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My hope is to inspire you to be fearless in the kitchen, to try new things, to take the time to make things the homemade way and most importantly, to have fun doing it!

you are my sunshine: caroline’s first birthday party

Cliche though it may be, I truly can’t believe that a year has already passed since our sweet baby girl was born.  It seems like just yesterday we were on the way to the hospital filled with excitement and anticipation.  But, in some ways this year has been very dark and very long for our family.  Through the sadness and the rough times, our kids have been the bright spot.  Caroline has the happiest, sunniest personality of any child I have ever met.  She is so very content, always smiling and giggling, which in turn keeps us smiling a lot.  When I was a baby and a little girl, my mom would sing “You Are My Sunshine” to me every morning when she got me out of bed.  In turn, I sang it t0 Caroline from the day we brought her home from the hospital and still like to sing it when we sit in her rocking chair.  So, on many levels, a sunshine themed party was perfectly fitting for our darling girl.  Funnily enough, the weather was atrocious the morning of her party – pouring rain, dark skies, just ugly.  About an hour before party time, the clouds broke, the sun shone through, and the rest of the day was gorgeous.  It could not have been more perfect.

Those close to us know that our nickname for baby girl is actually Carolina Barbecue (a play on her full name, Caroline Barbara).  Ben said it one day, I scoffed, but then somehow it stuck, and now I find myself calling her “BBQ” at least as often as I call her Caroline.  (I’m sure she’ll love this as a teenager.)  Anyway, in honor of her nickname, we knew we had to serve actual Carolina-style barbecue at the party, and from there I took off and ended up with a Southern food theme with a sprinkling of additional yellow and white dessert items.  Of all the parties I’ve ever hosted, I had the most fun with the food for this one and I think it was the most well received.

This was our menu:
Carolina BBQ pork sliders and shrimp po’ boy sliders on brioche buns
Mini mac and cheese bites
Deviled eggs
Black eyed pea hummus with veggies
Baked tex-mex pimento cheese dip
Cornbread crostini
Lemonade and sweet tea

Banana pudding parfaits
Pineapple and coconut French macarons
Lemon crinkle cookies
Mini key lime tartlets (phyllo shells filled with key lime curd, topped with whipped cream)
Lemon cupcakes and smash cake with vanilla bean frosting

Just when I thought I couldn’t love mason jars more, I added a feminine touch by wrapping them with doilies and a bit of baker’s twine.  An unforeseen bonus was that the doilies were perfect for writing names on so guests were able to keep track of their drinks.

I have an uncanny ability to work deviled eggs into each and every party.  Thankfully it wasn’t much of a stretch for this particular theme!

I haven’t made black eyed peas before and was a bit skeptical while they were cooking, but I actually really loved this hummus and have been eating it daily since the party!

Other than the birthday girl herself, I’d say these banana puddings were the hit of the party (well, these, and the mac and cheese bites).  People could not get enough of them!  (Recipe coming on Friday…)

For first birthday parties, I think it’s fun to put out the baby book and any other photo albums from the year so guests can read about the pregnancy, early days, special moments, etc.  People seemed to looking through all of it.

I also bought super cheap picture frames from Joann’s in a variety of sizes, painted them to coordinate with the yellow/grey color scheme, and used them to display a photo for each month of Caroline’s life so far.  Loved this detail so much.

As usual, I made my signature sugar cookies decorated with royal icing as party favors.  I used the technique from this post to create clouds in the grey sky background (no marbling, just dotting).  It turned out so well!

As usual, my favorite way to display cupcakes and cakes for parties is by using my homemade cupcake tower method.  I think I’ve been using the same three cans over and over for about three years now!  So easily customized, festive, and adds visual interest to any dessert or food display.

As you can see, the birthday girl went for her smash cake like an old pro.  It was hilarious!

This past year with our girl has been so amazing, and we can’t wait to see what the next year will bring.  We love our sweet Caroline!

*Because it’s too much information to put into one post, upcoming topics related to the details of this party are:
How to decorate a fluffy cloud cake (like the smash cake seen here)
[Recipe] Banana Pudding Parfaits
[Recipe] Mini Mac and Cheese Bites
Crafty Stuff: How I made the sunshine sign and the metallic BBQ letters (if anyone is interested)

*For more information on my party planning strategies, see this post.

Vendor Information
Invitations and party printables: The TomKat Studio
Cupcake liners, straws, doilies, baker’s twine: Shop Sweet Lulu
Fabric (table covers): Hawthorne threads
Birthday girl’s dress: Butterfly Baby Place on Etsy
Mini parfait glasses: Pier 1
Hammered metal cake stand: west elm
Three-tiered dessert stand: Pampered Chef

  • Mandy Q

    Dude. She is totally adorable! Such a sweet party!
    I definitely think I need to see these mac & cheese bites up close!

  • Lindsay

    What a beautiful party!! Annie you are so talented and inspiring! A very happy birthday to your sweet little girl ;)

  • M M

    Happy Birthday to Caroline!!!! What an amazing party, Annie! I love every detail. I’m definitely interested in the canvas and letters. My little girl is only 4 months (on Friday!), but I’m already starting to collect ideas for her 1st birthday party :)

  • annieseats

    Oh, you will. They are awesome and must be shared!

  • chitra visalakshi m.

    Wonderful party theme! Belated bday wishes for your baby girl. God bless.

  • chitra visalakshi m.

    Wonderful Party theme! Belated bday wishes to your baby girl.God bless.

  • http://tideandthyme.com/ Laura

    What a gorgeous party, Annie. You are truly the hostess with the mostess! Was wondering where the sign came from, I just loved it. Great picture of you ladies! BBQ will be 16 before you know it – Ben has a gun, right? :P

  • Justeen @ Blissful Baking

    Happy Birthday to Caroline! She is absolutely darling. I love all of your party details, and the food, as always, looks fabulous.

  • Racquelj08

    Happy Birthday, to your beautiful little girl! What a great theme party. You’re such an inspiration! Blessings to you and your family!

  • Kristin

    I’m thrilled with the timing of Caroline’s birthday. We’ve been starting to think about our daughter’s high school graduation party, and now I know where to start looking for ideas! I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me sooner. Happy birthday to Caroline…it looks like it was a beautiful party!

  • http://caitlincooking.blogspot.com/ Caitlin

    What a sweet party! And I am in love with the fabric you used for table covers- thanks for including the link!

    Happy Birthday, Caroline!

  • RikiTikiTembo

    I got so excited when I saw this post Annie – just GORGEOUS. Your amazing and what a beautiful job you did with everything. When Caroline is older she is going to look back at these photos and see the effort involved and realize just how very much she is loved :)

  • http://bekicookscakesblog.blogspot.com/ Beki Cook’s Cakes

    Very sweet. I love the cookies, they’re so precious!

  • Pam

    Annie, I am in awe! Everything you do is golden, talented beyond words. You put together an outstanding first birthday party for your sweet girl!!

  • TheMrsatSuccessAlongtheWeigh

    Happy Birthday to your sweet girl! That’s quite a spread and I’m sure she won’t mind looking forward to mega-culinary spoiling with each passing year. ;)

  • http://twitter.com/DomesticKitchen Domestic Kitchen

    What a beautiful party!!! I can’t believe she’s a year old already… (I remember the announcement/cupcake post) Congrats on the first year & many more to come! xoxo

  • Laurel @ LollysSweetTreats

    Your parties are always so spectacular, Annie. I love the yellow and gray theme. And I love those mini parfait glasses from Pier One. There is something so wonderful about miniature desserts! One of your best parties yet.

  • Isabel Huber

    WOW! love the pics (and would love the food as well, i am sure)!! i’d just wish it was my birthday and you’d be throwing a party like that for me as well ;-)

  • Tracy

    This all looks so incredibly cute! Where can I find the carolina bbq slider recipe or is this to come as well? Cant wait! I am planning a boy baby shower with a red white and blue texas cowboy theme. These might just be perfect! Thanks

  • http://twitter.com/runningcate Cate

    Your parties are always SO perfect… every single one leaves me in awe!

  • http://bolachasecia.blogspot.pt/ Helena Mouta

    Annie, you are oth so beautiful! I have been visiting your blog daily for over a year now and it’s wonderful to see how much your little girl has grown. I hope this year brings you all the happines you deserve, and a thousand more happy moments than unhappy ones. A big kiss for all your family all the way from Portugal!

  • http://twitter.com/2NDcreative B. Ryan Hunley

    Wow Annie, looks awesome.

  • annieseats

    I’m not sure if I’ll post it or not. It just seems wrong for this Indiana girl to post a recipe for Carolina BBQ :) But, if a lot of people are interested I’ll probably do it.

  • scmom4

    Beautiful spread, Annie! Your daughter is a dolly.

    My oldest child is 22 and we still get out the baby book and photo albums. It’s a great opportunity to walk down memory lane!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=600502183 Jessie Crow

    Amazing job! What a creative and beautiful way to celebrate your adorable daughter. Happy Birthday Caroline!

  • http://www.tablefortwoblog.com/ Julie @ Table for Two

    beautiful and very well-thought out birthday party! How long does it take you to come up with the concept/color scheme/theme/menu? You’re so very creative and every aspect of all your parties are SO perfect!! I am in awe of you and the food, as always, looks so delicious!!

  • http://lingonberryjam.wordpress.com/ Krista S.

    Beautiful! Makes me want to have babies just so I can throw them awesome parties. I’ve got a few years to go… ;)

    Seriously amazing party. You rock!

  • 898502

    Happy birthday, Caroline!! I know it’s been a difficult year for you and I’m so happy for your family to have such a great ray of sunshine.

  • cherronjcsluv

    She is SO cute!

  • Devon

    Such a great theme, and a beautifully put together party! Well done, as always! I’m curious as to how many guests you had at your baby girl’s party. I know I personally have a hard time refilling foods and entertaining guests at the same time, so I was wondering how you manage it!

  • cherronjcsluv

    I love every post when its about one of your cute parties!

  • Alecia

    She is too precious! I love seeing all your creative treats!

  • Anna Maria

    i love everything about this. your daughter is so precious – she looks just like a mini version of you! i would definitely be interested in how you made the sign but if you don’t get interest from others maybe a link to where you figured out how to do it?

    to many happy birthdays ahead!

  • Pasnowbird59

    Beautiful! You are an inspiration to us all. Thanks for sharing!

  • Sarah

    Such a sweet birthday party for your little cutie! She looks just like her momma! How on earth do you find the time to coordinate all of these details? You must plan to the minute :)

  • http://www.themollybuckley.com/ Mollystillman

    oh my goodness i am obsessed with this party – EVERYTHING about it. you did an amazing job!!

  • Emily Bowmer

    I absolutely love the picture of you and Caroline! It’s a beautiful moment of mommy/daughter love. The food looks fantastic!! I can’t wait to try a few of these recipes. Thank you for all your hard work and inspiration in the kitchen. I have enjoyed everything I have made from your site. Blessings to you and your sweet family!

  • Lcoudiere

    AMAZING party! I am always so impressed with all the little details that you include into your parties. I can’t wait to read your next few posts pertaining to the party! Your little girl had the best fist birthday party one could ask for!

  • http://kidsinthesink.wordpress.com/ Heather@Kids in the Sink

    I love the idea of a picture for every month! What an amazing way to see how much they’ve grown and changed! It’s crazy how much they change in a year. Crazy, and a little bittersweet.

  • jaclynscookies

    Annie, you are amazing! I’m in love with everything about this party.

  • JoAnna

    Wow–your parties are always an inspiration! Thanks for sharing, and I look forward to the great recipes to follow. Your daughter is beautiful, and I wish you much happiness this year after all you’ve been through.

  • Melanie M.

    Happy Birthday to little Caroline! My daughter, Sylvie is a couple of days older than Caroline, so I was anticipating this party and looking forward to all the pictures. You are amazing and such an inspiration to me. I love the yellow and gray color scheme and the Southern food buffet. Gorgeous! I’m glad you have your sweet husband and your adorable children to help you through the dark days. (Oh, and as a North Carolina girl, I would LOVE to see your BBQ recipe. I really would! That’s just my vote!)

  • http://www-the-baker-chick.com/ Audra

    Woah Annie- I love many things you post, but the parties you throw have got to be my favorite. You are so crafty and clever and your themes are always so well-excecuted. Someday when I no longer live in a NYC apartment the size of a shoebox, I hope to follow in your party-throwing-footsteps. Great post!

  • Aimee

    What an adorable theme!

  • Jessica

    So beautiful! I love the colors and all of the gorgeous details. So inspiring!

    I would love to hear from you how you go about the cooking prep for a party like this… Like what is made in advance and what you do the day of. That aspect is always the most daunting for me… Getting the timing right! Any tips or tricks?

  • Glenda

    She’s so cute! Love the picture of you two. Happy birthday to her! The party and theme seems awesome!!

  • Kayle (The Cooking Actress)

    Aww Happy Birthday Caroline! She is so adorable, and her party looked sunny! :)

  • Sugarrushbaking

    She is beautiful and looks so much like Mommy. She is getting so big. Fun times.

  • Shannon

    Such a beautiful party and beautiful girl! Your parties are always amazing and inspiring! Thanks for sharing.

  • http://muddledmom.wordpress.com/ muddledmom

    This is so beautiful. I love the theme. My daughter is six and I have always sung that song to her. She now often requests that I sing it to her and says it makes her “sad.” My mother also sang it to me. This party could also easily be adapted to a fun outdoor barbecue, since I have no more first birthdays to look forward to. Thanks for the idea and the sweet reflection.

  • http://www.myfullthymelife.blogspot.com/ Kendra

    What a stunning party! Loved everything about it! Your attention to detail is superb and it is my favorite part of hosting too. It’s the little details that make people feel like they are a part of something special. You have that dialed in! I can’t wait for the recipes. I was also wondering where you purchased the “You are my sunshine” sign?

  • ErnestineADavis

    awwww thats so sweet!

  • Connie

    Such an adorable theme! Beautiful spread.

  • Leslie

    Happy birthday to you BEAUTIFUL litte munchkin!!!!

  • http://www.girlversusdough.com/ Stephanie

    You had me at mini mac n’ cheese bites! I love this party — especially because it’s in my wedding colors! :) Will definitely keep these ideas in mind for my next get-together.

  • http://www.stelladot.com/kaciekeenan Kacie Keenan

    So cute…makes me wish I had a baby girl! :)

  • http://www.shemakesandbakes.com/ Emily @ She Makes and Bakes

    Love everything about it! You have such great ideas. Is it weird I want to have a kid so I can throw birthday parties? There may be some other reasons, too.

  • http://scienceofsweets.wordpress.com/ Cocobock

    This is an absolutely gorgeous spread! I love throwing parties and cooking everything myself, but my timing is always terrible. How did you manage to make all this food and have it look so amazing? What does your plan of action look like?

  • http://indigoscones.blogspot.com/ Ellen

    That is one of my favorite songs of all time. You seem to be a wonderful mother in many ways, but I especially love the traditions you make with your kids, it’s beautiful.

  • Johanna Puelston

    wow. I absolutely LOVE everything about this party! And I got choked up thinking about the hard year you’ve had and what a blessing Caroline must be. :-) PLEASE do post about the details – i definitely want to use elements of this (the sign!) for my baby girl’s birthday/bedroom. I really appreciate your creativity and sharing it with us!

  • Chelsea Francis

    Oh my goodness! I LOVE this theme and all the ways you used it in the menu and decorations. So cute and sweet! And Caroline is such a beauty!

  • annieseats

    Please see the link I listed at the bottom of the post. It outlines my strategies. Hope that helps!

  • annieseats

    I posted a link at the bottom as a resource with my planning strategies. Hope that helps!

  • annieseats

    I made it myself :)

  • JBug

    Sweet, sweet baby girl, lovely party and theme AND I believe your Dad may have provided assistance with the weather! Beautiful job Annie!

  • Erin Masihdas

    The party was so cute!! Love the color scheme! Please say you’ll be posting the recipe for the pineapple and coconut french macarons!

  • Kelli

    How adorable!! I sing this song to my 5 month old daughter everday, so I’m saving this idea for her first birthday party! I was going to ask about the sign but saw that you made it yourself – I should have known! If only I was that creative….maybe I can find one on etsy :)

  • http://twitter.com/ellysaysopa elly @ elly says opa

    I am of course not at all surprised that everything looks wonderful. :) Too bad you don’t live closer so I could hire you as my party planner – or just attend your parties.

  • Lauren Kassira

    Everything looks so great! I especially love the aprons around the lemonade and tea. How cute!!

  • Brittany K

    Everything was adorable! Where did you get the pink scrapbook you have on the table?

  • http://www.foodiebride.com/ Shawnda

    A beautiful party for a beautiful little girl! How can total internet strangers not smile when they see that sweet face!

  • annieseats

    Etsy.

  • annieseats

    Yes and yes!

  • annieseats

    The one on Etsy was $120. Mine cost $12, which is why I made it myself :)

  • annieseats

    I just kind of made it up as I went along. I saw a similar sign on Etsy but it cost $120(!) so I decided I’d find a way to make it myself. It was actually super easy and cost $12. I’ll probably post – sounds like a couple others are interested as well.

  • annieseats

    I would guess we had about 20+ guests. I don’t do much refilling, I just try to serve enough so that what I put out will be the right amount. After doing it so often, I’ve gotten pretty good at estimating but I don’t have a formula. It’s just a sort of gestalt feeling for me.

  • annieseats

    Thanks Julie :) I’ve actually been planning this particular theme in my mind since Caroline was very little and then as the year progressed, it only seemed more fitting. I am pretty big on using a theme because it is meaningful in some way to the child/family, not only because it’s cute or pretty, so I think that makes it a little easier. Ideas just come to me over the days and weeks and I make sure to write them down immediately before they slip away :)

  • Nancysimmons

    Everything is just perfect! My little girl’s first birthday is coming up in May so you’ve inspired me! Where did you find those frames for her pictures, and did you paint them? I can’t wait to read your post on the sign, because I’ve been wanting to make something with those words for my other daughter. You are so talented! I don’t know you find the time to do all that you do, but you do a great job at it all! And your daughter is adorable.

  • http://twitter.com/ABitchinKitchen Maggie G.

    What a gorgeous party! I love the look of the banana pudding parfaits, and can’t wait for the recipe! I recently hosted a bridal shower, and bought very similar glasses (mine were actually tall shot glasses from World Market) to do mini fruit and yogurt parfaits. I definitely need an alternate use for them, and I’m thinking those banana puddings will do the trick :)

  • Angela

    Amazing! Great work and seriously soaked in love. Happy birthday, Caroline.

  • Christine

    What a pretty party- you have such a lovely little family!
    I used to sing “You Are My Sunshine” to my little girls (they are now 25 and 23) when they were in the bathtub. My older daughter now sings it to her little girls. :o)

  • Bella

    I love how much attention you pay to the smallest details. How do you do it?

  • http://spice-is-nice.com/ Jacqueline

    I hate to be cliche, but seriously annie you are my sunshine. I wake up in the morning and your blog is the first thing I check on my phone. It is inspirational, keep it up!

  • Coby

    This is just gorgeous! Bright and cheery and welcoming….I love it!

  • Krissy@DaintyChef

    Beautiful party as always Annie! Love the theme. My hubby is a Carolina boy so I love me some Carolina BBQ! I have to ask what kind did you serve, vinegar or ketchup based? We are an eastern carolina family so vinegar all the way!

  • Kristin

    Wow, what a beautiful party. I really hope to be able to host a party the way you do – the personal touches and consistency of the color palette are amazing. Gorgeous!

  • Kristin

    I absolutely adore the ‘you are my sunshine’ sign. We are expecting our first baby (a girl!) in early May and I would love to make something similar for her nursery. Can’t wait to read about your DIY details! Beautiful party and amazing attention to detail.

  • Bclt2000

    I am so inspired to plan my daughter’s Sunshine party in June! I have also sang You are my Sunshine to her nearly every day! Love your ideas!! Thank you!

  • http://paintboxkitchen.com/ Jasmine Pahl

    How beautiful! I love every detail!

  • Leah

    What an amazing party! All of your food and decorations look amazing. I would love to see a post on how you did the sign. Caroline is such a beautiful baby, and she is lucky to have a great mom to throw her an amazing party like this!

  • Urban Wife

    You always throw the most amazing parties! A very happy {belated} birthday to your darling girl. I am definitely looking forward to the crafty posts about your letters & sign.

  • http://jessicainsd.blogspot.com/ Jessica

    Not at all surprising, this party looks amazing. I was so touched by the story of your mom singing to you. What a sweet party theme. Love it all! (Especially the photo of Caroline smashing her cake!) Great job, Annie!

  • Tracy

    Well I am an Indiana girl as well…..lived there for 31 years! Now in Texas where bbq is big as well!

  • annieseats

    I did one that was vinegar + ketchup based, and one that was honey + mustard based (which was called “Carolina style” where I found it.) Both were great!

  • annieseats

    Aw, you are too sweet! Thank you :)

  • annieseats

    Hi Nancy,
    I actually mentioned this just underneath the picture of the frame. I hope that helps! Thanks for the kind words.

  • LePirateCupcake

    What a beautiful girl and such a bright, cheerful party. I truly loved this post; it brightened my day just looking at the pictures. :)

  • Susu95

    This makes my heart smile. :)

  • Kristin

    What a gorgeous party! My littlest boy ended up with the nickname “Nolar Bar”. His name is Noah and one of his big brothers couldn’t say granola bar right . Super silly, but for some reason it stuck. :)

  • Amy Singleton

    Awww…what a sweet party! I love the gray/yellow palette.

    Also, is it crazy that the minute I saw Caroline’s dress, I recognized the fabric line? I sew way too much lol. :-) I think the Aviary line is so pretty!

  • http://www.strandsofmylife.com/ Suzanne Perazzini

    Wow! I thought I had created great parties for my son when he was young but nothing as pretty as this. Your love for your daughter shines through this post. Just lovely.

  • Nasheta

    Hi Annie – I read your previous strategy and though you had shopped etc beforehand, all your cooking was done on the day. How do you occupy your kids while you are busy in the kitchen?

  • Michelle Martinetti

    Can’t wait to see the recipes and how to make the Sunshine song. I have been singing this to my 2.5 year old and 9 month old daily. I love yellow so this might be a wonderful theme for my 9 month’s old first birthday party. We even have our on version for them…after singing the regular song ..I sing..you are my silly, my silly little lilly yes you are, my silly, my silly little lily yes you are, I love lilly, i love you, i love my little girl I do I do I do. I change it up for my son also!

  • http://www.recipefollows.com/ Priyanka

    Its a beautiful party!
    Makes me wish I could hold my Little one earlier than schedule and then fast forward this year to have a party like this :)

  • annieseats

    It really depends on the day, the task, the situation. They enjoy being in the kitchen with me so a lot of times they are there. Sometimes they are up in the playroom playing together. Sometimes they are playing with their dad. I definitely didn’t do all the cooking for this party the day of. In fact, most was don’t in advance.

  • Beth

    I can’t believe it has been a year! Great job on the party!

  • Odbery

    What a great first birthday party! And what a sweet and cute little girl. You’ve set the bar really high for all of her future birthdays lol I can’t wait for the banana parfait recipe :)

  • sweetsugarbelle

    I love it, Annie! I hope there are more cookie pics!!!

  • http://beachbakeaholic.blogspot.com/ Bakeaholic

    Wow! What an amazing spread! Can you duplicate this for my birthday? Picture perfect.

  • Charlie

    Annie:
    Caroline is just as beautiful as her Mama!

    So glad the party had sunny weather.

    Enjoy every second with your children, even the times that seem bad, the time goes so quickly and one

    day you will look back. smile, and wish you could have those days again.

    Happy Birthday Caroline!

  • april M.

    That looks so beautiful!!! That black-eyed pea hummus sounds great, is the recipe on a previous post??

  • http://twitter.com/KatiesCucina Katie Jasiewicz

    i always love seeing your parties– you have such a knack for decorating and menu planning! can’t wait to read about all the other details in post to come!

  • sue

    Everything looks so beautiful…especially Caroline! Would love to see you post about how you did all the crafty stuff. I would also be interested in learning some of your planning tips, like what you made in advance and what has to be made the day of. Please share. :-)

  • http://www.myfullthymelife.blogspot.com/ Kendra

    Wow! Was it free hand or did you use stensils? Did you find yellow canvas or did you paint it yellow? Thanks for the tips!

  • annieseats

    As I mentioned above, I’ll probably do a post about it :)

  • annieseats

    My planning strategies are linked within the post. I’ll post eventually about the crafty details.

  • Mach11970

    Hello,

    You have amazing ideas I look forward to reading your blog posts. Can you tell me where you found the beautiful you are my sunshine sign?

    Thank you………Linda

  • http://cookingformykids.com/ Natalie @ Cooking for My Kids

    Happy birthday to your sweet sunshine.

  • Andreaquist

    First birthday parties are the absolute best! Thanks as always for sharing!

  • http://www.alaskafromscratch.com Alaska from Scratch

    Does her dress match the table cloth? Do you sew, too?! :) Looks like it was a bright, sunshiny day.

  • http://paleyellow.net/ Tracy {Pale Yellow}

    Such a beautiful party! I love how you managed to turn a BBQ party into an adorable party for a little girl. Your children are so lucky to have a mom like you!!

  • Kat

    Yes! I’m very interested — I love the sign!

  • annieseats

    The places where I purchased the fabric and the dress are linked at the bottom of the post :)

  • annieseats

    I made it myself.

  • Ann

    That is such a perfect theme for Caroline! She is so beautiful and of course everything looked fanastic! Will you be posting the recipe for the pineapple and coconut French macaroons? Happy Birthday Caroline!

  • http://www.castlesandcarriages.blogspot.com/ Jen

    Happy Birthday Caroline! Beautiful party :) I don’t know how you do it all Annie! My husband is a resident and there is no way he’d be able to take any more responsibility than he already has. Yet here you are regularly posting beautiful pictures and recipes!

  • Tesei

    What a lovely party, many congratulations to the baby and the mommy!!!

  • Melody

    Ohmygosh. This party looks awesome! Caroline looks just like you. I can’t believe you did all that awesomeness for the food AND painted picture frames! Amazing!

  • Jenn

    could you do a tutorial???!! It’s beautiful, and that’s the theme of my baby’s 1st birthday, too!

  • Jenny Meier

    What settings are you using for these photos? Aperture, ISO, and speed. They look so real, I want to reach into my computer and eat it!

    Jenny

  • Andrea

    She is so precious! Congratulations. What an adorable party.

  • http://bakeeatrepeat.net/ Courtney @ Bake.Eat.Repeat.

    The party is lovely, but the most beautiful thing is the picture of you and your baby girl together. You definitely look alike! What a fitting theme for such a glowing little girl!

  • annieseats

    I shoot on manual and change my settings for each photo depending on what I’m going for with the shot. Glad you like them!

  • http://twitter.com/aCoupleCooks a Couple Cooks

    We agree from meeting this sweet girl — she indeed DOES have the most sunshine-y personality of any baby we’ve met! Happy birthday to Caroline!!

  • http://twitter.com/aCoupleCooks a Couple Cooks

    And PS — love the You are My Sunshine art! Looks like it was a beautiful day :)

  • Gaby Godoy de Porras

    Everything looks beautiful!!!! Congratulations…. My fav is the last pic! =)

  • http://www.vintagekitchennotes.blogspot.com/ Paula @ Vintage Kitchen Notes

    The picture where your daughter´s face is almost buried in the cake is just extraordinary!

  • Danygirl

    I am planning my daughter’s first birthday and it is almost funny how my main color os yellow… I’ve been looking for a lemon cake to make that day… And here u are with one that looks delicious… I would like to know how long in advance you made yours… To have an idea on the timing… Thanks!

  • Lindsay

    What a lovely party…I’m so glad I came across this post (I was looking for “southern style” inspiration)! What was the macaroni and cheese recipe that you used? I would like to make the same thing and am wondering if one recipe over another would hold the mini shape better.

  • annieseats

    It will be a future post :)

  • Nichole Dunst

    wow what a lovely display! happy birthday caroline!

  • http://jackielopina.wordpress.com/ Jackie

    Thanks so much for linking up all your fabulous supplies. It’s so helpful! Another gorgeous party… great job! :)

  • www.tortsandtots.com

    So perfect. I’ve been trying to think of a party for my soon to be one-year-old that’s good for adults and kids alike. This fits the bill!

  • R I

    Waiting for the recipe of black eyes pea hummus. Thanks

  • Heather Thiele

    LOVE this party. Exactly what I had in mind for my daughter. Went to TomKat’s website, but I couldn’t seem to find the printables you used. Could you post a direct link to the exact printables you used? Thank you.

  • annieseats

    I work with TomKat designers directly for my parties and don’t go through the shops so if you can’t find what I used, you might try contacting them to ask. Thanks!

  • http://atthepatisserie.wordpress.com/ Ann P.

    WOW the menu looks fantastic! I totally would have crashed this party if i lived in Indiana ;) haha! And Caroline is so beautiful! Great to see that she takes after her mom!

  • Bledsoe JeN

    Did you post the recipe for the mac n cheese bites yet?? I’m dying to try those!!

  • annieseats

    Not yet, they’ll be up in the next couple of weeks.

  • Rachel

    We’re doing this theme for my son’s first birthday next month. Has been challenging, since pretty much every party I’ve found has been for little girls, but we’re incorporating a lot of navy to “man” it up. :)
    I’m sad, though — your Joann’s must be far superior to mine. Ours had like three (big) picture frames. No small ones. Boo. The photo display is too cute!

  • Courtney

    Silly question, what size mason jars are you using? Any idea where you got them for
    ? Thank you. I love your ideas and creativity.

  • annieseats

    I’m not sure of the size. I bought them at the grocery store.

  • Batgrrrlie

    Great party. Please tell us how you made the sunshine sign and post the recipe for the mac and cheese bites. Thanks!

  • annieseats

    Mac and cheese bites have been posted. Sign instructions in the works.

  • http://mariqia.wordpress.com/ Cel

    Very nice. :) My baby will turn one in a couple of months. :0

  • Tturner13

    Hi! I just love this idea and I am going to try to recreate it for my daughter’s 4th birthday. I checked into the printables from TomKat and they are a little bit different now than yours (they are polka dots instead of sunshine rays for the labels and tags). Do you still have the original template you used? If so I would love to have it.
    Thanks!!
    Theresa

  • annieseats

    I am unable to provide TomKat files but if you contact them, they can make you a custom label.

  • Jessica

    I just found your blog and am in love! I am planning my daughter’s 2nd birthday now and would love some tips on how you planned this whole party and the other parties you have blogged about. For example, when do you bake the cake/cupcakes, when do you bake the sugar cookies, do you freeze any of it so that it stays fresh for the day of? Do you cook all of the food the night before and the morning of? Thanks so much!

  • annieseats
  • http://www.facebook.com/jennifer.lehner Jennifer Stanhope Lehner

    Hi Annie! Did you ever create a post on how to make the adorable “You are my sunshine” sign you used at the party. I searched around for awhile, but couldn’t find one. I would like to attempt to make something similar for my daughter’s first birthday party. Thanks for your help and thank you for your wonderful blog and recipes! :)

  • annieseats

    No, I’m so sorry! But, I still am planning on it. And since she’s coming up on two and I feel ridiculous for not doing it sooner, it really will be soon. Promise!

  • Amber Russell

    Yes, I would like to know how you made the Sunshine sign because I am wanting to make it for my little girls first birthday. Her birthday is in April. Thanks!!

  • Pingback: story time: caroline’s second birthday party | Annie's Eats()

  • Christina

    Annie, I’m making the cake and cupcakes for a similarly themed birthday party. Did you use the same recipe for both the cake and the cupcakes? And for the cupcakes – I really like the height of them. Did you bake them straight in the liners or place them in after baking in cupcake tin? I guess what I mean is do you need a special baking pan to get that shape or do those paper liners hold up ok in a standard muffin pan… I know some wrappers tend to go ‘greasy’ and speckled when baked in!

  • annieseats

    I did use the same recipe for both the cake and cupcakes. I baked them in the liners. These type of liners actually do not require a cupcake tin, though I use one anyway to prevent them from sliding around on a baking sheet or something. However, these are not greaseproof and grease does come through a bit. It’s not extreme, but not perfect either. You could always add another white liner inside to minimize that.