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Leo’s 1st Birthday

Morning!! Today I want to share details of Leo’s very first birthday with all of you! I know that some people are going to read this blog and think “Holy shit! Is this necessary?!” and my answer is no. LOL. No, it’s not necessary, and I get that. The reason why I like going all out for these types of parties is because I REALLY enjoy party planning, I love to see all the kids birthday parties near Gardena
organized by Jumpers Jungle. I don’t do interior decorating on the side (there was never enough time with Love it or List it … but maybe I will consider it this coming year!!) so this is a way for me to have a creative outlet … I keep saying that in my next life I want to be a party planner!! LOL! For Leo’s birthday (and Hayden’s Sip and See) I had a vision and I just ran with it! I know that it’s not the typical thing for everyday families to do … I mean, I am lucky enough to have some local vendors who were willing to partner with us on this … like cough … your own carnival tent … eeekk!!!  (THANK YOU Luxe Camp Okanagan!)

At the end of the day, yes, the party was more for me and I know Leo won’t remember it … BUT …. it turned out to be something MUCH MORE than just a party. Forget about the balloons, the popcorn arch, 3 layer cake and everything in between … there were SO many special moments and tears that I will cherish forever. There were also so many of our family members there who haven’t seen each other in years, and who haven’t met Leo! We celebrated into the wee hours of the morning and so many people slept over! We had such a busy year with the renovation and filming that this finally gave us the opportunity to reconnect with everyone, celebrate little Leo and just let loose.

If you followed along with me over on Instagram stories you’ll know that we blew up a TON of balloons … like so much so that our fingers hurt and we don’t want to see another balloon for a very long time. Actually, I think the girls now have a fear of balloons because they kept popping on us outside (side note … if you’re doing at outside garland only fill the balloons up to about 75% because they expand in the heat!) and every time one burst it would scare the shit out of Shay, Mindy, and Mackenzie!! LOL!

Anyway, people keep asking me about the balloons so I thought I would give you a little info on them as well! When I first started planning Leo’s birthday I didn’t deal much with balloons and I knew nothing about how freakin simple it was to make balloon garland so I ended up reaching out to Geronimo Balloons because I was sooo inspired by their creations (they are stunning!!) to see if they could do an installation (I thought they had special balloons and equipment and everything …. LOL!) but we weren’t able to make it work so I decided to try my own. LOL!! I ordered my balloons online from Balloon Supply (you can also get them on Amazon!) and I selected balloons of different sizes and colours that would match the look I was going for. If you’re planning on making your own balloon garland I would suggest getting about 5 different sizes. Here’s what I ended up getting:

  • 1-2 bags of 5-inch balloons (I got 2 different colours)
  • A bag of each colour in the 12-inch balloons
  • A few bags of the 16-inch balloons
  • A few bags of 30-inch balloons

If you’re on a budget, you can also find a great variety of balloons at your local dollar stores!! I chose to go with the following colors for Leo’s birthday:

As you can tell by the photos I planned a carnival themed party for Leo, filled with bright colours (which I was SO NERVOUS about because of my obvious love for white) and lots of fun decorations such as bunting, TONS of balloons, carnival signs, clown noses … the list goes on! LOL! Ps. If you’re looking for ridiculously CUTE party supplies, you HAVE to check out Meri Meri Party Supplies … they are a bit pricey but oh so adorable!

We even had a bouncy castle and face painting for the kids from Par-T-Perfect Okanagan! I ended up spending a little more than I planned on and I didn’t anticipate just HOW much work would need to go into it to get everything just like I had envisioned but in the end it was better than I thought possible and I have a big crew that helped me and I couldn’t have pulled it off without each and every one of them.

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My Dress | My Heels

Vintage Origami Weddings came Friday night to start setting up (after THREE events that same day!!) AND the day AFTER the party, Leo and I woke up from a nap (he developed his first BIG fever and cold that night at 3am … and I was a little hungover lol), we both went outside to assess the “damage” and Yuriko had already CLEANED UP!!!! OMG. Oh, and to add to the decor, Tracey from Luxe Camp Okanagan let us use her Bell tent as a designated space for the kiddos to hang out in and play and colour if they wanted to!! It was perfect!! Also a huge thank you goes out to Avalon Rentals for providing all of the chairs, tablecloths, wine glasses, etc!

For the most part, the food at the party was vegan but there were some cake and candy that wasn’t. Camille and Melissa from Vibrant Life Nutrition totally NAILED the vegan “carnival menu”, we had vegan corn dogs, corn on the cob, vegan taquitos, watermelon on a stick, vegan mac and cheese … DROOL!!! It was so freakin delish and everything got eaten right up! Then there was the dessert … where do I begin?? First off, we had a huge candy bar (I’m not sure who liked it more, the kids, or the adults … LOL!). I should mention that the candy bar was probably the least expensive part of the party, I had a bunch of glass jars at home that we used and I got most of the candy from the dollar store and a bit of it from Amazon!

We also had The Cotton Candy Lady here making whimsy treats, Macaroons, Unicorn Popcorn and Cookie Sandwiches from Jenna Rae Cakes and a STUNNING birthday cake, smash cakes and cupcakes from Kakes by Kathie … she literally took my drawing and vision and brought it to LIFE!!

And I mean, what’s a party without a little bubbly and wine?? Thanks, Haywire!!

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photo credit

Society Floral provided the cute little yellow and white flowers and we have a surprise floral delivery from Landeau Flowers! Speaking of surprises, we had a little one for our guests at the party as well, a Quartet! Tonal Recall, who, in fact, our Contractor, Mike Budd is a part of!!! They sang a few songs for us and we’re so entertaining to watch!!

Then, of course, there was all of the help from Team Jilly (these girls are now balloon garland making MASTERS lol!!!), Shay, Mindy, and Mackenzie! Cassandra and her mom worked on all of the bunting and my dad make Leo’s popcorn arch! My goodness, this was certainly a team effort!!

And last but not least … thank you, Justin, for being totally on board with my obsession for party planning (I swear I want to do this in my next life!) and helping me take it over the top this time … Thank you. I can’t say it enough. Also, thank you to everyone who came, who loved and sang and laughed and drank … and lastly, thank you to everyone for NOT bringing presents and donating to Mamas for Mamas instead!!

Lastly, for everyone who is asking about Leo’s 2nd birthday … he won’t be having another one until he is 5. I’m done. LOL!!!



Leave a Reply

  1. AHHHH-mazing Jillian!!! Leo is a lucky little man! Ok, I seriously need to know though, where are those earrings from?!

  2. I was on a wine tour that weekend and we drove by your house! Someone saw the balloon arch and the gold LEO balloons on the gate and said “I guess it’s someone named Leo’s birthday” and without even thinking I said something like “Omg yes it’s little Leo’s birthday!” like I know you guys or something. I got some weird looks and had to explain that I pretty much religiously watch your insta stories and do not actually know you lol. The party looks like it was amazing, just like everything you do 🙂

    1. Can you post a tutorial on how you created the balloon garland? I would LOVE to make one for my nephew’s 1st birthday.

      1. OMG that’s an oldie! My parents actually found it at an auction, I had the same one when I was Leo’s age!! XOXO

  3. Great party and theme, don’t worry about going over the top. That is what birthday’s are for. Especially 1st birthday’s. I am hosting a first birthday for my nephew and using the circus/carnival them also. I am going to attempt a balloon garland. Wish me luck.

  4. Thank you for sharing the details! It looked fantastic. My daughter’s first birthday won’t be till December but we’re so excited that the planing already started. It’s such a great excuse to get family and friends together. There will definitely be balloons….Thanks for the inspiration!

  5. Omg I cute!!! My little guys birthday is October and I’m planning to do the ballon garland l. Is there a specific site you used on how to make it. Love everything about the party!!

  6. Wow- what a fabulous party! I too would become a party planner in my next life 🙂 I get all excited about the details (menu, decor, drinks) but ultimately enjoy having fun and creating memories with friends and family. Looks like you all had a great time!

  7. What a great party Jillian. I want to come to the next one. You really should go into interior design. You are very talented in so many ways and what a wonderful mom and dad..Thanks for sharing

  8. Beautiful! and yet how sad you had to go through great lengths to justify to your followers (people who are here to support you and relish in your style) why you chose to throw an extravagant party. You shouldn’t have to do that!!! I throw detailed parties for my daughter – and yes, they are more for me then her – but i never feel the need to justify it. My friends just know that about me, and its beautiful.

    1. Amazing! My twin girls are 7 months and I am already planning. So going to use your ideas. Completely agree, such a great creative outlet and so worth it. Our little ones deserve it.

  9. It looked amazing !

    I thought I remember you mentioning you rented a helium tank, if you don’t mind sharing from where, that would be greatly appreciated. Daughters 1st birthday at the end of the month !!!

      1. Is the bunting banner cloth? Mind sharing how you made it and where to get the supplies? I like the colours!

  10. Hi Jillian, very late commenter here. My son is turning one this March and we are going to do a circus themed party for him as well. I was wondering if the Amazon link you have put up, for the ticket booth and the arrows, is an American site or a Canadian site? I am in Australia and I think it is cheaper for me to order from the Canadian Amazon than it is from the American xx

  11. This has been a huge party Inspo for me…so much so, that I’m planning to do this exact theme for my lil guy’s 2nd birthday in May! Thanks jillian!

  12. Hi Jillian! Your birthday party for Leo was stunning! I am wondering where you purchase the foil balloons that have writing on them (i.e. I want one that says wild one). We have a first birthday in a couple months and I am trying to get ahead on the planning!! Thanks so much!! Enjoy Hawaii ?

  13. Jill, m’y mame is Juliana. I’m brazilian and i see you on a tv show ( i love !!!)
    Your baby is beautiful! God bless ??

  14. How large was the balloon garland you made? Just trying to get an idea for how much space its will take up if I buy the amount of balloons you suggested. Thanks!

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