Not My First Rodeo: Throwing a Second First Birthday Party


My youngest turned one last month. She’s our second baby, a girl, and our sweet sunshine which lent itself well to the theme of her party: “you are my sunshine.” At the outset, I intended to go all the way with this precious theme. I mean, I’m a stay-at-home mom, which basically means I’m the next Martha Stewart with a little Baby Whisperer thrown in for good measure. I should be able to rock a birthday.

Being that I went all out for big brother’s first birthday, I felt a lot of pressure to go big or go home for little sister’s. I mean, how is that line of questioning going to go when she’s older and looking through pictures if hers was “less than”?  And who is likely to care more about these things when they are older–a girl or a boy? A GIRL. I know this because I am one.

What I continually forget during this SAHM gig is that I have far less time to do syrupy sweet crafty things than I ever think I do. Even though I planned things out far ahead of time, in the months of January and February, either someone was sick and needed holding (or cleaning up after), or the weather was bad for dragging kids around town running errands. And my favorite craft store doesn’t have the right buggies for hauling around two kids who BOTH need a spot in there.  #preschoolmomprobs

Ultimately I ended up prioritizing the same items I did for my wedding, which if you’ve read Carly’s great post on first birthdays, this will seem slightly ridiculous, but I was a fairly low maintenance bride–I think–so it’s a good thing, I promise.

I cared about three things: the cake, the dress, and the groom, which for the sake of a baby’s birthday party, we will substitute the gift!  As long as these three things were taken care of, the rest was just “icing on the cake.”


The cake: Both the smash cake and regular cake came from Blue Bonnet Bakery. This is a longtime Fort Worth bakery that is celebrating its 80th birthday this year. Blue Bonnet’s cakes are wonderful–light and fluffy, yet still delicious with buttercream frosting. Since we took up residence in Fort Worth, this has been my go-to place for birthday cake. In fact, I wish I had a big ol’ slice of cold cake from there right now.

The dress: Sister had a custom-made knot dress made just for the occasion. And yes, it was made to match her invitations. Her beautiful monogram on the front completed the look.  The yellow and pink was sunshine perfection to me!

The gift: I searched high and low on the world wide web for neat ideas for a baby girl’s first birthday gift. We gave our son a sand and water table for his, but between the two of their birthdays and Christmas, we have so many toys that I decided on a keepsake for little sister. We started a James Avery charm bracelet for her, with a sweet little birthday cake charm. (This also gave way for my parents to give her a jewelry box. Very precious!) It will be many years before she wears it, but I love that we can already start adding memories to it.

As a result, I think we gave her a first birthday celebration that we’ll all look back on with happiness.  The menu was made of recipes I was comfortable making. The decorations were pretty, but not over the top. I did a picture timeline of her first year. There were flowers! It was filled with joy and love, and she was surrounded by those who have supported us through her first sweet year of life. I didn’t sweat the small stuff, and the day of celebrating our sweetie was perfection!

Your turn; share your first birthday party stories! What was your most successful party idea?


  1. My charm bracelet is one of my favorite possessions….right behind wedding ring and sleep guard for tmj- haha. Good job, mama! I love baking so we make our own cakes…but I LOVE bb bakery. So yummy!

  2. Love this post! I’ve been thinking about some kind of “sunshine” party for Nina because we have leftover red and yellow decorations from Catherine’s Curious George party. I didn’t realize it’s going to be a little tough to come up with two girls’ party themes every year!
    And now I want a piece of cake from Blue Bonnet Bakery, too! YUM.

  3. I LOVE the idea of picking what is most important! At my wedding my “most important things” were having my family there, it being convenient for everyone getting there and it being fairly low key. Unlike many I really wasn’t into dress shopping and am not a sweets eater so the cake was on the bottom of my list! HAHA. Funny how that was reflected in my daughter’s 1st party were we just had family, had it at breakfast time so it was easy for most people to make it but not take up the whole day and nothing over the top. I think keeping PRIORITIES(of what is important to you) in check is the BEST idea!!

    UM….monogram cake!?!??!! LOVE IT. So perfectly sweet!

  4. I should clarify that this post was about the picky party details like decor and craftiness. I knew our family would show up–they always do–which is one thing I’m so glad I can always count on!


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