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  • Koreen Liew-Young

The big 1

In March, my son turned one. And when your baby turns one, I think parents generally breathe a sigh of relief knowing that they made a big milestone. They survived the first year, but more importantly, so did their baby!

Our son turns 1
Mr M turns 1!

And with a first birthday, comes the first birthday party. (And birthday treats! See GF/DF/EF/NF treat above. Yes it's a watermelon/blueberry "muffin"....)

We learned a few things hosting our first kid party, so here are a few tips.

K.I.S.S (Keep It Super Simple)

You want to make the event easier on yourself so that you can celebrate and enjoy it with your friends, rather than feeling overwhelmed. I mean c'mon, the party is more so for the parents as your baby will be stoked with simply the wrapping paper.

If you're not a baker, don't bake

Baking is something that stresses me out. Even the Edmonds cookbook can't save me.  So for that reason I endorse other finger foods (if you have the budget) such as chicken nibbles, dumplings, sushi, or vegetable platters. For those with dietary requirements I recommend Love Cake Organic and their muffin mixtures. Their products are egg, gluten, nut, soy and dairy free, as well as being super moist, delicious and are absolutely foolproof.

For birthday cakes, I highly recommend Nancy Au Ltd. I just told Nancy the theme and she created an amazing (yet reasonably priced) concept that wowed everyone, as well as tasting so good no-one knew it was allergy friendly. (Egg, nut, dairy and gluten free). Check out the pic to the right.

Choose a location which will be easy to clean up and entertain your kids

Have you thought about having it at your local park and playground? Plenty of space means kids can run around and exhaust their energy and better yet, it's free! Plus it won’t be your carpets that get soaked with spilled, bright-food-colouring drink. Just remember to take rubbish bags for a fast and easy clean up.

Theme your party

Giving your party a theme helps kids develop their imagination as they transport themselves to another world. Well, that’s the excuse we gave others just so I could play around with a hot glue gun. We came up with an "Under the Sea" theme as we held Martin's birthday at the local Waterview water playground. There are more of these hybrid parks around, so go have a google. Good job Auckland Council!

After scouting out ideas on Pinterest, we used a lot of food which doubled up as decorations.  If daddy likes DIY, give him projects such as the watermelon shark fruit bowl, and cucumber killer whale. It's a great way for him to feel involved and excited to help out. Plus less nagging items on mummy’s to do list. Origami are also a cheap and easy way to decorate, and makes a nice takeaway for the kids.


Here's my shameless plug: I can design invites fully customised to fit your chosen theme. You name it? I'll illustrate it! I can design to any budget so get in touch for a free quote.

In any case, cherish these special milestones! You only get one a year, unless you have multiple kids and then you may want to rethink how much effort you put into these....

Oh, and here's a cute video of my son and Daddy dancing.... just because.... :)

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