Frugal First Birthday

Our motto for birthdays around here is “keep it simple”. While I do feel the day of my children’s birth is worthy of celebration, I prefer small family gatherings over expensive venues.

My sweet baby boy turned one year old on Tax Day. However, we just recently had the official celebration, postponed just for Grandma’s visit. I can hardly believe how fast the year has flown by! Colin is such a joy, bringing smiles and laughter into our home each day.

Here are a few of my favorite photos from his frugal birthday bash:

Colin-happy A present!


Frugal cake decor with alphabet blocks :)

Colin-ChristianCousins! Colin with my nephew, Christian (3 months older)

chandelier-partyMy chandelier decor was inspired by Myra, with ribbons and a few classic wooden toys. So cute!

candleOne candle, of course.

eating-cakeHis first taste of his very own cupcake. Messy but fun!

Balloons, cake, ice cream, streamers. Simple and frugal, yet meaningful. Just like my girls’ birthdays.

How do you make your children’s birthdays special without breaking the bank?

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About Alyssa Francis

A thirty-something wife and mother of four! Two daughters by birth, one son by marriage, and a sweet baby boy born in April of 2009. Oldest sister of four girls raised by a single mom. California native. Grew up in Hawaii. Somehow ended up in North Texas. Once a single mom. Former agnostic. A survivor of abuse and addiction. Forgiven by a great big God. Married to my best friend.


  1. Aww, he is so cute…love those chubby cheeks. You’ve decorated nicely too for his birthday.
    .-= Joyful´s last blog ..Fantastic Walk to Granville Market – Pt. 3 =-.

  2. Amy @ Finer Things says:

    That cake is too cute. What a great idea!

  3. Your cake and decorations are adorable! The birthday boy looks like he had a ball, and that’s what’s important. I think sometimes we make birthday parties about us when it’s really all about them. You did a great job of setting the stage for a fun party.
    .-= Jennifer @ Saving and Giving´s last blog ..*HOT* Deal on Pepsi & Coke =-.

  4. The birthday boy is so very cute with his toothy grin !
    Loved your decorations …Whats co-incidental is that I got the exact same shirt for my son’s 1st birthday ! Looks like your son had a blast !

  5. We always do ice cream cake, cupcakes, or a cake just for the 5 of us on the day of the childs birthday with our presents. Then we schedule a party with family/friends as requested by the child in their theme. This year my dd12 soon 13 wants “The Great Outdoors Party” with a sleepover. Since backyard still has a pile of dirt we will do this a week later on Saturday nite with her friends then Brunch with the family. That’s the plan right now.
    .-= DeniseC´s last blog ..Last Day for a Party =-.

  6. Awwww, sweet baby boy! I LOVE the chandelier decor, the cake and everything! Adorable birthday!
    .-= Myra´s last blog ..Loving Two Peas In A Pod (& A Giveaway!) =-.

  7. Mary Ann says:

    My daughter is in college now, but for about four straight years when she was in elementary school, she celebrated her birthday with friends at a University of Alabama gymnastics meet. Alabama has a great gymnastic team–usually a national championship contender–and fans would fill up the basketball arena for the meets. It was great entertainment.

    I made the invitations on the computer. We usually took two vans loaded with girls. The children’s tickets were $2 each. We drove from Birmingham (about 50 miles) and ate at a Fazoli’s that offered a 99 cent kids meal. I checked with the Fazoli’s ahead of time to see if it was OK for two adults to bring in about 10 girls, and they were delighted to have us. They reserved tables for us, decorated (what a wonderful surprise!), and allowed me to bring in a birthday cake for dessert. So, for $3 a girl, plus gas, we had an experience those girls still remember.

  8. Hi there! I am stopping over from Frugal Friday. I enjoyed your post about a frugal first birthday party. The cake was just too cute! I love decorating cakes with toys for the kiddos.

    When you get a chance, stop by Free 2 Be Frugal.


  9. adorable! cute cake:) I love the decorations too:)
    .-= Maopa Lutui´s last blog ..Aloha Friday =-.

  10. What a cute cake!! Looks like it was a fantastic party & you were able to save money!

  11. He is adorable enjoy everprecious moment, my kids are older teens but each birthday was planned around what they liked from American Girls ‘Tiny Things’ to ‘Ballerina Picnics’ to ‘fire trucks’. We just hosted a birthday of ’22′ HS girls for our exchange students at the beach, with BOGO sale on Turkey Meat , that I froze until needed, water and juices on sale, hoagie rolls and decor from the dollar store. we spent a total $20. Our decor even kept the seagulls away, and our host daughter has great memories of her birthday.

  12. Wow! I can’t believe it has been a year already. I followed you all through the pregnancy, seems like just yesterday. He looks so cute enjoying his cake!! Happy B-day :)
    .-= Kitty @ Coupon Divas´s last blog ..Sign Up for Free Coupons From Home Made Simple =-.

  13. Nikki@couponcookin says:

    Great Party. The cake looks amazing. Just visiting from Mrs. Moneysavers. Check out my giveaway;all you have to do is leave a comment.

  14. Melinda P says:

    What a cutie pie! I love your cake idea!! I *might* have to steal it! ;) Basically, I gather things all year long with b-day parties in mind. I haven’t thrown too many children’s party yet, but this year, I have a baby boy turning 1, a girly girl turning 2, and my older boy turning 4, and we have NO extra money, so buying party stuff on clearance ahead of time is a must. I also plan the menu around whatever I have on hand and/or whatever is on sale (with a coupon of course) the weeks beforehand. :)

  15. That is so funny…I JUST posted about my son’s first birthday party on the blog I write for here:

    Your little guy is so cute! Thanks for sharing! :)
    .-= Laura´s last blog ..Free Episode Downloads: “Adventures in Odyssey” Kids Christian Radio =-.

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