Sunday, July 14, 2013

Merritt's Party

Woodland Fairy and Butterflies!
Welcome to Merritt's party post! 

Smeared the phone and address for privacy.  

I started thinking about her first party when she was around 3 months old I think.  Since she couldn't tell me what kind of party she wanted, I tried to come up with something that described her but also something that was meaningful (not a random theme).  The only inspiration I had was her nursery, which is lavender and light green. She is tiny.  She is a miracle.  Hmm..sounds like a little fairy to me!  After browsing the Woodland Fairy theme online, it was sort of a theme for older girls usually so I blended Woodland Fairy meets Secret Garden Party meets Spring Butterflies.  I wanted elements of each.  I didn't want Mid-Summer Nights Dream - I wanted a baby woodland fairy.  There is a fine line for all you party people out there.


  • Chicken salad sandwiches cut with butterfly cookie cutter
  • Pretzel butterflies.  Saw these on Pinterest - and they are right up my alley
  • "Dew Drops" White chocolate stuffed raspberries.  Big hit at the party!
  • Fairy Fruit Wands
  • Meringue Mushrooms
  • Cupcakes (and Smash cake)
  • "Nectar" (purple Gatorade and sweet tea) served in Mason jars with daisy lids!
  • Brownie Violets
  • Cheese and "Nuts and Twigs" aka pretzels and nuts

Backdrops and Decorations
1.  Ribbon backdrop.  WHY did I decide to do this??? Saw it on Pinterest in another color scheme - and thought - "wow, ribbons would be pretty."  Yeah, pretty darn expensive.  Won't do that again, but I was happy with it overall.

-------While I was making it in the hallway of my house, Mattox came out of another room carrying a little pink ribbon.  I had never seen the ribbon before and I have no idea where it came from (purple being the theme here).  He insisted that I attach it to the rope with the others, which is weird because he usually doesn't care about that kind of stuff.  So I did and as I was tying it - I immediately thought of sweet baby Ava Grace whose was a neighbor and friend of Merritt's in the NICU.  Ava Grace's signature color is pink.  I would love to see that baby girl now and I know she is looking down on her mommy today.  Ava Grace was about 3 weeks older than Mitt, and would be turning 1 too.  In remembrance of Merritt's first friend, the pink ribbon stayed. -------

2.  Chalkboard Art.  I loved it.  Highly recommend! one of my favorite things at her party!
The sun QUICKLY bleached the brownie icing to blue from purple!  Lessons learned.
3.  Fairy Garden.  

4.  Merritt's "First Year" table. Pictures of all her "firsts" (first bath, first holidays, etc) and her monthly pictures.

5.  Toad stools were set out for people to sit on.  

6.  Giant balloons.  These were a hit.   See below in More pics!  

I've always struggled with what to do at a 1 year old birthday party.   Most of the time, the star of the party can't walk yet.  Can't talk, can't/won't really eat much, can't play any games (except peek-a-boo!).  Merritt LOVES to watch her older siblings.  So I tried to come up with ideas of things that she could watch!  Painting fairy houses is pretty popular, but I decided Merritt couldn't really do any of that.  Trying to keep it simpler instead of pulling out paint supplies.  

  • Butterfly Release.  I thought this was a good activity for someone who can't walk yet.  She would enjoy watching tons of butterflies (I hoped) and after reading about how to do live butterfly releases - it really symbolized her in a way (Miracle Merritt)!  I am by no means calling her a caterpillar - but just referring to the change, the miracle, and delicate nature of a butterfly is amazing.  You should read up on your metamorphosis.  ;)
  • NO GIFTS PLEASE!  Merritt accepted donations in a moss covered purse to give to the NICU at UMC.  She "raised" $320.00!!!!!!!!   If you could see the babies in the NICU that don't get visitors every day, or don't have even a single balloon attached to their isolette, or their parents live too far away to visit everyday.... you will want to give them your entire heart and everything you own!  Some babies had no one to talk to them, no personal blankets or toys to look at... donate to the NICU please!
  • Wishing tree.  I saw this on Pinterest and thought it was the cutest idea ever.  So pretty!  Since Merritt has gone through so much, I wanted everyone to write down their thoughts, happy birthday wishes, dreams, and anything else for her to keep in her baby book!  Make her a birthday "wish" and she will keep it forever!  I wanted her to know later how much everyone prayed for her!  And the tree went with the theme!
    Before all the tags were hung

  • And of course singing to the birthday girl!  I think I cried.  How I love babies and parties.
Party Favors

Plantable paper containing seeds with a bag of soil in a chalkboard painted pot that read "and 1 to grow on"  attached with "Merritt's Miracle Dust" or pixie dust glitter for fun.  

Misc. Pictures
Mitt's party dress only lasted long enough to take a few pics.  Can't blame her - it was scratchy and hot!

Sweet Brooke with a monarch
My sister called this the "Pic of the Party"....good times.
Give Credit Where Credit is Due! (click on names for website links)
  • Photographer:  Heather Bowser.  I hired a photographer for Mati Claire's 1st party, and I regret that I didn't with Mattox.  It takes SUCH a load off.  And allows me to just enjoy the party!  And videotape it.    Thank you!  
  • Florist:  Meredith Young at AuCourant. I knew when I picked Woodland Fairy that I would need help.  This party could.not.have.been.possible. without Meredith.  Blow me away with flowers!!! Loved it!
  • Merritt's Dress:  Enchanted Fairy and Kellys Kids.  I found a GroupOn coupon so that saved me a TON on the dress.  Otherwise it never would have happened.  But it was impossible to find anything to fit her, so they tried to make it adjustable.  We found out early on that tulle is scratchy so she got a 2nd outfit to feel more comfortable.  
  • Mati Claire's Dress:  Chasing Fireflies
  • Party Favor Chalkboard-painted Pots:  KnoxProPhotography on Etsy.  There is a very simple DIY way to make chalkboard painted pots, but after reading how many coats it took...I decided I didn't have time to paint that many pots that many times.  
  • Party Favor Plantable Paper Seeds:  PulpArt on Etsy.  I actually got this idea from Danielle (thank you, D!) who I think is a long-lost sister of mine, but also an O mom.  You can read about McKinley's first party HERE... and I must say its one of the cutest parties I've ever seen!  But wonderful idea to incorporate the idea of GROWTH into the party, being that growth is such an issue with O babies!   
  • Chalkboard Art:  Bonnie Dickerson at Southern Sprout.  I will sound old and cheesy when I say this, but!  I loved it!  can we say 'my splurge'?
  • HighChair Tutu:  TutuLand on Etsy
  • Cupcake wrappers:  Etsy - Back to Zero and PaperPartyParade
  • Miracle Merritt's Dust (pixie dust party favor):  EnchantedbyFae on Etsy
  • Plates, Chargers, napkins, utensils, etc...:  Michaels Craft Stores, Hobby Lobby, Party City
  • Smash cake and cupcakes:  my best friend, Tyanne McCoy, offered to make these for her party.  I have tried many different bakeries...but NONE compare to Tyanne's cupcakes.  They are my favorite.  I decided I didn't have time (as much as I wanted to) to make the smash cake when I had to make so many other food items.  Thank you Tyanne! We will always remember it!
  • Mason jars with daisy lids, striped paper straws: The TomKat Studio
  • Invitations, buffet tags, and wish tags:  Unink.   Joanna Keith is amazing!  But contact her at least 6 months in advance if you want to use her - she is in high demand and super busy! Love.
  • Wishing Tree:  MadeAtTheLake on Etsy.  Thank you, John, for making this extra special for an extra special little girl!
  • Cupcake stand:  postscripts on Etsy
  • Smash cake stand/cheese plate:  the GypsyBird on Etsy
  • the 12 wooden place card holders/picture holders: OMYMOMMADETHIS on Etsy
  • Giant balloons:  Martha Stewart party line collection found at JCPenney. Thanks to Party City for blowing them up.
  • AND last but not least.... the BIGGEST THANK YOU to my mom and sister for helping me put everything together!  Would NOT have happened without them! They gave 110% in the mid-summer Mississippi heat to help me.  I love you!

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danielle said...

BEAUTIFUL party, friend! loved every detail!!!

Ashley said...

So pretty and sweet. Did I miss where you posted where the cupcake stand/dessert stand thing came from? Loved it!

Carrie said...

Oh I forgot to put that in the credit list! I just added the link! thank you!

Erica said...

This looks amazing! My favorites are the pics of you with the balloons, cause you just look so joyful. Happiness!

Heather Handley Klauber said...

Just now getting around to seeing this...Everything looked great!! I'm going to print that picture that the photog took on my camera of all of us in the front yard. It turned out so good!!!! The toadstools look cute in the background of that one picture, too.