Mail Order Cuteness

I got a copy of the Olive and Cocoa catalogue in the mail the other day and was pleasantly surprised by all of the cute party accessories that they offer. Here are some of my favorites:

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1. Sky-high birthday candles Birthday Cake Tapers $28/dozen (other cute colors available)

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2. I’m a sucker for a party hat with a great pom-pom Chapeau de Fete $44 for 6

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3. Milk Bottles $64 for 6

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4. My candy obsession would welcome this assortment any day. Birthday Treats $64/ petite box

Make a Plan!

When I set out to throw a party I have to start with a plan. The plan really depends on what kind of event it is and how much is involved. A kid’s party can require a lot of thinking and prep work while a dinner party with friends is generally a lot less complicated. Regardless of the party, I still think it helps to put your ideas and punch list down on paper.

I’m hosting a little birthday party for a friend this weekend. Lucky for me it’s going to be a potluck, so I won’t be spending all day cooking for 10.

Here is what I’ve got for Sunday…

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{Credits: Inspiration image via pinterest, color palette by thesweetestoccasion.com, cake slice photo via maxieb.com}

Goodie Bags

I am a crazy person on the topic of the goodie bag. For the last 8 years I have waxed on and on about how ridiculous I think it is that people give elaborate “gifts” for coming to a child’s birthday party. Isn’t it enough that we are entertaining and feeding the guests for hours? Shouldn’t children learn to give and not always receive?

I found myself in the company of one on this issue and have spent years cringing when my children get goodies that are fancier than the gift they’ve brought. I’ve also felt bad about not giving some cute trinkets over the years, but I worked around that by incorporating a take-home element from the party, such as an apron from an art party or a straw cowboy hat from a carousel party.

Now if you saw my post about my son’s Olympics party, you are probably thinking I am a total hypocrite. I know, I know… I finally broke down and despite the fact that the children were already taking home t-shirts and medals, I actually provided a pack of golden gumballs as they were all leaving.

I guess I just couldn’t resist golden gumballs, but I still hold firm with my belief that kids don’t need more candy and stuff after a lovely celebration of their friends. In my humble opinion, spending time and energy creating something magical is enough.

Of course, sometimes it is fun to have a reminder of the day. Here are some ideas that feel thoughtful and reminiscent of the event.

ART PARTY {spray-painted frames with child’s artwork; photo credit Ramona Trent}

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MONSTER PARTY {hand-made felt monster via onecharmingparty.com}

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GARDEN PARTY {DIY bird feeders via tipjunkie.com}

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{succulents via pinterest.com}

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SUMMER FUN PARTY {waxed paper wrapped chalk via mightygirl.com}

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DIY Water Bottle Labels

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For today’s project I’m making custom labels for the party this weekend. I use Pages for laying out images- it’s like a simplified Photoshop and Illustrator rolled into one.

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After cutting them all out with the paper cutter, I’m affixing them to the water bottles with packing tape. Simple as that.

And normally I would be crazed about the water bottles all being uniform in size, but I know from experience that kids never notice that stuff and I might as well use up what I have left over from previous parties.

Paperless Post

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Paperless Post

I’ve loved Paperless Post for years. It’s such a smart concept and so well executed. They have a great selection of invitations, but I also love just sending their thoughtful cards to my friends and family at random.
Here is a Paperless Post invite for my son’s upcoming birthday. Stay tuned for more pictures from the actual event…