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Throw a Birthday Bash ‘By the Sea’ in Your Own Backyard

After months of nonstop planning for her son’s first birthday, Dallas mom Alyssa Spiegal watched as the nautical-themed party came to life.

She admits that transforming their Lakewood home into a seaside dream wasn’t always a breeze, so she started small by picking a color scheme of yellow and navy before sending out custom-designed invitations that read, “Sail by for some fun. Hudson is turning one.”

With more than 75 guests confirmed, the birthday brunch began at high tide with bottomless mimosas for parents and rations of potato and egg breakfast tacos for kids. Goldfish crackers labeled “catch of the day” were also a hit. For dessert, guests enjoyed individual lemon, white chocolate raspberry and cinnamon swirl Bundt cakes topped with anchor-printed flags. Tables were dressed with like-colored fabrics from Hobby Lobby and walls were draped with bright yellow and white chevron patterned cloth. Alyssa gives praise to her first captain (i.e., mom) for manning all the sewing duties.

She also gives credit to her friends for participating in the party planning process. Together they created a chalkboard-style banner to highlight the milestones of Hudson’s first year including the number of teeth he had and his first words. The sentiment continued when guests wrote letters to 1-year-old Hudson, rolling them up and putting them in bottles for safekeeping until he turns 18. Meanwhile, kiddos skipped the pen and paper to jump in the bounce house out back.

Dressed and ready to join the rest of the kid crew, Hudson looked picture perfect in a blue and white striped jumper monogrammed with his initials and an anchor. Luckily, Alyssa’s first mates surprised her by hiring a photographer to capture the birthday boy in action. “It was one of the best gifts I have ever received,” she says. “I love photographs, so it’s truly a gift that will last a lifetime.”

Hudson’s jumper was soon removed in preparation for the main event: the cake smash. Guests gathered around his highchair to watch as he stuffed handfuls of white cake in and around his mouth. Alyssa says watching the little blue-eyed sailor elbows-deep in cake was her favorite part of the entire party. “He had never had sweets prior to his first birthday,” she says, “so when we presented the cake to him the look on his face was priceless.”