Mar 10, 2013

Anchor’s Away! Kiernan’s 1st Birthday

My sister, Sheila, is obsessed with all things nautical. Really obsessed. Just check out her nautical inspired baby shower we hosted for her back in 2011. She continued the same theme for her son’s 1st birthday this past February, but just styled a little differently. Sheila designed an “Anchor’s Away!” birthday party filled with sailor hats, an ocean backdrop, boats and flags all in a bright blue and green color scheme. This time around it was a little more playful for a kid-friendly crowd. For all the work Sheila put into this birthday, it’s sad Kiernan won’t remember any of it. But at least he’ll have this blog post to look back at his very first birthday party. Lets take a look at all the details Sheila created and hopefully you can be inspired for your child’s birthday.


Most of the graphics was based on a printable kit design Sheila purchased through Etsy. Printastic Design was the shop she worked with. She first selected the birthday invitation, which set the tone. She then purchased the signage, cupcake toppers and menu cards to continue the theme throughout the party. She printed all of it on her home printer, cut them out and assembled it.


Sheila repurposed a few things including the flags were from her bridal shower and artwork were from Kiernan’s room. Saved money on additional decoration.



As a thank you gift to each guest, Sheila ordered buttons with cute little nautical designs on each of them. She put six in each package. The kids could pin them onto their book bags or jean jackets. They were very cute.


Downstairs in the basement, Sheila created an ocean photo backdrop by cutting out the circles and shapes to create the waves, clouds, sun, sky and even a whale. So talented! Kids definitely enjoyed themselves in front of the backdrop posing with some props she also created like a fishing pole with fish cutouts and their sailor hats.




As another activity to keep the kids preoccupied, Sheila also had an art table for kids to design their own sailor’s hat with fabric crayons.



As for Kiernan’s first experience with eating a cupcake, it was picture perfect. Look at this adorable kid. His mom is blowing out his candle for him. He is licking his finger clean. I just love this kid.




‘Do I have something on my face?’


Kiernan absolutely loved these cupcakes I made for him. I found a recipe on Pinterest for vanilla bean cupcakes with vanilla bean frosting. These cupcakes were a huge hit amongst Kiernan and all the guests. Sheila decorated each stick with a cupcake topper from the nautical template she got from Etsy.




Lets dive right into the spread. My-oh-my. My parents went all out for Kiernan’s birthday. First nephew = golden child. Haha. There was so much delicious food. I know everyone loved it even the kids!



Their famous lumpia, which I’ve had a million times, will always make an appearance at any celebration.


Pork adobo, pork stewed in vinegar, soy sauce and garlic.


My dad’s awesome, awesome beef and broccoli.


Pansit, the Filipino version of lo mein.


Andddd fried chicken. Haha.


At the end of the celebration, Kiernan opened up all of his gifts. Well actually, it was more like Sheila opening up his gifts while he played with tissue paper. He was showered with tons of toys and clothes from friends and family. Definitely spoiled! :)





Instead of toys, Jared and I decided to make him his “First Year” book with the images I had taken of him from birth up until he turned one. Being a Moleskine fan, I saw they also create photo albums at a fairly reasonable price. I used their template online to upload the images and text. It was pretty straightforward. The quality of the book and photos were really nice. Kiernan couldn’t care less about the book, but he’ll appreciate it when he gets older. Sheila loved it!


In the end, he enjoyed this plastic hanger. LOL.


Happy 1st Birthday, Kiernan! Love you always!!


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  • Wonderful post! Thank you for taking such awesome pictures and being there to celebrate Kiernan’s birthday! The cupcakes were soo yummy that the leftovers were gone by the end of the day!

  • It was a great party and this is a great post! I am craving a cupcake now, they were yummy!

    • Isabel

      Thanks, Gretchen! I’m craving a cupcake, too!

  • WOW…..what a beautiful party and what a lucky little boy!

    • Isabel

      Lucky and spoiled!! Thanks, Paula!

  • Great party, love the theme and the cupcakes were so yummy!

  • Love the theme. What an awesome party!

    xo Jo

    • Isabel

      Thank you, Jo!! It was an awesome party!

  • WoW! This is going to be my son next birthday party theme! Can you also tell me where you got the pot for the food warmer?

    • Isabel

      The sailing/nautical theme is always a great theme for a little boy! Unfortunately, those chafing dishes are my parents and they’ve had them for the longest time. I’m assuming you can probably find them easily at Bed Bath and Beyond, Macy’s or maybe Costco. Good luck!!

  • […] Ahoy mate! It’s not just Nemo and goldfish who love the sea, sailors do too! Go for a quaint sailor theme in classic colors, just like it’s done at Pretty Tasty Things. […]

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