The Little Chief Turns One!

On July 20th, just two days ago, our little Ronin Riot turned one! Amidst one of the most hectic months, I planned a party on a budget and made almost everything involved. I’ve been asked by many to share how to get your prices down, still stay with a theme, and have fun for kids. I wanted to share this with you today and give a sparkle of inspiration for your little one’s first birthday. Ronin was decked out from head to toe in his favorite brands… Dear Cub tee, Potatofeet moccasins, and Hoonana shorts! Though he wouldn’t sit still, his one year old photos will follow in another post for you to see the cuteness. Remember, your babe is going to need a second set of clothes, so plan ahead!

Chances are your one year old isn’t going to remember their first party, be it with family or friends, at home or your favorite pizza place! Turning one is a milestone mostly for mum and dad more than anything. With that being said, you don’t have to break the bank to have a great time. We held Ronin’s birthday in a pool clubhouse. There was no cost to book, simply a check deposit left through check in case something when extremely wrong. By using a community room, we had access to chairs and tables, as well as a mini kitchenette to facilitate our needs.

image.jpgThe smash cake was a marvel. I can’t tell you how proud I am of this cake. I scrolled through Pinterest trying to find the perfect pan for the cake, but instead, I stumbled across this. Amazing idea – cook your cake in an empty formula tin! Whatever batter you choose to use, fill it about 1/3 of the way full (or more for bigger, but be careful, the inside will take a while to cook). Cook at 350 degrees for roughly 30 minutes, the time varies as the cake size does. Let it cool COMPLETELY! I can’t tell you how important that is. You can pop it in the fridge if you’re short on time. Once cool, take a can opener and cut off the very bottom of the tin. Your cake will slide right out! Frost and decorate as you please. I was a bit wary about candles on a first birthday cake, so I used a couple dowels I had in my craft box, Kraft paper, and string to make this super easy cake bunting. You could always use wooden chopsticks and white or construction paper to lower the cost even more. Etsy has listings for cake toppers as low as $5 too!

Slow start to eating the cake, I had to bribe him with fruit first!

I swear, my child is the only one to choose watermelon over a cake.

I swear, my child is the only one to choose watermelon over a cake.


Food was simple, since the party was mid-afternoon, we decided to have sweets galore. Peanut butter kiss cookies, Rice Krispie Treats, watermelon, banana bread muffins, and of course, cupcakes! I chose cupcakes over cake because I wasn’t quite sure how long the smash cake would take for Ronin to demolish. I set everything out on the table and had kids and parents alike just grabbing what they needed! Food cost, all together, cost about $12 (this does not include things like oil, water, spices, etc. that are found around the house already).

Decorations were minimal, all wood platters, handmade garland, antlers, and color coordinating disposables. Dollar Store visit yielded $1 for 24 pack red plates, $1 for white tablecloth, $1 for red napkins. No cups were needed since we got drinks in bulk from BJs and we had no use for plastic ware since we had finger food. That was our biggest cost at $23! We definitely should have gotten smaller packs of pop, but it won’t go to waste. Koolaid Jammers cost $5 for a total for 30 pouches. The feather garland was super simple, another feather tutorial from Pinterest. The feathers were a made from two sheets of red felt and 6 ft of twine. image.jpg

The invites were another item that I made myself with the help of photoshop and seem tutoring from my fella. Invites can be as simple or complex as you like, handwritten or pre made. The cost for the invites ended up being the cost of a package of card stock, which we already had.

Last but not least, goodie bags. I wish to goodness I had thought to have a photo taken of these. But alas, I did not. Each one was in a small brown lunch bag with a mini red clothespin (found in the scrapbooking section) to hold it shut. Here’s the rundown of what was in each one.

(1) Pin from Dear Cub
(1) Melted Crayon Block
(1) Coloring Page
Assorted candy – smarties, tootsie pop, etc.

And there ya have it! A huge thank you to Chris Lampkins for coming out and snapping photos of the big day… Check out his photography page here!

To help celebrate his birthday, we have a wonderful giveaway put together for you. See below for how to enter and check Instagram for one more way to enter! Check out the prizes below…

Hoonana – Coral Blue Shorts and Jeans
Carolinakeiki – Tribe tee
Monkey bug – Headdress tee
Sweet Bestitos -Handmade Poncho
Potatofeet – $25 store credit
Alice&Ivory – Little Chief print
Minnie and the monster – Fox and Chieftess  Wooden figures
Petunkalunka – Handdrawn Buffalo journal
Caribbean Gypsy – Store Credit

Original Post on July 23, 2014 on


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