Rubber Duckie, You’re the One!

I hate admitting that my son is now almost one year old! The year since his birth has just flown by, and we decided to celebrate his birthday on Saturday. My sister is still in town from Germany, and we really wanted her to be a part of his special celebration!

So, you may have guessed by now that sometimes I am a bit out of my mind. For example, up until about 36 hours before my son’s birthday party, I was convinced the theme “Time Flies” was an awesome choice. The only problem? I could not come up with a cake idea that I liked. Or cookie ideas. Or enough clocks in the right colors to make my theme actually look cool. And, well, I may be a little bit of a perfectionist.

But by this point, I had already purchased almost all of the other items I needed in the colors of yellow and blue… which meant that whatever I changed it to needed to also be yellow and blue! My mother came up with the wonderful idea of having a rubber duckie party! At that point, my sister and I ran to Walmart (by this point, it was almost 10 at night!) and purchased every rubber duckie they had in stock– all seven of them.

The next 36 hours was a blur of baking, decorating, and pulling together an amazing party. I think if we wouldn’t have told people we had changed the theme less than two days before, no one would have known! Somehow, it all came together perfectly, probably through a lot of magic and a pile of help from my mom and sister!

I wanted to share all of the special elements of the party with you, as well as some incredibly cute photos of the birthday boy!

I am positively in love with these striped straws I scored from Pick Your Plum. They were my very first purchase for the party, and I can’t get enough of them. They’re gorgeous! I am also a jar-a-holic, and I knew that those straws would pair adorably with Ball jars I had purchased by the dozen from Walmart. To drink, we served lemonade and Berry Blue Typhoon Hawaiian Punch, because the colors paired perfectly with my yellow and blue color theme!

I baked and decorated a fun smash cake for Zach that coordinated with the larger cake I’d be serving to everyone. We also continued a tradition we started at his baby shower– inviting (or rather, forcing) every guest to sign a personal message in his book. We try to choose a book related to the theme of his birthday. Grandma was the hero- she finally found a book about a duck with only hours to spare! It is an incredibly cute book, too, called “The Duckling Gets a Cookie?!” I am totally in love with it, and now I want to buy the whole series of them!

Here is the coordinating cake that we served to everyone (since we figured they wouldn’t want to share the smash cake that his grubby hands were all over! Actually, his hands were clean, but that’s hardly the point!)

See those colorful paper chains in the backgrounds of the photos? There are 720 links in those chains altogether. I was reminded of that fact several times during the SIX HOURS that my mom and sister slaved over them. They turned out beautifully, though, and they helped settle my OCD mind (I was bothered by having a red wall behind a blue-and-yellow party!) My mother also hand-rolled all of the bubbles on the cake. Each bubble is made from marshmallow fondant (Jet-Puffed saves the day, again!), rolled into bubbles by my mother, and then hand-painted with a mixture of water and Wilton Pearl Dust to get that bubbly luster. I did three coats of the pearly mixture to make them extra soapy looking.

As for the inside of the cake, well, each person got a layer of chocolate AND a layer of vanilla in one slice, so then there wasn’t a need to decide which they wanted! The cake was moist and delicious, and I can’t wait to share the recipe with you!

Each guest got to take home  a treat back (also from Pick Your Plum) filled with yummy cookies… I just made some shortbread cookies and frosted them with royal icing so each person got a trio of cookies– ducks and bubbles! The ducks are my favorite– they even have a mini chocolate chip eye!

The table also had plates of cookies for guests to snack on during the party.

We went ahead and stripped Zach’s shirt off for the cake smash. If you’re planning to do a smash, trust me, you’ll want the shirt off! I couldn’t help but take about a million pictures of him really digging into his cake… here are a handful that I loved the most.

As you can see, I had a lot of trouble deciding whether I wanted black and white or color photos… the blue icing was so much fun in them, but some of the black and whites translate his expression better… I can’t decide!

His expressions continued to be exciting through the present opening, of course. It was adorable!

“Are you interrupting my present opening?”

The cards especially confused Zach. He kept turning the pages back and forth like “where’s the rest of my book?”

His reaction to the ball was especially hilarious… it was as though he had never seen a ball before! He was thrilled!

He had a great day, all in all. The party came together perfectly (with lots of help!) and he enjoyed the cake and presents so much! I’m glad that he had fun, and we loved seeing all of the friends and family that came to share his special day with us. We also missed those who couldn’t be there to celebrate with us.

Now, I have to adjust to the idea that my little boy is nearly one year old already! I’m not ready for that– he is growing up way too fast!



  1. I loved the party. The decorations were great, the food was fantastic and Zach was adorable. I had a very good day and enjoyed the whole experience. Give Zach a big kiss from me.

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