We celebrated Jo’s first birthday party a couple days early in Covington with family at my parents’ house.
I had been wanting to do a “You Are My Sunshine” themed first birthday party since before I got pregnant. I even have a painted sign with the lyrics on her bedroom wall. So I knew that would be the direction of Josey’s party.
I worked on decorations for her party for about a month, and I feel like I didn’t sleep all of January! Josey is too into everything for me to do any work with her awake, so I spent naptimes and nights working on things.
My goal was to have a sunshine themed party that was tasteful- shades of yellow, lemon curd in the cake, a sweet yellow and white dress on Josey, and no cartoon suns anywhere! (Invitation bought off Etsy!)
I used my Cricut to make a couple of banners, signs for the food, a banner for the cake (and a flag for the smash cake), and tags for the treat boxes.
The dining room, where a few snacks, drinks, and the cakes were set up, had a few other homemade decorations as well.
I made small pom poms in shades of yellow and white to hang from the chandelier (Tom patiently held up pom poms and tied them off at the exact lengths I wanted). Some were made with cupcake liners, and the others were made with tissue paper.
For the drinks, I wanted to use glass, but that presents three problems. First, it could make the party more formal than I wanted it to feel. Secondly, if a glass broke, it could be expensive to replace. Third, glasses don’t come with lids, and there would be six of my nephews and nieces in attendance.
My solution was to use mason jars. They’re casual. They are inexpensive to replace if broken. And they have lids that can have holes drilled in them to slip a straw through.
I rimmed the jars with yellow sugar to make them more festive, but I also included some white and yellow paper straws with name tags on them, made from the same papers used in the banners.
For drinks, we served sweet tea, lemonade, diet lemonade, and water. All but the water came from Chick-Fil-A, and it was delicious.
The cakes were made at Sweet Treats Bakery in Covington. I had emailed and talked on the phone with Christina, who made the cakes, until she knew just what I wanted.
I had requested a ruffle cake that faded from a darker yellow on the bottom to a very light yellow on top. I wanted a yellow cake with buttercream icing and a lemon curd on the inside. The smash cake was a small, single layer that was iced to match the big cake.
I also told her to leave any names and decorative toppers to me, as I had some flags and banners I had made to go on top. The bigger cake’s banner said “Josey.”
The smaller cake had a flag with Jo’s monogram on it.
The only disappointing thing about it to me was that the larger cake was on a really large, square board. We had to put it on a huge (wedding sized) cake stand in order for it to fit, and it made the cake look really small, even though it wasn’t.
I had hoped for the cake to be the centerpiece of the table, and it looked a little lost on that big cake stand. I really recommend this bakery, but I would suggest someone request the cake fit on the stand they had in mind when ordering.
In the foyer, my dad was a champ and got out a huge ladder, climbed it, and hung big pom poms (homemade, except for the dark yellow one which was Hobby Lobby) and parasols (Hobby Lobby) from their chandelier as I instructed from below with help from my mom. They let me completely take over their house for this party!
You can also see in the picture above that there is a yellow garland strung along the banister upstairs. I made that with cupcake liners in various shades of yellow and white.
When guests entered the foyer, there was a sign-in photo book that I made with a freebie code at Shutterfly.com. It had pictures of Josey from two weeks to eleven months.
There was also a pom pom to tie in the yellow, and a frame with a little poem asking guests to leave Josey a sweet note.
In the kitchen, there was a simple yellow table cloth on the table and a pom pom hanging from the chandelier so guests would know that was a place they were welcome to sit and eat.
I also had set out another frame with a poem reminding guests to take a treat box home with them. I had made a box for each family.
Inside each box was a cd I had burned with a copy of “Little Miss Sunshine’s Party Mix” wrapped in white and tied up in yellow tulle. We had played the cd over ceiling speakers during the party.
There was also a goody bag for each person in the family, filled with yellow and gold wrapped candy, chocolate, and gum.
I got the kraft boxes off Amazon. I ordered a bulk shipment of them, because I want to do that kind of packaging for my photography business as well, and I really enjoyed putting a small thank you together for each family at Josey’s party.
But the best part of the party was the joy we had in celebrating our sweet girl with family. She and I snuck in one picture before everyone arrived. (Of course, she had her wubbanub in the picture too!)
Josey had a blast! She had fun opening presents, getting into everything she wasn’t supposed to, and having all the attention, especially from her cousins.
We also loved watching her get into her smash cake. She had never had any dessert before, except for a few cookies that are low sugar and made for toddlers.
Suddenly we’re giving her cake covered in two inches of icing! She was dainty with it at first, but then she really got into the spirit of it and chowed down. Thankfully, we had laid out a sheet under her high chair.
Somehow, she managed to get it all the way down her leg! I had to snap a picture of her iced body and bulging belly!
And everyone else wanted a picture too! (I was trying to get her to really go for it- this was earlier in the cake-eating process.)
Thanks to everyone who was a part of celebrating Josey- whether at the party or by sending her sweet birthday wishes in the mail and/or online. We love our sweet girl and are so grateful for friends and family who love her as well!