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The Hip Life



a first birthday

Courtenay Henderson

I'm both sad and happy that I can take my party hat (flower crown) off for another year or so-- who knew that planning a party could be so intense? I had more nightmares about London's first birthday than I did about my own wedding!

I had a lot of ideas circling in my mind and a clear vision for this little girl's party. I think I probably started planning it when she was only a couple weeks old. It's been awhile since I got to plan a party! That being said I was stress paralyzed just thinking about the party. A month before the party was supposed to happen I hadn't planned anything or set a date because the thought of it was overwhelming.

I discovered that sometimes I miss opportunities because I take too long to pull the trigger. I think it's important to process and think things through, but maybe not over think them-- which is what I do 90% of the time. I am committed to seizing the moment and the opportunities set before me and am glad a first birthday made me realize this about myself. Onward and upward.

Thank goodness I have wonderful people in my life to help organize me!

My friend Siobhan was one of those people. She helped me pull my thoughts together by talking out ideas and making them a reality. We made and designed banners, cupcake/cake toppers and some beautiful paper flowers. Seeing them completed snowballed my excitement and helped me to get in gear to plan the rest of party. Siobhan has an etsy shop full of beautiful banners and party supplies. Check it out!


Flower crowns seemed like a good idea in my head; I just saw all my friends and their kids running around and sipping tea in these crowns looking so delicate and pretty. This part of the vision almost made me cancel the party. I had an extremely hard time finding instructions on how to make them and what supplies to buy. I had to improvise, but I am happy with how they all turned out. My first crown took about an hour to make, the rest took 5-10 minutes.

It was important to me that all the food was homemade so I started my baking about a month in advance and froze scones, blueberry tarts and chocolate cupcakes. The day of the party I had help making little cucumber sandwiches and ham and cheese croissants.

Turns out people love mini everything! Next time I have a tea party I would double what I had planned for food.

I love the look of lavender lemonade but I had a hard time tracking down the lavender. The morning of the party I ran around town with a girlfriend in one final effort to find some. We ended up at Home Depot and learned a thing or two about lavender. 

There are two different types of lavender plants. The one that is edible and that you can use is called lavendula or english lavender. The other one looks more like a bush. It doesn't have those nice sprigs and buds that look so beautiful in a glass jar.

I hope I just saved you thirty minutes of running around in Home Depot!



I had seen big white balloons on pinterest, but instead of a string they had leaves as their anchor. Loved it! I bought some fake vines/flowers from Michaels, on clearance, for about $2. I pulled off the parts that I liked and attached them to the string on the balloon with floral wire. Didn't need very much, and it weighted the balloons down enough that I didn't need to have them attached to a base.They were so whimsical! I wish I could have a balloon by my table all summer long.


While we're here... Let's talk about that adorable little candle. My friend Colleen makes them and I was lucky enough to be in Kelowna before the party so she made one for London. The candles come on a stick so they sit perfectly in your cake, (I put mine in a little crooked...) and you can cut them to whatever size you need. I had the cake sitting out for the whole party so it's cuteness could be observed. Her instagram handle is @figandruby

I loved this day, and loved having people over to celebrate my little bean.

Happy one, London!