Malachi’s First Birthday: Party on a Budget


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Crystal Paterson

A few months late, and by a few I mean 7, but I finally got around to writing about my son’s first birthday. First birthdays are so special. A whole year with my little guy. I was probably more excited about it than anyone else, but I’m so glad we did it the way we did. We didn’t go too big, as we did a first birthday party on a budget.

I kept the decorations within the budget. We did food, a small number of decorations and balloons of course. My son loves balloons, and I love how many options there are at Party City. 

Anyways, I had this big Pinterest idea all thought out. These grand ideas for decorations, food options, and all the things. Forest themed, with foxes and raccoons. Similar to his nursery decorations but more woodland creatures theme. However, I struggled to find all the things. Nothing matches, I couldn’t find this or that and it was all getting pretty expensive. Party City had pre-planned buffalo plaid first birthday stuff, so I thought let’s do that instead, but that was pricey too. 

I know that being on Instagram and social media, seeing birthday ideas on Pinterest and watching what everyone else does for their kids can be hard. You see all these great ideas and you want to do that too. You want to go all out because it’s their birthday and you want them to have an awesome party. Or they are older and they talk about their friend’s birthday parties and they want what their friends want. You want that for them, but those grand ideas, thoughts, and plans may not always work out financially.

It makes it hard because you may not be able to do something as extravagant or “awesome” as they wanted. It’s not always feasible, and that’s okay. You can make anything special, with the smallest of materials. A chance to be together with friends and family and celebrate another year of them! The important things are the people around them, not the material items they could have. It’s another chance to teach them, that’s what we mothers are supposed to do right?! The things we see on Pinterest may not always be attainable. I worked with what I had, and it was perfect! Our family, our friends plus he had a cake, so he was happy, in the end! He wasn’t too happy with the singing part but the candle and smashing the cake was fun. Oh and eating it too!

So I pretty much just focused on the table. Decorated food platters as animals, kept the decoration focused on there and then had the balloons around. Sweet and simple. Food can be an expensive part of the party – so instead of spending more on decorations – I used the food (which was already bought) to create some decor.

We’ve got a Porcupine fruit bowl, an owl veggie tray, a hedgehog cheese dip, and a smores “trail mix”. Plus crackers, cheese and meat tray, and Cheetos.

Malachi, of course, got spoiled, the family came down from out of town. He got presents galore. Way more toys then he needed. Stay tuned for a post about our favorite toys and how we manage our small space and all the toys! 

Decorations/Food/Party Stuff

Balloons: We got a package from Party City – 6 colored one and a giant black #1. They have so many balloon options, it’s great!
Food: I did the veggie tray with help from Pinterest. The smores trail mix – is just golden grams cereal, mini marshmallows, and chocolate chips. My family helped with the rest. My mother is amazing and Malachi’s uncle makes amazing watermelon animals.
Cakes and Cupcakes: My mom, she does amazing things dessert wise and more. If you are local to Pincher Creek, Lethbridge area look her up! The cupcake wrappers and little animals on them were from Amazon, the cake topper was actually bought for fairy gardens, but we repurposed. The little birthday sign on the cake was handmade.

Overall, everyone had a great time, and it meant the world to me that everyone came to celebrate Malachi. I was able to stay within the budget that we could afford, which if you know me, is really hard. If there is anything I didn’t really mention that’d you would like to know, shoot me a message! I’m also looking for ideas for birthday #2, which just so happens to be 6 months away! Comment your best ideas below!

Sharing is caring, please share my blog with your friends and family. I appreciate it and my family does too!

Love, Crystal

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