Ok, onward to Sadie's first birthday party! We chose a rainbow theme because Sadie is such a bright, sunny little girl so it only made sense to feature bright colors. And since I always love to know all kinds of details (where, what, how), I'm going to be incredibly thorough.
The party was scheduled from 11am-1pm. If I could go back and change it, I would shift it to a little bit later to fit better with nap schedules - Sadie barely napped that morning, and the other kids at the party didn't either! Here's a rough timeline of how things worked out that day:
11am: Everything for the party was set and guests started arriving
11am-11:15am: I got Miss H up from her short nap, gave her a bottle, changed her outfit, and brought her up to a room full of people (she loved it!)
11:15am-11:45am: guests mingled, kids played
11:45am: We dressed Miss H in her Korean hanbok (traditional dress) and did the doljabi ceremony
12pm: We gave Miss H her smash cake and then cut the big cake for the guests
12:20pm: We helped Miss H open up her birthday gifts
1:15pm: The last guest left and it was time to clean up!
Since the party was over the lunch hour, I wanted to make sure we had somewhat substantial food. But I also wanted to make sure everything we made wasn't temperature specific (i.e. didn't need to be served hot) and that everything was easy for us to prepare ourselves. To top it all off, we had one guest who is gluten free and one who is vegan and gluten free. We served:
- Egg salad finger sandwiches
- Cucumber finger sandwiches
- Black olive tapenade crostinis
- Mediterranean quinoa salad
- Chips and guacamole (which many of the babies enjoyed too!)
- Skewers of fresh fruit (rainbow colors, of course!)
- Cake pops
- Izze sparkling drinks
- Bottled water
- Applesauce pouches for the LOs
The details of the day are what I'm most proud of! I spent a lot of time gathering items, making various pieces of decor, and just trying to create a rainbow theme that was fun and bright. And I'm proud to say that I did all of my planning, crafting and baking when Sadie was sleeping - I never prioritized anything over her.
I've been blogging Sadie's week-by-week photos we've taken, so of course I wanted to share these photos at the party! These are 5x5 prints that we hung on twine and attached with mini clothespins. We hung these low enough on the wall (the top row is about 6 feet high) so that our guests would easily be able to look at all of them. It was fun hearing people comment on what their favorite photos were and how much Sadie has changed!
I made cake pops the Monday before the party. These are great treats that can keep for a week, so they're easy to make in advance! I'd found this little planter with a chalkboard on the front from an Etsy seller (their shop is currently unavailable) and I thought it would be so much fun to have "cake pop flowers" in it!
The "Happy Birthday" banner on the wall was by the talented Chelsey Emery, who also did the party invitations. It was a perfect addition to the room and I love that we can easily save it and use it year after year! We hung it with the same twine we used for the weekly photos.
As mentioned above, we prepared all of our food ourselves for the day. I decorated the table with scalloped paper circles punched out of cardstock in all colors of the rainbow!
I ordered spoons and forks from Sucre Shop, napkins with rainbow dots from Target, and plates in rainbow stripes and solids from Oriental Trading.
As mentioned above, we served Izze drinks (in all of the flavors they have for great color variety!), and bottles of water (which I may or may not have wrapped in washi tape purchased from In The Clear), and applesauce pouches for the kiddos.
Favors were copies of the book Planting a Rainbow and little individual pots and seeds (found in Target's dollar aisle!) for growing their own flower. Since we only had 3 children as guests at the party, I could afford to gift books.
I fell in love with the look of paper rosettes! I used this tutorial for them (there are many tutorials for rosettes if you look; it's a pretty simple concept), found cardstock in solids and patterns, and afixed them to the wall with removable mounting tape. I was worried about them not staying on the wall, but I hung them 2 days before the party and only one had fallen off the wall a day after the party, so we did really well! It was an inexpensive piece of decor that added a lot of fun to the room.
I found these fabulous rainbow colored bottles/vases on Etsy (also from the shop where I got the cake pop box, shop currently unavailable). They were incredibly affordable and so much fun! I plan on keeping them up year round in our dining room. The day before the party I bought white spider chrysanthemums for each vase.
Korean Doljabi Ceremony
After all of our guests had arrived, Steve's mother and grandmother helped me dress Sadie in her traditional hanbok that they had gifted her. It was a bit large on her but we were able to tuck the sleeves under. She did amazingly well in the dress!
For the doljabi, you set items out in front of the baby and the item they choose indicates something about his or her future. The items we opted to use were: a pencil (scholarly), a tennis ball (athletic), a paintbrush (artistic), money (good fortune), and string (long life). She hadn't seen any of these items before so we knew she wouldn't be playing favorites!
I predicted she would choose the paintbrush and Steve thought the tennis ball. I was right! After some pondering, she touched the paintbrush, then took her hand back. And then she went for the paintbrush again. It looks like we have a budding artist on our hands!
The cakes were a labor of love, as I made both of them. I like the idea of making her birthday cake every year as something special that I do. I made banners for the cakes using washi tape, baker's twine, and paper straws. The big cake said "Sadie!" and the small cake said "One." (They're hard to read because I used metallic pens and it was really sunny). I'm going to do a follow up post and share the recipes I used and the decorating tutorials that I referenced.
We put Sadie in her high chair (in her "Rainbows Make Me Smile" t-shirt, naturally) and the smash cake right in front of her. She eventually decided she would touch the cake...
...and even sample some of the buttercream...before she picked the whole thing up and tossed it on the floor! I had been borderline worried about her shoveling a lot of cake her mouth and then choking on it (morbid, I know), so part of me was relieved that she wasn't that into it. She was definitely fun to watch!
After Sadie had her cake, it was time to cut the guest cake! I always enjoy the "big reveal" when a cake is fun on the inside.
I was incredibly pleased with how vibrant my rainbow colored layers turned out, and how neatly they were stacked!
I had been planning this cake in my head since January, so it was incredibly rewarding seeing it come to life, and it was even more rewarding sampling the delicious cake!
We almost forgot a family picture! So here we are at the very end of the day!
And that, in a nutshell, was Sadie's rainbow first birthday party! It was such a wonderful day and it was worth all of the prep and hard work! Keep your eyes out for a more detailed post on the cakes, including the recipes and tutorials I used for inspirationg, baking, and decorating.
Happy birthday to our little "Say Say!"