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A tribute to baptismals
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10 Ways to live to 100

  • 1. Enjoy yourself
  • 2. Stay young at heart
  • 3. Be honest and open
  • 4. Look for rainbows
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Zoie's 1st Birthday


When I met Candice, the mother of a beautiful little girl named Zoie (who was turning one), she was already convinced that the ceremony was important. But she did have another common question: should the party be for the parents or the kids? From experience, the answer is: for both. At this age, the little ones do not need a lot of activities and toys so much as they need attention from adults, so the focus should begin with the latter. With a little ingenuity, an appreciation for practicality, and a sense of what the mothers and fathers might find fun and relaxing, you can throw a first birthday party that honors with simplicity and ease. The party would be a fun special picnic for Zoie and her pals and also a civilized tea party to slow down the hectic pace of life for Candice and her friends.

There are two interesting areas that are secluded, private, and would be perfect choices for an afternoon picnic at Linmarr - The Poolside Link to the Pool Side and the La Orchidia Gardens Link to La Orchidia Gardens .

 

THE LOOK - The Princess and the Teddy Bear

Raising a little toddler is not always a serene and precious experience. Chasing a "malikot-na-bata" (speedy crawler), mixing baby food, and keeping enough distractions are more than a full-time job ..."ay!!! ambot na lang" (forget-about-it). For this reason, the environment for Zoie’s party should be as calm as possible. The moms could enjoy a little escape for an afternoon while the babies were being enchanted by simple patterns and pretty decorations.

Image of pink teddy bear

For the color scheme, a classic baby-girl pink with a little chocolate brown is perfect. Why not indulge in bright fashion colors for a chic little girl? A beautiful invitation featured a brown panel card with a beveled edge, pink type, and the image of a tiny teddy bear. A single round table is set with an elegant pink-and-white cotton cloth and feminine pattern. Each child’s name was painted on the back of their seat. Handwritten name cards are tied around the necks of cute brown teddy bears that served as party favors, too. Polka dot plates and pink-handled forks and spoons looked sweet next to little pink-hued glasses. Dessert was served in white waffle-print ice cream cone dishes with pretty pink-and-white bows around the rims.

Image of brown Teddy with pink comforter

In the center of the table was a fabulous cluster of classic pink and brown teddy bears. A bouquet of opal, pink, and clear balloons spilled upward from the pile of bears. Striped and polka-dot ribbons in shades of pink and brown gussied up the bears and streamed from the hovering balloons. Four more matching balloons clusters are positioned at the four corners of the party space. One of the most important pieces of the scene was a place of quiet repose. Sometimes a mom and a baby need to take a little quiet time together in a more private spot, so Victorian wicker furniture covered with comfy, soft teddy bears made for a perfect nursing and cuddling retreat just a few feet from the luncheon table.

Image of balloons

The final decorative touch came in the form of a unique gift for Zoie. It’s what is called a “Baby Time Capsule”. This special gift was a box of photos and keepsakes to which Candice could contribute for many years to come so that one day, Zoie could look back on her life one birthday at a time.

In order to make a time capsule one needs only a plastic or metal container that can be sealed completely and will not corrode. Place time capsule items inside the container and store in a secure spot that is unlikely to be disturbed.

Image of a baby time capsule

Although you may be tempted, it is not advisable to bury your capsule. You are likely to move or forget exactly where it is buried, and the contents could be damaged by the elements. It's a better idea to give the capsule a special place in your home. Let the capsule become a conversation piece as you show it to friends and family and talk about its significance.

Baby Time Capsule:

Sample Contents:

  • Coins, money, stamps, a small keepsake album, baby's first photos, a video, an audiotape that you recorded for your baby, your family tree and finally a variety of newspapers and magazines
  • Write a letter or card to your child explaining the time capsule's purpose -- be sure to use acid-free paper that won't deteriorate as quickly. Cards and photos are an excellent choice, but consider creating them with acid-free paper as well.

 

THE TEXTURE - Baby Soft

There’s usually a contrast of textures in parties, making sure never to go too severe or too soft. For this delightful little girl’s party, it’s soft all the way. After all, who needs severe when it comes to the cozy world of all things baby? Fluffy teddy bears were piled atop a soft cotton tablecloth and creamy desserts filled smooth ceramic waffle-print dishes. Shiny satin ribbons adorned most of the decorative elements, while big, glossy balloons bobbed and bumped overhead.

Of course, babies are not the only ones who like to be enveloped in ultrasoft blankets and cushions. Rumor has it that mommies like this kind of treatment too. Since the first birthday is really a celebration for both mommy and baby, each guest was treated to a pampering touch. While the babies snuggled up to big velvety-soft teddy bears, the moms reclined on the deep-cushioned wicker sofa. While the babies enjoyed creamy organic yogurt, the moms relished dollops of delicious cupcake frosting. And while the babies practiced walking (and sometimes falling) on the soft garden lawn, the moms stood by, soothed by spoonfuls of cool vanilla ice cream.

 

THE SCENT - Sweet honey and …fragrance-free wipes

Babies are known for their sweet breath and scrumptious-smelling skin. They’re also known for their frequent and often ill-timed diaper-filling abilities. Entertaining the toddler set involves just a little forethought on this subject. Simply move the adorable white changing table from the nursery to the spacious downstairs bathroom. This way, moms and babies could have a convenient and quiet diaper- changing space away from the party. Honey-scented pampering creams and powders were on hand, as well as lots of eco-friendly wipes. By the end of the party, all the little girls were clean, full and smelling like honey, and all the mommies looked visibly refreshed from the gentle breezes and afternoon sunshine dappling the leaves of the trees.

 

CONCLUSION

As any party will tell you, children grow up fast. One day you’re folding a T-shirt the size of your hand and before you know it….well, the T-shirt may be the same size, but your daughter will be eighteen and wearing it to a rock concert. That’s just one of the reasons it’s so important to commemorate the different steps children take along life’s path. In some sense, birthday commemorations serve as gifts to parents and children alike and little party favors that last are a great addition to any first-birthday celebration. At the end of Zoie’s party, each little girl smiled broadly as she clutched her very own teddy bear from the place setting. Reminders of a pleasant outing on a sunny afternoon with their daughters and friends. Still, Zoie’s mother wore the biggest smile of all when presented with the time capsule which was made to hold all the photos and mementos of her daughter’s birthday celebrations. For now, there was just one picture in it – a digital photo of Zoie and Candice playing together on the grass – but there would be many more happy returns to come.

 

TIPS:

  • A word of advice about babies and bouquets: flowers are not so great around little ones. They tend to want to grab the pretty flowers and eat them, and since a surprising number of flowers are poisonous, this can be a problem.
  • You can create a virtual boundary to your party space outdoors by using helium balloons. Create clusters of balloon bouquets with beautiful ribbons tied to a brick or rock wrapped in paper or cloth as an anchor and place them around the perimeter of the space.
  • Balloons have a shelf life, so you should always prepare them last, allowing for about 8 hrs until the balloons lose their firmness and start to wild and fail.
  • When popped, rubber balloons become a dangerous choking hazard for babies and toddlers. Keep balloons out of children’s reach and make sure to pick up any bits of rubber that may fall to the ground.
  • Be picture perfect: always have a camera on hand. Digital cameras are great for instant gratification, and if mom has a portable printer (like one of the HP Photosmart printers, which are perfect because they don’t need to be hooked up to a computer) close to the party space, she can enjoy a keepsake even before the party ends.
  • A cake blazing with candles can be frightening to small children. Try a less fiery collection of cupcakes instead and save the candles for the years to come. This way, you’ll enjoy the photo op but forgo the tears.
  • Create a ribbon drawer at home. Save pretty ribbons from gift boxes and bags so that you can reuse them with balloons and gifts in the future. This is a great way to recycle.
  • When entertaining outside, consider having a basket of inexpensive flip-flop sandals available so that your guests can kick off their fancy shoes and relax (especially if that might involve playing on the lawn).
  • Hire a babysitter or two on the day of your party and have him or her come a few hours early to lend a hand so that you can prepare properly. Each mom will be glad to have an extra set of hands during party time – it might turn out to be the best “favor” of all!!