Finley’s tropical first birthday party was a huge success!
Our youngest baby’s “theme” animal has always been a flamingo. It only made sense to incorporate that into her first birthday party! Our son’s was dinosaurs. His nursery was dino themed and so was his first birthday.
Disclaimer: There are affiliate links peppered throughout this post. I do this mainly to make things easy for you if you are shopping for party supplies, but I will make a (very small) commission from you clicking the links and even shopping through them. Additionally, some items mentioned in this post were gifted to us for the purposes of this post. That does not change my review or opinion of said items!
Initially I had considered doing a different party for her, but my mother in law bought us a flamingo pinata which kind of solidified the plan. We started picking up decor and party supplies 3-4 months before her birthday month!
Once a week, my mother in law and I go out shopping, so it just made more sense financially for us to get bits and pieces a little each week so the cost wouldn’t seem too crazy.
We went rogue and had Finley’s tropical party the weekend after her actual birthday. It would have probably made more sense to have her party the same weekend since her birthday was on a Friday, but I’m glad we had it the following weekend because it was probably 15 degrees cooler!
Despite my hesitation, we held the party at our house. We have a pretty big house with an open floor plan but it’s so dark and just not exactly ‘instagram worthy’ like I would like. BUT we made it work!
As people started to show up at 4pm on that Saturday, I quickly realized not everyone would fit comfortably in my living room and kitchen. My huge living room got VERY small…quick. Luckily, my Picasso Tiles bounce house came to the rescue! I did a collaboration with the company almost two years ago and still have the kid sized bounce house stored in the garage.
Within 5 minutes, I had it set up in our front yard and the kids went NUTS. If you are going to have a party with a lot of kids present, I highly suggest a bounce house! It keeps them busy, happy, out of your face, and burns off all that excess energy they got from eating too much cake and ice cream.
You can probably rent one locally, or get this one for around $200. Another idea would be to pool your money with a group of friends and then all of you can use it at your respective parties!
Thanks to the suggestion of my friend Sadiee (Wearing Mom Jeans), I decided on a sub bar for party food.
The sub bar was a HUGE hit! There were maybe 3 slices of cheese and a handful of meat left when everything was said and done. People loved putting together their own subs! I snagged this huge bag of mini sub rolls at Wal-mart for about $1.08! I’ve made a habit of stalking the clearance bread racks there and found this one the day before the party. And it was delicious!
For the sub bar I got: salami, pepperoni, ham, turkey and roast beef for meats. For cheeses, provolone, cheddar and pepper jack. Then I set out some toppings like lettuce, olives, pickles, tomato, mayo and mustard.
Along with sandwiches, there were chips, fruit, chocolates I made with flamingo and pineapple molds, sugar cookies (I made those too), cake, and some hot spinach and artichoke dip that was a hit as well!
Having these applesauce cups and baby food pouches from BioDynamic was a huge hit for this first birthday party! They sent us a sample box and the kids ate them up!
For drinks, we had bottled water, sparkling water, juice, sangria (in the beach bucket), and “Naturdays” because how could I not have strawberry lemonade beer with flamingos on the can!?
I found the flamingo table cloths at the dollar store at the end of summer, and more pink ones on clearance at Target!
Our awesome pink letterboard is from Felt Like Sharing. They have have so many great colors to choose from and are such great quality!
There was a huge turnout which made me really happy! I love throwing parties and having all my friends and family in one place, hanging out, eating good food and just having fun.
We pulled out the pinata for the older kids and they had so much fun taking a whack at it! Eventually two of the moms (myself and a friend) took it down with a bat. They had so much fun running after the candy and collecting it in their treat bags!
Then of course, the traditional Happy Birthday song and cake smash! Finley ate just a little bit of cake but she didn’t cry!
Finley’s birthday cake and smash cake are both from K.Bromell Confections. They were SO cute and absolutely delicious! Bonus, you’re supporting a local entrepreneur and mom! If you’re local to Columbia, SC, definitely consider Keisha for your cake needs!
For party favors we had a few Munchie Mugs, my favorite kids product probably ever! Also a mom boss business based out of Oregon. We have been using our Munchie Mug for years now with Leopold so for her first birthday, Finley got her own and got to give some to her friends! Thanks Munchie Mug for these awesome party favors! (Gifted)
We also had some crazy straws, temporary tattoos from Ducky Street, and of course candy from the pinatas. At the end of the party I ended up bagging up the chocolates that I made to give to people who were still around.
Finley’s party dress was from Target, and we got it on clearance a few weeks before the party. I added some glitter vinyl that says “Finley is ONE” to make it our own. We used it for her cake smash photos too! I used my Cricut for the dress as well as many of the paper decorations you will see in the photos!
For a little added fun, we incorporated some awesome inflatables from Big Mouth, Inc.
They generously sent us a bunch of mini pools and swim rings! It was kind of cool on the day of the party so we didn’t end up getting wet, but it was just as fun to have these as decorations inside. The baby pool has stayed in our living room just because the kids love it so much! One of Finley’s favorite activities is flopping in and out of the pool.
Oh yeah, and the balloon arch…I made that myself! I am SO proud of how good it looked after only watching a couple of YouTube tutorials. I used about 75-90 balloons (bought cheap at Walmart) and fishing line. I then used my low heat glue gun to glue the small balloons into the gaps.
Here’s what I used to make my arch-
I read in a few places that fishing line was easier than the balloon arch strips you find in party shops and on Amazon. I didn’t listen and bought an arch strip anyway. Never even opened it!
After looking at the project ahead of me logically, I decided the fishing line WAS the best idea. All I did was inflate ALL my balloons in sets of two, and I tied the ends together. After I had a bunch of pairs floating around, I twisted four together until I had a bunch of fours. Then I just stacked one on top of the other and twisted fishing line through the middle a few times. And repeat.