Thursday, 13 February 2014

'you are my sunshine' // a very sunny first birthday party for miles

It was time to celebrate little Miles' first birthday.

We always like to go big on our babies' first birthday. Sure, they won't remember it but they can enjoy the photos one day and see how celebrated they were ;) We kind of see first birthdays as a very special milestone and a time to thank, party with and also celebrate all the lovely friends and family who are part of our children's lives, who support us through that first year and beyond. How grateful we are for our community. 

We threw open the doors and welcomed that community into our home for a bit of a birthday shindig. We somehow ended up with over 55 people at our place for lunch ;) It was a beautiful, chaotic, people-filled celebration day. Loved it. Love nothing more than filling our house with special people from different parts of our lives. Love that magic moment when I'm buzzing around, then glance up as I pull trays from the oven or refresh platters, and seeing different groups of people I love - chatting, mixing, hanging out, and hopefully enjoying the party! It feels like such a blessing to bless them. I know it's a lot of work to get to that point but man... I just love that moment. My happy place.

After a busy Christmas, then travelling to Challenge and Sydney and having house guests too, I was pretty late with getting started on organising this little shindig (like, only about a fortnight before!!!!). So I was definitely not as pre-planned and organised as I like to be, and as I was for Lily's party. In light of that, I tried to keep it simple, manageable and just did what I could in the time that I had. 

As Miles is Summer baby and pretty much the most sunshiney kid I ever saw in my life, I first decided I wanted to make him a sunshine birthday cake. I was all like 'This ain't no Pinterest party!!' but somehow after deciding on the cake, I decided on a yellow colour scheme too, then thought I might as well try to choose 'sunshine' coloured foods and well.... you know how it goes ;) It was pretty darn sunshiney, haha. Not Pinterest worthy, but just very yellow!! I had a lot of fun putting it all together (maybe it's a sickness??) and hey, I get a few year's break now till the next party!

And so.... here 'tis a whooole lotta photos. Many kindly taken by my darling friend Amber, who volunteered to snap some, knowing I would be busy enough keeping the hordes fed and watered :) 

My friends rock. Seriously, I'm so grateful. My lovely friend Bel generously offered to come help the day before, and so even with four kids running around we somehow managed to make and bake a mountain of food. So fun to do it together! Here I'm about to ice the cake!!

So, I had in mind a 'Sunshine Cake' for my boy who is pure sunshine. I took to my friend Pinterest and trawled around for inspiration. Everything pinned was either was some fondant masterpiece (tooooo tricky/stressful/beyond me and I wanted yummy buttercream anyway) or just a bit too 'cheesy' for my taste. I had a concept in mind (of a sun with rays coming out across the cakeboard) but couldn't find anything similar to see how it would look. I was nervous to design from scratch! But then I came across some free 'cupcake topper' printables and that sparked the idea of adding them in too. Thanks to Amber's handy laminator, I ended up with this creation. Pretty simple, nothing fondant or very fancy but I was happy to see my vision come to life :) 

He really does make any gray day so much brighter!

On the front door... getting the theme started :)
I make a banner for each of my kids for their first birthday - printed and laminated. Each year they get it pinned up
for their birthdays :) You can't see the yellow design very well here but it's little sun burst type things :)

The table starting to fill with goodies. It made it easier to come up with food ideas once I got inspired by the colour theme!

I have been dying to make these for ages - cupcakes baked inside ice cream cones!
Yup, as easy as that. Soooo cute, fun to ice and the kids LOVED THEM. Much
easier/neater to eat too ;) We put sprinkles in the cupcake mixture too, for an added
fun surprise. 

Something a little more grown up!
The 'rays of sunshine' were a big hit with kids and adults alike ;) Breadsticks
dipped in melted white chocolate and rolled in sprinkles. Easy and delish!

In the middle (bit blurry, sorry) are marshmallow pops - sticks with marshmallows stuck on, dipped in white choc and sprinkles too! Again - easy and delish.

A little 'mix your own punch' bar

Lily wanted to help decorate for the party, and worked hard for several days drawing about 25 pictures to make a banner!

Miles was a little stunned to wake up to a house full of people :)
He soon got into the party spirit!

With so many kids and adults roaming around, I really wanted to have some kind of *easy*, relaxed and fun little art or craft project for people to do. A group project can break the ice, gives people something to chat about and focus on and keeps hands busy. I also loved the idea of a group project of something for Miles that he could have as a keepsake of this day. I had a bunch of fabric pastels and markers, and came up with the concept of everyone decorating a quilt/doona cover for him!! Of course, finding a plain white doona cover proved impossible, so I ended up getting two white single bed sheets. Going to (eventually!) sew three sides together and (as I'm not a sewer!!) use velcro strips to enclose the end. Love the thought of giving this to Miles when he is old enough for his 'big boy bed' and telling him it was made for him at his first birthday party by all his friends and family :)

I simply tossed one sheet over the outside table, with the pens and pastels on top.... and everyone let loose!! There was a steady stream of people gathered around through the party which was just lovely - I think the adults got even more into it than the kids ;) Everyone was having fun drawing, writing messages, decorating patterns, whatever they felt like! I loved that there was plenty of space to get creative so I didn't have to 'police' the project, and people did some beautiful and fun stuff. A really special gift from many special hands and hearts :)

A precious artwork from young Finn!

Both sheets got filled with all manner of messages and murals!

A bunch of babies digging through the toy basket outside. Miles hangin' with his peeps ;)

Reading out a long list of thank yous - so many lovely friends helped to make the day so special. Mark then led a beautiful prayer of blessing for our sweet Miles. We have never done Baby Blessings or Naming Days etc, but kinda felt like the right time to publicly ask God to bless this boy and guide us as we raise him. And thank our entire community who was there for playing their part in that too. So grateful for everyone!

He was more entranced with the many kids gathered around singing than the cake itself ;)

'oooh, for me??'

His first sweet treat ever... a birthday cupcake cone.
Yeah, he knew what to do ;) Dug right in!!

'Mum, are you sure this is allowed??'

'Ooh, ok, I could get used to this!'

'You would tell me if I had icing on my face, right?'

'I have no use for this cone, gimme more icing!!!'

'I loooooooooooove cake'


'I think I need to just breathe into this party hat to calm down'

Yup, it was a pretty awesome day! 

Happy Birthday, darling Miles. We loved celebrating you! xx


  1. Gorgeous! Happy (belated) Birthday little man. What a sweet, special day you had

  2. What a fab party theme!
    And so many gorgeous photos!

  3. Oh Kate you are the best storyteller!! I wanted to keep reading! Love the 'cake series' at the end - he certainly enjoyed that cupcake cone!!
    Such a beautiful day and what a wonderful thing to be able to pray for your gorgeous boy's future in front of all those special people xxx

    1. ahhh that is the best compliment, thank you so much :) xx


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