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  • Writer's pictureSophie Schillaci

Everly's 'You Are My Sunshine' Themed First Birthday Party

Updated: Dec 9, 2019

The Theme:

For Everly's first trip around the sun, we wanted to throw her a sunshine-y fiesta!

"You Are My Sunshine" seemed a fitting theme for our happy girl. When I was very pregnant with her, spending much of my time alone at home, I would sing that song to my belly so that she would know my voice. It was the only lullaby I could remember!

When she was a newborn, I sang it to her so often that I changed the words to make it her song. ("You are my Evie // My only Evie // You make me happy // Everyday...")

In honor of her first birthday in August, we hosted about 30 friends in our backyard for a simple summer celebration with tacos, a margarita bar, and plenty of pink, yellow, green and blue decor. Giving the party more of a broad theme was one way to keep costs down, as I could repurpose many items that I already had from previous showers/events.

See photos of all the details, from the sweets to the decor, below!

And if you're attending a first birthday party anytime soon but aren't sure what to bring, I've compiled a gift guide with trusted brands over on my Amazon page.

Plus, a bottle of wine for mom & dad is always a good idea ;) With a firstborn, it's their "birthday," too!

Of course I obviously hit up Etsy for some customization. I ordered some glittery signage including "Happy 1st Birthday Everly" and "You Are My Sunshine" from GlamCelebration and hung them on our house with tiny, clear Command hooks. (The "One" cake topper is also from GlamCelebration.)

The Sweets:

The treats were mostly homemade. I ordered some gorgeous, custom cookies from a local mama here in Los Angeles (Baker Rhi), but Evie's grandma made her famous lemon bars, I whipped up some carrot cake cupcakes (regular size and minis), and some baby-friendly blueberry flaxseed muffins -- Everly's favorite! She probably ate about 20 of them that day.

Everly's smash cake was also homemade with love. Why? Because I had heard that babies often throw up on their birthdays after binging on sugar for the very first time. Earlier this summer, I gave Everly her first taste of ice cream -- it did not go well. She really went for it and (we both) paid the price all night long with her aching belly.

I certainly wasn't going to deal with that again! So, I found a recipe that called for fruit (banana and peaches) instead of sugar, whole wheat flour and simple cream for the topping. I gave it some color with blueberries and raspberries that I already had in the fridge.

Was it an ugly cake? Yeah, pretty much! But to be honest, I kinda love the charm of that.

I baked her very first cake from scratch and she loved it. And I didn't have to worry about sugar overload. Babies don't know the difference between a delicious or a bland cake, trust me.

(Fun fact: That cake stand is from our wedding!)

The Clothes:

On Everly: Janie & Jack

On Mama: Prose & Poetry (via Rent the Runway)

On Daddy: Literally whatever he felt like pulling out of his closet that morning.

For the Babes:

We had quite a few little ones join the festivities, so I wanted to make sure they were entertained.

First thing's first: the bubble machine. Not only did it keep the babies and bigger kids entranced, it is also incredibly helpful when trying to keep their attention for a photo. Thankfully, bubbles look whimsical when floating around in and out of the frame.

Pro tip: buy extra bubble solution!!! Those machines burn through the suds quick and we definitely ran out. (I did buy individual bubble wands to give out as favors.)

I found a shady spot in the backyard and laid out a large picnic blanket with several of Evie's favorite toys. (Namely, ones that wouldn't be easily destroyed by chewy, drooly babies.) Along the perimeter, I set out several chairs for parents to sit and watch their little ones. Ev's colorful tunnel was a big hit, as was a set of textured sensory blocks.

Along with the blueberry flaxseed muffins, I also made sure to set out plenty of fruit and berries -- cut into small pieces -- for both the babies and adults to munch on. One thing I wish I had done was fill a cooler with fruit and veggie pouches!

One thing to keep in mind is that all the activity can be overwhelming for the little ones. I wasn't sure how Everly would handle so many people wanting to talk to her and hold her, but she did great! She does tend to get clingy with me, especially in group settings, so there were a few times I definitely sensed her gripping my arm a little tighter. And when adults would inevitable ask to hold or hug her, I'd follow her lead on whether she was comfortable leaving my side or not. In many cases, she just wanted to stay put right on my hip -- and I was happy to be her voice and sense of comfort in those moments.

At one point, I tried to set her down in the grass to have a solo portrait taken. She immediately started crying. So, we didn't get that portrait of her -- but we did get a pretty sweet snap anyway.

Photo brought to you by: Bubbles

The Details:

Guests signed a copy of Emily Winfield Martin's beautiful book, "The Wonderful Things You Will Be," for Everly to continue reading as she grows up.

Cactus was a recurring theme throughout the decor. I bought a few faux plants from Michael's, so no little ones would inadvertently stick their fingers on the real thing, and found a ton of cute party gear from Target (of course) -- from paper plates and cups, to a little neon sign and piñata.

For fresh florals, I opted for sunflowers and greenery.

On each table -- which I alternated with baby pink and yellow linens -- I framed a few photos of Everly throughout her first year. It was such an easy centerpiece and so nice to be able to see how much she's already grown.

Cheers to another trip around the sun, baby girl!


Mom Needs Merlot


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