Sophie-Rose is not quite one yet – that will be next Wednesday when we are in Paris – but we threw a little birthday tea party for her last week – at the very, very last minute, and we (all three of us) had such a wonderful time we are so glad we decided to hold it in the end!
Initially, K and I had been against having a birthday party because, well, truth be told I think in our three years of being married we had only ever attended one birthday party for a baby and we had no idea how to hold one. The logistics, planning and the fact that we both have pretty huge extended families was very pressurizing so initially we went with just “escaping” to Europe for her birthday! We estimated that to host everyone would set us back by a good $1,000, probably more and frankly, what with our Europe trip expenses and more, we were reluctant to splurge on an occasion we felt Sophie would not remember anyway.
But then so many of our friends and family asked us when her party was and were frankly quite horrified when they found out we had nothing planned, just because they wanted so much to celebrate her turning One! I was really quite moved to discover how much Sophie doll means to so many people in my life that they wanted to mark this milestone with her so K and I decided to do a mostly friends only party ( we cannot accommodate many people) and then celebrate separately in small gatherings with our family. 🙂
Even after that, I was still at a complete loss (one week before) about how to get started. There was the food to plan, the invites to send, the decorations to do, someone to ask to take photos – and at one point I was telling K, oh gosh, what have we gotten ourselves into?
God always sends angels.
In the next few days, we were approached by the lovely Mama Lydia of Lydia Low Desserts, who read our blog when planning for her baby girl Sarah, who is 2 weeks younger than Sophie-doll and she wanted to do a dessert table for us! And then, Mama Sharin, who is a The Little Bow Company customer, suggested that her hubby, the very talented Kelvin from Kelvin Luffs Photography, would have time to help us take a few photos of our party. Finally my childhood friend Mints stepped in and insisted on doing up all the flowers for the party, and Sophie-doll’s fairy godmas offered to come over the night before to help set everything up.
I am beyond grateful for all these wonderful people who reached out to us. Some were strangers who have become friends, some we already hold dear, but we felt so blessed to have so many who care so much to help us make this happen.
And the day itself? Was perfect. I could not have thought of a more lovely birthday party for our little doll. It was not the most lavish, the most beautiful, or the most organized party but having almost everyone we cherish and care about turn up for her was one of the best gifts she has received.
Everything exceeded my expectations! The photos from Kelvin, for one, tell their own story! I can’t believe all those moments were caught on “film” so candidly and beautifully – Sophie’s expressions in the photos melt K’s and my heart every time we look through them and I am so happy that these precious moments in time can be kept forever. He even rushed down to pass us our edited photos before we flew so we could enjoy seeing them. Really touched by the extra mile he and Sharin have taken for us.
Sharing with you, Sophie’s Princess and the Pea Party. (Photos taken by Kelvin are marked as so, but of course, you can easily tell the difference between his beautiful photos and my amateur IPhone snaps haha)
Cutting the cake ! Was obviously Sophie-doll’s favourite part of the entire afternoon. Our helper, K and I have been teaching her how to clap and so far she will only do it – very enthusiastically – when we sing Happy Birthday to her. How do babies know the difference? I have no idea, but it delighted us to no end to see her happily and shyly clapping and smiling away at everyone. We were worried she would be overwhelmed by the sheer number of people (okay, not so much, about 40) but she was a real star that day and I don’t know where she gets that self-confidence from but I’m glad she has it!
The dessert table and backdrop made the perfect setting for all of us to take our photos! I hardly had to do any decorating around the house because the table was so pretty and took up the centre of attention in the room – in all its shades of pastels and crazy attention to detail. More on that later. 🙂
We were particularly excited about Sophie-doll’s first Cake Smash! Actually, it was the Cake Smash which got Mama Sharin and I chatting excitedly to begin with because we both liked the idea so much, and then Kelvin decided to help us with the photos.
What is a Cake Smash?
Basically its done on baby’s first birthday as a photoshoot-cum-baby’s first cake thing. 🙂 Parents can either purchase or bake their own baby friendly cake (usually sugar and preservative free) and then they let their bubs go wild on it, stuffing their faces and in general making an adorable mess!
It just happened that Mama J and I were working on a collaboration for Baby’s Cake Smash Kits, which includes one beautiful personalized ONEsie designed by her, recipes for healthy smash cakes and pretty personalized bunting, and I thought, gee if we are selling this, how can Sophie-Rose not get her own cake smash birthday session?
And taa-daa, the photos! We had no setup but the photos were framed so prettily that it looked almost like a studio setting!
I baked Sophie a two-layer healthy Apple and Banana Organic Smash Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting. And the results were hilarious. I mean I knew Sophie-doll was girly but I think no one (by the sounds of the laughter) was expecting her to be so exceptionally dainty. She first tried to crawl AWAY from the cake – I think she was shocked that such a huge slice of cake was being offered to her. And then after I gave her a taste of the icing, she inched warily towards it and dipped ONE, SINGLE FINGER into the icing and gave it a taste.
Emboldened, she swiped a bigger dollop of icing and sucked her finger thoughtfully.
Before long, she was grabbing HANDFULS of icing.
And it gets even funnier.
We introduced some “friendly competition”, inviting Mama J’s Sophie L and YK’s Baby Jim to join in the cake fun!
And Sophie Rose started getting SERIOUSLY competitive. She started reaching over to the cake and grabbing indiscriminate hunks of it, her hands getting faster and faster when she realized that she might have some rivals to her previously free-flowing sweet treat!
Horrible, this girl ! But I cannot help but laugh. Greedy babies are the funniest!
Obviously bit off more than she could chew!
And finally, when she realized she couldn’t eat anymore but that there was still cake, Sophie decided to have a lie-down. A half-tantrum, half sugar-coma, flat-on-her-back break right smack in the middle of the Cake Smash carnage!
Bahahaha she is never going to live this down! K and I are going to show her these photos every year on her birthday because we are entitled to embarrass her with her own greedy behavior! Thank you so much again Kelvin and Sharin for giving us these physical memories to keep, K and I were blown away by how well the photos captured Sophie-doll’s wonder, excitement, greedy gobbling and happiness 🙂
And now for the rest of the party details!
If there’s anything that I was quite regretful about, it was that K and I hopelessly undercatered for our guests and that makes us feel so bad 😦 We didn’t expect so many to come after we only invited at such late notice and we’re so sorry that many of you didn’t get to have a good solid savoury tea. We kept running out of drinks, too! But that was a happy problem, because it really was so nice to know that everyone wanted to be there throughout with us. We promise to be better hosts next year, hand on heart!
When it came to sweets, though, we were fully stocked, thanks to Mama Lydia!
I shared earlier that she contacted me about a dessert table for Sophie-doll 🙂 I wasn’t really expecting much, because I wasn’t prepared at all for a dessert table and the only ones I’d previously seen or ordered (at my wedding) were usually the “supporting” cast when it came to the party, but her setup was most definitely the centre of attention! I literally gasped when I walked into the house on Saturday morning to see her set up 🙂
She really is some kind of superwoman. By herself, she’d set up a sheer backdrop with dreamy gauzy white and pink drapes and skirting for the table, along with the cutest Princess and the Pea garland! Not sure if you can see it from this photo, but the garland is made up of handmade little “Princess and the Pea” storybooks interspersed with little wool felt peas! Soooo adorable and perfect for the theme – Princess and the Pea is Sophie-doll’s favourite story book so we decided to go with this less conventional party theme and had no idea how to bring it to life 🙂
The spread was just delicious – she prepared:
- An Dusty Ombre Mauve Nutella Birthday Cake
- Delicious Blueberry Cheese Tarts
- Adult-friendly boozy Tiramisus in shot glasses
- Also adult friendly and very rich Chocolate Pots De Creme
- Brownie Cake Pops
- And a lovely touch was a huge jar of crunchy peas (to go with the theme)
Our guests really loved the tarts, tiramisus, pots de creme and cake pops! I completely forgot to serve the cake so I couldn’t get much feedback, but overall everyone said they were far more delicious than they expected – you usually find that desserts on dessert tables are too sweet, or drowned under fondant but it wasn’t the case here. Fun Fact: Mama L’s hubby is the one who prepares all the sweets! What a dream team 🙂
While many of the props on the table are mine ( yes, that’s how well her understanding of what I wanted was, everything matched perfectly with our favourite colors of pale pink, cream and lavender), the Princess and the Pea centrepiece was completely handmade by her and everyone couldn’t stop gushing about it. We’re talking a real-life doll sized bed with layers of handmade little blankets topped with the cutest tiara and a little pea pod. Hidden under the lower layer of mattresses is another pea!
And the entire bed came topped with a gorgeous princess-style cot canopy, also handmade. The attention to detail was amazing. I can’t believe she is only just starting out – when we were corresponding via e-mail she replied super fast, was so so patient with my questions and indecisiveness and very proactive with her suggestions when I told her we wanted desserts with a more adult theme as most of our guests would be grownups.
But of course, the babies had their fun, too!
Sophie-doll’s Uncle JW came over early to set up her birthday teepee with K so she and her little friends could get some imaginative play! So thankful for my brother M and his gf A for helping us so much with Sophie and about the house so we could get everything set up – from buying the curry puffs, drinks, meatballs and helping us move her toys, kitchen and cushions over from our place – so many helping hands allowed us to enjoy ourselves more, too!
And the flowers, which completely brightened up the room with their gorgeous fluffy blooms – roses in lilac, lavender, eustomas in cream and beautiful beautiful Maria pink and pink tinged roses in mason jam jars tied with twine (my favourite things) were expertly chosen and arranged by the lovely Mints (multi hyphenate businesswoman extraordinaire). She takes orders on an ad-hoc basis for personalized bouquets and does a fantastic job as always! Just drop me a comment if you want to contact her 🙂
Here’s a priceless photo from the day of Sophie-doll and her birthday twin, Chanelle (aka littlemisschewy)
I think I’ve mentioned it before, but these two were born on the same day, in the same hospital ! (Yes, they are the sleeping strawberries). I didn’t know Mama C then, but what a coincidence, right! Can’t get over how pretty and cute the two of them look here, and more importantly, how did Kelvin get them to sit so nicely for this shot! Our one-year-olds are sooo active and all over the place now, many of my photos of Sophie are blurred because she’s always on the move.
Case in point:
Yes, I am aware that I do not really fit into this tent but I love it! It makes me feel like a big kid and I wish I had something like that when I was younger to hide in and read my books, allowing my imagination to go wild while imagining that outside the walls of my safe and solid tee pee there were villains waiting to attack and adventures waiting to unfold.
We hope you like your birthday present, Sophie-doll ! Instead of giving you an electronic toy or new clothes and shoes, we thought that this would be a more meaningful present for you, because your imagination will be a gift that never stops giving. Dream big, my sweet pea!
Sophie-doll at play:
She just loooves her Kidkraft Kitchen! K says he caught her trying to boss Chanelle around and teach her how to open the cupboards and drawers! I’m sorry if Sophie-doll was a little rough, Mama C! Little Miss Bossy Pants already!
We also met Mama M for the first time 🙂 She came by with her hubby and her super cute and chubby Baby Jane, who is so tall and deliciously round that she made everyone smile 🙂 It was so nice to finally meet her in person! Here’s to more Eastie dates with her, Mama J and hopefully soon Mama Summer and her baby Ollie!
And of course, group photos! K and I would like to thank all of you from the bottom of our bottomless hearts for coming to celebrate Sophie Rose’s birthday with us this year (both those who came and those who wanted to but couldn’t make it). Thank you so much for still being our friends although we have so little time for you guys as we adapt to parenthood and for continuing to journey with us in our new incarnations.
Love you all !
Dessert Table: Lydia Low Desserts (Sponsored)
Flowers: Mints Florist (Sponsored)
Lanterns, Pom Pom Balls, etc can be purchased from Amazon.com
I’m just bursting with excitement right now. We leave tonight for Europe and we’re absolutely all over the place but I can’t wait for her birthday adventure to begin!
All our love and lots of sticky hugs and kisses
The Little Bow Family