Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Time flies... Mateus' 1st birthday party (or 12th month birthday)

You can purchase the "Time Flies Colorful Chevron" Printable Collection (in either rainbow or candy colors/pastel) inspired by this party in our "SHOP" section or here on Etsy.  Thanks!!

In case you've missed it, here's PART 1 and PART 1 1/2 of this party post :-)
My baby turned one and his party was a rewarding success (both parties, actually. Check out the one he had in Brasil here, here and even here)!  I am really grateful for that. I was feeling very anxious because I had just returned from Brasil and still had to do all the cleaning, cooking and decorating all by myself.  I had no back up plan or my mom to help since she couldn't come for the party.  I know, pretty wild, huh?  I always wonder, "what did I get myself into?  No more parties!" but soon I am back in party mode again, ready for another challenge... Go figure!
Remember the photo collage of my boy's 12 months I posted here?  If you were still wondering what I did with those pictures... voilà!  I turned it into the focal point of the décor.  Since we were celebrating his "12th-month-birthday", I used an old wall clock (it has been featured in previous parties as well) with clips where the numbers would be and added a "month picture" for each hour. You can call it a "month clock" :-)  Then I added other clocks surrounding it, all set to 12 hours.
Beverage station, utensils and utensils clock
A closer look, showing a fun wobbly table clock I brought from Brasil

1. rock candy to suck, bite, stir or flavor the water; 2. colored paper straws collected from previous parties (I did a lot of reusing, recycling and upcycling here!)
3. You'll never find regular sodas at my parties.  Instead, I offered carbonated 100% fruit juices. This was the first time I tried this brand, and I have to say I still prefer Izze, a less sweet alternative.  4. reusable colored ice balls gave a nice touch to the colorful decoration and didn't convert my ice bucket into a pool of water.
All the flavors lined up
Watermelon, apple, orange and lime (limeade) juices in colorful bottles
Cute fruit slices instead of "name tags" for the juices
Homemade paper pom poms (detailed tutorial here)
I hung them on the same metal clips I used at Mr. B's 40th birthday bash years ago
Even my beverage dispenser got dressed up in yellow chevron (made with yellow adhesive paper, Con-tact brand)
In fact, as mentioned before, colored chevron (or zigzag) stripes were the decorating pattern chosen for the party, with yellow chevron being the main accent color. I used it on the backdrop for the photo booth, on the table runner and on these wonderful pillows found on Etsy.
Now let's talk food... (I hope you're not reading this on an empty stomach. If so, go grab a snack and sorry for teasing!)
I served cheese tortellini/cappelletti threaded on wood picks (which I had previously embellished with craft pom poms) and freshly made pesto sauce for dipping
Salpicão de Frango (Brazilian chicken salad.)  Notice that I used one of those colorful clocks as a tray to hold the clear dishes here.
1. chicken & mango skewers with cilantro-mint sauce; 2. gorgonzola & walnut palmiers (or "elephant ears"); 3. chicken, roasted garlic & basil meatballs; 4. mushroom turnovers (or pastéis, Brazilian oven-baked filled mini folded pies)
I found these paper goodie bags on Etsy sometime ago and just had to use them at the party somehow. It was the perfect solution for individual portions of popcorn and my homemade pão de queijo (cheese buns, cheese rolls.)
I never use these colorful "dot" metal food picks being afraid that the kids could hurt themselves, but here I found I good compromise - to use them as cheese markers, by piercing through a paper name tag.
I borrowed my son's colored pails to hold napkins and used picks at the main table
Color, color, color! For the pretzel rods, I used the remaining melted white chocolate from the "cake-on-a-stick" (a.k.a. "cake pops"- I talk about them later, keep on reading...) and edible sugar sprinkles on top.  Super easy to make, and the kids adored them!
Besides the wall and the "tray" clocks, I also had a few different ones scattered on the table, like the yellow ornate clock above...
...and this whimsical "melting clock" based on Salvador Dalí's painting "The Persistence of Memory".  You can't really see from this photo, but its top is hanging flat on the table, while the rest of the clock "body" runs down the side.
paper "clock" confetti on the table
I made small note cards with some unused chevron paper and offered some colored pens for guests to write Mateus a message on the blank side.
Chevron clothespin I made using fabric tape (washi tape) 
Recycle and compost signs
Wall clocks all set to "12"
It was a real challenge to get these pictures.  The older my baby got, the more demanding the photo shoots became.  Boy, do I have a strong and restless kid! :-)

The dessert buffet showcasing my handmade upcycled pastry stands

Several hourglasses in different shapes, textures, heights and colors adorned the sweets table
I tried to get a good shot of the whole table set, but the cake balls kept disappearing...
And here is what they looked inside. I made a "test" batch of "rainbow cake" to see how my pans and oven would behave.  Then I let it cool down, crumbled the results, mixed with homemade frosting and "hid" them in a white chocolate coating for the surprise effect.  The only way I could tell the colors inside (so I could distribute them evenly throughout the table) was a sprinkle of colored sugar on top.  They are far from looking "professional", but for my first time attempting to make cake pops, they were quite fine and delicious (which matters the most ;-)
My kid kindly offered to bite them so I could take these pictures.  The challenge was to stop him from "helping" so much...
Chocolate bars broken in rows and re-wrapped in foil and chevron paper.  I then labeled them "milk", "dark" and "nuts" for guests to pick their favorites.
"Rainbow gelatin" made by layering 7 different colors of gelatin (leftover from all the play dough making.)   A little time-consuming and I didn't think it really showed all the layers very clearly.  I thought it would be a nice touch to use empty baby food jars to serve the gelatin in, so guests would also have a personal keepsake of my boy's first year of life and eating ;-)  The lids are wrapped in Chevron fabric by Riley Blake Designs and jute twine.  I used leftover fabric to cover the base to display the jars (which in its former life served as a box to hold a small cake stand)
 Chocolate sunflower seeds - another hit among the kids!
I was concerned the macarons I made wouldn't turn out so good, thus I also ordered some from a local vendor I found a few days before the event.  Nicole Lee Fine Chocolates was wonderful and shipped them promptly!
Maracujá mousse is traditionally served sprinkled with fresh passion fruit seeds (native from Brasil, they are crunchy, sweet and good for you!)  I looked everywhere but couldn't find fresh passion fruit in the Bay area, even though they are supposedly in season and "widely grown" in California... :-(  The wood spoons are from the Sucre Shop.

And in the center of the table, the "surprise cake" I made... 
Candles in place to form the number "1".  Not sure everyone "got it".  I think it only makes sense from the second view from above...
And here's the "surprise"!  As with the cake pops, the cake was all white outside and a full rainbow of colors inside.  You can see the different layers fresh from the oven here.
"Rainbow cake" - I adapted a recipe from Whisk Kid, switching the white sugar for turbinado, and the white flour for a mix of white whole wheat flour and whole wheat pastry flour.  For an even healthier and more natural version of this cake, check out this one made with natural vegetable dyes.
The birthday boy in 3 moments - contemplating his personal cake, parading his "1" shirt made with chevron fabric, and devouring the cake.  Ribbon skirt made out of ribbon scraps, buttons and double-sided heavy duty tape adorn his "new" highchair ($8 at the thrift store!!)
As shown on the previous post: cake and sweets boxes, party hats, balloon wreath and party favors
"Take me with you" (and "me leva pra casa") plea by the cute boxes
 Party hats and number "1" made out of chevron printed buttons
Flat back buttons from Buttons & Badges
Treat boxes - assorted gum balls in a test tube, a mini alarm clock...
...and homemade play dough in assorted colors with recipe attached

The Brazilian cachaça-based drink "Batida de Coco" was very popular and several guests asked for the recipe.  I don't really have a recipe, but I've been pretty much making it the same way for years, based on my memory of what it tastes (it's been a while I had another batida that wasn't mine, specially in Brasil.  I need to fix that...).  So here it goes, my own version of this creamy and delicious drink:

(Coconut Drink)
  • 1 part sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 part coconut milk (canned, bottled or better yet, fresh!)
  • cachaça (I sometimes use vodka, rum or even sake instead) to taste 
  • coconut flakes (preferably unsweetened) to taste
  • crushed ice
For easier measuring (and less cleanup), use the can of condensed milk as your measuring guide.  Combine all ingredients in blender, adding the alcohol and the coconut flakes little by little, tasting as you go.  For this recipe (1liter bottle), I used 375ml vodka, 1 can of condensed milk, the same measure of coconut milk and a handful of coconut flakes (no ice this time - I had no space in the freezer for my ice cube trays... love them by the way: versatile, BPA-free, durable and kind of "retro")  Transfer to a bottle and keep chilled.  It is traditionally served in tiny glasses, slightly bigger than a shot glass.

Oh yeah, and our "photo booth" was a sensation!  Maybe the batida deserves some credit for that... :-)

Check out this and many more creative parties on Bird's blog here: Link Party at Bird's Party!


  1. Linda festa, Flave! Uma das minhas preferidas! Tudo muito alegre, colorido e SUPER CRIATIVO!!!!! Bjs!

  2. Uau, quantos detalhes! Realmente a festa foi um show, incrível imaginar quanta coisa você fez, cada pedacinho da festa ... seus convidados devem ter se sentido extremamente privilegiados por compartilhar tanta dedicação.
    Beijos e muitos parabéns!

    Maria Tais

    1. Obrigada, Maria Tais! Já sou tua fã, desde que a Katia me contou (e mostrou) as tuas festinhas também!

  3. Flavia,encantada e boquiaerta!!!
    Pelo seu talento,olhar,criatividade e trabalho,pois sei que apesar de prazeroso é trabalhoso.
    Parabéns e tomei a liberdade de compartilhar os preparativos com uma amiga minha no face,onde vc explica como faz a massinha,tá???
    Aproveitei e faleii para ela olhar a festa todinha,vale a pena!!!
    Vou voltar aqui,sei que ainda não vi tudo com calma como gosto!!!


    1. Obrigada, Milena! E imagina, a idéia é compartilhar mesmo, espero que a tua amiga tenha gostado, beijos!

  4. Nossa Flávia! Que festa mais linda, você é muito talentosa e cuida dos mínimos detalhes, estou encantada! Parabéns pra você e pro seu filhote! Beijos de uma grande admiradora!

  5. Minha nossa, quando vc. falou para não ler o post com a barriga vazia, pensei que estivesse brincando !!!
    Eu quase comi a tela do computador ... kkk
    Lindo, lindo lindo ...
    Parabéns pra vc. e pro filhão !!!
    Kelly Nomura

  6. Roberta Fávaro16 August, 2012 06:30

    Flavinha, que coisa mais linda!!!! Você iria fazer sucesso imenso aqui no Brasil!!!Parabéns amiga!!!

    1. Obrigada, Betinha! Pena a gente estar longe, né? Mas pelo menos vocês puderam participar da festinha dele no Brasil. Foi uma delícia poder trabalhar com a minha irmã, e ter tido a alegria da tua presença com a família querida. Seja bem-vinda por aqui :-)

  7. Simplesmente LINDAAAAAA

  8. This is utterly fabulous!!! I love the cute little cubes holding the name cards for the food. what are they. and I would love to know how you did the wreath of colourful material. Great to have a tute. Thanks for the inspiration!!

    1. Thank you, Candice! The wreath is made out of straw and covered with latex balloons pinned to the wreath using floral wire. There's a little picture tutorial on my previous post here: The "food card" cubes are small wooden cubes (look for them at craft stores, or that I painted, then drilled a small hole to insert hand-shaped memo holder clips. I found them at Etsy, but can't remember which store right now. I can check on that if you want. Really glad I got to inspire you!

  9. Muito obrigada pelos elogios super carinhosos! Realmente deu trabalho organizar tudo, ainda mais tendo que driblar meus "assistentes-mirins", mas valeu super a pena! Espero tê-las inspirado também. Beijos, queridas!!

  10. Gretchen Hritz17 August, 2012 20:17

    Flavia, this is so awesome! The detail is amazing. Congrats on the blog site! Really fun to read. Love the photos. My little boy turns 1 in September and this is great inspiration.

    1. Thanks for stopping by and for the compliments, Gretch! Wow, time flies indeed - congratulations on your baby turning 1! I still remember fondly of Gabriel's first party when you and Frances came :-) Glad to be able to inspire!

  11. Bom dia... Flavia foi uma linda surpresa essa sua festa, achei tudo muito original e feito com muito carinho. Eu fiquei muito curiosa como é se faz estas sementes de girassóis virarem lindos confetes? Parabéns

    1. Muito obrigada, Alessandra!! As sementes de girassol foram uma das únicas coisas que já comprei prontas. São praticamente a versão mais saudável dos M&Ms... Achei essa receita na internet (em inglês), apesar de achar que pode-se pular toda a parte de deixá-las de molho, ainda mais se já forem torradas. Essa versão é coberta só com chocolate (mais saudável), mas pode-se cobri-las com "candy coating" colorido depois:

  12. Oi Flavia,

    Em primeiro lugar gostaria de lhe parabenizar pela Maravilhosa festa e criatividade. Hoje não poderia deixar de postar um recadinho pois já é a terceira vez recebo de alguém o link do seu blog, porque sabem adoro decoraçoes de festas também. Na verdade acho que lembram de mim, pois devo confessar que temos muiiiiiito em comum. Além de sermos 2 brasileiras perdidas aqui na terrinha do tio Sam, parece que temos o mesmo estilo e até combinamos de fazer o mesmo estilo de festas.
    Eu gostaria muito de me poder me dedicar a este ramo, mas infelizmente agora estou com outras prioridades. Eu também gostaria de montar um blog, mas por enquanto só tenho meu e.mail ( e o facebook, que acabei de "like" Fête à Fête. Depois me mande o seu e.mail para trocarmos mais figurinhas.

    Parbéns mais uma vez

    Ana Carolina

    1. Oi Ana Carolina, muito prazer e obrigada pelos elogios! Onde mora aqui nos EUA? Eu também só faço essas festas por prazer, mas confesso que volta e meia penso a me dedicar a isso profissionalmente, mas com dois meninos em casa não sei como daria conta sozinha! Na verdade, um dos motivos da criação do blog foi ter um "portfolio virtual", mas acabou sendo uma ótima maneira de revisitar as festas e trocar idéias com as pessoas que o visitam. O meu email é feteafete {at} ou então é só clicar no logo "Fête" embaixo de "Contact Me". Vamos trocar figurinhas sim, beijos!

  13. Minha amiga, você é, sem sombra de dúvida, uma verdadeira ARTISTA!! Fiquei louca com o bolo- e olha que não sou muito de bolos de festa.
    Só te digo uam coisa: tô triste por não ter ido!

    1. Obrigada, Marcelle querida! Acredita que esse foi meu primeiro bolo de aniversário? E deve ter sido o quarto bolo que fiz em toda a minha vida! Não sou muito chegada a fazer nem a comer doces, então essa festa foi um verdadeiro desafio :-) Pena mesmo essa distância, mas quem sabe um dia? Beijos!

  14. Ai que lindo amei, este é um ótimo tema para uma festa.
    Gostei muito do blog e estou seguindo.

  15. Obrigada, Helen Viviane!! Espero vê-la sempre por aqui :-) Dá uma passadinha na minha página no Facebook também, onde compartilho mais idéias e novidades: Beijos e uma ótima semana!!


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