Last month our sweet little Rosemary turned one. She went from a chubby wee thing to this fun curious toddler in the blink of an eye. To celebrate her big milestone, we hosted a backyard bonfire party with family and a few friends.
The weather ended up being perfect for it! We set up a bonfire out by the vegetable patch with chairs and picnic tables. The straw bales we use for wintering our garlic came in time to make a small hay maze for the little ones too.
The birthday girl had fun playing with her friends among the hay, with the chickens running around and the parents enjoying hot apple cider from the local orchard, with a splash of whiskey too. 😉
We kept the decor simple – colourful fall banners (this one was from our engagement party six years ago), plaid tablecloths, lots of pumpkins and a big gold “1” piñata. We let Rosie give it one little whack and then all the kids took turns. Her little belly laughs as each kid hit it with a stick were just too cute (catch the video on my Instagram today).
I wanted to be able to enjoy the party with our guests, rather than be in the kitchen the whole time, so I focused on a hearty fall menu that could be prepped ahead as much as possible.
The main dishes were big slow cookers of Vegetarian Chili, Beef Chili and meatballs cooked in BBQ sauce. I prepped as much as I could the day before – chopping vegetables from our garden, soaking beans, browning meat, etc. I set them in the fridge overnight and then popped them in the slow cooker bases in the morning. They simmered all day while we cleaned the house and set up for the party. When it came time to set up the food, we loaded them all onto the dining room table along with our favourite toppings: shredded cheese, sour cream, fried crispy onions, nacho chips and hot sauce.
My mom made a big batch of her Macaroni and Cheese, along with mini cornbread muffins and my mother-in-law made two huge veggie platters – which were all big hits with the little kids.
My sister helped me frost the cupcakes (banana with cream cheese frosting and double chocolate), along with a cute little smash cake for Rosie. We picked banana for her cake but she was not impressed until we let her switch for a chocolate cupcake. We’re starting to realize she is a real chocolate fiend – always asking for a bite when she sees it, ha!
With the days getting darker soon, most of the little ones headed home after cupcakes and the rest of us headed out back to the bonfire for s’mores.
We had the best time celebrating our little pumpkin’s first birthday with everyone. Happy Birthday Rosie!!