What is more perfect than a penguin-lovin’ gal like myself throwing a penguin party for her son in January? These cutie animals are always overdressed and never clash, plus we own so many of them that it was an effortless theme for Baby O&O’s first birthday!
For the pre-planning, Best Friend O&O offered up her Cricut for the penguin-shaped invites while another friend recommended an Indy-based Etsy designer for a custom penguin “1” shirt for Baby O&O's big day.
Once the per-orders were in place, I gathered all the penguins we owned and strategically placed them throughout the main rooms we would be occupying. The stuffed penguins and penguin books I was able to place at low levels to serve as both decorations and play things for the kids. I kept the less kid-friendly decorations up high with the food display. I also left out my penguin Christmas décor and picked up a set of penguin Christmas ball ornaments from Michaels (at 80 percent off!) to add extra penguin pizzazz.
My basement is entirely dedicated to kids, so that is where I set up most of the stuffed penguins in front of a fun black-and-white banner backdrop. I also created a picture wall of a variety of moments from Baby O&O’s first year with a special “1” poster from Shutterfly as the showpiece. For the upstairs, I hung two month-by-month picture banners. As an afterthought, I blew up a few black balloons and dispersed them throughout the house. They were the biggest hit! Who knew how fun a balloon was to a one-year-old?
The time of the party was between afternoon nap and dinner, but I still wanted enough food for everyone to have a solid snack. I went with a simple, kid-friendly menu that aligned with our theme: tuna-salad sandwiches cut into the shape of penguins, shrimp cocktail, goldfish, Swedish fish, and my prized creative piece, an igloo cheese platter with olive and cream-cheese penguins.
Guests warmed up with coffee and hot chocolate and finished off with a tradition from my childhood: first birthday carrot cake. I made a moist carrot cake filled with pineapple and coconut and a batch of matching mini carrot cake cupcakes for the kiddos. Baby O&O started off wanting nothing to do with his, but by the end of the night he gobbled it down and asked for “Mo!”
Happy Birthday to my sweet boy!
I'm a Virginia-native uprooted to Indianapolis to marry my husband and start our sweet family of 3. As an overdressed editor, I love planning parties and good reads.