Oh Joy

happy friday + ruby's 1st birthday party!
30 Nov 2012

Ruby's 1st Bday on Oh Joy | photos by Bonnie Tsang

Last month, we celebrated Ruby's 1st birthday! Even though no one really remembers her first birthday, we still wanted to celebrate with a big party, as it gave us an excuse to see our friends and celebrate our first year as parents, too (we're still in one piece)!

Ruby's 1st Bday on Oh Joy | photos by Bonnie Tsang

Ruby's 1st Bday on Oh Joy | photos by Bonnie Tsang

We held Ruby's party at Grand Park,—a new park that opened up in downtown LA this summer. It's so pretty and clean and new and we knew it was the perfect place to have the party. And the icing on the cake? The amazing hot pink tables and chairs that are set up all over the park. You can move them to wherever you want, so we had instant seating and tables! We showed up bright and early to set up and claim an area for Ruby's day.

(Pssst...this is a long post with lots of photos, so click below if you want to see more...)

Ruby's 1st Bday on Oh Joy | photos by Bonnie Tsang

Ruby's party was all about patterns. Someday she'll ask for a princess party or something trendy that kids are really into; while I still have some say, I wanted to make everything colorful and festive. So we asked everyone to come dressed in their favorite patterns.

Ruby's 1st Bday on Oh Joy | photos by Bonnie Tsang

That's Ruby and her boyfriend, Axel, having a serious discussion about their future wedding. This photo is going in their wedding slideshow, for sure.

Ruby's 1st Bday on Oh Joy | photos by Bonnie Tsang

Ruby's 1st Bday on Oh Joy | photos by Bonnie Tsang

I was in crazy book-tour mode during the couple months leading up to Ruby's party and needed help making decorations. So I asked Jenny Batt from Hank & Hunt to help out with her amazing DIY skills. We chatted about the colors I wanted and the types of things I could work with in a park, and she painted and DIY-ed to her heart's content...something that helped out so much during my travels, and made Ruby's party look just like I had imagined.

Ruby's 1st Bday on Oh Joy | photos by Bonnie Tsang

In addition to what Jenny made, I ordered a bunch of paper plates, wooden utensils, and paper napkins in a few different colors and patterns to go with the theme. Just to make sure things didn't get too crazy-looking, I narrowed down the color palette to just a few colors and bought most of the patterned pieces in polka dots or stripes. The giant plastic animals that Jenny painted were meant to be for decoration, but ended up also being perfect for holding down the napkins, too, on the slightly windy day (and also perfect for using as decorations in our house afterwards)...

Ruby's 1st Bday on Oh Joy | photos by Bonnie Tsang

We served mostly hand-held food made by our friends at Heirloom LA. Boar empanadas, grilled cheese sandwiches, and bite-sized chicken and waffles were some of my favorites. For dessert, we had more easy-to-eat treats like hand pies, cookies, and for the adults, some seriously delicious Crack Pops.

Ruby's 1st Bday on Oh Joy | photos by Bonnie Tsang

Ruby's 1st Bday on Oh Joy | photos by Bonnie Tsang

The bigger kids had a ball just running around in the park. All we brought were balls and bubbles, and they were thoroughly entertained. And all the little ones made their way to the ice cooler...clearly, ice is fascinating!

Ruby's 1st Bday on Oh Joy | photos by Bonnie Tsang

Ruby's 1st Bday on Oh Joy | photos by Bonnie Tsang

For Ruby's cake, Sara from Matchbox Kitchen, made a fresh strawberry and chocolate cake. It was all organic, made from natural ingredients, and so, so tasty...we loved that it wasn't too sweet, and both the kids and adults enjoyed it. Ruby didn't really understand the whole singing and blowing-out-candles thing, hence the confused and slightly pissed-off expression on her face.

Ruby's 1st Bday on Oh Joy | photos by Bonnie Tsang

Ruby's 1st Bday on Oh Joy | photos by Bonnie Tsang

It was an awesome day, and we all had so much fun. Oh, and if you remember this post about gifts, we decided to ask for donations to Operation Smile in lieu of presents. Some guests still brought gifts, anyway, but we really wanted to start teaching Ruby about giving back and hope to continue this tradition in some way every year.

Thanks so much to our family and friends who shared Ruby's special birthday with us! It meant so much to have you there! And thank you to our friend Bonnie for taking such beautiful photos of the day that we'll cherish forever.

Have a great weekend guys!

 

Photos | Bonnie Tsang

Location | Grand Park in downtown LA

Food | Lunch by Heirloom LA; lollipops by Crack Caramel

Cake | Fresh strawberry and chocolate cake by Matchbox Kitchen

Decor | Plastic animals, tablecloths, picnic blankets, fringed garlands, paper poms, and favor bags DIY-ed by Jenny Batt of Hank & Hunt; felt shape garlands from Land of Nod; tea towels from Poketo; food signs made by me.

Disposable Tableware | Plates, cups, and napkins from Shop Sweet Lulu; wooden utensils from Sucre; gold polka dot trash bags purchased a few years ago from Adrian Mondratowicz's project.

We wore | My dress is vintage from Etsy, cardigan is past season of J.Crew (similar), flats from ShoeMint; Ruby's dress is by Pink Chicken (from last year), striped leggings by Nature Baby, gold pom by Ban.do, sandals by Saltwater; Bob's pants and tee are past season of Bonobos, shoes by Zuriick.

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