{Part One} Calvin’s First Fiesta Photos!

Hi Guys! Sooooo it’s March?! I honestly don’t know what just happened the past 3 weeks in my life – it was my birthday, then it was Valentine’s Day, then it was Calvin’s Birthday where I planned a party in one week, then we moved across the country. All while trying to keep up with taking care of a 1 year old and working full time. And I somehow got 5 blog posts up in Feb, which was my goal. Wait what? I wouldn’t recommend this level of chaos honestly, lol!
The moving surveyor thought I was insane when he came to our place on Feb 15th, asked when we were moving and I told him the 27th. He said “of this month?” as he not-so-silently judged the baby toys strewn across the room and amount of items we HADN’T packed. He proceeded to say, “you know you wouldn’t want to bite off more than you could chew.” Oh moving man, don’t you know that’s the theme of my life?
So FINALLY I want to share Part 1 of Calvin’s special day – these pictures really just show the wonder, curiosity, and joy we see in him every single day. We had about 40 of our closest friends, my family, and co-workers at our clubhouse in NJ to celebrate and enjoy a Fiesta themed party for our little man. It was very bittersweet to have everyone who welcomed us to the east coast, supported us and have been our friends over the past two years together in one room. We are so so thankful for each and every one of you and are glad to be taking lifelong friendships with us.
[all photos taken by Henrietta of HB Media]




^He LOVES all of the gifts he received. Now that we are moved, he can finally start opening & playing with them fully!
If you ever want to entertain a baby, just buy him a set of maracas, which are apparently the key to happiness.
^We “made” this last minute smash cake – I’ll share more on this in the 2nd post with decoration details.
Calvin started by veryyy gingerly touching his personal cake. He eventually took some bites, picking apart little pieces with his thumb and index finger only. I would say he was a very politically correct cake smasher.
img_2589Finally going for it ^^
img_2590^Drum sticks rivaled the entertainment from the maracas, but we ultimately decided that a baby running with drumsticks could be the cause of a Mommy panic attack
We want to say thank you one more time to our friends who made this one of our favorite days we’ve had yet and to my family for ALL your help in the party setup and clean up! We couldn’t do anything in our lives without our friends & family.
In Part 2, I will share all of the Fiesta decoration details/photos and 4 tips on planning a successful party in just 1 week! I have so many friends who will be planning parties for their little ones so I will try to get that posted in the next week!
I’ll let you know when that’ll be up – or you can subscribe to my blog by entering your email below, so you never miss another post 🙂 Have a great rest of your week, friends!kaylasignature-06
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How-To: Plan a Successful Birthday Party in One Week!

I never really thought of myself as a party planner, but I not-so-secretly had so much fun planning Calvin’s First Birthday (aka the ultimate fiesta!) I am a project manager by day so I guess it shouldn’t be surprising that planning something for my own life could be kinda fun too. I’ve never really been that into this sort of thing until I had a child – now I want to give him the world 24/7 (spoiled much!?) I even did a craft (see banner below.) Who am I? It’s also kind of true when they say it’s really a party for the parents, lol! I wanted to make sure that our friends and co-workers we met during our time on the East Coast had a great time. I’m so thankful for every one of the relationships we formed in NJ and I really wanted to get everyone (and their kids) together at once for some fun.
For the longest time, I kept putting off the planning for Calvin’s Birthday. I could blame this on procrastination (which is usually the case) but we really didn’t know if we’d be in OH or NJ for his special day. We found out on 2/9 that we’d be moving on 2/27, so I had approximately ONE WEEK to pull together this party for 2/18. Miraculously I did it, and we had about 40 people there to help us celebrate. Why didn’t I wait till we moved back? I was pretty adamant that my first child WOULD have a party on his actual birthday…first time mom probs.
Did I order all of our decorations off etsy? No. Did I send out custom hard copy invitations? No. Did I make all the food? No. So yes, I took some shortcuts in order to make this happen, but I believe the outcome was just as great.
Here are my recommendations for pulling a successful & affordable birthday party together in 1 week–because sometimes that’s all the time we got!

Have a Theme and “Vision” in Mind

(^I made this banner with string, glue, sparkly green paper, plain letters, and gold foil decal paper from Hobby Lobby!)
This one is important to determine first, because all party aspects will revolve around the theme – invites, food, decorations, dessert, etc. Honestly, almost any theme you chose for a small child’s birthday will be cute. First I wanted winter ONE-derland, then I thought we’d do a safari theme, but ultimately decided on a “First Fiesta.” I’m very glad we didn’t chose a winter theme because it ended up being 75 and sunny day of!
Once I made that decision, the other aspects started to fall into place. I knew exactly what e-vite to pick, I knew exactly what to look for in terms of decorations, and the food/drinks became easy to choose as well. This is really random, but once I found a table cloth that fit my vision (see below), the color scheme fell into place and I just had to find other items I loved that matched. Allow yourself some time in the party and/or craft store to walk around, brainstorm, and come up with your own ideas. Remember, you don’t have to replicate something you find on pinterest for it to be awesome – you can have your own vision and build upon that!

Table Cloth
Lantern Lights
Easel Chalkboard – On Sale!

Send Evites

Do you know how much time and money I saved by doing an evite? It was honestly the quickest, easiest and smartest thing I’ve ever done. I downloaded the evite app (yes I did it all from my phone!), found a fiesta themed invite (I would’ve liked to customize a bit more but this did the trick), loaded in the date, time, and a special message, and then started sending out. The best part – I didn’t even need to gather everyone’s personal email addresses. You can send the invites via text message and then when the person RSVP’s they provide their email. From this point forward, you can send group messages to the list that your invitees will receive directly to their email, add photos, and even send thank you notes via the app after the party (this one is still on my to-do!)


Find a Neutral Location

Have you ever hosted a holiday, dinner, or gathering in your home and you decide that suddenly this is a good time to re-arrange, remodel, and buy new items to make your abode look “cooler?” Yeah, me too. Now I’m aware we were moving and hosting in our home wasn’t an option, but I KNOW the stress of making our home spotless + the stress of having a great party would’ve sent me over the edge. If you can, find a neutral location where you can host your party. We ended up renting and having the Fiesta at our complex clubhouse, which I highly recommend. If you don’t have a clubhouse, someone you know might, or you could ask a friend or a relative (hello aunts & uncles!) if they wouldn’t mind hosting for you. I think that this takes the pressure off a bit and allows you to focus more on the actual reason you are having the party.

Outsource the Food

Image result for moes catering

Choosing the food for a Fiesta was a no-brainer (which is honestly why I ultimately decided on this theme.) We love Mexican food and drinks so we went with Moe’s Catering, Coronas & Margaritas! I had heard great things about Moe’s Catering services and I can concur it was simple, affordable and yummy! I saved a ton of time and stress by ordering food that I knew everyone would enjoy and would be ready on-time.





Margarita Glasses
For dessert, my Mom helped us make homemade cupcakes and we decorated ourselves.
Cupcake Stand
Because I started planning his party last minute, I didn’t have time to order a custom smash cake for Calvin. Actually, if I’m being honest, I tried calling the only custom cake company I knew of in the area 3 separate times and they never got back to me. Alas, I decided to take matters into my own hands. You can’t have a first birthday without a smash cake. The plain white cake below was already made & purchased from Stop & Shop – I scraped the generic balloons off the top and re-iced with white icing. I decorated myself with the candles, sprinkles, mustache decals (edible) & maracas for detail. Ta-da! A $15 custom smash cake.
img_2603^we cut a strip off the table cloth to decorate his highchair (my sister’s brilliant idea!)

Enlist Help Day of the Party

This was so key – I didn’t realize until after the fact how helpful and necessary having help the day of the party really was. It’s possible to plan on your own, but setting up, talking to guests, taking care of your child(ren) + food/drink/trash upkeep, plus final gift, food, and trash clean-up on our own would have been near impossible. I’m so thankful my family completely helped clean up and load the car while we were still able to enjoy our guests. Lastly, you will probably have friends offer to help or bring items. 99% of the time you will say no, but if you truly need something, it’s okay to take them up on their offer.
For the rest of our party photos, I posted part one here last week.
I loveee seeing all your little ones birthday celebrations, so keep ’em coming! What theme did you go with? What were your time savers in the planning process?
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