Violet’s First Birthday

Last week we celebrated Violet’s first birthday with a garden party on an unusually hot day. We wanted to balance it out so it was enjoyable for parents and singles, so we set up “stations” with a dessert table, a savory table, a kiddie pool, bocce ball and–as is always a focus in a British household–soccer on the TV in the living room for anyone who wanted to watch the Euros and escape the heat. Though Violet will most likely not remember a second of the party, it was really nice to have a big fête and celebrate our first year together. Plus, she had a ball playing with the other kids, getting sprayed by the sprinklers and having “Happy Birthday” sung to her by 30+ people.

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I started the planning early for the party, making tissue poms to hang in the trees (ridiculously easy and cheap to do on your own, just follow this Martha Stewart DIY), painting polka dots on a strip of white cloth, and making a simple banner out of felt, string, a hot glue gun and fabric scraps. But overall I kept the party pretty simple, just focusing on playing up the color scheme of dark pink, orange and yellow (I wanted to stay away from the obvious purple and Vi is too young to like anything specific like Curious George). It helped that my mom brought over a ton of different flowers, which spruced up and brightened all of the tabletops.

The hardest part was probably the cake, a tri-color, lemon & raspberry flavored wonder which tasted and looked amazing when done but was a serious challenge for my lovely sister Nyla, who had to deal with a goofy oven and frosting that kept melting. I am not a baker, nor do I wish to be, but I am very lucky to have sisters who are!

The highlight of the party was seeing Violet get so excited by the decorations, the colors, the faces and finally the soothing cool sprinklers at the end of a very hot day.

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