First birthday party food

I have never hosted a birthday party before and that meant really not having any idea what I was doing. We had 8 children come to Erin’s 1st birthday party and adults made total numbers up to about 20.  I had absolutely no clue how much food to buy, what to buy or what to do with it!

My mum and I went to the supermarket a couple of days before the party to buy everything we needed. I had a list of a couple of things I wanted but really, we walked around guessing for some of the food. I figured the children were kind of easy to cater for, mostly, but it was the parents I was stuck with.

Here’s how the food ended up:

party food

As you can see, I made  A LOT of food! Once it was all laid out I knew that there was too much but by then it was too late.

A couple of Erin’s friends have food intolerances so I had to take that into account. I made sure there was a really good mix of options for everyone, both children and adults, and that there really was something for everyone.

Most of the children who came were Erin’s age and still in weaning stages but eating finger food. I didn’t want all of the food to be high in sugar or ‘naughty’ foods so I made sure there were healthy options too.

I thought fruit and veg platters with dips were a really good idea. The fruit platter got demolished but surprisingly, the veg platter barely got touched. I thought loads of people would have eaten this. We took most of this home with us!

Sandwiches and crisps are always a massive hit so I made sure there was loads! Again, intolerances had to be considered so I had to make sure there was a good selection of dairy free options. I went with cheese, Dairylea, egg with and without mayo, jam and tuna with both white and brown bread. The crisps were really a random selection because I bought what I would call ‘posh’ crisps for the adults as well as normal party favourites.

We also had the usual sweet options as well! I made up so many individual jelly pots and I think only 2 got eaten. Since when does jelly not get eaten at a party?!

If you’re wondering about how much all of this cost, well the food was about £40 but this didn’t include drinks or a birthday cake. This quite easily fed the 20 odd people that attended and we took quite a bit home with us. However, I would still do the same next year just to be safe. Children who are 2 obviously eat more than children who are 1!

I would love to say that I made a lot of this myself but I didn’t, I was lazy. Do you cook and bake for parties or buy in like I did?

Erin’s farm themed 1st birthday party

I don’t really remember having birthday parties as a child. I do, however, remember my sister’s party at McDonald’s with the big pirate ship that I was insanely jealous about. Well, until I hit my head on that pirate ship anyway. Erin was always going to be having a birthday party, whether she’d remember it or not.

As this was her 1st birthday, I wanted to do something that was fun for everyone. We have been going to a class called Music in Motion now and Erin loves it. The woman who runs that was an obvious choice plus, we could choose a theme. Having the party farm themed was a really easy choice for me. It was unisex, there would be no pink and it was also cute! Win for everyone!

The first thing I did before anything was to get some tableware sorted out. Party Bags and Supplies do a fantastic Farm Friends theme and they have loads of different items available. We were able to get pretty much everything we needed for under £30 and it is all fantastic quality as well.

farm themed

Let me just say that when you only have one child, and you have never done a birthday party before, you really have no idea what you’re doing. It’s all guess work. Food was a bit of an issue if I’m honest. I had a few guests with intolerances and allergies. I had about 20 people in total to cater for. I had no idea what to buy and how much. Turns out I did too much but more about this in another post.

I think the farm themed table cloths and the farm themed party hats were my favourites of everything we got. I wasn’t expecting 1 year olds to keep the hats on but some of them did for quite a while!

Only 2 people invited couldn’t make the party but we had a good turn out and most of Erin’s friends came! The room was actually quite full and it was MANIC! My sister, who has no children, was not a fan. She was a trooper though and took loads of photos for us.

The first hour of Erin’s party was spent with Donna singing farm related songs, playing with musical instruments and a big parachute thing. The children all really seemed to love it, apart from Erin who did cry a couple of times. She was being a grumpy little sod though! The last hour of the party was spent scoffing the crazy amounts of food I’d made. A good amount made it back into my kitchen. We ate it for dinner last night and it still hasn’t all gone. I’ll still do the same next year!

Erin’s friends spoiled her with some wonderful presents (thanks parents!!) and she genuinely loves all of them. She went from one to another last night and couldn’t decide what to play with. She then got to play with some in the bath. I didn’t even know light up, fountain spurting bath toys were a thing but Erin LOVES them!

I was quite exhausted after the party, as was Erin, but it was so worth it. She was so happy for the last half of the party and afterwards for the rest of the day. She got to spend some time with her amazing friends and just have fun.

I reclined Erin’s seat straight after taking this picture!.

I am so thankful for everyone who came for making Erin’s party such a special time for her. Erin may not remember this day but I will. 

We received some products for the purpose of this post. All opinions are our own. 

Switching to cow’s milk

Something I remember reading a lot when I was pregnant and whenever I look at anything for Erin now, is about 1 year olds drinking cow’s milk. Erin had formula from being a week old or so I had been thinking about the change for quite some time.

cow's milk

I think we started giving Erin cow’s milk months ago but only with breakfast. I got so sick of giving Erin expensive ‘baby’ cereals that didn’t last very long so I switched her over to things like Weetabix and Shreddies. She has always had warmed cow’s milk with these and has never shown any signs of being against having it. In fact, I think she prefers breakfast with this milk compared to when she had it with formula milk.

As Erin’s first birthday approached I decided to begin the switch from formula. I completely switched one formula bottle to cow’s milk at 11 months and a couple of days after her birthday I switched from formula completely. As Erin hadn’t shown any signs of dislike I figured I might be best to change in one go, quickly! I have seen posts from others about mixing both milks for a while or slowly changing but I couldn’t be bothered, if I’m honest.

Luckily, Erin made the switch no problem at all. However, I think maybe it happened too easily. Now I have the problem that she’s probably getting too much cow’s milk. She loves it and will quite happily have 3 8oz bottles a day still. I know she’s supposed to be having about 20oz a day, including with breakfast etc. The problem is, Erin still likes milk before her naps (2 a day) and before bed at night so I have no idea what to do!

How did you make the move to cow’s milk? Any advice is appreciated. 

Erin’s one year update!

It was Erin’s birthday a week ago and I realised that I haven’t done an update about her for quite some time now. She’s one so I feel like there’s a lot she can do now that she couldn’t before.

one

one year update

movement

Over the past month or so Erin has decided that she can move around in loads of different ways. I honestly thought that Erin would skip crawling. She doesn’t crawl properly but she does this strange kind of zombie crawl, with one leg underneath her. She has also taken her first steps recently and does a couple every day on her own. She can also walk the whole length of the house by holding on to furniture. Just this past week or so, Erin has tried to run a few times. It hasn’t ended well.

Speech

Erin said Mama and Dada quite some months ago now. She hasn’t really picked up anything else though. She can say hi though now when she feels like it! I talk and sing to her so much so I hope she picks up a few little bits soon.

Food

Erin started weaning at four months old so she’s been at this eating thing for quite some time now. We started off with purees but now we do a good mixture of shop bought, homemade and finger foods. Erin really has to be in the mood for certain things though. If she wants to eat from a spoon, there is no way she will eat finger food.

personality

Erin is really showing her personality now. She is such a cheeky little girl and she does have both John and I wrapped around her little finger. She shows cheeky grins when she does something or wants something in particular. She has the cutest giggle in the world and gives the biggest smile when she sees me in the morning.

sleep

Unfortunately, Erin is sort of not sleeping again. She gets ill at some point and then is unable to sleep through for months. We’ve made her bedtime later now, 8pm, but she still wakes up at 4 or 5am. It’s like she hates her cot. A lot of times she’s stood up in there acting like it’s a prison. If she gets in our bed with us she sleeps all night and even sleeps later. I don’t know if she’d be better off in a toddler bed or not soon but I still feel like she’s too young for it. I don’t know what to do about this!

Did you have any similarities when your little one turned one?

Erin’s homemade smash cake shoot

I have known for months that I wanted Erin to have a smash cake for her 1st birthday. This is the only year she’ll get to do this I think and I wanted her to do something really fun on her birthday. I know you can go and have professional smash cake photo shoots done but I wanted this to be something John and I did together at home.

I am crap at baking so I didn’t even attempt to make a cake myself. My wonderful friend from work picked us up a chocolate smash cake from Asda.

I can’t remember where I saw the idea now, and I wish I could so I could credit them, but I made my own photo shoot at home.

I taped a white bed sheet to the wall, added some banners and some balloons and there was our set! It was nothing fancy and nothing expensive but it was perfect for us. However, if you want to do this at home then I would advise taping the sheet to the floor as well if you don’t want creases in your photos. Erin moved around like a mad little thing and the sheet went everywhere.

My photos didn’t come out quite as well as I’d hoped, mainly because Erin moved around more than I thought she would. Now, none of my photos are professional quality. In fact, they’re far from it. The good thing about doing your photos at home though is getting to look through the good and the bad. I’ll be keeping the not so good pictures to laugh at in years to come. While the photos aren’t amazing, I have edited some of them and I’m actually really happy with how they turned out.

I could have had amazing photos from a professional but I’d rather have the memory of doing this as a family!

smash cake

Erin quite obviously had to go in the bath straight after we did this. Chocolate cake was everywhere, even up her nose.

I honestly think that this was a great way to spend a birthday cake. Fun with chocolate cake. Who could ask for more!?

Please note: Erin did not eat the entire chocolate. She barely even ate any of the top. She just ended up covered in it. 

How Erin spent her birthday

how erin spent her birthday

So yesterday was Erin’s 1st birthday ad seeing as we’ve never done this before, neither John or I knew what to expect. I don’t really think it went as we thought it would.

We started the day off getting up quite early. Erin doesn’t really sleep at the minute. She obviously didn’t understand that it was her birthday but we did try to make a big deal about it. After how long presents took on Christmas Day we did things a bit differently. Erin showed no interest whatsoever in actually opening presents. She would pick one, bring it over and then get distracted by something else. Because of this, we opened most things for her so we weren’t there for hours on end.

Presents were followed by Erin’s DIY smash cake. Well, I didn’t bake the cake but I did set up a bit of an amateur backdrop and took a load of photos. I’ll write about this in a separate post though so you’ll have to wait for the photos for that!!

It’s not very often that John and I get to go out for the whole day with Erin together as a family. Either we have no money or we don’t have the time off together. We decided to go into Norwich for a few hours and it was lovely. We did a few things that were needed and then went to Five Guys for lunch. It was John’s first time there and thankfully, he loved it! I’ve been raving about their burgers for weeks. Erin had a packed lunch and a couple of chips.

Thankfully, Erin crashed not too long after lunch and she slept until the train pulled in to our station for home. She’d been exhausted from the busy morning but didn’t want to miss anything exciting. When we got home it was more play time right up until she had a bath and went to bed.

I love that Erin spent the whole day in a top with her age on it. Sgt. Smith do some amazing t-shirts and the one you can see Erin wearing costs £15. 

The t-shirt comes in a variety of colours. You can get the one you see Erin wearing, with blue stripes or with pink and red stripes. Personally, the grey top that Erin is wearing is my favourite as it really goes with anything.

Something I absolutely loved about this t-shirt was the quality. Although £15 isn’t overly expensive for a t-shirt, this feels like it should be more expensive. The material is lovely and thick and it feels super soft.

This t-shirt is available in two sizes, 12-18 months and 1 1/2-2 years. We got this in 12-18 months and it is a little bit big on Erin but she’s a bit small for her age really. Although it has her age on it, and was great for her birthday, I will put in her in it loads more until she grows out of it.

I don’t think it was the most exciting birthday in the world but she won’t remember it anyway. She’s also having a birthday party in 2 weeks so she can see her friends and have some more fun.

What did you do for your little one’s 1st birthday? 

Disclaimer: We were sent Erin’s ‘1’ t-shirt for the purpose of this post. All opinions are our own. 

Nurseries, fees and compulsory hours!

I honestly cannot believe that I’m already writing a post about nurseries. Erin turns 1 in a couple of weeks and in my head, I had planned on her going to nursery for maybe a half day every week in the New Year. Well, that isn’t going to happen now.

It turns out that nurseries where I live don’t really take children before they’re 2! There is 1 nursery that does but they require the child to do 2 full days. Not what  I wanted to do at all. I understand that they ask this so that the child settles in well and there isn’t so long between their visits. However, at £30ish a day that adds up to a whopping £240 a month. There’s no way I can afford that right now. I only work 12 hours a week and I don’t rely on blog earnings. Paying for Erin to go to this nursery now would mean me only really earning about £100 a month and that’s just not doable.

nurseries

From Pixabay

I wanted Erin to go to nursery early so that she would get used to going somewhere other than being home with me. We don’t have any family that I can leave Erin with and she has only ever been left with someone other than me or John once. I don’t want her to get to 3 when we get free nursery hours and be a nightmare to leave.

I really wish we could afford for Erin to go now. However, I think I’ve nearly come to terms with not being able to do this until Erin is 2. I have already made an appointment with the private school nursery here for February and I’ll ago go to look around the 2 others I had in mind as well.

If anyone has any tips about picking a nursery I would love to hear them!