How To Succeed As A Linqia Newbie

 How To Succeed As A Linqia Newbie | theprimarilyinspired.com |
Referral links are included in this post. I will earn a small commission for any blogger who is accepted to Linqia that goes towards funding this blog. So, thank you!

As a relatively new blogger, I’ve only been at it for almost three years in October, I am always looking for new ways to take my blog farther. I know it all starts with authenticity and an inspiration to bring quality content to my readers. With that said, it’s sometimes more daunting to think about all that goes in to running a successful blog and eventually reaching a point where I can begin to make a few dollars in the process.

In the beginning…

When I first began blogging, much like everyone, it blossomed from loneliness and a need to connect. I had just moved with my newly minted husband to a far away land called California from Virginia and I knew absolutely no one. As a teacher, and moving in September, there were no teaching positions open considering the school year had just begun. (Not to mention the whole process of switching my VA teaching license to a CA credential, but that’s a story for another day). So there I was jobless, too.

A lifestyle blog is born…

After a month or so going by and being a stay-at-home-wife, I began reading various blogs (and running my teacher blog) and made the decision to branch out and start a lifestyle blog. I had the inspiration almost instantly and began writing various posts that I found fun to share. I was all over the place! From sharing DIYs to my mere attempts at style posts and keeping up with those weekly What I Wore linkups (OMG, dressing and documenting your outfits takes a lot more effort than it seems). I didn’t have a clear vision for my new blog, but I can say that over the course of the last few years I’ve been able to learn from those early missteps and really make Primarily Inspired my own and more successful.

Disclaimer: I am no Linqia expert – I’m a newbie myself. However, I love sharing my own experiences in hopes that it reaches a fellow newbie and reassures them to never give up on attaining sponsored posts and making their blog successful.

Becoming an influencer with Linqia

I am still in my early journey of lifestyle blogging, as there’s always something new to learn, and the moment I was accepted into Linqia’s network of influencers it was a major milestone for me. Linqia is an influencer platform in which to gain membership your blog must reach a certain amount of readers per day, followers on social media, as well as quality photos and content on a weekly basis. However, finally being accepted took time and rejection.

I had applied once before and received one of those dreaded, “we’ll keep your blog on file, but we cannot accept you at this time” emails and my heart sank. However, I didn’t let that get me down. I really focused on taking quality photos, upped my engagement, and became more of a presence on social media and on a whim I found that old email and contacted them again; crossing my fingers that I had enough followers to be accepted. It was about a day or two later that I received a welcome email. Yes! I did it!

But this is when the real work began for me as a blogger. I was on the cusp of monetizing my blog, pocket change really, but it’s meaningful nonetheless. I knew that one day I would be contacted to join a campaign and I would have my first experience with sponsored posts. After having now completed three campaigns with Linqia, here are a few tips on how you can find success even as a Linqia newbie.

A Newbie

Congratulations! You’ve been accepted into Linqia’s network of influencers and now you have a newfound opportunity to work with top brands to share with your readers! It’s such a thrill, isn’t it?!

Fortunately for you, this is a time where you get to sit and wait for a campaign to come your way which can be an upwards of 30 days, but use this precious time wisely. This is a time for you to spruce up your blog, get it cohesive with your social media, update your cover photos, and continue working on your brand and original content. Eventually you’ll receive an email for a campaign that you might want to be a part of. This is the exciting part!

Like with anything, before you hit the accept button there are a few things you should consider first…

 

“This is a time for you to spruce up your blog, get it cohesive with your social media, update your cover photos, and continue working on your brand and original content.”

Accepting a campaign…or not

Not all Linqia campaigns may resonate with you or your readers, so it’s important to understand that declining a campaign is just as important as accepting one. Keep your published content authentic to your life, which includes these sponsored posts. People aren’t dumb and can spot an inauthentic sponsored post a mile away and may actually drive followers and readers away. I know I’ve stopped following blogs because of that same reason. I personally joined the campaign for Gerber twice because it’s a product I already use and my motherhood posts are amongst the most popular on my blog. Working with Libman on this most recent campaign was an easy choice for me because I’m all about keeping a clean and organized home so I was happy to share with my readers the benefits of the Wonder Mop.

On the flip side, I was just contacted by Linqia  last week to offer a campaign with a paint company. Unfortunately I had to decline because the timing of the post conflicted with when I could authentically use the product. With moving in a few months I know I’ll be doing a lot of painting in our new home, but I also knew that I couldn’t complete the post within the time frame they needed. So, it’s okay to decline a campaign and share with them the reason why you couldn’t accept.

Another tip is to read through the entire email that details what the campaign expects of you. There’s a lot of helpful information included so it’s important to become knowledgable about the timing, sharing, and work required of the post. You’ll even be partnered with a Brand Success Manager to whom you can contact about any questions you may have! Most often you have to purchase the product yourself, then as a part of your payout you’ll be reimbursed. It’s vital to evaluate if you’ll be able to give 100% for the campaign before accepting; otherwise it could really hurt your standing with Linqia to cancel a campaign after you’ve already accepted it.

“[…] it’s important to understand that declining a campaign is just as important as accepting one.”

Creating and sharing your post…

Luckily Linqia does an amazing job at giving you all the information, and some inspiration, for your post. They outline what exactly it is they are looking for in your post (i.e. high quality personal photos using the product, not to show or mention competitors, etc.) and the social hashtags and handles for the company to use when promoting it. This makes drafting and publishing your post a breeze.

But like any blog post, it will take time and effort to pull it all together. It was working on my first sponsored post that I realized that those who blog for a profession truly work hard at it just like any other job. I personally like to break up my writing and polishing across a few days, spending a few hours a day on it. That way I don’t feel overwhelmed and I can edit and re-edit my post before publishing it. Then, scheduling out the marketing piece frees up my non-blogging time and ensures my post continues to be shared without me needing to be on my phone all day.

“But like any blog post, it will take time and effort to pull it all together.”

Seeing and learning with a goal…

With each campaign I’ve managed to increase my clicks by using the estimate as a guide and goal. Having a goal throughout the active dates of any one campaign helps me see where I am gaining the most reach and by which medium: my blog? Instagram? Facebook? Using video or photos? Getting familiar with my dashboard and reporting pages is crucial for my success with that brand. As you complete campaigns your estimated clicks will grow.

I really enjoyed working on the Libman Company campaign this last time and kept a goal in mind. Although I was slightly short of making that goal, the takeaways were that I spread out my marketing, I incorporated the Boomerang feature on Instagram vs simple photos, and I sent out tweets periodically to keep my post fresh on people’s feeds. Using the proper hashtags also help out a lot. In the end, I’ve learned to do the very things I should be doing as a blogger on everyday content.

So, how are the numbers looking?

In reflection, I can see on my dashboard that on my very first campaign with Gerber Lil’ Beanies I made more of an effort to promote that post. This also considers how new I was to sponsored posts and the effort that went into it. Then, I take a peek and notice that my Gerber Cereals campaign didn’t perform as well. What caused me to only make a few bucks? Well, I had accepted the campaign during the active dates of my first campaign with the Lil’ Beanies. Although I am very happy for the experience, I have learned that I wasn’t prepared to take on two live campaigns at the same time (even though they were the same brand)! I’ve taken this with me and use it to guide me in my next sponsored posts!

“I’ve managed to increase my clicks by using the estimate as a guide and goal.”

Making those dolla-dolla bills…

As a newbie, Linqia limits your total potential earnings based on your blog’s reach and viewership…at first. Once you participate in a few different campaigns and perform higher, they’ll increase how much you can make for each campaign. Some have reported being able to make a few hundred dollars! The one downside people have mentioned about working with Linqia is this very platform. What if I earned more than my potential earnings dollar amount? Sorry, you’re cut off despite the number of clicks you’ve earned for that campaign.

But, as a newbie this won’t be an issue for you just yet.

Breathe and just have fun…

At the end of the day blogging and promoting the brands and products you use and love should be fun for both you as the storyteller and for your readers. Yes, blogging can become a business, but don’t lose sight of what inspired you to blog in the first place. Enjoy sharing your life, don’t take it too seriously, pray on it, and connect with your audience in meaningful ways. Start small, create ideal goals, accomplish them, then repeat.

If you can make a few bucks per sponsored post – awesome! I personally felt pretty great making only a few bucks of a commission because it meant I learned something that in turn helped me earn more on the next campaign. My hope is that I can turn these beginning goals into meeting my estimate and beyond! Your blog will grow regardless because you will have learned a few new things in the process! Enjoy those wins!

“[…] blogging and promoting the brands and products you use and love should be fun for both you as the storyteller and for your readers.”

It’s easy to succeed as a new influencer with Linqia. Here’s how as a newbie, much like me, you can take your blog to new heights with these easy steps! | theprimarilyinspired.com |

Are you an influencer with Linqia? Is there another influencer network you love? What advice would you give me and other newbie influencers out there?

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The Gym I Actually Look Forward To

The Gym I Actually Look Forward To | theprimarilyinspired.com |

Ever since Greyson could begin pulling himself up onto our sofa or coffee table we knew our days were numbered. We told ourselves that he would eventually grasp this newfound ability of mobility and that’s exactly what happened. He was off. Suddenly my baby, who at one point could only barely crawl, was now this young boy who, what felt like in an instant, discovered that he could move even quicker. My Greyson is now walking. Walking!

In the wake of achieving this most coveted milestone, he took it upon himself that no matter how many times he fell, bumped his head, or toppled over something, he would pull himself back up. He didn’t much care for my assistance and better yet, he never got discouraged. Walking is a major milestone for any child (and parent!) and it’s pleasing to see that Greyson has this intrinsic motivation to figure it out for himself. Since discovering what his legs and feet were capable of, within a few weeks he became more and more confident.

Baby Proofing

However with this, he became more and more hazardous. I do say this with a bit of sarcasm, but also truth. We have baby-proofed our home, but only minimally, since he became mobile. For example, we have our sockets covered and purchased a foldable baby gate to keep him confined to our living room space. Although those steps were necessary safety-wise, moreover we want to teach Greyson boundaries and be more hands-on with our approach to discipline. Instead of over-protecting and eliminating all dangers that he may come across, we want him to fall or realize he isn’t entitled to everything he puts his hands on. We simply want to provide (supervised, of course) opportunities for Greyson to recognize and learn what he can and cannot do whether it be at home or especially in public. Since beginning this approach he’s come to understand “no” and not flip out every time he hears it. We simple redirect him to an activity or action we’d like or that is safe.

Along with this whole walking thing, and turning one, Greyson has also adopted stronger preferences and is very willing to express to us his displeasure about something.  He is quick to go limp and throw a mini fit when I tell him he can’t walk somewhere or try to redirect him. He sometimes throws things or knocks things out of my hands when trying to distract him from something dangerous he wants to explore further.

This is a new chapter for us in regards to his independence so, how do we as parents foster his development while teaching boundaries in a way a toddler can understand?

Apologies for the iPhone photos below 😉

My Gym!

The Gym I Actually Look Forward To | theprimarilyinspired.com |

Practicing climbing with his daddy!

The Gym I Actually Look Forward To | theprimarilyinspired.com |

My Gym Discovered

I stumbled upon My Gym as we passed it every week on our way to Trader Joe’s for our weekly grocery trips. I had heard of them before, and similar baby gyms, but never put much thought into it considering how young Greyson was. About a month or so later I figured that since Grey was now becoming more confident in his crawling, pulling himself up, and beginning to walk we should begin to consider a class that fosters these new abilities.

Free First Class!

I was happy to see that My Gym offers new families a complimentary class of their choosing. This was a great ‘toe in the water’ for us as it was a chance to see if Greyson would even like the class and if it would be worthwhile in terms of his development. We opted for the Tiny Tykes class which is developmentally structured for babies 7-13 months old. Our instructor lead us through stretches, dances, movement, and activities that are designed specifically for his age group. Greyson loved watching the other babies and exploring all of the activities they had laid out for him and his class. I really enjoyed that they encourage parent-child bonding throughout the whole class, but also offered opportunities for the kids to play and explore independently.

On the first day he was quite stimulated and seemed to really enjoy each of the activities. When we got home he literally went down for about 3+ hour nap, which was a gift from the heavens for us! My husband and I discussed whether or not it was a worthwhile membership and here’s what all we had to consider:

  • membership is $75/month and includes 1 instructed class and offers unlimited free-play sessions each week.
    • We scheduled Greyson for the 9am Saturday class and take him 1-2x a week to a free-play session to make this membership most cost-effective.
    • We can also change up his class whenever we’d like. Since Grey is a confident walker he’s almost ready for the Waddlers class.
  • scheduling and rescheduling make-ups for days we may miss are easy-peasy.
    • My Gym requires that within a billing period your child must make 4 of the instructed classes a month (1 weekly class for a month). There are times when we travel, like this weekend, where we will miss his class, but they have multiple sessions of the same class throughout the week so we just plop him into one of those upon our return home. So easy!
    • Also, when traveling you’re allowed to join a local class (worldwide locations available!) as a part of your membership. So when traveling check your local My Gym in that area and never miss a class.
  • they move and change up the activity layout each week.
    • Every time we’ve went there’s a new layout of activities to keep the kiddos engaged and moving.
  • each weekly class is aimed to practice and explore new stretches, play, dances, and movement which are geared towards the development of the children in that particular class.
    • For example, the Tykes class Greyson is in focuses on their developing hand, arm, and trunk control as well as balance, agility, and introductory tumbling. A lot, right?!
  • classes also focus on social and behavioral development as well. Children are encouraged to share, take turns, and have spacial awareness while playing and exploring.
    • We love that Greyson has a chance to socialize with other children throughout the week!

The Real Benefits

As you can tell it wasn’t difficult for us to sign on the dotted line after our first class. It was also nice to see that they were offering veteran families a waiver on their enrollment fee, which helps us out a great deal.

The Gym I Actually Look Forward To | theprimarilyinspired.com |

After spending a month attending My Gym we both have noticed a considerable difference not only in Greyson’s abilities, but his overall attitude towards trying something new. He’s eager to attempt new things like climbing ramps or stairs (his new favorite thing to do) and it teaches us parents not to hover, which can be difficult to do sometimes. I love that their equipment is designed just for these little guys and gals, which puts me at ease and allows him to freely run around without me worrying of him bumping into a sharp coffee table corner (which, of course, has happened at home).

In a few weeks time he’s pretty much mastered walking, go from a sitting position to standing without assistance, attempts going up stairs by holding the railings and extending his feet for each step, and has learned to turn on his belly and crawl backwards slowly (think of a reverse crawl) to get down from a heightened surface. We have also noticed more of a willingness to engage other children, which I’m happy to see. All in all, we’re so happy with our decision to enroll Greyson.

The Gym I Actually Look Forward To | theprimarilyinspired.com |

Learning to climb up a ramp.

Greyson loved getting to play and explore all of the different activities they had set up each class. I love his new sense of independence and learning to socialize with the other kids is priceless. I personally couldn’t recommend My Gym more for any parents out there looking for a meaningful experience for their child/children. Be sure to check out your local location!

BTW, I am not being compensated for featuring My Gym. I just love sharing companies and businesses that I personally love!

Have you tried My Gym before? What interests you about this experience for your child/children?

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Why Nick Isn’t My Bachelor

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I acknowledge that my participation in Bachelor Nation is quite late being that I only began watching the reality series starting with Chris Soules’ season. I tuned into one episode just to see what all the talk was about and I can admit, it was then I was hooked. I’m not quite sure what initially allured me; perhaps the hopeless romantic in me wanting everyone to find true love or just being drawn towards the ridiculous drama between the women (I can’t help myself). I’m also curious about the concept of whether or not lasting love can really be found on a reality show that is taped for 10 weeks at a time. Can it really be done? Are these people truly ready to be engaged by the end of the season and live their lives for better or for worse?

Having followed The Bachelor and The Bachelorette for the past few seasons now, and then Bachelor in Paradise this past summer, I’ve come to get to know Nick Viall a little bit. I admit, I never watched any of his seasons when he was a contestant, but have heard he was quite the villain on Andi’s season. He even called her out, exposing that they had had sex during the Fantasy Suite, which is a taboo thing to do on the show. I’ve also heard that he actually had quite the chemistry with Kaitlyn during her run on her season of The Bachelorette, but alas she picked someone else in the finale.

Nonetheless, I was first introduced to him during Paradise when he came off as the lovable ‘friend zone’ guy who just wanted to find love. It always seemed that whenever he found chemistry with a girl, they for some reason always left him for another option. Poor guy, I thought. I really wanted to root for him. So, when the series broke the traditional mold and picked him, a guy who can pretty much call himself a professional Bachelor at this point, to be their next pick for this current season I was pretty stoked for him. All the guy wanted was to find love…right?

But with all things considered, here’s why Nick is one of the worst picks for season 21 of The Bachelor:

He’s boring.

Tuning into the first episode of his season, and getting a closer glimpse into his personality, I quickly realized he is not like the lovable guy I saw on Paradise. He has a few social and character traits that I personally find annoying: the mumbling, talking under is breath a lot, being unsure about pretty much everything, and most importantly, being wishy-washy about what it is he’s looking for in love and in the women themselves. He has the looks, I mean, come on…he’s great looking. However, I had a huge question mark over him the moment he began his season.

Women are attracted to confidence, not uncertainty. We want to be reassured that our feelings are being acknowledged and that the other person gives just as much as we are in a relationship. I love that he is in tune with his emotions, but the crying after a while needs to stop. Seriously, I feel like he’s cried more this season than any other Bachelor to date. But despite his tears, he still manages to be emotionally unavailable to any of the women.

via GIPHY

He doesn’t appear to be taking this seriously.

Case in point: Corrine. This season gave us A LOT of her, and she fits the formula for great reality T.V. She’s cute and an entitled daddy’s girl from Miami who managed to create a lot of drama in the house. She’s immature and I’m convinced only on the show ‘to win,’ not necessarily to find lasting love with Nick despite her saying it over and over again. When we were introduced to her, both my husband and I said that Nick would keep her around, but surely he’d let go of her after the first couple of weeks – giving him time to make stronger connections with the other women.

No, he kept her all the way up to the last few episodes. Really?

The fact that he kept her around as long as he did only told me, and even a few girls in the house, that he wasn’t taking this experience all that seriously. She lead with her sexuality, because let’s be honest she doesn’t have much else at the moment, and he fell for it. Every time. He completely jeopardized the other relationships in the house by keeping her around and I’m not even sure anymore if he realizes it.

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He’s not trying hard enough.

In just the couple of years I’ve been tuning in to Bachelor I’m disappointed that Nick doesn’t appear to be trying, really at all, with any of the women. He is elusive with sharing anything meaningful about himself and after 10 weeks I know nothing more about him than when the season started. He keeps saying that he’s looking for ‘raw relationships,’ but he sends all the women home who express their love towards him and open up to him with their deepest feelings, experiences, and personal stories. I know more about all of the women on this show than Nick himself. At some point he needs to put forth the effort in these relationships…but that’s just it. When it’s real love blossoming the effort is effortless.

via GIPHY

Perhaps The Bachelor franchise wanted to use him as their success story.

We all know that not all Bachelor or Bachelorette seasons end with an ‘I do’ amongst the chosen couples, but there are a few success stories that prove there can be happy endings. (There’s a reason they always bring back Sean Lowe, amongst other Bachelor alums, to prove to the current Bachelor there can be a wedding by the end of this journey).

It’s also no wonder that the franchise needed to change things up this season and with him missing out three (yes, THREE) other times on this show, I wouldn’t be surprised if they were really counting on him being their golden child of a season. Unfortunately for them, he has a dud personality.

Or he’s using the show to boost his nonexistent career.

In the age of the Kardashians where reality stars can make careers out of doing nothing I suppose Nick fits the bill. He’s surely made a career off of the Bachelor franchise and with the news of his participation on Dancing With The Stars (which is pretty commonplace for Bachelor/ette alums) he’s sure to extend those 15 minutes (x4) of fame. Who knows if he’s on the show to truly find love or just use it as a platform to reach another notch higher in the social entertainment world. It’s anyone’s guess.

Regardless of his intentions, I do plan to tune in to tonight’s finale to see whether or not the guy gets engaged to anyone. We all know Rachel is our next Bachelorette, so she’s off our list, so it comes down to Raven and Vanessa. Personally, I’d like to see both women not accept his proposal considering I don’t feel as though Nick put forth the right amount of effort towards any of them. However, I love Vanessa because she seems the type to know what she wants, what she deserves, and will have no problem calling Nick out on his sh*t (I love she had no problems doing then when Corrine pulled out her bouncy house move). So I suppose if there is an engagement I’d like to see Vanessa over Raven – but I surely don’t see a wedding anytime soon or at all.

What are your thoughts about this season? Who did you see getting the final rose? Did you dislike Nick as much as I did?

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Scenes From Our Weekend: A Luau First Birthday

A Luau First Birthday | theprimarilyinspired.com |

Celebrating Greyson’s first birthday was an amazing experience even though the prep took all day and I was only slightly stressed at the last minute. However once I saw everyone arrive and enjoy themselves with food, drinks, and conversation I knew everything was going to work out perfectly. Since it’s Grey’s first birthday, and my first time organizing one, I wanted everything to be perfect and my luau theme to come together.

We picked a luau theme pretty early on in the planning process a few months ago. It’s a little homage to when we took our first wedding anniversary to Kauai (and where we believe he was conceived). It’s also a reflection of the beach life we live here in Ventura and since our apartment complex is like family, we wanted his birthday to be celebrated as a big gathering of friends. These people have been so supportive of us ever since we moved in, throughout my pregnancy, and especially during Greyson’s life. They’ve been witness to every stage and it’s truly special and meaningful that many of our fellow residents could make it to his party.

A Luau First Birthday | theprimarilyinspired.com |

Our one family photo and there’s a sunspot right on my face! Nonetheless, it’s a good picture 😉

A Luau First Birthday | theprimarilyinspired.com |

Greyson also sported Philip’s outfit from his first birthday in 1982! How adorable is that?!

It’s a LUAU!

A Luau First Birthday | theprimarilyinspired.com |

No luau is complete until there’s a tiki bar! I made the sign using a banner from Target and a Sharpie. I also got the black tablecloths from Target and the skirts from Amazon. Because we were traveling to D.C. I ordered all of my Hawaiian decorations ahead of time that way all I had to do was set it up the day of the party. I did get last minute things the day before, but was really happy with how well everything seemed to come together!

Some might wonder why the tiki bar at a child’s first birthday party and I would answer, that no child birthday party should be without a little booze for the adults. The first birthday is moreso a party for the adults anyways considering Grey’s too young to even remember this party. So why not make it fun and enjoyable for everyone? I also got fun drink umbrellas and offered everyone lei’s as party favors (it’s in the details!).

A Luau First Birthday | theprimarilyinspired.com |

Some of the last minute decorations I pulled together was this ‘Chasin’ Greyson’ poster. I wanted to display photos of Greyson from birth up until his first year and browsed Pinterest for ideas. I found this one then made it my own using the beach theme and my best attempts at drawing palm trees. Instead of using photos of his ‘firsts’ like in the pin, I opted for his monthly photos to show his growth since everyone who came to his party knew Philip and I while pregnant and had the opportunity to watch him grow up.

Also, I included a fun slideshow using the option in the Photos app on my iPad which pulls photos from any album and displays them in a slideshow with music. It was a fun little touch and took zero prep – just select the option at the top right of the screen and it plays all on its own.

I also asked our friends to sign his Oh, The Places You’ll Go book as a means of a guestbook. I’d love to have it out for every year up until he goes to school and collect as many messages from our family and friends as possible. Makes for a cute keepsake later on 😉

The Food

A Luau First Birthday | theprimarilyinspired.com |

My mother-in-law has this amazing dip she makes every year for Christmas and when they told us they were flying out for this birthday and asked to contribute something I just had to have her make it! As expected, it was a huge hit and multiple people asked for her recipe. I simply shaped it in the form of a pineapple, arranged almonds for detail, and added the top of a fresh pineapple for a finishing touch. These chargers from Michael’s were on sale, too, so I decided to pick up a few to go along with the Hawaiian beach theme. I can’t take credit for the idea, so you can find the inspiration from Pinterest here.

A Luau First Birthday | theprimarilyinspired.com |

A Luau First Birthday | theprimarilyinspired.com |

We did a potluck style luau and our friends from our complex donated a lot of great side dishes. We catered the entrees from a local Polynesian restaurant in town and their short ribs were delicious. Originally we thought to grill, but at the last moment we decided to get food catered that way my husband and I could worry less about food and spend more time hanging out and keeping track of Greyson.

A Luau First Birthday | theprimarilyinspired.com |

Hanging out with Grandma! Grandpa was there too but somehow he managed to escape the camera!

A Luau First Birthday | theprimarilyinspired.com |

A Luau First Birthday | theprimarilyinspired.com |

The Sandcastle Cake

A Luau First Birthday | theprimarilyinspired.com |

A Luau First Birthday | theprimarilyinspired.com |

When throwing a birthday party one of the biggest, and most important, decisions to make is all about the cake. I went back and forth in my head as to what I wanted to do: Should I get a custom cake? Should I make it myself? Should I buy a pre-made cake from the grocery store? Again, after some time looking through Pinterest for ideas I found a lot of inspiration for a sandcastle cake!

I bought deep cake pans from Michael’s and simply used boxed cake instead of making it myself (needed something simple to pull together). I also used vanilla icing and to make the sand I used a food processor to grind up graham crackers and toasted coconut. I was so surprised to see that it looked exactly like sand! To make the sand bucket indents on the top I cut large marshmallows in half, coated them with icing and dipped into the sand mixture. I did have leftover batter and made cupcakes with sand topping which we used for the traditional cake smashing and offered them to anyone who didn’t want an actual slice.

A Luau First Birthday | theprimarilyinspired.com |

Greyson’s First Bite of Cake

Gift Time!

It was so sweet that our friends brought gifts for Greyson considering we put on our invitations that there were no need for gifts as their attendance to his party was gift enough. Greyson is so blessed with his grandparents in terms of toys, books, and practically everything in-between, so to see others brought him a little something was very touching.

A Luau First Birthday | theprimarilyinspired.com |

He makes the cutest growling noise when he sees Cookie Monster!

A Luau First Birthday | theprimarilyinspired.com |

A Luau First Birthday | theprimarilyinspired.com |

A Luau First Birthday | theprimarilyinspired.com |

A Luau First Birthday | theprimarilyinspired.com |

A Luau First Birthday | theprimarilyinspired.com |

A Luau First Birthday | theprimarilyinspired.com |

A Luau First Birthday | theprimarilyinspired.com |

A Luau First Birthday | theprimarilyinspired.com |

The Little Red Car

One of the gifts from his grandparents and Philip was the classic Little Tikes coupe. My husband says he had always wanted one as a kid and never received one, so when it was time he wanted to make sure Greyson had one. It was precious seeing Greyson see the car and to know how much it meant to Philip.

A Luau First Birthday | theprimarilyinspired.com |

A Luau First Birthday | theprimarilyinspired.com |

How many of you had this car growing up? Did you pass down the tradition to your kids?

A Luau First Birthday | theprimarilyinspired.com |

Greyson playing in his new car with his cousin who came down from L.A.!

A Luau First Birthday | theprimarilyinspired.com |

I was so happy that my sister and her family could make it down from L.A. to spend the afternoon with us for his birthday. Greyson and his cousin Shiloh were born 9 days apart so it’s very special to have him here to celebrate with us! My sister is the only family that I have living out on the west coast in California and due to both of our busy lives it’s difficult to see each other often. So when we do I always take it in and enjoy the moments we have together. So happy to have gotten to see them!

This weekend, and party, was a whirlwind but we’re so thankful to everyone near and far who helped us ring in this monumental occasion!

What are the plans for your baby’s first birthday? Or how have you celebrated first birthdays in the past? What themes did you go with or did you do something super simple? I’d love to hear!

See how I threw a simple Luau First Birthday for my son! Simple ideas and prep to ensure the best party on a budget! | theprimarilyinspired.com |

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