Step Right Up for Baker’s 1st Birthday Carnival

Party details

“Step Right Up for Baker’s Carnival!!!!”   It’s a celebration!!! We have successfully (most days) survived the first year with our Baby Baker.  I can’t believe how fast time flies, but I’m not going to lie, I am so excited for what the next few years hold for us.  Babies are certainly cute, but I like when they get to be rough and tumble and can talk and walk and play.  While Bakey is our second child, putting nearly 6 years between the two sort of makes it feel like starting all over again.  I didn’t remember nor miss all the crazy chaos of a newborn, sleepless nights, naps that I never took, many, many, many nights at home alone while Drew traveled, days where I felt like I could fall asleep standing up, but kept trucking along at my full time job….the list goes on and on, but there is nothing in the world that I would trade for this precious baby.  No matter the madness, he is the second “best thing” I have ever accomplished!  His sly little smile, the way he absolutely lights up at the sight of his big brother, his silly tendencies that make him more like a baby dog than a baby boy…….all of those things are why we love him so much.  He has truly completed our family in every way.  We are all better than before because of him.
carnival 1st birthday

When the party was all set up and ready to go, my neighbor asked me if I just dreamed this whole thing up in my head.  My response “I have been planning this for an entire year, you know.”  It all started with a little nickname Baker’s doctor gave him of “The Gentle Giant”. He is definitely a big boy in size and strength and I have said since day one that the giraffe is his spirit animal.  Of course it’s fitting since that is also the motif of his nursery.  I started my Pinterest board for his party in January or something ridiculously early with just an idea that I wanted a giraffe theme and the whole carnival party just evolved from there.  My first find was the vintage circus giraffe that inspired the invitations and all the printables.  I spent the next 6 months planning a little bit at a time.  I have a winter birthday and Hunter has a winter birthday, so I have never gotten to experience or plan a summer party, so it has been all hands on deck the last couple of months getting the back of our house outdoor party ready!

Fortunately from all the parties I’ve planned over the years, I had quite a bit of stuff that fell right into his theme.  I also purchased fun and festive carnival decor from various sites like Birthday Express.com and Oriental Trading.com.  The Dollar Tree is also a treasure trove for kids’ parties.

baker party collage2

In the past I have spent quite a bit on the cake, which I will agree is one of the most important parts of the party, but I had another idea for Baker’s cake.  I wanted the cakes to be a reflection of the theme overall, so I ordered multiple cakes and cupcakes in his color palette from Publix to give a little variety to the dessert/favor table.  I purchased the wooden “1” and giraffe toy cake toppers from Michael’s Craft Store.  The cupcakes made it easy for the kids to go ahead and have cake before we were ready to do the big cake smash and kept us from having to cut messy pieces of a big cake.
baker party collage5

This big guy has been watching over our Baby Baker for an entire year in his nursery, so he deserved the crown (and because Baker refused to wear it).  The invitations and printables were from the Silver City Ink shop on Etsy.  She was great to work with and helped create custom printables to go with the theme of the invitation.  Even though the party was mainly outside, I couldn’t allow an undecorated mantle!

Baker party collage3

July in Tennessee is HOT, HOT, HOT!!!!!  I used my mom’s old wagon for the kids’ drinks and had tubs for big people drinks (which were quite a hit), but for a little added hydration, I added a bag of frozen berries to water in this glass pitcher.

I ordered the personalized napkins (you know how I like my personalized party stuff) from My Wedding Reception Ideas.com in the main color palette of the party.

The vintage giraffe image print attached to wooden sticks were a perfect little way to keep the theme throughout the party in different places.
baker party collage4

Smash cake time was fun with all the kids cheering Baker on.  He didn’t take too much to the concept, but seemed to have fun.  The other great part of a summer outdoor party is that we could just “hose him down” in his diaper (as we say in the south) with the water hose after he was done.
baker party collage7

The menu was easy with grilled hot dogs, chips and pasta salad.  We used a roll of striped red plastic that I purchased from Oriental Trading.com to create circus tent curtains around the windows behind the food table.  We also used the same striped roll as table runners.  Colorful balloons were placed throughout the party.

My husband is a big kid himself and always has the best time with the little ones.  He initiated a hot dog eating contest and of course the kids were on board even the girls.  My nephew Ben was the big winner with 5 hot dogs in a minute’s time.

Baker party collage

Bounce houses, hula hoops, and water play provided endless entertainment for the kids and adults alike.  This party was a lot of work, but all a labor of love for Bakey.  I may or may not already be dreaming up my theme for birthday party #2, but for now will enjoy all the fun memories from this Carnival celebration!

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