carmen's enchanted forest: a woodland fairy first birthday party

I love parties. Love them. Sure, in the weeks leading up to the big day I become frazzled and a total stress case, but I love them. From meticulously planning the little details to watching it all unfold, nothing makes me happier than planning a party. Carmen's first birthday party was a labor of love, for sure. We held the party at my parents home and initially decided we should have woodland animals. This is not such an easy feat in South Florida, so we opted for farm animals (true story: children do not care what kind of animals there are when it comes down to having animals to snuggle with). Then it spawned into unicorn rides. And then it morphed into "she loves the carousel at the zoo, maybe we can rent a carousel." (Hey, your last baby turning one is a milestone for both mother and child.)

Keeping with the woodland fairy theme, I wanted to incorporate natural and wood-textured elements into my set up. I made the donut stands using a $0.50 dowel sawed in half and hot glued onto a wood round from the craft store and found the birch napkins and wood plates from Webstaurant Store. The disposable wood silverware came from Amazon, as did the birch-textured paper straws.

My mom and I do this thing where we panic there won't be enough food. Without fail, there's enough food leftover to last seven families two weeks. We had sandwich and wrap platters catered from the local grocery store, four different quiches, spinach dip, vegetable and fruit platters, macaroni and cheese, popcorn chicken tenders, salads and an assortment of snacks (chips and hummus, etc.). There was plenty of food (for days). I definitely dropped the ball on getting photographs of the finished table, but these pictures from the setting up stages give you some idea. The moss table runners and circle mats are all from Michael's.

Our golden unicorn smash cake topper is from Topper and Twine and our custom Carmen's Enchanted Forest golden glitter cake topper is from Topper That. I worked for weeks hand making the cake stands, the tassels and the backdrops and wall hangings. The high chair birthday skirt was one I purchased from Stuff So Simple.

Inside the house, I had three stations set up: a fairy garden making table (using tiny 2.5 inch ceramic pots), wand decorating and also a rainbow fairy face painting table manned by the incredible daughter of Ethan's art studio owner (thank you, Art Paper Scissors in Parkland!).

Outside, we had the "enchanted woodland" (farm) animals, unicorn rides and a carousel. The carousel was the absolute hit of the party, perhaps even overshadowing the unicorns.

Also outdoors, I set up a photo backdrop with some assorted props from Party Ears and The Gipsy and the Yarn along with some fairy wings from the dollar store. The kids all loved the "photobooth" and everyone got so many cute pictures! Ethan's gym teacher assistant also came to help with the party by dressing as a fairy and taking pictures with all of the kids. Everyone loved the "magical fairy" who came to play with them!

For favors, I made enchanted forest themed word searches and mazes and put them into treat bags with wooden color pencils from World Market online. These pencils were so cool and such a perfect (and affordable) fit for our theme!

It was the perfect day to celebrate my little woodland fairy as she turned one -- cue the emotions, because I'm not sure how this past year has flown by so very quickly.

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