Olivia’s first birthday party was this weekend, and although we only had seven guests in attendance, I’m still recovering! Everyone always says that the first birthday is more for the mom than the little one. That’s a fairly accurate statement, although I’m really hoping that O will look back at the photos one day and be pretty impressed 🙂
Since I’m slightly obsessed with French macarons (so much so, that I was scolded at the Ladurée counter for trying to take photos – and kept snapping away!), I was set on a theme loosely inspired by Ladurée. As soon as I spotted this beautiful KidKraft Vintage Kitchen on Amazon, things started to fall into place. The robin’s egg blue has been a key component of O’s nursery decor, and matches the orange accents in our living room perfectly. I should note that the kitchen is recommended for ages three and up, but Olivia loves to open cabinet doors to take stuff out and put it back in, and this gives her her own space to do so. She was so excited when hubby set it up a few days before her party that she was literally “oohing”, and now she also loves picking up the little telephone and saying “hello”.
I tried not to get stuck in the Pinterest vortex because I get exhausted just looking at some of the ideas on there, but I was able to find a couple of pins for inspiration – as well as a post that also incorporated our kitchen into the theme! The bunting was inspired by one of my favorite mommy bloggers and DIYers, Jaclyn at Los Dos Aikos. She explains her projects really well and makes everything seem so easy – key for someone like me who wishes she was crafty but really isn’t.
I also started down the path of making a three-layer “rainbow” cake with all natural food dyes à la Itsy Bitsy Foodies, but after numerous attempts where either the colors looked like mud or the cake texture was dense, I landed on a simple white cake recipe from Epicurious (posted by i am baker) and added two drops of gel dye to each layer. This was my first time baking a cake from scratch, but now I feel like I have quite a bit of practice under my belt!
The macarons were from Sparkles Macaron (details below) and they were incredibly yummy. To stick with the kitchen theme and add a bit of whimsy, I displayed them in ceramic egg crates from World Market. For the food, I thought some tea sandwiches, cheese and crackers would be perfect for nibbling on while we played with the little ones, and I found this awesome slate cheeseboard (also at World Market).
I also wanted to use as many independent shops as possible because I’m constantly amazed by the beautiful, unique items I discover on Etsy (and even Instagram!) that are true products of people’s passions vs. mass produced.
Bow // Ryan & Wren – In case you can’t tell from previous posts, we love our collection of bows from Ryan & Wren! This one has just the right amount of Parisian flair, and the gold elastic served as Olivia’s birthday “crown”! We even included these in our goodie bags and they were such a hit!
Cake Topper // Hello Plum Studio – I fell in love with this gorgeous cake topper from Hello Plum Studio and knew it would be perfect for Olivia’s cake as soon as I saw it. Looking back on it, I wish I had also ordered one of their beautiful cake buntings.
Poster // Lately Lily – Lately Lily’s t-shirts for little girls are just perfect! We have quite a few already, but they start at 2T, so Olivia can’t wear them yet. We still wanted to invite Lily to the party, so we displayed the poster of her right above the kitchen.
Macarons // Sparkles Macaron – I have to admit, I was hesitant to order macarons online, especially never having tasted them from this shop. I was so pleased with these! They arrived completely intact and the texture, taste and color were just right!
Macaron Fabric // The Garden of Fabrics and Beyond – This beautiful fabric I used for the mini dish towel and cake stand doily really tied the whole theme together!
Well, now that you’ve read this far – guess what?! Mary from Ryan & Wren, Hana from Hello Plum Studio and Erin from Lately Lily are so awesome that they’ve agreed to give away some goodies from Olivia’s party to get you started on your own little one’s birthday party – or just for fun! You can enter one, two or all three giveaways. Who knows? You might get REALLY lucky and win all of the goodies!
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