April 10, 2014 02:00 PM

Ashley Burns Photography

It’s fun to be one!

On March 28, Beverley Mitchell and husband Michael Cameron welcomed close friends and family into their Los Angeles-area backyard to celebrate daughter Kenzie Lynne‘s first birthday with a pink and yellow soiree.

“It was so bright and cheery and perfect for spring,” the actress tells PEOPLE. “We wanted something small and intimate for her first birthday. We wanted to be able to focus on Kenzie.”

After coming up with a theme — strawberry lemonade! — Mitchell enlisted the help of her good friends Bill Horn and Scout Masterson to transform their yard into a colorful space fit for a celebration.

The highlight? Masterson’s treat table, which featured everything from a bright pink rosette butter cream and vanilla cake to lemon-shaped smiley face cookies.

“He [also] designed a custom logo with lemons on it to match the party’s theme and put them on the cookies,” Mitchell says. “That table was incredible! And everything was so good — I was eating cookies for days.”

While everyone noshed on the goodies, the guest of honor happily gave her taste of approval on each of the delicious desserts. “This was the first time Kenzie had cake, well more like frosting. She really loved Scout’s bright pink frosting!” Mitchell says.

Ashley Burns Photography

“She tried a cookie and cake pop, too. Needless to say, she stayed up a little later than usual that night.”

Partygoers also enjoyed egg salad, chicken salad and platters of veggies dip, along with Haylie Duff‘s Buffalo Chicken Dip, all prepared by Mitchell’s sister-in-law.

Despite a long list of fun ideas, Mitchell was only able to pull together a few — like the custom chalkboard print from Pickle Noodle Boutique — in time for the party. But her best idea was hiring photographer Ashley Burns to capture the entire event.

“Usually I am the one taking all the pictures, but I wanted to be present in the moment with Kenzie so I hired someone to do that for me,” she explains. “She caught so many incredible images that we will never forget!”

Although the backyard bash was a complete success, Mitchell reveals the outdoor affair almost didn’t happen after she and her husband decided to redo the set up right before guests arrived.

“In true Bev and Mike style, we were planting and moving furniture up until the very last minute. We actually pushed the party back because we were running behind,” she says.

Ashley Burns Photography

But it was the Masterson-Horns to the rescue! “Thank God for Scout and Bill coming over and making it actually look like a birthday party,” Mitchell adds.

As for Kenzie’s adorable outfit? Mitchell admits the frilly set wouldn’t typically be her taste, but once she saw it on Etsy, she just couldn’t resist.

“A bit over the top for me, but you definitely knew who the birthday girl was — I still can’t get over that she kept that headband on!” she says.

But, maybe even more surprising for Mitchell is that her baby girl is now a year old.

“I think both Michael and I were in a bit of denial that Kenzie is already one. I know everyone says it, but truly where did the time go?” she says. “It was really nice to have an intimate gathering for Kenzie to celebrate her first year of life.”

Ashley Burns Photography

— Anya Leon

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