Claire's Ice Cream 1st Birthday Party!

Claire's party was on Saturday. When thinking about her party, I knew I wanted it outside because she has a September birthday & the weather is usually really warm this time of year. I wanted to take advantage of an outside party because Kate has a January birthday & her party will most likely always be inside!

I decided on having it at one of our local parks & came up with the idea of having an Ice Cream Cone theme with pinks & green as the color scheme.

Here is the invite that I made. It is very similar to the one I made for Kate's 1st birthday. (Available in my Etsy Shop)
The 12 pictures are 1 from each month of her life (n
ewborn to 11 months).
The week before her party (last week) it was HOT, like triple digits. High 90's & it even hit 100 a couple days. On Friday, it was 101 and the forecast said it would be low 90's on Saturday.

I woke up in the middle of the night on Friday at 4 am to a loud "BOOM". Kevin was standing by our bedroom window. He tells me it is thundering & lightening. WHAT?!?! And, it was pouring down rain! I thought I was dreaming, it was so bizarre. Then as I stood up to look out the window I realized, "Oh no! Rain?!?! Claire's party is today. And, it is outside!!"

Where did this weather come from? Seriously, we have the MOST predictable weather here in the Bay Area. We are California, not the mid-west, the South or Back East.
It NEVER rains in September. And lightening & thunder?!? Not this time of the year!
I go back to sleep for a couple hours & when I wake up it is still totally cloudy, rainy and only 60 degrees out. I couldn't believe it. What happened to sunny & 90 degrees. So much for an ice cream party! Kevin and I started brainstorming a back up plan. Our house was too small for 28 adults & 22 kids! I jumped onto the internet to see what the hour by hour forecast was going to be. It said it would clear up in the late morning, so we decided to leave it at the park. Her party started at 11:30 and it literally cleared up at 11:15. And, then I prayed that the sun would stay out (and it did!)
I was a bit rushed setting up at the park because it was still sprinkling on and off as I drove there. But, it totally cleared up 10 minutes before the party started. The skies turned blue, the clouds went away & the sun dried up everything. It turned out to be a really nice day! (My girls have the sunburned faces to prove it! oops!)

Here is the birthday girl with her birthday shirt from Etsy.
The shirt is what I based the entire theme around.
Here is the cake & cupcake table:
Here is a close up of the cupcake toppers:

On each table I had framed pictures of Claire from newborn through 1 year old. They were the same pictures from her invitation, plus her 1 year old picture I took on Wednesday.

Kevin's mom made the cakes since she is AMAZING at making cakes.

Here is the large cake for everyone:
(she copied the ice cream cone on the girls shirts)
Here is Claire's smash cake:
Not only does the cake look good, it tastes amazing! Chocolate & Vanilla layers with chocolate pudding in between? Yes please!
Present & Favor Table:
The party was at a park, but I also had a bucket of games & balls for the older kids to play with on the grassy area:
The favors were ice cream shaped bubbles for the kids:
And, I made ice cream cone shaped cookies for the kids & adults:
And, gotta love the favor tags!
We had a BBQ lunch with hot dogs, hot links & chicken apple sausages.
There were 3 sides pasta salad, potato salad & cowboy salad.
We also had chips & dip and pretzles & goldfish for the kids.
I made some ice cream cone shaped cheese sandwiches for the little kids:
Jimmy the Sausage King on the grill:
Lunch time!
Kristin & Anna:
Scenes from the party!
Kevin & The Dowd's & baby Kira:

Mimi & Becks:
Kieran & Heath:
Brothers! Jeff & Kevin:
It's Cake Time!
Attempt at a family picture:
Instant smile from Claire when we started signing "Happy Birthday"
Must eat cake.....

Her bib & hat are also from Etsy.
What was left of the smash cake:
Pinata Time!
I love this type of Pinata. There are ribbons hanging down & each kid gets to pull a ribbon. One of the ribbons is attached to the opening & once it is pulled, all the candy comes out. Yay for not having to use a bat with young kids!

Claire was obsessed with this the pack of smarties from the Pinata!
My attempt at getting a sister picture in their matching shirts at the end of the party. Clearly, it was Kate's naptime & she didn't want to smile for me!
Kate helping "clean up" she took out all the sticks of the cupcakes & licked them:
Helping carry the leftover cupcakes back to the car:
When we got home it was present time!

Thanks to all our friends & family who helped us celebrate Claire's 1st birthday!


  1. Love the picture Claire and the tea set-hope she likes it! Anna was trying to claim it as hers ;)

  2. I love the idea of putting pictures of all 12 months on the invitation! I'm going to have to borrow that for Mason's 1st birthday in January.

    The picture of Claire with the Smarties in her mouth and Kate "cleaning up" the cupcake sticks are so funny. :)

    I did a back yard party in your area on Saturday and couldn't believe it when I woke up and found it was pouring down rain. Looks like both of our prayers worked!

  3. Awww what a great looking party! :)

    On the day of my wedding - my outdoor wedding - it was raining all morning and was even still drizzling a bit as we arrived. It cleared up about 10 minutes before we started and stayed clear until we left the park and start pouring as we were all driving away lol

  4. beautiful pictures....

    Happy Birthday Claire!

  5. What a fun party! The pictures are great. Can't believe she's one year old!

  6. you throw such fun parties! Happy birthday Claire

  7. So I am guessing you don't use the "Age + 1 = the number of guests" rule? Ha, looks like it was fun! Tell Kev he did a great job with the cookies...

  8. What a beautiful party! I loved the theme! I am such a slacker and didn't reallly do a "big" party for any of my kids' first birthdays. I am hoping to do one for my youngest son when he turns one in January. Any fab theme ideas?

  9. You really make the rest of us look bad, you know :-) Awesome party!

  10. Great photos! So cute!! We had a cupcake theme for the first birthday of my youngest in May- so easy! :) Thanks for stopping by my blog today. Enjoy the recipe!

  11. Happy birthday to your little Claire! My youngest 1st birthday is in October. I can't wait!!

    Your decoations, cupcakes and cakes were amazing!! Everything looked so pretty and fit for a pretty one year old girl!

  12. Where did you get the ice cream cone bubbles? looking for chocolate ones for my daughter's bday party. Adorable party ideas!



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