Saturday, April 28, 2012

P is for Party, Planning and Patience

I love the whole process of planning parties. I even did it for a living for a few years. So, when the time comes to plan a party I am all over it! Recently I was able to help my brother in law through a bday/graduation party for my sister. It was an Art themed party as she majored in Graphic Design and is an amazing artist. Although this was fun...I love planning parties that I can start on months in advanced. If that has you already stressed..don't worry I promise this is not crazy...ok..maybe a little.
Used paint buckets  from Michael's and put in some chocolate dipped pretzels to look like paint brushes

I am a planner in every area of my life. Sometimes to a fault. I am not too spontaneous...that just makes me nervous. So, it is no surprise that I had the theme planned out for months for my son's 3rd bday. Now, I have to say I may not have the joy of doing this anymore as his love for certain characters changes quickly. I decided on a Race Car Party and a few weeks before he informed me that he wanted a rocket ship party and then a Transformer...then Power Rangers oh and finally a Superhero. Too bad kid...mama is crazy and already has all the favors and most of the Race Car Party it is..woohooo:)

There are always a few things to consider before planning a party:

  1. The Guests. Now this year I realized that all my friends keep having children(this is a good thing) and that I could not invite everyone that I wanted..but mainly those with kids that we are close to. Although the past two bdays have been more family oriented..this year would be all about the kids. Most of which turned out to be girls...poor Shane...he will learn to love that later in life. 
  2. Location...for the most part this may be a given..but I think if we are still in the same house next year that will change. There was a chance of rain and the thought of having a ton of toddlers running through my house frightened me. I have learned to let go a bit. I love my furniture. My once off-white couch is now a lovely shade of old milk...dirty feet and pizza sauce..thanks to my lil guy:). 
  3. RSVPs...I already mentioned the guests that you plan to invite...but how many actually can make it plays a huge role in what you need to buy. 
  4. Food-for Shane's first party we provided lunch or maybe more like dinner. I wanted to do a little extra. Since then I now plan my parties at 2pm. This makes it clear that there will only be snacks and dessert. Don't feel like you have to make lunch or dinner for every party. It is just so expensive and no one really expects it at a children's home party. If you were to go to Chuck E. Cheese or something similar I think you should plan on providing pizza..but of course you wouldn't have to make it;).
  5. Favors- goodie bags are fun! It is a great little treat to thank your friends for coming. I love to shop for these months in advanced. I knew that Shane would have a Race Car themed party in January. So, I knew after Valentine's Day I would hit up all the sales and pick up candy for cheap. I got 30 suckers for only 1.00. I always kept my eye out on race car themed favors to go on clearance and also looked at the ever changing 1.00 section at target and scored some great deals when that stuff went on clearance. Even after Easter I scored some cheap candy. It is great to have two of those holidays so close to Shane's bday. I think I spent maybe 8.00 on all of the stuff for the goodie bags..including the bags. Which I completely forgot to take a pic of. 
  6. Invites-These can be pricey. I like to send out actual invites in the mail. If you want to use a service online though, like Evite, that can save you a lot. I actually scored this year. There was a deal for 25 free photo cards through some film company. All I had to pay was shipping...which was 1.49. I added some checkered ribbon and car stickers to finish it off. so for around 4.00 I had some pretty cute invites. A lot of companies offer deals like that for new customers so always be on the look out. It is also a great idea for thank you cards.
  7. Decor-my favorite thing about a party. Chances are the theme you choose will be something your child has a ton of items of that theme. So, for decor I just looked through all the toy boxes and picked up some Cars toys...Hot Wheels and even went to the garage and found my husbands old tool box and used that as a holder for the plates and napkins! I did buy a few things like wall decals and trophies that happened to just come out at Target in the dollar section the day before his party...score!!! 
So..there you have it. A few tips. I will share some photos from Shane's party. Can't believe he is now 3!!! Time flies! Happy Birthday my sweet little(not so much) man!

Here is an example of using items you already have. Took a clear cylindrical vase and filed it with  Hot Wheels.

Love having a sister who majored in Graphic Design...she whipped these cupcake toppers up in like a days notice!

Stoplight Bars...Reese's Peanut Butter Cup

These were surprisingly super easy to make. Chocolate molded pretzels.