Thursday, December 11, 2014

Baby's First Birthday: The Party

I realize it's been a few months since I last posted, but life seems to always get in the way of blogging.  I've been dying to follow up on my last post about baby's first birthday party ideas, to include the actual ideas I included in my son's first birthday party, back in September.

As it turns out, I used many of the crafty ideas I highlighted in the last post, but cut corners where I could.  Hey, it takes hours to decorate and bake and mommy was up till about 1 a.m. the night before the party, baking the birthday cake, complete with customized orange colored cinnamon-sugar cake with chocolate chips, and customized turquoise icing!  We stuck with theme colors of aqua/turquoise and orange and kept with a Peter Rabbit theme for the party.  Although instead of all Peter Rabbit accessories, we included little Peter Rabbit stickers on the inside of personalized invitations that we made on Shutterfly and we included personalized "Thank You" notes with baby's birthday pictures as well.  Annie's Cheddar Bunnies and Party Mix were also a hit snack at the party.  And we included favors using "carrot" favor bags -- you'll see below.  In addition, we used a "Peter Rabbit" Christmas ornament as a cake topper, which we thought would be cute to include on our tree this year as a reminder of his first birthday party.

If you want the recipe to the cinnamon sugar cake, I had it pinned on Pinterest from this site here.  The few changes I made to the recipe was to add mini chocolate chips to the recipe and used food coloring to make the cake orange and the icing a turquoise-ish color.

Without further delay, here are some beautiful pics of our party.

We surprised him the morning of his birthday by sticking balloons in his crib when he woke up.  He looooved them, as you can see.  

I dressed up my son in a customized onesie, leggings and crochet hat from Chic Couture Boutique and KnotMoxie, both of which can be found on  

We used the large TV to project a slide show of pictures from our son's first year.  

Nothing goes better with the old timey sodas (shown in the picture above) than old timey paper straws!

The Wedgewood Peter Rabbit dishes were past gifts, courtesy of my husband's grandmother.  We also ordered Peter Rabbit paper cups, napkins and plates for the party.  

The spread.  Complete with chalkboard paper used as a table runner (found on on which I chalked in birthday messages to my special little guy. 

Yup! I screwed up the icing a tiny bit with writing out Happy Birthday.  I should have picked one that was easier to write with!

Peter Rabbit Hallmark Christmas ornament used as a cake topper.  It's a great keepsake from baby's first birthday for years to come.

Baby's smash cake (yes, it looks oh-so-homemade!) complete with #1 candle.  I reserved some cake batter  from the original batch and baked a smaller cake in a small Pyrex container.  I've also read baking in a tin coffee can works well for making your own mini-smash cake.  

The cake tasted delicious!  Much better than it looked :) 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Baby's First Birthday Ideas

Taking a break from my fashion and style love, I've slipped into mommy mode for this post.  With only a month and a half to go before my baby's first birthday, I realized how quickly time has passed.  Just this time last year, I was about eight months pregnant! I can hardly believe it.  The sayings are true, they really do grow up fast.

Since I am a bit of a planner (not to anal but not too lax), I like to start looking at things and doing my research well beforehand.  I actually starting thinking about this back in May!  September will be upon us before I realize it and our little man will be one year old! *Sniff Sniff*  I'm going to miss all the cuteness of the infant phase but am looking forward to watching our little one grow.  Even though I reminisce about the earlier baby days, every new phase of our son's life is an awesome to experience.

Here are some photos from when baby was a newborn and within his first month.

Such tiny little feet!  And what skinny legs.  Those filled out quickly…

Tiny hand! 

Here are some photos of his moving and shaking in the last month.  We had to move on to buying some baby proofing gear, especially cabinet locks, pretty soon after he started to crawl.  He's become such a little explorer.

I knew we were in trouble when he could reach cabinet knobs while in his walker, but before he was crawling.

He has a knack for pulling himself on the window, doors and walls and  pretty much anything, including people's legs.

Baby loves to explore boxes we've broken down from packages.  

He loves to snuggle our bathmats because they're so fuzzy!

Sometimes a baby puppet show on youtube helps keep him in one room. Sometimes! 

I gathered some of my favorite ideas for baby's first birthday parties on a board in my Pinterest account.  The themes ranged from colors, to balloons, to animals to stories and more.   I finally settled on most likely having a Peter Rabbit theme though and love all the cute little ideas related to it.  In my journey pinning, I've also run into a few very cute ideas that would work for any theme and create a stand out party while adding that sweet homemade touch! 

1.  Smash Cake

Including a separate small cake for baby to dig into after everyone sings Happy Birthday is a great idea.  He can have his cake and eat it too while all the guests get to enjoy a separate non-mushy and baby-hand-free cake!  This is something I think I could easily make. Even if I get the main birthday cake and/or cupcakes from a bakery.  Let's be honest, as much as I'd love to do everything from scratch (and I know I definitely could) I don't want to have to stress out too much on all the details or spend all the time leading up to the party making decorations, cooking and baking.   But a smash cake?  I could definitely try this one!

Photo courtesy of

2.  Buying a Fondant Cupcake Topper 

If you like the look of those pretty fondant cakes but don't want the fondant cake price (some places charge over $100 for a simple small cake!) for your baby's special day, another option for anyone looking to save some money is to buy a simple style cake from a local bakery or make one yourself and just buy a fondant cake topper that goes with your theme.  I was shocked at how many fondant cake toppers you could find on Etsy.  They even have them in a Peter Rabbit theme as well as smaller ones for cupcakes!  So you may also choose to bake some cupcakes and buy cute little fondant cupcake toppers that go along with your theme.

Photo courtesy of
Buy this cute Peter Rabbit fondant topper from LesPopSweets on

Photo courtesy of
Buy these cute fondant cupcake toppers also from LesPopSweets on

3.  Making Tissue Paper Pom-Poms for Decoration

I think this one is pretty self explanatory.  There are so many internet tutorials that show you how to DIY pom poms for decorations.  These look so cute in a garland across the main food area or hanging above the cake table. I actually found that there are DIY pom pom kits available on also so you can buy the supplies together in one easy kit that is sold by the color instead of buying the components separately. It's genius for anyone who needs every last shortcut out there!

photo courtesy of

4.  Paper Straws

These cute old-timey straws look great and can not only be used as straws but also as cake toppers.  Take two and string a small banner with baby's name across them.  This is a cute little DIY project that evokes a super sweet, rustic and homemade, yet oh-so-chic and modern style. Another great hint is to use these as a cake topper with some decorative scotch tape cut in the shape of little flags (see the second image below).

photo courtesy of

photo courtesy of

5.  Using Streamers in Different Ways

I love the idea of using streamers to make "chandeliers" as pictured below.  Babies love colors and things hanging above them!  I guess that's what makes mobiles so popular.  I also like the simple combination of streamers and balloons to decorate the high chair -- a classic style but there are soooo many ways to make it more creative these days.  Check out the really cool high chair decoration below.

photo courtesy of

photo courtesy of

6.  Homemade Banner

It might take some effort but how cute does a homemade banner look? And it's customized to your taste and theme.  I love the idea of putting a simple "one" or "yay" across baby's high chair.  I found the one below on Etsy but I think it could be replicated by using some craft paper and streamers too.

Photo courtesy of
Buy this banner from themoderndaisy shop on Etsy. 

7.  String Baby's First Year in Pictures on a Clothesline 

I love this!  The subject line speaks for itself.  All you need are baby's pictures, some colored cardboard or doilies for background behind each picture, clothespins and string.  A cute addition is cut-out numbers for each month of baby's first year.

I found this image on Pinterest but not sure what the original source was.

photo courtesy of

8.  Birthday Outfit

Omg! There are so many cute baby first birthday outfits out there.  Its hard to pick, but my favorite one is comprised of two words: crochet hat.   How cute is that baby's hat? Or the one below him with the onesie and leg warmers?  So adorable!

photo courtesy of

photo courtesy of
Buy this outfit from Chic Couture Boutique's shop on

There you have it. My favorite elements for making a stylish first birthday for your little one!  It really doesn't matter how much you make yourself, how much you spend or how much you save, there are some really smart and simple ways to make a baby's first birthday a stylish, special and memorable event.   

Check out the collage I put together on Polyvore below with these ideas!

Baby's First Birthday Ideas