P is for Party

I was pretty giddy the weeks leading up to Henry's 1st birthday. Beyond the obvious occasion of celebrating one year of his marvelous existence, I was excited to throw a good party. I knew that Henry wouldn't remember the day at all, but I wanted a celebration for me and Rama and our family, too. A celebration that said, "We did it! We were parents for one whole year and we did an awesome job!" A celebration that also said, "Thanks for being part of our son's life!"

Inspired by this party and using my current favorite palette of red & aqua, I went to town planning an alphabet and flash-card themed bash. To keep things simple, we opted for a menu of pizza, salads, snacks and cakes (yes, plural). Then, I designed a few pretty touches to make it special, starting with the above invitations. Rama illustrated our son's adorable mug for the cards. He is king of portraits and can capture anyone's likeness.

Since most of our guests were adults and babies, our party favors were something people of all ages could enjoy. I baked lemon cookies, put a few in glassine bags adorned with "C is for Cookie" labels and sealed them with some Japanese masking tape.

I am a sucker for gift wrapping. I scored this aqua wrapping paper for 99 cents at Party City. I made the "H is for happy" tag and found the red ribbon in my stash.

I made a birthday banner and tacked it to a nearby tree. In addition to the party favors, we provided bubbles and sidewalk chalk for the young and young at heart.

Our cake was the best, lightest, fluffiest mango cake from Red Ribbon, a Filipino bakery. It has become a family tradition that my parents bring it to our shindigs. Note the imprint from the birthday boy's little hand and the robot topper gifted from our friends at Giant Robot. Too cute.

I also hired our friend Emilyn Chin to bake some mini cupcakes. Her talents fill the void of the late, great Leda's Bakery that was my favorite in LA until they closed early last year. The cupcakes are white cake filled with lemon curd and topped with buttercream frosting, and yes, they are as yummy as they are pretty.

Henry wasn't sure about all the fuss at first, but I think it's safe to say he did end up having a blast.

It was a hot, hot day, but as the sun set, we were blessed with some shade and a little breeze.

We did it!

Lastly, I crafted "lucky duck" thank you notes to match. The little duck illustration is by me. The last cupcake was eaten by me, too!

Photo of our family and cake-covered Henry and me by Stacy de la Rosa. All other photos by yours truly.