The Big Six

SJ turned 6 years old on Friday. If you have spent any time around MessyMom.com then you probably know I like to party. SJ has had a Cupcake Party, Green Eggs and Ham Party, Donut Party, and Tea Party. However as I said in my blog post “How to avoid overboard kid parties” I don’t do theme parties every year and this is an off year. That doesn’t mean that we don’t have fun though! SJ still had a fabulous birthday and I still got to cherish all those gigantic smiles with FOUR teeth missing.

I started the day by sneaking in her room to hang some streamers in the door and throw some pink balloons on her bed. This might sound fancy, but trust me it was nothing you are going to see on pinterest. She woke up late so all 5 of us snuck into her room to surprise her (not hard to do with a deaf girl). We sang happy birthday as a family and she was beaming!

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Her birthday outfit was a shirt I got from a yard sale that had a number 5 on it, but I covered it with a pin that said “I am 6” and she also wore her cupcake headband from last year which was from a conisgnment shop.

No slaving over the oven this year. The cupcakes I sent with her to school were store bought and the 13×9 cake that we ate that night was all from a box.

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My parents and nieces and nephew came over for her “party”. It worked out great because they were going to come over anyway because their mom just had a baby and needs to rest. It made for a really great surprise birthday slumber party though.

Decorations $2

Birthday accessories $6

Birthday desserts $10

Birthday joy- Priceless

So as you can see it was definitley a low budget simple year and I know SJ still loved it just as much as the years I go all out.

The fun continued on Saturday since the family was still around to hang out and ride scooters.

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Then Sunday she graduated to the big girl class at children’s church and yesterday she had her first daddy/daughter date.

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That’s the last of it though. The birthday festivities are officially over until next year, which may or may not be a theme party. I’ll warn you though, if an idea sparks, there is no stopping me!

 

By | March 8th, 2016|Frugal Living, Motherhood, Parties, Uncategorized|5 Comments

How to Avoid Overboard Kid Parties

We just wrapped up  Z’s 8th birthday party and I want to talk a little about my battle to be balanced when it comes to my party planning obsession.

For some of you the thought of having to tone down party plans sounds ridiculous. It would be like me wanting to ensure I don’t make an idol out of my exercise routine. I don’t have an exercise routine. In other words it is NOT an issue.

However, I know some of you party mamas are out there.

People think we’re crazy or that we are spending too much time on Pinterest, but there are tons of people that had creative party juices brewing and served up long before Pinterest ever existed. The internet just gives everything more of a platform.

Either way, with bigger and more elaborate birthday trends on the rise here are seven ways I keep myself in check when it comes to my children’s birthday parties. 

1.  I Don’t Have Do a Theme Party Every Year

Last year SJ had a theme party, but my sons didn’t.
The year before that she didn’t, but they did.
The year before that she did, but Z didn’t and Ezie wasn’t born yet…

So I try to keep it at every other year. That doesn’t mean we don’t have a little cake, or hit Chuck E. Cheese on the off years. They are definitely celebrated, but because I know I like to go all in with the DIY birthday parties I try to spread them out a bit to avoid turning into a party momzilla.

2. It’s Our Thing

I touched on this before when I wrote “A Tale of Two Parties“. A lot of people think that cutesy “pinteresty” birthday parties are just adding more fuel to the fire of an already entitled generation.

I can see the danger there for parents that feel like they have to keep up with the Jone’s or satisfy their child’s every whim, but in that case there is a much deeper issue at hand than birthday details. That’s not what birthday parties are about for me.  No parent can or should do it all, but if parties are your thing then ignore the haters and party on.

3. I use what I have and borrow as much as I can

I am all about shopping clearance, thrift stores, and online specials. Even then party supplies can add up. So one thing I try to do is ask for help. Instead of renting a place I have the party at a friend’s house. Before I go buy more decorations I ask around to people I know already used toulling at their baby shower, or someone I know had a green table cloth, or princess costumes. You get the idea.


4. I LOVE Crafts

One big tradition I have is homemade pinatas. This is something I remember doing as a child (although it was just a round balloon back then) and I enjoyed it. I also love making crafts like these goody bags that I did for the Super Hero Party and I did something similar for the One Happy Camper party.

I have to start planning quite a bit in advance, but as long as I’ve carved out enough time then these things are fun for me. They are not this taxing demanding projects that leave me cursing in the early morning hours. IF you don’t enjoy it then DON’T do it, but if you do then I say go for it. It’s really that simple.

5. I Keep the guest lists SMALL

I know this one isn’t easy for everybody, because some of you have a hundred relatives and you might end up estranged from the family if you don’t invite every single one and I know that it’s difficult with children that are school age and you have classroom protocol. Sometimes you have to do either one or the other though. If the guest list is small the cost per head can be higher while still keeping the over all cost down.

6. I Communicate With My Family 

I love throwing parties, but it’s not all about me. I have to be communicating with my husband to make sure what I’m doing isn’t too much for our family and our schedule. I also have to communicate with the birthday boy/girl. My children have let me pick out all of their themes up to this point, but if they start having more of an opinion that’s totally fine!

7. I TRY not to be a perfectionist (I try)

Things don’t always never go as planned. Read this previous post about “when your pinterest idea flies out the window ” and you’ll see what I mean. Remember it’s just a party, and what really matters is the guest of honor whom you are celebrating.

Those are the seven ways I try not to go too overboard on birthday plans. Are you a big party planner, or does the idea of it make you dread birthday months? Feel free to share your own sanity saving party tips. 

 

By | September 10th, 2015|Creativity, Parties|1 Comment

Broken Jewelry Decor

 

I’m all about birthdays this week. Remember the tea party from last March?

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I do and I will never forget it and how special it was!

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One of the things I shared when I blogged about the decor was this simple wooden letter S. It was a nice little addition to the party theme, but unlike the piñata and the desserts that I talked about yesterday this is a piece of art that we get to keep!

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I have a cute story about this S that has traveled to a new place in our home. SJ got her own room yesterday. We were waiting to find out the gender of the baby to decide how to split the rooms up in the new house. Then when we learned we are having a girl we still had a bunch of boxes in the room to unpack. Finally we got the room straightened out when  my in laws came to visit this past weekend. That was the motivation we needed to set up a bed in there. After they left yesterday SJ moved in. We still haven’t really moved any of her stuff, but she wasted no time getting her toys, a photo of herself, and this letter S.


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She is so proud of the new room. I would share pics, but I don’t have any since at this point it is really not much to look at. The thing that cracked me up was the moment she got home from school and started setting up camp in her new room I overheard her yell “Ezie get out my room!!!” It was the first thing she said, almost immediately after she claimed that territory. Ahhh, siblings.

She slept through the night in there all by herself which is saying a lot because she is 5 1/2 and she has never been in a room by herself. Her and her brother have shared since day one.

Anyway, I bring all this up because that lovely letter S that she cherishes so much was a super easy DIY project and you can make one too! All you need is a wooden letter, some old jewelry, hot glue, and some fabric. The whole tutorial is over at Little Dove Creations today! Stop by Little Dove Creations to see all the details.

By | September 9th, 2015|Crafts, Parties|1 Comment

Free Donuts!?

I have been working hard to cut back sugar for our family this year. Each month another sweet treat is eliminated from the menu in our home and will no longer be restocked, but one thing I don’t think I will ever make completely off limits is donuts.

Did you know that National Donut Day is TOMORROW!? I didn’t, but it turns out it’s a thing.

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 Be sure to stop by your local Krispy Kreme or Dunkin’ Donuts to get a free donut Friday June 5th!

I know that Dunkin’ Donuts will require a drink purchase, but they have excellent coffee. I will be ordering my favorite, which is the cool and sweet Iced Caramel Latte with Whipped cream.

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There is a party in my tummy. So yummy. So yummy…

 Speaking of parties, a lot of the party ideas that we implemented SJ’s 4th birthday would be perfect for donut day or a variety of occasions.

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Check out the party post HERE to see how my DIY donut invitations, donut hole fruit kabobs, and donut piñata turned out.

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You can also head over to my donut party pinterest board for even Donut fun like:

Donuts for elves (they are actually cheerios). So cute!

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Or stamping colorful thumbprints for donut sprinkles.

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“If You Give a Dog a Donut”  might be fun reading material for your kids this weekend.

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There are so many possibilities! I realize we have a health epidimec in our society so maybe I shouldn’t be promoting a day that celebrates what is possibly the least nutritious snack of all time disguised as a breakfast food. But there are actually a lot of alternative recipes out there for vegan, gluten free, paleo, and keto donuts. Because regardless of your dietary needs I think every one deserves something sweet from time to time, “donut you think? “

Do you have a favorite donut?

By | June 4th, 2015|Crafts, Creativity, Frugal Living, Parties|5 Comments