Monday, November 4, 2013

First Birthday Shinanigans

New born week old - Vandyke Photography

One Year Old!! - Vandyke Photography

I can not believe that my sweet Miriam is One year old!

The saying that the days are long but the years are short is very true.
Some days I just didn't think I'd make it through and swore up and down, left and right that she is my last baby forever! Then, the first smile, the first giggle, the first word. The soft, quite snuggles in the early mornings while trying to not wake the others. The first time on all fours, first time crawling, pulling up and then, first steps! Those are the moments that keep me going. They recharge my battery, that and wine or ice cream after they're in bed! :)

Okay, so let's get down to the Par-tahy!

I wanted to do something fun to celebrate this beautiful little girl God gifted to us a year ago. The first thing that came to my head was Rainbows! They are fun, colorful and easily executed!

 To Pinterest I went!

I created a First Birthday board and wasted spent way too many hours on that website!

Rainbow decorations can be a tad creepy (unicorns, creepy clowns, etc) or can support issues that I as a Catholic woman, am well, not a supporter of...if you catch my drift!

So, after searching many stores and websites, Walmart, of all places, came up with some great options! I wanted to make some of the decorations but I wasn't set on a color scheme until I found
^ these plates at Walmart!

I loved how they gave the rainbow effect without actually being a rainbow. Also, they are chevron, seriously, who doesn't love chevron!

I also found the streamers, pennant banner, cupcake liners and candle at Walmart! All of those items cost me $15! Oh there are also yellow napkins not pictured! I don't like to spend a fortune on dinnerware items because they just get tossed at the end of the party!

I used the streamer to make a rainbow back drop for behind the high chair

I needed cardstock for a #1 banner and Happy Birthday banner I had in mind but nothing spoke to me at Walmart. Thankfully, Joann's came through with having the EXACT same color scheme in a cardstock package (pictured above)! Cardstock was 30% off and I think came in less than $10. I wasn't worried about that price because I know I will use it another time.

I found a #1 outline online and printed it on cardstock. I cut it out and Mark hung it for me.
not the best lighting for a picture, but you get the idea!

I also printed out Happy Birthday on the cardstock, cut it out and put it against white circle cardstock

Got the ribbon from the $1 bin at Micheal's! It's all glittery and such! So pleased with how this turned out!

I also really wanted to try making colorful tissue paper tassels because I have seen them on Pinterest but hadn't found a good tutorial until I stumbled upon this one. I also found this other one helpful too. Both lay out the process with written instructions and pictures for each step.
Found my tissue paper at Dollar Tree, 25 sheets for $1!
I tried making one myself earlier in the week and after a failed first attempt, I made one that looked just like the picture! Cutting the strips thin is very important. If the strips are too thick, it looks all jacked up!

I enlisted the help of my sister who flew in from MD for the party and my step-daughter who loves to do crafts and this is how it turned out!

I love it! I would probably add more of each color if I do it again but...It really did add some extra pizazz to the living room!

 Now onto the edible portion of the party!

I saw this pin way back in the day that raved about how easy it was to make swirled icing for a cupcake. Essentially you paint a piping bag with food gel and the butter cream comes out swirled with the painted colors. Of course it looks easy and truth be told, it wasn't hard but it wasn't a walk in the park either!

I made the chocolate cake and cupcakes the day before with THE MOST AMAZING chocolate cake recipe in existence!
I found it about 2 years ago and have not baked another chocolate cake recipe!
Try it. You will agree. I bet ya!
 (this recipe is for a 3 layer cake so it make ALOT of cupcakes! Darn, just might have leftovers! :)

And then I made a vanilla cake and cupcakes with a recipe from the The Cake Mix Doctor cookbook recommended by a trusted friend. I have had a hard time getting fluffy, moist vanilla cake from scratch. So, this recipe used a white cake mix (Duncan Hines Classic White) and "doctored" it to make it taste more, "from scratch". Well, the result was delectable and there was not a vanilla cupcake left by the end of the party!

I used Wilton Food Gel Colors to paint my bag and placed my 2D tip on my bag and realized I didn't have the coupler part to secure the tip, so most of the gel seeped down next to the tip instead of going into the tip. The effect is cool and I will try it again but you can only use the bag once so, disposable is the way to go! This was the outcome of the cupcakes


For the cake I stacked a vanilla on top of chocolate, buttercreamed it and decorated it with M&M minis in a classic Rainbow. Miriam LOVED the M&Ms, her first experience with those delicious candies!


And last but not least, my #1 made up of pictures of the Birthday Princess. I could have made 2 more. I am picture obsessed!

Laid it out on the floor first to make sure it was going to work!

Final product on the wall!
The party was a blast! We were all wiped by the end of the day and with Daylights saving time ending that night, we were all thrown off on Sunday! But, nothing a little cake and coffee for breakfast can't fix...

Even let Juls join in on the deliciousness...

Happy Birthday Miriam Ruth! Can't wait to see what 1 year old fun you bring to this family! :)

One Year old




  1. It was a beautiful day for such a beautiful little girl! :) Good job, Momma! :)

  2. How fun! Wish we could have been there to celebrate!
    Everything turned out so beautifully - I love that Happy Birthday banner especially. What font is that? And good job on the baked goods...I am too intimidated to try fancy stuff with frosting, like swirls!!