one year old in a flash- the details

As promised here are a few details from Jay’s One Year Old in a Flash Party.  Let me just say this before going any further- the rest of this post might bore some of you.  If you are not a detail person or if you don’t care about party planning, feel free to breeze through the rest of this post or just drool over the yummy food pictures :-)  If however, you like the details or would like the links to some of the recipes that I used feel free to keep reading because I am going to keep writing- I happen to like this stuff and it’s my blog now isn’t it ;-)


Nan designed the invitation for me; she is amazing and I can’t repay her for all of the design stuff she does for me!!  I gave her a few pictures, the wording, date and colors that I planned on decorating with and she sent me the most adorable invite and the time capsule card  along with some other digital files that I used to make the rest of the decorations that we used. Having all of the digital flies was so amazing since I got to personalize Jay’s party AND I didn’t have to pay an arm and a leg to do it- thanks so much Nan!


The decorations consisted of pictures, pictures and more pictures.  We had one wall that showcased some of Jay’s firsts and another that had his month by month pictures.

Aside from pictures I had a few balloon boquets made up and placed them around the house.  Jay loves balloons right now so this was for him more than anything.  I made the balloon weights out of some scraps of fabric that I had around the house, some spare ribbon and navy beans that I am using for a bean bag project.  I think they turned out pretty cute and I loved that I didn’t have to worry about Jay smashing them and having sand pour out everywhere in the house.

this is the balloon wreath that I hung on the door- I didn't make it with the party colors so that I could use it all year anytime a birthday rolls around

I also (with the help of Jamie) made a happy birthday banner (picture of the banner is farther down) that I patterned after this one to hang in the kitchen.

Time Capsule

I thought that it would be fun to have all of our guests and some out-of-towners that weren’t going to make the party contribute to a Time Capsule for Jay.  Nan made a card that I included with the invitation asking guests to contribute along with a bunch of suggestions.  It has been fun to take a look at what was contributed.  I am sure that Jay will love looking at it on his 18th birthday, we only have to wait until 2028- wowzers!!


I usually have a difficult time trying to decide what kind of food to serve when we are throwing a shin-dig like this… We knew that we would be expecting a fairly large crowd and planning food for that many people is always daunting.  So I was really happy when I decided not to try and feed people but to have a dessert buffet instead.  I got to bake up a storm (yippee) and we saved a buck or two by doing this!  I went fairly simple with everything, including drinks, that we choose and did most of it ahead of time which made the set up on Saturday easy peasy.  We had chocolate chip cookies, salted brown butter rice crispy treats, gooey-sweet pretzel melts, sugar cookies, mint-chocolate cookies (I used this recipe for the cookie part but winged it for the filling), homemade Almond Joys, cupcakes, and blueberries- Jay’s favorite sweet.

dessert buffet
camera and dot sugar cookies
vanilla bean cupcakes
chocolate chip cookies
sweet and gooey pretzel melts
mint chocolate cookies
almond joy's and blueberries

For drinks we had homemade Lemonade, coffee punch (a friend’s recipe that is amazing!!) and water.  Notice that even though you can’t really read it you can see the banner in the background.  It says “Happy Birthday JAY!”


These were baked as well.  I used my new favorite sugar cookie recipe to make teal and green camera cookies.  I didn’t have a cookie cutter for the camera bodies (I used a circle cutter that I had for the lens) so I ended up printing one of the cameras that Nan had sent me and used a knife to cut them out instead- it worked great!  I will have to remember this for next time that I am without a certain cookie cutter.  Attached to each cookie was this little saying…

I am no longer a baby,
now that I am ONE!
Glad you came to my party,
Hope you had fun!
Waving bye-bye
Now that it’s through
And giving out kisses from me to you!

making of the camera cookies- step 2, outlining after baking
making the camera cookies- step 4 or 5 (?) letting the icing dry

Photo Booth

We set up a photo booth for the party- yippee!  For months now I have wanted a reason to have a photo booth but I haven’t had quite the right excuse.  Enter photo themed party and voila excuse made!  Honestly, the closer I got to the party the less I felt like going to the trouble of setting it up but at the last minute I choose to anyway.  Man, am I ever glad that I did!  I love the pictures that we got from it and I think that it gave people something to do at the party.  I had most of the props done already (I wanted to have one at Christmas so I had already painted empty frames and made chalkboard thought bubbles) which made my last minute decision to have the photo booth much more feasible. I purchased 3 yards of fabric and some white duct tape which I used for my backdrop.  We have a wall outside that worked really well to hang the back drop from (it’s shaded but still has great natural light).   Then I just put my props in a bin that we already had, set up our camera on a tri-pod, adjusted the settings so it was set and ready to go, Jamie set up the remote so that people could use that instead of having to push the button (I think there are some kinks here that could be worked out for next time- it didn’t always work) and then just let people have at it.  The pictures are really cute- I’ll try and get those up soon- and I am going to add them along with a few other things from Jay’s party to his time capsule.

photo booth- the whole set up
photo booth props- chalk board bubbles, empty frames, silly glasses, etc

All together I spent a little over $100 for all the decorations and food with my biggest expenses being printing and postage for the invitations, the balloons and some of the baking supplies.  Most everything else was put together from stuff we already had and I used some coupons for prints so I didn’t pay anything for the pictures!  Not bad for a party with 35 guests…

Thanks for everyone that came- we loved having you!!

13 thoughts on “one year old in a flash- the details

  1. I think you should add Party Planner to your photography business. I’m sure other mothers would pay YOU to plan and set up such a wonderful party.


  2. This is absolutely amazing! I’m bookmarking this page and am now trying to think up an excuse for a party so I can steal some of these ideas. (Don’t worry – I’m far away in CA plus I’ll give you full credit.) I agree with Nancy – you should add Party Planner to your title.

    BTW, I’m not just a plain ol’ stalker – I used to teach with George at UHS, so I followed a link from his page and ended up here. Okay, that’s kinda stalker-ish, but I was looking at his pictures of grandkids, then landed here and loved your photography so I kept scrolling through your blog.

    Thanks so much for sharing!


    1. Cindy- Thanks for stopping by and for commenting- we love “meeting” new people!! When were you at UHS? I was a student there from 1996-2000 and taught there from 2004-2008, maybe we crossed paths once or twice…

      Drop by anytime, we are happy to have you!



  3. Hi, Love LOVE your ideas!! Would you mind emailing or posting your frosting recipe for the sugar cookies? Thanks!!!


  4. hi, i love this idea!! how great. How did you create the invites? I know you said a friend did for you…but you say that you went to that extra website for the phtotstrip and how did you add the photos?? I would like to use this for my son’s birthday! I love how everything turned out so well. I am going to start following you! Thanks!! ;)


    1. Cole,
      Thanks for the feedback- I love this theme and am planning on using it again with my second son who turns one next month. It’s really such a fun way to display all of the photos that I have of my little ones from their first year! A friend of mine is a graphic designer and she designed the invitations for me. Our’s didn’t have a photo strip on them, you may have been thinking about another “One Year in a Flash” party that I have seen out there, so I am not going to be any help on how to get add photos to your invitation- sorry about that! Good luck with your party planning and please do stop by again, we love having visitors!



    1. To make the chalkboard cutouts I sketched some drawings on a piece of MDF then my husband used a jigsaw to cut them out for me. After that I primed the MDF and then painted it with chalkboard paint. It was a really simple process and I loved how it turned out. Hope this helps!


    1. Thanks so much for stopping by! There isn’t anything special about the time capsule info card. I just added the text to a word document and added the graphic that I friend made for me and then printed them out. It’s super simple, I’m sure you could do it ;)


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