I guess I can truly say I’ve never been to a very polished, sophisticated and lively first birthday party of a baby….. until I got invited to Alana‘s first birthday a few weeks back at Manila Polo Club. A dear friend, and one of my blogger pegs of life, Cat Arambulo-Antonio invited my boys and I. To be honest, I was so scared of going because I kind felt like I wouldn’t know anyone…. plus I’m so skwating at times and I might not be able to blend in or jive with the people. However, I was super happy I got to go! Kuddos to Cat for pulling off this one of a kind party. Everything was so on point, and you know that she was planning this up to the last detail. From the black, blush pink and gold color scheme, to the striped balloons, and even what food was served, it screamed Cat & Alana all over.
By the way, apart from talking about what I loved about the party, I’m going to share my personal learnings on how to throw a birthday party, Cat-inspired style. Hehe. Sooooo going back, it was Yñigo’s first time to go to a first birthday party this big, extravagant and personalized. I remember Yñigo’s first was just at home — simple catering, blue and white table setting and most of the food either Bobby prepared or we ordered from a neighbor who’s a caterer. AHH I remember we even got KFC to serve. There were balloons, and booze. But best part of it was we set up our room as a little play area where some of the kids could play.
At Alana’s first birthday, it was like Yñigo’s birthday but dolled up, and decked out! Hot & cold desserts from Freeze Burn PH, a make-up stations for the moms & little princesses by Benefit, hair styling station from Dyson —- isn’t this any little girl’s dream?
Star-studded event, but probably our favorite part was Lou Hilario’s hilarious and awesome magic show. He gets kids hooked on his funny antics and cool magic tricks. I mean, even the parents… including myself…. was fascinated with him! His show ran for about an hour and a half…. and it was an hour and half that Yñigo and I were entertained. I’m so happy Cat was able to share his contact details on her blog so you can check out all the details of the party activities she on-boarded (OMG such an agency term, this word) hehe.
It was great seeing Mikaela and her son, Maxen at the party! I think it’s been months since I last saw her, but she’s such an adorable person and so good hearted, inside and out. How can you be a mom of 3 and look this timelessly beautiful?
Also ran into Shari & Selene! Grabe si Shari — mom goals of life? Actually, everyone I saw in the party who were moms are #momgoals but the thing with Shari is that she’s so down-to-earth, we share #yayaproblems, but we ultimately put our kids first no matter what happens. Thanks for helping Ynigo out while I was busy inside. Bobby told me how you were so maalalahanin with the little boy! Play date please???
Here is THE Cat-Arambulo-Antonio. Just want to say that even if I got to talk to you for a few minutes, thank you for inviting my family and I. Thanks also for being such a good example on how to plan a party… and to keep calm even when things can get out of control. At the end of the day, we do it for our kids, right? As promised, these are my personal takeaways from Alana’s First Birthday:
- When you plan a birthday party, make sure to know what your theme is going to be. I guess before anything, you should learn what you want for your child. Is it going to be nautical, disney-themed, or race cars? What about something that’s not too thematic, but more focused on color? Whimsical purple, or deep sea blue? Whatever it is, if its going to make you and your kid happy, then follow your gut and go for it! For Yñigo’s second birthday, I was thinking of using these elements:
- Involve your kids in planning one. When your daughter / son’s old enough to tell you their preferences, listen to them. It’s their party anyway. S/he can even help in making the decorations, or color in the designs. Let them tie up the balloons on the chairs, or give him/her a lift so that they can hang the decor on the wall! They’ll feel really good and accomplished whenever they know they’re helping in making their dream party happen.
- Have a program that will involve both the parents & kids. Whether it’s Bring Me, Musical Chairs or Pin The Tail on the Donkey, make an interactive and engaging program…. or maybe have a line up of classic party games that will excite both parent and child. Allot this time to have you guests bond and celebrate your kid’s special day. You can even hire a clown (though I personally am afraid of clowns), or a magician that will surely fascinate the little tots in attendance. For the parents, there are a lot of parlor games —Longest Line, Relay Games or Sharades??? I’m not really sure with my game suggestions, but you get what I’m saying, right? At Alana’s birthday, they got a magician to perform and you wouldn’t believe how much the kids were amazed with all of Lou Hilario’s tricks!!
- Keep it short and simple. It’s not a freakin’ debut, so you don’t have to go all [too] out. I guess 1 – 1.5 hours is enough for the actual party. Your kids will need the rest…. well depending on how they are, and how old they are. If you’re the type to still hang out with your parent-guests, then plan a small gathering after the party? Pop a few bottles of wine, and get some of those pika-pika out and let the kids play in the house or in the event place you’ve chosen.
- When it comes to food, be simple and fun. Remember to consider what your guests eat or are allergic to. I have Bobby so I have no problems when it comes to food. I mean, he tells me what we should prepare or not. I usually have 1 of each protein — pork, beef, chicken and fish. I also include a salad, and the oh-so-Pinoy spaghetti. I also make sure to have dishes that the kids would enjoy. In fact, at Alana’s birthday, they served it buffet style and had goodies for all ages. They had cotton candy and scrumptious desserts pa!
- Make your guests feel loved and appreciated by giving something to take home. I wasn’t able to see what Alana had as a loot bag, and it’s okay but I know what in every party, you should give something to your guests to make them feel special and to thank them for their time. I mean, I know it’s so Filipino culture to be the one treating your friends during your kid’s birthday when some do it the other way around but goodie bags aren’t just for relationship building, but it’s also something your son / daughter’s friends can enjoy at home. Yñigo doesn’t have a lot of playmates, so during his first birthday, walang giveaway. Well, I got out my Instax camera, and took photos of Ynigo with his guests and gave the photo to them. So far, they appreciated it naman so yay!
So there you have it! We had a blast, Alana, and I wanna thank you for making us a part of this memorable and special milestone! It’s been a month since your birthday, and I know you’re doing so well. We love you and Ynigo will be supporting you from afar! Hope you guys get to meet soon and have a play date! And to Cat, I can’t thank you enough for everything! P.S. Sorry for the blurred photo but this is the only fam photo we had on that day! Toodles!