tripod. We got some great shots!

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Just to make things a bit more difficult, (but more themed and fun!) I decided that all food, serving ware, and decor had to be white, silver, or blue as well. Or, as close as possible.

We had a sweets station/candy bar with blue and silver sixlets, white gumballs, rock candy, rice crispy treats, caramel apple cookies, white chocolate cranberry cookies, snowcaps, blueberry yogurt covered pretzels, puppy chow, rice crispy treats, meringues, powdered donuts, vanilla tootsie rolls, white and blue swirl lollipops, blue & silver Hershey’s kisses, and cinnamon sugar kettle corn. I swapped out our normally red pictures above the buffet for some pictures of Austin throughout his first year that I tinged blue, but came out looking more black and white.

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Planning a near-white menu is actually much harder than I realized, but I think we pulled it off. We had a white bean salad, curry chicken salad sandwiches, sour cream onion dip, spicy bacon mac-n-cheese, chicken bog, deviled eggs, potato salad, white cheddar popcorn, cheese and crackers. Of course, the morning of the party, as I was finishing the chicken bog on the stove, I ran to the store and forgot to turn down the heat. I came back to the smell of scorched rice and chicken, and I frantically tied to save the dish and air out the (previously good-smelling) house of the smell of burnt food. Grrr.

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And no Winter Wonderland would be complete without hot beverages, so we had a hot drinks bar- complete with hot apple cider, hot chocolate, and coffee available. We had caramel, whipped cream, and dehydrated marshmallows next to our sugar and half and half, and in another part of the kitchen, liquors and spirits for the grown ups to add.

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I also made icicle blue cupcakes, caramel apple cupcakes, and mint hot chocolate cupcakes with marshmallow icing.

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And we had a store-bought organic vanilla butter cream cake for the main event. We put the “1” on it with sparkly blue frosting.

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We set the stage with a little banner….

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…and let Austin dig in to his giant slice of cake!

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He didn’t go too crazy, but it was clear he was enjoying every bite! (We didn’t let him eat the whole thing.)

I can’t believe over a year has passed since we brought him home and he changed our lives. I’m glad we celebrated it this way! We had a great turnout, and a lot of fun. It was so great to have so many of our friends gathered together. Some we had not seen for a long time. I think the kids and the grown ups all had a good time. Austin was very spoiled and got a lot of attention. So many people came to celebrate our little guy! He really is so loved!

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The official birthday pics aren’t ready yet, but here is a sneak peak from our phenomenal photographer.

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