When the boys were little, my favorite thing was planning the birthday parties.  We recently celebrated McClendon’s First Birthday and Mom and Dad chose the theme “McClendon’s Yacht Club.”  The backyard was turned into everything from sand, water and balls to create an interactive experience that resulted in happy, organized and manageable little ones.



So where did Granny V come in??  I created the chalkboard with fun facts surrounding the celebration of being 1 year old.


The food had to depict the nautical aspect of the party, so of course flip-flop sandwiches, crab chicken salad sandwiches, and a fruit display that included JAWS and his dolphin buddies.  For ease and to suit those small appetites, there’s nothing like “beach balls” and our all-time favorite, Goldfish.  Labeling the food with nautical food description cards brought the theme in place. The birthday cake, made especially for McClendon by Dianna Turnow www.yourkindofcake.com, was the absolute centerpiece for this party and was positively delicious.  The parting favor was a sand bucket filled with bubbles and nautical cookies (made by my talented niece, Anna Beck Chapman–[email protected]) and a note that read, “Next time you go to the sea, take this bucket and think of me. Love, McClendon.”DSC_2881 DSC_2883






Catherine’s suggestions for planning:

  • Start planning early and make plenty of lists
  • Utilize all resources and volunteer help – learn how to be a delegator
  • Week of the party, start counting down the days with activities that can be done and checked off
  • Have enough activities for the children to have fun and the parents not having to participate totally.
  • Hire or engage a family member to take plenty of pictures – Emily Yates was the photographer for this event.  [email protected]



Recipes or Ideas with food:

  • Cheese Puffs – Beach Balls in a big sand bucket
  • Pepperidge Farm Goldfish in smaller sand bucket
  • Frozen Push Popsicles
  • Mini Croissants filled with Chicken Salad – toothpicks with white circles for crab eyes
  • Flip Flop cucumber sandwiches – foot cookie cutters www. and thin strips of spring onion for straps (foot-shaped cookie cutters purchased here)
  • Dolphin – slit the top of the banana and open then use whole cloves for the eyes
  • JAWS – Slice mouth shape and hollow out.  Cut a thin strip around the jaw with a knife and insert white teeth made out of cardstock or white index cards

Untitled design

Catherine did an excellent job planning McClendon’s first birthday celebration, and I’m so glad I got to be part of it.