So our family started the New Year with a bang…we all got SMASHED together! Cake smashed, that is! You see, the twins’ first birthday was January 3rd, but it seems like most of this month was devoted to celebrating the big milestone. We began with an adorable one-year photo shoot on January 1st, followed by a tiny celebration on their actual birthday, and then a not-so-tiny shindig on the 14th. Safe to say, we are all “birthdayed” out!
Unlike many (normal) people who spent New Year’s Eve sipping champagne and celebrating with friends and loved ones as the last few moments of 2011 slipped by, I spent the wee hours of the morning solo watching a DVD of “The Help” over and over while preparing for the photo session. I believe I ended up watching the movie about four times, so you can imagine how late I was up! Oh, the price you pay for being
anal-retentive obsessive-compulsive detail oriented!
Setting the Stage
We decided to do the photo shoot in our own dining room, which we are currently using as a playroom. There are three large windows on the Westward-facing wall and Mother Nature obliged us with a beautiful sunny afternoon, so there was lots of natural light to take advantage of. After removing all the toys and giving the room a total scrub down, I decided to add some interest to the backdrop with paper bunting. I wanted the pictures to have a sweet, simple, slightly vintage feel, so I chose some scrapbook paper with subtle patterns in pale pink and blue for the pennants. Tiny white and pale blue ribbons completed the look.
The photo session was to begin with the twins “all dressed up” in cute clothing before diving into the cakes. For this portion of the shoot I was able to obtain two tiny wooden rockers that had belonged to my mother and uncles when they were children. My father had refinished them back when I was a little girl. I thought they would make the photos even more special!
For one last sentimental detail, I put aside two wooden rattles that my father made for the twins from purpleheart wood when they were born. I thought he would be tickled to have them immortalized in a photo or two!
What to wear…
For the cake smash portion of the shoot, I decided to dress the babies in pure white onesies with the numeral “1” composed of buttons on the front. I have been seeing button art all over Pinterest lately, so naturally this popped into my head as I was brainstorming how to decorate their clothing. I bought several different sizes of buttons in their respective colors, pulled up a classic number “1” on my laptop for reference, and played around with the buttons until I got them just right. Since I knew these shirts would only be worn once, I used hot glue to secure the buttons to the garment. If I were going to make these for repeated use or as a gift for someone else, I would have used stitches instead.
Last but not least, every cake smash needs a sweet little cake (or two)! I took a cake decorating class early in my pregnancy with the twins, but my cake career came to a screeching halt with the onset of severe morning sickness. I could hardly even look at anything sweet for months and months! It was fun to dust off my decorating supplies and create a few masterpieces. I used this Wilton giant cupcake pan, two chocolate cake mixes per cake, and this recipe for scrumptious buttercream icing. I thought the pale pink and blue icing contrasted really nicely with the dark chocolate cake.
Tip: If you use this particular cupcake pan, fill only the bottom portion with batter first (about 2/3 full) and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, fill the top portion, and finish baking (about 40 minutes or so, follow directions for bundt cake on your mix). Since the bottom portion is deeper than the top, this keeps the top from burning or the bottom from being undercooked.
Our wonderful photographer, Tracy Green of Little Girl Green Photography, arrived just as I was
running around like a crazy person calmly putting the finishing touches in place. The babies were happy, rested, and fed, so they were very lively and “hammed it up” like two little clowns! Tracy was a great sport and did not mind complying with all my crazy requests. This is just one of the many reasons why I love her!
As you can see from the aftermath, a good time was had by all.
Anxious to see the results? Click on page “2” below to view the adorable photos!