It blows my mind that the first day of fall is tomorrow, but before I get to posts for the new season, I want to reflect back on highlights of summer 2020. It was by far our slowest and quietest summer yet, I’m sure many of you can relate. We focused on improving our yard, gardening and getting our pup on a solid schedule. We also did some summer baking, enjoyed a few socially distanced deck parties, while soaking up the sun. As a hostess at heart, I really missed the normalcy of our summer gatherings, but was fully up to the challenge of planning a couple small parties with new guidelines in mind, for our oldest’s eleventh birthday.
Since our oldest turned a year older in August, we planned a home celebration suitable for quarantine, then followed it up with a small combined social distancing party with family. It was simple but in my daughter’s words, her best birthday yet, which not only put things into perspective but truly filled my mama heart!
ELEVENTH BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION AT HOME
Birthday waffles for breakfast, blueberry picking and a chocolate and a sweet cake for dessert made for a memorable eleventh quarantine celebration!
One of our mottos for 2020 is to keep things simple and go with the flow and that’s exactly how we approached this year’s birthday traditions. Nothing too over the top or fancy when it came to photos, just a few quick shots at home.
This year has not come without its many challenges, but I admire the ways our oldest girl has pushed forward with her head held high and a smile on her face! Maia has the biggest heart, she is an athlete, loves to write poetry, read novels and bake. She’s my mini-me in so many ways and I’m grateful for all the extra time we’ve had at home these past 6 months. Thrilled to see where this new year at a new school takes her!
Her birthday requests included a homemade chocolate orange cake and enchiladas for dinner. The cake is dairy free and filled with orange curd and topped chocolate frosting and dark chocolate ganache. I must admit, this was not a cake flavor I’d ever think to make, but it was so rich and decadent and turned out to be the perfect choice!
SOCIAL DISTANCING BIRTHDAY PARTY
We followed up Maia’s 11th birthday with a social distancing party on our deck with a few close family members. This party was for both of our girls, since we had to postpone our youngest’s back in May!
The girls selected a tropical theme for their combined celebration that I last minute put together, thanks to quick deliveries from amazon!
BIRTHDAY PARTY DECOR
We kept the decor simple with dahlias from our yard, a tropical balloon garland and a few other small decorative details that I had on hand at home.
The balloon garland was the perfect colors for their tropical theme, complete with monstera and fern leaves for added detail.
DECK PARTY DESSERTS
No party is complete without cake!
Each year I look forward to creating miniature personalized cakes for the girls for their birthday celebrations!
Maia chose a tropical vanilla cake with mango curd, vanilla frosting, coconut and pineapple flowers. The pineapple flowers were super easy to make and made for the prettiest cake decor!
We also made a mini version of Mimi’s llama cake from her birthday in May.
Mimi’s cake was Neapolitan with chocolate and vanilla cake, strawberry jam and vanilla frosting.
I used the leftover cake to make individual cake cups for our guests with mango curd and a dollop of vanilla frosting. These were a fun no fuss treat option to serve at our social distancing party!
We also had ice cream sundaes with all the individual toppings stored in containers for each of our guests. This worked out so well that I may just stick with this system for easy serving at future celebrations!
We also setup individual seating areas for each household to make it easy for all of us to keep distanced while still celebrating! If you’re planning any social distancing parties soon, I hope you find these ideas helpful!
We rounded out our summer celebrations with a drive up Ice cream party one week later. The weather didn’t hold, but the girls were so thrilled to see their friends after so many months, even with masks on and from 6 feet away!
One of our final highlights of summer was harvesting a few french pumpkins from our garden and the Café au lait dahlias that are still in bloom in our yard. Both are a sure sign that the season is coming to a close, but not first with enjoying both!
The dahlias in our yard were the perfect inspiration for this large dahlia stand sugar cookie, that I made as a final farewell to the season.
Visit my etsy shop for this fun shape and more!
Happy last day of summer! How are you spending yours?