Sunday, June 12, 2011

First Birthday

Our Granddaughter's first birthday was a few weeks ago, we collectively decided that the celebration needed to be memorable. For anyone who reads my blog on a regular basis you know that we are searching for a new and perfect  house...... and space is at a premium in the place we currently reside in.

So the hunt began months ago for a great venue to hold the party. We didn't want to just land the event at a restaurant, and our search for a preferred venue with charm and character began. After a lengthy pursuit for the perfect spot we booked a historical house called Cawthra Estate.

Originally built in 1926, the Georgian-colonial style house is nestled in a protected wooded area. The charm of the house was exactly what we wanted to make our guests feel 'at home', and it is even complete with it's own resident ghost.

My Daughter gave me a picture she had found that was the 'inspiration' for the party, this was not to be the pink princess theme much associated with baby girls first birthdays. The look she wanted was light, airy, trendy and a bit girlie, but definitely chic. We shopped together for the decorations and bantered many ideas around; but I had strict instructions for the cake table, 'it must look exactly like the picture'.

Monique had carefully selected a theme of black and white gingham runners over white table covers, the poofs were a combination of pink, green and white. We had a big space to fill with three main rooms for guests to roam around, so the idea's needed to be abundant and easy to produce.

The house has three rooms on the main floor that are all complete with fireplaces. There is a great old kitchen that does the trick for loading the catering and preparing the last minute items. We used the pantry for our bar service area and of course everyone hangs out in the kitchen at every event, this was no different.

Birthday Girl's party shoes

Our original plan to hang white puffs from the ceiling didn't work. The ceilings and walls are stucco and the venue has strict instructions that you cannot use tacks. Plan B it was, and the traditional stringing of decor began.
We strung black and white check ribbon along the pillars in the corridor and attached with coloured clothes pegs some photographs of Baby K taken over the past year. When the guests moved from room to room they could enjoy the pictures and see Kya's development.

The catering was ordered from Otello's (in Oakville), which allowed me to serve a wonderful buffet of hot home cooked food without doing the cooking. It was superb.
I needed something to decorate the buffet table and decided to make a painted rainbow tree. Maybe a bit of a crazy idea...... but I needed to fill a big space and wanted colour on the buffet table.

I dragged home a big multi branch broken off of a tree, which is easy to find in spring. I painted the main parts of the branches white wash, then with the tree positioned in an extra tall vase I started painting the off shoot branches different colours. Once that was complete I tide matching coloured ribbons to the branches.

The effect I wanted was that the tree was blooming a rainbow of colour and the ribbons are the blooms. It added colour to what could be a boring buffet table and brought height to the decor. You decide........

We added a sweet table with pink and green candies to match the theme. Little candy bags in pink and white dots, or green and white stripes. I discovered just how many sweet tooth family and friends we have.

We added two punch drinks for our guests. The gingerale champagne strawberry punch was a big hit and everyone had fun drinking from the mini mason jars and colourful straws.

The birthday cakes were dark chocolate layer cakes with soft pink ribbon buttercream icing. We had one special 'smash' cake for the birthday girl, and she did smash her little hands in the icing before eating it and smearing it in her hair. Guests enjoyed the same type of cake, plus cupcakes, heart shaped cookies and macaroons in pastel shades. Cakes, cupcakes, cookies, macaroons from Black Forest pastry in Oakville.

We set aside one of the rooms for guests to play and have fun. A plasma screen with Wii Dance party helped to create a few crazy moments for everyone, but it was the full size photo booth that Richard had brought in that was the real hit of the party. 
We discovered that no one was camera shy and everyone made great use of the fake mustaches, tiara's, crowns, and Hawaiian leis for their photo sessions. 

It was so much fun to see some of the more senior members of our family getting into the photo booth and hamming it up together. Everyone left a special message for the birthday girl in her memory book. I purchased a simple photo book, scrap book paper and scrap book stick-ons; the guests had loads of fun putting a page together complete with one of their photo booth pictures. It was the hit of the party.

Baby Kya's crazy Grandparents .... a'ka US!

The birthday girl was the belle of the ball with her little mint green tutu, white chiffon rose top, denim and floral print jacket, and floral beaded Mary-Janes. The ensemble looked even more adorable with the smear of pink icing on it which proved that Kya was having a fun time at her very first birthday party.

As a Grandmother I'm thrilled to see that my Grandchild has discovered the fun of diving into icing on the top of a cake. I can't wait for the days ahead when we will play in the kitchen together making cookies and cakes. I can almost hear Kya's shrill of excitement when she puts sprinkles on the creations and puts the baked treasures on a plate for everyone to share. 

It has been a wonderful year getting to know our Granddaughter, watching her grow and falling in love with the precious little Angel.

Happy First Birthday Kya.

The Glamourous Birthday Girl

All images thanks to Erin Valickis @


  1. Donna Buchanan McGheeJune 13, 2011 at 9:06 PM

    Happy Birthday to my darling great Niece, I love you! Katherine I had a wonderful time, I love your style it never fails to blow me away.
    love you always & forever d xo

  2. Awe.. A precious milestone!