Lilleigh’s First Birthday Fiesta!

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Saturday was Lilleigh’s first birthday party! Fiesta, to be exact. And a fiesta it was!

When I began planning Lil’s party, all I could think about was how unfortunate it would be if her party fell during an ice storm, since he birth fell between two. {She had awesome timing. So gracious to use. Iced at the end of the week. Cleared up Saturday evening. She was born Sunday night. Clear weather. We were released from the hospital Tuesday afternoon, just in time for it to ice all over again on Tuesday night. Great timing.} With ice in mind, I thought how fun it would be to have a Winter ONEderland first birthday party! I began planning and had lots of big ideas. But when push comes to shove, I started to get bored of the ideas, and I think I like the idea of a fun and unique themed party more than I liked the idea of planning such a party. {I’ll leave those unique-all-out-parties to Kirstin.} Oh and by the way, considering the 50-and-60-degree weather, a winter one-derland theme would have been comical!

Anyway we eventually landed on a fiesta theme. I know, I know, it’s still a theme. But here’s the thing – a friend gave me a number one pinata and Mexican banner. And my husband is the fajita master. {Come taste them at our next shindig. Beef fajita tutorial to come.}

Here are some party pics!

It was a successful party! Lots of fun, food, and baby friends!

And since this blog chronicles our money-saving journey, I’ll break down the party in numbers. We set a budget of $100. And we invited 40+ people, once you include parents and kids. And truthfully there were so many more we could have invited, but we limited it to those with babies Lilleigh’s age or neighborhood kids we play with often.

Invitations = free. Evite.
Meat for fajitas = $34. Chicken was hormone-free from Sprouts on sale, and the flap steak we bought at Costco.
Helium for the balloons = $3.
The rest of the food {Cheese, sour cream, tortillas, avocadoes, peppers, and onions, etc for fajitas and chips and juice boxes and cake ingredients) = $67.50 (Fresh tortillas are $2.50 per package at Kroger… $2.50 x 8 packages. $3 x 2 bags of chips. Juice boxes for $10. Avocadoes for $5. Cheese for $5. Six peppers for $5.50. You can see how things add up.}
Maracas for party favors = $5.50 from Amazon {for a dozen!} – Glitter Maracas (1 dz) The price has jumped a bit.

Last minute we had to buy charcoal (unexpected expense, as the rain made our pecan wood difficult to use) and more tortillas {I’m paranoid about having enough food}. This would have put us over our budget by about $10-15, in which case we were prepared to take money from our grocery envelope to keep our monthly budget in check. {We justified this, knowing we’d a) have leftovers, and b) use the remaining peppers and onions, etc in our daily meals anyway.} This is part of the cash system. If you are going over in one envelope, you choose an envelope to take that cash from. Anyway, my hubby happened to be grocery shopping with my father-in-law on that last grocery run, so my father-in-law jumped in to pay for the remaining items, along with some “extras” he picked up. Gotta love parents! {Thanks, Larry!}

So I suppose we managed to come in under budget… though not really. We ended up having 22ish adults and 13 kids for this party. Seeing our expenses now and our leftovers, I’d skip party favors, saving us $5.50. {Cute ideas. And cheap. But unnecessary.} I also realize now that we had about 30 tortillas more than what we needed, which would have saved us $7.50. And I also realize one bag of chips is plenty. Really we didn’t even need chips. Foregoing these and guac would save an extra $13 at least. This would bring us in well under budget! Oh and not really a budget note, but a planning note – I had a cupcake for everyone there, and maybe 1/3 were eaten. Note to self: One-third is more than enough.

Just some notes for the future. Perhaps it’ll help with your planning as well. Hopefully it shows that a party does not have to be over the top expensive. There is plenty we could have cut out to still have a fun party. {i.e. Not serving fajitas but having cake and drinks. Super cheap. And still fun!}

How do you tend to plan? Over-estimate food? Under-estimate?


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  1. What a great idea for her party theme..I would have never thought of using a fiesta theme for a kids birthday party but it totally works!!! Great job..I love the banners and the ‘who does lil look like’ thing too!
    Melanie recently posted..Please read..especially if your a momMy Profile

  2. Super super cute! Love all the pics and your homemade buntings! And I’m sure Brendon’s fajitas were killer–wish I could have been there!!

  3. Awesome job coming in at that price!! You are so devoted to your cash system. I cringe when we have to dip into an envelope to fund another envelope…but I just need to suck it up and move on! 😉 Great idea on the theme and great note on the amount of cupcakes! And she looks SO much like your baby pic! 🙂 She is such a doll baby!

    Random question thinking ahead to summer…how do you budget for mommy/baby activities? I know you all do a lot of free things…but do you budget for any activities that have costs or only opt for the free things? I’m thinking ahead to summer…swim lessons, possible mommy/baby fitness classes, etc. (if we can afford it). Just wanted to get your thoughts when you get a chance. 🙂
    Cait recently posted..Fitness Friday {week 5}My Profile

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