I think by now it goes without saying that party planning is my jam. I mean, I’ve started putting together pretend parties just for funsies. Still, I told myself that for James’ first birthday party I wouldn’t go over the top and I’d keep it on the same level as Maddie and Annie’s first birthdays…you know, the big costume party and the large backyard bounce house bash. So not over the top, just touching the top. At least I’m consistent!

As I mentioned yesterday, I went with a dance party theme, but for the decor I went with a disco/James is One mash-up. I raided Party City, Oriental Trading, and Birthday Express for their disco and standard #1 stuff, and I picked out some really cute personalized stuff courtesy of Minted’s Colorful Balloons party decor line.

James is One!

front of house
Inflatable disco balls, blue pom-poms, first birthday cutouts

cake and cupcakes
Cake stand, disco ball

On our front door I hung this personalized sign from Minted, and added disco people to our birthday wreath.

James Asher

balloon wreath

I made a whole table of “club gear” that also served as the kids’ party favors.

disco gear

There was temporary hair dye.95 a can!), glowstick bracelets, fishnet gloves (a HUGE hit), body glitter, jelly bracelets, glitter tattoos, glow-in-the-dark sunglasses, disco ball necklaces, and I made VIP badges.

VIP Badges

While I was trolling around Amazon for the “club gear,” I thought I’d see if they sold a disco ball piñata. I typed “disco piñata” into the search and this amazing piñata was the result. How could I NOT get it?


We also hung up tons of pictures of The Birthday Boy. The playroom housed the entire “While You Were At Preschool” series (I had them printed on 5×5 photo paper at Costco), while the doors to the outside were the perfect display for his monthly photos.

preschool pictures

party decor

We covered the tables in the backyard with butcher paper and put out tons of crayons and markers. Our guests drew some fun stuff!

party decor

I made James’ bib and was happy with how it turned out (although, if I was going to do it again, I’d make the number bigger). He didn’t want to wear his crown, no biggie!

ready for cake

I thought some of the kids might get a little overwhelmed by the dance truck, so I put out a ton of sidewalk chalk in my driveway. This turned out to be a huge hit! Our driveway is still covered in awesome chalk drawings.

chalk time

Above all, the kids had fun. My dance trailer mix up was a good reminder that while kids definitely enjoy something special and unique, they can be entertained with simple things, too. Most importantly, they like spending time with each other as much as I like spending time with their parents.

But still…watching those kids dance and sing karaoke? Hilarious life highlight.

singing her heart out

sharing the mic

We’ll see what the next birthdays will hold. Who knows what James will be into when he turns two! Mike mentioned going to the Disneyland Hotel for Annie’s next birthday and Annie seems really into this idea. I’m down with whatever she chooses. I love planning the parties but the house cleaning? Not so much.