How to throw a ballerina party during hard times and how they can be better! Evie turns 1! - Story and Co

May 7, 2020

How to throw a ballerina party during hard times and how they can be better! Evie turns 1!


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How to throw a ballerina party during hard times and how they can be better! Evie turns 1!
I had always dreamed of doing my little girl’s first birthday party. All the tulle and pretty little details. And now she is one! I can’t believe it, where has the time gone? I had decided to do a ballerina party and use Swan Lake as my ultimate inspiration. I loved this theme for Evie because ever since she was born she had a grace and gentleness about her but a determination and ambition in her belly. Just like a beautiful, strong, and graceful swan. We were going to invite all the family and celebrate our little princess. But then COVID19 had a different plan for us. It was Hunter’s 4th birthday a few weeks ago and we had to have an ISO birthday party for him. But it was probably his favourite party to date and if I am honest it was probably mine too. I spent more time on what he would love to do, rather than entertaining our guests. It made me really think what Hunter loves and how we can make it more special. He was a part of the whole planning process which made it a whole week affair which made it more special. Evie’s birthday was no different. I focused on the little details that were focused on her personality and what we love about her. But the part that really made it special was the fact I baked and decorated both of the kid’s birthday cakes. In the past, I wouldn’t have had the time and needed it to look perfect. But something always deep down in me, made me a little upset that I actually didn’t get to bake their cake. I remember my mum always baking our cakes when we were little (a barbie cake one year, a huge caterpillar cake another year). So when the lovely Fiona from Bake Believe contacted me and asked if we could do a collaboration – I thought this is perfect. I get to make my children’s birthday cake, it looked great and they were a part of the process. I will chat more about this in my tips below. The biggest thing I learnt which has made both of their birthdays even more special was, love, cuddles, smiles, togetherness, laughter can’t ever be taken from you, no matter what situation you are in. So if you have family abroad, or you may not have a lot of money, or a lot of friends or you are in isolation or you are ill, remember all your child needs is you. Show them with your actions that you love them by cuddling them that bit extra, or everyone wears their favourite colour to show them you notice what they love or spend time together decorating, baking, singing and dancing. Hunter’s 4th and Evie’s 1st birthday have been one of my favourites and ones I will cherish forever. I will now take this approach with planning all future parties and will make sure I don’t get caught up in the ‘busy’ and catering to guests when my baby is the true guest of honour.

Below are my 5 tips on throwing a beautiful ballerina first birthday party when times may be tough.

1. Choose a theme and values

Choosing a theme is my favourite part of the party planning. Which I usually do months before. I have written a blog on how to throw a first birthday for Hunter if you would like to see what I did, you can check this out here. But choosing a theme I always first think about who they are, what they love and how I can capture them throughout the party. This just makes it more meaningful and more about them. The best part of choosing a theme is, you can do this no matter your budget, how many people you are having or how little space you have. I plan the decorations, the outfits, the cake, the presents, the activities all around this. Most of the decorations are all from Kmart. I decided on soft pinks, tulle, tea rose mixed with whites to bring the day together. As mentioned previously, ever since Evie was born she was so graceful and gentle. Just like her late Grandmother. I wanted to encapsulate this with a beautiful ballerina/swan lake theme. I wanted to highlight her beautiful quality and strengths. This heavily links with our values of showing our values in our actions and I wanted Evie to look back and see her beautiful qualities shine be represented throughout the day. The day is about her after all. I planned the day around our family values of love, kindness, gratitude and togetherness. So to show this, we had a bell, throughout the day whoever rang it, we all had to stop what we were doing and give hugs. We had a gratitude tree which we all filled out throughout the day for Evie and why we are grateful for her. We made beautiful flower arrangements together and surrounded Evie with them. I highly recommend you work out what your family values are and how you can show this with your actions. Values are totally free and something you can make your birthday celebrations that bit more meaningful and special. Work out what they are and then decide how you can show them, then create an activity throughout your celebration to show these. If you would like a guide on how to do this, you can get download my free VALUES guide here.

2. The Outfits 

So Evie’s dress. Another highlight of the day for me. Just because we were at home, we still were going to get dressed up and celebrate our baby girl. The most STUNNING dress was designed and made for Evie by GIO Bespoke; it went beyond my expectations. It was so delicate, feminine, impeccably made. It has beautiful crystals, silk, lining and the sweetest little feathers on her arms. She was the perfect swan lake ballerina. It was beautiful, delicate, gentle and feminine just like our Evie which I loved that it represented her. The GIO Bespoke gowns are so beautiful, and they are made so well. The boys were just blown away when they saw Evie all dressed up. She will have this gown forever and I am so glad I decided to still dress her up. I continued with the theme with my beautiful AJE dress which is from their latest ballerina collection. The theme for everyone else was ‘beautifully formal’, dress to go to the ballet. The boys wore their suits, bow ties and brogues. When our family facetimed Evie, they all got dressed up and put on their best clothes too. When Hunter has his birthday we all wore blue because this was his favourite colour. It is an easy small detail to show your children it is all about them.

3. The Cake and the Food 

As I mentioned above, the cake was so important for me to make as this is something I am usually too busy to do. We had a Bake Believe cake for Hunter’s birthday (he wanted a Paw Patrol cake) and for Evie, Fiona created a beautiful soft pink swan cake which we made. The instructions are so easy to follow and we baked the cakes together. It reinforced our togetherness during the week and made everyone excited for the lead up to the birthdays. The cakes are organic and they come with absolutely everything. I felt like I was doing a mini cooking class. It was a special moment and I thank Bake Believe for creating such a special DIY cake making a product so mums can still have the beautiful cake but do it themselves. There are so many beautiful options on their website plus cupcake kits too. The rest of the party food was all pinks and whites which brought in the theme. The sweetness to represent our little girl. Every meal she had, I gave her, her favourite options – raspberries with every single meal because they are her favourite. When our family facetimed us they had some cake or cupcakes to enjoy whilst we were on the phone too.

4. The Activities

This is something I usually skip when planning a kids party, which is crazy! I seem to cater for the adults. So this was a great opportunity as myself and the 3 kids were home by ourselves on Evie’s birthday. I didn’t want it to be a normal day with our usual routines. So everything was themed around Evie, her personality and the ballerina. We made arrangements, biscuit decorating with pink lollies, we read ballerina books, we danced and we went for a walk, we cloud watched and collected flowers. We wrote on her gratitude tree and throughout the day the boys did random acts of kindness for Evie. If you would like my free random acts of kindness activities you can get a copy here. It was a beautiful day, focusing on the grace and the beauty that surrounds us.

5. The People

Whilst we couldn’t have people over to celebrate we made sure that she had plenty of facetime calls throughout the day. We got people involved by getting them to dress up in the theme and eat cake whilst we were too. We showed them around her party and had photos up around the house of her family. Her late Grandmother’s photo is always right next to her cake, so she knows she is always with us. With Hunter’s birthday party as he couldn’t have his little friends with us, I put party hats on all his toy animals who came to his party. With Evie I got all her dolls and ballerina toys dressed up who came to the party too. Her big brothers were her guest of honours. No matter what the situation you are in, your child will remember that you cared, you remembered and you made an effort for them. So matter what you decide to do, pay attention to the detail, this costs nothing.

If you would like to have a read of Evie’s birth story, you can check it out here


Has your child had an ISO birthday? 

How did you celebrate? 

What 1st birthday themes have you had?

love + grace

Jo xx

The comments +

  1. Louise L Human says:

    Jo this is so special., thank you for sharing. I will definitely look at and celebrate my kids parties different from now on.
    Ps. My daughter first birthday was n little duck theme, can’t help but see love and trust everytime I look at a mom duck with her little ones in a straight line behind her.♡ From birth they trust us completely.

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