Amy Atlas has the coolest job in the world: Dessert Table Designer. She also wears the hat of “Sweets Stylist” and Event Planner, depending on the day. We follow Amy’s blog obsessively, and are pretty sure her kids have the best birthday parties. Ever. So we hit her up for some advice on hosting a first birthday party at home.

Serve portable snacks. Cut up apple and pear slices, along with small chunks of melon and cheese and serve them in mini containers like these.  This will allow adult guests to follow their little movers around with ease while holding on to a snack for their child.

Choose a clever theme. Both kids and adults will love a “Milk & Cookies” party: create fun milk cartons, provide a variety of cookies, and set up a flavored-milk bar (strawberry milk, banana milk) for the grownups. Or go with a “Favorite Book” party theme: label party food with tags that look like bookmarks; use stacks of books as platter stands on your table; make a book garland by hanging small board books over yarn; ask parents to bring their favorite kids’ books in lieu of gifts, and donate the books to a local kids’ organization; send copies of your child’s favorite board book home as favors.

Give the moms favors, too. Send mom-guests home with a few of your favorite recipes for one-year-olds. We trade recipes at adult parties, so it makes sense to trade toddler recipes as well!

Save the memories. Ask your guests to bring a note about their favorite memory from your child’s first year. Create a scrapbook out of the notes so your child can read them when he or she is older.”

    —Amy Atlas is the owner of Amy Atlas Events