I wanted to eat cake for breakfast but since Ginny and I got to sleep in today we woke up at lunch time and had leftover party food (hot dogs with macaroni and cheese). Then I ate cake. It’s kind of my weakness. Mostly the buttercream frosting. But… also the cake.
On Friday my baby turned one. She is still a tiny bean at 18.8 pounds, but she is walking like a pro and babbling up a storm. I knew I was making a compromise when we decided to have a party. Jenna, over at That Wife, had a baby centered first birthday. I’ve always thought that was sweet and perfect. Right up my alley. While Ginny was definitely the reason for our partying, it was much more “family” centered than “baby” centered.
Since her party was yesterday, a lot of Friday was spent prepping. But between dipping cake pops in chocolate and decorating cookies I spent my time cuddling my baby, taking a nap with her, and eating strawberries for breakfast lunch and dinner. Can you guess her favorite food?
Saturday was spent cleaning and prepping the rest of the food. We invited all of the local family over, plus my best friend’s family and my sweet neighbor who lives behind us. I did invite the rest of the neighbors (as this was originally a homewarming/birthday party), but only one came. But that’s okay.
One my think that with such a “short”‘ list it would be a small party, but the blessings of living so close to all of our extended family is that… no parties are small. Family alone accounted for 15 of the 20 guests.
Also… I recently moved. And… in the move I lost the charging cord for my camera. So… it’s dead. It died the last day we were in Maine. So… I couldn’t take any pictures, so I borrowed my Mom’s iPhone and grabbed some pictures thataway. Forgive me for the blurriness you are about to witness.
The main course was hotdogs (and soy-dogs for all of my vegan/vegetarian friends and family). Spiral hotdogs. This was B-man’s idea. He spent two weeks telling me about them, and why they are so cool. The week before the party I hadn’t decided on a “main course” so… I decided to placate my hubby and use his idea. For information on how and why to spiral cut your hot dogs go here. I think it’s silly.
I didn’t get a picture of the hot dogs though… they weren’t ready yet when I was taking pictures. So… pretend there were hotdogs, and they were delicious.
Then there was macaroni and cheese. One of Ginny’s favorite foods.
I used the Pioneer Woman’s recipe here, and I added jalapenos to one of them. This was the first pioneer woman recipe I have ever made, and I am going to be honest… I wasn’t very impressed. It tasted a lot like buffet style macaroni and cheese. I didn’t try to jalapeno version, but I hear it tasted like regular macaroni and cheese with jalapenos in it. I don’t know that I would use this recipe again.
Then there was fruit salad. Aside from strawberries, watermelon is probably one of Ginny’s all time favorite foods. She spent the majority of the eating time walking from person to person stealing bites of their watermelon.
Lastly there was veggie stick “shots” and vegan pasta salad (basically sans cheese). I ate the pasta salad for lunch today and it was yummy.
Then came the desserts… and there was plenty to go around!
First I made sugar cookies with the number “1″ on them. I had originally toyed with putting either a “V” or a “G” but consensus let me to just put a “1″. Every time I sit down to make these cookies I start out thinking “This is so much fun! I could do this and make money selling them!” And then I finish, my kitchen is covered in frosting, my hands and clothing are all sticky and my cookies look crappy. And that is the moment I remember why I don’t get paid to make cookies.
Then I also made cake pops. I have a similar feeling before I start making them… the “I could make money doing this” feeling… then I remember what a PITA they are and I go back to wishing I was frivilous enough to pay some one else to make them.
So these are “Watermelon” cake pops. Inside they have red cake with chocolate chips as the “seeds”. I didn’t eat any of them as I am still on cake-pop overload from the 2 I ate at B-man’s birthday party last October.
The cake comes later, but there was definitely cake as well.
I spent months collecting these frappacino bottles. Months. I wouldn’t recommend it, but the final product was pretty cute. Pink lemonade, slice of lemon, paper straw from Target.
Sorry for the fuzzy pictures, but we also did bottled soda. Much more expensive, but it feels special, and makes people more aware of how many sodas they have had – at least… in my mind. We did have several left over though, so maybe my theory was right?
The lone party decorations: a “Happy Birthday” banner I borrowed from a friend and some balloons. The party entertainment was watching the balloons be blown in circles by the fan. A good time was had by all.
Ginny was a big fan of the bows and ribbons on the packages, but despite my best efforts she was unwilling to rip the paper on her own. For a girl who eats paper every day this was kind of a surprise. Guess I should’ve been practicing with her. lol.
Easily distracted baby is easily distracted.
Once I figured out she was into the tissue paper I handed her the bags with tissue paper so she could be a little bit more involved.
She got several nice little board books – which she loves. She is a big fan of turning the pages before any one can read the words. Also, those are Ginny’s great grandparents sitting in the background, and our spoiled puppy dog who thinks he belongs on the couch.
She got the hungry catapillar book twice, once in board book form (which will fit nicely in my baby bag!), and then the full size book and the stuffed animal to go along with it.
After presents we did cake. I made two, a small one for Ginny to smash and a bigger one for those who didn’t fill up on cakepops and cookies (mostly… me. I love the frosting. Did I say that already?).
These are the first cakes I have ever decorated before. Usually I just spread the frosting smooth and write on the top. The small pink cake was having issues (the ruffles kept falling off the sides of the cake) but I think it was because of the heat and perhaps my frosting was a bit too thin.
For size comparison. The bigger cake is two 9 inch side cakes, and the smaller cake is probably about 4 inches. I made a sheet cake and then took a bowl and cut around the board with a knife to get several layers for Ginny’s cake. No one got to appreciate that it was a 4 layer cake so because Ginny didn’t really go past the frosting.
“Happy Birthday” was sung, the candle blown out (we did practice that one before the party), and then the cake was placed in front of the baby.
This is the “after” picture… and as you can see… she didn’t do much damage. She kept putting her face up to the cake and sucking the frosting off. Finally I cut a “slice” from the cake at which point she daintily picked up a few bites of cake and ate them. Then she said her version of “all done”… which sounds more like “all dooo, all dooo, all doo.”
Trying to get Ginny to smile for the camera is quite the chore, but I really like this picture of her!
And then one of every one looking in the appropriate direction! Win!
After the cake people started to leave, and by 11 o’clock we had our party covered house all to ourselves. After a quick collection of empty bottles and making sure there was no food left out we headed up to bed. I went into the bathroom to wash my face and brush my teeth and while I was in there I heard my hubby singing Happy Birthday to our sweet baby. It was probably the best moment of the entire day.
…glad to be done with all of the cooking and preparing.
…thankful for all of the help from my family and sweet neighbor.
… sad to see my little girl growing so quickly.
…excited that Ginny learned to walk before her party – it was a hope of mine for the last few months and she learned just in time!
…almost done with all of the leftover dishes.
…going to go put my dining room back together after I finish this blog post.
… bummed that the weekend went by so quickly.
So tell me, how was your weekend?