I guess my first colossal parenting fail happened when Lane was about 4 months old. Despite having vowed she wouldn’t look at a lit screen until age 2, Lane caught a glimpse of Bubble Guppies and was mesmerized. Needless to say, from that point, Molly and Gil were ever-present in our house (dinner wasn’t going to make itself). I know that people always say that the first birthday party is actually more for the parents than the baby since the kids won’t remember it, but I scrapped my own plans for a 1920’s/Gatsby-themed first birthday bash for a Bubble Guppies theme – it was her party after all!
The challenge for me was to create a party that was pretty, while still embracing the Bubble Guppies theme. So, I passed on the character-branded glossy paper plates and cone-shaped paper party hats and instead found inspiration in the colors of the characters and undersea setting and added in a little DIY.
I found my inspiration for these yummy marshmallow pops on Pinterest, and they were super easy, adorable, and tasty.
graham cracker crumbs
Make this easy on yourself. Before you start melting and dipping, set up your space. I have a bad habit of getting overexcited and starting right away, and it always causes aggravation and a mess. I recommend lining a cookie sheet with either parchment or waxed paper (you’ll need somewhere to put these things once they’re dipped), and pouring the graham cracker crumbs, Goldfish, and sugar pearls each into separate bowls. It’s way easier and less messy to work with the ingredients when they’re in bowls rather than in the boxes and containers they come in. Also, stab all your marshmallows with the popsicle sticks before you start dipping. You don’t want to have to keep reheating the candy melts if they cool down too much and thicken. Huge waste of time, which we know is precious!
Once you’re organized, microwave the candy melts and start dipping! I usually roll the marshmallow around in the bowl and use a spoon to smooth it out. Resist the urge to overcoat it – it will just get clumpy. Next, dip the bottom into the graham cracker crumbs and kind of dust the edges to create the look of beach sand. Then, stick on a Goldfish cracker, a couple of pearls for water bubbles, and that’s it! Place your masterpieces on the lined cookie sheet and toss them in the fridge to harden.
These pretzel treats were also a hit (who can really pass up the salty/sweet combo?) – painless to make and actually really addictive!
a bag of small pretzels
Line up rows of pretzels on a cookie sheet, top each with a Rolo candy, and pop them in the oven for a few minutes, just long enough to soften the chocolate. As soon as you take them out of the oven, just squish a Goldfish cracker on to each Rolo. Cool completely. You may want to make extra of these, because you’ll definitely be tempted to snack on a few of these! So good. For non-Bubble Guppies fetes, try replacing the Goldfish cracker with a pecan.
As far as decor for this party, I kept it simple and decorated with lots of colorful balloons, a photo banner with pictures from each of Lane’s first 12 months, and some simple printables I found on Etsy. Some cute cupcake toppers, candy circles on the bottoms of Hershey Kisses (warning – these are a HUGE pain. The hole-punching and sticking took forever), and a dressed-up high chair was about all I could handle as a nursing, sleep-deprived, working first-time mom.
Before the guests would arrive, we planned a first birthday cake smash with our favorite photographer, Krista Photography. She came to our home with a fabulous gold sequined backdrop and captured Lane’s first taste of cake (homemade – just a plain chocolate cake frosted with pink buttercream rosettes). Lane barely tasted the cake, but had fun checking it out – until she knocked it over.
I also wanted to capture her favorites in a cute way, and I love this picture of us together with the chalkboard.
Overall, the Bubble Guppies theme was easy to work with and ended up being really cute. If you’re planning a party like this, search also for “mermaid” or “under the sea” party inspiration on Pinterest, as many of those ideas work really well with a Bubble Guppies theme, too. I’d love to see how others incorporate these ideas, so definitely let me know in the comments how this all works for you! Looking forward to sharing more of Lane’s parties soon…