My friend, Christina, recently threw her charming son a simple first birthday party that is just too sweet not to share. What I love best about this casual celebration is that it has a theme, which unites the party treats and decorations, but isn’t too detailed (and therefore impossible to duplicate). There’s a lot of inspiration to be found here!).
The party was held at home—my favourite place to host a birthday party—and Christina went with a woodland animal theme for her little’s man special soiree. After scouring Pinterest for ideas, she boycotted most of them because they called for crafting skills she admittedly doesn’t possess. Instead, she headed to Michaels and an online store for simple cake toppers and paper party decorations. Combined with an already-owned wooden cake platter and some seasonal enhancements used at Christmas and Easter, her party pieces were set.
Christina believes that if you throw a party with love and sense of fun, it can’t help but turn out great. Isn’t that a great way to approach all of our parties? She planned a meal mostly meant for adults since they made up the bulk of the dinner guests, and for dessert she whipped up whimsical marshmallows using cooking cutters and a classic chocolate cake for the proper perching of the birthday candles.
My own little bunny will be a year old next month, and despite having thrown a total of 29 (!!!) birthday parties already for my other kids, I’ve still picked up some great tips and tricks from Christina.
What theme did you go with for your baby’s first birthday? Feel free to tell us all about the party in the comments.
The main difference between how I ate growing up, and how my family eats today, comes down to one thing: pulses. You may not be familiar with the word, but likely will know it well by the end of this year, thanks to the United Nations declaring 2016 as the year of the pulse.
So, what exactly is a pulse? Good question. They are the delicious, sustainable, local (for Canadians), healthy, protein-packed foods you know as chickpeas, lentils, beans and dried peas. They’re high in fibre, B-vitamins, iron, potassium, magnesium and zinc, and have twice as much protein as other whole grains like wheat, barley or rice.
My family consumes pulses regularly. We’re rarely without hummus in the fridge, eat soup with beans every week, love to add roasted chickpeas to our salads, and have been known to toss them into a pot of any other stew or curry to bulk up the protein without adding more meat.
That last point is key, as far as I’m concerned. Groceries are going to be even more expensive in 2016 and with four meat-loving men to feed each day, I already double and triple most of my recipes, but this year instead of upping the meat count, I’m replacing half of it with beans, lentils or chickpeas, when appropriate. My turkey lentil sloppy Joes are an excellent example of this. It’s a family favourite recipe, and to this day I don’t think anyone even knows it’s loaded with lentils and not just meat. Pulses are a far more economical protein option, and will certainly help to keep the food costs in check if they replace a meaty meal every once in a while.
Here at SavvyMom, we’ve developed plenty of recipes using pulses, and are showcasing 11 of our favourites to show you how easy it is to add them to your own family meals:
Chickpea patties (our super popular recipe has been updated after three years!)
Sweet Potato Hummus
Sweet Potato and Split Pea Soup