I really like Christmas, so I chose a Christmassy theme first Seth’s first birthday party – “Santa, Baby”.
I kept the focus mostly on reindeer and festive friends, with a red, gold and blue colour scheme. It was unconventional but cute and I loved it.
It was a relaxed, mid morning party. We sat dotted around the lounge, laughing at Seth and stuffing our faces. We even played Christmas bingo. This went down really well and I didn’t know my friends and family were so competitive. It was a really lovely day. I’ll cherish it forever.
I’ve got loads of photos of the day for you, just in case you need some inspiration for a party… or are just in the mood to have a snoop. I’ve also listed where everything is from, with links to the products that are available online.
As you walk into our kitchen, you are greeted with a heated towel rail. The ‘coffee corner’ and drinks were being kept in the kitchen, so I decided to dress up the towel rail with photos of Seth, and some balloons.
All I did was tie a ribbon to the top and bottom of the rails and pegged some photos onto it. The pegs were making marks on the photos, so I dug up my foam glitter stars that I bought from Baker Ross a while back, et viola!
It looked cute and didn’t cost me a cent because I had all the bits already (to wrap Christmas presents).
It was practical too, because if you wanted to nick a photo of Seth for keeps, you could just take one. Next time, I’m going to print out some photos of the party for guests to take home.
This Jan Constantine bunting and the fairy lights are both from Dunelm*. My love for fairy lights knows no bounds, but I’m sure everyone feels the same way. Fairly lights create such a cosy vibe, no matter where you put them.
I tied the beautiful, handmade bunting to the curtain railing and draped the lights around it. It only took 2 minutes to do but made a big impact on the lounge’s party decor. I like the way this look SO much, that I’m not taking it down until Christmas has passed.
The bunting also matches the DIY hearts that I made a few years back. Each year, near Christmas, I hang the hearts on all the doors in the house and I’m so pleased that I now have more decorations that match.
Would it even be a party without balloons?
This huuuuuge and insanely tall balloon bouquet is from Balloonmonkey*. They have loads of bouquet options available on their website. You simply pick what you would like, and your balloons arrive, pre-filled with helium and neatly tied up into a bouquet, in a BIG box. You just open the box and out pops the impressive display. It’s very cool. We’ve had the balloons for more than a week now and they’re all still inflated. Highly recommend!
Shop this balloon bouquet (£13 to £51)
The paper plates, cups and Christmas pudding napkins are from Tesco.
I found the gold paper straws and red, glitter plastic cutlery on Amazon. The cutlery was a lot sturdier than I expected and they will last a long time. I didn’t have the heart to just chuck then on the recycling bin.
I love candy canes and even though they look incredible and were perfect for this theme, I bought them specifically as “after dinner mints”.
These tea towels and snowflake coasters are also from Tesco. I used the tea towels in the kitchen and under the cake stand on the snacks table and the coasters under the bowls. It was a simple and functional way to emphasis the theme.
Seth was also dressed up to match his party theme. His outfit is from Tesco.
I have quite a number of vegetarian friends so I made sure I had loads of options that were suitable for everyone. It’s not a difficult task in the slightest but I’m always chuffed when I find things that they normally can’t eat, in a veggie (and vegan) friendly version, such as this jelly from Fruitypot*
None of them had tired Fruitypot before and they were all pleasantly surprised. The jelly was probably the most eaten item on the table and I had to “restock” it twice.
Shop Fruitypot (50p per pot)
The Caramalised Red Onion Chutney from The English Provender deserves a special mention. It’s good stuff and paired so well with the brie.
I really enjoyed eating grown up snacks off of kiddie themed paper plates. It was the best of both worlds.
All the snacks, except for the Fruitypots, were from Tesco.
There was no space on the table for the drinks, so I just kept it in the kitchen. I made a little “coffee corner” around the kettle and Nespresso machine. The mugs and glasses were in the cupboard right above the kettle, so I just let guests help themselves.
Shop Belmio* coffee pods (They’re Nespresso compatible.)
For the cold drinks, I kept to bottles and cans etc. There were cups and glasses available but it’s just so much easier, and appealing, to grab a bottle of whatever and head back to the party. Tesco was having a half price sale on their soft drinks so I went bananas. I picked up six packs of cans for around £1.50 and six bottles of J20 for £3. There was also San Pellegrino sparkling water, Innocent smoothies and apple juice in little boxes. I restrained myself with the Capri-Sun though.
This cake looks so epic and it took all of ten minutes to decorate. I used two boxes of Betty Crocker’s Devil’s Food Cake mix and made my own buttercream icing. The decorations are from an Etsy store called Crumbs & Acrylic. I suppose I could have put more effort into it and shaped some ears out of fondant and added some butter cream swirls for hair, but to be honest, I didn’t have time and I HATE fondant. I also don’t really like buttercream icing, so I didn’t see the point in going through all the trouble just for show.
Honestly, it’s the best tasting chocolate cake I’ve ever had (and there have been many). It was so light and airy, but also super moist and chocolatey. Box cake for the win!
I found this festive bingo box at Tesco (I always shop at Tesco, OK!?) and it was a hit. Bingo is bingo but the festive twist on this was awesome. The instructions encourage you to shout “baubles” if you win, but we ended up yelling “jingle balls” (not bells). It was hilarious and two guests were mighty pleased with their big tub of Roses and Celebrations.
Remember the DIY advent calendar I made for Seth? Well, I used the left over paper bags for the goodie bags. It took some packing and repacking to fit all the items in the bag but I made it work. There was no space to add sweeties but that’s probably a good thing because of all the cake we ate.
The advent bags are from Hobbycraft, but they are unfortunately not available any more.
All the dinosaur items are from Tesco (mmm hmmm) and the whoopee cushion and stamps are from Baker Ross.
The after party
When all the fun was over, and the decorations (sans bunting and lights) were packed away, I felt a little sad. It felt a bit like holiday blues… so I guess it was party blues? I decided to turn the fireplace mantle into a birthday shrine to keep the happy mood alive.
This gorgeous bunch is from Prestige Flowers*, an online flower delivery service. This is the “Noel” bouquet from their Christmas range. I picked this bunch because liked the “winter wonderland” feel to it and thought it was a nice change from the usual red and gold for Christmas time. (They do have loads of red and gold options available too though.)
Shop this bouquet of flowers (£34.99 to £44.99)
I don’t have a reasonable explanation as to why this pom-pom number exists. I was in Hobbycraft and the mache numbers happened to be near the pom-poms and my brain decided this was a good idea. I like the way it turned out and worked well in photos.
Now to start planning his second birthday!
Products from brands marked with a * have been sent upon request.