Oliver’s Wild One: A Perfect Picnic Birthday Party

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There are so many great first birthday themes, but it’s so much fun to DIY and think of something on your own–at least for me. Children’s birthdays are a big reason to celebrate and get those creative juices flowing. And you can’t really fail at it, unless you make cake plates that confuse people because they look like penises. You’ll have to read through the post for that story and pics. Yeh, I “failed” but it was knee-buckling funny.

I did get some Pinterest inspiration for Oliver’s Wild One picnic party, like the moss runner, the rosemary cake decoration, and forest mushroom cupcakes, but I like to think I let my mind run wild as I created the rest of the party.

I’m a big fan of homemade and DIY projects. To be honest, it’s probably a selfish interest, because I was the reigning queen of home economics (anyone else still have their 7th grade cookbook and hand-seen pig pillow?). Needless to say, this party was pretty much in my wheel house.

As a full time mama, I have some time during the day to “party plan,” but it’s usually about an hour a day, while Oliver naps, after all the “things” around the house are done, and my commitments to clients are fulfilled. That being said, I started setting up the party a week in advance and thinking about it about a month in advance…which left my girlfriends asking when Oliver’s birthday month was over. Haha! We have celebrated quite a bit this month and I feel fully ready to move on to Halloween! But first…you’ve got to see the cuteness of this party.

Premade picnic sandwiches make it so easy to walk around the house with your food. I used deli paper to keep any crumbles and drips to a minimum, and tied them with twine. I made one plate with ham and cheese and the other plate was roasted veggies and honey goat cheese, yum yum yum!!!

This zucchini spice cake recipe is seriously not to be missed. All of the kids and adults went gaga over it. Like, G-A-G-A. I’ve made it several times now, and I’ve nailed the recipe and shared it with you, so you can get all the compliments at your next party! You should totally make this for fall. It’s not a difficult recipe…and doesn’t require all the baking bells and whistles like big mixers.

I rolled out fondant the night before to make these forest mushroom cupcakes. They were seriously so cute and I thought they would turn out like…well, I wasn’t sure because I made them in the dark! The power went out the night before Oliver’s party, so I was rolling the fondant out using a flashlight! I cut them with biscuit cutters and it was as easy as playing with play dough. Don’t let the cuteness of a forest mushroom cupcake scare you into not trying this for your next party. You can not fail. Just remember to buy a fondant rolling mat and you’re golden!

We live in a true bohemian jungle paradise (including mosquitos, yep). Coconut Grove is a small enclave that was pretty much illegally annexed by Miami many moons ago, and it is covered in the most lush greenery. I love decorating with plants, because my husband doesn’t loose his mind sneezing like he does with flowers in the house. And the green just looks so fresh, modern, and perfect for the “wild” theme. So chop chop I went throughout the entire yard, mourning the snipping’s of my precious greenery but happy to see them live their last mile out in the house, getting lots of pictures taken of them.

I was on a run three years ago when I ran passed my favorite local coffee shop, Panther Coffee, with these adorable glass bottle decorations. They used their glass bottles they sell cold brew in, and put in these string lights. They used the decor on their cafe tables, but I knew I was going to use them for so many things. I bought some glass bottles off of them full of cold brew coffee because duh, and I filled them all with lights! In the past, I’ve used them to light the way to our front door for parties, but for our Wild One party, I used them as “fireflies in a bottle.” Everyone thought it was so creative and cute! To be honest, there are not too many things that excite me more than reusing things I love and garner so many compliments.

I ordered two moss table runners from Amazon, along with the logs to place the plants on. I could have easily salvaged the tree stumps from my neighbor, if I was keen to knock on their door and ask them to break out the chain saw and slice it down for mama. Alas, no.

I made this adorable photo string with clips on it to hold photos of Oliver from birth to one. This was honestly the hardest part of the whole project. I spent five hours (pretty much five days of project planning!!!) on the CVS app trying to upload photos, and every time the app would kick me off right before checkout and I’d lose all my selections. Eventually I got smart enough and desperate enough, that I took Oliver to Walgreens to print them from my phone. And then…Walgreens only uploaded the last 75 photos from my phone, which were basically all my new Poshmark photos and pictures of Oliver eating spaghetti (so cute!), so I had to go through my phone and screen shot the entire years worth of photos so they’d be the last 75 in my phone. I know. Literally an optimization nightmare. And a mama nightmare since I had Oliver in tow, and fed him basically every snack known to man to keep him captivated. I even played tambourine for him in between desperate screen shots.

Having hard copies of photos up for the party was really important to me, because I wanted to see how he grew over the past year. I yearned to stop and feel the moments of our first year together in my soul. I wanted my face to smile and a conversation to start with Matt about each photo memory. “Oh my gosh, remember this! His first bath! I can’t believe he fit in the sink!” And “Awwwww first beach day in that cute dinasaur bucket hat! He ate so much sand! It’s even on his face in the photo.” To me, memories, moments, stories, they’re everything! Which is why I chose not to serve my guests on my penis plates…

Finally, the story about these penis plates!!! I bought these cute bear plates online that never arrived, so I thought I could give em a go on my own, and DIY the plates. Here’s the image I was going for:

And here’s my DIY plate.

I spent a good 45 min crafting these cute forest bears when I FaceTimed my mom and showed her. Her knees legit buckled and she died laughing hysterically! The laugh was so contagious I couldn’t be offended. She made out the words, “penis. Plates.” In between crying laughs. “Are those…bears?” Lol.

“Yeh, mom. They were supposed to be bears…” I was dying too. You know those moments when you’re so into your idea and then you show it off to your BFF and you’re glad you did before the whole world saw?! I showed Matt, too, and he died ad begged me to use them. Which is exactly when I decided Matt needed to make a quick run to the store for more plates. Matt swore no one at the party would notice the plates looked like penises, but I knew…!!!! Everyone would. And to be honest, it wouldn’t be the worst thing because it’s hella funny, but I just could not let the penis plate story eclipse the entire memory and all the effort and details that went into Oliver’s first birthday party. So yeh, I hid the plates deep in my pantry, never to be found until…girls’ night. Who’s coming over for that one?

I made a quick and easy DIY twine and ribbon high chair decoration, which Oliver immediately ripped right off. I’m glad I didn’t splurge on one for a great photo op. I kept the twine with ribbons and wore it around my waist the next morning for an improvised hula dance which Oliver thought was hilarious, so there’s something.

The red checkered napkins were cloth, which I love. It’s really does not cost too much more (than paper napkins) to buy restaurant grade napkins and tie them up with ribbon for a special event. You can reuse them too, which is so fun! I think real napkins add such a warm, welcome touch to any celebration. I’d really love to monogram these napkins, if only I had that crazy cool machine and a craft room big enough to fit it (hey, I could turn my old office into a craft room!!!).

I filled my zucchini spice cake with fig jam, and it was the perfect touch! I love end of summer, beginning of fall fruits, so I used the last plums and figs the market had. This cake felt like the perfect send off for my favorite fruits. Sayonara, figs and plums!

We had tons of family at the party, and we loved making memories with them all! Thanks for all your messages on IG and Facebook! I’m so glad I got to share our special day and milestone with you all (for one whole month!). Thanks for bearing with us! Now on to Halloween!!! 🙂