Jenica Oliver is the founder of Blueprint Marketing Group, LLC—an agency focused on leveling the playing field for entrepreneurs and small businesses by providing them access to the same resources that big brands and companies tap into for growth. Oliver also serves as fractional CMO for organizations in transition or in need of executive level marketing support tailored to their needs and budgets.

What makes Jenica Oliver a Boss Woman?

Her ability to identify solutions in the midst of chaos and incorporates those insights to grow businesses. Jenica looks for nuggets of information that others may overlook and finds answers to the questions that keep people up at night!                            

Below is an article written by Jenica Oliver on 5 Easy Tips for Hosting an Unforgettable 1st Birthday Party.

Birthday Blues? 5 Easy Tips for Hosting An Unforgettable 1st Birthday Party

If you’re anything like me, I was sweating my son’s first birthday party months in advance. I kept seeing all of the Mommies in my feed hosting these epic parties that looked so effortless! Anyone who knows me knows how much I love a good shin-dig, but let me tell you…the pressure seemed to be higher than ever. I felt as though all eyes were on me and to be honest, that makes it easy to lose sight of who the party is for and what really makes it special for your little one and your friends and family. So, here’s a little cheat sheet that I’ve curated over the years. Just like everything else, having a plan and a checklist will keep you on task and let you focus on enjoying the days leading up to your little ones 1st birthday (or any birthday, to be honest).

1) I like to start with a good theme. Somehow, having a theme helps pull everything together. Consider something that’s both meaningful and memorable, like your little one’s favorite show or storybook character. A familiar backdrop will ensure your child is surrounded by his favorite things and engaged in his celebration. I typically find something that my kiddos like, then change out some of the words or phrases to make it personal and ownable. For my youngest son Miles’s first birthday, we had a Sesame Street themed event. Instead of using the Sesame Street images, we created “Miles Street” and listed all of the sounds and “words” he was using. Be sure to carry the theme throughout the party – colors, music, cake, you name it! From the “Save the Date/Invitations” to the “Thank You” swag bags for those celebrating with you, it’s so much fun to wow your guests every step of the way.

2) Sprinkle in custom touches wherever you can. For most kid-themed parties, you can find decorative plates, cups, napkins and balloons at just about any party store, but your guests will be so surprised by those little added touches that show your creative side. Instead of plain plastic cups, try a custom plastic beverage cup with your child’s name on it, birth date and the party theme. You can also throw in paper napkins with the same theme imprinted on them for grins. I love to add custom labels to the mini water bottles you can buy at just about any grocery store. Just peel off the label and replace it with a custom bottle wrap featuring the party theme or phrase from the invitation.

3) Every touch point is an opportunity to create excitement. Create a station for pictures to ensure you capture all of the special moments you might otherwise miss. Selfie frames provide a prop that your guests can interact with while you tend to other details and guests. Don’t be afraid to enlist the help of your guests to ensure you end up with cute pics for your scrapbook. Ask them to send you the pictures they take or create a fun hashtag for the party and have them tag you using the hashtag on social media. You can also ask them to upload their pictures to a shared drive after the party, so all you have to do is provide the link. Balloon arches and custom backdrops like a step-and-repeat also create a fun place for photo ops!

4) Stations keep traffic flowing and give guests something to do. Whether it’s an activity table or snack shack, clearly marked stations throughout the party are a must. Use labels and tent cards to communicate what the guests should do and when, then turn them loose and let them have a blast. This is a great way to display food at a party…mashed potato bars with various toppings are always a hit. For little ones, try a French fry or finger foods bar. Create little platters of finger foods with accompanying dipping sauces for flavor adventure and fill beverage pitchers with drinks bearing creative names that tie in to your theme. If you are so inclined, create a 21+ version of the themed punch for the adults in attendance. Don’t forget the put the swag bags on display. These little mementos are generally the most sought-after goodies of the day. Here’s where you really have a chance to shine…custom temporary tattoos with the birthday theme are a creative touch that’s so easy and fun. You can also throw in snacks your little guy loves or trinkets that connect to the party theme. If you can’t find the exact items, focus on items that match the color scheme of the day. Keep in mind the age of the guests so as not to include things that could be a choking hazard if swallowed.

5) Last, but not least, make sure your little one is well rested and even fed before the party. With so much to do and see, it will likely be sensory overload for the little guy and it will be hard to get him to sit still long enough to eat a snack, let alone smash the cake for the obligatory 1st birthday party picture. Don’t get overwhelmed with all of the details on your To-Do List and don’t be afraid to ask for help! Pulling in a party planner or tapping into a creative outlet to bring your vision to life (or help create the vision for you) is always in fashion! And, honestly, everyone will be so busy enjoying the event that they’ll assume you did it all yourself, effortlessly! At the end of the day, this is a milestone for you too and what better way to celebrate than to enjoy every minute of it! If you’re in need of a birthday party bestie or inspiration to get your creative juices flowing, check out the Gallery on for a few custom touches that created so much buzz.

Article originally written by Jenica Oliver.

Stay Connected with Jenica:

Instagram: @customizedbyblueprint

Facebook: blueprintmktg or Blueprint Marketing Group, LLC

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