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First Birthday Party

September 06, 2010

First birthday invitation

Rounded corners? Check! Flags sewn on with embroidery string? Check! Several weeks ago, I made and mailed invitations for Rayah's first birthday party. And then all of a sudden, her birthday was here. My baby turned ONE!


I sent Roger to the store for a few bunches of balloons, and nearly cried when he walked in the door. There were balloons, and balloons, and balloons, even more than I had hoped for, in all the exact shades I had envisioned. Proud daddies are THE BEST for going overboard with balloons! The birthday balloon flying high above our mailbox was just for fun, since nearly everyone had been to our house before -- on multiple occasions.

We scheduled the party to start after Rayah's nap, so she'd be fully rested and ready for the big day...but she knew something was going on, and forced herself to stay awake for an hour and a half past her naptime. She finally crashed for about half an hour, and was fashionably late to her own party. I tend to be late nearly everywhere I go, so I'm hoping she isn't taking after Mama at such an early age.

Birthday girl!

From her room, she could hear the music and the voices, and kept looking toward the door expectantly. It was so cute to watch her as she anticipated what was out the door. Just before we opened the door to the living room, she hugged me tightly, like she wasn't sure whether to say "thank you!" or "hold me!" When we finally emerged, SO! MANY! PEOPLE! Rayah clung to me, not sure what to make of it all. We walked around to each grouping of people, and she slowly began to realize "Hey! I know these people!" She'd never seen all her family together at once before - we always get together in small groups - so it took a while to get warmed up. Rayah played with a friend that she had invited, Emma, who is nearly her same age. I think having a little solo time in familiar areas (like her play mat) helped ease her transition.

Cupcake table and bunting flags

I took on a little sewing project, making bunting flags to match the invitations - you can see them in the background in our breakfast area, and I also hung them over the couch in the living room. (I followed the tutorial at JoyfulAbode.com.)

Looking at the cupcakes

I made vanilla/vanilla cupcakes using the recipe from Magnolia Bakery in New York City -- this is my favorite frosting recipe; it's really rich, and sweet, and indulgent, which honestly - if you're going to make frosting, especially frosting on delightfully moist cupcakes, it better be indulgent -- each topped with a red licorice ribbon and colorful candy bunting flags. (I flattened Starburst candies and cut them into triangles for these, but you could use any kind of chewy candy - caramels, Laffy Taffy, fruit roll-ups, etc.) Rayah's cake was topped with a sugar cookie "1", which was frosted with hot pink polka dots. Yummy!

Big Bite! Just after a bite of cake!
After we sang Happy Birthday to Rayah, she wasn't sure what to do. She kept looking around at everyone looking at her, not touching her cupcake. I peeled it for her, then gently smashed her fingers into the icing. She looked at me, surprised, like: "Dude. You just got my fingers dirty." Thhhheeeennnnn she tasted the frosting on her fingers. And she dug in. (So did everyone else. Did I mention the cupcakes were sinfully delicious?)

Favor Tray

Favor Design One Favor Design Two
We had such a great time celebrating with and visiting with our family! Everyone stayed so long we actually ended up ordering pizzas and visiting for a couple hours after the party officially ended. And as a goodbye, Rayah gave out sugar cookie party favors (cookie recipe and frosting recipe from one of my favorite food blogs, i am baker) to everyone who came, with labels that said, "Thank you for making my party so sweet!"

And it was!



Wow, you outdid yourself, Jes! I love the invitations (but then you knew I would -- rounded corners and little sewn flags are my weakness!) and I have had many a religious experience with those cupcakes made from the Magnolia's recipe.

Happy First Birthday, Rayah!


Sounds perfect. I want to do something like this year next for Ian.


Favorites: 1. the 2nd picture of Rayah eating cake where she looks just like you 2. Rayah's pink bow, necklace, and tutu and 3. the round tags saying "thank you for making my party so sweet". Although I am upset that I am now craving rich, sweet, and indulgent cupcake frosting.
Glad Rayah's first birthday was a success!


WOW Jes, when I saw 26 comments I figured there was some intense convo about birthday decorations, instead you hit the spam jackpot.

As far as the party, it looks perfect, which is exactly what I would expect from you. Fun, creative, yummy, and everything that Rayah can look forward to every year. She is one cutie and I love the pick of her smile with cake and icing smushed all over her face.


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