My Baby Boy recently turned one and while I was drawn to the adorable circus and carnival themed parties I saw online, they just lacked that pizzazz I wanted for my birthday boy. Especially because I had to live up to the Great Gatsby Themed First Birthday we threw for his big sister! I knew I wanted something masculine yet cute, but also unique and maybe even a bit edgy. I brainstormed our favorite travel locations and my mind was instantly drawn to Coney Island with its delicious hot dogs and ice cream and, of course, the Barnum & Bailey Greatest Show on Earth. And thus was born Baby K’s Freak Show Circus themed first birthday party! After a quick google search I found great inspiration on the Wacky Tacky blog, check it out here!
We didn’t have a big invite list, so it was just a small affair with not too much food. But I couldn’t resist a little baking! I made a bearded lady cake (of course!) using a chocolate depression cake recipe from ChocolateChocolateandMore.com and Martha Stewart’s basic vanilla buttercream. (We only ate half and it froze really well.) I also made candy apples from JustaTaste.com which were way easier than I imagined, even without a candy thermometer. There were mini doughnuts, pogo sticks, french fries, marshmallow ice cream cones, cotton candy, and classic Coca Cola to round out the circus themed spread.
The birthday boy got a vegan sugar free carrot smash cake using this recipe from EgglessCooking.com with a simple coconut icing from LeeLaLicious.com…which he was not interested in at all, not one bite! That’s now 0 for 2 with both my babies, no cake smashing in my house. Baby J was too clean, she didn’t like her hands getting dirty. Baby K was just uninterested, he was too enthralled by the balloons!
I kept the decor simple (and cheap!). The backdrop is just a black plastic table cloth while the table cloth is just white and red streamers taped to the edge of the table. So simple! I made the bunting with red, white, black and turquoise paper from Michaels. The pièce de résistance were the two freak show cutouts I made, freehand! Those were so cool, they turned out amazing…and were so much work hahah! All I did was draw the images on those science fair cardboard display boards from the dollar store and coloured them with Baby J’s dollar store paint. I drew the tattoos with sharpie marker and by golly did that ever take a long time! But so worth the effort, right!?! (if you’re wondering why I cropped out my babes’ faces, you can read about it here.)
For his cake smash photo shoot, I just taped a piece of bulletin board paper to the wall and floor, re-used the bunting from the dessert table and added a few helium filled balloons. We did a few other photo shoots that day. One was him as a strong man, complete with a mustache and a barbell made out of black balloons and a wrapping paper tube. Another was him in a blue birthday hat with a beautiful marbled balloon (which you can check out on my Instagram!).
It’s amazing how quickly his first birthday crept up on us! Time really does fly when you’ve got two little ones at home. I haven’t been posting so much lately because, honestly, my time is pretty full with these little angels. My days are filled with snuggles and making memories and by evening I am spent. It’s also been an incredibly busy and life changing summer for our little family…but more about that another time!
My sweet Baby K is such a happy baby. He’s quiet yet curious, attentive and observant of his sister and so in love with her. He loves to swim across the floor chasing balls and his favourite toy is the individual rings from his ring stacker. He is obsessed with his Star Wars book (not surprised there’s some nerd in him!) and he just loves to eat, so much, a surprising amount in fact. I love kissing his cheeks and the corner of his neck and his little baby toes and just can’t get over how much I love him.
Black Plastic Table Cloth Backdrop: Partycity.ca
Black Bulletin Board Paper Backdrop: Michaels
Bearded Lady Cake (Wilton Wonder Mold Pan Set): Michaels
Streamers and Balloons: Partycity.ca
Paper Bunting: DIY
Freak Show Cutouts: DIY