Well, I got the pictures back from the photographer Bethany Haile, and as always, she did another amazing job. First off let me say that investing in getting Riley's pictures taken monthly for his first year was really fun for me. Especially because I have such quality shots from every month of his first year...this made my guilt of "I didn't take enough pictures of him this month" just fly away. We have pictures of him all over our house and its just SOOO nice to have professional pictures of our son throughout our home.
So, for Riley's birthday I decided that I wanted to do a "cowboy" theme. I don't really know what spurred, no pun intended, that on but once I started doing some looking for ideas, I fell in love with a cowboy party and ran with it.
One thing I loved was that this was SUPER easy to decorate for. I made him two banners...
One that said "Happy Birthday"
I used oldish, type wild west theme paper and had my friend, Meagan cut red letters out with a circut (WANT ONE!) glued 'em together put some hemp rope through the tops and poof!
For this one I hand cut out stars (annoying!) and use red letters to spell his name, glued 'em together and used hemp rope again to tie them on to the bandanas. I used red and blue bandanas (Walmart-$1/ea) and cut them in half & tied them together and ta da! I got this. I LOVE the way these both came out. They're so much more personal than store bought items and not to mention, I had all the materials I used just laying around the house.
For the other decorations, I just got red and blue items and placed it through out the room and tables.
I just went more or less simple with decorations because, one I have a one year old and that keeps me busy without adding a bunch of fluff. I'm glad I didn't over due it. I love the way it turned out.
So, because the theme was cowboy, I decided to do some "BBQ" typeish food. Considering Riley was born in the middle of winter, I outlawed (pun intended) the idea of attempting to outsmart the rain and trying to grill something...so I went to my trusty crockpot and my old pulled pork recipe. I cooked
tons pounds of pork roast and slathered it with some BBQ sauce and called it good. I'm a firm believer in easy food when you're hosting a party. None of this 3 course super involved food! My mom made potato salad, my mother-in-law other mom made baked beans. And there we had it, a real cowboy meal.
Isn't this the MOST IMPORTANT PART??!?! I loved making this. I found a picture of the cake I wanted to make online somewhere and went to town. I ended up just using box cake mix and adding an instant pudding mix and an extra egg along with the regular preparation ingredients so that the cake would be denser and more pound cake like so that it didn't fall apart when I was
man-handling manipulating it. It turned out like this...
It didn't stay beautiful for long....it ended up like this...
Riley was utterly ridiculous when "eating" his cake. I've never seen a more ravinous child attack a cake like that! All my hard work, just SMASHED before my eyes! But its what I wanted and it was worth a great laugh from everyone. Overall I'd say my little cowboy really enjoyed his day and he blessed to be celebrated by friends and family with gifts, laughs and love! Happy first birthday little man.