Sunday is my son’s 5th birthday party, and as I sit here completely and totally ready taking a short break from the final scramble, I can’t help but reflect on the journey it took to get to this point. I’m literally an event planner by trade, so I had it in my head that I was cut out for this whole party planning thing. I mean, if I can organize 5K fundraising walks for thousands of people and galas that need to raise a million dollars, then surely I can successfully execute one kid’s party right?
All the moody volunteer committees couldn’t prepare me for dealing with one surly 4 year old. The requests – nay demands – like real live unicorns – are out of this world. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Here are the 5 steps you must follow to have a successful birthday party!
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Whoa! This week was full of ups and downs for The Salty Mamas, but it’s the weekend now and we are gonna have FUN, gosh darn it. So let’s start the day off with some positivity- here’s what’s making us happy this week!
2. It is CAMELIA SEASON. These little flowers have brought me so much joy over the years, especially because they bloom right around Lila’s birthday each year. I was kind of obsessed with having fresh-cut flowers in the house when Lila came home from the hospital (because irrational pregnant woman) and they’ve been part of the centerpieces at her birthday parties ever since. She turns five today, and she loves the camelias as much as her mama does (well, she loves tearing them up, but STILL.)
3. This simple, pretty swing dress from Amazon. It was on a lightning deal this week, but even when it’s not the price is right. And it has POCKETS. Dreaming of the day when I can wear it on my MomSquad cruise! (Hey MomSquad- you should all get one, obviously, so we can be matchy-matchy.)
4. If you haven’t tried this Balsamic Pork Tenderloin that’s been floating around Pinterest lately forever, please cook it up this week. It’s so simple but SO full of flavor. Serve it up with roasted potatoes and a green veggie, and you’ve got yourself a delicious meal that is gluten-sensitivity-friendly. (Which, don’t even get me STARTED on my beef with gluten. It’s a whole post for a whole ‘nother day.) As a bonus side note, the whole meal costs about $5 to make, assuming you are buying your ingredients at the right time. Looking for more simple meals? Check out our post here and our Pinterest board here.
5. We are currently crushing on fellow mom-blogger Lindsey from Every Day Above Dirt. She is so sweet and so real, and her Instagram feed is full of cute babies and puppies and real life. Check her out!
6. Finally, this little video. Because YES, and because we needed a giggle this week.
What took YOU to your happy place this week? We want to hear about it!
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I don’t know how it works in your circle of friends, but in ours? We are heading full-throttle into what we affectionately call Birthday Season. From now until the end of April, we will likely be attending anywhere from one to four birthday parties every.single.weekend. And my kids LOVE it. But my budget? Yeah, it doesn’t.
‘Tis the season for parties – and no party is more quintessential than the “Office Holiday Party.” If you’re lucky, you’ll attend one that’s got good food, an amazing location and, God-willing – an open bar. If you’re not lucky, you may find yourself at a potluck – maybe at your bosses house or maybe just in the breakroom. But you will get to take a few minutes to set aside work and party.
Unless you’re a SAHM.
Because we don’t get work parties. Sure, we might get to attend our partner’s office party, which is cool. We can trail behind them meeting everyone they work with, plastered with a smile and laughing overly unenthusiastically at the bosses jokes. We can shake one thousand hands and introduce ourselves to people who gush that they’ve “heard so much about you!” But you’ve never heard of them so don’t have a great response, but feign a blush and say “Thank you!” Hopefully, you’ve made a ragtag team of other spouses that you see at these events and can go hide near the desserts talking about anything other than the super boring thing your partner does. (Because mine builds ROCKET SHIPS and it’s still boring AF to talk about for 3 hours with people you don’t know).
And it isn’t much better if you’re a working Mom, because you’re basically working two jobs and only getting to party with one set of work friends.
So, I present to you: The Mom Office Party. That’s right, as soon as you’re done reading this, message your partner and tell them you’ve got another party to go to. Decide if you want it to be “employees only” or if partners are invited. Grab a babysitter if necessary. Then call up your girls and tell them to meet you at Applebee’s tomorrow night for $1 Long Island Iced Teas (because unfortunately, as independent contractors, we’ll be covering our own bar tab).
Note: It does not HAVE to be Applebee’s, that just happens to be where Jaymi and I will be tomorrow night, and the $1 drinks just happen to be our reason. Also, happy hour prices on apps all night, but you do you!
Realizing that Christmas is one week away and there’s no way you’ll squeeze this festive event in before that? No problem! Plan one for after the holiday rush is over and add in a “Re-Gift Exchange” for guaranteed laughs.
I mean, people are always telling us that while we might not go to a job but that we have the most important job in the world right? So let’s party like it!
Happy Holidays – and let us know where and how you decide to party!!
When we planned on having our first two kids rather close together, I didn’t take a minute to do some light math and calculate that we ran the risk of a December baby. So I think I made the ultrasound tech a bit nervous when she estimated my due date as December 18th and I looked “what have I done” levels horrified. YES, I was excited but OMG do you know how busy I am in late December? Continue reading “The December Birthday”→
I found out I was pregnant with my first child just before my 30th birthday. It was a stupid deadline in my head, so besides the “We’re having a baby!” excitement, I also was celebrating hitting my silly goal. As we were setting up for my “Casino Night” theme birthday party, I was on all kinds of highs.
Then my husband said, “Enjoy it! It’s basically you’re last birthday.”
Controversial? Sure. But true. SO FREAKING TRUE. I just want them gone. But as I stare at an ominous October calendar that has a giant star on October 8, my youngest daughter’s first birthday party, I start to waver in my conviction. Because as much as I don’t want to make them, I know there will be kids that expect them. Hell, there will be parents that expect them.
I’ve given into the Goodie Bag monster before. At my sons second birthday I made little canvas bags, complete with each child’s name on them. A dinosaur themed event, each kid got “fossil dig” brushes – each with painstakingly Cricut-ed labels – and of course, the homemade salt dough fossils to go with them. There were bubble wants and homemade crayons in the shape of dinosaurs. And I’m not gonna lie, it was ADORABLE. But looking back, Good God was it a lot of work!
By the time I got to my second child’s first birthday party at the end of December, each kid got one coloring calendar. Because easy.
Three days away from the seventh birthday party in my resume, and I’m ready to throw in the towel and say eff it. I’m afraid I’m not going to get my dream of saying goodbye to the goodie bags, so here are a few Do’s and Don’ts for putting the GOOD back in Goodie Bag!