Lily turns ONE! A sweet bunting affair | part one

{All of the photos featured on this post were taken by the talented Kim Romano (cousin = lucky me!) of Kimberly Photography}

Preparing for Lily’s first birthday party was an intense labor of love. I was up to my eyebrows in fabric, tissue paper, Mod Podge, paint and baby food jars! Pinterest was a treasure chest of ideas and originally I had planned a carnival themed event (Check out my board devoted to birthday party inspirations here). There are so many incredible ideas for that theme, but with all of her friends being around 15 months and under I decided to save it for next year’s bash! The fun games that are associated with a carnival/circus event will be more enjoyable once Lily and her buddies are a wee older. So how did I end up on a bunting theme??? There seems to be a bunting craze lately and I was inspired by this DIY fabric bunting and this invitation and this invite too! With a summer birthday I wanted to incorporate pink, melon, yellow and orange colors and those invites had that scheme in addition to a bunting…Ding!

 I called up my fabulous friend Emily, of Emily Ley Paper, to help me out with the invites and they were adorable. Emily added her creative touches with sweet wording like: RSVP to Lily’s mommy!  Another charming phrase was that the party started at 11 am and ended at naptime. Now no ordinary envelopes and stamps would do for my precious baby so I used a pop of color on the envelope and vintage stamps in shades of red with pink flower images (including a lily on a few of them!). Head over to Emily’s blog to check out her sweet southern bowtie themed party celebrating Brady’s birthday. The vintage stamp idea was taken from her incredibly unique invites….I don’t think I will ever see an invitation that innovative…ever!

Now onto the homemade bunting that draped the ceilings, mirrors and hallways. That project is a blog post all on it’s own! In attempts to keep this post from a small novel I will chat about that another time! During the process of making the main bunting I realized I was sinking way too deep in DIY projects and purchased a pre-made burlap one (hanging in front of the sweets table) from Two Chikkdees on Etsy. Sometimes you have to know when to call it quits….and I did…several times during preparations!

With all of the buntings hanging everywhere I wanted to keep the rest of the décor sweet and simple. My dining room became the food and drink station and my kitchen table transformed into the sweet spot with a smash cake area. Children got to nosh on slices of grilled cheese, Buddy Fruit pouches, fruit kabobs (on rock candy skewers) and snack cups filled with animal crackers, cheerios & goldfish. Other food options were cups of pasta salad and sandwiches prepared from Publix (time savor!).

White fadeless paper (found here) was used as a tablecloth over my dining room table and in lieu of food cards I just used pen and wrote on the paper…easy right! To highlight my sharpie notes I used lovely little tissue pom poms made by the CEO of crafts, Martha Stewart.  Mason jars with colored straws were displayed for the chilled raspberry lemonade. All adult beverages were appropriately stored outside on ice in Lily’s red wagon (another cute idea from Emily).

I placed the same white fadeless paper on the kitchen table, but since the table was round I ran into a glitch where the table peaked out from under on both sides. Target has had a huge amount of pink and blue ombre merchandise lately. The cute yellow and pink cups holding the wooden forks are from that line ( a birthday gift from Emily, along with some other goodies & a bottle of wine, she knows me well!). In their gift-wrapping isle they had a great selection of tissue paper, bows and wrapping paper in the same color scheme as the party. I utilized the wrapping paper down the middle of the table to cover the parts showing. Wrapping paper is a really cute and inexpensive way to dress up a table for a party.

Desserts featured were Trix crispies (recipe found here), Starbuck’s cake pops (a gift we gave to nurses at the hospital when Lily was born) and homemade strawberry cupcakes. My mom and I crafted mini buntings for the cupcakes with tooth picks, pink twine and washi tape (Got the idea from this pin).

I kept my family room exactly the same expect threw in a blow up pool with balls for the kiddies to play around in. This brilliant idea was taken from the birthday party for Kim’s son, Nick, that I will post soon! She even let me borrow her plastic balls (score!).

All of the marvelous pictures Kim has taken of Lily over the past 11 months were scattered around the house. I found nifty white frames on stands that displayed pictures on both sides. The best part…they were only $.99! Gotta love Ikea! The other small white frames were $1.99 from Target and all other frames were ones I already owned.

Along with pictures I had fresh flowers in the color scheme sprinkled all throughout the house. I used over sized mason jars along with baby food jars I dipped in paint (inspired by this pin). I will explain this fun and easy project in another post soon! I picked up oversized letters at Joann to spell out ‘one’ and Mod Podged tissue paper on top (I will post about this project soon as well!). Above that hung a bunting with monthly shots of Lily to track her growth.

One of my favorite parts was the chalkboard (that I DIY’d) covered with pictures from all of the firsts Lily experienced this year. It ranged from the first cry when she was born to wiggling her toes in the sand for the first time. Putting it all together made Mike and me realize how many wonderful memories can be made in a year!

A very HUGE thank you to my mother, for without her help this party would have consisted of only purchased buntings and maybe a balloon or two. She was my helpful sidekick through all of the DIY projects and who sweetly coined the experience “The Romano Sweatshop.” I owe you a big one!

my mom hard at work!

And to Kim Romano- THANK YOU for being so awesome and taking great photos of the party. I adore the sweet moments you capture on film, it is a priceless gift! Head on over to Kim’s blog for more!

View Comments
  1. Kim Bee commented:
    June 27, 2012 Reply

    This is one gorgeous party. I am blown away by the attention to detail. I’d also like to thank you for sharing my link to the Trix. It was so sweet of you. Happy Birthday to Lily, she’s precious.

    • Amy Romano commented:
      June 28, 2012 Reply

      Thanks Kim for your sweet words! I love the recipes on your blog and this one was unique & full of color- a great spin on the original rice crispy treat!

  2. Rachel Swan commented:
    June 27, 2012 Reply

    Amy all the details are amazing! You have such a great eye for everything. Please know that as soon as I get preggers I’m hiring you to plan all the parties!! Love you girl!

    • Amy Romano commented:
      June 28, 2012 Reply

      {blushing} Love you too Rach…I would LOVE to help you with all your darling parties for the little-Swan-to-be!I will take any excuse to visit the Carolinas and our cute face!

  3. Lauren commented:
    June 27, 2012 Reply

    Everything looks SO beautiful!!

  4. Emily Ley commented:
    June 28, 2012 Reply

    OH. MY. GOODNESS!!!! I am so sad I missed this!! It’s so PRECIOUS, AMY!!!!! Goodness gracious I can’t get over all the details!! The blow up pool was GENIUS!! And the cupcakes! And the “Year of Firsts!!” Gracious! This is adorable. Times twelve. Happy birthday, Lily!!!! xoxo E + B + Brady

    • Emily Ley commented:
      June 28, 2012 Reply

      Um, and by the way. Is your husband wearing pink shorts in the top photo? Can he please impart some of his fashion sense to my husband!? Cute!

      • Amy Romano commented:
        June 28, 2012 Reply

        Target- can you believe it!!!! They also come in green and yellow;)

    • Amy Romano commented:
      June 28, 2012 Reply

      Thanks love!!!! Well my friend I got great ideas from you too;) Remember we need our date night- I want to hear all about Sonoma! xoxoxo

  5. Jen Pollon commented:
    June 28, 2012 Reply


  6. Christine Friedberg commented:
    June 28, 2012 Reply

    GORGEOUS!!! I mean seriously Amy, WOW!! You put the rest of us moms to shame!! I’d hire you to come do Madison’s first birthday because otherwise she is going to get a blow up pool, a few balloons and a cake (I just won’t tell her about Lily’s cool party!). Miss you guys!! Hugs!

  7. Diane commented:
    June 28, 2012 Reply

    Amy, this party is just gorgeous! I love all the details! All of the buntings are great, but it’s everything else that pulls it all together. I love the IKEA double-sided frames, the dipped baby jars for the roses, and I just adore the Year of Firsts frame. Oh, and the baby pool ball pit was genius!

    Love it all and hope you were able to sit back and enjoy the party once it came. Happy Birthday to your precious little girl – she is such a doll!

  8. becky commented:
    July 9, 2012 Reply

    So funny, I was thinking of doing a carnival for my lily’s firs
    t bday, but like you decided to wait until next year, and this is exactly what i have been thinking of doing because I already have hunting in her room 🙂
    Great ideas!!

    • Amy Romano commented:
      July 9, 2012 Reply

      Well Becky like they say, great minds think alike!Take advantage of that bunting you already have!!!!

  9. Stephanie commented:
    January 6, 2014 Reply

    Hi Amy! I just came across the picture of Lilly’s firsts on Pinterest and thought, oh that looks like my neighbor.. Oh wait, it is my neighbor!! Awesome! I love the pictures of her first birthday, makes me think I need to start planning Tessa’s big day! Hope your pregnancy is going well! -Stephanie

    • Amy Romano commented:
      January 10, 2014 Reply

      HA! This is so funny! Yep the ‘year of firsts’ has been pretty popular on Pinterest! The pregnancy is still kicking my butt…only 8 more weeks! If you want to brainstorm for Tessa’s birthday let me know! Plus I have so much party decor you can borrow…so just come by if you need anything!!

  10. becky commented:
    February 16, 2014 Reply

    Was wondering if you used any kind of sealant on the chalkboard to keep the wording from smearing? Would like to make it but be able to display it in baby’s room.

    • Amy Romano commented:
      February 18, 2014 Reply

      Hey Becky- I use chalk pens to keep it from smearing! The pens go on wet, but quickly dry so you won’t smudge it! The chalk can easily be wiped with a wet cloth! You can find chalk pens online or at Joann Fabrics!

  11. Janessa commented:
    August 12, 2014 Reply

    Hi Amy,
    I was wondering what you did to get the pictures to stay on the chalk board ?

    • Amy Romano commented:
      August 19, 2014 Reply

      Hi Janessa! I just folded tape and attached it to the back of the pictures. I laid all the pictures out first to make sure how they would all fit before though!

8 Trackbacks

  1. By Lily & Bliss | The bunting project on July 6, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    […] I mentioned in the post about Lily’s birthday, it was an intense labor of love! I fell in love with this pin on Pinterest and felt inspired. […]

  2. By Lily & Bliss | bud vases from baby food jars on July 7, 2012 at 11:58 am

    […] you know it two hours have passed!  Countless hours were spent researching ideas for Lily’s first birthday party on Pinterest. The paint dipped baby food jars blogged by Oh Happy Day were so easy and the […]

  3. […] first 12 months to add your own personalized memories and moments you don’t want to forget. A Year of Firsts: Created by Amy of Lily & Bliss with chalkboard paint and photographs, she framed and […]

  4. By Lily & Bliss | We Have Been Featured! on July 15, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    […] Here again is a picture of the chalk board I made over with a year of firsts for Lily’s birthday (read about the party here)! […]

  5. By Lily & Bliss | My First Mod Podge Project on July 27, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    […] have had a few people email me asking about Lily’s birthday party and where I found the letters spelling “one”. Those letters were a DIY project that was SUPER […]

  6. […] many emails asking about the ‘year of firsts’ chalkboard picture gallery I made for Lily’s first birthday party. Out of all the DIY projects the ‘year of firsts’ was the easiest! I had a few pictures […]

  7. By Lily & Bliss | Is She Really Almost 2? on April 28, 2014 at 6:46 pm

    […] a year ago we shared her first birthday here and […]

  8. By Lily & Bliss | Free & Cheap Toddler Activities on April 28, 2014 at 7:03 pm

    […] of 100 plastic balls from Target for $14.99 (found here). Kids love this so much I had it up during Lily’s first birthday! Above picture courtesy of Kimberly […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with an *