Zayne's First Birthday Party

Published on June 29, 2017

I was actually looking forward to prepare for my daughter’s first birthday party. I always thought that I would be the kind of mother to splurge on kiddie parties. But I realized that years before I became a mother, I was a very, very, very frugal person first. I have nothing against parents who shell out hundreds of thousands of bucks for a one-day event. If I could afford it, I definitely would. But I don’t have the heart to touch our emergency funds just so I could have some sort of an Instagram-worthy birthday party. In short, wala kasi kaming pera! Hahaha!

The initial plan was to totally skip having a birthday party for Zayne. My husband and I wanted to travel with our little girl. I wanted to invest on experiences and memories. Plus, I know that the baby’s first birthday party is more for the parents than the baby. We were all set to not having a party for Zayne, but my husband had a last-minute change of heart. He said that we owed it to the people who waited and prayed with us and for us while we were waiting for Zayne. So instead of going all out for a vacation, we decided to just go to Bacolod and hold a relatively small party for Zayne. I literally only had two months to prepare for this party! Thanks to my fickle-minded husband! Hihihi!

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Venue: Shakey’s (Roxas Blvd.)

Our first struggle was looking for a venue and a caterer. Again, I was Pinterest-ing all my pegs for my daughter’s first birthday party. I wanted this and that, this and that, this and that. I didn’t know that holding THAT kind of a kiddie party could actually cost my daughter’s college fund! Ang OA, sobra! I spent days sending inquiries to suppliers only to end up broken-hearted!

55 thousand Pesos for a freakin’ event styling?! Gawa ba sa diamond ang mga styro niyo?!
500 Pesos per plate for a kiddie meal? Anong meron sa spaghetti sauce niyo, dugo ng unicorn?!

I knew that I had to let go of the kind of birthday party that I dreamed for my daughter. Sabi namin ni Boyet, babawi kami sa mga DIY! Ano pa ang silbi ng ilang semesters namin sa Engineering Graphics noong college?! Hahaha! With that, we decided to have Zayne’s party in a restaurant. May food ka na, may venue ka pa.

A lot of our local restaurants offer hassle-free birthday party packages. When Zayne was about to turn one year old, her favorite was Sheriff Callie’s Wild West. Although it’s the top choice for kiddie parties, we eliminated Jollibee right away. The themes they have are all unknown to Zayne. And at that time, my daughter didn’t even know who Jollibee was. (Ibang usapan na ngayon! Hahaha!)

Next on our list was Shakey’s. We called around 4 branches before settling with the Roxas Blvd. branch. Other Shakey’s branches refused to accommodate us because they could not allow Sheriff Callie’s Wild West as the theme. If we don’t book their default themes, then they would only allow us to have generic themes. Basta wala daw trademark eklavu. We were about to lose hope. Fortunately, Shakey’s Roxas Blvd. allowed us to have it our way!

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We talked to Sweet, the branch manager. He also served as the host during the party. He even offered to help us with the candy buffet, free of charge! Basta ako na lang daw bahala sa props, siya na ang mag-arrange. I politely said no because Zayne’s ninangs already offered to do it. I did agree to pay him an additional PHP2,000 for the balloon setup. It includes the balloon arc at the entrance, the ones hanging on the ceiling and some that served as table centerpiece. It wasn’t that bad considering that the cheapest balloon arrangements I was able to check out was around PHP4,000!

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This was the setup of the balloons.
Pero siyempre ‘yung WELCOME PARTNERS, kami ni Boyet ang gumawa! Ehem, ehem! 

Sweet was very funny! I had a chat with him, and he told me that he also works as an emcee for weddings on the side. What I like about Sweet was that his humor catered both to the kids and the adults. The kids laughed at his jokes. But he also made sure that the adults were entertained as well. I was initially worried na baka gawing comedy-bar-levelz ang humor. Hahaha! I was relieved when his jokes were still relatively kid-friendly. I was checking the photos, and everybody was laughing! Ang dami kong pictures na nakanganga dahil kay Sweet! HAHAHAHAHA!!! (Tapos love na love ko siya kasi sinabi niyang mukha akong teenager! Bwahahahaha!!!)

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Because we had our own theme, we only booked for the venue and the food. We initially had five (or was it six) orders of their Monster Meal Deal. The cost already includes the use of the venue, mascot appearance, a giant pizza and ten Supercards! If I am not mistaken, we ordered for an additional two sets on the day of the party. Ang sherep sherep nemen keshe! =))

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Eto ‘yung free na giant pizza!

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Akala ko deadmabelz ang mga bagets kasi hindi siya si Jollibee. In fairness, natuwa naman sila! Hahaha!

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Hindi umiyak si Zayne! Woooohoooo!

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Cake: My Sweets’ Haven

It’s a no-brainer that My Sweets’ Haven would be doing Zayne’s birthday cake! I only had three requests to Joie. First, no fondant. Fondant looks good, but it tastes like bleh! Second, I just want the cake to have Sheriff Callie’s Wild West characters as toppers. I told Joie bahala ka kahit mag-print ka lang sa papel tapos itusok mo sa cake! She ended up buying toys that Zayne still adores up to this day! For months, Zayne would sleep with her toys! And lastly, I wanted the cake to be delicious! Aanhin ko naman ‘yung IG-worthy cake na lasang papel?! Hahaha! And as usual, the cake was so, so, so yummy!!

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The design was perfect. I wanted it to be simple. Even the size was how I imagined it to be. Aanhin ko naman ang three-layer cake kung three years na, hindi pa namin ubos?! Hahaha! (I’m actually worried now that Joie and Jeff are both in New Zealand! Sino na ang gagawa ng cake ni Zayne?! Huhuhu!)


Styling and Candy Buffet: The Very Talented Parents and Ninongs and Ninangs of Zayne

The candy buffet station was a gift from Ninang Joie and Ninong Jeff, Ninang Aubrey and Ninong Joy and Ninang Erlie. (Pero dahil bongga sila, may separate gift pa uli sila kay Zayne! Hahaha!)

And of course, the standees, the cutouts, the table decors and all the other little details were done with so much love by Zayne’s very loving parents. (Boyet and I spent countless of sleepless nights just to make gupit-gupit and dikit-dikit! Hahaha!) See my previous post about our DIYs here.

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Birthday Dress: SchanNelle’s Tutus

I wanted Zayne to look like Sheriff Callie on her party. I initially looked for blue pants and brown vest. E bilang kakapiranggot ang anak ko, I ended up empty-handed because the ones I found were all too big for her. I was already cramming with roughly a month left before Zayne’s birthday party when I chanced about SchanNelle’s Tutus on Facebook. I sent a private message on their Facebook page to inquire. I sent her my peg along with Zayne’s measurements, and I got the dress in less than three weeks. I highly recommend SchanNelle's Tutus. All our correspondences were made through private messages. Super hassle-free!

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Dress: SchanNelle’s Tutus
Hat: Divisoria
Boots: Suki Shoes

Everybody was asking me where I got Zayne’s dress. People kept on complimenting her. Para kasi siyang keychain na Sheriff Callie! Hahaha!

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Photobooth: FlashBox Studios

We got the services for FlashBox Studios during Zayne’s baptism. We were confident that they would deliver once again. I was wrong! Sila lang ang nagbigay ng stress sa akin among all the suppliers.

We were so disappointed with how the photos turned out. The first few batches of photos were really dim, with people’s faces almost not seen in the photos. When I called the attention of one of their staff members, he said, “E Ma’am, hirap na nga po kami makakilos kasi ang sikip ng pwesto namin dito.” I was like, “Huh?!” My younger brother, who also got their services for his wedding, told me that the space at Shakey’s was already big enough. Nakakalakad nga ng pabalik-balik ang mga tao e! I told the owner, Rona, that the space during the baptism’s reception was smaller, but the photos turned out fine. Anyway, my brother noticed the poor quality of photos. And according to him, the lighting equipment was not setup properly. The staff said that they would do something about it, but the photos were still too dark! Shadows were very prominent in the photos. Some of my office mates were even teasing one another.

“Uy, nasaan ka sa picture?”
“Ayy! Si Mitch ba ‘to? Akala ko si Kirara!”

’Yung kuha namin nila Boyet at Zayne, mas malinaw pa ‘yung shadows kesa sa mga mukha namin! Hahahaha! 

I was so disappointed! I even apologized to the guests. My husband was so mad! Bihira magalit ang asawa ko, guys! He sent countless of follow-ups to Rona. We wanted to see the raw photos. Rona admitted that the equipment they used was new and that the people she sent failed to set it up properly. She promised to do post-processing on the photos and have them reprinted. But after more than a month of waiting, no processed photos came to us. We decided to just do a refund. The problem was that, wala na e. My husband said that it was just money. We wanted to preserve the memories, kaso wala na. They ruined it. Sabi ni Boyet, “’Yung pera, kikitain ko ulit ‘yan! Pero ‘yung first birthday ng anak ko, hindi na mauulit ‘yan!” 


Photographer: Dar Calado of Frames Perfect Studios

Ayun, buti na lang! Dar saved the day! I’m so thankful that I got the services of Frames Perfect once again. Dar did Zayne’s baptism and our family photo shoot. Buti na lang talaga! (I’m also glad that Sweet did a per table photo shoot na parang sa wedding. Picture muna bago pumunta sa buffet station! At least, may matinong photos kami with the guests!)

Anyway, I don’t think I need highfalutin words to describe how wonderful Dar’s work is! All the photos in this post were taken by him. We even had the chance to take some photos outside while the guests were eating. Naubusan na rin ako ng words pang-puri kay Dar kasi suking-suki na siya sa mga posts ko! :p

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Face Painting: Pintwora Face Painting Services

Getting the services of face painters was a last-minute decision. My husband and I agreed to book one when our budget permits it. With the brouhaha brought by our photo booth supplier, I was so glad that we decided to get Pintwora! The kids loved it! I heard a lot of excited giggles when the kids had their faces painted! Even some of our adult guests tried it! I was laughing so hard when I saw my father with a Superman logo painted on one of his cheeks! Hihihi!

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Why did I choose Pintwora? I contacted around 4 suppliers before deciding to book them. All suppliers have the same rates, but the other three would only send one artist. For the same price, I got two face painters from Pintwora! That meant shorter lines and waiting time for the kids. Ahhhh, the kids loved them!

My transaction with Pintwora was also hassle-free. One of the artists got lost on the day of the event so she was late for 10 minutes. They extended for 10 minutes just to compensate. If I’m not mistaken, the names of the artists are Jedi and Sev. I saw how the kids (and even the kids-at-heart) adored them!

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So, there it goes! I finally got the chance to post Zayne’s birthday party after almost eight months! Congratulate me, guys! Hahahaha! Zayne looked like she didn’t have fun, but she had a blast! She started to smile more in front of the camera after her first birthday party! Hahaha! Check out my Instagram page to see more of my cutie patootie! Masayahin siyang bata, promise! :p

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