Thursday, April 21, 2011

Cohen's First Birthday

I had all kinds of grand plans for Cohen's first birthday, mostly gleaned and snipped from Martha Stewart Living, that I had been hoping to bring together without the help of her assistants, planners, coordinators, and designers, at noon on Saturday, April 16. Well, it turns out Martha Stewart I am NOT, but in true creative "I'm An Artist" fashion I didn't go down without a fight. Originally, it would have been a garden party with Kris at the grill and our dear friends and family frolicking in our backyard. Except we don't have a backyard, much less a garden, just a barren plot of earth that spits forth an inordinate amount of prickly weeds. So, frolicking was definitely out. After issuing invitations, I discovered that my original restaurant of choice was going to be closed that particular Saturday, this realization was immediately followed by furious internet trolling for an equally, hip, kid-friendly, affordable, and yummy place to crash.

Success! Pasquini's on Broadway fit the bill to perfection and the best part, they were willing to house our group of loud, fun-loving friends and a one-year old with a penchant for total and utter destruction.

Now, to figure out the cake. It had to be special but not tacky, delicious but not boring, and I had the design all drawn out. Of course, I know nothing when it comes to pricing a cake and after visiting several well-known bakeries I'm still none the wiser. Why exactly is a square cake more expensive than a round one? Is fresh fruit really that difficult to work with to warrant such a price hike? Fortunately, I stumbled across a little bakery off of Sante Fe called Frills and talked to the baker himself. The guy was so gracious and even offered to let me take of giant slice of cake from the fridge, for FREE!, so I could get a sense of their flavors, textures, and general deliciousness. An offer that hadn't even been suggested or uttered at any of the other shops, just a non-committal shrug toward their $8 cake pops if I "wanted to try something".

Next item on the list: Party Favors! I was really looking forward to these I just wasn't happy with the garish plastic options provided at my local Target and then I stumbled across a simple pattern for goodie bags you could fashion out of the fabrics of your choice. Great! Except our current sewing machine crapped out on the last project we tried to coax from it's needle. Not that it was such a tragedy, the only thing I'd ever attempted to sew in the past was a curtain that looks like something Ray Charles cranked out one night after one too many drinks. After spending a whole evening hand sewing one shaky seam, my dear husband took pity on me and purchased a new sewing machine (a la Martha Stewart!). I then spent the following evening getting acquainted with aforementioned sewing machine and after several less-than-stellar attempts I could sew a goodie bag in 6 minutes flat, skewed seams and all!

I was feeling pretty good about my plans thus far when I ran across this party...a party for a cat. A CAT. Not that I don't think cats aren't awesome, I was just having a little bit of anxiety that this feline was obviously having a MUCH more posh party than my human son, the apple of my eye, was about to have. To top it off, the whole thing looks like it was photographed by a professional and all guests look like they just stepped out of a J. Crew catalog. What I did love about this particular party was the little moustache on a stick that several party goers are sporting in some of the photos. It turns out I already possessed all the necessary craft supplies to whip out my own "funny face" creations for guests to use for their own little photo ops. Score!

All that was left were the balloons. I figured the Party City down the street would be more than happy to inflate a dozen or so party balloons while I ran around getting the odds and ends I was going to toss in my newly sewn goodie bags. Did you know that Party City needs a week in advance for balloon orders? Neither did I. I found two frazzled employees furiously inflating balloon after balloon who were quick to point out their balloon policy. I was okay with not having balloons, disappointed but okay, after all, it was my fault for not going through the proper balloon-ordering channels. Did you know that having a good attitude in the face of disappointment can get you what you want? Neither did I. Because after I said I would just make my purchase sans balloons the manager offered to inflate the balloons of my choice, right then and there. Blessings on thee, Party City manager! You MADE my son's birthday as is evident from this face:




On Display


Melt Down

All of these photos were taken before the guests arrived and before Cohen decided sitting in his high chair was just not what birthday boys do. I didn't have a moment or spare hand to take pictures of our guests, gift openings, candle blowing, but I was able to spend every minute enjoying our friend's company, the food, and most importantly, celebrating Cohen, which is all I really wanted. A true success, indeed!

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