Sunday, February 13, 2011

Maddox Turn One!!!

Lesson 10

Wall of Fame

Martha Stewart Living Magazine-January 2011
Page 128

(No not Wall of Shame but Birthday Decor that will highlight every guest at the party)

The Inspiration

Baby Maddox turned one this past January and I knew I had to throw him a super special First Birthday complete with Martha touches. Martha, never one to let me down, dedicated her January issue to innovative party ideas. However, Maddox contributed the most innovative idea-THE THEME! Maddox loves Eric Caryle's classic book 'Brown Bear, Brown Bear!' Literally his face lights up and he starts to flap his arms with excitement as you flip through the pages. I thought this would be the most fitting inspiration for the Invitation, Decor, Cake and Favors for the party.
The Invitation

Ok, so yes Chrissy and I put Baby Maddox in a basket...with an over-sized Brown Bear Book...and a board book of Brown Bear. BUT he loved it! We let Maddox nap and when he woke up refreshed and giggly we plopped him in a basket and did a mini-photo shoot. Chrissy then took four of the best photos and uploaded them into an adorable Invitation from Tiny Prints! The invites were then processed and shipped right to her door.

Brown Bear is not exactly a 'Party in a Box' theme. We couldn't just stroll down the aisles of Party City and dump the plates, napkins and matching forks into our cart. We needed to think outside the box! First, I found a bulletin board collection of the Brown Bear characters that looked perfect placed along the walls of the Mingucci house. Maddox loved seeing his favorite characters strewn all over the living room.

Next, I took a cue from Martha and organized a project to include all of Maddox's guests. I had family and friends email me photographs from their first birthday. I am talking Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Brothers, Sisters and even the family puppies! I then organized the photos and taped them in the party to form a number one.

Now we wanted to add color by hanging lanterns from the ceiling, adding balloons, and paper goods that reminded us of the polka dots throughout the book. Oh and of course bear details!

The Projects
Maddox may have been turning one but all of his guests were over the age of two and ready to PARTY! I tried to find projects that would coincide with the theme but would also be fun children of all ages.

DYO Birthday Cards

Build a Bear

Sticky Bears
The Cake
Every party needs an amazing cake! We decided to do cupcakes and a cake!! (Thanks to the baking skills of Aunt Debbie!!) The cupcakes were funfetti for two reasons. First, funfetti is delicious and second the sprinkles and colors are so BROWN BEAR! But I needed to add more Brown Bear so I had circular pieces of fondant made with scanned edible images of the characters of Brown Bear. And the grand centerpiece-A CHOCOLATE BROWN BEAR CAKE!!!

The Favors
Every party guests NEEDS to leave with a party favor filled with equal parts candy, treats, toys and personalization. I decided to use tin buckets and fill each one with a Bear Cookie Cutter, Bear Notepad, Bear M&Ms, Crayons, Gummy Bears and a personalized sticker on the front. Completed with Birthday Tissue Paper!

The Memories
What truly makes a party are the moments shared between friends and family! Creating memories that will last for years to come. Maddox's first year of life changed me for the better. He made the best days-Mondays and my moments brighter and happier! I cannot wait to watch him grow up to be as amazing as his big brother Michael. Every time I see my brother with his family I am reminded of what is important and meaningful. My biggest hope is to one day have a family of my own.

Stay tuned for my NEW blog-Home-Made, NY!!

Aunt Jenny


  1. so adorbs. I love it. Such a good auntie

  2. Everything was perfection! Maddox and Michael are so lucky to have you and so am I...I love you