The first night that I held my son in my arms, he started as he was to continue for the next six months, he partied all night. All he wanted to do was watch me, nuzzle into the crook of my neck and he always had this expression on his face of which I can only describe as pure unadulterated, but adorable devilment. As we pondered each other that first night, the love that started the first moment I found out I was pregnant, solidified and became unbreakable. It was and will always be Titanium! And that same night in Wexford General Hospital, when I said to my son, ‘you’re a little rockstar, aren’t you?’ (even though the medical profession will tell you it’s impossible as a newborn) Nate smiled back at me in ready agreement of my assessment of him.
So the nickname Rockstar began and has stuck. When it came to planning his 1st birthday party, a theme jumped out at Rog and I immediately. A rockstar party! We had a brilliant time at it and when I posted some of the pictures on Facebook, I was asked by a few of my friends to do a blog post on the party details, so as promised, here it is!
First of all I created the invitation. I used a really cool app called Diptic to add each individual component of the collage invite.
Excitement started to grow among family and friends as they all started debating what rock star they would dress as! For ourselves we discussed many options but in the end decided we would form our own glam rock band, Nate and the Rocking Harringtons. Eva my stepdaughter and I scoured all our wardrobes till we came up with the right look. I did try to talk Rog into a pair of my leggings, but even in the name of rock he refused! I made bandanas for Rog and Nate. Eva wore a Marilyn Monroe wig I had worn before (we like fancy dress in our house!) Amelia got a seriously cute pink wig from Penny’s (€8) and I couldn’t wait to put on my extra long funky red wig. I enjoyed being a red head so much I’m seriously considering making the change permanent! We all got new Tshirts, and we were set! And as Amelia says ‘ta da……’
All of our guests went to so much trouble with their costumes – we had the Booze Brothers (get it? blues brothers but with a few beers!), Frenchie, Billy Idol, Baby spice, Jessie J, two ozzy’s, one Sharon, Ian Brown, Blondie, Kim Wilde, Cher, Michael Jackson & bubbles the monkey (genius) Cher, and some seriously cute punk rockers and rock chicks!
The house was decorated with Rockstar decorations I purchased in Woodies.
We set up a 5′ backdrop in the hall and left guitars (both real and the kiddies ones) plus microphones there and everyone when they arrived had to have their picture taken. All the photographs are going into a photo scrap book, a wonderful keepsake of such a fun day!
Speaking of photographs, I printed off (or rather asked Rog to print off) an array of pictures of Nate that I’d be taking all year. Included in these was Nate’s monthly photographs I’d been taking. On the 27th of each month I have taken a pic of Nate with a cuddly toy so that we would have a tracker of how much he changed each month. So all of these pics were made into a huge 5′ collage in the shape of the number 1. A nice idea to decorate a room.
Everyone got a Backstage pass when they arrived made by Eva. She loves to get involved and this was a great way of letting her use her creative side. I bought a pack of fluorescent stars in Mr Price for €2 and then we put a hole lunch in each and some string, then Eva decorated them with some rock stickers I also bought in Mr Price for €2.50. I had looked at buying lanyards and I am so glad I didn’t, as it was much more fun for Eva to make them herself and that’s what’s important really.
And here are some snapshots of some of the VIP’s posing for their paparazzi!
Food for the party was much agonised over. I have catered for large groups many times before over the years, both with hot meals and buffet finger food I made myself. I’ve also had caterers in for Nate’s christening (thank you Warren in Cistin Eile), but for our rockstar party I got it into my head that I wanted a chipvan to arrive at the party to serve food, a bit like a rock festival. I found and booked a chip van and was keeping it as a surprise for the night, but at the last minute he cancelled. I was very disappointed and couldn’t find a replacement at such short notice but did manage to book the local chipper – Mike The Frying Irishman ( that’s his name, I’m not making it up!)
Mike delivered to the party a fabulous array of hot greasy yummimess and its fair to say everyone was well fed! The great thing about this type of food, I could get away with paper plates as no one expects silver service with an onion ring! So clean up was at a minimum.
The children got kiddie meals from The Frying Irishman which included a cool gift. So the smallies were all very happy too.
Of course a party wouldn’t be a party without lots of cakes and sweets would it?
My friend Dee O’Toole makes fantastic cupcake wrappers, so I enlisted her help in creating some really great Mickey and Minnie Mouse wrappers. My almost 3 year old is besotted with all things Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and these were a huge hit with the youngest of our guests. I made chocolate chip cupcakes, muffin size and iced them with Betty Crockers vanilla frosting. I ran into some trouble with my icing bag so the lovely swirly frosting I had planned had to be diverted for plain old smearing of the frosting with a knife. But I don’t think the kids noticed!
A link to Dee’s blog is listed in the section ‘other links I like’ if the urge to get some cool wrappers over takes you! She also makes really fab cards too. And all of my cakes I made came from the Odlums website.
I then made some ice cream cone cupcakes. Easy peasy, just buy your cones, fill them with smarties, pop a cupcake into the top of it and decorate with frosting to make it look like a cone. Sprinkle with whatever takes your fancy! My two girls, Eva and Amelia made these with me and there was a lot of make one, eat one going on!
Next on the table of goodies was probably the most popular item, the Candy Store!
I cannot recommend this enough for a kids party. My best friend Annie offered to do this for Nate and it will now be a regular feature for all future parties at the H’s.
The cool candy containers were bought from Ikea plus the scoops for €1.50. And I placed party bags with them so kids could fill their own before leaving for home. Pick your favourite sweets to fill the containers and watch the child within us all get excited as you scoop a handful of sweets up.
And last but not least were the cakes! We had 4 birthdays to celebrate on the day, and each demanded a cake for themselves!
Nates’s godfather and uncle wanted to buy Nate his birthday cake, so that was one sorted!
Thank you Uncle John and Aunty Fi, it was very cool!
Eva had asked for a chocolate cake, so chocolate she got! I made an 8″ Victoria sponge, cut in half and filled with buttercream and jam. Then it was covered completely in Betty Crocker chocolate fudge frosting. Chocolate fingers were used to decorate the sides and the top covered with smarties. A ribbon tied around the cake finished it off. This cake lasted less than 5 minutes once the candles were blown out!
Next up was Ev’s birthday cake, my lovely SIL. For Ev, I made the same Victoria sponge but forgo the chocolate frosting all over it, only placing it on top. Then I used orange chocolate crisps (Aldi for €2.50) and placed them on top of the cake to make it look like a rose. I was just a tad bit pleased with how pretty it turned out. Easy peasy to do too.
And last but not least, I ordered a Paganini cheese cake for Rog who adores cheesecake but I did make him a special cake too, just for the over 18’s! A beer cake for the original rockstar of our family!
When you make a beer cake, just make sure you cut a circular piece of cardboard to use as a shelf in between each layer and tie the cans with a ribbon or string.
My sister Fiona said she thought it would probably be the only 1st birthday party she’d ever go to where there was a beer cake, but it was a rockstar party after all! It would look pretty good using soda cans if you wanted to do a PG version!
So that’s pretty much it folks. A great afternoon/evening (into the wee hours for some of us) was had. We all had lots of fun with Just Dance on the Wii and the over 18’s had a few glasses or bubbly or beer to toast the birthday boys and girls.
It was a lot of work pulling it all together and I spent hours planning it, but it was so worth it. If anyone has any questions just shout!