I’ve been trying to write this post for weeks now. I wanted it to be a good post, lots of photos, and a nice tribute to the all important first birthday party of my beautiful son. I was nearly losing sleep over it. I didn’t want to forget any of the things that I had made a mental note to blog about, the little touches. The more I thought about it the more complicated I made it, and then I had an actual epiphany. A list. Everyone loves a list right? And so here we are – finally my blog post about Billy’s First Birthday Party, and my contribution to My Little Babog’s Link-A-List-Linky. I give you, how to have a first birthday party.

1. Decorate. Banners, balloons, streamers, party plates/cups and cutlery. The gaudier the better. Let’s face it, decorations are the key to making your house look like a party. We had great fun doing the place up the night before Billy’s party. I picked up all of our decorations in Mr Price. I cannot understand why or how anyone wouldn’t buy their party decorations in here. It is the absolute mekka of decorations and party supplies. They do everything from baby showers and christenings to hen partys and birthdays. Everything you could possibly want from party plates to cupcake stands, candles and balloons. They have it all. They also sell Pinyaas. ACTUAL PINYATAS. And the stuff is for nothing. Cheap as chips, all under one roof, and loads to chose from. It’s an absolute no-brainer. Check out their Facebook Page here

2. Food. Sure isn’t that half the reason people go to these things? It’s hard to strike a balance and not make or buy too much or too little. In the end it looked as though we had far too much, and yet we had very little left over. We bought sweets – jellies, lollipops, liqiourice, crisps and chocolate. Then there was the birthday cake and the baked goods which you can read about here. That required a whole blog post of it’s own. For hot food we made chicken goujons, cocktail sausages, breaded Mozzerella sticks, wedges and a massive pot of my mam’s famous chicken curry. The curry worked out brilliantly. Massive pot of curry, massive pot of rice, plastic plates, and about 50 people fed!

I also wanted to make some baby-friendly foods. I know that if I was going to a birthday party I would be delighted if I had the option to give Billy something other than pure sugar. In the end I went for one savoury and one sweet option. The savoury was courgette, potato and mozzerela fritters. They were beautiful! And for the sweet – carrot, apple and date muffins. Again these were delicious. My friends with babies seemed to appreciate this little touch, and I was very lucky to have had the help of a very good friend to make these two things. Two recipes I will be using time and time again.   
I also wanted to have some snacky things for the babies. These fruit and cheese kebabs went down a treat, as did the jar of breadsticks I had on the table. 

3. The Party Table. It’s the centrepiece of the party really isn’t it? It’s where people go to grab a handful of food and at the same time end up chatting to somebody they have never met before. We were delighted to discover that our otherwise little kitchen table extended to about twice it’s normal size. I picked up a gorgeous Mickey Mouse table cover in Mr Price and I felt it set the scene really well. This was probably my favourite part of the entire party planning. I had done the baking, prepared the food, and cleaned the house. Actually placing all of the items on the table and creating my little display felt really good. It was a busy table and I was very happy with it.

We had a lovely centrepiece in the form of a beautiful letter “B” from The Plaque Company. I love the way inside the letter B is Billy’s full name spelled out. I absolutely adore it and enjoyed displaying it on the day.


4. Cake. Lots of Cake. To see Billy’s Birthday Cake and Our “Smash Cake” along with another seven thousand cakes that appeared on the day, click here.

5. Have a Cake Smash. OK so it’s a bit American, but it’s catching on here. It’s basically when you put some cute clothes on your baby (or lack of in my case), place a cake in front of them, and let them at it. What usually results is a succession of photos where your baby is covered from head to toe in cake. Ironically enough, our normally insanely messy eater of a son actually made this the tamest cake smash in the world. It wasn’t very smashy at all. But it was great fun and we got some adorable photos. I really recommend doing this for the fun factor.


6. Make Party Bags. I almost overlooked this until I came across them in Mr Price. Remember when you were a child and you were devastated when your parents told you that it was time to leave the party? And then, out of nowhere, the party host would produce a little bag of goodies. It was so exciting. I filled ours with crisps, chocolate, jellies, lollipops, and rice crispy cakes. They went down a treat!

7. Get a decent photo of the birthday boy/girl and yourselves. As you can see, our one resulted in us all looking in different directions, my other half having his eyes closed, and Billy taking it as an opportunity to attack the cake.

8. Don’t forget a birthday present. This sounds so obvious but with all the party planning and general shock about your little baby graduating to toddlerhood, you might forget to put some thought in to a birthday present for your little one. I highly recommend getting them a trike. We got ours in Mothercare and it is the bees knees. It’s suitable from 10 months to 3 years and it’s going to be great fun for the summer. He’s already road-tested it and if he could talk he would tell you it’s “only deadly”.

9. Enjoy the clean-up. Mother of God this was no joke. I’m still finding random smarties around the place…

10. Give yourself a pat on the back. A whole year. You are doing a great job!