Our little man turns one this week and we celebrated yesterday with a Winter ONEderland birthday party. I LOVE hosting parties but also know that this time of year is insane and I wasn’t going to be able to do as much as I typically do. But that’s okay! I just invited people who would understand (those true, kind, and loving friends) and made a few small things special, all for under $300. I want to share with y’all how it turned out and what I would have done if I had more time right now!

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Winter ONE derland birthday party letter board and birthday cakes!

What we did to celebrate and keep our winter onederland birthday party simple

Instead of invitations, I created a Facebook Event. Typically I really love mailing out personal cards but I knew that an online event was more than sufficient. It took no time to whip up a little invite and share it with our closest local friends. I asked them to bring a side, instead of a gift. We provided my favorite vegan chili (Jump to Vegan Chili Recipe), cake, beer, and wine and they brought everything else! I put no requirements on the sides that were brought and it worked out perfectly! (It always works out!)

What a year it’s been! Come join us for snacks, a few drinks, football, and of course cake. Please bring a side dish of your choice, if you plan to attend (and in place of a gift)! Can’t wait to see everyone!

– Facebook Event Details (so simple!)

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A table with two birthday cakes and a festive winter backgrgound

I focused on getting a yummy cake, from my favorite local bakery, Pink Baking Co. and a few simple decorations. I made a simple yarn tassel garland and ordered this adorable tablecloth from Amazon. I added this birthday topper to the cake (and am so excited to use it for all future family birthdays)! My parents picked up a few balloons, I added in some snowy trees, from our holiday decor, and we were all set!

Play up what works

The weather was gorgeous so we put some football on our outdoor tv and started a fire in the firepit. Some friends played cornhole and we mixed and mingled. We provided a keg of Sweetwater 420 and 12 bottles of wine (6 red and 6 white) for everyone. Seriously, don’t overthink it! If it’s rainy, put a fake fire on the TV (like this one) and just get cozy.

What we spent on our winter ONEderland birthday party

  • Tablecloth – $22
  • A keg of Sweetwater 420 – $90
  • Yarn for Garland – $8
  • Cake Topper – $10
  • Wine – $80
  • Cakes – $65
  • Vegan chili for 12 – $25
A mom with her child's first birthday cake. Only one lit candle is on the cake.
A child with his first birthday cake. The cake is ready to be enjoyed!

Lach wasn’t sure about all the singing for him, but he sure did love his cake! His winter ONEderland birthday party was everything we could have asked for!

Quick and Easy Vegan Chili for a Crowd

This vegan chili is a staple in our household. It's so easy to throw into a slow cooker and has plenty of flavor. Use dried beans or canned beans – whatever you prefer!
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time6 hours
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chili, vegan, Fall, slow cooker, easy, affordable, cheap, vegetarian
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 155kcal


  • Slow Cooker


  • 2 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 bell peppers, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups pinto beans or 1 can pinto beans, juices included
  • 1 1/2 cups black beans or 1 can black beans, juices included
  • 1 can chili beans, juices included
  • 1 1/2 cups great northern beans or 1 can great northern beans, juices included
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp garlic salt
  • 2 cups vegetable broth optional – only needed if you make this recipe with dried pinto beans and dried black beans


  • Plugin your slow cooker and let it heat up for 5 minutes. While you're waiting, dice the onion.
  • Add the 2 tbsp olive oil to the slow cooker.
  • Add the onions and cover the slow cooker. Let the onions simmer and mingle with the olive oil for at least 10 minutes. If you can do this for an hour, that's even better!
  • Add the bell peppers and garlic to the slow cooker.
  • Then add the black beans, pinto beans, and chili beans. (If using dried pinto beans and black beans, add the vegetable broth. Also, add the vegetable broth if you prefer a chili with more liquid. If using canned beans, the moisture from the can and tomatoes is enough and you don't need the vegetable broth!)
  • Add the 2 tbsp of chili powder, 1 tbsp cumin, and 1 tbsp garlic salt.
  • Cook on low for 6 hours on low (especially if you're using dried beans) and enjoy!
  • Add toppings of your choice and season with salt and pepper as necessary.

What I could have added to our winter ONEderland birthday party

I love offering up a favor for our guests whenever we host a party. With more time I would have created some hot chocolate mason jars (with my favorite homemade hot chocolate mix) and a tag that said: “Thanks snow much for making this day ONEderful.” I also would have added a little paper garland to the front of Lachlan’s highchair!

Mason jars full of hot chocolate ingredients.
Tutorial available HERE from Craft Foxes.
A mom and her one year old son at his first birthday party.

No matter what you do, don’t forget that your child’s favorite part will be that all his favorite people, who love and adore him, are in one place, together, playing with him. That’s what matters. We had the best day celebrating our sweet rainbow baby and are so grateful for everyone who joined us!

Walking in a winter onederland first birthday party Pinterest Image for pinning.

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