Little L’s First Birthday

December 5, 2012

Memory: according to Wikipedia, memory is the process by which information is encoded, stored, and retrieved. The information we store will come from what we live and what we get to experience. We will store this information and in the future, when we might not be capable of enjoying certain things, thanks to our memories, we will be able to retrieve this information and be transported to that cherished moment and smile.

Yesterday it was Little L’s (my daughter) birthday and above all the great things you can wish your children, I want to focus on one of the greatest gifts my parents could have ever given me and that is the gift of wonderful memories. All of what I am today is thanks to the moments I have experienced. Now, as an adult, I draw from my memory the experiences that have made me who I am and that consequently affect the decisions I make in the present. That is why I want to do the same for Little L, I want to pour on her all the love that my heart is able to give, teaching her, guiding her, and caring for her.

Mom and Daughter Love

Picture above by Roseanna Lynn Photography

From my childhood, something I remember dearly were my birthdays and with the same enthusiasm as it if were mine, I planned little L’s birthday. The theme was Dora because this is the one character she already recognizes and sings along DDDDORA DDDDORA almost stuttering with excitement when she sees Dora on TV. So we went on with the Dora theme and right away I jumped into the bicultural spin and prepared a menu perfect for the occasion which I pulled from my memories of growing up.

The idea for the menu was to represent the Americas as Mr. B is originally from Oregon and Little L is half Dominican. The PDF for the menu has been included at the bottom of this post as my gift to you. Feel free to download it and use it for your bicultural Dora inspired menu.

New Image

To represent Lucía’s Dominican heritage I made my favorites: pastelitos. In the Dominican Republic there is no birthday party without pastelitos. I am so proud that I was able to make them myself for Little L’s birthday. If you would like to try them get my recipe here.

Pastelitos Mini Empanadas

As Dora is a well traveled little girl we also served food from other countries in Latin America. Here you can see individual layer taco dip which I got the idea from pinterest (looove pinterest). To see the original source for this idea and other food and birthday decorations ideas check my Little L’s birthday party pinterest board

Individual Layer Dip

My friend Giselle helped me out and she brought these Ham and Cheese Spread Sammies to the party. As you can see the label was in Spanish. To make this birthday more interesting all the labels were in Spanish, English and Spanglish, yes Spanglish too ha ha.

Ham and Cheese Spread Sandwiches

My sister helped me out too. She is a great aunt to Little L and we adore her. These are mini arepas which are made with white corn flour and are originally a Venezuelan recipe. For instructions on how to make arepas check this pinterest board.

Arepas Venezolanas

As much as we like our fried appetizers in Latin America, we also love fresh fruit so I cut out star shaped fresh pineapple. Dora loves fresh fruit and she always have a lucky star with her so these were perfect.

Please forgive the typo below. Ouch!


For the center pieces I came up with a very cute idea. I saw various candy kabob ideas online and thought using them as a centerpiece would be fun. Here is the scoop: take a kabob stick, add different candy alternating in color and shape, you can add chocolate too. Take a piece of  potting foam (the green colored block foam used for flower arrangements) wrap it with plastic wrap so it does not touch the food and place it in a container of your choice. Stick the candy kabobs in the foam and cover any gaps with cotton candy. Is that simple!

Kids love them, they snack on them and ate all the cotton candy of course.

Candy Kebabs Center Piece

To quench the thirst we served mango punch. The mango punch can be made by combining ginger ale with mango nectar.

Mango Punch

Can you say Agua?

Personalized Water Bottles

I hope these ideas can be helpful to your Dora theme birthday party.

And here is a freebie! My gift to you. Download this PDF. Dora inspired menu

9 Responses to “Little L’s First Birthday”

  • Live.Love.Laugh

    Lovely! You did a great job! Actually, I love the colorful of this party. Our next birthday party is coming soon and my big girl asked for a colorful party-rainbow was the first thing that came to my mind. This party theme brings to me sweet memories 😉 because Dora used to be the favorite character of my big girl. We even used Dora as theme for her third birthday party. I and my kids love fruits and I even served them in my little girl party. However, party-planning is insane; it is a TON of work (but seeing those happy little faces makes it worth it). Probably, asking your friends for help is the key.

  • You did an exceptional job on little L’s birthday party!!! I love the concept and execution. Everything from the map, to the yummy finger foods to the decorative details. These are memories she will look back on and appreciate.

  • Thank you for sharing your info. I truly appreciate your efforts and I
    am waiting for your next write ups thanks once again.

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