Hosting Tips

Phoebe’s 1st Birthday!

By Camille Styles

Last weekend, we celebrated Phoebe’s first birthday with a sunshine-y, snow cone-fueled pool party, appropriately themed “I  Summer.” When I got back the photos from my friend Wynn Myers, I couldn’t resist sharing a few of my favorites. The many unforgettable moments from the day were tough to narrow down… but my favorite (by far), was seeing the big smile on Phoebe’s face as we sang “Happy Birthday” and she got to devour her first ever cupcake. Priceless. Click through for all the fun:

Phoebe tried to dive into the cake before any of her guests had arrived.

*dress by tucker + tate


Chanel made this simple, themed-out chalkboard that welcomed guests to the party (and had the added bonus of covering the TV…sneaky, right?)

What little (or big) girl doesn’t love to get her face painted? A simple kraft paper garland designated the face painting station, and most of the kids went for summery symbols like flowers, palm trees and butterflies. (Note to self: the 1-year-olds will hold still for about .5 seconds while getting their face painted… we’re gonna need a re-do on this for next year.)

Jenn designed the most perfect invitations that gave guests a taste of the summer fun in store. I got inspired by the shades of a summer sunset, and stuck to a gradient of pinks, oranges and yellows throughout the entire party.

We handed out iconic heart sunglasses to all the kids, and they were definitely the perfect cool-guy finishing touch to Sammy’s already-amazing outfit.

Raspberry limeade served in a huge beverage dispenser kept everyone cool and was a kid-friendly addition to the bar. Here’s how you make it: The night before, make raspberry ice cubes by dropping a couple of raspberries into each opening of an ice cube tray, cover with water and freeze. The day of the party, start by making simple syrup: In a medium saucepan, bring 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar to a simmer, and let simmer for a couple minutes until sugar dissolves. Turn off the heat and cool completely. Strain simple syrup into a large pitcher or dispenser with 1 cup cold water, 1 cup fresh-squeezed lime juice and stir to combine. Add raspberry ice cubes and let guests serve themselves! (can be doubled, tripled or quadrupled!)

Since sweets were the main event at this afternoon party, I kept food pretty simple with a bunch of different salsas (my mom made this corn & roasted pepper one – delish!), vegetable crudité, herbed pestos, and homemade pita and tortilla chips. Pink dahlias were the perfect happy centerpiece.

Romance in the making… Phoebe is obviously a fan of the popped collar!

Our cake (from Polkadots here in Austin!) couldn’t have been more in line with the summer lovin’ theme of the party. We strung up a few garlands overhead that helped the cake take center stage.

Can y’all believe Phoebe is one? I feel like I was just announcing my pregnancy here on the blog! The past 12 months have been the most fun, laughter-filled months of my life, thanks to this girl. She truly gets sweeter and more hysterical everyday, and I can’t believe she’s starting to grow from a baby into a “little girl” right before my eyes…

With kids’ parties, there’s no need to go overboard – I’m a big fan of executing just a handful of creative little touches. When one motif is carried throughout them all, just a few fun details can pack a major punch. These bamboo spoons got dressed up with tiny hearts painted on the handles.

Snow cones!!! The truck pulled up mid-way through the party, and everyone dove in and made crazy sugary concoctions. It was my first snow cone of the summer (and Phoebe’s first snow cone ever) and it set the stage for a sugar-fueled rest of the afternoon.

Speaking of sugar… I couldn’t resist giving Phoebe her very own first cupcake on her birthday. I wish you guys could have seen her as everyone surrounded her, singing happy birthday. Her face went from total confusion, to a look that said, “Hey, everyone’s singing to ME… and I really like it!” I’m afraid we may have a drama queen on our hands.

In Austin, mid-August days leave no choice but to dive in the pool.

How darling are Lillie and Penny?

We used a simple heart-shaped rubber stamp dipped in neon ink to dress up plain paper cups.

All the rows of vibrant hearts covered an interior of luscious strawberry-flecked shortcake.

One thing I’ve learned since becoming a mom? An ample toy supply is a must-have at kids’ parties. I packed a picnic basket with bubbles, bouncy balls, waterguns and little animals to keep the babes entertained. Lillian dives into the stash.

Oh yeah, and the cupcake was an obvious hit.

photography by Wynn Myers