I had no idea how expensive some party supplies could be, especially balloons. Luckily, Zurchers Party and Wedding Supplies had just about everything I needed. I was really excited to see that they had items specifically for the Very Hungry Caterpillar, but alas, the stars weren’t quite aligned because none of it was available. Regardless, I was able to get a lot of fun things that really helped create the party I had been thinking of in my mind — from green and yellow plates to items specifically for first birthdays. And they have tons of polka dot items, which was one of the themes I was looking for. They have a lot of really great things, for just about any kind of party you can think of! As guest arrived, they were greeted by this sign:
I set out a copy of Oh the Places You’ll Go and anyone that wanted to was invited to write a message to Jack. I hope to continue that tradition for the rest of his birthdays, and give it to him when he turns 18.
I also picked up some cute stationary from Target, and everyone answered some questions on them for a time capsule we will have Jack open on his 18th birthday. The answers were so fun, and some of them even made me tear up a little bit (like one of my friend’s wishes for Jack — that he will have the inability to break my heart. So sweet!) I think a time capsule is a fun way to capture some of the moments of a baby’s first year that might be forgotten otherwise. Here are the questions we asked:
- One word to describe Jack
- Memory of Jack during his first year
- Where will Jack go to college
- What will Jack want to be?
- What is a wish for Jack’s future
- What is some advice for Jack at the age of 18
Then, of course, the main attraction of the party (besides Jack,) was the food:
I did pull quite a bit of the inspiration from the book, and threw in a few twists of my own. We had all sorts of assorted fruit (apples, pears, blueberries, strawberries…the works!), two kinds of fruit dip, ham sliders and sausage sliders (look for the recipe later this week), and a yummy pasta salad. I found some green and orange bowls at the dollar tree which served as the perfect place to put all the fruit. I really wanted everything to be bright and colorful, just like the book, and those turned out to be the perfect addition.
Zurchers has an awesome first birthday section, and we definitely used some items from it! These cups, the tablecloth, and napkins all came from there, as well as the candle for the cake. And I could not resist these striped, green straws. Jack is obsessed with straws, and since they were green, I got snatched them right up. We served lemonade — plain and simple!
One of my favorite ideas I came up with was this caterpillar balloon. I didn’t realize how expensive balloons had become, or that there was a helium shortage going on, but luckily, Zurchers sold them for at least 30 cents less than any other store. They also had a great variety of different shades of green, which is exactly what I wanted! Attached to the bottom of each balloon was one of Jack’s monthly growth pictures. I glued them to pieces of cardstock, just to make them a little more sturdy, and then tied them to the balloons. I think people really enjoyed being able to see a little montage of Jack as they picked up their food and also got a kick out of the caterpillar balloon.
I went back and forth about what to do for dessert. All I knew was that I wanted something that looked like a caterpillar. At the eleventh hour, I decided to forgo the cake pops I had been planning, and went with cupcakes for the guests, and a mini cake for Jack’s smash cake. I just baked some of the batter in a small bowl, and viola, it was a caterpillar head! The frosting was lime flavored, and I think it was pretty tasty!
Another item I picked up from Zurchers were these two crepe paper banners. I was about to get regular crepe paper, but then I saw these, and I knew they were perfect. They kind of reminded me of the jungle, and I felt like it kind of separated the room into two places — the food area, and the visiting area.
And what kind of post about Jack’s first birthday would this be, without a picture of Jack. He was being so silly and shy at first — he crawled under the table, and into the corners, away from everyone! That was totally not like him, and he quickly warmed up. This was him when he was still deciding if this party was a good idea or not.
I knew that there were going to be quite a few kids there, mainly around Jack’s age, so we decided to set up some of his new birthday toys. They seemed to be a big hit, and it made it easier for everyone to just visit, knowing their kids were occupied.
For the party favors, we just went with something simple. I found this adorable little boxes at Zurchers, and I filled them with candy and a straw — because Jack is obsessed with them. I feel kind of bad, because a lot of people didn’t realize they were there and left without them. But I think the people that did take them enjoyed them!
Overall, I felt like his party went really well, and everything turned out how I wanted them too. Obviously, my cake and cupcakes weren’t professionally done, and everything was homemade, but it was perfect for us. It was definitely a first birthday to remember! And here’s my sweet little caterpillar himself!
If you loved some of the items we used, be sure to check out these links at Zurchers.com to purchase them, or anything else to make your party awesome:
Sweet Little Cupcake Boy Birthday Cups
Sweet Little Cupcake Boy Lunch Napkins
Sweet Little Cupcake Boy Tablecloth
Green Kiwi Plates
Yellow Sunshine Plates
Party Favor boxes (more variety in store)
Helium Balloons: Ruby Red, Lime, Jewel Lime
Yellow Paper Garland
Green Paper Garland
Green Striped Straws
Katie is a Colorado-native, BYU graduated, and most importantly, wife to one and mother to three beautiful boys. She is passionate about sharing her experiences with others – especially about pregnancy, breastfeeding, cooking, and crafts. She is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. She loves spending time with her family and helping others find joy in family life.