I couldn’t be more excited to share the photos from Oliver’s first birthday party! In typical Kerry fashion, I started thinking about a theme for the party, oh, when he was born… and then changed my mind every other day until about a month before his birthday! After Andy politely mentioned that he didn’t want to hear anything else about it ever again until I chose a theme and stuck with it, I was complaining to a friend, one day I want rainbows and the next day I want dinosaurs, and she said, “Well ‘rainbow dinosaurs’ sounds fun…” And that was that!
We did some really fun things for Olly’s party, including an ICE CREAM TACO BAR(!!), a blow-up pool for the kids to play in, and instead of gifts we asked all the guests to bring new or gently used books that we’ll donate to Kids’ Book Bank. It’s an amazing organization that helps to put books in the hands of Cleveland children in need. We collected SO MANY BOOKS. Olly loves reading more than anything, so I couldn’t be more thrilled and proud that our friends’ generosity will be able to help so many children in Cleveland fall in love with books the way he has.
I was so happy to work with some truly amazing vendors and couldn’t have been able to pull this off without them. There’s a full list of sources at the end, but I want to shout out a few all-stars. First of all, I’ll be forever grateful to have these memories of Olly’s party taken by my long-time friend Stacie of Kimberly Lane Photography. I learned the hard way at Joey’s first birthday party just how difficult it is to manage taking photos yourself when you’re also busy hosting and taking care of the birthday kid. I didn’t take a single photo at her first birthday party, after working so so so hard on it, and not only that but I won’t be able to show her pictures when she’s older. I’m so sad every time I think of that. I was determined not to make the same mistake this time, so having Stacie there to capture moments that I would never have the opportunity to, was absolutely priceless.
Once I settled on my theme, I was excited to find the most adorable, colorful dinosaur paper plates and cups at Daydream Society. So cute! It’s difficult to find dinosaurs that are more cute than scary, but the Dinomite collection fit the theme perfectly, and Daydream Society was such a “dream” (get it?) to work with!
RAWR! The invitation sets the tone for a party, and Jen at Minor Details CLE did the most phenomenal job! She took my scattered thoughts and random ideas about this crazy “rainbow dinosaur, gender-neutral birthday party” and turned them into something so much cuter and more perfect than I ever could have imagined. I had been aware of Jen’s work for a while because she’s a rockstar at wedding invitations (I’ve also written a wedding blog for the last few years), but I didn’t realize that she lives just a few blocks away from me and is a fellow PTA mom!
And the cookies, holy moly the cutest! They’re by Alexis at Seven Layers Bakeshoppe, another awesome local PTA mom who has amazing talent, and I can attest that they were as delicious as they were pretty. I ate way too many!
The cupcakes by Michael Angelo’s Bakery have the most stunning colors!
Beyond deciding on the theme, my second biggest decision was deciding on the food! Andy and I love to try something a little unique and over-the-top for a party. For Joey’s we did a waffle bar, and this time we decided to do an ICE CREAM TACO BAR! Oh you heard that right. Ice cream in a taco that’s made out of waffle cone. It’s basically a homemade choco taco, but without the chocolate. And it’s amazing.
I made the waffle cone tacos the morning of the party (tutorial coming soon!), and pre-filled them with vanilla ice cream. Then we set up a sundae-style toppings bar inspired by the rainbow. I went to several stores to collect a good variety of different candies and sprinkles in every rainbow color, plus pink because MY rainbow includes pink. There were some green leaf-shaped sprinkles, mini reese’s pieces for orange, banana runts (they get such a bad rap but I like them!), blue m&ms, red maraschino cherries, chopped peanuts, colorful marshmallows, plus whipped cream and chocolate sauce of course.
The ice cream tacos and the sprinkles were a huge hit!
For some reason there was a run on the paper mache letter R at Cleveland-area Targets. My closest store had just one R. So I went to another store, that also only had one. I bought it, went back to the first store and they were sold out! What??? So then I had to go to a third store. Who knew the R was so popular! I’m so glad there are three Targets within 15 minutes of my house. That’s why Bay Village is the best place to live, haha.
Andy hand painted the dino footprints on the tablecloth at like 11 p.m. the night before the party. Husband of the year award!! I LOVE those stressful last hours before a party. He HATES those last stressful hours, haha. I’m very much aware that I’m no fun to be around at that point, but I still love that rush of seeing the details come together, all the things that I’ve been thinking of and dreaming of, and making all the last-minute decisions. It’s exciting and fun and exhilarating and so so satisfying when it all works… not so much when everything falls apart, but that’s when Andy steps in and fixes everything. :)
Cake time! For Olly’s cake I did the same thing I did for Joey’s: a store-bought angel food cake covered with homemade whipped cream (dyed blue) with rainbow sprinkles. It’s light and fluffy and easy for little hands to dig into. I also made the whipped cream with only heavy cream, no sugar, so it’s not overly sweet or sticky, and it’s a creamy flavor he’s familiar with. Quick and cheap and super easy!
As we brought the cake out, one of the kids said, “Whaaat?! That’s all for him?” Haha.
Olly did pretty well digging in! He didn’t put his face in the cake, but he had fun getting dirty. And btw how cute is that tuxedo bib my cousin gifted to Olly? It’s the best bib ever because it’s rubber and can be just rinsed off or even thrown in the dishwasher and it has a big pocket that catches most of what he drops, which is so much stuff.
One of the biggest hits at the party was our kiddie pool! We just happen to have a rainbow-themed inflatable pool that we bought last summer. All the kids LOVED it.
And just seeing Joey play with all the kids warmed my heart so much. It may have been Olly’s party, but I really think it was the best day of Joey’s life!!
That smile is everything.
Cutest romper ever.
Even Ruby got in on the party action!
The most perfect shoes for the birthday boy that I literally stumbled upon at Target the day before the party! (Even if he hates wearing shoes and had them on for about 2.5 seconds.) And Andy’s shirt, omg.
It means everything to me and Andy that so many of our favorite people hung out in our backyard together to celebrate our favorite little guy. It was the best day ever.
Full Vendor List:
(If there’s anything else you’re curious about, just ask!)
All photos by Kimberly Lane Photography
Party supplies & decor:
Invitations and signage, Minor Details CLE
Dino paper plates and cups, Daydream Society
Round striped napkins, Sugar and Cloth
Disposable wooden spoons, Party City (similar)
Plastic picnic baskets and paper liners, CVS (similar)
White tablecloth, Amazon
Rainbow party hats, Target
Paper mache letters & dinosaur, Target (we painted them)
Rainbow inflatable pool, Amazon
Cookies, Seven Layers Bakeshoppe
Cupcakes, Michael Angelo’s Bakery
Popcorn, not pictured, but it’s my favorite, Live Love Pop Honey BBQ
Sprinkles and candies from B. Sweetie’s, Michael’s and Joann’s
On Olly: dinos in party hats shorts, Gap (sold out); tank top, Target; dino shoes, Target; tuxedo bib, Amazon
On Joey: dinosaur romper, Mini Boden; bathing suit, Target
On Kerry: striped tee, ASOS; jeans, Target
On Andy: amazing rainbow dinosaur tank, Target; plaid shirt and shorts, J. Crew