Last weekend we celebrated Pumpkins 1st birthday here at home with our family (much to hubby’s protests that it was a silly day to have a party & that no one would come) YES it was the long weekend & YES it was grand final day, but we made it through this year (which has definitely been a tough one) & that alone was cause enough for a party & reason to celebrate, besides it being a special milestone birthday (although I do feel 1st birthdays are more for the parents anyway as I don’t know anyone who actually remembers their 1st birthday) & YES almost everyone came.
We decided to have the party here at home, because we could (hello backyard) after years of unit living & hosting parties in parks or halls & centers it was nice to be able to have it in our own space. We just wanted a low key family affair (although just family still means 14 kids & 23 adults when everyone can come! Hubby is one of SIX so his side of the family is a party in itself!) we decided on having an afternoon tea to work around Pumpkins naptime which worked out perfectly as he was able to be up for the whole party & wasn’t grizzly or too tired & it also meant less prep work for me etc not having to provide a big lunch for everyone, just cake & nibbles (I’m all about quick, easy & fuss free)
We went with a Rainbow theme (for obvious reasons) & I found this such an easy theme to work with as anything goes really, as long as it’s colourful.
I kept decorations simple but cheerful with a Happy Birthday flag banner, some balloons, pinwheels, streamers & some colourful paper lanterns, all of which I picked up at a local party shop for a few dollars each.
Continuing the rainbow theme for the food was pretty easy too. I did some chopped up fruit (grapes, blueberries, strawberries & kiwi) served in cute little cupcake cases & a rainbow veggie platter of red & yellow capsicum, carrot & celery, complete with a “pot of gold” at the end (ie. french onion dip.) Coloured popcorn, m&ms, lollies & all the other usual party food, chips, pretzels & biscuits rounded out the rest of the table.
It was going to be a super hot day here so along with some juice pops for the kids, soft drinks & some alcoholic beverages, I made some fruit infused water, with sliced lemon, a few sprigs of mint & some blueberries & raspberries for a yummy refreshing drink. I also had some rainbow paddle pops because Rainbow & what kid doesn’t like ice cream on a hot day!
My mum & Peanut made the cake the night before, just a simple butter cake packet mix made “rainbow” with some food coloring (just divide batter between a few bowls, add your colours, pour into pan & then swirl) Easy but effective
I then decorated the cake just before the party using Betty Crocker Vanilla frosting with some blue food coloring added to be the sky (oh my gosh sooo much blue!! We all looked like we were extras in the movie Frozen with our blue lips & tongues after eating it, but it was worth it, the cake was yum!) I made some clouds using marshmallows cut in half & a rainbow & rain with m&ms. Then I sprinkled 100s & 1000s around the edges of cake (boy was that hard & messy! Maybe don’t ice the whole cake first if you ever plan to do this!) & then I threw some star sprinkles on top & ta-da birthday cake complete.
I bought a piñata from the party shop too, a no.1 in multicolors (you can get all sorts of shapes, styles & themes) & filled it with some wrapped lollies, lollipops, mixed fun size chocolates, some bouncy rubber balls, cute little erasers & a few other bits & bobs I found at Kmart. (Seriously how good is Kmart!)
It was so much fun watching all the kids taking their turn to give it a whack & then the mad dash as they all dived down to collect the colourful loot that spilled out of it.
I did splurge a little bit on the party favors though (shhhh don’t tell hubby) by ordering the cutest little cookies, clouds & rainbows from Hello Naomi & they fit the theme perfectly. They were almost too cute to eat!
Of course the day was not without it’s dramas beforehand. Besides being a stinking hot day it was WINDY & trying to set up the table & decorations was a nightmare. The tablecloth kept blowing over & knocking down the table decorations, water was spilt (multiple times) streamers blew all over the place & trying to get any nice pictures of it all was near impossible. I was stressed out & frustrated & ready to cancel the whole day. (Melodramatic much? Yes. Over reaction, absolutely!) but in the interest of keeping it honest & real that’s how the day went down, me losing my shit at the weather. Yes the weather, the uncontrollable! In the end we just took the tablecloth away & went with the messy streamers & windswept look.
So all in all, the day went well, the party was fun, we spent time with family & memories were made. Which in the end is what it’s all about really isn’t it. Oh & cake!
Do you like to go all out for parties or keep it simple? Do you have a favorite theme you’ve hosted? Do you remember your 1st birthday?