My baby girl is one year old! The only thing more surprising than that, is the fact that I almost didn’t throw her a themed party at all! Luckily I came to my senses, enlisted The Aunties help, and put together a pretty fantastic party even if I do say so myself. People were always telling me; you cut corners with the second child, you won’t take as many photos, you won’t film her every time she picks up a piece of sweetcorn. I hate that those people are in part right. I really really try to keep everything equal with my two but simply put it just isn’t a lot of the time. Sometimes it goes in Faye’s favour and sometimes in Aiden’s but when I suddenly realised I hadn’t planned a big house party for our family for Faye’s first birthday last weekend, as I had done with Aiden, I was mortified. Here is how I executed a low cost, themed first birthday party in just a week and a half.

The Theme

I LOVE a themed party. Particularly for kids parties as I think it really is nice to see the reaction on the child’s face as their little world’s get totally transformed into their favourite character’s world or into something that to them is just the best thing ever! As Faye is just turning one we couldn’t ask her what theme she would like so I decided I would to go with something fun, eye catching, and personal. Care Bears fitted all the criteria perfectly. As Keith and I are kids of the 80s, it is a blast from the past. I also looked it up on Netflix to show the kids and was pleasantly surprised by the new version featuring Care Bear Cousins. Many modern remakes add so many gadgets to sell more toys so I was very happy to discover that Tender Heart did not now carry a rainbow blaster and and two way radio etc. Care Bears are bright and colourful and instantly recognisable so I knew Faye would know right away who they were. As a sneaky bonus, Keith’s all time favourite teddy as a kid (and into adolescence!) is called Fluffy and was one of the origional Care Bears so he was happy with the theme too, even if he claims we didn’t need a theme!

The Outfit

Boy or girl, I don’t care, you NEED a great outfit for your birthday. I had originally wanted Faye to wear something with the Care Bears on it but it transpires that getting anything Care Bear related is near enough impossible and most are only available in from America. I thought I had sourced some fabric that could be made into a skirt but that fell through.  So in the end Instagram came up trumps as the lovely folk over at Baby Gini Kids Wear sent us this beautiful multi-coloured tutu on next day delivery as a special rush job. They are always happy to help when they can and the tutu was a massive hit both with the grown-ups (who wanted one themselves!) and Faye who kept playing with it all day. The tutu is dense but still light so ideal for making an impact yet still easy for a young child to wear. The colours are wonderful and she also does two other designs. This was our favourite because it was that bit different with the green being the most prominent colour instead of the usual pink. The tutu also has an adjustable waistband which I wasn’t expecting but is absolutely great as Faye will be able to wear it for quite some time yet.

The Cake

Cakes on days of celebration are really important in my family. I might not be able to remember all of the many fun gifts I got as a kid but I remember my different birthday cake from every year. My Mum always had them made special to reflect our personality and our interests of that year. Since we made Aiden’s birthday cake last month and it was a huge hit, we decided to make Faye’s also. Here is how we did it.

You will need:

  • Victoria Sponge cake. You can bake it. We bought it for £4.99 from Dobbies as they make amazing cake!
  • Tub of buttercream icing
  • Glitter sugar (any colour but we went with pink)
  • M&M’s (or skittles. Anything rainbow)
  • Mini birthday bunting banner (Amazon for a few quid)
  • Care bear cake toppers (Ebay £7 new)
  • Number one candle

What we did:

The approach to making Faye’s first birthday cake was exactly the same as when we made Aiden’s Lego constructing site cake. Firstly we added a good generous layer of icing to the top and coveted it with glitter sugar to make it sparkle.

Next we placed the mini bunting and number one candle where we wanted them to allow us space to make a rainbow out of M&M’s. We finished the whole thing off by adding all the wee Care Bear cake toppers all over and around the cake. I am completely loving this easy, stress free way of cake decorating. It is lots of fun and you can guarantee the cake your child wants. I also love including figures like the Care Bears or the Lego builders, that can be cleaned and used as toys later.

The Food

Another important part of any party is usually the food. Not only does it allow for five minutes peace as the kids stuff themselves with party food, but it is another area that you can continue the theme into and be cost efficient as well you needed to feed everyone anyhow. I already knew that I wasn’t going to get any food with actual Care Bears on so instead I focused on the overall look and went for as many rainbow foods as possible. Here are a few of the ‘themed’ food items we did:

  • Pombear crisps
  • Rainbow fruit skewers (big hit with kids and adults on diets!)
  • Skittles, magic stars, M&M’s, zazzles, strawbs to fill the ‘party’ word dishes I have had since university
  • Rainbow cupcakes (store bight cupcakes with those fizzy rainbow laces cut and bent into rainbow arches)
  • Party ring biscuits
  • Pink wafers

The Verdict 

It sounds like a total cliché I know but you know what made Faye’s party so very special? The people who were there (and those that couldn’t make it but sent their love and a fabulous rainbow picnic table!) I love planning parties because they are a way to bring people together. With the busy lives we lead, it is so lovely once in a while to just put it all to the side, eat too much sugar and absolutely destroy any resemblance of a neat house but to love every minute of it. I don’t want to wish the kid’s childhoods away but I want another birthday party soon. Perhaps we need to start celebrating their half birthdays 😂

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