Teddy Bear is officially ONE and I can’t even believe it! This was seriously the fastest year of my LIFE. Is it just me or do second babies age faster? I swear he was born like… yesterday! 😭
Life has been absolutely insane the past few months and while I didn’t want that to get in the way of celebrating our Baby Bear, it meant I had to be realistic about my plans and expectations from the start. The vibe we were going for was simple, cute and homemade. Bear’s birthday was the first real party we’ve thrown since moving into #CasaRice a year and three months ago so we were all super excited to host our friends and family, Chickie included.
The Bear theme was a given because well, duh.. 🤪 and the greenery was my way of keeping it masculine; something I’ve had trouble with ever since the doctor told us we were having a boy! 🙈 With the bear theme and greenery in mind, I began Pinning- my first step with any party, especially when working with a decorator or event planner (not that we used either for Bear’s party).
Early into the idea-gathering late night Pinning, I came across a picture of a baby in front of a small macrame hanging for a photoshoot. It got me thinking… could we somehow use that as a backdrop for the dessert table? It checked every box: simple, easy, cheap and cute although it didn’t exactly scream Bear… I initially got this $16 macrame hanging from Amazon but ended up returning and getting this $36 longer one instead. The hanging greenery and one balloon are also from Amazon, by additions to “Bearify” the look. I took down our curtains for the day and tied the macrame hanging from the curtain rods. I then draped the faux eucalyptus leaves at the top using the macrame itself and tied the one balloon with burlap twine (no helium) to the top of the macrame wall hanging. Voila! Dessert table backdrop in 20 mins or less.
For the cakes, the Bear/woodland-y theme SCREAMED naked cake to me. If you’re local to Boston, I get ALL of my cakes from Sweet Tooth in South Boston. You can’t beat their flavor + decor combo. If you go see them, tell them I sent you! 😍The day before the event, I brought the baker Glenn some of the same faux eucalyptus I used on the chalk board and two wood slices. I was very happy with the end result!
I found these cute (and terrifying) bears on Amazon (family of 3 for $13) and fell IN LOVE with their cute (and terrifying) faces. My plan was to make mini party hats for each bear but in keeping with the very cute VERY SIMPLE vibe, I decided to skip it. I still think it could be super cute though! Etsy sells some tiny party hats, if you’re into the idea but want to skip the work.
I added two distressed wooden cake toppers- an 8 inch one and a 5 inch one, each $18- to the bear topped cakes. When planning an event, I love adding personalized details from Etsy, but they can get expensive REAL quick. I usually try to stick a couple of items that will get me the most decorating bang for my buck. Sugar cookies are a good example. I love ordering these personalized sugar cookies because they are BIG so you can use them for decorations and they come individually wrapped so party goers can take them home- that’s worth the “splurge” in my opinion ($36 for a dozen.) Cake toppers are another biggie. I was very happy with the wooden cake toppers we used- they shipped SUPER fast and are really good quality. The Etsy seller offers them in different colors and sizes, too.
The Bear cups were another Pinterest inspired idea. Amazon sells them for $13 a dozen. They come with a yellow top that is big enough for a traditional plastic straw, but too small for paper straws. We opted for filling them with apple cider because Teddy is an autumn baby and nothing screams FALL more than apple cider. We presented them with birch paper straws and no top– hence why they are outside. I was scared of cider all over my living room rug 🙃
For food, we kept it really simple and cute- sense a theme here? I REALLY did not want to overwhelm us with to-do’s on day of the party so we focused on stuff we could buy or make ahead of time like Trader Joe’s Maple popcorn, bear shaped sandwiches and pigs in a blanket. For the pigs in a blanket, we cooked the sausages the day before, wrapped them in the (pre-made) dough and just popped them in the oven for 13 minutes at 375 degrees the morning of the party.
We used these cute cookie cutters to make the bear shapes on the sandwiches. It was easy and fun! For the adults, we did a bagel bar with mini bagels, different types of cream cheese and toppings like capers and onions, and salmon lox AKA all stuff we could cut and prep on Saturday and quickly serve on Sunday. I used these cute $16 “tree trunks” from Amazon to label the food.
Another quick and easy DIY that took exactly 20 minutes to make were the “acorns” on the dessert table. All you need is donut holes/munchkins, your favorite chocolate bar, chocolate sprinkles and pretzel sticks. You can enlist the kiddos for this DIY, too! Just melt the chocolate in the microwave (start with 30 seconds, although you might need more..), dip the top third of the munchkins into the melted chocolate and then dip that same third into the sprinkles. Top with a pretzel and that’s IT!
Last but not least, we did a little trail mix bar for folks to take home some goodies. We ordered these personalized paper bags (about .70 cents a piece) and set up a bar of our favorite trail mix ingredients- pretzels, yogurt covered raisins, granola, gummy bears, peanut butter cups, white chocolate, shaved almonds, etc.. I added more of the greenery to the table and finished it off with a rustic happy birthday sign. I used the most RANDOM containers to house the trail mix makings- from small vases to mason jars, you name it and it’s in there 😆..
I can’t end this post without thanking my #handsomehubbs for ALL his help putting Bear’s birthday party together! 🥰My friends Kristin and Loretta were also instrumental in the making of Bear Day. Kristin is a wonderful photographer (and my best friend) who graciously agreed to arrive to the party a little early and snap some pictures. Thank you, Kree! You can find her photography here. Loretta recently got married and had a rustic camp theme. When Lo found out Teddy’s bday was similarly themed she unloaded ALL her leftovers on us and we could not be more thankful she did! Finally, special thanks to my cousin Bea for making the 5plus hour trip with her two toddlers to celebrate with us! We love you!
I am happy to say we succeeded in our goal of making the day stress free and FUN! Bear day was a good day ❤️