Celebrating Our Little Man’s First Birthday

We recently celebrated J‘s first birthday.  Can you believe it has been a year already? Where did the time go?  I sometimes feel emotional when I look at the kids and see how much they’ve grown!  The days roll into weeks…into months and before you know it, they are all grown up! 😢

The birthday parties of kuya and ate were quite similar.  We had magicians and entertainment, games, enormous balloon arrangements and a lot of prizes.  For J, we tried something a little different.  We veered away from the loud celebrations and opted for a more subdued get-together with family and friends.  It’s simpler but not, in any way, less special. 😊

Planning for my kids’ birthdays always excite me.  The first order of the day is booking the venue.  I had my sights set on a function room in one of the villages in Alabang.  It is indoor and air-conditioned, not too expensive (compared with the others in the vicinity) and near our residence.  To top it all, the size is also perfect – not too big but not too small either.  Sadly,  I was a tad late in reserving the place. It was already booked on our event date 😳.

I’ve always had my previous parties in function halls.  It’s my preferred party venue (over hotels or restaurants) because it gave me a free hand on styling and decor.  I also like that I have a wider option in terms of food since I can choose my own caterer and set up food booths.  However, the open space venue can also swing the other way as sprucing up the place will involve more expenses.

My next option was to book a restaurant.  N & I both agreed that we wanted a to celebrate this milestone in a nice venue so fastfood parties will be for succeeding years’ celebrations.  After scouting and considering several places, we decided on Milky Way Cafe in Makati.  We love the food there and they have a good sized function room which is perfect for the gathering that we I am envisioning.

Next was choosing a theme.  I got stuck in this part for a little bit because there were just sooooo many themes that I wanted to do for Baby J!  I considered to do an interpretation of my all-time favorite book, “The Little Prince”.  I also liked Dr. Seuss’ “Oh, The Places You’ll Go” and “The Cat in the Hat”.  There is also Sesame Street and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Choices…choices!!! In the end, I went minimalist and picked “little man” as his over-all theme.  I figured that since I intend to make it mostly DIY, I need something that is nice and fun but easy to execute as well.

As with all my other parties, I relied on my sister Faye’s creativity to life my party ideas and design pegs.  We went for blue, green and gray as color motiff to tie in with the moustache bash concept.

Sharing with you a copy of the invitation that we circulated to family and friends through Viber and Facebook.  I decided against printing it so as not to waste paper (and save the earth!)

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Speaking of saving the earth, I also decided to do away with large balloon centerpieces that are usual in kiddie parties.  Instead, I had moustache printables that guests used as props for their photo ops.  I also had pictures of J printed to show his progress from birth till 12 months, which also served as table numbers and centerpieces.  I added some succulents to the arrangement and it turned out pretty nice, if I say so myself 😊.  What do you think?

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The decor of the venue was sparse as I was really going for the simple, minimalist look.  But N insisted on some balloon decor to make it more festive so I gave in.  Apart from that, everything else in the venue was (proudly) DIY 😊.  A whole lot of thanks to my brothers and sisters (I call them J’s Party Crew…hehe) who assisted me in making the place looking swanky and taking care of every other detail of the party.

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As I mentioned earlier, I wanted to steer clear from noisy games and party hosting. Instead of parlor games, I went for interactive and creative play to entertain the littlr ones.  I had Lego play sets and play dough activities that were a hit with kids of all ages!

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Guests were also encouraged to write their wishes and advise for J on notecards which we distributed during the event.  We asked them to hang their cards on display and we will keep them until J is old enough to read them someday.  I think this will be a nice memento of his first birthday celebration.

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As expected, Milky Way’s food was delicious! The adults enjoyed the spread of their tried and tested Filipino merienda fare (sotanghon, dinuguan at puto, barbecue and lumpiang sariwa) while the kids had their own buffet station that served classic kiddie party hits of spaghetti, fried chicken, pizza and an ice cream buffet.

But what would be a party without sweets, right?  That in mind, we also prepared a sweets table for our guests.  I love how J’s two-tier birthday cake turned out.  I chose chocolate and carrot as cake flavors and served them as additional dessert to guests.

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We also had yummy red velvet cupcakes (courtesy of Sugar Lily, of course) and a candy buffet, which also served as giveaways to kids.

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The simple program, hosted by F & S was loved by all.  It was a simple yet fun birthday celebration which we will always cherish as it was done with a lot of love.

Happy birthday, J!  We love you to bits! 😊