Nika’s 1st Birthday Preparations

I can’t believe how quickly this first year flew by. It feels like only yesterday I felt that pain and had no clue if that was labor or something else. I was so unexperienced, knew absolutely nothing about babies, even though I went through some pregnancy magazines, took a prenatal class and went on a Johnson & Johnson Baby Sense seminar that Konrad’s mom booked for us.

Only yesterday Nika was a tiny baby, and now she’s changing into a beautiful toddler.

The closer was the date, the more was going through my mind. I wanted to make that day extra special, because even though Nika wouldn’t remember a thing about the celebration, she would remember her feelings.

Nika’s 1st Birthday Preparations

We started planning a month in advance, but haven’t gotten to actually buying stuff and decorating until one week before her birthday. I felt overwhelmed by the amount of ideas, and didn’t know where to start.

T – 30 days

I went through some themes and chose Alice in Wonderland and a Bumble Bee themed party, which I then showed to Konrad to choose from. He didn’t like either.

Not a problem, we still have almost a month!

T – 7 days

The time was going away so quickly and we haven’t come up with the theme yet! Only 7 days to go! I kept going through ideas – Travel Party? Around the World Party? Airplane Party? Paris themed Party?

I felt we needed to come up with something related to the world because when I was still pregnant with Nika, we flew from the US to Russia to South Africa and by age one she spent a summer in Russia and flew through Amsterdam and Paris, not talking about how much we’ve traveled across South Africa. To me, Nika is a definition of a Travel Baby, so I wanted to show it with her birthday theme.

I kept going through Pinterest, Google, but couldn’t find something that would be gentle yet fun and unique for our little precious girl. Lying on the couch I was so tired of my search and was getting more and more nervous. I turned and looked at the center of our living room where all Nika’s toys were and saw IT. I saw a plastic Hot Air Balloon that was a part of a present from my parents back when Nika was still a baby. It was part of her mobile that she now used as a toy.

Lightbulb Moment!

Her Birthday Theme would be Hot Air Balloon! Super gentle, makes everyone think of traveling and fun!

Now another thing was going through my mind. I chose the theme, but what about colors? Should it be Vintage? or something bright? I started going through Birthday Invitations and came across a beautiful gold and pink one. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that combo before but it looked so right!

I finally decided on having a pink and gold hot air balloon themed party!

Step 1. Invitation

Of course, my first thing was to get the invitation ready.

This is what I came up with

Step 1 – check; I was proud of myself.

Still there was so much more to do!

T – 6 days

Since I chose pink and gold colored theme, my mother-in-law and I went to a China shop and got some lanterns, tissue paper, ribbons, and I started decorating our apartment.

First thing first, I needed to make a Number 1 out of Tissue Paper. Flower after flower after flower. Didn’t think it would be that time consuming!

T – 5 days

I made the Number 1 out of Tissue paper. Whoohoo! Good girl

tissue paper number

T – 4 days

Now I needed to make hot air balloons. We bought 3 big lanterns, 2 medium and 20 small ones. Now I needed to make a little basket, put a tissue flower in there and make a fishnet around it so the lantern looks like a hot air balloon.

hot air balloon

The process took me all the last days! Didn’t think it would take me this long but everything was done in time

T – 1 day

I made a Wish Flower for Nika. At the time of the celebration I want the guests to pass around this flower and say their wishes to Nika.

She enjoyed shaking it 🙂

Wish Flower

The balloons were done


And I hung them in her room for now

hot air ballons

The Night Before Nika’s Birthday

I hung up all the hot air balloons, blew up balloons and we put her present in the middle. Couldn’t wait to see her face.

hot air balloons, 1st birthday

I hung the Tissue Number on the curtain rail and little hot air balloons around it. I also clipped big tissue flowers to the curtain

Processed with Snapseed.

Everything was ready. Were just waiting for Nika to wake up!