My sweet baby boy turned 1 this weekend! I knew I could have let the day pass unnoticed because, as many pointed out, my son wouldn’t know the difference. I knew I could have also made life easy by just choosing a theme that is currently popular, such as the new digital Mickey Mouse, which is annoyingly plastered all over every piece of clothing, accessory, and sock like Santa Claus in December. But honestly, my one year old has no idea what a cartoon is at this point and doesn’t give a flying Cheerio about popular tv characters (yet). Storybooks are where it’s at in our house. Screw the party stores and their trendy themes, our party would star a character whose been teaching friendship and kindness to even the youngest kiddos since the 1920s, Winnie The Pooh.
The birthday festivities began with a cake smash photo session. I actually made three cakes in preparation for the day. The first cake, promoted on Pinterest as a “Babies First Birthday Cake” recipe, was a disaster. It tasted like whole wheat bread with melted whipped cream! This cake was dense, and since I was looking for a smash cake rather than a paperweight, I quickly realized a healthy imposter would not cut it. I wanted his first cake experience to be light and fluffy and assault his tastebuds with the pure joy that is sugar, but hopefully not send him bouncing off the walls. I ultimately decided to make this strawberry cake and divided the recommended amount of butter and sugar by half. The results were delicious and there was no question that my son fully enjoyed his first cake experience.Photo courtesy of Journey Photography
My husband and I searched long and hard to find Winnie The Pooh decor for my son’s birthday. It’s interesting how right now Mickey Mouse, Sesame Street, and Frozen have been deemed popular and therefore every store is carrying the same exact party decor for these three themes. It makes it difficult to choose anything else, but I was determined to not let the retail industry dictate our party theme. Ultimately, we ended up finding random Winnie The Pooh items at an antique store, on Amazon, and at Hallmark. The items we could not find, we made ourselves.
I went back and fourth on what to do for the party cake. Initially I wanted to purchase a beautiful Winnie The Pooh cake I saw posted and reposted all over Pinterest. Can you believe, I got a quote from several bakeries, and it would have cost somewhere around $200-318 for 25 people!? For a baby’s birthday cake! Call me crazy, but I don’t believe a one year old needs $200 cake. Ultimately, I ended up making the baby a healthy blueberry banana bread cupcake with cream cheese frosting and purchasing a fancier cake from the local grocery store. I’ve always thought sheet cakes look and taste like spray paint and sugar, so I went with one of the round flowery cakes for $15, stuck a few sugar bees on, and voila!
I’m not sure the photos taken on my phone can truly convey the way this party came together, but it was certainly a winning mom moment for me – a beautiful homemade birthday party, Piglet punch, and my little boy in all his glory. It even provided a temporary distraction from the fact that my sweet little baby was turning a year old!