Wow. I feel in such shock and aww that I am writing this post so early on in our Trying to Conceive journey with baby #2. We technically only tried for 3 cycles, and when compared to my first baby which took us 21 months…
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour1/2 cup white sugar1 Tablespoon baking powder1 egg1/2 cup buttermilk, or yogurt1/2 cup vegetable oil1 teaspoon vanilla extract2 very ripe bananas, mashed with a fork1/2 cup mini chocolate chips12 Oreo cookies, chopped Preheat your oven to 400F, and like a…
When I started brainstorming birthday party ideas for my son’s first birthday, during a pandemic, I wasn’t finding too many Pinterest ideas for specifically a totally virtual party for a one year old. There were lots of ideas for older kiddos but not too many ideas floating around on how to handle a birthday party for a 12 month old little human that doesn’t really speak or walk around. So below are all the details on how I planned my son’s first birthday completely virtually.
- Invitations (digital copy) – $8
- Invitations (printing costs) – $40
- Mama bear shirt for Mom(me) – $21
- Papa bear T-shirt for Dad – $19
- Bear onesie for Paul (I already had) – $0
- High Chair “1” banner – $13
- Woodland decorations for behind high chair – $11
- Birthday Smash Cake (I made my own) – $0
- Birthday “1” candle (set of 10) – $12
- Birthday gifts from Mom & Dad – $240 [yikes!]
- Thank you cards (digital copy) – $8
- Thank you cards (printing costs) – $28
- Party favor / Milestone Magnet (digital copy) – $21
- Party favor / Milestone Magnet (printing) – $28
That adds up to about $450 in expenses for my son’s birthday party.
I found these cute invitations off of Etsy, from littlebirdieprints. This is a digital copy of the invitation that you can then email to your guests or have them printed, which is what I did. At the time I purchased the digital invitation is was $7.94.
I went ahead and added my Zoom meeting ID to my invitations, but you could also send that to your guests at a later time. I also did not add an “RSVP” section to my invitations as I did not see this necessary as I did not need an official guest head count for anything like food or a venue. I did touch base with everyone we mailed invitations to just to make sure they received the invite itself.
Here is the link to the exact invitation digital design I purchased: https://www.etsy.com/listing/663985760/one-happy-camper-invitation-camping?ref=yr_purchases
I decided to use our dining room to hold the virtual party, as it was the best place in my house for decorations. I have one big wall that was perfect for the woodland themed decorations, and for my husband, baby, and myself to sit during the party. I went very simple with decor. My theme was woodland animals, which goes along with Paul’s nursery. Below are the decorations I choose.
The woodland themed wall decor & high chair banner were both from Amazon:
Going with the woodland party theme, I decided to go with a bear theme for the clothes we all wore. Paul already had a bear onesie from Carters, so that was no additional cost. I bought a “mama bear” thin and soft sweatshirt like shirt which I absolutely love. For my husband, who is always hot even in January, I found him a “papa bear” T-shirt on Amazon.
There are SOOO many smash cake options out there. From the super healthy to the extremely professional (and expensive). I feel like we opted to go middle of the road, and I made my cake myself. I personally feel like the less fancy of a birthday cake the better, and if you make it yourself its made with love (the best ingredient). I do realize cake making and decorating isn’t for everyone, so this is really just a personal choice.
I also really love the big chunky number candles for kids birthdays, there is something so nostalgic to me about them. I found a box of ten number candles on Amazon (linked below), and you get the numbers “0” – “9”. I hope to use these candles through my son’s 10th birthday, reusing the “1” from this year’s first birthday (awwww).
I made a vlog about how I made Paul’s smash cake:
Okay so here is the deal …. I might have gone overboard, okay I did go overboard, with gifts for Paul. Considering he is a January baby, and Christmas was literally only a month prior to his birthday party. Paul definitely did not need anything, clothes or gifts, for his birthday. He was extremely lucky to receive a ton of amazing gifts from friends, family, and Santa this year for the holidays. ALSO, if you are new to my blog or vlogs, I am a self proclaimed quasi montessori Mom. Most of the theories resonate with me but not all of them, so a majority of Paul’s toys are made of wood, non electronic, and meant to stimulate his ever growing brain through play. I am also a huge fan of both the Kiwi Co Panda crate (STEAM toys & books for babies) and LovEvery box subscriptions. Both companies sell products in addition to their subscription boxes, and that is what I spent nearly $240 on (gulp). Below is what I purchased for Paul:
During the Virtual Party
So we used Zoom to host our parties, though there are a ton of options out there from Google Hangout, to Facebook, to Facetiming. I used Zoom mostly because I was most familiar with the platform and my sister had a professional account that we used, mostly to ensure we didn’t have a restricted time limit. The whole party itself only lasted us about thirty minutes, and that was about all the attention span the birthday boy had in him. The “schedule” for the party went as follows:
- Waiting a few minutes for everyone to log on (help troubleshoot any issues your guests might have)
- Welcome your virtual guests, thank them for “coming” to celebrate your little munchkin’s birthday
- (what I wish I had done) give a really quick ‘order of events’ to your guests so they know what is happening … ie. opening gifts first and then singing happy birthday. I feel like this is the organized way to do it (?)
- We opened presents. Which was challenging because naturally Paul wanted to play with every gift, not fully understanding the concept of opening gifts as he is only a year old
- We brought out Paul’s smash cake, with the number ‘1’ candle lit and all sang “Happy Birthday”
- Then we watched Paul go at his smash cake, from all angles, until he was bored
- We thanked everyone for hanging out with us and said our goodbyes
After the Party
For the thank you notes I knew I wanted to go “extra”, and with photo holiday cards in mind I decided to make personalized thank you notes for friends and family using a picture I took of Paul during the party. I also wanted to give guests something as almost a party favor to thank them for attending. Our friends and family are spread out all over the country so baking something to mail with a thank you note would have been too much.
So in looking for thank you notes on Etsy I found a store that not only did woodland themed thank you notes but also something called a milestone digital. I instantly thought the milestone would make an adorable magnet. I purchased the digital copies of both the thank you notes and milestone from the Etsy store ThreeLittleBirdsDsgn. At the time of purchase, the thank you notes and milestone digital rights were about $28 for both. I then had the thank you notes printed to an open card and the milestones printed to magnet sheets, both using Vistaprint.com.
After thoughts …
This was not how I would have imagined my first baby’s first birthday going in my head, BUT considering the times and wanting all to be safe, it was the best option for our family. When life gives you lemons kind of a deal. I will say hosting a virtual party was a LOT less work on my part … there was no venue to book, there was no food to either make or order, there was no power cleaning my home for guests coming over. So in that aspect it was nice to host. But I still would have traded all of the “convenience” to have our family and friends here in person.
Watch my Vlog talking about everything above
Below are links to all the products I talk about in my 1 year update VLOG about how I cloth diaper my son. https://www.etsy.com/listing/189535396/organic-cloth-diaper-liners-hemp-cotton?ref=yr_purchases What my VLOG:
This is my own take on Betty Crocker’s Impossibly Easy dinner recipes using Bisquick mix …
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 bell pepper, slicked thin
1/2 a small yellow onion, sliced thin
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
6-8 thin-sliced frozen steaks (Steak-umm)
1 cup of shredded cheese (provolone or cheddar)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup Bisquick mix
1 cup milk
Preheat your oven to 400F. In an oven safe medium saucepan, over medium heat, sautee the peppers and onions in the olive oil, until the vegetables are soft. Season with salt and pepper, and add the italian seasoning. Add the 6-8 sheets of thin-sliced frozen steaks to the skillet and cook until no longer pink. Remove from burner and set to the side.
In a small bowl combine the rest of the ingredients, whisk to combine.
Back to your skillet, top the pepper, onion, & steak mixture with your cheese of choice. Then pour the bisquick mixture top, do not mix in. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Allow to cool 10 minutes in the dish before serving.
This is my own take on Betty Crocker’s Impossibly Easy dinner recipes using Bisquick mix … INGREDIENTS: 2 cups cooked, chopped chicken1 cup chopped ham3 slices of thick cut swiss cheese2 eggs1/2 teaspoon black pepper1 teaspoon salt1/2 cup Bisquick mix1 cup milk Preheat your oven…
INGREDIENTS: 1/2 cup of a sweetener (maple syrup, sugar, brown sugar, honey, or a combo)1/2 cup of a neutral oil (avocado, vegetable, coconut, or canola)1/2 t salt2 cups of chopped nuts5 cups of whole oats (Optional) 2 teaspoons of vanilla and/or 2 teaspoons of cinnamon…
I was inspired by the Betty Crocker ‘Impossibly Easy Italian Sausage Pie’ recipe for this dish. I wanted to add more Italian flavor than the original recipe and came up with this keeper!
1 lb bulk Italian pork sausage
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped bell pepper
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 Tablespoon Italian seasoning
2 cloves minced garlic
1 cup of shredded Mozzarella cheese
1 cup of Original Bisquick mix
1/2 cup milk
salt & pepper
Preheat your oven to 400F. In a medium sized, ovenproof skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Cook onions and peppers until the onions are transparent, about 10 minutes. Add diced tomatoes, Italian seasoning, garlic, and season with salt & pepper. Put mix in a small bowl to the side.
In the same skillet brown your sausage and crumble into bits with a spoon or meat chopper. Once all the meat is cooked add back the veggie mix. Top with mozzarella cheese. Set aside.
Make the Bisquick topping, by combining the Bisquick mix, milk, & egg. Once combined pour over the cheese in the skillet. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
(Optional) rub butter over the top of the biscuit topping as soon as it comes out of the oven. Sprinkle garlic salt & parsley flakes. Enjoy!
This recipe comes from the back of the Target brand Good & Gather’s Organic 100% pumpkin. And it is DELICIOUS! Hands-on Time: 15 minutesTotal Time: 1-1 1/2 hoursMakes 2 loaves WHAT YOU WILL NEED: 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour1 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice1-1/2 tsp. baking soda1/2…