I can’t believe our little bebe turned ONE this past weekend! It is so hard to believe that 369 days ago, we brought this little creature into the world. Any moment now we are going to have an extremely chatty and mobile tiny human running around le petit apt!
Of course, there is no better excuse to celebrate (my translation: DECORATE).
First, where would this joyous occasion take place? Since space is always an issue, we decided to keep the celebration to family and local friends. Although we would have loved to host, our apartment is way too teensy to accommodate even the smallest of parties. It would end up feeling like the Uptown 4/5 Express during rush hour, and you know how that goes. (Even when food and drink hasn’t entered the equation!)
So I expanded our search beyond the apartment, but wanted to keep it in the neighborhood. Since we have started to put roots down in Brooklyn, I wanted to support a local business, and possibly one that had meaning to our family. There was no better place for us than the Blue Marble Ice Cream shop on Underhill Avenue.
I can’t tell you how many countless hours I spent there while on maternity leave. The (sort of) fresh, cold air on the walk over to Blue Marble would make Avery pass out immediately in her baby carrier. My trips to Blue Marble became my motivation to get out of the apartment, which is so important yet equally challenging when you have a newborn. I would sit and enjoy a strong cup of La Colombe coffee while looking out at the wintery scene on Underhill Avenue, trying, and often failing, to wrap my head around the fact that I was amother.
OK, in full disclosure, there may have been a few times before Avery was born that I waddled in to Blue Marble in the dead of winter. Swollen and pregnant, I would purchase a pint or two to go. I specifically remember the barista one day wishing me “good luck” as I navigated my large self out the door with my flavor of the week in tow.
To my delight, after Avery’s arrival, Blue Marble acquired the adjacent space, which was previously a drop off play space. They quickly made it their own but kept some of the play space aspects, transforming the spot into a neighborhood gem - an amazing place for parents to come and fuel their coffee addictions and enjoy a cup (or cone!) while their babes happily play with the community toys in the kids corner.
Blue Marble was extremely accommodating to work with. Since it is admittedly somewhat of an odd time to have an ice cream party, they were especially open to changing up the usual party package. For the above reasons, Blue Marble is so much more than just an ice cream shop to us. To our wonder, they provided unlimited mini scoops AND my beloved coffee for all the grown ups.
Although it is charming on its own, I couldn’t WAIT to get my hands on the space to decorate. With a limited time to work my magic, and my mom by my side to help, I think we pulled it off!
Avery seemed to approve, and that’s all that matters. Maybe it was the ice cream…
DIY Scrapbook Banner - using pages from a scrapbook my mom got for Avery, I covered each page with wrapping and tissue paper I found around the apartment and affixed monthly Instagram images of Avery - one to each letter. The assembly is simple - just clothes pin the pages on to twisted curling ribbon which is taped on to the wall. Avery will then have these pages in a scrapbook along with photos and keepsakes, so she’ll always have a “memory” of her 1st Birthday Party. Wrapping paper from Marshalls, glitter letters from Amazon, sparkly clothespins from Target.
You can’t have an Abby Cadabby party without a visit from Elmo. My sister Jillian (who is good at everything, #jillofalltrades), made this Elmo veggie platter from grape tomatoes, carrots, olives, and two ramekins of ranch dressing.
I enlisted Jillian (again, good at everything) to whip up these adorably decorated and delicious funfetti cupcakes. Platter from Crate & Barrel, cupcake wrappers from Homegoods.
After researching the cake ad nauseum, I found that any local bakery would charge me upwards of $500 for the design I wanted to do. I decided to go oldskool and ordered from our local grocery store. Hats off to Pathmark! Not only was this vanilla with chocolate filling sheetcake delicious, they also did a great job decorating. Avery will even have the little toys adorning it as keepsakes.
Of course the guests needed to eat their cake with a fairy fork! Mason jars and ribbon from Marshalls. Labels, cups, tablecloth, utensils and fairy dust from Party City. Blue filler from Target.
Balloon & bubble favors doubled as table centerpieces. I tied the balloon ribbon to each bubble bottle (monogrammed for each kid in attendance by yours truly) and then clustered them on the tables throughout the room. Balloons from Party City, bubbles from Target.
A parting gift for the grown ups - love and kisses from Avery! Mini pink sparkly boxes and blue filler from Target. Labels, tablecloth and fairy stardust from Party City.
Avery experiencing sugar shock from her first taste of cake and ice cream.
One is fun!
Photocreds: Blue Marble Website, Nona Brooklyn, Jillian & Ellen DiBiase. All other photos by Lindsay Saccullo.