Today we are thrilled to welcome a guest to the Smock blog, Seana, who recently hosted the most incredible first birthday party for her daughter Madeline. Inspired by the Smock letterpress party invitations she sent to guests, Seana crafted a beautifully handmade, eco-friendly party that has us dreaming up any number of excuses to host great parties. Without further ado, Seana shares with us more about Madeline’s fabulous birthday celebration…
A couple months after my daughter Madeline was born, I was perusing the web for eco-friendly paper companies who had cute birth announcements. I came across Smock and fell in love with the Horsey stationery suite. I decided right then and there they would be the invitations for my daughter’s 1st birthday party. Needless to say, I never actually sent out birth announcements (I know, bad mom!) but as Madeline’s June thirtieth birthday was approaching, I went back to Smock and bought the invites along with the matching Delft correspondence cards for thank you notes. They became my inspiration for her party! I went with an aqua and coral color scheme and started planning the decorations, cake and menu.
It is very important to our family that we make as little impact on our environment as possible so Madeline’s party was planned with that in mind. On my home computer, I designed and printed the happy birthday banner and the party favor nametags. I bought some scrap fabrics and ribbons in coordinating colors in order to make the flag banners and “doilies”. One of my favorite projects was the picture banner. I made a fabric flag banner but left some extra space between the flags, there I used graphic clothes pins to hang home printed pictures of Madeline starting at birth and on through her first year. There won’t be a birthday party for Madeline every year but I will continue to hang the birthday banner, I’ll just change out the number. I will also continue to hang the picture banner, switching out photos for ones from the year we are celebrating. It will become a birthday decoration tradition and it’s much better to re-use than to buy new every year.
The cake, cookies and mini smash cake were fantastic! I went to this really great bakery right down the street from our home in Chicago, The Bleeding Heart Bakery. It is an organic bakery known for their innovative designs and the environmentally responsible way in which they operate their business. I brought in the invites and thank you cards for inspiration and they came up with a delicious carrot cake with the invitation horsey on it. They also made the bird cookies to look like the bird sweetly perched on the horsey’s back. Madeline’s mini smash cake was actually sweetened with agave nectar instead of sugar, a request I made so as to curb that sugar overload for such a small body, and they were happy to oblige.
I will admit that if there is a way that I can get out of a lot of clean up after a party, I am all for it. One way is to use disposable utensils, plates and napkins. Unfortunately using all of that plastic is just not good for the earth so I set out to find some environmentally ways to make the party easier without compromising quality. After doing my research I found some great alternatives. We used disposable, compostable bamboo plates made by the company Bambu and we used disposable, biodegradable utensils made from potato, yes potato! Called Potatoware, these utensils were strong, in fact a lot less brittle than your regular plastic kind. I really couldn’t justify using paper napkins, so we went with cloth, but that was ok, it gave me another excuse to add some color by tying the rolled utensils with ribbon.
The simple menu consisted of:
• Green salad made from our CSA lettuce, organic cherry tomatoes, onions and artichokes all topped with a goddess dressing.
• Fruit salad made up of our CSA strawberries, in-season organic blueberries and in-season cantaloupe.
• Cheeseburgers with condiments also coming from our CSA.
It’s amazing how you can have a fairly simple meal taste SO good just by using fresh, in-season local food.
It was not a very large party, just a few of our close friends and their kids but it was such a nice way to get together to celebrate our little girl’s first year. Madeline is the joy of our lives; she is such a happy one year old and she thoroughly enjoyed her party. We look forward to many more birthdays in the future!
Thank you, Seana, for sharing Madeline’s party celebration with us – we are so completely inspired! And, a big Happy Birthday to Madeline from all of us at Smock!