“You Are My Sunshine”

My youngest’s 1st Birthday was so special and it’s killing me I have so few pictures from it. This was our first summer party, we had difficulty booking a venue and decided to host this at our house. We made the mistake of not hiring a photographer (who knew hosting a party like this at your house is way more expensive than having it at a restaurant?!) and are left with only a few photos from the day. The pictures do not do justice to the amount of time and effort that went into this party, but I’ll share what I have.

There are so many great summer theme options it seemed impossible to narrow it down. I loved the idea of sunshine because I always sang “You Are My Sunshine” to Bradley since he was a baby. He even has a canvas above his crib that says “You Are My Sunshine”. This seemed fitting and we ran with it!

As with most of our big family parties, we had a wide range of ages to entertain. Fortunately we had the basketball hoop from Ethan’s 1st Birthday party 18 months prior to keep the majority of kids (and adults) entertained and having fun. (We made the pinwheels, also pictured below, from poster board, card stock and dowels and placed them all around the house).

Basketball hoop

We rented a large bounce house that was perfect for all ages! It also helped keep the little kids from running out into the front yard. I ordered an assortment of toys from Oriental Trading that all the kids could play with and take home – bouncy balls, sunglasses, water guns and paper airplanes.

Bounce house
Scrapbook table w/ toys

As you can see below, we have a small backyard but were able to comfortably fit all the guests under a tent at round tables. I purchased linen tablecloths to give a more elegant feel than plastic figuring we should be able to reuse these in the future. I hung sunshine decorations and balloons from the tent for some decoration and made a “You Are My Sunshine” banner to hang across the overhang over our patio.

Tent and tables
Tent and tables
You Are My Sunshine

The centerpieces were an absolute disaster! I couldn’t come up with anything I liked (mostly I was busy with other things having to do with hosting this at our house) and the night before the party decided fresh flowers just didn’t go and made these sunshine and number one paper cutouts. I didn’t have a cutting machine at the time so my mom and I were up late into the night cutting out and assembling each centerpiece. Every table also had a white or blue picture frame with a baby picture of Bradley.


Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures of the food. We had a HUGE spread catered by our favorite Cafe Continental.  The food options were written out on adorable chalk board menus. Appetizers included salumi and crudités platters, chips and pretzels on each table, bread and oil. At the buffet we served chicken franchise, chicken parmesan, grilled chicken and snapper, homemade pasta with veal sauce. penne alla vodka, mashed potatoes, chicken fingers and french fries, salad and sauteed veggies. Dessert was an ice cream bar, a candy bar, cheesecake, cookies and more baked treats in addition to the birthday cake. The best decision was hiring several servers. We had at least two putting the food out and serving it to the guests. I had another making sure bottles of wine were open, enough beer, soda and water was chilled, refilling wine glasses, wiping down tables, etc.

Writing out menus

Beverage Table

I had almost NO time to make the cake, so I did a simple sheet cake with a sun on top. Once again, it was a white cake with strawberry cream filling and whipped cream frosting. (It’s a popular request!)

Every guest left with a special favor. The kids all received an age appropriate puzzle wrapped in either yellow or blue wrapping paper. (Home Goods and Marshalls have wonderful puzzles at the best prices.) The adults each left with a homemade candle. I can’t take all the credit for these -my husband did the hard work like melting the wax and pouring it into the glass jars! I will take credit for the tags with the embossed sunshine 🙂 It wouldn’t be a Miletic first birthday party without the “1” chocolates – in the basket shown in picture below.