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How I plan a birthday party

5 Nov

I love love love planning my son’s birthday parties. And it takes me a while to do… and sometimes (always) ends up being a lot of work… but oh so worth it! So, I just wanted to share with you a few things about how I plan a birthday party and what I did for my son’s 3rd birthday. We went with Where the Wild Things Are theme and it was great!

1. Theme – First things first… thinking about the theme. I usually have a few possible themes at a time. I make a choice when we’re about 2-3 months away from the actual birthday dependent on my son’s interest at the time (and now he has an opinion as well 😉 ). I make a Pinterest board (will talk about that next) for every theme. That way, when is time to choose a theme, I have all the ideas I like in one place and don’t have to do as much research/planning.

Example of my Pinterest boards for birthdays

Example of my Pinterest boards for birthdays (Sesame Street, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Where the Wilds Things Are) *Click to see the boards on Pinterest

2. Pinterest board – I pin and pin and pin… every little idea that comes my way.

  • cake – I make my son’s birthday cakes. I’m not a trained cake decorator but can totally put together a cake. Sometimes very kind people will share their creations and even do a step-by-step tutorial. Just search! I followed this tutorial.
  • invitations – I love mailing invitations. I love seeing what others do and use it as inspiration to make my own. I usually also have a Facebook event going (it is a great reminder).
  • food – Sometimes I make the food, sometimes I order out. This year we had pizza and wings from Great Northern Pizza Kitchen. It was great. Specially since the birthday party was around lunchtime.
  • decorations – You can find pretty much an idea for most things that come to mind on Pinterest. Finding ideas for parties is just great… from simple to all out… from DIY to you-can-buy-this-here. You’ll find something for your taste and budget.
  • other – I add activities, favors, costume, etc.

Obviously, not everything that gets pinned, gets done for the birthday… although I wish I could! 😉

3. Make/send invitations – I make and mail the invitations a month-ish before the birthday party.

Inspired by a few invitations I found online.

Inspired by a few invitations I found online.

4. Make cake TIP: Make sure that you allow enough time to finish your cake! This is the most stressful part of the whole birthday party planning. It is hard to predict what’s going to happen. This last cake took me a good 3 days to complete… but a month after the party, I still have people talking about it. Not too bad! 😉


Love this cake!

5. Birthday Party Day – We are fortunate to have an entertaining room in the apartment complex that we can use for this kind of activity. It is a big room with tables/chairs already set up. There’s also a kitchen. I love it! Minimal setup… we just have to clean at the end. I’ve had birthday celebrations at home before and I feel that there’s much more to do/clean before and after the party. See if you can find a room like that for your next party!

We were able to bring a ball pit, tunnels, and a huge inflatable bowling set. They were all a huge hit with the toddler crowd. My husband did story time and read a couple books including Where the Wild Things Are.

Story time!!!

Yes, he was wearing his Max suit!

Yes, he was wearing his Max suit!

6. Thank You cards – I believe in sending Thank You cards. People take time of their day to come celebrate with us and I think it is a very nice thing to do. I love receiving thank you cards (any kind of cards/letters), so I love sending them too. It is also a great learning experience. Talk to the little one while you write them and explain why you’re mailing cards.

Hope this post helps you a bit on your future birthday planning! 🙂


Barefoot Eliany

24 Sep

Hello everybody!!!

Can you believe my previous post was about my Project Life week 5 layout back in February!? Not good. But, I’ll dare say it… I’m back!!! I’ll give you the short story. Most days I just forget to write up/photograph the things I’ve been making (call me lazy or distracted). The summer went by way too fast. We had fun! Now, I’m a stay-at-home-mom and I love it! Naive-me thought that I was going to have so much more time to do things (crafty stuff) because I’m home all the time… right? Eh, wrong. Between making 3 meals a day (plus snacks) and cleaning after each, playing with my almost 2-year-old boy, reading the same book a gazillion times a day and brushing my teeth… I don’t have much down time. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. I do love doing all those things. I just don’t have time to share it here. But, I’m making time (I haven’t figured out how to yet :P). I have too! I’m doing this for myself. To connect with others.

Starter Kit Box

Starter Kit Box

With that lame explanation out of the way, I wanted to share an awesome thing with you guys. I became a Barefoot Books Ambassador just last week! This new adventure will give me the opportunity to share with my son and the rest of the world my love of reading and books (and perhaps bring in some income to our household as well). Of course, I’ll be sharing a lot more about this: ambassador opportunities, special offers, book reviews and more! For now, I invite you to come over (click on the banner below, like my Facebook Page) and check out our gorgeous catalog that includes books, music, games, and other gifts.

I’m a runner now!

16 Sep

Exactly one week ago, I completed my first 5K (and with obstacles), the Dirty Girl Mud Run! It makes me feel so proud. By the way, they’re not kidding when they say the run is dirty! From start to finish is dirty, but oh so fun! Let me just say for the record that we completed the run in approximately 90 minutes… it was hard. It felt like we were going uphill most of the time, but when we went downhill it was super steep and we had to “lock” our knees. It was a whole new experience that I share with two awesome gals. Can’t wait to register for another race.

Check out the pictures…




Good times! 😀

Yes, I’m running a 5K!

27 Aug

I like to think that I’m a runner… but I’m not… but I love the idea of it. Thinking this way is not good for me. Here’s why… see… my friend suggested we do the Dirty Girl Mud Run… a muddy 5K with obstacles (happening in just 2 weeks). I said: “I’m in!” and registered. Then it hit me… I’m not a runner or very fit for that matter (but my brain thinks I am even against all of my body’s indications of out-of-shapeness)!!! Note to brain: losing weight (I’m up to 35 pounds… not too shabby) doesn’t mean you can do exercisey stuff at the drop of a hat! Now I gotta show up and do it… but it’s ok! It’ll be an adventure that I’ll share with two of my bestest girlies in the world! And did I mention that we’re all donating some money to an awesome cause?! A very deserving organization, the National Breast Cancer Foundation! So, if anything I’ll put myself on the line (and have fun while at it) for sisterhood and to help save the tatas. How about it? I’ll make sure the husband takes pictures so I can share all the hilarity that I’m positive will ensue. 😀



I’m not afraid of gluten-free products!

7 Apr

Like I said yesterday, I love to cook and try new recipes. I love entertaining and use my friends as guinea pigs (sorry guys!) :). Don’t worry, I’ll never serve something that doesn’t pass the hubster’s taste test. I try to make something new every time we get together or have our game-get-togethers/potlucks. We have a couple of friends that are gluten intolerant and I feel strongly about accommodating for them (because they’re not trying to be picky eaters… they get really sick when they consume gluten… I take it seriously). Sooo, I had found a Gluten-free asparagus quiche recipe (from Joy the Baker) on Pinterest and wanted to make it for my friend and knew that we would enjoy it too.

I couldn’t find the brand of gluten-free flour Joy the Baker used on her recipe, but I did find Bob’s Red Mill GF All Purpose Baking Flour on my local grocery store (which I love, by the way). I saw people commented how GF flours vary from brand to brand. I’m not going to lie… I was a little worried. When I made my dough, it didn’t look like Joy the Baker’s dough. It was a little on the dry side. I decided to proceed. It was a little difficult to roll out because it was crumbly but I manage to put it on the pie plate on one piece. The quiche baked beautifully. Wanna see?


Love those golden edges. I didn’t get enough dough to make a fancy edge but I’m ok with that. Then, the moment of truth… I called my “official” taste tester over and I guess he approved because he ate the whole piece I served him. The quiche filling was delicious and very creamy. Oh, but that crust won us over. It was crisp, flavorful, so very delicious and it didn’t taste any different than “regular” pie crust. The kind of crust that you can eat by itself. We got a winner… we’re definitely adding this recipe to our rotation… maybe changing the filling a bit and we have some ideas already.

To round up my gluten-free offerings, I made cream cheese flan (someday I’ll share my mom’s recipe) and almojabanas. Delicious food to share with awesome friends.

Painting Eggs

5 Apr

I won’t even try to make an egg pun. I know… you’re welcome.

Today I colored eggs with friends. I had tried it once before, but today it turned out to be pretty relaxing.

I made a pseudo-Charlie Brown egg.


The usual colored eggs in pretty jewel tones.


Shrink-wrapped eggs were super fun. Put the egg inside the plastic sleeve, dunk it in hot water and watch the plastic shrink!


And a smiley face egg!


Quite fun! Next year, Antonio will be able to do it too! While we colored eggs, he tried to pull the table cover and then napped. =D

In the Making goes LIVE!

4 Apr

Hello there! =D

Blogging is my answer to not wanting to spend time on Facebook anymore but still wanting to share what I’m up to (family life, motherhood, crafting, cooking, etc). Facebook is a major time-suck for me and I’d rather waste my time on Pinterest (*love Pinterest*) getting inspiration than reading drama status updates and stuff that doesn’t matter for the most part. If anything, this move will help me focus on documenting life, taking even more pictures/videos of this growing baby of mine and being productive.

So there you have it! More coming soon.

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