My mind tells me that I typed that correctly, but my heart is still in denial that Ella is one! It is such a cliché to talk about how fast the time goes, but wow does it fly! I distinctly remember every single detail of the ride home from the hospital like it was yesterday. The interstate seemed so big and out of control. I clinched the center console in the back and held on for dear life, even though we probably only drove about 25 MPH the whole way home. Ella was so tiny in her car seat. Her precious monogrammed outfit I had gotten her at Plaid Rabbit didn’t come close to fitting her tiny self, so she rode in a little pink gown that I had thrown in my bag at the last second. Then, I blinked and a year had passed. My tiny newborn angel is now a strong willed one year old who (kind of) walks and definitely talks. I don’t usually know what she is saying, but I know when she says Mama and that is really the only word I need to hear.
Her first birthday party was so special. I will have to tell her one day how her first party was during a global pandemic and things were pretty weird in the world at the time. We did not get to invite all of our friends and family that we wanted to celebrate with but they were there in spirit. We all wore masks and planned the party outside, however, with the extreme humidity that day it wasn’t possible. We kindly asked our loved ones to love Ella from a distance this year and myself and my husband were the only ones who held her. That was definitely a bitter pill to swallow, but everyone understood and we all came together and made the best of it! Now on to the party and the gifts. What in the world do you buy a one year old? Before having a child, I literally never knew what to buy for my friend’s kids, so I thought it might be helpful to share what Ella is loving at this age!
SHOP PARTY DETAILS HERE: http://liketk.it/2WMuq
We did a pastel rainbow theme for the party to celebrate our very own little rainbow. As someone who is usually obsessed with taking pictures of everything, I am realizing that I don’t have a ton of pictures from the party. I was trying to enjoy every minute and not be on my phone the whole time. Luckily, my uncle took lots and lots of party pics which I haven’t seen yet but know they will be great!
My hubby and I decided to do our own balloon arch, and I love the way it turned out! We ordered it from Etsy and it was a labor of love but totally worth it! We rented a giant “1” and filled it with balloons, and I loved it. I tried to think of every single rainbow themed detail I could think of down to the flatware and it all came together so nicely for a child’s party! We decided to grab some mimosa supplies at the last minute, and I highly recommend that (depending on the time of day of your party). The adults definitely enjoyed those as the kids ran around. We decided to have all of Ella’s favorite foods for her party, so we got grilled chicken nuggets and mac and cheese from Chic-fil-A, sliced watermelon and pickles! The food was a big hit and we literally didn’t have one single bite left!
I filled the treat bags for the adults with a precious little rose compact mirror, a personalized lip balm that said “Ella is one”, a little hand sanitizer from Bath and Body Works (hello 2020), some birthday cake caramels from Sugarfina that included personalized stickers that said “thank you from Ella” and matched the plates and invitations, and a personalized cookie. For the boys I included some Spider Man stickers, a little miniature football, a Spider Man jumprope and a cookie. We also had a bounce house for the kids and a pinata, which I highly recommend. I filled the pinata with lots of little toys and sunglasses and some animal crackers so it wasn’t just a bunch of candy, and they absolutely loved it! It helped to keep them entertained and they really had a lot of fun with those activities!
Okay okay, now on to the gifts. Ella truly made out like a bandit this year. Our friends and family were so kind to shower her with all kinds of special gifts. Since my living room currently looks like we have purchased every toy known to man, I thought it would be fun to highlight a few (even though we truly love and appreciate each and every gift).
SHOP TOYS HERE: http://liketk.it/2WMve
Ella truly loves each and every toy she was lucky enough to get from her birthday. The thing I am realizing about toddlers is that they love something one day and then want no part of it the next. That can make things difficult when shopping for one. However, the toys I listed are things that she consistently loves and plays with every single day!
- Play kitchen: I can not recommend this enough! It seemed very daunting when we got it and there were 40 steps in the instructions, but it honestly was not that bad and Ella loves it! It is so cute and the attention to detail is great! Ella loves opening and closing the cabinet doors over and over.
- If you buy one thing listed here, let it be the little pots and pans set! Ella is literally obsessed. The little pots are tiny and perfect for her size! She also spends so much time with the little Velcro fruits and veggies. Truly a favorite and it goes great with the kitchen.
- A walker: this is a great option if you are buying for a baby that isn’t fully walking on their own. It provides some security as they are learning balance and Ella truly loves all the activities that come along with this one.
- VTECH activity cube: This is large and bright and you probably think you don’t want this in your living room, but Ella loves it. It keeps her attention which is not easy at this stage!
- Ball set: One of Ella’s most favorite toys ever is a ball! They bring her so much happiness and she loves these “nubby balls” that have an interesting texture.
- Stacking cups: simple but Ella loves these an often reaches for them among her million toys.
- Jelly cat stuffed animal: this is a huge favorite in our house ,There are a million different ones and they are so soft!
- Piano: this is a really great gift! The keys are very reactive when you touch them and Ella loves to bang on them and make noise!
- Radio Flyer tricycle: Ella loves to ride this around. She feels like she is in control when actually you are the one steering. It provides a little more independence than a stroller and as she gets older, there are little pedals! So cute and Ella really loves it.
Whew…is anyone still there? This was obviously a very special day for us and I had so much fun planning. I hope this gift guide is helpful if you need ideas for a little one. These will all work for boys or girls and are tried and true faves! Anything pictured in pink also comes in other neutral colors!