Steph vs Joy: The First Birthday Party – the approach


{Steph} You might think I’m joking when I tell you that I’ve been “planning” Nora’s first birthday party for the last 6 months – but I’m being 100% truthful.  Really. I love to plan parties.  And if I were completely honest with you, the months that I’m not planning some sort of party are a bit gloomy for this girl.

So naturally because my first born is turning ONE in July, I couldn’t help but be giddy with excitement!!! Although I don’t have all of the details determined just yet, I’m working on it…and will certainly be completed (well in my mind at least) in a couple weeks 😉

Here’s my approach to planning a party…

1. Pick a Theme. Now a theme can come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Often times a piece of scrapbook paper inspires me and other times an entertaining blog post (my favorite: Hostess of the Mostess). There are so many options out there – which is exactly what makes hosting a party so much fun!

2. Pick a Date. Obviously.  A little pre-planning doesn’t hurt anyone.

3. Determine food, decorations and favors. Upon coming up with a theme and solidifying a date I begin looking for all of the parts needed to put together the perfect party. Whether that is theme oriented favors, decorations or food – I filter every decision through my “party theme glasses.” I have a Favorites folder with a ton of saved ideas that I’ve reviewed a number of times in an effort to choose the PERFECT items for Nora’s party.

4. Assemble decorations a week or so before the party.  This will help tremendously as you won’t want to be running around doing these things the day of.   There are too many other details to be tending to on party day.

5. Ask for helpers. This helps a TON as on party day there are often just too many things to tend to and not enough time to complete it all.  Always take people up on the offer to help in anyway.  This will make the day all that more enjoyable for YOU and the guest-of-honor.

Happy Party Planning!

{Joy} Each time I sit down to write these I chuckle at how differently Steph and I approach life.  The best part about our approaches is that it reminds me that there is no “perfect way” to enjoy the world we live in.  How easy it is to judge or criticize our friends and others when they don’t do “things” how we think it should be done (regardless of what the “thing” is).  It’s humbling to see that maybe my way isn’t always the right way and that I always have an opportunity to learn:-)

So, here’s my approach to party planning:

1. Determine what type of celebration will best suite the Birthday Girl. I started thinking about how to celebrate Reagan’s first birthday by thinking about her little personality and what type of celebration would honor her.  Even though she’s only been around a few short months, I am thrilled to see how she brings joy to others and I love sharing her sweetness with the world.  So, I think a celebration of her life by inviting those who enjoy her with us will be perfect… so that means, throw a party!

2. Set a budget. I could quickly get out of control with food and decorations without a proper budget.  So, once I (along with my husband) decided on having a party, I determined how much I was comfortable spending so that we can set aside a specific amount for the celebration and gift(s).  This little “spending plan” helps me and my husband feel free to spend… and helps us keep our communication open about our finances.

3. Decide how many guests to invite (small? big? private? open?).  This number will help me know 1.) What time of day to have the party 2.) What type of food/dessert I’ll need to serve and 3.) What decisions I will need to make in order to stay within my budget.

4. Decide on decorations and food.  This might be considered the “theme”, but I don’t want to forget about sweet “homemade” parties where the “theme” is Birthday and the food is simple.  I really want to celebrate Reagan’s delicate nature.  So, I’m thinking about making a bunch of crepe paper flowers… we’ll see 🙂

5.  Create an “order of events.” My greatest fear is throwing a party and everyone showing up and just sitting there, staring at each other.  Come on, I mean, it’s a first birthday part.. any friends Reagan has are, well, babies.  So, I think that there needs to be some type of loose “order of events” or something more adult-friendly – music? an activity? a place for babies to roam free? a place for adults to be silly together?  Not really sure how this will work yet, but I think the party will only be two hours, so there can’t be too much time for boredom.

6. Enlist and Army. I love to help with stuff like this (seriously LOVE IT), I really enjoy the camaraderie and helping someone bare a load.  So, I’ll be looking for friends who also enjoy putting together a party!

7. Celebrate!

{Steph Again} I don’t know about you ladies, but I can’t wait for these parties to happen!!!  So fun….

And on another PARTY note – be sure to stay tuned for our VERY FIRST SCOTTSDALE MOMS BLOG Social (coming July 27!)!!!!  Be sure to Save the Date!


  1. […]  Can we all say in unison “YES, please!?”  Although we had a ton of fun doing our Steph vs Joy posts we thought it was time to change things up and talk a little about all of the great places […]

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