Monday, September 10, 2012

Our Little Guy's First Birthday Party

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The dessert spread...strawberry with homemade pound cake, funfettie and devils food cupcakes with butter cream frosting, no bake nutella oreo cheesecakes, gluten/dairy free brownies, two kinds of macarons, monster cookie dough truffles, and on the very left, pie crust fries. 
  Well, the day finally came.  Our youngest son's 1st birthday party!  I went ALL out for our older son's thrid birthday party, which you can see here.  That was only a month ago, and I was still exhausted from that one, so I decided to scale back and just do a dessert party.  If you haven't figured it out already, I love making desserts.  I had a list a mile long of ideas.  What you see in these pictures has been pared down from a much longer list than what it started, and things I had every intention of making got cut from the menu even up to that day, once I started putting out the food, seemed like it would be too much.  I was right.  Just for kicks, I was going to have caramel popcorn, then downgraded that to buttered popcorn, then dropped it all together.  I was also going to do chocolate and caramel dipped hard pretzels, those didn't make the cut either.  It was good though, there was a ton as it was.

The first thing I need to do is give a huge thanks to Larry Berger Photography for the incredible photos taken at the party, I am so thankful to have a photographer as a father! (As are his non photo-shy grand kids).

Secondly, I am not in any way creative, and all the cute signs and printables were the Little Peanut the Elephant Customized Printables package from.  Fantastic product, wonderful customer service, and they have hundreds of party package designs. I couldn't find the shop on Etsy at the moment, but the link goes to their blog.

These cute little swirly suckers I got from the Oriental Trading Company, and added some of the printable labels from the Dimpleprints pack.  Absolutely perfect for the theme.

Labels from Dimpleprints, lollypops from Oriental Trading Company
As with any party, the food is the biggest attraction, second to our birthday boy.  Below are some of the most insanely delicious and uber chocolatey fudgy brownies I have ever had.  Not only that, but they were gluten and dairy free!  We had several family members with dietary restrictions, and I think I can happily say, that with these, they did not feel like they were missing out on anything, because they were insanely delicious!  I will be doing a recipe post on these later, but the recipe was from Katrina over at Gluten Free Godess.  I will never make regular brownies again.

The lovely green and orange gems pictured below are my Andes mints macarons (green) and my boysenberry jam filled macarons (orange).  The orange ones also worked great for those on a gluten or dairy restrictive diet. 

These are my go to favorite for those that don't have much of a sweet tooth, like my husband.  Of course, I covered half of them in cinnamon sugar, but these are homemade soft buttered pretzels with either salt or cinnamon sugar topping. Went great with the circus theme too!

In the back of the picture you can see a container on the left with little wrapped candies, those are my peppermint salt water taffy's I made as well.

Here is a drool worthy close up of the cinnamon sugar pretzels...I won't lie, was I pretty proud of how they came out.

 Here we have a dessert for the non chocolate lovers--homemade pound cake (King Arthur Flour inspired)    with fresh strawberries and whipped cream.  I think it is one of my new favorite desserts.  Simple, light, refreshing, and just yummy.

I love nutella, I had to have a nutella dessert, and in fact, I had several.  I worked very hard though to whittle it down to one.  I decided on this no bake nutella oreo cheesecake cup.  It was slightly adapted from My Baking Addiction's  No Bake Nutella Cheesecake recipe. If you like nutella, or cheesecake, or oreos...this is your dessert!  My husband isn't a big fan of any of those things, and he was just loving these to pieces!

I adore King Arthur Flour's website, blog, recipes, and products.  I follow them on Facebook and was fortunate enough to see a post a few weeks ago about Pie Crust Fries.  I saw that and I immediately put those on my list of things to make for the party.  I mean really, how cute is this??  Covered in cinnamon and sugar, put in fry containers I got on the Oriental Trading Company's site, and with labels from Dimpleprints. 

We had so much (even after cutting back and not making everything), that I got to send everyone home with to-go containers (yes, I have a pack of take out containers from Sam's just for this reason) full of goodies.  I love being able to share the foodie love.  And...I do not need to be left alone with all these goodies!  That would be so bad for the diet....

Now, on the the highlight of the party.  Our photo booth!  I was good, I didn't plan any silly games, or much of anything at all, but the one thing I had to have was a "photo booth."  I decorated an area in our house, bought some silly mustache props and some clown noses, and made (yes, you can ask, I made them do it) everyone take a turn taking some funny pictures.  I am so glad that I did, because they are absolutely priceless!!!  I am going to be polite and only post pictures of us, but let me tell you, every photo of every guest was just fantastic and priceless!

This is my wonderful husband, and our rambunctious but darling three year old.  He wears that clown nose and funny glasses with just a little too much ease :)

**Note--After discussions with my husband as to whether or not our kids should be pictured on the blog, we decided we would, but I have removed any personal information from the pictures for safety reasons, so if there is an area in a picture that looks a bit funny, it is because of my poor photo shopping job, and in no way the photographer's doing.**

This would be me and my hunny doing our photo booth photo.  Can't make everyone else do it if I refused to, right?  I am a good sport like that.  The background for the photo both is just tablecloths cut lengthwise and strung from our chandelier to the wall.  The banner is another great printable from the party pack from Dimpleprints.

Must have one of the whole family!  The birthday boy was more interested in eating the mustache than wearing it, but what do you expect? 

Since we did a photo shoot last week for the birthday boy, in which I made a two layer cake with butter cream frosting for him to destroy in his pictures, I decided to cheap out on it for the party.  I just took a cupcake and covered it in whipped cream.  I figured it would be an easier mess to clean up.  I think he knew that he got cheated, he wasn't very in to making any mess.  Good for me, bad for the photo ops.  Thank goodness for that photo shoot the week before!  Mess or not, he was still a very happy little guy with his cupcake.

The hardest part of the party was trying to convey to our three year old that these presents are not for him, that he can not "help" his brother by opening them all for him, and that the gifts inside are not his, but his brother's.  This is him do his "sad walk."  In other words, he was MAJORLY pouting.  His brother was not particularly concerned about it it seems.  More interested in the hangers.  We are still trying to convince the elder one that these new toys are his brothers and not his...not going well.

Well that was pretty much the party.  Eating, pictures, birthday cake for the birthday boy, and presents.  Short(ish), sweet, and simple (kinda).  I had a blast planning it, loved all the different desserts I got to make, and enjoyed getting to share the big milestone of the youngest having his first birthday with all of our family that came. 


  1. Love the pics - Looks like a fun party :)

  2. Can I come to a party at your house?? Very well done! Amy Atlas inspired no doubt.

  3. Very finely presented, I like your birthday party theme, especially the cookies look delicious.

  4. Wonderful blog post..........

    Thanks you for sharing with us this kind of information.........

    Birthday Party Games for kids

  5. Hi I'm Heather! Please email me when you get a chance, I have a question about your blog! LifesABanquet1(at)


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