Sunday, May 22, 2011

1st Birthday Extravaganza Weekend!

Wow! This weekend has been a crazy whirlwind of 1st Birthdays! Our youngest daughter turned the big O-N-E so we had her party Saturday afternoon. I started the party preps on Friday afternoon with baking 3 dozen cupcakes and a heart shaped cake for Abby, washing out coolers, making sure the floors were spotless for the babies to crawl around on (and cleaning the rest of the house!) plus setting up some of the decorations like the Kids' table. In between all of that, while the Birthday Girl was awake, we played with her toys and had fun trying to get some cute 1st Birthday pictures.

The morning of the party I was up bright and early getting my BBQ into the slow cookers.

And decorating the cupcakes, slicing veggies, and making my black bean dip. I will post the bean dip recipe in another post.
I was in a bit of a rush because our oldest daughter also had her last soccer game of the season at noon.

Go Marlins!!

The party theme was African animals- since that is her nursery theme too. We were originally going to do a South African Braai- or cookout to fit the theme with the animals, but the menu planned to be too time consuming and very expensive for the number of people coming. Instead we decided to switch gears and have food that would easily feed a large crowd. Our menu ended up being:

My homemade Pulled Pork BBQ
My Curried Chicken Wings
Brats on the grill
Pasta Salad (Mom brought it)
Baked Beans (Again, thanks Mom!)
Fresh sliced watermelon and pineapple
Homemade Black Bean Dip with chips (Recipe will be posted)
Salsa and Guacamole ( both store bought because it was just easier) with chips
Fresh veggie platter with Ranch dressing- I was going to make my roasted red pepper pesto dip, but it has walnuts in it and one of our guests has a deadly allergy to nuts. So I opted for Ranch at the last minute instead and just stayed away from it.
I intended to blog the Curried Chicken Wing recipe but I actually did not have a chance to get pictures of the finished product. I will redo that recipe and share it soon. In fact, I didn't get any pictures of the food at all! I meant to, but visiting with friends and family was far more important than trying to get pictures. Maybe someone got some pictures and is willing to share them.

For drinks we had coolers with Pepsi, Sprite, and Capri Sun waters, 2 gallons of sweet tea, a glass drink dispenser with lemonade, a mini keg of Heineken, and a couple bottles of wine- white and red.

The cupcakes were chocolate with vanilla frosting. We had 13 kids at our party, and I figured that cupcakes would be easier. I made Abby's cake as well. It turns out she LOVES vanilla frosting!

I wanted the decorations to be African animals, but I also wanted to incorporate the 1st Birthday decorations as well. So I decided to do that by decorating a kids' table with their goody bags, a bowl of animal crackers ( which they LOVED!), their cups that matched the theme, and the nugget platter from Chick-fil-A that I got for them.

On the main table I put some 1st Birthday decorations, but I forgot to get a picture of it.

We had so many great friends make long trips to come celebrate with us.
This is my friend Beth- we've been friends since we were in college. Between us we have 5 kids- she has two boys who are so sweet! We live 2 hours apart from each other, and have not been able to see each other often. But she's one of those awesome friends that no matter how much time passes, it's like no time has passed at all.

Abby's Uncle Ed, her Godfather, made the trip from Charlottesville for the day.

So many other very important people helped to make the day very special for Abigayle- old and new friends who are all very important to us. And some were not able to make it and were definitely missed! Somehow I did not get one picture of Abby with either set of grandparents, or a family picture. We were just too busy having a great time!

We ended the day around the firepit roasting marshmallows. The party ended at about 9pm- that's when the last guests left.

The next morning we were up bright and early so we could take advantage of the beautiful weather and take the boat out for a ride.
My husband was very excited to finally get to take it out.

It was a bit warm, but Abby did like the breeze in her face, and as soon as she got some juice she was much happier.

The bigger girls enjoyed it too, but they did not enjoy their life jackets. Too bad- safety first! However, they did enjoy sitting with Grandpa.

We capped off our fabulous weekend with another 1st Birthday Party Sunday afternoon- for a little girl born 1 hour before Abby! They have become fast friends and loved getting to play together all weekend.

We had an absolutely fabulous weekend- huge thanks to everyone who shared it with us!


  1. Love your cupcake decorations, so cute! Send my belated birthday wishes to Abby (who is also incredibly adorable, by the way)!

  2. Thanks so much! I am sorry it took me so long to respond- I posted 3 comments and Blogger wouldn't post them! But I wanted to say thank you for the compliments- and THANK YOU for reading my blog! Happy Cooking!