Phoebe turned one nearly a month ago, and even though I said we would celebrate her with "something small," one thing turned into another and we had a full-fledged outdoor birthday party for our littlest, and I'm so glad we did. Plus, my hubs really wanted us to give an equal effort for each of the girls' first birthday celebrations and Evangeline's party was pretty big.
Gathering inspiration for a party theme can sometimes be tricky, and usually photos or current interests give me the springboard I need for planning. But, alas, I couldn't think of a theme for Phoebe's party until a mere couple of weeks before the Big Day, when I saw a photo of a doughnut tower and realized that no matter what we did, we had to include doughnuts. It was then that an idea for a wintery-birthday-brunch-party was born. (For more birthday party theme inspiration, you can check out Evangeline's 2nd and 3rd birthday parties here and here, respectively.)
With a mid-morning start, a brunch menu was perfect, but I needed dishes that would stay tasty all morning. So I immediately thought: quiche! I decided to make eight different types of quiche. That sounds like a lot, but chopping up the ingredients ahead of time, using frozen pie crust, and making the pies the night before saved me a lot of time. Then, all I did was reheat them in the oven the morning of the party and they held up perfectly! We rounded out the menu with some cheese/charcuterie, spinach dip, veggies, fruit, salad, and did I mention doughnuts? (Hmm ... is it "doughnuts" or "donuts?" Oh well.)
While thinking of decorations, I knew I wanted greenery spread throughout. Greenery is a wonderful and relatively inexpensive decoration that adds a natural element to any environment. Plus unlike flowers, greens are hearty and can go without water for a few hours. So I basically had a pine tree explosion of pine needles, pine cones, and mini pine trees covering every inch of her party. Along with the two different types of pine, we draped seeded eucalyptus, heart-shaped eucalyptus, and pink peppercorn berries across the rustic wooden picnic tables.
In addition to the greenery, I also wanted to add some homemade details. So I hung handmade needle-felted fawn ornaments on a little (fake) white birch tree, and placed homemade fawn and pine tree-shaped sugar cookies covered with royal icing on a plant stand. These ornaments and sugar cookies deserve a blog post of their own, but let's just say, they were a labor of love and have since birthed in me a deep love and appreciation for felted wool creations and royal icing sugar cookies. The best part is that they also doubled as the party favors for guests to bring home!
Finally, I decided to make two chocolate cakes, although Phoebe's was a healthy zucchini-chocolate-coconut oil cake with a stabilized whipped cream frosting (you can find the recipe for the frosting here). To create a woodland-inspired cake, I dusted the top of the white frosting with cocoa powder (dirt ground), matcha powder (moss), and powdered sugar (snow). Then I carefully topped them with deer, mini pine trees, and pine cones. I opted for exposed layered cakes, which cut down on extra frosting and time.
All of these decorations and details were the perfect backdrop to the most precious part of Phoebe's party -- the outpouring of love for her from all of our friends and family. She lived her best day and was all smiles while being passed from person to person, riding on the carousel, and eating plenty of chocolate cake. We love our Phoebe girl and are so, so grateful to have her in our lives.
* Thank you's go to my husband (for putting up with my late night felting and taking all the amazing birthday photos) and to my mom, grandma, cousin, mother-in-law, sister-in-law, and bff (for helping with all of the details). I would still be setting up the party if I didn't have their help. Love you all!