ben's belated birthday

With all the changes we've been going through over the last couple of weeks, I decided last minute to throw a little birthday fiesta for Ben. We were in Seattle over his actual birthday, and then a week later Nick deployed, so what better time to throw a little party? I got the invitations printed and sent out, and I kept it really small.

I think I was just wanting something to look forward to in the midst of a tough time at home and, frankly, I was in the mood to design a birthday party invitation for the little guy.

The front of the invitation is a countdown from one month to twelve months. I made the numbers transparent so they could lay right over the photos. I liked the look of mixing a few color pics in with the black and whites, but I tried to select color photos that picked up the party colors (blue + orange).

The back of the invitation has a large photo of Ben (that I took on our kitchen floor!), some large text and the details for the party. I debated on the color scheme but in the end went with my gut. I know orange is everywhere these days, but that's only because it's so darn fabulous.

I love how the photo turned out, and YES, I matched the blue text to the polo shirt he's wearing. 

I kept the decorations really simple: 

  • jars of candy and biodegradable cello bags so kids could take home some Laffy Taffy and Nerds
  • a large roll of orange grosgrain ribbon, which I secured around the jars with customized round labels
  • blue polka dot balloons and orange balloons
  • a large quilt with baby toys for the little ones

The menu was equally simple (and made entirely ahead of time):

  • quartered (and de-crusted) PB+J and turkey + cheese sandwiches on white and wheat bread for the kids
  • my Mom's signature chinese chicken salad for the adults
  • a watermelon whale filled with chopped fruit
  • chocolate cupcakes, which substituted organic, unsweetened applesauce for oil (and, of course, were topped with chocolate and vanilla frosting and sprinkles!)
  • paper bowls filled with snacks: pretzel pieces, Haribo gummi bears and goldfish
  • organic sweet potato puffs for the babies
  • big plastic drink dispensers filled with lemonade and water, with accompanying paper straws

I bought recyclable food containers for the cupcakes and salad, which made clean-up really easy. They're not the most green option, but it was so nice to be able to recycle the aluminum containers rather than transport home the dirty dishes and attempt to clean them after-the-fact.

Orange napkins added a little color, and paper plates helped with the easy clean-up. I hope you like the photos. It was a fun little get-together. Nothing formal or fancy, no petting zoo or pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey. But it was really nice to celebrate with just a few friends.