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Sweet Shoppe Cupcake 1st Birthday Party

I pretty much knew from the minute our little cupcake was born that her first birthday was going to be a cupcake theme. She was so tiny and sweet, she was the perfect little cupcake. After spending 9 years planning boy parties I was so excited to be able to put together a party that was ALL girl!

It all starts with the invitation…

One of my besties (who, if you follow me at all are well acquainted with) Tricia, came over and took some amazing photos of Miss Cupcake for her birthday photo shoot.  You can view the photo here on her home page.  After seeing the pictures I knew I had to use it for the invitation.  I contacted Jeanne Carr of JCarrIllustration on Etsy last year about designing custom graphics for me.  I told her my color scheme and the look I was going for and she came up with a gorgeous set of illustrations for me.  She does now sell the set in her shop and it has become her best seller.  Yay!  At that time I was not sure how the invitation was going to look but I knew it would be about cupcakes.  I played around with styles and format a lot (a lot!) before settling on a custom tri-fold design.  I found the pink paper at a local scrapbook store and ordered envelopes in blue to tie it all together.  I created a template out of standard copy paper and made sure all of my lines and fold marks were just right before cutting the paper.  I got three invitations out of one 12×12 sheet.  The ruffle ribbon was purchased on Ribbons & Bows Oh My.  I also designed matching wide wrap address labels.  The poem was something I wrote just for our little one and wanted to convey how special she is to our family and friends. 


Once the invitations were done I was ready to focus on all of the other details.  I had seen this really cute pink cupcake material somewhere in my internet travels and decided I wanted to make chair toppers to give it a real Sweet Shoppe feel.  I purchased the fabric from Pink Petunia Pearl on Etsy and was very pleased with the transaction and quality of the fabric. Robert Kauffman makes great fabrics!  I think all together it took about four hours or so to make six. Each was lined with pink fabric and the seams were pressed before completion so that added extra time.  I loved the way they turned out and would probably do chair toppers again for another party.  It’s a subtle detail and not a necessary one but I thought it really tied it all together.  Our guests liked them too.

Those swag curtains I have up were really easy. I purchased two pink flat sheets from a Vintage Linens on Etsy, ripped one of the sheets down the middle and used binder clips to attach them to nails I have above the windows.  To get that swag look I cut a slit (shown below) and looped ribbon through the hole and made a pretty bow.  For the ends I just folded the bottom corner up like you would a paper fan, cut another slit, and looped a ribbon through making sure to “catch” the fanned portion up with the loop.  Tie a ribbon and done!  There was absolutely no sewing on this project at all and turned out exactly as I had envisioned.  I bought the sheet with the intention of using it for a curtain so I didn’t care about getting rid of it when I was done.


The hanging cupcakes were put together one afternoon over Croques Monsieur sandwiches, cupcakes, and pink lemonade with bestie Trish.  Thank goodness she offered to help me bake these up because they are a bit time consuming when you’re making two dozen.  I knew I wanted cupcakes hanging from the windows and couldn’t find anything I liked online so I came up with my own design.  I used a long needle to thread jeweler’s wire through the top so that they would look like they were sort of floating there. Once I had my hanging loops made I tied a bow on top which helped hide the nail and clap.  You can find the tutorial here.

Something that came to me in the middle of the night (that’s when all my good ideas show up!) was the idea of hanging pictures in the windows.  I wasn’t sure exactly how to accomplish that so I talked to Trish about using some of her photos and she suggested mounting them on foam board. Brilliant!  I chose a collection of her photos that were pink and girly and she figured out the rest.  The result was perfect!  Just what I had envisioned to make it really feel like our guests were in a dessert store.





Now on to the accessories…

I actually had a lot of other things planned but time got in my way.  I printed up a bunch of lovely little food tents but in the midst of cooking and preparing and plating they just didn’t get used.  Oh well.  Here is a sampling of what I designed:

I used my Silhouette Cameo for the first time with this one and given more time I would have chosen a different shape for the border but the overall look with the glittery paper and ribbon is exactly what I was going for.  The paper I bought at Michael’s when it was on sale and the ribbon I am fairly certain I purchased there around Valentine’s Day.

I used my Silhouette for this project as well.  Once I determined the right size I just cut cut cut.  I love that machine!  The stringing did take awhile because of course it had to be just right but I loved the way it looked hanging on the mirror.  I only just took it down this week and now it hangs on Miss Cupcake’s curtains in her bedroom.  She woke up yesterday morning, pointed to it, and said, “Pretty.”  That’s my girl!
High chair banner…

I made two signs for the dessert tables, “Let Us Eat Cupcakes” and a menu with the types of cupcakes I made.


Soda bottles and water bottles…


Matching thank you note list and thank you notes…


I also made “Wishes for Megan” cards which our little Kindergartner friend, Jillian, lovingly filled out for her.

I collected baby food containers for months not knowing exactly what I was going to use them for but figured I would come up with something.  Some people took mini cupcakes, others took candy, and one friend (who shall remain nameless) took some leftover frosting.  I love my friends!  Who doesn’t want to go home with little containers of frosting?!

Now the food…

As with all of my parties I cooked everything and baked all of the cupcakes.  Since it was a cupcake theme it only made sense to have several different cupcake flavors.  I made five different flavors in mini size so that no one would feel guilty about trying several (or all) the different kinds.


I will be posting the recipes for each of these in the coming weeks.  I used various sources for the recipes but ended up altering almost every one to suit my tastes and needs.  The Key Lime ones were gone first.  I didn’t get a single one.  Not even a bite.  My favorite were the Salted Caramel. I made almost two dozen of each kind and we had about 25 guests including kids and there were five cupcakes leftover between what people ate and took home.  I think it was the perfect amount!

Vanilla Cupcakes


Top of Vanilla Cupcakes
Key Lime Cupcakes


Salted Caramel Cupcakes


Thin Mint Cupcakes
Chocolate Chocolate Cupcakes
No sweet shop would be complete without chocolate covered oreos and marshmallows.  Again, I did get to sample either one!  I tell you what, as a hostess, if you don’t grab a morsel as it heads out of the kitchen, forget it!  The kids loved the oreos the best I think.
Chocolate Covered Oreos
Chocolate Covered Marshmallows
My favorite sandwich in the world is a Croques Monsieur with Brie.  If you are a fan on Facebook you probably have heard me mention my love of them before.  There was no question about these on the menu – I was making them!  I don’t even know how many trays of these were made…at least three…I didn’t get a crumb. Nothing!  I fully expected to nibble on a lonely little sandwich whilst cleaning up.  Nope. This is a party keeper!
Mini Croques Monsieur Sandwiches

Date Rumaki is a staple at my parties now.  If I didn’t serve them I think my friends would leave. Seriously.  BFF B has them down to a science now she has made them so many times. Date, olive, bacon, roll, toothpick, bake. Yum!

Date Rumaki

 And for those who didn’t want a complete and utter sugar high we did provide fruit.

Fresh Berry Kabobs
This Sparkling Punch from Southern Living was really good and will be making an appearance again.  The pink hydrangeas were purchased at a local flower mart and they were gorgeous!  I saw them and had to have them.  The zigzag pots were purchased at The Container Store.  They were fairly inexpensive but the trek down to the store in San Diego cost me a few bucks in gas!  We have white and pink pots and used both pink and white hydrangeas.  You can use any kind of flower but I thought hydrangeas would look most like frosting.  Loved the look!
Sparkling Punch
Every little girl needs a special birthday outfit!  I found her darling dress on Amazon actually and the diaper cover, birthday hat, and matching bib from the Gingham Bunny on Etsy.  Order early as these are handmade and do take time.  One of the little bows fell off shortly after this picture was taken which was a bummer but no one but me noticed.

This is the same bow she wore in her birthday photo shoot and was made by Little Monkey Bowtique on Facebook.  It was beautifully crafted and something I will always cherish.

My happy little cupcake!

I made this cake using a silicone mold. Can’t testify to how it tasted since it was her smasher cake but it cooked nicely.  I think I am too much of a traditionalist to go silicone all the way but I can say I tried it.  I used my tried and true buttercream frosting and a wide star tip.

Another thing I really wanted to do was a photo booth type thing.  I used the other pink flat sheet I bought on eBay and hung it up outside against one of the back walls.  A few months ago my husband made me these cupcake chalkboards (tutorial here) and our wonderful priest, Rev. Laura, was the first to step up and take a picture.  I had a bunch of props like the bunny ears and cupcake spatula Miss Cupcake is eating.  I found cupcake shaped measuring spoons and cups and a white baker’s hat on Amazon, pink princess sunglasses at Party City, a big pink mixing bowl, and a few aprons from my kitchen.
This is BFF B, my bestest friend, partner in cupcake eating and party organizing, and Megan’s Godmommy. BFF B & I have been friends since we were 14 years old and I am so blessed to have her in my life.  I don’t know what I would do without her.  The man making Miss Cupcake giggle is her honey, Mr. Fix It.  He put together Megan’s bookcase and her Cozy Coupe.  The Cozy Coupe nearly did him in!  I handed him a beer and it was all better.
The sign in the background was made by a dear family friend who is a sign painter at Disneyland.  It’s hard to see but it says, “Happy Birthday Megan” with Tinker Bell and pixie dust all the way through.  He also made one for my son 8 years ago and it comes out every birthday no matter where we celebrate.

I’m sure there’s more but if you have made it to the end Brava! & Thank You!  I will be posting all the recipes I used throughout the week…there are a lot!

I would like to give a quick shoutout to all of my husband and my son for putting up with me during Party Week and for all their help.  I would also like to shoutout to my friends who helped me put this together.  BFF B & Mr. Fix It (flew in from San Francisco at the crack of dawn to be here bright and early Friday morning), Lisa & her daughter Laurel, Trish, Jo, Shelly, Susanne, Andrea, Mermaid, and Rev. Laura.  My girlfriends are the best.  As soon as they walk in the door they come right into the kitchen and start preparing with me.  They know how my parties go and how there is always a list with recipes to follow and things to get in and out of the oven.  It works because I have girlfriends who help me out.  I love you girlies – thank you!

Photography: Tricia Breidenthal
Hanging Pictures in the Window: Tricia Breidenthal
Event Styling, Invitation, & Printables: Made by a Princess Parties in Style (me)
Illustrations: J Carr Illustration
Hat, Bib, & Diaper Cover: Gingham Bunny
Hairbow: Little Monkey Bowtique
Pink Vintage Tablecloth on Dessert Table: BridenetVintageLinen
Zigzag Pots: The Container Store
Flowers: Floral Trade Center
Various Serving Pieces & Cupcake Stands: HomeGoods
Food: Me (with lots of help from amazing friends!)


Tuesday 5th of August 2014

nice post


Sunday 14th of September 2014

Thank you!


Monday 30th of June 2014

That is totally precious!


Monday 30th of June 2014

Thank you so much!! I cannot believe my little cupcake is three now!

Cathy Popick

Friday 24th of January 2014

Hi! I came across your blog when searching for 'cupcake birthday ideas'. LOVE your ideas!! Since I'm clearly not as good of a baker as you, did you preamble anything (ie, the Oreos or marshmallows)? Looking forward to using some of these ideas!


Thursday 5th of July 2012

Wow!! You know how to put out a spread. Thanks again for posting my cupcakes, and a happy belated to your little one.


Friday 6th of July 2012

Thank you Shirley!

Jeanne @ JCarrIllustration

Thursday 21st of June 2012

Adorable, adorable, adorable!! What a sweet, sweet party. Your attention to detail is amazing and I just LOVE what you did with the illustrations. Love the high chair banner, the beverage labels, everything!Beautiful party.


Thursday 21st of June 2012

Thank you so much Jeanne! Your illustrations were perfect and set the mood throughout. Now I'm gearing up for my son's 10th birthday next week. Where one party ends another begins :)

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