A baby's first birthday is such a joyous occasion and special milestone for all parents. Many mark the celebration by choosing a theme and then coordinating the colors, decorations, desserts and perhaps even the gifts for the event. It's all part of the fun of sharing this moment with family and friends, and it's the making of these memories to last a lifetime which makes baby's first birthday extra special.
One proud mother recently shared a few photographs of her baby's first birthday with me and after seeing them I just knew all of you would appreciate them too. Luckily for us, she agreed to share them here on Good Things by David, and was even nice enough to provide sources, inspiration and a bit of background.
It's the type of birthday party that took a lot of effort, planning and a flair for style to make it look picture perfect. I think you will agree that it was indeed The Bee's Knees. You see, bees & hives were the theme of Sam's first birthday party and his mother, Jessica, decided to decorate, bake and gift for the occasion with a plethora of buzzing sweets that were absolutely stunning. Old-fashioned Ball jars, honeys, flowers, craft paper decorations, garlands and gleaming silverware were just some of the accouterments at this glorious birthday celebration.
If you're looking for ideas for your next birthday party, celebration or even for a spring luncheon, take a very close look at what Jessica created & shared.
One of Jessica's fondest memories from childhood was of visiting her grandparents in North Carolina during the summer, and going to the farmers' markets where jars filled with honey on the comb could be purchased. I'm told that her great grandfather kept bees on the family farm, so it was only natural for Jessica to honor her past & present family members by having such a festive "Bee-Day" for baby.
With Sammy turning one year old it was also his chance to taste honey for the first time!
Part of the dessert table included honey candies in bee wrappers set atop a honeycomb paper-lined tray. Delicious panna cota-filled glasses mimicking beeswax candles were placed on a porcelain tray, which included Jules Destrooper butter crisp cookies. The recipe for the panna cotas with honey gelee came from Amy Atlas' book, Sweet Designs. In fact, Jessica took a lot of inspiration for this celebration from her beautiful book.
For each guest, Jessica baked and iced Bee & Hive cookies and tucked a pair into clear cellophane bags. Aren't they adorable? The reason I heard from Jessica in the first place was because she had such success using my Heirloom Sugar Cookie Recipe to create her cookies. Sweet!
A small glimpse of the dessert table shows you how everything was displayed at several levels. For party favors, Jessica put up her favorite sourwood honey in old-fashioned clasp-lid jars and tied each with a colorful ribbon. I'm told that her great grandfather Marvin, loved this honey variety best.
Take a closer look. Do you see those French macaroon cookies in the foreground? Each yellow macaroon was given a pair of sliced almonds for wings and the tops were striped with black royal icing to mimic a plump bee. I love these!
Three cakes were made using two-part beehive cake molds and each was placed on a beautiful cake stand. The cakes were sandwiched with tasty buttercream frosting and were given a honey glaze. The tops were then drizzled with white royal icing and molded sugar bees were placed here and there along the sides.
You can see the three beehive cakes standing proudly down the length of the dessert table. Last, but not least, were the glass cloches which had rice krispie & honeycomb cereal treats, with a few buzzing bee cookies. They looked like honeycombs in jarred honey found at the farmers market. On the side table there was a large beehive drink dispenser filled with honey-sweetened iced tea.
All of this for the birthday boy! Here is Sammy getting ready to enjoy his first slice of cake on the high chair. Friends and family gathered from near and far to wish this little guy the happiest of birthdays, and you can bet that everyone had a great time.
Says Jessica, "Our family and friends gathered here at our home in Maryland from across several states and generations to celebrate. One family friend found a rusty and forgotten pedal car in his attic this winter and worked to scrape the rust off of the chrome wheel, made new ladders and waxed the paint to a candy apple shine. It was the highlight of the day for Sammy when they rolled it out of a big cardboard box and placed him inside. It was a lovely day for a party and a fine time to gather and share stories and laughs. We are fortunate to celebrate the life of the newest member of our family in a way that honors and appreciates the generations who came before him."
This photograph captured the true spirit of the day: a collaborative effort to create and share a most joyous celebration of baby's first birthday with family and friends.
Thank You, Jessica for sharing your family's precious moment with us!
Happy Birthday Sammy!