Last Saturday we celebrated Olivia's 1st Birthday, a week early, by hosting a birthday party at our house all afternoon with friends & family. I wanted to throw a party for her before her actual birthday, because it was important to me that we spend it just the 3 of us on Friday, May 23. The day she came into this world was so special and emotional for both Dustin and I, and I am looking forward to celebrating her life just intimately together as a little family, eating banana cupcakes and giving Olivia her special "big" gift from us -- her handmade custom quilt. Then on Sunday night, we will celebrate again with my immediate family. I'll be baking up my favorite chocolate cake, fresh whipped cream & of course we'll be grilling out and [hopefully] eating outside! Lots of celebration going on and I couldn't love it more!
Olivia's birthday invitation sported a beautiful peacock wearing a gold crown and that was the basis of which I planned the color scheme -- I wanted to incorporate gold, teal & shades of green as well as natural earthy & rustic elements -- like flowers, succulents, kraft paper & twine.
I chose a garland that highlighted classic tones of gold, black, cream & white. Not only did it add flair to her party, but because it isn't color-specific, I'll be able to use it again (score!) // Available here
As soon as I spotted the adorable party hat on Etsy, I knew that would be the one she would wear for cake photos. How can you beat a gold hat with a "1" and gold pom on top? Seriously, I will keep this hat forever // Available here
I ordered some fun straws in the color theme to serve at our drink station & made her high-chair banner myself. I love gettin' crafty and anytime I'm given the opportunity, I dive in! I also picked up some wildflower-inspired bouquets from Trader Joe's to spread throughout the house, as well as a baby orchid for Olivia and some succulents [because really, succulents are my favorite].
The party started at 2pm and began with eating and lots of it! One of my go-to ways to serve food at a party or shower is by setting up a taco bar. I prepare grass-fed beef the morning of the party and it can sit hot in a crock pot all afternoon. It takes so much work out of it [during the party] and allows guests to eat what they want, when they want. I set out taco shells and lettuce, so guests can build their own tacos or make a taco salad. They can customize it with all different toppings -- cheese, olives, various salsas, beans, sour cream, etc. Then I offer 2-3 types of chips -- some form of blue or yellow corn chips, doritos, and sweet potato chips [just incase anyone is doing the WHOLE30 while they're at the party!] Food is often a big part of a party and having a wide variety where guests can make their meal their own is always my game plan.
Olivia wore a classy white eyelet dress and I jazzed it up with one of my all-time favorite accessory sets in her wardrobe -- a glitter tie collar & matching miniature crown [available here] // She wore those all day and then we put her party hat on when it came time for cake!
Alongside the taco bar, I served homemade fruit cups. Fruit can be really expensive, especially when you are buying it for 20+ people. I came up with a creative [& beautiful] way to serve fruit for Via's party that I knew would be a hit. I purchased gold cupcake liners from a craft supply store and filled them each with a few pieces of fruit -- strawberries, raspberries & pineapple. You could really use any fruit that is in season and looks fresh and delicious! It was perfect -- guests could grab a fruit cup and enjoy it, without getting filled up on fruit and leaving no room for cake [but really, there is always room for cake] AND it kept me from having to spend all my food budget on fresh fruit.
For cake, we got Olivia a miniature 5'' toasted almond cake from a local bakery. I loved how rustic it looked with the sliced almonds covering the sides and knew it would be perfect with a single gold candle in it. Playing off the peacock & bird theme, I found a vintage birdcage to set her cake in for photos & I love how it turned out!
I love incorporating antique pieces into decor for parties, because it not only allows for great photos but it provides guests with something out of the ordinary to enjoy.
We also served two other cakes -- a homemade carrot cake that is "my specialty" as my family calls it [recipe available here], and a German chocolate cake from the best bakery in the midwest [but seriously]. I put a single gold candle in each and was so delighted with how classic and simple they looked.
I kept it simple with balloons & just chose a large gold "1" and a few stars [black, white & cream] to match her garland. I added in two polka dot balloons because polka dots are so playful, just like Olivia.
For decor around the house, I also wanted to keep it really basic. I love finding easy ways to dress up our home that require a little creativity but minimal work. In addition to the tassel garland & balloons, I made three photo banners with twine, miniature clothes pins & all my favorite photos of Olivia from birth. I hung a large one on our antique hutch in the living room [the main area for the party] and then I hung smaller ones in the kitchen and in the dining room. So many people -- especially family members -- commented on how much fun it was to see all the photos and it was so special for me to reminisce all the memories we made when those photos were being taken.
Another special piece of Olivia's party was her Wishing Tree -- a small tree where guests could write a birthday wish for Olivia on a kraft tag & hang it up.
I found the adorable tree at a local boutique I used to work at and then added rustic twine to kraft paper tags. I made a small sign to match her garland that read:
"V's Wishing Tree
Please take a tag & leave a wish
Then hang it on the tree
A prayer, a thought, a special note
For Miss Olivia Bea"
I also had written a special note to Olivia sharing Our Wish for her that tied in with the peacock & bird theme and I had it laying next to the wishing tree for guests to read.
It was a great way for guests to share something special in honor of her 1st Birthday and it was so much fun for us to sit down afterward and read them aloud to her. I plan to write Olivia a special wish every year for her birthday in a new book or journal. The first journal I am giving her [on Friday] is so beautiful and I can't wait to share it with you on here next week in her Birthday Gifts post!
Over the course of the afternoon, we enjoyed great food, awesome fellowship & loved celebrating Olivia and her sweet soul. She enjoyed pulling all the tissue paper out of her presents and ripping the wrapping paper as I sat and read her each card. After presents, it was time for cake!
She was quite unsure what to think when it was time for her cake, and even squinted when I brought out her lit candle and we sang to her. It was so sweet.
She was just as dainty as I imagined her to be, just barely dipping a finger in the frosting and staring at it for quite awhile before doing much of anything. The most she did was place her hand in the cake calmly, and then when she realized she had a wealth of almond frosting at her fingertips, she made her move.
I think she loves almond as much as her Mama! I can't wait to make almond bars & almond pound cake with her this fall when she's a little older.
We were blessed with a beautiful day of sunshine and lots of laughter, celebrating our sweetheart and the joy she has brought to our life so far! I am one proud Mama to call this baby girl my own.
It was so much fun to put together this Peacock 1st Birthday Party and I can't wait to continue celebrating all week & weekend long with my baby girl! Xo.