Happy 1st Birthday to Fairy Princess Flora
A little side – off post – subject note on why I have been MIA
So I know this post is long overdue as it’s already mid-October and I am over here about to write a post about my daughter’s 1st birthday, which took place this past…August. I already posted a little apology on my Facebook page this month about being so inactive on here and I do really miss blogging!
I seriously have been so busy with my fulltime design work on top of being a fulltime mommy that I simply can’t find enough time to do it all right now, at least not the way or as often as I would want to. The last quarter of the year is always the busiest it seems. For one, due to the Holidays coming up, I always have important deadlines for my Christmas and New Year’s designs this time a year, next to, my regular ongoing freelance illustrating jobs AND getting my entirely new collection ready for next year’s opening of my very own design shop! The collection of my own shop is actually on top of my work list as it’s so important for me to accomplish that in the best way I can for a successful start next year. I am already behind on that too because I had wanted to open up my shop sooner but my start up collection is only half way ready now and as I ALWAYS choose quality above quantity, I just deal with the fact that it now takes a little longer but that it will be absolutely worth the wait and hard work. Also our social life has us almost fully booked every weekend until New Years, which is not a bad thing because we have a whole lot of fun stuff coming up but then in between we also need to rest. Marlo works 40 hours per week too and then I, unfortunately, always have to take my Dystrophy in consideration because of the health consequences I’d have if I don’t balance in my rest moments. Most importantly I do not want to miss out on a single moment of little miss Flora’s life either so that is always my number 1. priority. So that being said, my blog is a little on the background right now and I hope you guys understand.
I will admit that I’ve considered saying goodbye to my blog because I was really doubting whether I could still do it alongside all of those other things but after a long thought I choose not to. I just like blogging way too much. I love to share the things I am passionate about with you guys so much! From shop logs to reviewing kawaii products, videogames and books, to travel diaries and just random babbles. I love to share my thoughts on different subjects and give you a little insight in my life as a mommy, wife and designer every now and then too. I love to connect with my readers, and even friends I’ve made through here and my social media, worldwide and to collaborate with brands and stores occasionally as well. Also, I’ve put so much work, time, creativity and love into this platform already, it would be a shame to give that up. Which is why, I decided against that and I am just hoping my loyal readers, will stick with me also in times where I’ll post a little less.
Eventually I’ll always come back to post on here and I have tons of subjects I still want to write about and stuff I want to review, which makes me excited so for now and hopefully for a long time, My Little Heart of Kawaii is still here to stay!
Flora’s 1st birthday; too big of milestone to not share
Ok, back to the original subject, while it’s already a bit over 2 months ago, I still wanted to do a little post about Flora-Aurora’s very 1st Birthday as a follow up post on my previous post “A Royal 1st Birthday Invite” because, as stated above; it’s just too big of a milestone to not share.
Sticking to the theme
My post about her royal 1st Birthday Invite already gave away, that, obviously, Flora’s first birthday was going to be all fairy tale themed as we thought that was only the appropriate thing to do for a fairy princess’s 1st birthday celebration. I mean, when you are named after two Roman Goddesses and those names also happen to belong to a Disney’s classic fairy and princess, it would have been a little off to celebrate in Minions style perhaps…while, I am sure, that would have been a blast too haha but we decided to stick to the theme.
Royal décor and party essentials
So, for months we were already on the lookout for fairy-talish party decorations, cake inspirations and our outfits etc. While we could’ve easily went way, waaaay, over the top as there were so many adorable decorations and ideas to go for, we’ve decided to stick to a budget because we liked spending a little more on some special 1st birthday gifts for her rather than to put it all into the décor and cake.
That being said, of course we still wanted to create something amazing straight out of a fairy tale and I am not going to lie, despite a budget, it still wasn’t the cheapest party to organize but that’s okay because of course baby Flora’s milestones are so worth celebrating in style, princess style!
Our first idea was going for a fully Sleeping Beauty themed party in honor of her name but as this was too hard to accomplish because we are a bit limited on certain Disney supplies compared to the U.S, the U.K and Japan (for example, we have no Disney Store!) and ordering everything through the Disney Store online or Ebay was going to send us straight over budget, we’ve decided to a little fairy-tale mash up.
We went for an Alice in Wonderland themed setting and high tea, princess themed plates and cups, kawaii décor and Sleeping Beauty themed cakes AND a little DIY project of my own. This way I could mix & match all the princessy and fairy-tale themed décor and supplies I could just find in stores here and it actually turned out pretty amazing!
We had pretty garlands, confetti balloons, golden balloons, a decorated high chair and a wonderful set up of her gift table and the high tea table. The tables where the guest could sit were set up as in Alice in Wonderland with vintage tea cups and tea pots and everything got an extra festive touch because of my special hand cute (YES HAND CUT!) confetti. Two days before her birthday event took place, I’ve decided to turn the designs I had made for her royal invitation of my take on fairy flora and princess Aurora in chibi style, into hand cut confetti. Lots of hand cut confetti! My hands kind of decided against it after 10 minutes of cutting, well in fact they totally regretted it but I pushed through and after about 2,5 hours of cutting, about the time my hands could barely move anymore, I had a bazillion of fairy Flora and princess Aurora confetti’s in different sizes, enough to decorate all the tables with.
Luckily the guests didn’t let my hard work go unnoticed and all told me they loved the confetti! Flora’s great grandma even sneaked some into her little purse (haha just kidding, she asked politely if she could and of course she could)
Royal Sleeping Beauty cakes and Alice in Wonderland inspired high tea bites
In honor of her name and because of her birthday invites (as well as her birth announcements) we wanted to do something very special with Sleeping Beauty’s fairy-tale when it came to her party. It wasn’t long before we had decided her cakes needed to be Sleeping Beauty themed and while we always had intend to hire someone to do her first birthday cakes, we are so happy we didn’t. I had looked into different people and bakeries to do her cakes but my creative mind is always running and so I already had such a specific idea in my mind that I thought it would be such a hassle to explain this idea to a stranger and then hoping he/she would actually turn my idea exactly into the cakes I had pictured in my mind. Also, to risk paying crazy money for it and not being really happy with the result, we’ve decided we would take it upon ourselves to bake and make the cakes. Also a risk, because we had NEVER done that before.
In Disney’s classic movie fairy Flora and fairy Merryweather fight over what color princess Aurora’s 16th birthday dress and birthday cake should be. Fairy Flora wants them both to be pink while fairy Merryweather wants it both in blue. Playing along with this movie scene, I came up with the “Turn it pink, Turn it blue” idea for the big cake. We wanted to do two cakes, one main bigger cake for the guests and Flora’s very own smash cake, for her to enjoy on her own. We eventually added cupcakes in pink and blue too.
I’ve order our cake supplies by an American product supplier online because American baking products offer a wide range of colorful (read very sugary) options while the Dutch baking supplies that are available in the grocery stores here, stick to the more natural options haha. Natural options are definitely not a bad choice but we really did need those colorful baking supplies to create a “Turn it pink, Turn it blue” cake and turn my ideas into actual cakes. I’ve ordered a blue velvet cake mix, pink strawberry cake mix, blue vanilla frosting and hot pink vanilla frosting with glitter for the main cake and white angel cake mix and pastel pink strawberry frosting for Flora’s smash cake. I did get our buttercream and fondant red sugar roses from one of our local grocery stores. The baking and decorating supplies we got also online and a few at Ikea.
I’ve also ordered two cake toppers off Ebay, a Fairy Flora for Flora’s smash cake and a Princess Aurora for the main cake. For the main cake we wanted to create our take on the popular drip cake and Flora’s cake was going to be a more simple but really cute frosted mini cake.
Two days before her birthday, we’ve started on the cakes…oh boy! that was quite nerve-wrecking, as we absolutely could not permit to mess up…since we only had one of each baking mix and can of frosting. I must admit the whole progress went on being a tad, ok a really big tad, stressful. From the baking, making the cake layers, to creating the perfect drip for the main cake and the perfect frosted roses for Flora’s cake and just the whole progress…it was quite something! I still can’t believe we did it though! Exactly as how we had pictured it and we did it together, without even one fight haha. On Thursday we did the baking and on Friday when the cakes had entirely cooled off we did the decorating.
We were and still are so proud…and SO amazed by the cake results, so many people said it looked straight out of a bakery and so, I am very happy we’ve decided to do it ourselves instead of ordering cakes because not only a lot of hard work went into those cakes but also tons of love and our own creativity and I am sure our little princess will appreciate that so much more when she’s older and looking back on the pictures we took of her amazing cakes and 1st birthday party overall. I am still not sure how pulled it off though, never knew we could make cakes like that.
Baby Flora might not remember it later, but she truly enjoyed her little smash cake and we have enough proof of that on camera. The girl was definitely having a cake moment with herself! From politely picking tiny bits off her cake like a princess to devouring the cake as if her life was depending on it. Also the guests really did not mind digging into the main cake and the matching cupcakes either! I love how the main cake eventually turned out with the blue and pink stripes and the hot pink drip. Will this be our new job!? Definitely not! Not even a new hobby for that matter. We did this with lots of love for our daughter and might do it again for another big milestone of hers but that’s where it pretty much stops…way too stressful haha, also we rather just eat cake 😉
As for the rest of the party food, we went for a complete high tea arrangement to match our partly Alice in Wonderland theme of the party. We had sweets, chocolate, macarons, cookies, pastries, home-made goods and different kinds of hearty snacks, including my home made famous mini sausage bread. Both the grandparents also pitched in and brought over a nice mix of homemade and bought food and so we really had plenty of food in general to welcome our guests with.
Dressed up in style
…if the shoe fits
For such a royal occasion and being known by our family and friends as THE Disney family, we couldn’t get away with not going dressed up in style too. After all, we have to live up to that name right!? Baby Flora, the birthday princess, was actually supposed to be dressed up in a little princess Aurora ball gown but it turned out the Aurora ball gown was not available in baby sizes. As she already had been rocking a Minnie ball gown, a Snow white ball gown from the Disney store and a Belle ball gown from Disneyland Paris, earlier this year, we did want something new specially for her birthday. So, eventually we picked out a Cinderella ball gown as Cinderella had become her absolute favorite princess while being on her very first Disneyland trip this summer and it being pretty blue and glittery still matched with her cakes and décor too!
I also ordered a new dress to wear for her birthday, it’s a little hard to see on a picture but the print of my dress has all the classic Disney princesses on it! Marlo wore his Mickey Mouse polo and Mickey Mouse Vans.
Flora’s Royal 1st Birthday gifts.
After waking the little princess, singing to her and dressing her up, we took her downstairs where we had set up her decorated gift table the night before. Because we knew how busy everything would be once the guests would arrive, we choose to have the morning of her birthday with just the three of us and take some quite time out for her first birthday gifts from us.
We had picked out her first birthday gifts with so much care and while she indeed is still so young and might not be totally aware of everything, we just love to spoil her for special occasions and really put thought into the gifts we give her. No, we do not shower her with gifts on a daily basis and she won’t get everything she points her little finger at, but we do believe in doing special things for her every now and then and it’s not just about the gifts themselves, it’s about the whole feeling around it and especially that big smile on her face. Some gifts are meant forever and have a special meaning, some might not but we have picked them with a thought too because she really will enjoy them now and we live in NOW. So we believe, either way, whether she’s fully aware right now or not, she does feel the joy of unwrapping, exploring and playing and she will definitely feel the love and truly deserves those extra things.
We wanted to give her, her first real doll for her 1st birthday because she loves to play with mommy’s hair and is always so fascinated by everything sparkly and pretty, so we thought that would make a perfect gift to enjoy right away. She actually already was gifted a doll by us, since we bought Aurora’s Animator Doll for her nursery but we left it boxed as a treasure alongside with her other Sleeping Beauty keepsakes. This time we, of course, choose an Animator Doll again (because they’re just the best dolls ever!) but not to keep boxed but for her to actually play with. We choose Cinderella, which was an easy choice after our trip to Disneyland Paris, where Flora became obsessed with Cinderella and we had daily princess meetings with her and she became –from then on- Flora’s favorite princess ever!
Looking at the video below, I think you could say she was more than satisfied with our choice haha.
Also how adorable is she matching with her favorite princess!?
Her 2nd big gift was the most gorgeous framed art print of Sleeping Beauty featuring both fairy Flora and princess Aurora. We got this in Disney’s art gallery while on our Disneyland vacation and had it sent to our home. What a great service, btw! This must be her most precious Sleeping Beauty treasure so far, it’s so beautiful!
Look how magical it looks on the wall above her comfy chair in her nursery.
We also got her a first silver name plate bracelet with a little Swarovski stone and the coolest baby boots ever; Doc Martens!
After gift time and a late breakfast, we put her back to bed for a little beauty sleep so she could rest up for the party, while mommy and daddy could decorate the party tent. Kind of ironic, Marlo always wished for a summer baby because of sunny summer birthday celebrations…well he got his summer baby but it was pouring rain on her birthday. As the forecast had already told us that prior to her birthday, grandpa came to the rescue and brought over a huge party tent that covered 75% of our yard and he had set up the tent with Marlo the day before. Since it was also windy, we had only been able to decorate the living room and windows so far and had to wait until the day itself to decorate the inside of the tent, which we did after Flora went down for her birthday nap. The party started at 2 pm and luckily we had managed to decorate everything and set up the entire high tea arrangement before then.
Flora’s Royal Fairytale Garden Tea party
At 2pm sharp, the first guests started to arrive. Flora being a summer baby, also meant summer vacation, so unfortunately quite a few guests had canceled due to being away for the summer. Luckily most of the people with an extra special meaning to Flora’s life were there and we were really thankful for that. Still, the party got pretty crowed anyways and enough impressions for little Flora on her very first birthday. Not long after the party had started the weather cleared up as well, the sun broke through for little baby princess and it became a very sunny warm day after all!
As Flora’s exact time of birth is 15:18, we’ve decided to wait until 15:10 to showcase the main cake and until exactly 15:18 to start singing Happy Birthday with all the guests and serve her little fairy Flora cake. Once she was sat on her throne indulging in her strawberry frosted buttercream white cake (no wonder she enjoyed it huh!) the guests got to enjoy their slices of drip cake and cupcakes.
Since the organization of the party and taking care of the guests sure kept us pretty occupied, we still made sure we truly took out the time for Flora’s special highlights; like her cake moment and helping her unwrap gifts. We thought this was so extremely important because with events like this, time seems to slip away from you and the whole day goes by somewhat like a blur. We really wanted to have and cherish these moments with her, to really be there IN that moment and as a beautiful extra have it all captured on camera for her to look back on and see how amazing her 1st birthday was and how deeply she is loved! And that she is, so – no words to describe – unbelievably much!
Around 5:30 all the guests had left and although the day was long and surely overwhelming too for our little one, she truly seemed so satisfied and happy and I think she truly was! We were too! It was an incredible first birthday and definitely one for in the books! And boy! did she get spoiled with toys, dolls and pretty treasures for days. Everyone had stayed true to the fairytale theme because look at all those Disney and kawaii goods!
The day went by super fast and so it didn’t really hit me until after her party had ended, our little girl was now 1…1 years old! I am sure all mommies and daddies out there understand that emotion and I don’t even have to explain that crazy mix of everything, the sadness, not wanting to let go of her first year, but also the happiness of reaching this first major milestone and the excitement of all the upcoming adventures but also the fear of time creeping up on us way too fast and how we want to hold on to our little baby forever but also being so unbelievably proud of our princess growing up into a little lady. Ok! So, I just think I kind of explained in one very long sentence after all!
My 1st birthday wish for our little girl is this; While I am sure life won’t always be easy for her as it is right now and she’ll hit some rough paths and choices later on in life just like anybody does, because there is no way we can keep all the negative out even though I know we will always try to do so, I truly hope her life will be as positive and lovely as possible and as long as we can help with that we will! This world is already way too messed up as it is and so we will do anything in our human power to make sure she has the most loving and easy childhood we can give to her. A childhood where things are as simple as we can keep them, simple as in enjoying all the little things in life together and see the beauty in them, for her to not grow up too fast and even when she eventually does grow up, to always keep her inner child. Create and experience our own kind of magic through the adventures we take her on and let her be her beautiful self, always! For her to be happy with who she is and who we are together, truly!
We want to give her fairy-tales for as long as we can, as she is ours…our Happily Ever After.
And this is only the beginning of our beautiful Happily Ever After…DREAM BIG PRINCESS!
Stay Kawaii & Cherish milestones together