Dayna Tolley is a police dispatcher-slash-party planner. She owns Party On! Events, a full-service event planning company that hosts baby showers and children’s parties. Tolley grew up in Plano and still lives there with her two daughters, Olivia, 10, and Elyana, 4.
5:30AM Alarm goes off—it’s way too early. Hit the snooze button a time or two.
6AM Get ready for the day—quick hair and makeup—then time to wake the girls! A little Monat dry shampoo and some quick deodorant and maybe some lip gloss. Toss the hair in a messy bun and off we go.
6:30AM Head out the door to work, dropping off the girls with Grandma and Grandpa on the way. They get to hang out, eat a good breakfast and prepare for the day. Their go-to breakfast is Rice Krispies with banana. Big sis is usually making a Tik Tok about her food. On the way to school, Grandpa always plays Christian radio, so they start their day with positivity.
7AM Start my day as a 911 police dispatcher—as if I don’t handle enough emergencies between Party On! Events and two sets of hair, homework and outfits for my two daughters each day.
9AM “What is your emergency?” “I have had a car crash.” “OK, sir. Are you hurt?” “I am not sure. I did hit my head.” “Do you need an ambulance?” “I am not sure. I hit my head so hard I can’t speak English anymore.” “Well, sir, you are speaking English to me right now.” “Oh, really? OK, I guess I am fine then.” My job is 150% unpredictable!
10AM When I am not busy with phones, I answer Party On! client emails and set up meetings for the weekend. I am blessed to have a flexible job, and the intense moments are totally worth the time to touch base with my business.
10:30AM It’s slow right now, so I work on updating the Party On! website with content and pictures from recent events—we recently threw a groovy 1960s party (Austin Powers showed up) and organized a grand opening for a KinderCare, complete with the Texas Rangers horse, Captain! Right now, we are working on a Moana party.
12PM Lunch break. Time to work on my social media and answer a few more client emails. I do some research on local outlets such as newspapers, shows and bloggers who might help us market for Party On!
3PM Head out the door. The workday is officially over, but a mom’s work is never done. When I’m off the clock at work, it’s time to pick up the girls and head to afternoon activities. I keep our to-do list in my head: gymnastics, ballet, homework, etc. I also need reminders on my phone for less-frequent things, such as the parties the girls themselves go to.
3:30PM The girls get out of school, and they spill into the car telling me all about their day.
4PM Gymnastics class for the little one—she is all energy! Older sis does her homework from the benches, and we watch little sis working through her gymnastics routine. When there is down time, I’m scrolling through my checklist, reaching out to vendors for upcoming events and confirming with clients. Today there is time for a few quotes as well.
5PM We hop back in the car and sing Disney tunes on the way to dance class for big sister. Little sis watches Netflix in the waiting room, and I am back on the phone checking the Party On! email, sending out quotes and touching base with my vendors.
6PM Chick-fil-A on the way home. Hey, it’s got healthy choices! We swap fries and sauces around the table along with fun plans for the future. Little sis is convinced she wants to be a princess when she grows up. At the end of a busy day, just now getting to relax and enjoy time with my kids, I’m reminded of why I work this hard now, event planning in the gaps and spaces in my day: For now, the dispatch job pays our bills, but soon, the hard work will pay off, and I will have a thriving event business for my full-time work. I can’t wait until Party On! Events is my full-time job, and I can spend even more time with my precious girls.
7PM Baths and PJs—every pair of pajamas has a cute movie character on it. They love Disney-inspired parties.
7:30PM Bedtime for kiddos! Their day begins so early; we make sure to get a good night’s sleep in every night.
8PM Mom finally gets a shower. I work some more on booking clients and then chill with some Netflix and ice cream. (Shh! Don’t tell the girls.) I catch up on Supernatural and wind down with Cupcake Wars, which also triggers new ideas for parties.
9PM Mom’s dream bedtime, so we can get up and do it all over again! Although I can’t help but check my phone once more before setting the alarm—maybe one more Party On! email…?
Favorite indulgence Nothing Bundt Cakes
What’s in her Netflix queue Supernatural, Cupcake Wars, MasterChef and 9-1-1
Where she goes for retail therapy Target or HomeGoods
Favorite movie I would say The Princess Bride, but I’m also a sucker for the Twilight series.
First celebrity crush Jonathan Brandis
Beverage of choice Peach tea
Secret talent Singing the national anthem. I’m trying to sing in all 50 states—I have been to 10 states singing so far.
Words she lives by Remember an amateur built the ark; a large group of professionals built the Titanic.
Beauty product she can’t live without LipSense!
Biggest pet peeve People that can’t multitask
What she does when life gets stressful Grab some cake and my kids and chill on the couch watching cooking shows
Dream vacation Overwater bungalow in Bora Bora
Motherhood in five words Beautiful chaos that requires naps
Greatest fear Spiders
Dream job as a kid Lawyer
Night owl or early bird Neither! I want to wake up at noon and go to bed at 5pm, but I am a mom, so I am both a night owl and an early bird.
Image courtesy of Dayna Tolley.