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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Scenes From Our Weekend | vol 7

This weekend had me feeling a lot of things.

Friday was Inauguration Day and typically I don’t feel one way or the other considering all the pomp and dutiful formalities that fill the day. However, this year was different. I was actually sad to see the Obamas leave the White House for the last time and to see Trump sworn in and occupy the most important position in our country. If Michelle’s face and stoic demeanor could represent my emotions of the day I would say it was spot on.

It was overall just a sad day for me; to realize and come to terms that his man, and his chosen cabinet, is our new President. To continue to hold out hope that he will lead our country in a positive direction. Honestly I’m still skeptic, but remain hopeful nonetheless.

But my sadness and fear turned to action and demonstration on Saturday.

Saturday was a powerful day for me personally. To have my husband and son march not just with and for me, but to stand next to the thousands of people who gathered in Santa Barbara to make a stance for equality. It’s more than Trump, as I’ve written in my last post explaining #whyImarchIt’s about being a presence that cannot be ignored and that a large majority of the American people demand that his administration realize what’s at stake and how prepared we are to ensure that our voices be heard. That women’s rights are, in fact, human rights we demand representation in the law; not just for women but for everyone.

Here are a few scenes from Santa Barbara.

So, thank you to everyone who came out in peaceful protest on Saturday. Thank you to the many families who marched together in the face of discrimination and intolerance.

Keep in mind that we all have much work to do outside of our march on Saturday. Our voices continue need to be heard that comes down to our active participation in our local and national governments. The Women’s March organizers have continued to share resources and have launched their next campaign called 10 Actions for the first 100 Days, which is one action every 10 days.

Action 1/ 100: WRITING YOUR SENATORS

Express to your ELECTED senators why you marched or discuss the issues that you feel they should be representing on Capitol Hill. I used the Ink Cards app (it’s free!) to design a special themed Women’s March card and wrote to my senators about what matters most for me and for our country to be as inclusive as possible. Simply fill in your message and include your recipients and they’ll print and send your cards for you. In total I only paid $3 with free shipping. Done. This website also has an easy tool for you to type in your zip code to locate your senator’s public address.

Towards the bottom of the page you’ll find a box to input your email to stay notified of the next 9 steps in taking action within the first 100 days of the Trump Administration.

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Minimalist Challenge | Week 2

What a busy few days, amirite? Seriously. Last week we had a much needed rainfall for a number of days in a row and although it’s great on one hand (because of the drought), on the other it makes for a stir-crazy baby and mama. Nonetheless, keeping busy indoors has been fairly easy with plenty of toys, books, and naps for my little one. It also makes for a useful bit of time to browse our home for those unnecessary items we can get rid of for our Minimalist Challenge this month. Are you participating? I’d love for you to drop your link in the comments!

Although it’s fun to cleanse our home of the number of things based on that day in January, it’s been a challenge to keep up. So, instead we are just looking for anything and everything we can pitch. Here’s an update to what we’ve been purging the last few days.

Day 5

To know this kid of mine is always on the go, just take a look at his shoes. He’s in desperate need of new ones, but finding them at an affordable price and wide enough for his chunky feet is next to impossible. I found his shoes (on the right) at Target for $10 and they’re pretty great. I’m not sure at what age he’s allowed to have hard-sole shoes but these ‘crib shoe’ guys lasted us for a while!

The next round of things that are getting the pitch are these unused kitchen items. My sister offered us her poorly working blender/food processor and since we needed one I thought it couldn’t hurt. Well, it sucks and I never tried using it again so it sat in our cupboards for years. Also, when I was shopping at TJ Maxx last year sometime I picked up this blue skillet for my husband since he loves his cast iron pan – huge mistake opting for a cheap version because it’s not non-stick. Everything gets stuck on it and again, we ended up just storing it and never using it. Lastly, I found this random deviled egg container and my old lunch boxes I haven’t used since I started staying home.

Day 6

Up above our cabinets in our kitchen I would display the empty Artiste wine bottles after we drank them. I loved the art on the labels so much and found they really brought a fun aspect to our kitchen. However, after two and a half years the husband grew tired of them and therefore was his choice for our Challenge.

Day 7

Seriously! How much glassware can one couple own? I am still surprised that after giving our steins and unused coffee mugs we STILL had cups we weren’t using. We had pint glasses from a couple breweries, Stella Artois glasses my husband received years ago, and even plastic beer-fest glasses from this past summer. Needless to say, we gave those the pitch and afterwards our kitchen felt so much lighter and free from clutter. Amazing what removing a few things does to the space!

Day 8

Every few months I go through Greyson’s things and determine what he’s grown out of. Most of those things get packed up and shipped back to Texas to my husband’s sister who had a baby back in October. It works out perfectly because these clothes get used with more than one family, which makes me feel good about getting new clothes for Grey as he grows. So, for Day 8 it’s all about going through his clothes and sending them off.

In my January Stitch Fix (review post coming soon!) I received this note which lets me know I can put my old box to good use! I heard Amazon was participating in this Give Back Box campaign and I love that they make it extra easy to minimize your closet and home.

Day 9

Hangars always seem to creep up on me no matter how many clothes I actually have. Besides the set we have in our closet, these hangars are kept in our linen closet for those items that needed a home. But with us donating a lot of our unused clothes it left them bare – so we dropped them off at our laundry unit in our apartment complex. Hopefully they’ll be put to good use or someone else can snag them.

Day 10

Day 10 was a hard day not because of having to get rid of things, but that it was the unused baby things day. Greyson has well outgrown a lot of the things we used with him when he was a newborn like this 4Moms swing, his infant tub (we donated to Goodwill), and Boppy nursing pillow. Although I know by trying to sell them (or ultimately donate them) they’ll go onto good homes and bless another family and baby. It’s just another moment for me where I have to pause and realize that my baby boy is growing up.

Trying to sell our unused baby things are always my first go-to using Craigslist. This past summer it was fairly easy to list and have someone purchase his baby things – apparently no one is interested these days. So perhaps I’ll try again in the spring to see if a fresh crop of babies will help get these things off my hands and out of our home.

We’re almost halfway through the month and just a couple more weeks to go for the #MinsGame! I hope you all are finding ways to cut out the clutter in 2017 and take on a more minimalist approach to life. It’s been a real blessing to us to not need so much, which in the end helps us focus on those more important things. Happy weekend, folks!

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Scenes From Our Weekend | vol 6

Scenes From Our Weekend | vol 6 | theprimarilyinspired.com |

This weekend was a pretty relaxed couple of days. Yesterday I had planned with my husband to take Greyson to his first zoo visit but unfortunately the weather here had other plans. We’ve needed rain for so long, so in that sense I didn’t mind too much that we were stuck indoors. Thankfully the weather cleared up and we couldn’t have asked for a better day to walk around.

Since Greyson is so enamored with everything in sight these days I thought it would be a fun outing to take him to the Santa Barbara Zoo. It’s only 30 or so minutes away and since it’s a smaller zoo it wouldn’t take us forever to make it to each exhibit. I was so happy to see not only Greyson be interested in the animals, but my husband reverted into a child himself and really enjoyed showing him to all the animals. We did learn, however, Greyson is NOT a fan of large birds. As we were walking around near the Turkey Vultures they were flying from branch to branch and considering their size he was very uncomfortable around them.

Scenes From Our Weekend | vol 6 | theprimarilyinspired.com |

Our little guide leading the way!

The first exhibit we came upon were the birds and aviary. I am always so shocked to see just how beautiful this species is; with their varying colors, sizes, and sounds. Next we ventured into the creepy crawly exhibit where they housed the spiders, snakes, geckos, and a number of other things I don’t care to be around. Seriously, one glance at a Madagascar Hissing Cockroach and you’re good for the rest of your life. These, however, were really cool to look at. They’re super poisonous, but pretty nonetheless.

Can you believe how large Koi can get?!

Flamingos!

Scenes From Our Weekend | vol 6 | theprimarilyinspired.com |

After taking a peek at the gorilla pen we came across this sign, which of course makes for the perfect photo of Grey!

 

Scenes From Our Weekend | vol 6 | theprimarilyinspired.com |

Scenes From Our Weekend | vol 6 | theprimarilyinspired.com |

Quite possibly my favorite picture of these two.

Of course we had to visit the foxes…

Scenes From Our Weekend | vol 6 | theprimarilyinspired.com |

Scenes From Our Weekend | vol 6 | theprimarilyinspired.com |

Scenes From Our Weekend | vol 6 | theprimarilyinspired.com |

Scenes From Our Weekend | vol 6 | theprimarilyinspired.com |

We were able to see leopards, lions and his pride, as well as gorillas. Unfortunately they were hanging out a bit too far for me to take a good photo of, but they were as beautiful as you can imagine.

More birds…

Scenes From Our Weekend | vol 6 | theprimarilyinspired.com |

…and monkeys!

We had fun watching the various species of monkeys swinging around and it took a minute for Greyson to realize they were there. It was fun watching him try to make sense of what he was seeing.

Scenes From Our Weekend | vol 6 | theprimarilyinspired.com |

Scenes From Our Weekend | vol 6 | theprimarilyinspired.com |

Alligators, too!

Scenes From Our Weekend | vol 6 | theprimarilyinspired.com |

If I can be honest for a moment, it’s really hard these days to see photos of myself. I know I’ve somehow put on more weight and I have no idea where it came from. I’m trying hard to get back into my running routine since the holidays and with the help of drinking more water and going plant-based with our meals I hope to feel like myself again. But, I suppose that’s a post for another day.

Nonetheless, I love this photo of us (even though Grey has one of the most awkward smiles to date) as we celebrate this day – and even with the elephants!

Scenes From Our Weekend | vol 6 | theprimarilyinspired.com |

Scenes From Our Weekend | vol 6 | theprimarilyinspired.com |

Scenes From Our Weekend | vol 6 | theprimarilyinspired.com |

Scenes From Our Weekend | vol 6 | theprimarilyinspired.com |

Scenes From Our Weekend | vol 6 | theprimarilyinspired.com |

Scenes From Our Weekend | vol 6 | theprimarilyinspired.com |

Scenes From Our Weekend | vol 6 | theprimarilyinspired.com |

Scenes From Our Weekend | vol 6 | theprimarilyinspired.com |

Even though I took most of my photos while in the the aviary, we were amazed at all the different colors and species of birds! Greyson did really well with the smaller birds and was a bit curious about them as they flew from perch to perch. The husband can be seen pointing and sharing with Grey each bird as they flew by. Thankfully no one got pooped on – although another guest wasn’t as lucky.

Scenes From Our Weekend | vol 6 | theprimarilyinspired.com |

Scenes From Our Weekend | vol 6 | theprimarilyinspired.com |

Scenes From Our Weekend | vol 6 | theprimarilyinspired.com |

Scenes From Our Weekend | vol 6 | theprimarilyinspired.com |

Scenes From Our Weekend | vol 6 | theprimarilyinspired.com |

Scenes From Our Weekend | vol 6 | theprimarilyinspired.com |

Giraffe’s!

It was such a sight to see five or so giraffes in their pens and the Santa Barbara Zoo allows you, for a small fee, to feed them yourself! I thought that was such a neat idea although we didn’t partake this time around. I was, however, able to get some pretty great photos and Greyson was able to see them up close due to the other families feeding them. Perhaps when he’s older, and is interested, he can feed the giraffes.

Scenes From Our Weekend | vol 6 | theprimarilyinspired.com |

Scenes From Our Weekend | vol 6 | theprimarilyinspired.com |

We had such a fantastic day and I am so grateful we got to spend it with family. The weather held out for us and there was plenty to see and do for Greyson, which made our whole trip worthwhile. We look forward to another opportunity to make it back and possibly bring our families when they visit this summer.

I hope you all had a lovely weekend and have a happy Monday to those going back to work tomorrow!

What filled your weekend?

 

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