How to throw a party stress-free

I know I haven't posted anything in more than a week, but these have been a couple of busy weeks since it was my husband's and my birthdays last Monday and Tuesday. I never thought I would have to share birthdays with someone before. My belated grandfather's birthday was on May 3rd, but he lived in USA while I lived in Peru, so we never shared our birthdays until I was here. I'm grateful I shared his last birthday with him. We threw a big party and we danced hard, even though he was diagnosed with cancer a month earlier.

When Gavin and I started dating last year, I stalked him and found a picture of him from May 1st, with the caption "It was an amazing birthday." I was like: "WHAT?" I remember we messaged each other on Snapshat, and I asked him when his birthday was, even though I already knew. He told me his birthday was indeed, on May 1st. I told him mine was on May 2nd. He thought I was lying, and I proved it to him somehow. He says that when he found out, he thought we were meant to be together, and he was right.

After a couple of weeks he ended up telling me his great grandparents shared birthdays with us. His great grandfather's birthday was on May 1st, just like Gavin's; and his great grandmother's was on May 2nd, just like mine. I was in shock. Of course it was a cool story and an strange coincidence, but at that point we were dating for just a few weeks and I didn't want to take it so seriously, even though I was in awe.

I also knew what I wanted to give him for his birthday like 4 moths ago. I was incredibly excited to give him his gift so much that I ended up giving it to him a couple of days earlier, but I'll let you know what it was on the second part of this post!

CELEBRATION TIME

We had a lot of fun celebrating with our families on Saturday. We didn't spend much money and we kept everything stress-free, since we didn't want to spend the whole day cooking or anything like that, but at the same time we wanted our families to enjoy a delicious dinner and have a good time.

1. Consider the amount of people you invite: When we were living in Peru, my mom used to throw a lot of parties, but she cooked so much food that we would be eating it for a week, or we would end up throwing it away. This is something you have to consider if you want to save some $$$. Gavin and I created an event on Facebook, inviting family and friends. It helped a lot, since we knew exactly how many people were coming and how much food we needed.

2. Clean the bathroom: Seriously though. I think this is the thing that worries me the most whenever I'm expecting company, but it really is so important. You have to remember that each guest is most likely going to use the bathroom at least once, and having your bathroom clean leaves a good impression. 

3. Accept help: I don't usually ask people to bring something. However if they want to, let it be. It's great help! 

4. Have fun. Relax. It's your day: This is something I actually have to remind myself every time I'm supposed to have fun because I just worry too much, but you have to remember it's YOUR DAY. Of course you want your guests to feel comfortable and have a great night, but you have to remember that they've come to celebrate YOU. Even though the day when we had our party was busy because Gavin and I spent most of the day cleaning, we made sure that we had at least a couple of hours to relax. I actually had three. I like to have longer showers on my birthday because I'm always worrying about wasting water. It's not like I take 30 minutes, but I don't rush out of the shower on my birthday like I normally do. I shaved my legs, did my hair, and spent 30 minutes doing my makeup, when I usually take 10 maximum. Remember, this day is all about you. (Husband edit: these numbers are incredibly inaccurate, it takes way longer)

5. Use disposable plates, utensils, cups, and aluminum serving trays: This tip is key. This seriously will keep you stress-free once the party is done, you can just throw everything away without having to worry about washing dishes or taking grease out of a ceramic serving plate for half an hour.

OUR PLAN

Guests: Around 15.

Drinks: Since we didn't have many guests, we bought one of those big packs of water, three 2lts of soda (Dr. Pepper, Sprite, and Canada Dry), and a big pack of Pepsi.

Food: We bought chips, Doritos, salsas, etc. You know, the typical snacks. I also made two bowls of salad (lettuce, ranch, and bread), and my mother helped me putting some chicken in the oven. That's usually the effortless way to prepare chicken, and who doesn't like chicken? My mother in law also brought homemade cheesy scalloped potatoes with different kinds of melted cheese (so yummy) and Gavin's favorite cake ( homemade yellow cake with chocolate frosting), which brings me to another tip: Buy YOUR favorite cake. Mine is chocolate cake or Ice Cream cake. It's not that hard to remember, but throughout my life, my parents always bought THEIR favorite cake on MY birthday, so I never really ate cake at my Birthday parties. Even if someone doesn't like it, you have to remember that it's your day. It may sound a little bit selfish, but if you want that tasty cake that you don't get to eat often, then buy that freakin cake!

 I hope these tips were helpful! Let me know in the comments below if you have some tips as well.

Until next time!

Alejandra.