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Planning the Bird-day Party.

For once in my life, I'm planning ahead.  And that means I'm beginning to get very, very excited about BSparl's first birthday party. 

I'm definitely not one of those moms who spends more on their kid's first birthday party than on their college education (and I'm also not the kind to hire actual circus animals to perform in my backyard, mostly because we're not made of money but also because elephant poop is surely enormous and I don't want it in my garden), but I am having fun planning out the little, fun details of the party coming up in April.

I'm trying to be the early bird when planning this bird-themed party for my little bird.  (Holy too-many-bird-words-in-one-sentence!)  But I could use a little help, if you have suggestions ...

I'm a (small) bit of a Do-It-Yourself'er, so there are some pieces of this party that I'm pulling together on my own.  Like the invitations.  After scouring the web and mocking up a few designs on TinyPrints and Zazzle, I wasn't able to find the simple invitation I was picturing in my head.  I received a few offers from some very kind friends to have them take a crack at designing something, but I took a stab at it myself while the kid was napping, and I think they came out just like I pictured in my head:

I love dots and birds and purple.

I'm not sure where to print these out so that the quality is nice and there is a decent cardstock selection, and I'd love to hear some suggestions if you have them!

Etsy has been a fun excursion for reasonably-priced items that fit the simple theme.  I bought a bird vector  (because my Photoshop skills are limited) from an Etsy shop called Riekfa Design, and she sent out the images within 24 hours of purchase.  I bought six birds in total (for $4!), but I'm partial to the purple one:

I love this bird.  LOVE!!!

(This bird is sure to make an appearance throughout the party.  It might end up printed out all big and stuck to the fridge, where it will most likely stay for two months.)  In addition to invitation goodies, I'm scoping out cupcake and cake options (haven't decided which one I want to do), but I did find a badass cookie cutter that is perfect for the party.  Actually, I'll probably bring bird cookies to every family gathering for the next fifteen years.  (Christmas birds?  St. Patricks' Day birds?  Arbor Day birds?  Oh hell yes.)  This cute cookie cutter came from BigSillyWorld, another Etsy seller:

Cird cookie cutter from BigSillyWorld

And now I'm on the hunt for cake ideas.  Do I want to do birdie cupcakes like these?  Or like these little peeping ones?  Or a big bird cake (not Big Bird, which is awesome in an entirely different way).  And if I decide to make a few gluten-free versions of cupcakes, does anyone have a recipe that tastes good and still hits the gluten-free mark?  Also, what other simple little bird-themed things can I do to keep the party festive but without upping the lease on my brain?

I can't wait until this kid's bird-day.  We're keeping it as simple as possible so we, as her parents, can actually enjoy the party instead of feeling like we missed it once everyone goes home. 

(And hopefully our kid enjoys seeing her parents clad in party hats.)

Comments

vista print for the birthday invites =)
& as far as gluten free cupcakes... the Betty Crocker mixes are awesome. Brandon loves all of the mixes.

I say go for a large cake in the shape of the purple bird! It would totally rock. A smaller bird or circle cake with the purple bird for ...or depending upon how many people will be there you could make a sheet cake, cut it out to look like a tree and fill in the branches with cute bird cookies!!

I don't know if you've considered this, but with Easter right around the corner you could get a whole bunch of Peeps to have as favors. Just don't spend too much time blowing them up after the party. ;-)

Also, be careful with the party hats. At my nephew's first birthday party, his aunt (me) didn't put his hat on the right way and it snapped back on his face. Poor kid is 11-years-old now and still refuses to wear a party hat. =/

All of this is entirely too adorable....I love it! I'm partial to the birds (and owls) as Baby Girl Rhoades' nursery will be decked out with them. As we say in my family....KEWT! :)

I can't believe she's almost one! Oh boy...mobility! :-)

I don't have a GF recipe, but I have always had tremendous success with King Arthur Flour products, and they've recently introduced a GF line. They are rigorous about their products, so I can only guess that they are good. Here's the link: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/glutenfree/

I know I've also seen GF recipes on their blog, including a post about a GF wedding cake one of their bakers made. I have no connection to KAF, other than I adore their products and have taken several classes at their baking center. Just a big fan, really.

Sounds like you are having fun--enjoy planning her first birthday party!!

Oh my gosh, has it been (almost) a year already?!

As far as I'm concerned, the Main Event of a 1-year-old's birthday party is to plonk a cake down in front of the kid and take pictures while they proceed to liberally coat themselves with frosting. So if you go with the big cake, I strongly recommend having a small side cake (really, a cupcake is fine!) that she can have all to herself.

Other than that, I like the peeping/nesting bird cupcakes better than the others you linked, but that's largely because I'm 1) a HUGE fan of coconut, and 2) not such a fan of fondant. It's pretty, but it doesn't taste like anything.

Other bird-themed foods: A friend of mine once made birds-nest appetizers using spinach leaves, spaghetti noodles, and grape tomatoes and mini mozzarella balls for the eggs.

Diabetes-friendly: take a peeled hard-boiled egg, use a toothpick to dab on food coloring for eyes, and use tiny slivers of carrot to make a beak.

Or there's the easy out: it being so close to Easter, you can always just serve up a plate or two of Peeps! ;-)

I too, have been guilty of snapping the elastic across an unsuspecting one-year-old's chin... I got the bad aunt award for that one!

One of the most convenient birthday pastries is the cup-cake-cake. It's a slew of regular sized cupcakes, all arranged together and frosted as one big cake, so you get the decorative surface of a sheet cake, but the individual-ness of cupcakes. (Plus, just pull it apart to serve, no need to cut!) Then you've got a neat way to plunk one cupcake down in front of the baby and watch the hilarity ensue.

My daughter's first party was bird themed, too! Like you I couldn't find exactly what I wanted, so I just did a little creating on my own. My suggestion for printing is to find a local print shop that will work with you. I've found their service and prices are better than chain copy stores. For the cake, check out the design we came up with for my daughter's cake... http://goodtimes-ryans.blogspot.com/2010/09/kate-1st-birthday-part-3-cake.html
The design was the same birdie that was on her party shirt. I was really happy w/ how everything turned out!

love the idea of getting an image from etsy - that never occurred to me!

Print out the bird image, faded, on some 4x6 paper and ask guests to write a note to Bsparl in honor of her 1st b'day - put them in an album with photos of the guests and you have an instant memory book.

No thoughts! This is so cute... but I do LOVE Kassie's idea! How much fun for her to have that to read someday!!

How exciting!! What about printing out that cute purple bird on to a onesie and then pairing that w/ a purple tutu for total adorableness? Just a thought...

Have so much fun planning for and then celebrating your little bird's 1st bday!

Kerri and Chris - I can't believe it's almost been a year already!

In Ireland, it's kind of a tradition at kids birthday parties for the parents to make jelly and ice cream. I found these molds on ebay, they were the only ones I could find with a bird in it!
http://cgi.ebay.com/4-Copper-Animal-Jello-Molds-Horse-Bunny-Squirrel-Chick-/310301957107?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item483f701bf3#ht_4760wt_1139

If you can find some more bird shaped jelly molds, you could make the jelly in those and then maybe but little cubes of ice cream on the top.

You could also make bird nests by combining rice krispies and melted chocolate and shape them into little nests - (another Irish birthday tradition) and top them with little chicks or birds :)

I also have an awesome recipe for chocolate brownies ;)

Kerri,

I posted a few recipes on your Facebook page. I also second the Vista print recommendation.

I would add to the invite" my oh my how the first year flew by" Depending on how sweet you want to go.. do something with gummy worms..or sunflower seeds.
have a sign on the cake table "bird feeder".. buy mini wood bird feeders to decorate. Robin eggs are sold in the Easter candy section now. Use your purple bird as a cupcake topper like this http://blissfullydomestic.com/2009/cupcake-toppers. I will keep thinking. I love to plan parties.

The peeping ones!!!! The peeping ones!!!!! Those are just the cutest!!!!!!

And if you end up having any live birds? Just make sure to keep a close eye on the cats. "Okay everyone, out here for the little birdies" *door opens to reveal horrible pile of bird innards as guests scream in horror and cats sit proudly in corner*

You could fold up some origami cranes (super easy to fold and quick) out of pretty patterned paper and hang them around for decorations. I always make my kids a birthday banner by cutting out triangles (in whatever paper goes with the theme- so bird-theme paper would be pretty). I attach the triangles to a long ribbon and hang it through the entryway to the house. I just print letters out to spell Happy Birthday______, and glue or staple them to each triangle. It's a quick and inexpensive decoration.

LOVE it!

What if you did a little bird nest and then filled it with bird cookies?

Or the cake could be a bird house and one of the cookies could be in front at the opening.

I'm the queen of over-the-top themed-out children's parties!

(Not expensive necessarily, but I like all the little details.)

My son wants a Thomas party for the THIRD year in a row. Sigh.

(And thanks for the Etsy link. I need an illustration with a commercial license for a project and I think I found the perfect one there!)

In grad school I worked at a bakery for a about a year and a half (I know a diabetic in a bakery). We had a program that would transfer photos onto cakes and it worked really well. You could easily transfer your design for the invitation onto the cake to keep the theme and save some money by not having the complicated cupcakes or shaped cakes. Shaped cakes cost much more especially if they have to make a new mold.

It really has flown by (pun intended)! I like the idea of one big cake shaped like a bird. Just make sure to have a separate small cake for BSparl to tear apart. Good luck!

Here's an option for a centerpiece type thingy...Print out some smaller versions of the birds, go outside and pick up some nice dead branches that have either fallen off or need to be removed. Put the branches in an empty jelly or canning jar, either leaving the jar empty or adding around 1 inch or so colored glass marbles. Cut out the birds and hot glue them on the branches for a cheap decoration. If you don't have a lot of branches and your jar is not see through put a small piece of floral foam inside to stick them into. Also I love clear jars wrapped in the brown, rough looking yarn that reminds me of burlap.

You could try Vistaprint

I like the peeping cupcakes or the Not big bird cake :)

If they are out in time... you could buy Peeps and seperate 2 or 3 into a cellophane bag with a little edible grass, tie it with ribbon and give them out to your peeps(guests).

As for invites, we've done birth announcements and something else I can't remember with FedEx/Kinkos. You can upload your own design and they show up within a week. Great quality, fair prices, good service. The site is a little tricky to navigate, but once you get it, you're home free. :)

I'll put my thinking party hat on & see if I can come up with any ideas.

As for gluten-free, have you ever ran across this blog? http://glutenfreegirl.com/ Shauna & her husband (a chef) have some great recipes. They also have a little one. :)

I also recommend Vistaprint.com for printing invites.

For gluten-free cupcakes, I don't have a good recipe, BUT, there are gluten-free cupcake TOPPERS that can be personalized all sorts of ways. Here's 2 places I know of:
http://www.ticings.com/categories.php?category=standard-ticings-

http://www.gogocakes.com/

little peeping cupcakes look SO ADORABLE!!!

Also, I've used Vistaprint for LOTS of things. They are really quick,I would definitely pick glossy though, in my experience in matte has sometimes had rough edges. I'm a perfectionist so I notice, but the average joe probably won't.

Good Luck! I wish I lived closer, I would totally make a cute little birdy cake for you. Good luck though!!!
If you do ANYTHING with fondant (like birds or other fun stuff) i totally recommend DUff's Fondant from Michael's.

YOU GUYS ARE LIFESAVERS!! Thank you for the epically cute ideas and inspiration. I'm off to click all these links and am looking forward to making like 50 gluten-free test cakes and then eating them all. ;)

THANK YOU!! xoxo

For my kids joint bday (2yr & 6yr) I had characture done of them and then printed the design on kids t-shirts from cafepress.com I handed out the shirts as party favors. It was a big hit. Cafepress was super fast with the printing.

ADORABLE! I have a bird theme in my kitchen. Those cookies are darling!

I am reminded of a Sandra Boynton poem:

Hippo birdie two ewes
Hippo birdie two ewes
Hippo birdie deer ewe (or deer B-sparl)
Hippo birdie two ewes!

I like the cupcake ideas. Shredded coconut could make great nests on top, with peeps or candy robins' eggs inside. Or you can use the image-printing idea, only cupcake-sized.

For gluten-free, there are some great mixes in the health food stores.

Wheat-grass is edible and pleasantly sweet.

If there is a Minuteman Press near you, they are worth checking out for printing.

Enjoy!

birds! too many birds?! hell no, there are never too many birds! and a bird themed shindig! AWE.SOME!! that is gonna be one heck of a fun party (and you are the most amazing mama, did i mention that?) :)

My friend Olivia posted this cute bird print dress in her etsy store yesterday:

http://www.etsy.com/listing/69552643/2t3t-sweet-little-chickadee-ou-a-line

She does special orders, so I bet she would whip up a smaller size for the birthday girl, if you want and are able to contact her soon.

The bird theme is going to be so great to play with. Great pick! Happy early birthday, Baby Bird BSparl!

I want a bird birthday party and I am *this* close to throwing myself one this summer. I will be 35 after all. :)

I love, love, love the cake.

And I've been on etsy planning your child's birthday, this is completely normal in my world. :)

http://etsy.me/fVn4lf

http://etsy.me/fLwyIJ

I think you could make these: http://etsy.me/gDqL59

And you must have a banner:
http://etsy.me/fPWfVa

OK, stopping now...


Love the little bird edible cake toppers, looks brilliant! :]

As for your situation, all I can say is "yeah, what you just said!"
I'm doing a bird themed part for my daughter's first g'day as well.
Just thought I would share one very cute idea i found and that is...

Bird nest made of chocolate covered pretzel sticks with candy eggs in the middle.
I myself using speckled m&m eggs since the colors are fitting due to all the Easter candy? However you could use jelly beans if you wanted to stick to the purple?

As for your situation, all I can say is "yeah, what you just said!"
I'm doing a bird themed part for my daughter's first g'day as well.
Just thought I would share one very cute idea i found and that is...

Bird nest made of chocolate covered pretzel sticks with candy eggs in the middle.
I myself using speckled m&m eggs since the colors are fitting due to all the Easter candy? However you could use jelly beans if you wanted to stick to the purple?

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