They are hard because there isn't really a whole lot for the birthday girl/boy to do to participate and appreciate, but they are also easy because there is no one sobbing hysterically because you screwed up the Dora the Explorer theme.
In essence, the first party is more for you, the parent, than for the child.
We chose to have Reese's party on the patio of our apartment building and we had a sunny, albeit chilly, afternoon for the party. There were picnic tables for eating and lots of room for milling around.
We ordered the most awesome sandwiches from Torrisi Italian Specialties and had a variety of the baby's favorite foods, like hummus, bananas, blueberries, whole wheat pitas and puffs of all kinds.
For decor, I worked with Carol from fox+paper to design the invitations and the banner below with a girly monkey theme.
She did a pretty awesome job.
I used Smitten Kitchen's recipe for the Best Birthday Cake and Cook's Illustrated's Foolproof Chocolate Frosting. The sock monkey cake toppers came from the very talented Two Sugar Babies (located in Pittsburgh, a nice sentimental nod to our recent past). They were able to make one large topper for the grown up cake and a little cupcake one for the smash cake.
How cool are these cups with the chalkboard labels?
Reese also received an obscene number of presents. And a Justin Bieber balloon.
We swapped out the cake topper for a big ol' ONE candle and let her loose on her very own cake. Some people (grandparents...cough...cough) were worried she might not understand what to do with the cake.
Not exactly a problem.