Our last party of the year to conclude our “year of celebrations” was my sweet baby boy Richard Glen (RG). As I’ve previously said, the first birthday isn’t about the kids, its really about the parents! RG’s birthday party was a celebration that Demetrius and I had made it through one crazy year of two children nearly under 2! Our family adjustment from one to two did not come easy, but by the grace of God, we made it to one year. So we had a party worth celebrating the adjustment of our new normal! RG is spunky, silly, smart, and loves his mommy so tenderly. I am so thankful for the smiles and laughter he has brought into our home over the last year. He is so intense, and I wanted to throw an equally over the top party to match his personality.
As I was looking at theme ideas for one-year-old boys, I kept coming back to Mr. ONEderful. RG is a dapper little dude, and the theme fits him well. Since I wanted to be sure I didn’t interfere with RG or other young children’s naps, I decided to make it a Mr. ONEderful “brunch” and host a party from 10 am to 12 noon. Since the party was going to be a short two-hour window of time, I wanted to add some element of entertainment that both children and adults could enjoy. Then one evening it hit me – A Mr. ONEderful Jazz Brunch!
I decided to host this party inside our home. I was able to talk my husband into moving all of the furniture out of the living room. I reminded him that we would have to move it anyway for our Christmas tree (a yearly task we both dread since our tree can only fit in certain parts of the house).
I planned on turning our kitchen, great room, and breakfast nook into a Mr. ONEderful worthy local jazz spot.
I found an adorable invitation on Etsy by DeReimer DeSign and got them printed through Shutterfly. Planning in advance, for RG’s nine-month photo session, I had our photographer at CMP take a couple of photos of him in a Mr. ONEderful outfit. I ordered it off Amazon and figured that we could re-use it as decor at the party.
Pro Tip – if you want to use a photo that matches the theme for your one-year-old party, be sure to take one in advance. You either need to take one around the 9-month or 10-month mark or have a photographer do it during a 9-month or 10-month session. If you wait for their official one-year-old photos, it will be too late to get invitations printed and mailed in time for the party.
Décor & Table Settings
As I mentioned, we took out all of our furniture in the great room, which gave me a nice sized blank canvas. I rented tables and chairs from Simply Chic and purchased black table linens and black and white runners from Tableclothsfactory.com. After shopping around, and due to other parties I knew we would have in the future, I realized it would be more cost-efficient to buy the linens than to rent them.
I also used gold chargers from the Dollar Tree and took black napkins and wrapped shimmery tape across the center to create the look of bow ties.
Knowing that we would have a good amount of both kids and adults, I did a separate section for kids in the breakfast nook with kid-sized tables and chairs and the same place settings. For younger babies who would be with their parents, I grabbed all of the booster seats I have in the house and sat those up in the adult table area to make things more convenient for the parents.
For centerpieces, I wanted to do something that would work well with the theme but also be cost-efficient. Since we were hosting the party in our home, that gave me a little more liberty to create something I didn’t have to transport. I found some cute ideas on Pinterest and created a vase with suspenders. I purchased the vases for $1 each from Dollar Tree and bought two yards of felt from Hobby Lobby for $4/yard, as well as gold “1” toppers. I then ordered a bag of 30 buttons from Amazon for $8. I got my hot glue gun out and got to work with creating these little vases. I’m not going to lie, it took more time than I thought it would, but I loved the way they turned out.
To fill them, I wanted a white flower and found a great deal on Costco.com for 50 roses for $40. I loved using this service because I was able to order them weeks in advance and schedule their arrival for the day before the party. I put them in the vases with water the night before, and they opened up beautifully the next day!
Pro Tip: For the kid’s tables, I used plastic vases instead of glass. I also removed water from those vases before guests arrived, in case they were knocked down on accident, there would be minimal damage!
Sticking with our Jazz Brunch theme, I wanted an expansive brunch menu that would be appealing for both kids and adults. I worked with D’Jour Southern Cuisine on a delicious menu that left even the adults ready for nap time!
- Shrimp & Grits
- Chicken Salad Sandwiches
- Mini Quiche
- Chicken & Waffles
- Bow Tie Pasta Salad
- Fruit Kabobs
- Chik-fi-la nuggets
- Assorted pastries
- A Mimosa Bar for the adults
Alma from AlmakeUaCake put together the most delicious cake and smash cake I ever tasted. I got the bowtie cake idea from Pinterest, and she added her unique flair. Since it was fall, I told her I wanted a flavor that was reminiscent of that time of year. She came back with a delicious butter pecan flavored cake with praline filling that everyone raved about.
All the little details
I believe all the little details are really what help make your theme come to life.
In our office, I set up two tables, one with a time capsule for RG for guests to leave encouraging notes and words of wisdom, and one for presents. By setting this up in a separate room, it allowed guests to take their time with their notes and not feel rushed to finish. It also helped to create more space in the great room, by putting gifts in this separate area.
I created animal cracker favors out of mini mason jars for the kids. I stuck small tags on each jar that I got as a bonus on Etsy with my digital download invite. I also had themed cookies by Sonya’s Sweets for older children and adults.
Photos through the first year
I made sure I scheduled RG’s one-year photo session about two weeks before the party to give me time to get the images printed and propped around the house. I bought gold photo frames from Dollar Tree and placed various photos from his session throughout the house.
I tried to be as disciplined as I could with monthly photos, but I’m going to be honest, some months I had to take two since I missed the previous month! Nevertheless, I was able to pull together 12 to represent each new month with RG. I got the banner from Etsy and hung it on our mantle in the great room so that guests could see it while they were mingling and eating.
Decorated High Chair
For his high chair, I was so happy that we saved the brown Jenny Lind style wooden high chair from Deuce first birthday, it went perfectly with the highchair banner I ordered off Etsy. To create a more dramatic backdrop, I repurposed the balloon garland from his photoshoot (the photographer let me have it for free!). I also added gold garland from Hobby Lobby that I taped to the window.
Live Jazz Musician
I wasn’t sure where to start here, but my cousin, who is a professional event planner, recommended Mr. Rodney Bowens. He was terrific, and everyone loved the music. It was great to see all the little kids dancing around, and I loved exposing them to live Jazz in such an intimate space.
Pro Tip: If you choose to have someone playing live music inside your home, be sure that they have the knowledge and ability to adjust their sound for the size of your room. Rodney was great at this, so our guests were able to move around and talk comfortably without the sound drowning them out.
We had such a great time celebrating. The party was short and sweet, and although RG won’t remember it, I look forward to sharing the photos and telling him about it one day.