Justin Campbell/BuzzFoto
July 11, 2012 03:30 PM

Like many new moms, Jessica Simpson has been commemorating all the little milestones that come with having a baby since welcoming her daughter, Maxwell Drew, on May 1.

But on Tuesday night, Simpson was the cause for celebration, at a backyard dinner party held at her L.A. home in honor of her 32nd birthday.

“Jessica was in heaven because she was celebrating for the first time as a mom!” a friend of the fashion mogul tells PEOPLE. “And Maxwell got to make a short appearance in her Fendi white dress.”

“Eric made a wonderful toast,” added the friend. Party guests included Simpson’s parents, her sister Ashlee Simpson, Ashlee’s son Bronx, and Simpson’s longtime pal Cacee Cobb.

Rachel Ashwell of Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic Couture designed the party decor, replete with vintage china, tons of candles, fresh flowers and a chandelier above the star’s (covered!) swimming pool.

After guests dined on gnocchi with brown butter sage and pappardelle with yellow tomato sauce, everyone dug into short ribs with basil pesto pecorino and chili and pan-seared snapper. And in lieu of a traditional birthday cake, guests were served mini s’mores, pudding pies in mini mason jars and banana brown betties with ginger snap crumble for dessert.

The home setting for the party was a meaningful one: Simpson met her fiancé Eric Johnson at her home in in 2010 and he proposed there six months later.

In May, Simpson gushed about how motherhood has enriched her life. “I’m the most aware I’ve ever been,” she told PEOPLE. “I know I was always meant to be a mom, and I think I’m doing a really good job!”

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