Thursday, August 14, 2014

Moonpie’s First Birthday - Ladybugs!

We celebrated Moonpie’s first birthday one month early so my parents could be included. I wrote about her birth story here if you missed it.

I actually used my cupcake stand!
I didn’t know if I wanted a theme, but I found an actual party store in the old town shopping district of Izmir called Kemeraltı. I am convinced that you can find absolutely anything there if you just wander around long enough. They had a selection of 10 or so party themes for kids, so I chose the lady bugs. Then I bought almost every red or ladybug party decoration in the store – plates, cups, napkins, balloons, paper flowers, banners, and even a “1” cookie cutter and red fondant, which I have never used before in my life. That saleswoman was gooooooood, I’m telling you. Good. And it all cost about 20 bucks, so I felt it was worth it compared to the time I would spend trying to make my own decorations.

So my idea was to make carrot cake cupcakes, because carrots are a vegetable and I wouldn’t feel as bad giving that to Moonpie, and cupcakes are easier to make cute than a whole cake. I used the recipe from my Betty Crocker cookbook, my mom brought a cute Ladybug Cupcake Decorating Kit from America, and we were set.

Flour-dusted fondant
The fondant turned out way better than I expected. I used this recipe from Miss Marzipan for the sugar cookies. They were really, really, really good. The only flaw was that I got flour on the top of the fondant. I wasn’t sure how to roll it out otherwise, and the flour got all in the fondant, so I brushed them with water, then they were all moist. But, nobody cared about that. I had seen a ladybug stamp in a Playdough set that would have been a cute addition, but I couldn’t justify spending 9 dollars on the whole set just for the one stamp, so I passed that up in honor of my goal of decluttering.

My mom also brought a cute ladybug dress, but Moonpie doesn’t like dresses at the moment as they cramp her crawling style, so after some pictures I changed her into a red shirt and white shorts.

Happy Birthday Moonpie!
My in-laws, including SIL’s fiancé came over, so we were a party of 8 adults and the birthday girl. Just the perfect size. She got tons of cute gifts that people sent from America (thank you!), just the perfect mix of clothes and books and toys.

Moonpie liked her cupcake, but was extremely cool about it, as she is about most things. She was like, “Yeah, it’s alright. I guess I like sugar.” She ate about half.

Still playing with her new loot in her pjs.
For dinner we ordered in "pide", which is like pizza, I guess. I know I could have hand made the decorations and cooked a fabulous meal for everyone, but I was just plain tired, and I didn’t want to waste hours that could be spent with my parents stressing out in the kitchen. (If you can't tell I feel bad about not totally homemakering it up for Moonpie's birthday, because usually I would be all over that. Just the timing, I guess. And I have to keep telling myself that Moonpie really doesn't care at all, so why do I?)

The best part was that Moonpie enjoyed the party. I had read that first birthday parties can go downhill fast when the kids start melting down, but Moonpie actually didn’t have any meltdowns! That’s my girl! She seemed to really enjoy all of the attention and new toys, and was playing happily even though she stayed up past her bedtime (you may gasp here)!

How do you (or did you) celebrate your kids’ birthdays? Do you go for homemade or store bought? Large or small (or none)?

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