When I realized my son’s first birthday was only a couple weeks away, panic set in. How did this happen? Where did the year go? How can I get a party planned…FAST?
The most important factors: Date, Time, Location
Choose what works best for you!
Looking at the calendar, I chose the best date and time available. We were really busy the whole month leading up to my son’s birthday, so we just decided to celebrate his birthday a couple of weeks late. He’s hit or miss on the morning nap, so we opted to have a lunch time party and crossed our fingers we could avoid a meltdown if it started around 11am.
Our neighborhood has its own park and you don’t need to book it in advance like city parks, so we thought it would be a great spot–close to home and it has the amenities we need, like tables and chairs, electricity and built-in-entertainment on the playground.
Once the basics were picked, we knew we could get this party planned fast!
1. Theme–We chose FROGS–not Kermit or another branded character. That way I could just go with greens and blues and not have to find anything specific for the party. Having a theme helped me focus on the details of the party like colors, food and favors, but also gave me the freedom to use what I found on sale.
2. Etsy–I could lose myself for hours on Etsy. So many awesome ideas, but so little time to explore. Since I knew I was going with the frog theme, I did a quick search for “frog birthday invitation” and found Jess Taylor at Party Paper Printables. Her frog theme is ADORABLE and she offers all the cute extras that match the invite like a birthday banner, thank you cards, and favor tags. She sent me the downloads and I was off to the printer in less than 48 hours. Talk about efficient.
3. Evite–I used the jpeg we purchased from Etsy and uploaded it as a photo image for our Evite. Designing your own invitation is NOT FREE, but the price was nominal and based on the number of emails you send. It’s a lot cheaper than printing invites and mailing them through the post, and Evite includes great features like being able to update guests, print out lists, get directions, see maps, save the date to your iCal…it makes my life easier!
4. Oriental Trading/Ebay/Amazon–I LOVE shopping from home in my jammies after the kids are in bed. Trying to shop in the stores with both kids gets overwhelming and forget about price comparing. Put me in front of my computer and I can get it done! I found all my paper goods at Oriental Trading, Ebay had the frog squeaker toys, and Amazon had the cute Haribo Frog Gummy Candy.
5. Pinterest–Ok, truth be told, Pinterest is a time suck for me and I avoid it as much as I can. But the ideas can be so cute! I needed a cute idea for a birthday cake and got sucked back into it, but I found these adorable “frog on a log” desserts made by using a Ho Ho and attaching a Haribo gummy frog on top. I got the idea from the Gourmet Mom On the Go and she has tons of great ideas that don’t involve a lot of time in the kitchen.
6. Local Rentals–We went with Arizona Jumpers and rented the Toddler Mini Combo bounce house. It was so cute and the perfect size for all the toddlers at the party. The company was great to work with, very efficient, professional and there weren’t any hidden costs like I found when searching around. Mention you saw them on the Scottsdale Mom’s Blog and they will give you a $15 discount on any water slide rental this summer.
What tips and tricks do you have for making party planning easier?
Happy Birthday Planning!