Emmie turned one at the beginning of this month (insert cry emoji). We threw her a simple first birthday party focused on her current favorite things - animals, flowers, and people. I tried to keep the party decor simple by mostly using what we already owned and making the rest.
The tassel garland, oversized balloon, and rifle paper company garland were leftovers from Emmie's baby shower. I made party hats for her toy animals, taped prints of her monthly photos to the wall with washi tape, and stuffed dark chocolate covered almonds into candy bags as party favors. For lunch we had a homemade spread of our go-to chicken salad with fixings for sandwiches, fruit, chips and salsa, hummus and crackers, deviled eggs, and my mom's famous cabbage salad. We used these sustainable paper plates, forks, and cups.
Although the goal was to keep it simple, I of course tried to overcomplicate things in good ol' perfectionist fashion. With oodles of ideas out there, I admittedly had a hard time reigning it in. But alas, one only has so much time and so many (or few) resources - and thank goodness for it. Because in the end, the party was perfectly imperfectly wonderful and no one was any the wiser to my un-executed grandiose plans. And most importantly, Emmie had a blast being celebrated by our dear family and friends.
Luke and I are big fans of home-baked goods, and while my heart was set on whipping up a batch of cupcakes from scratch, time restraints required otherwise. I ended up baking two dozen cupcakes with this boxed mix and frosting bought last minute at our local Sprouts. They weren't the cupcakes of our homemade dreams, but they did the job of satisfying those birthday party sweet tooth's.
I made a simple cake stand by stacking two of Emmie's wooden nesting bowls and setting a thin wooden craft round on top. Her current favorite animal in party garb topped off her smash cake, with a few vintage floral handkerchiefs from my grandmother placed underneath. The cupcake toppers were made using toothpicks and washi tape, and we used these napkins and dessert plates.
We made a simple floral wall in our backyard with flowers foraged from our neighborhood, twine, and tiny clothespins. We couldn't figure out an easy (last minute) way to secure the hanging twine to our flat plaster wall, so after a few failed construction attempts, we ended duct-taping the tops of the twine to the wall, covering them with bunches of leaves, and calling it good. It made for a pretty photo backdrop, while it lasted. The tape slowly came unstuck throughout the party, causing the twine to dangle and flowers fall to the ground. We just called it "living art."
What's a first birthday party without a good cake smash? I made Emmie this healthy spice cake with cream cheese frosting. It turned out pretty dense and not at all like the fluffiness I'd hoped for (turns out whole wheat flour and a bunch of healthy ingredients will do that), but despite its brick-like nature, she enjoyed it just the same.
Happiest first birthday to our sweet, curious, happy girl! What a joy to be her parents and celebrate her first year of life.