Planning a First Birthday Party

When I first wrote this post I had no idea how popular it would be. I swear this post is at the top of our viewed posts lists every single day. I reread it today while thinking that it is almost time to start planning my granddaughter’s second birthday and think again… where has the time gone? Not only is she going to be turning 2 years old in a few months, but I am also going to be a grandmother again shortly after that!

With everything going on with my grandmother, I have been pondering life a lot the last while. While I am struggling with my grandmother’s age, I am very thankful for my beautiful little granddaughter and my grandson who is on the way. My granddaughter is the joy of my life and my grandson will definitely share that spot once he is born!

With all that in mind I thought I would repost this Planning a First Birthday Post since it seems to be THE most popular one I have written and hope anyone who hasn’t read it enjoys it as much as everyone else seems to be!


I honestly do not know where the time has gone but in less than a month my/our granddaughter is going to be One!!! While I hate that the time has flown by, I do look forward to joining Kim in planning and executing the party.

I actually spent the afternoon with my granddaughter yesterday after my Dr’s appointment and even though I spent the night babysitting her 2 weekends ago, it is amazing how much she has learned since then! She must have spent an hour “reading” to her Grandma yesterday lol… at least that’s what I think she was doing because I have somehow forgotten over the years how to translate baby talk …. it was either that or she was cursing me out, so I prefer to think she was telling me a story since she Was holding a Care Bears book while she “talked.”

We have decided to go with a Minnie Mouse theme for her First Birthday party! And as you can imagine… Pinterest has provided us with more ideas than we will ever need. Today I chose to highlight some of the ideas we are thinking of implementing!

Something as simple as how you lay out the (paper) plates can significantly add to the theme of a party. We found a picture that shows 2 sized of black paper plates displayed in such a way that they look like Mickey/Minnie Mouse.

Or even using construction paper, craft foam or even Bristol board to add bows to the plates to fancy them up a bit!

Even the cutlery and how it is displayed can help carry the theme to the food tables. I found 2 great examples of this… we just haven’t decided which one to use…. yet! I think we will use the first example to decorate the glass beverage dispenser I have to fill with some kind of pink punch!

I found a really cool way to display “through the first year” photos showing everyone how much she has grown.

Free Printables to add Minnie Mouse “Bows” to anything and everything lol….

Even ways to decorate plain white bows to carry the theme throughout.

Kim has some Mickey Mouse shaped cookie cutters we are going to use to shape the sandwiches and maybe cheese for cheese and crackers…. there are hundreds of cute cupcake ideas… and I found the cutest pink Minnie Mouse shaped meringue on sticks.

We found some cute… and what seems easy to make… table decorations.

And finally the cake!!!! I think we have decided on one similar to the one in the picture below to make the cake.

We have so many ideas in our heads… and saved on Pinterest… that should make this First Birthday party something she will remember for years… if only through pictures she sees later in life lol!


Groupon Online Cake Decorating Course – SEE LINK BELOW

Lemon Loaf Cake – Update

I wanted to do an update on this post. I liked the texture of this loaf cake, and how fresh it stayed in both flavour and texture that I decided to try it with another cake mix/pudding combination.

This time I used a white cake mix and vanilla pudding. I also had about a cup of chocolate chips left in the cupboard so I threw them in too.

While the taste and texture was still awesome and chocolate chips do taste really good in it, the chocolate chips all sunk to the bottom of the loaf. I know that doesn’t affect the taste at all but I think next time it would probably work better if I added the chocolate chips or anything else I might want to add to the dry ingredients to see if they “stay” where they are supposed to be…. scattered throughout the loaf. Still a great taste and texture, just sunken chocolate chips lol!

Next I’m thinking maybe a nice spice cake mix and butterscotch pudding lol???


Last week I finally tried one of those cake mix/pudding recipes… you know the ones that say only 5 ingredients too make?

I really didn’t expect it to work out very well because I tried the same sort of thing with cake mix donuts a few weeks back. That was an epic fail! When I tried to get them out of the pan they just crumbled.

Why I thought it would be a good idea to give it another go is beyond me, but thankfully this time it was an epic win!

The loaf cake turns out so moist and flavorful, and it almost has a pound cake texture. I will definitely try it again!


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Marble Cheesecake (Baked)

We were having company on Sunday, a nice visit with my brother-in-law and nephew. I made a huge pan of lasagna, French bread, Caesar salad and then this cheesecake for dessert. You can never go wrong with cheesecake… am I right lol?

Cheesecake is a favourite around here… this one being about 2nd or 3rd on the list of favourites! It is easy to make and well worth the time it takes to make it… which really isn’t that bad either!

The cheesecake was delicious even though it cracked a bit through the middle. It certainly didn’t affect the taste… just the aesthetics of the cheesecake. Since no one was grading me on the appearance of it, it was a great success for dessert.


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Baked Cheesecake

Who doesn’t like cheesecake? I can’t think of one single person I know who doesn’t love this sinful dessert. I don’t make “real” cheesecake often, I usually opt for my quick cheesecake recipe… because it is quick but this one is a nice treat when I feel like making the real thing!


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Apple Cinnamon Roll Dessert

I saw something like this on Facebook when I was looking around one day. I wish I had saved the link so that I could share where the recipe originated but I didn’t even think about it at the time so I had to wing it when I tried it the other day.

What we ended up with was a wonderfully smelling, and tasting, dessert. I thought it would end up more like a cake… or a monkey bread sort of dessert, but the cubes of cinnamon rolls stayed separated and I just ended up spooning it on the plates when serving. No matter how it looked, the taste more than made up for it!


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“Good for You” Baby Minnie Mouse Smash Cake

I am SO far behind in typing posts!!! I have been working in our laundry room and it’s been taking a lot of time but I have put it off long enough and it needs to be finished. I don’t know how I’ve lived with it for this long… it is dark and dreary and while I don’t actually spend a lot of time in there, it doesn’t mean I can’t pretty it up a little bit. Hopefully I catch up soon.. until then, here is the last post from my granddaughter’s first birthday!

I wanted to make a smash cake for her but I also didn’t want to making something so sweet she was going to get sick from it. I opted for healthier version and used a lightly tinted Greek yogurt as icing. I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised with how well the yogurt held up when used as icing. Add some Bristol board “ears,” and some flower shaped Puff Puff treats and we had our cute little smash cake!

My granddaughter didn’t actually eat the cake… or even smash it for that matter lol. The poor little munchkin had been up a lot the night before cutting more teeth and was not impressed with the cake at all. Not a big deal, she will have pictures of it in her album and know her grandma made her a cool smash cake for her first birthday!


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First Birthday Party!!!

My granddaughter’s first birthday was on Saturday and it was a great success. She was tired from being up and down the night before cutting teeth but still enjoyed her birthday part for the most part!

There was lots…. and I mean lots… of food. Between myself, my mother-in-law and Kim we had SO much food lol! Not that anyone complained and there were enough leftovers for us to send a few big plates of food to a neighbour who is having a bit of a hard time!

In the coming days I will post some of the individual crafts/decorations made for the party!

I tried something different to ice the main cake. Instead of an overly sweet icing I made a Stabilized Whipped Cream icing and everyone loved it! It was no harder to make than regular icing but without the almost cloying sweetness!

I made a cake shaped like a giant cupcake. I did swirl flowers on it then added a bow to match the decorations and some Bristol board “Ears!” Oh… and a fake birthday candle that lit up lol! (I saw it at the big dollar store and couldn’t not buy it!

I also used Bristol board to cut out a big Minnie Mouse head shape and made my attempt at lettering it using a Disney font, added a nice bow and we hung it on the front door.

I made a healthy recipe “Smash Cake” for my granddaughter, who really wasn’t sure what to do with it and was too tired to try to even figure it out. She managed to stick her fingers in it a few times and then wiped her pink Greek Yogurt “Icing” all over Kim’s black shirt lol. The hazards of motherhood… you never know what is going to end up smeared all over your clothing. I will do another post for the cake.

And A LOT of food lol! We had sandwiches, veggies and dip, fruit and dip, cheese and onion pie, 3 kinds of salads, cheese and crackers, pickles, nachos and salsa, guacamole… the list goes on.

Here is a picture of the table with almost all of the food, ready for our guests to dig in!

I made a nice “Pink” punch with white cranberry juice, thawed pink lemonade and club soda which everyone enjoyed. (I will do a quick post about how I made the decorations for the beverage dispenser later)

And we bought her the cutest multi-stage tricycle for her birthday and Dillon… her “Uncle Pickle” got her a little helmet to go with it!

“The Cake” – Part #3 – Candy Flowers…. the Final Instalment

Here it is… the final post about “The Cake” I made for a family birthday celebration.  I will admit, everything seemed to take longer to get ready but I was somewhat happy with the results.  For a first attempt at doing a mirror glaze and making these hard candy flowers, it didn’t turn out that bad!

The candy flowers are very, very easy to do, they just take a bit of time to make but well worth the finish they add to a cake!

I used Jolly Rancher candies to make my flowers and leaves and cut a black licorice candy for the middle of the flowers.


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“The Cake” – Part #2 – The Glaze

I swear lately that everywhere I go there are varying versions of what people are calling a “Mirror Glaze” for cakes.  Some of them are absolutely gorgeous to look at. I watched a few videos and checked out some different recipes to make the glaze and decided I was going to jump in with both feet and give it a go.

First off, I think I chose colours too close in hue.  I chose to do mine in black, red and a burgundy.  I think there wasn’t enough variation for it to look as good as I had hoped.  Secondly, I don’t think I let it cool as long as I should have (I was impatient to see how it worked, and impatient to have it done because I was pooped lol).  It poured thinner than expected but that was likely my impatience more than the process! You can see through it, and I think if I had waited a bit longer it would have been thicker.

This is how the glaze turned out on my cake (pre trimming the excess off). You can see some lumps of all things in it, but I think that is because I need to top up my icing colouring gels more than the recipe, they were starting to harden!  I will definitely try it again and with more contrast between the colours!


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