Monday, February 4, 2013

Up, Up & Away! The Sky's The Limit!- Birthday Celebration(s)

When you first walk into our home then pause to look around you'll see a comfortable lived-in white couch on your left with sage & brown decorative pillows on each end. Above our couch is a  large canvas picture which captures the view of a misty rain forest from a rope bridge several hundred feet in the air. You'll also notice through our 4th floor balcony glass doors the serene Vermont sky, mountains and green trees filling your view.

Among all the furniture & decor lie some of the most ordinary and yet most important things - a high chair, a bouncy seat, a pack & play and toys of all sorts strewn about. These little playthings are precious to us because they are our son's. Although our home is now overflowing with baby "stuff", we couldn't be happier, even when we occasionally trip over rubber duckies!

We recently celebrated a major milestone, our son's first birthday! Since his name (Akash) means "sky" we chose the theme "Up, up & away! The Sky's The Limit" to reflect just that (and the high aspirations we have for him of course). A special thanks to Leah from PrintasticDesign on Etsy for the theme she designed!

Before the big party with all of our family, friends and loved ones we had a fun, silly "Cake Smash" session at our home. I baked a simple but delish vanilla cake with airy whipped cream frosting (didn't want the baby eating rich buttercream frosting just yet).  Here are some pictures from the cake smash and party! Enjoy!

( Also thank you to all who have visited, commented, shared this blog and liked our facebook page. Our Eyes Eat First is celebrating a birthday as well - our 2nd! )

Cake Smash!

Vanilla Birthday Cake from Martha Stewart (my go to for cake recipes!)


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pans
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup low-fat buttermilk ( i used regular milk)

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2.Butter and flour two 8-by-2-inch cake pans, tapping out excess flour. 
3. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. (/I sifted them together)
4. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. 
5. With mixer on low, beat in eggs and yolks, one at a time. 
6. Beat in vanilla. 
7.Alternately beat in flour mixture and buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture; mix just until combined
8. Divide batter between pans; smooth tops. 
9. Bake until cakes pull away from sides of pans, 32 to 35 minutes. 
10. Let cool in pans 10 minutes. Run a knife around edges of pans and invert cakes onto a wire rack. Let cool completely.
11. I then trimmed the cakes into smaller rounds to taller mini 3 layer cake

Whipped Cream Frosting

Heavy or Light Cream
Powdered Sugar

Place cream in a clean stand mixer bowl with the whip attachment
Whip until soft peaks form and then slowly incorporate powdered sugar to taste
Whip until stiff peaks form
Add a drop of food coloring if desired
Be careful to not over-whip as the cream may then turn into butter!

Up, Up & Away Birthday Party

This welcoming birthday wreath was super easy to make with ribbon and cotton!
The goodie bags were also simple printouts stapled onto sandwich bags
filled with treats that went along with the theme
i.e. candy, bubbles and personalized mini frisbees!

A wide selection of yummy Indian food and drinks! 
We decorated the food table with framed theme sayings and decorations;
as well as coordinating water bottle labels. 
Akash's multi-talented daddy made a special faux 'sky-writing' painting just for the occasion : j

Dessert Table/Candy Bar  
A great selection of everything sweet from "gumballs of sunshine",
"candy clouds" aka cotton candy , cloud shaped sugar cookies,  mini strawberry shortcake cups,
mini "blue skies" (blue jello and whipped cream), fluffy coconut macaroons,
decadant truffles, personalized cupcakes and of course the gorgeous and delicious cake!
Thanks to all of Akash's loved ones who contributed to the sweet spread!

To close the momentous evening, my thoughtful husband had a special surprise in store... outside! We quickly bundled up and found out what was waiting - paper lanterns! We whispered well wishes for Akash as we lit the delicate paper lanterns; watched them bloom, soar and disappear into the night sky.

**A special thanks to Nitin Sardana & Atul Sardana for their photo taking skills!**