Lying in bed the night before Kenzley’s 1st Birthday – and party – I couldn’t help but think about the mile long list of things I still had to do, even though I’d been busily working all day, and week, for that matter. Planning a party really is a lot of work, and can be downright stressful. However, lying there I was also thinking how I wouldn’t change it for the world: the stress, the sleepless nights, the wondering if everything will be ready… it is all worth it. Especially since you’re first daughter only turns 1 once ;)…
Growing up I would always hear “old” people say how fast time goes by. But now, with 2 kids of my own, I could not agree more! It seems like just yesterday I was in the hospital, holding my beautiful baby girl, still in disbelief how fast the whole delivery thing went down (which I will spare you the details and just say that NOT having the Doctor show up in time was definitely not an ideal situation), and how fortunate I am to have such a healthy baby.
And I regress.
Here I am, one year later, with the sweetest little daughter I could ever imagine [and a 3 ½ old that can be like Dr. Jekell and Mr. Hyde]. With her party over, just as fast as it came, I’m happy to say that the day was a success and everyone left full and happy – and maybe a little bit tipsy ;)…
Choosing a Menu:
Since I pride myself on healthy living, with eating being the biggest component of that, there’s no way I can throw a party that isn’t centered around healthy food. With that said, I know most people don’t feel the same way I do about eating nutritiously, so I HAVE to make sure that there are foods that everyone wants, and enjoys, eating.
So, for Kenzley’s 1st Birthday I decided to do a Watermelon theme (since she is as obsessed with them as I am!), and I fixed food that had a sort of beachy, Mexican-vibe going on. The party was at 1pm, so it wasn’t a real mealtime, but I still wanted to make sure those that came hungry had more than enough to eat; all the foods were small enough to snack on, but would definitely fill you up if you ate enough of them.
My menu was as follows:
- Chicken Tacos
- Chipotle Black Bean Dip
- Salsa (which I forgot to put out)
- Mango and Black Bean Quinoa Salad
- Watermelon, Cantaloupe, and Honeydew Bowl
- Triple Berry Salad (with Blueberries, Raspberries and Strawberries)
- Hummus and Veggies
- Pita Chips
- Pop Chips
- Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Homemade Frosting (all made from scratch!)
- Strawberry-Banana Smash Cake with Coconut Frosting (also made from scratch)
- Pina Coladas
- Organic Apple Sauce Squeeze Pouches and Organic Juice Boxes for the littles
Making it Healthy
Since Kaston, Kenzley and I all eat dairy free and gluten free, and so many others have an intolerance to one or the other as well, I wanted to design a menu that literally was ‘safe’ for everyone to eat. I also wanted to make food that complimented each other – because I believe a meal should “flow” and have similar ingredients or themes throughout (and is one of the reasons that Beach/Mexican is one of my go-to’s – as well as the fact that I’m still a California girl at heart :).
I also wanted to have foods that both toddlers and adults would enjoy, since I knew that there were going to be a lot of both. Finally, my husband in particular, wanted to make sure that there were enough “adult drinks” (as I say to Kaston), so that even those without kids felt welcomed to stay awhile – which several of his work friends did! Haha. And I must admit, the Margarita machine, which I also put homemade Pina Coladas into, was a huge success, as was the keg. But that, of course, was no surprise.
I’ll have to admit that besides the fact that my baby girl was turning 1, and we had so many of our friends show up and help celebrate her, my favorite part was how well the Chocolate Chip Cupcakes turned out! Having never completely made cupcakes from scratch before, let alone the frosting, I was a bit nervous to see – and taste – the final product. Especially since I didn’t have a backup plan! Thankfully, they turned out even better than I had hoped and helped to turn those gluten-free and dairy-free skeptics into believers!
Overall, I can definitely say that the day was a success and that even the birthday girl couldn’t have been happier (since she did eat almost her entire cake)!