Being in Germany throwing a birthday party can be quite the challenge. Top it off with a one year old and a Mommy that has never thrown a birthday party and you've got yourself quite a story.
It all begins by looking for a theme. And over here the chances of having 1st Birthday party supplies are slim to none. So the online search began! I checked all over the place, Amazon, Party America, Google, and finally found a theme I fell in love with at Party City. Hugs and Stitches was the decided theme. Its cute, girlie but not a lot of pink and frills. I made a tentative guest list, counted and re-counted the people invited. I bought her party supplies and even had a coupon for $4.99 shipping. Shipping things to APO is always a hit or miss situation. Sometimes stuff takes a week, other times it takes a good 6 weeks. There is just no telling, so I had to get it ordered in plenty of time and keep my fingers crossed it would get here. So instead of banking on it, I decide to pick a back up theme. Zoo animals, definitely not girlie but still cute. I didn't buy anything. I'll never forget when I got her package in the mail, I was so excited I had to open it up in the office! Once I had invitations I started writing them all out, and cleverly saved one for Kaylin's scrapbook later. I had to pick a place indoors because the weather here is so unpredictable that taking the chance for an outdoor party isn't going to happen. I managed to book our golf course clubhouse for the day before her actual birthday. Since her birthday is on a Sunday, it's easier to get people together Saturday rather than on Sunday.
I've invited quite the crowd and quite the mix of kids. So I had to think of something to for the older kids to do. Kaylin would be happy with a few toys and a big room to crawl around in. So I decided to buy a pinata. Simple and more for the older kids to play with. I found a nice flower one from Ramstein, cute and simple. I also grabbed pink and purple streamers as the decorations because I already have a nice "Happy Birthday" banner for her in the set. I didn't bother with balloons because I planned on getting some from our arts and crafts center.
Next task was the food. What to serve older AND younger people? I went back and forth for days, do I want to do cupcakes or an actual cake? Do we want home made or store bought? So many options, so little time. I looked at both our commissary and the one in Ramstein but didn't see any cakes that jumped out at me. No first birthday cakes or anything, so time to go home made. I got a normal yellow cake and it'll have chocolate frosting. Don't forget about the letters I plan on using, pink and purple. Then some pink icing for the border. I practiced with some of the tips and I think I'll be able to make it look good, so I'm definitely keeping my fingers crossed! Keeping on the simple side I figured Little Smokies in the crock pot, home made Mac-N-Cheese, and my friend offered to make meatballs. I figured no big "lunch" food, just more snacks. Cheaper and easier. Then I also bought a few different types of Capri Sun (but the good German kind :D ) and a few things of soda. Lets not forget the ice cream, Neapolitan that way everyone is happy. I bought the only mixed bag of candy I could find...Wonka. So now there are a mix of nerds and laffy taffy that are going into the pinata.
Next came the balloons. The arts and crafts center didn't have any 1st Birthday either, so we settled for a nice princess balloon that said happy birthday. Those will be blown up and picked up on Saturday. Now all I really have left is getting a picture of her in her pretty dress and get it into the frame for her. And then we'll be done. My sweet baby girl will be 1.
I hope the day will be perfect my little girl, she's going to have so much fun!