When my husband was young his mom called him “bear”. His name is Jeremy. I mostly call him Jer [jare]. But at some point for a little while he was called Bear. When we had our son we occasionally called him bear too but mostly we called him “sweet boy”, “bud”, and his name, “Sawyer” or “Sawyer Boy”. So, when our daughter, Lucy was born we called her honey and sweetie and all pet names but my husband started calling her “Honey Bear”. I thought it was sweet keeping the “bear” nick name alive. As Lucy grew up over her first year she grew to really like Bears. She loves any stuffed animal that she can cuddle but she learned to roar and would pick out books and toys that were bears. When we started brainstorming her first birthday we decided to go with a bear theme and to keep it true to her I decided to do a “Honey Bear” themed birthday. It just fit her so nicely and there were a lot of ideas floating around pinterest for bear, bees, and honey themed party stuff.
I decided that I wanted to choose some colors. I went with golds and yellows to go with the honey idea but I wanted another color that was pretty. I love lavender and lilac and purples of all sorts. I went with lavender because honey and lavender are paired really nicely with one another when it comes to food. I knew with a lavender and honey and teddy bear theme I could pull out a very pretty, vintage like, girly, personalized birthday. Since I won’t always get to chose what her birthdays are like, I decided to go big with what I like for this one because she is obviously too young to care.
For the decorations my husband drew and painted a teddy bear and honey pot banner which was true to Lucy. The big almond eyes and the pom-pom style pony tail with the bow is so much like our little girl. Jeremy did a great job with those banners!
I ordered two different size honey bear jars off amazon. I got a bunch of them. I used them as party favors and vases. The ones that I made vases I spray painted gold (actually my sister did for me, she was helping me with the party and I had a lot to deal with when it came to the cake, so I delegated that to her).
Then I bought fake lavender flowers because real ones were not in season and I bought babies breath and some yellow carnations. It turned out EXACTLY as I pictured and I loved it.
I had a lavender table-cloth with a burlap runner and a lace runner on top of the burlap one. I had a few burlap style flowers that I found at the last minute. I chose different heights of serving dishes in white and wood. I really enjoyed mixing a kind of vintage and rustic feel together. So I had gold bear vases and also some glass vases in various sizes and shapes with flowers. I had cupcakes and a cake on display on the table. I also had teddy bears all over the house. They really helped tie it all together I believe. I also got some gold and lilac balloons for the tall bar stool tables.
The bear jars that I didn’t spray paint I filled with honey comb cereal and chocolate teddy graham and honey teddy grahams to use as party favors for the kids.
I decided to bring the theme into the food I served as well. I made a honey lavender sparkling lemonade. I found the recipe via Pinterest, at Kelly and Cricket’s website. It was fabulous because it was a mild lemonade. I don’t like very tart drinks so lemonade isn’t my favorite but I really enjoyed this with the honey and lavender. It was wonderfully subtle. I also found a recipe via Pinterest (link below) for lavender cupcakes and honey infused cream cheese frosting. The cupcakes were praised by many people. I personally thought they were delicious. I topped them with bumblebee candies and teddy bear candies that I found at the store.
Then there was Lucy’s “smash cake”. It was a pretty large smash cake and I did end up serving it to a few people and some kids. I didn’t want the majority of the cake to go to waste because I spent about 12 hours on it. I decided to make a white cake recipe that I have used many times before that I know stacks really well and tastes delicious. I toyed with the idea of dying the cake purple or doing a gradient of purples but decided it wasn’t worth the time and effort since its main purpose was to be smashed and eaten by my one-year-old. I found a wonderful tutorial online from Bake-a-boo blog that took me through each step to make this 3D teddy bear cake. It turned out so much better than I imagined it could.
It wasn’t perfect, I did end up using a darker gray frosting on the back of the bear because I had run out of frosting when piping the fur and I decided it was too late to attempt to match the frosting and that my 1-year old wouldn’t know or care. The last of the frosting was also beginning to melt so the back of the bear looks a little drippy. All in all, for my first attempt at a 3D bear cake, I am pretty pleased with the end result. I added a fondant bow and let the bear hold her candle which I thought was cute. It did toast the nose a bit while we sang happy birthday to her but who doesn’t like toasted marshmallow? It was a lot of fun learning how to do a cake like this. Even though it took forever and I had a few panic moments, I had so much fun!
Even the Birthday girl herself was dressed as a little teddy bear. I think she had a wonderful party. Here is a picture of her enjoying some of that yummy teddy bear cake. I can’t believe she is already one but I am looking forward to the year ahead. I love you, Lucy Jane.
Bake-a-boo Blog – Bear Cake Tutorial:
Lavender Cupcakes with Honey Frosting Link:
Kelly and Cricket: Lavender and Honey Sparkling Lemonade Recipe: