We celebrated my son’s first birthday in Potrero Hill at our neighborhood park that has sweeping views of the San Francisco city skyline and bay. That’s how and why we came up with the theme of having a cityscape first birthday for our city boy.

It was a gorgeous day (almost a little too hot!) and all our friends and family came to celebrate. My husband and I woke up early (I dragged my butt out of bed at 5am) to make sandwiches and get the party together. Our son is an early riser so as expected, he was awake right at 6am. He was born at 6:16am so that’s my theory for why he wakes so early. We sang him happy birthday and he wallowed in the attention. But a birthday isn’t a birthday unless a few tears are shed. He made sure of that! By mid-morning he was howling and luckily he zonked out for a nice long nap.

Meanwhile, by the time the party started, I had sweated all my make-up off, changed from boots to flip flops and my curled hair was wavy-ish. It was worth every sweat drop and tear that day. I didn’t take all the pictures I had wanted or hoped, but what I missed in pictures I have tenfold in memories.

Here are a few pictures from our very spunky and precious boy’s first birthday by the bay.

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(Please note: I did not take the picture in the bottom right of the two tables. This image photo credit goes to my girl Maegan Ladeau – thanks girl!)

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potrero hill, san francisco cityscape skyline, first birthday boy, picnic in the park, pack a lunch, lunch bags

Going with the theme of San Francisco skyline/cityscape theme for our little city boy, I bought a rubber stamp of SF’s skyline and embossed blue lunch bags. The guests take a bag and fill it with the food items they want to eat. I had a basket full of blankets (which I didn’t take a picture of sadly) for them to grab a blanket and picnic.

The menu was typical picnic food fare but elevated (at least I like to think so!). Sandwiches, salads and fruit which we packaged in cute berry baskets were for the taking. We used old lug boxes and an vintage produce crate for the food. I included a few hydrangeas in blue vases on the table too. I liked having coordinating table clothes since we used two tables, one was blue striped and the other polka dots.

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I knew I wanted a fabulous cake to tie-in the theme so I contacted Mitzi who is a word-of-mouth cake baker in San Francisco (contact me if you’d like her information!). I told her our theme and gave her a few ideas. She made the most beautiful and exciting cake for our son’s birthday! I loved that that top tier of the cake once removed still looked like it’s own creation. The cake was so delicious, not too sweet, just perfect. And our baby boy LOVED it for his cake smash. After he took his first taste, he’d clap between each bite. I think he might have a sweet tooth like his mom!

The day before Foster’s birthday, I was debating on what pictures to display if any. I remembered I had a newborn photo of him on our chair so we decided to take another a year later. It was a perfect way to personalize the party. My mom had the idea of including a flower bouquet in a tall metal pail to give the table some variance in height. She tied streamers on the handles and tact on his initials. I used my grandma’s old wash pail to hold the popcorn and chips; the chocolate chip cookies were displayed in an vintage pickle jar rusty lid and all. I also baked peach and blueberry buckle and displayed on white milk glass.

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For guest favors, my mom and I baked a family heirloom recipe, fresh apple cake. We made tags stamped with the San Francisco skyline and included the recipe and a little thank you note. I should also note that the skyline drawn in chalk on the crate was done so with a single continuous line. My brother-in-law never ceases to surprise me!

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Picnic Menu:

– Turkey, havarti cheese, arugula and tomato sandwiches

– Pesto, smoked gouda cheese, avocado and tomato vegetarian sandwiches

– PB&J cut in heart shapes for the kids

– Caprese pasta salad with fresh mozzarella and tomato

– Potato salad

– Strawberries and grapes

– bagged popcorn and Sun chips plus string cheese

– Peach and blueberry buckle

– Chocolate chip cookies

– Fresh apple cake

Phew! That was a lot. And I’d do it all over just the same again for my baby boy.