Throwing creative birthday parties for myself has become something of a tradition in the last few years. And since my birthday is in January, it’s also a wonderful way to kick off the new year with a little celebration. This year I was inspired by two of my newfound hobbies from 2017: plants and painting. I sourced a bunch of fantastic house plants, got a bunch of terra cotta pots, and invited my friends to select a plant, decorate their own pot, and take it home. It was so adorable and such a joy to see everyone’s creations! See some of the fun below.
So many wonderful plants to choose from! I actually sourced half of them while I was down in Los Angeles almost a month before the party, so I had to keep them alive in my own home for that whole time.
Also, shoutout to David and Annie who got me these very befitting cacti candles!
I loved these little name flags that Stephanie designed. Each participant got to find their name flag and literally stake their claim on the plant they wanted!
And then were the abundance of delicious baked goods by Joyce of La Chinoiserie. How cute are these cactus macarons? And they’re prickly pear flavored too. With edible “dirt”.
And not one, but two birthday cakes. On the left, because I told Joyce that I love lighter, fruity Asian-style cakes, a strawberry lemongrass cake. And on the right, an earthy plant & herb-inspired cake, rosemary brown butter. Both were so delicious!
We had savory treats too! Caramelized Onion Financiers.
And Green Onion Gougeres.
In addition to the plants, I also had a little watercolor station for people to work on their own little plant illustrations or whatever they wanted to paint! Here’s Nicole’s very cute take on the flowering plant in the garden.
Just inside, people decorated their pots with acrylic paints or gold spray paint. So many design possibilities!
Meanwhile, my friend Liz had gifted me these sparkler candles, which I really struggled to light. But I eventually got the star and gave up on the rest of them!
Cake cutting! Just like a wedding, haha. Thank you to Sarah for helping catch these extremely tall cake slices!
And here are a few of the finished products. Everyone did such a great job!
Ok, I didn’t actually finish my pot before I took my photo. But I did go home with a bunch of extras, like 4 plants and 10 pots, and I decorated them all!
Thank you to Courtney for this shot!
Thank you to everyone who came to the party. I hope your plants are doing well in their new homes! And thank you to everyone else who sent their well wishes for my birthday as well. Cheers!
Anna Wu is a wedding and portrait photographer based in San Francisco but often traveling and working around the world. She creates beautiful, soft, and timeless imagery while capturing the most fleeting of moments. View her work at annawu.com, follow her daily adventures on instagram, or contact her to book your own session today.