Friday, July 14, 2017

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday! Yesterday was Trip's 8th birthday! I had a class to attend for my new job, so we're spending today going to a new park, visiting a new to us art museum, and we're going to hopefully snag a snack from the Carlo's Bakery kiosk at one of the local malls. My favorites for today are focusing on the easiest and dare I say best birthday party that I've thrown to date!


I am a Pinterest mom when I want to be, but after many years of theme parties, Trip and I voted it was time for a change. You can read about his Olympic-themed party from last year HERE, and you can read about my kids' other parties HERE! All of those parties were great, but now that I've seen the light, I want to share 5 tips for having a fun but low stress kid's birthday party. 

1) Decorations 


We went insanely simple this year and just hung up a felt banner that we've had since the kids were little. I found a pack of napkins at Michael's in the clearance section for 49 cents and picked up a pack of plates at Five Below for $1.50! 

2) Let someone else do the entertaining





I always try to think of games to play and prizes to give out at the kids' parties, but this year, I let the games and activities at Main Event do the entertaining. I certainly could not afford to host 20+ kids at a place like this, and I think the small number worked in our favor. The kids could do a lot of things instead of just one, and the variety helped tire them out. 

3) Send your other kids to Grandma's


Ari started this family trend at her party earlier this year, and I absolutely love it. Robert and I are able to focus our energy and attention on the birthday kid, and we don't have to worry about little sister or big brother trying to take over the fun. 

4) Ramp up a box cake


We picked up hot and ready pizzas to save our sanity, but I wanted to do a fun cake for Trip. We had pinned a bunch of ideas, but after reading about ice cream cakes in the recent Food Network Magazine, Trip asked me to make him a chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream cake. It was low cost, combined the cake and ice cream duo into one, and it was definitely unique. 

5) Go with the flow


I'm pretty type A and like to stick to the plan, but with this party, I learned to just let go and do what the kids wanted. The original plan was to take the kids to the neighborhood pool after dinner, but they all opted to swim in our backyard pool instead. There were lots of crazy "Would you rather" questions and potty humor, but I say, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em! We found a super random picture online and typed up thank you notes to print off and saved money on stationary. And to go with the random, I found bugs that you throw at your door and shoot with Nerf guns in the clearance toy section at Target to give out as party favors. Did any of it make sense together? Not really, but to keep from stressing out, just think like an 8 year old, and go with the flow! 

What do you do to save your sanity when throwing a party? Tell me in the comments below!

In case you missed any of this week's posts:
Life With the Lees: A Summer's Week Recap
Tuesday Training: Week 28
Show & Tell Tuesday: Favorite Recipes
Workin' It Wednesday: A Day in the Life 
Happy Birthday, Doodle!

Follow along with me on Instagram, Facebook, Bloglovin', and Pinterest!

Have a wonderful weekend, and I'll see you back here on Monday!

Linking up with Andrea, Erika, Narci, Della, Tif, Katie, Amanda, Christina, Lauren, and Paula 

26 comments:

  1. I LOL at that meme- hysterical! Love your trips- so true- it is so easy to get carried away and the kids don't even care- they want their people and their cake and fun and that's it- have a great weekend!

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    1. Yep- no more getting carried away for me! Ok that's a lie- I'll still get carried away until Ari finally says that it's enough! :)

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  2. LOVE!! I'm so proud of you for letting go and being chill with the party, great ideas and I bet this is a memory he will have so special forever!! Well done mama!! Happy Happy weekend!!

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    1. Thanks, Andrea! I think I overdo it because that is what I would want someone to do for me, and everyone just isn't like that. Hope you have had a great weekend!

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  3. I think the Pinterest-worthy parties are so fun when the kids are itty-bitty. But mine have wanted to keep things simple now that they have an opinion. You might have seen on my blog that they always request "no printables." I guess they know me pretty well! This looks like the perfect day for an 8 year old.

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    1. LOL! No printables?! But I love printables! I know I shocked myself this year with doing a text message as an invite- what!?! Who have I become!?

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  4. Great tips! Love that you were so relaxed about the party and it was still a great time for the kids. Give them a Nerf gun and they'll have the best time ever. :D Thanks for the fun ideas!

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    1. That's what Robert's uncle was saying yesterday. He said his son and friends just get together and have all out Nerf wars and call it a party!

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  5. I'm with ya, although with girls they still like themed parties, haha!! I can't believe how much Trip looks like his daddy, mini me!!

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    1. Yes the boys look so much alike now. I'm hoping Ari will let me have some fun parties for a few more years before she calls it quits! Hope you had a great weekend!

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  6. I love the Pinterest meme, it's hilarious. Happy Friday!

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    1. Thanks, Angela! I promise I can be Pinterest-y at times, but this summer just wasn't one of them!

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  7. Well you nailed it! I'd say it was a great party! You've reached the stage where you know you can throw and over the top, killer party but no longer have anything to prove. Welcome to the less is more party stage of life. LOL Have a great weekend...and that cake looked phenomenal and I love his eyes with the sparkler candles. Cute, cute, cute!

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    1. I loved his face, too! It was perfect with a small group of boys- their personalities meshed together wonderfully which also helped to make it stress-free!

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  8. I hear the party hype can be pretty big these days!! I love the idea of sending other kids to their grandparents so you can focus on one! I feel like that's a win/win. I'm sure your daughter was tickled to have her own time and your son enjoyed his party!

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    1. Yes- it was absolutely perfect for both kids! I blame Amy Atlas back in 2009 with all of her dessert bars/candy bar stylings for creating these over the top parties. They are definitely beautiful or fun to look at but they require so much time and effort!

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  9. Number 2, yes girl yes!! Have a good weekend!

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    1. Ha! I definitely agree that it was nice to take it somewhere else for the majority of the party! There was a group at Main Event that had over 30 kids at the party- those parents had to have taken out a loan to throw it!

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  10. Such a great party! I kinda miss "going all out" when Alise's rolls around now, but she really is low-key when it comes to her birthday now.

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    1. I know I will miss it in a few years when Ari calls it quits, but this little taste of freedom was fabulous! Happy weekend!

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  11. That sounds like the perfect kind of party! This past year, we moved both boys parties out to the garage and did a bonfire type party. It was so much more fun and tons easier clean up wise! I didn't have to clean my house after everyone left because no one had been in it! Hope everyone had a blast - it looks like it was for sure!

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    1. Love it! We had the rest of the party as a sleepover, and considering it was 4 boys, I didn't feel like they were going to be checking my bookshelves for dust or complaining about the scent of the soap in the bathroom! Parties out of the house are always better!

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  12. I do love a good theme and I'm thankful I have a sister in law who loves doing the party favors. Where I tend to keep it simple is with the activity..I'd prefer not to have to do too much entertaining myself haha.

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    1. I saw a friend today who isn't on social media and she was so excited to hear what theme Trip chose for his birthday this year, and she was so disappointed that we didn't do a theme! I felt bad to let her down, but it really was a great time without a theme!

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  13. Great tips! I used to go all out and now I just let the kids pick a place and they go with their friends. It is so laid back and I like it, plus the cleanup happens somewhere else. We do like having the grandparents come over for a BBQ or dinner but for the most part, birthdays are laid back around here :)

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    1. Sign me up- I'm totally on board with this idea now! I think Ari still has a few more theme parties up her sleeve, but I'm sure sleepovers with pizza and cake will be in the future soon!

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Hi friends! Let me know what you think! I'd love to hear from you!