Lincoln is ONE! Safari-Themed First Birthday Party


    Our sweet Lincoln is ONE!

    This year went by in a flash and his first birthday was extra-special because the day was a celebration of all he’s overcome in the last year. He has come such a long way— he’s no longer in pain from his tummy issues, is eating a ton of foods and is stronger than ever and cruising all over the place and climbing stairs! I’ll be sharing a full one year update post soon but wanted to share his first birthday party because I was so in love with how it all turned out.

    When it came to planning his first birthday party, I was inspired by his nursery to do a safari theme. I really wanted to incorporate the two giant plush giraffes we already owned (available here too) and thought they’d be perfect flanking the cake table and the rest just came together from there.

    I found my invitations on Etsy from Ciera Design Studio. They perfectly complemented the party theme and colors. The gold on the invitation was such a nice touch!
    the-2We’ve never hosted a party in our new home, so when thinking about the layout, I realized that the large window in our living room would be the perfect place to set up the cake table since there’s a lot of free space in front of that window. The window also has a large roman shade which would serve as the perfect “backdrop” to hang more décor. I used our west elm 2 x 2 console desk as the cake table and it was the perfect size.
    img_4009img_3001I purchased some black and white striped fabric from IKEA for the cake table and contacted Tiffany from Magnolia Bloom Boutique to help with some of the other décor elements since she did such an incredible job with the décor for Harper’s party. I really wanted mini gold letter balloons to be part of the décor since I had so much window space to work with. Tiffany also created adorable gold “one” and zebra picks which I used to decorate the striped snack cups I had set out for the kids (from Target). Of course she also created a matching high-chair banner.
    img_3098A few weeks before the party, I saw a naked cake on Pinterest and really wanted to incorporate one into the party. I thought a multi-layer cake would make such an impact. I used Betty Crocker funfetti (or rainbow chip) cake mix and a combination of regular vanilla icing and rainbow chip icing. I used these baking pans from Target and we cooked two layers at once until we had six total (3 small and 3 medium).

    Thank goodness my mom was in town because she is a cake-baking pro and often made my cakes from scratch when I was little. It was a little optimistic to make a six-layer cake the night before Lincoln’s party, but it was dairy and soy free and though we stayed up until nearly 1 AM baking (we assembled and decorated the cake the morning of the party) it was well worth it! I loved the way it turned out— and though it wasn’t a true “naked cake” like the one I saw on Pinterest, it was perfect for the party and very tasty. Also, most importantly, Lincoln loved it! He wasn’t quite sure what to do with it at first, but once he got a taste of that icing, he was double-fisting handfuls of it into his mouth! It was the most adorable scene ever!

    The custom cake-topper was desgined and made by Pretty Posh Shoppe! Danielle sent it to me as a surprise and it was the perfect finishing touch!
    img_3083Speaking of food, since our party was at lunch time, we went with our tried-and-true Chick-Fil-A so our guests enjoyed nuggets, fries, mixed fruit and some other snacks we had out for the kids. You can never go wrong with Chick-Fil-A at a birthday party!

    For favors, I ordered these safari animals on Amazon. They were inexpensive and the kids loved them. I also used gold spray paint on one pack of the animals so I could use them as part of the cake table décor.
    img_4010Danielle of Pretty Posh Shoppe created the cutest party hat for Lincoln that matched our black, white and gold theme, but he pulled it off every time I put it on his head— so it found a new home on the plush griaffe’s head.
    img_4008We invited some of our closest friends and family to the party and after we all enjoyed lunch and cake, we let the kids run wild in our playroom. I was told this led to a lot of good naps later in the day, so I call that a win!

    Here are some of our party photos! Lincoln slept a little longer than usual the day of his party so he woke up, had his bottle and then we ate, sang happy birthday and had cake.
    img_4012 img_4013 img_4014 img_4015 img_4016 img_4017 img_4018 img_4019 img_4023 img_4027 img_3084 img_3085 img_3086 img_3087 My mom got Lincoln this awesome Mercedes SUV for this first birthday, but for now, big sister is enjoying cruising around in it. I know they will both enjoy this for years to come!img_3099
    Thank you for reading and for all of your support throughout this last year. It means so much that so many of you have been here from the start.

    It has been amazing to watch Lincoln grow this year. Before he was born, I often wondered if milestones are just as exciting with your second child and I have to say that they truly are. Especially with how hard Lincoln has worked to achieve all he has— I’m just so amazed by his determination and I’m so blessed to be his mama. He is the sweetest little boy and we have an incredibly special bond, beyond anything I ever expected. I used to think all of that boy mom stuff about that deep/inexplicable connection was silly, but now that I’m living it, I totally get it, and it’s amazing.

    We love you Lincoln Grey!

    Disclosure: some items featured in this post were provided to me at no cost for this party. As always, I only collaborate with brands/shops I love, support and want to share with my readers.

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