Confession time: I didn’t handle finding out I was going to have a boy well. I loved being a mom to a girl and always pictured myself with sisters-like I have. Being a mom to a boy was never on my radar. I was driving to meet my sister for a playdate with Evie when the nurse called to tell me the baby was a boy…and I hung up on her. I burst into tears, called my best friend and my mom hysterical, and did not decorate the kitchen with colored balloons to surprise my husband like I had planned. It was a period of intense denial, and something I have an insane amount of guilt over. My pregnancy was one wild adventure, that’s for sure!
When Hudson was born, he changed my world.
Meeting your child for the first time is hands down the most amazing moment of your life, but there was something about Hudson that was special. I was glued to him the second I saw him. It was like all the love I was supposed to feel toward him the entire pregnancy came flooding through me, and I was completely sold on this whole “boy mom” thing. Sitting here, now a year later, I am even more smitten with him than I was the day I met him…and I don’t even know how that is possible. He is simply the best and I thank the universe everyday for gifting him to me.
When decorating Hud’s nursery, we decided to go with an adventure/mountain theme. My husband is big into the outdoors, and loves the John Muir quote,
“The mountains are calling and I must go.”
With this as our inspiration, we bought some vinyl flooring and cut it to make “wood” mountains for the wall behind his crib. My thoughtful girlfriends planned an amazing “Adventure Awaits” joint baby shower for my friend and I too. When thinking about Hudson’s first birthday party, the theme “ONE Wild Adventure” was the perfect fit, and I couldn’t describe his first year better!
Hudson’s ONE Wild Adventure
A First Birthday Party Plan
My inspirations for this party: mountains, arrows, navy, white, gray, and wood. About 3 months before the party, I created the One Wild Adventure Party Plan so I could wrap my head around where I was going. The party plans are the perfect vision board for any party. I started getting super excited and loved that I had everything I needed right in front of me, all outlined in a strategic way so I could check things off my checklist in a focused and timely manner.
The Little Details
Wild One Backdrop
The first piece of decor I tackled was the mossy Wild One backdrop that I wanted hanging above Hudson’s high chair for the smash cake photos. I bought all the supplies, came home with a massive birch tree branch my husband rolled his eyes at, fired up the hot glue gun and got to work! I am obsessed with how it turned out and it was the perfect addition to the party. *A tutorial, as well as supply lists, and other similar ready made options to purchase are all included in your party plan!
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Other DIY décor included
- paper banners
- cupcake toppers
- cake toppers
- small painted pots for greenery
- a monthly photo board
All of the paper decorations were made by my Cricut printer. We met not too long ago, and it was love at first sight. Not really sure what I did before that little cutting machine came into my life. (Insert heart eyes). For real though, the machine is SO easy to use and has saved me so much money in party decor! It’s one of those things that you spend money up front, but save in the long run. Totally worth it, in my opinion. Of course, all decor-both tutorials to DIY and the cutest items ready to purchase are all laid out for you in your One Wild Adventure Party Plan. I found some incredible products for this party at great prices. They’re just a click away!
I have the best friends. They are everything to me, a true tribe. Constantly cheering me on, offering support and advice, making me laugh, and loving my kids like their own. Doing something special for them as a little thank you for everything they do for me and my family was important to me. I decided friendship bracelets fit the adventure theme nicely and were something a little unique. I got some different color cord, size 8 seed beads, and small gold tube beads at Michaels, sat down with the Housewives of New York (that Bethenny/Ramona drama is something else!), and starting making bracelets. It was a fun project-more time consuming than anticipated, but hey, my friends are worth it! They looked so cute on the welcome table, and my friends had a fun time choosing which ones they liked and wanted to wear. A simple idea that had big impact!
For the little adventurers, I turned bubble wands into arrows. I cut the head and feather part of the arrow out on the Cricut and hot glued them to the bubble wands (which I found in the Target dollar section!). They turned out SO cute and everyone gave me tons of compliments on them! Super easy! *Any of the paper decor could easily be cut by hand…just a bit more time consuming. There are also a ton of shops that sell similar products which are all linked in the ONE Wild Adventure Party Plan. I also include other ideas for favors if you want something different than bubble wands, and links to purchase themed thank you notes to use once the party is finished!
My friend, Nicole, of Palm to Pine Design, made the cutest ONE Wild Adventure invitations, and matched the theme to all the party printables. You’ll see the decision throughout the party pics. Links to purchase all of these (and some free downloads!) are all included in your plan!
The day finally arrived! Hudson’s ONE Wild Adventure party! Ryan spent the morning barbecuing the chicken, while I finished decorating everything, and got myself and the kids ready. I love the feeling you get when the party comes together. It is so cool to see all your hard work and ideas become reality. My plan and weekly checklist was a lifesaver on party day. I had prepped everything I needed ahead of time, and the day of was adding the finishing touches and bringing it to life. I totally enjoyed myself and couldn’t wait to see my guests so we could start celebrating our favorite little wild one!
The plan is your vision board just waiting to come to life!
The weather was sunny and 65*-perfection for Seattle. What a relief after a week of back and forth rain predictions! We were ready to party! My sweet talented girlfriend, Aleks, came over early to photograph everything, and captured the whole party in such a stunning way.
Take family pictures before the guests arrive. Once they do, you get wrapped up in greeting them and your hosting hat takes over. You will miss the opportunity, and by the time you remember, the kids are overstimulated and overwhelmed, resulting in a not so great pic.
How It All Came Together
Here are the pictures from Hudson’s ONE Wild Adventure First Birthday Party! I am so proud of how it all came together. Each detail was thought out and special, and we had the best day celebrating our beautiful boy. The cake was epically smashed, the food was delicious, the guests had a wonderful time, and I have memories I’ll cherish forever.
All About Hudson: Milestones
One of the best parts of a first birthday is sharing all of the exciting milestones that happened in their first year! Nicole created this milestone sign for him including all of his favorite things and how much he’s grown this year. I love displaying pictures of my kids at their birthdays. They change SO much each year, especially the first! It is fun for guests to look back on their little moments and see pictures they may not have seen before! I made a little display board with favorite pictures, had his baby book available for people to flip through, and also had a monthly photo board (I took a photo of Hudson each month for a year) and had that next to his smash cake. It’s all of the little personal details that make a party extra special. Even more ideas and tips on how to personalize your party for your little one are all included in your party plan!
The High Chair
The painted high chair is a must for me because I think it makes for stunning pictures. I found this chair on Craigs List for my daughter’s first birthday, where it was painted light pink. I knew I wanted it to be navy for Hudson’. I think it’s super special that they each had their big smash cake moment in the same high chair also! Tutorials and tip on where to find wood high chairs are all in the One Wild Adventure Party Plan, as well as links to purchase adorable high chair banners to jazz up your everyday high chair- another great option for the smash!
Stone is my maiden name, and Hudson’s middle name, so I thought blessing stones would be the perfect way for people to leave a special wish or message for the birthday boy! This acted as sort of a guest book in a way. This birthday wishes sign is a free download with your party plan also! Score!
The Dessert Table
I worked with a local baker, Shayna from LollyPoppy Desserts. She was so fabulous to work with. I sent her Hudson’s party plan, and she designed two cakes and decorated sugar cookies that complimented the theme perfectly. They looked great, and they tasted even better-which is crazy hard to find when buying themed desserts! I used mostly wood serving pieces, with some galvanized and white accents. I created symmetry by having larger wood risers on either side of the cakes, which were my “wow” moment! One of my (and client’s!) favorite things about party plans are the tutorial on how to set up a dessert table inside. I break down each element of a stunning table and tell you how to achieve it in a super cute, but easy way. Setting up dessert tables is SO much easier than you think, I promise! There is one major mistake almost everyone does with their tables…and I’m sure that’s the problem if you are unhappy with yours! I got you, girl!
The Wild Outside Space
One of Hudson’s birthday presents was this teepee! It fit the party theme and was a great shady spot for the babies to play in. I love choosing gifts that also double as party decor! Totally budget friendly also! I laid a shower curtain liner under the blanket just in case the grass was a little wet.
The activity for this party was a dreamcatcher station! The older kids made dreamcatchers, and the babies made little teether dreamcatchers. Full instructions and links to purchase all the supplies you need for this are all waiting inside of the party plan!
When thinking of an activity I try to have it check 3 boxes: cute and fits the party theme, easy to prepare, self explanatory to guests. Check, check, check!
I kept it pretty simple with the food for this one. Ryan may not agree since he barbecued all the chicken, but most all of this was make ahead! The chicken marinated overnight, the muffins were made a week before and frozen, salad the night before, etc. Easy and simple and no need to cook while the guests arrive! The full menu plan with recipes and drinks suggestions (cocktails!) are included in the One Wild Adventure Party Plan!
Roast a Marshmallow, and Party S’more!
We also had a s’more station going on the grill. We used sterno burners, skewers I found in the Target dollar section, and all kinds of s’more fixings! The chocolate graham, salted caramel chocolate and burnt marshmallow was my fave! This station was pretty popular and pretty much doubled as a party activity so big win! The kids thought it was the coolest thing ever!
I had no doubt that Hudson would go to town on his smash cake, and he did not disappoint! His number one love in life is food. He is definitely his mama’s boy! He loved his cake, dug right in, and cried when we finally took it away. It was a great moment! I mean…that face! Fun fact. My kids both have the same food face. I’m obsessed with it. I have countless pictures of them both enjoying a tasty treat with the exact same closed eyes, heavenly expression on their faces.
The cake never stood a chance. My wish is that he tackles everything in life with the same passion he had when devouring that cake.
There you have it! Hudson’s ONE Wild Adventure first birthday party! Thank you to everyone who made the day so special. To my sweet Hudson: Happy first birthday, my love! Thank you for choosing me to be your mommy. I can’t wait to continue this adventure with you! XO
You can shop this party plan here or please contact me at Allison@allisoncartercelebrates.com to talk about your next party theme! Thank you so much for being part of this special day with my family!