harpers first birthday

Apologies in advance as this post is going to be a long one! Almost one month ago we celebrated our beautiful little Harper Rose's first birthday with a pink lemonade themed party.

It was such a beautiful day filled with family, friends, cake and lots of lemonade. While I wanted the party to be perfect, we were also on a budget so I ended up making a lot of things myself and I feel like I ended up with a good mix of pretty party accessories with budget-friendly additions.

I've tried to copy all the details down for you below, but if you have any more questions or want some DIY advice just let me know.

The star of the show - the lemonade stand; was made by us. My husband and father in law constructed the stand out of crates and dowel, sanded it and then painted it with a white exterior paint. The fabric top was made by my Mum with fabric from Spotlight. The faux floral garlands were from Red Dot and the blackboard, chalk pens and rose gold drink dispensers were from Kmart. The white hessian basket (filled with lemons) was from Target. The floral arrangements were made by me using flowers from Gilbert's. I filled one of the dispensers with lemon squash and cut up lots of lemon slices and the other I made pink lemonade using three parts Sprite with one part guava cordial. Both drinks were a hit and we ended up with hardly any leftovers. I originally wanted to make homemade lemonade but time got away from me so I was glad I had bought the soda as a backup! If you are in Perth and you'd like to hire this from me just send me an email.

Harper's birthday outfit was from a mix of Instagram stores. Her turban was from Little Maddie's Boutique - this was actually the inspiration for the pink lemonade theme. After I saw it I fell in love and planned the rest of the party around it. Her dusty pink lace romper was from Sunn & Laic and is another beautiful piece that will be treasured forever. The little tutu is from Lulu & Milly and was the perfect addition to complete the outfit. I wanted a tutu that wasn't too full or puffy as the outfit was already quite busy and this one turned out to be perfect! Not to mention a perfect colour to match the rest of the outfit. The rose gold shoes are Saltwater Sandals from Harley & Soo. Harper has been wearing these sandals all Summer and they are great quality, I would highly recommend them.

The balloon garland was another DIY made by me. If you're interested in DIY'ing this yourself, all you need is an assortment of balloons (I used about 75 but I only wanted a small garland), fishing wire (we used the thickest type available from Big W) and a strong needle. Start by blowing up your balloons in various sizes and securing them with a knot at the bottom. Using the needle, thread the fishing wire through the piece of balloon underneath the knot. Keep bunching the balloons up as you are threading and arrange them on the fishing wire so you fill in any gaps with smaller balloons. You will get the hang of this pretty quickly - it's just a matter of twisting and bunching the balloons as tight as you can and then fluffing them around the wire. Once you've reached the size you like, tie double knots at both ends. Then if you pick up your garland and find any gaps, secure small balloons in the gaps using double sided tape. We hung the garland from railing using the fishing wire and more double sided tape. We made our garland the night before and it was 37 degrees celsius on the day of Harper's party and it still held up great!

The beautiful cake was from the Bakeshed. Dani has made a few cakes for me now and they are always amazing. For Harper's birthday I wanted something fun and suitable for a kids party and Dani nailed the brief creating the super cute pink lemonade themed cake. The actual cake inside was a lemon yogurt cake with a buttercream filling and it tasted amazing.

The rest of the dessert table came together with the help of family. I made the meringues and cupcakes, my Mum made iced vovos with homemade marshmallow, my mother-in-law made an assortment of Italian biscuits and my husband's Nanna made the cannoli. The donuts were just from Krispy Kreme and I added a few sugar flowers to pretty them up! The three tiered lolly jar was another bargain from Kmart.

To pipe the meringues and cupcakes, I used a Wilton 1M and 2D. To make the cupcakes, I used this recipe and to make the buttercream icing I used this recipe. To make the meringues I used this recipe. With the icing, I dd end up doubling the amount of icing sugar in the recipe to thicken the buttercream so it was the right texture for piping. Also keep in mind that when you add colouring to the icing it will thin it out slightly so you might need to add a few more spoons full of icing sugar to stiffen it up. You want your icing to be quite thick and stiff otherwise it will lose its shape when you pipe (especially if you are piping in Summer and it is hot in your kitchen). The hydrangea was easy to pipe but I found the rose slightly harder. My tip would be to hold the piping bag down for longer in the centre of the cupcake and then twist the cupcake while you pipe counter clockwise. If that doesn't make sense to you watch a few youtube videos on piping roses and hydrangeas. To get two toned icing you need to spoon two different colours of icing into the same piping bag. Spoon the first colour in and spread it around the outside of the piping bag until the piping bag is covered in a thin layer of icing. Then take your second colour of icing and place it inside the piping bag normally. Pipe a little bit out on your counter before you start on your cupcakes so you can make sure it has worked.

The personalised party boxes were from Love JK. Inside the boxes I made up little lolly bags, fairy floss and added an assortment of toys that were are and gender appropriate. For the bigger kids I added notepads, stickers, a mini water pistol and tiny games and for the babies I added a bib and rubber duck. I also placed bubble wands on the kids table which were a big hit!

The venue was Sumpton Green Community Centre in East Fremantle. This was the perfect place to hold a first birthday as it included a kitchen, toilets, big wraparound balcony and inside space as a shelter from the heat. It also had a playground which kept the kids busy.

xx G

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