Jude’s 1st Birthday


I cannot believe that today my son has been ONE for a whole week! My little, tiny baby is practically a grown man!! Last Saturday we joined together to celebrate this special milestone with a dinosaur themed birthday party that I can only hope boosted,if even slightly, my cool mom factor. My aunt + uncle keep a home at our local marina, and were gracious enough to allow us use of the space for the occasion. We went with a dinosaur theme, and I incorporated a lot of elements from The Good Dinosaur (We are Team Butch in this house!), as well as mixed prints as an orange + green color palette. I am absolutely done with not having a quality camera to document things and photograph, in general, with, so it is a goal as I evolve and grow my brand to invest in (sooner than later because I love taking pictures of this kid). Here’s a look at party day:


I set up this little area by the front door so people would see it on their way out and be reminded to take a favor.I got the idea for the chalkboard from Pinterest, and the little plastic dinosaurs were in some dollar bins at a Kmart we happened to pop into while trying to kill some time. I transformed these regular little dinos into party dinos with some little DIY party hats made from scrapbook paper and pom-poms from Michael’s. A little hot glue later, and voila! The actual favors were skewers of salt water taffy (Oriental Trading) tied off with ribbon (A.C. Moore) and Thank You tags that I designed.


I hate the lighting in a lot of these pictures, oh man, but I love how we were able to display a couple of the photos from Jude’s Cake Smash session with Sarah Wood Photography! I used some moss from the Dollar Tree to tuck around the framed photos and add to the dino vibe, and displayed them side-by-side with the 2 dinos we used in the photos. In the back right you can see the wooden number one (from Michael’s) that we incorporated into the gift area. We opted to do a little something different in regards to gifts; we tucked a little card into the party invites that asked for food donations for our local animal shelter in lieu of gifts. It was a great success and Jude was able to make a generous first donation for himself.I know we won’t be able to do that for long, but hopefully as Jude grows he will want to give on his own!

I decided to do these inflatable dinos (orientaltrading.com) for favors for the kids. We set it up like a little dinosaur adoption to partner in with the donations we had asked to be brought for the animal shelter. I made little adopt-a-dino collars out of felt and laminated tags I designed, and tucked them all into a small plastic kiddie pool we found at Goodwill and painted green. This was a huge hit and everyone seemed to love it!

Since we were having quite a few little guests we planned a couple of outdoor activities to give them opportunity to run wild. I put together a dino egg hunt (with spotted dino eggs, of course), which worked out really well since Jude’s birthday comes pretty close to Easter. I found these little orange bags on sale at Oriental trading; they were meant for Halloween but they worked for me really well once I added a customized sticker that I designed. We also bought like a dozen of these 97 cent bubble wands from Wal-Mart and had them set out as well. I painted 2 frames from the Dollar Tree in a green to match my party palette, and designed 2 signs for the activities to frame inside. Quick and easy on my end, but lots of fun for the kids that were over that day.

I bought several packs of tissue paper and made tons of these pom-poms to bring color and texture to the space we were using. They are such a simple little DIY that can bring huge impact. The green table cover on the left is actually a piece of fabric I had purchased at Wal-Mart back when I was designing Jude’s nursery; it finally got adequate use as an overlay here. Another party dino holding a balloon made for a quick + effective centerpiece. The photo collage 1 on the right was something I saw on Pinterest and knew I had to make! Luckily I had a huge cardboard box that I was able to break down to create the base as one whole piece. Such an amazing piece of decor that shows off my little guy!


The food table was a great way to not only fill the space, but to also bring in more of the theme. I was able to hand draw and paint some of the Good Dinosaur characters, and we framed the windows with green polka dot crepe paper. Bouquets of balloons were used throughout the entire space,which I think really brings everything together.We found all of the polka dot balloons on Amazon, the solid colored ones came from Target. As far as the food goes, we kept with a lot of traditional party favorites,but I also tried to incorporate the party colors (fruit skewers + veggie cups), and theme related dishes, such as the dino nests (aka “haystacks”), dino picnic eggs, dino nuggets, and little sandwiches that we cut into dino shapes with a sandwich cutter.


I was, admittedly, slightly obsessed with the cake table since it bought together the best of what I was trying to get out of the party decor: the colors, the mixed patters, and, of course, the dinosaurs.


We got the actual cake from my favorite local bakery. I was really pleased with how the ombre textured frosting came out, and it,as I expected it would, tasted amazing! I added the dinosaur on the side and the gold banner topper (from Target). When something comes together as you envisioned,well, that’s always worth a gold star in my book.

Jude’s smash cake also came from the bakery;it was like a mini version of the main cake,except with green gradient buttercream frosting.This little guy was topped with a number 1 candle and an Arlo+ Spot topper I purchased off of Etsy. Oh, and hello green chevron and orange polka dot napkins! (purchased from Birthday Direct). The cookies on the right came from my kitchen. Oh yes! I have always wanted to get into the whole art of cookie decorating (I have a friend that does decorated cookies and they are beautiful…it is definitely an art). This was my first attempt at filling + decorating with royal icing,and I was actually pretty impressed with the outcome.


For the highchair banner I just bought a bunch of felt and ribbon from Michael’s and went to town with the hot glue gun, attaching it all to a piece of jute string. A few more hand painted Good Dinosaur characters and some crepe garland shaped like leaves served as a last minute background here.


I think Jude loved it!!


Hey birthday boy!! How cute is this tee shirt a friend of mine made for Jude?!! Let me tell you, if you are a fan of these applique/embroidered tees like I am, do yourself a favor and visit her over at Sweet Virginia Stitches on Facebook.

I had so much fun planning this for my sweet Mista. I have been so encouraged to continue to share the DIY projects and design work I am constantly creating, so I hope you’ll keep following around as my brand evolves. I am still a makeup artist, but I try to limit that work to the weekends. My role as Mama has shaped me in some pretty amazing ways, and as I am continually inspired it is my goal to bring a little bit of that to you. Thank you for all of your support, and as always, let’s be rad together!!



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