Disclaimer: I hate that I'm putting this here, but I felt compelled to respond to the hateful, derogatory comments being made about me, my family and this post.
I started blogging as a creative outlet, as a place where I could go to say and share what I like and love and who I care deeply about. My blog, the tiny little corner of the Internet that I felt like I personally carved out, became my safe space, my refuge and my home, especially when life got tough. It became very, deeply personal to me. It was not just a space on the Internet for me. It was my space on the Internet. So, this past weekend, when I received hateful, hurtful, deeply insulting and offensive comments directed at me and my blog, that safe space crumbled. My safe space crumbled. It felt like my world was invaded and my home was vandalized.
I took these hateful comments personally because it was and is personal. But I will not stop blogging or sharing my world because this is important to me. This is important for me. Instead, I will use this as a lesson for myself and - one day - for Noam. It's a lesson in love vs. hate. It's a lesson in the ability for words to feel like daggers but also a lesson in not letting those words or wounds define you. It's a lesson in humanity. One day this whole ordeal will be funny. But that day is not today. Today, I still hurt. And my home feels a little less safe.
So if you're reading this because you think I'm a terrible mom or human, because you think I did this for publicity or because you assume I'm a fraud or exploiter, I implore you to leave. To move on. Please, please leave me and my family and my baby alone. The fall-out from this birthday blog post has left me devastated and incredibly hurt. I put my son's birthday party, as I put many things in my life that mean something to me, on my personal blog that has a few hundred readers. I did not put it out there to say 'look at me' or invite the ridicule and hateful, derogatory comments I'm receiving. I did not put it out there so that strangers could photoshop photos of my baby. This is really scary.
My dad passed away 2 months ago, and that loss made me realize I need to take every opportunity to create big, fun, lasting memories for my family. That's what this party was. Please, if you don't like it, move on. This world can be cruel sometimes. It is a scary place. Let us teach our children - and remind ourselves - to not participate in or contribute to that cruelty and fear. To combat bad with good. And to love - and not fight - fiercely every single day. Please don't contribute to the tremendous amount of hate that already exists in this world. Please.
We held Noam's Moonrise Kingdom-themed 1st birthday party a few weeks ago, and I'm so excited to finally share with you some party photos and details.
When deciding on the all-important theme for Noam's first birthday party, we knew we wanted to do something different and not too first birthday-y but still fun for us and for him. Jason and I love Wes Anderson, so we thought that would be a fun place to start. And then, when going through each of the movies for a good option, we settled on Moonrise Kingdom because of its fun camp-y theme. I knew we'd have a lot of fun setting up our space to look like a campsite. The party ended up turning out perfectly, and we - most importantly, Noam - had an amazing time celebrating with our closest friends and family!
To begin, I created an inspiration board full of Moonrise Kingdom-related images. This helped to me come up with ideas for decor in terms of imagery and color palette, and helped me share my vision with the baker so that she could plan how to decorate the cake.
I spent a lot of time sourcing the best party decorations I could find and was so happy with all of the decorations and details I found in various shops on Etsy. I reached out to the shops I used, and they very generously offered promo codes for my readers (you'll find the promo codes below throughout the post). Now please enjoy some shots from the party below! (Also, giveaway alert! I'm hosting a giveaway today for a $50 Etsy gift card - go visit my Instagram to enter! And I'm hosting another huge giveaway of some of my favorite goodies from Noam's birthday party. Stay tuned for more details in Wednesday's post.)
Let's start at the beginning. I knew I wanted invitations that were fun and colorful but not too theme-y, so I scoured Etsy looking for the perfect Wes Anderson-inspired invite. I was so happy when I found Black Lab Studio because their work is amazing and exactly what I was looking for. I ended up customizing the invitation from a camp-themed wedding suite for the invitation and absolutely loved how it turned out. Get 10% off your purchase from Black Lab Studio with BLS10 at checkout.
I used Minted for on-theme return address labels and Noam's silhouette postage. To make the stamp, I just chose a photo-only postage option and used a silhouette of Noam I had from a previous order I'd made.
And of course, because scout attire was encouraged, we also had to make sure Noam's outfit was appropriate for the festivities. I just happened upon Noam's OshKosh shirt while at Target and picked up his shorts there as well. His shoes are from Little Pine Outfitters and are fittingly named the 'Scout' moccasins. And of course, I had to buy some fun felt masks just in case anyone wanted to really get into dress-up. I fell in love with these beautiful woodland creature masks from Mahalo. You can save 10% on your purchase now through September 10th (get your Halloween masks now!) with HOMEANDHEART10. (I have my eye on the farm animal set for my next purchase!)
I also made sure everyone - especially the birthday boy - had a name tag as the scouts did in Moonrise Kingdom. I created these by cutting up pieces of colorful felt and affixing labels made with my label maker onto them. I then used permanent fabric tape to attach them to a pin so everyone could wear them. My sister-in-law made amazing custom badges as favors, which I couldn't love more - how insanely talented is she?!
And little details like birch straws from Nothing But Parties, custom felt garland from Sheep Farm Felt and toy wooden blocks added so much fun to the party. You can get 10% off any order over $25 from Sheep Farm Felt with HOMEANDHEART10 until 8/31. And save 15% off any order from Nothing But Parties this week with HOMEANDHEART15.
Since it was a cool 90 degrees on the day of Noam's party, we knew our 40-some guests would mostly stay indoors, so I made sure that the decorations were primarily kept on the four walls of the room so we'd have space to gather and move. We set up food along the kitchenette countertop and console under the TV and had a vintage folding table (okay, it's my mom's but it's totally vintage) with the desserts on it. My mom also brought a bunch of my nana's suitcases, old thermoses and a mess kit from her girl scout days that I placed around the space to give it the vintage campsite vibe from Moonrise Kingdom.
I've had Noam's a-frame tent from Such Great Heights in his room for a while, and I knew it'd be the perfect tent for our campsite. I got this gorgeous felt leaf garland from Mint Envy to decorate it and absolutely love how it turned out. You can save 15% from Mint Envy with NOAM15 at checkout. And then, of course, what campsite would be complete without a campfire and s'mores? So I made sure we had this amazing felt campfire and s'mores set from Two Tiny Sunshines (one of my new favorite Etsy shops)! Get 10% off your entire order with HOMEANDHEART at checkout.
I knew I wanted to have something special to share details about Noam's first year, and I found this amazing chalkboard stats poster from 3 Little Birds Prints. The best part is that you can work with 3 Little Birds Prints to customize the poster to whatever you have in mind! Use HOMEANDHEART for a discount on your order.
Outside, we set up sleeping bags on the ground as a soft space for the babies and kids to play and created a ball pit by filling a blow-up baby pool with ball pit balls I bought on Amazon. (Pro tip: it takes many more balls than you think to fill up a small baby pool. I think we ended up with 600 or 700 total!) I also created a flag with a '1' on it, similar to the flags in the movie, by covering a piece of cardboard in felt and gluing it (I bought a hot glue gun for this party!) to a wooden dowel. I love how it turned out! And Noam (and the rest of the kids at the party) absolutely loved the ball pit! In fact, he loved it so much, it's now a permanent fixture in our basement.
For lunch, I went with a casual summer BBQ-style spread with hot dogs, hamburgers, ribs and summer salads. I got these awesome lunch trays and hot dog and hamburger foil bags from Outside the Box Paper. And then I put together cutlery kits with wooden utensils and small kraft bags from Piper Grace Supply Co. Get 30% off your purchase from Piper Grace Supply Co. until September 30 using THATH30.
For the dessert table, I wanted to stick with the camp theme, so I made a few types of s'mores-inspired desserts in addition to the cake we had made by Nine Cakes, the same baker who made our wedding cake. I decided to go with a s'mores trail mix, which was a mix of honey graham bears, mini marshmallows and mini chocolate chips and s'mores pops, which were jumbo marshmallows dipped in chocolate and graham cracker crumbs. Both were so delicious, and the chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream frosting and sliced strawberries was incredible!
The 'one' script balloon and tassel set from Oh Shiny Paper Co. was one of the first purchases I made for Noam's party, but I wasn't sure where to put it. I ended up putting it on the dessert table and love how it brought everything together. You can save 15% off your order from Oh Shiny Paper Co. with HOMEANDHEART at checkout.
I absolutely loved all of the details that Nine Cakes put onto the cakes - the wooden sign, flags and Moonrise Kingdom-inspired icons like the record player, tent, pencil and binoculars were just perfect. And how adorable is the smash cake with the little raccoon on it?
Noam's first taste of sugar was on his actually birthday - the 20th - when we gave him some banana gelato. But this was his first taste of cake. He tried eating it but was way more interested in getting messy with it.
After the cake, we gave him a good wipe down (though he smelled like sweet vanilla buttercream for the rest of the day until his bath and I didn't mind that one bit) and changed him into a clean outfit. I bought two shirts from Lil Threadz for Noam's birthday - one that says 'one' and one that says 'uno' - and love them so much. I definitely sense a tradition of birthdays in these shirts. You can get free shipping on your order by using HOMEANDHEART at checkout through the month of August.