Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Art of Attending an Event Planner's Party {Part Two}

If you are here by chance and didn't read PART ONE of this post, please hault your reading. I have a big ol' intro over in the opening post that is a must read. You shouldn't have even read that last line-you should be over at Part One by now!

Okay, good- you're back.

Shall we continue? Maybe you should grab a glass of wine...
It's 10am? A shot will do.

Custom Wine Glasses by Vinyl Eloquence
Let me set the stage... You're arriving at the party- on time because you now know how important this is. As a fellow party planner/friend so keenly brought to my attention- "Lateness is not some 'quirk', drinking wine with a straw is a 'quirk'... Lateness is just rude."

You put your bags and gift down and head over to where the party is happening. You're impressed. You can't imagine why on earth anyone would want to put this much effort in to a single day. At this point, we might be wondering that very same thing.

You notice someone. She's probably dressed in black and seems to be taking her job very seriously. It's...
Guests either love or hate seeing a professional photographer at a party. If you love it- great! Go photobomb some pics (except the close ups on my dessert table, I'll kill you). If you hate it- please remind yourself that the hostess is also a party planner who has worked endless hours getting the party to look a certain way. There's a chance she didn't sleep the night before, or if she did- that she woke up at 6am to set up. In a nut shell, this is months of hard work coming to fruition. We NEED great photos, without them- our work is nothing.

San Diego photographer Maria Healy capturing Tania Fischer Designs dessert table.
So if you have to wait a minute before biting in to that shimmery chocolate covered Oreo- wait two minutes. If you have to be a stealth ninja about getting that handmade felt flower in to your daughter's hair so that a pic can be taken of all of the girls wearing their adorable party favors... BE THAT NINJA. And please don't complain about it.

Look on the bright side- you're probably going to see some pretty adorable photos of your kid with their close friends floating around social media in a few weeks- high res and everything! (You're welcome.)

Photo by my girl Christina at Moments Captured Photography located on the Central Coast of CA


Help me out here... When does one eat dessert? Is it before a meal, or after- I'm forgetting? NO, I'M NOT.

Do not show up to a party that happens to have a dessert bar and start raiding it upon entrance. Usually, if there's a table specifically for desserts, you can safely assume there's some food being served as well. Look for it. Stuff a hot dog in your face- have a soda. Wait until the hostess announces that the dessert table is open- which isn't usually very long in to the party. If you have a toddler and they're losing it at the sight of cake pops, (I have this child) ask the hostess if there are any extra hidden ones he/she can sneak in to the bathroom or something.

While I don't want guests to feel like they have to watch their child the entire party, please make sure they are not doing things like hiding under the dessert table playing hide and seek. Because if that cake falls over, I will stand behind the old adage, "It's my party, and I'll cry if I want to."

Part of the fun for a party planner is showing off the beauty of her work. In an ideal world for us- every guest would get to admire and Instagram (with a proper hashtag) the custom cookies you had made or the Jello cups you so carefully layered. All we ask for is about 30 minutes (give or take a few) for those inevitable late arrivers to get in a peak at the dessert table. It takes months to design and just under 2 minutes to devour. Just give us our half hour.


Really? Because that is so annoying. Do party planners love and get inspired by Pinterest? Of course we do! And sometimes (gasp!) we even use an idea or two- I do for sure! However- that doesn't mean that every cute idea at a party planner's party is a "Pinterest idea". We're creative ladies- promise! We have ideas too! I for one was EVEN creative before Pinterest (I even wrote a post on it)!

Unless totally sincere and interested in how "Pinterest idea" was made- we really don't wan't to hear the ever popular, "I SO saw that idea on Pinterest!" yelled from across the party. Please remember, the idea still took time and effort to make- and if you've ever seen a Pinterest Fail- probably a small amount of talent.

Other sayings like, "I WISH I had spare time in my hectic life to throw my kid a party like this!" are equally annoying... and with the right tone... I don't know, condescending? We don't just have 3 extra hours a day to hang out and craft. We're moms as well- which is kind of a full time job! We stay up late and wake up early to do something we love. So please avoid being passive aggressive because I can read between the lines. I don't walk in to your Book Club and say, "I really wish I had time to sit around and read books all day!" DO I?


Unless you are Lady Gaga and trying to see if you want to hire me to throw your 30th Birthday Extravaganza- do not show up with groupies.

If your 9 year old child's name was the only one on the invite- do not send your 4 year with him. Do not bring your neighbor's kid who, "really wanted to come too"... Or some random cousins. Chances are the party is limited on space, favors, food and desserts.

If you feel like it was an oversight your other child wasn't invited: it wasn't. But if you insist it was, then kindly ask the hostess and be prepared to hear, "Sorry- we're only having 10 children for this party". Do not just drop off extra kids.

There is a loop hole here- because to be honest, I am actually ok with an extra child coming in the event of something necessary/helpful/you have out-of-town visitors. When I was on bed rest with my daughter, my son went to random birthday parties with other moms who's kids happened to be invited and I have no doubt my friends asked first, explaining the situation. All we ask is that you ask the hostess in advance if, "little Jonny can come because I've already committed to watching him this day." While we may not be able to bust out a custom made favor- we'd love to be given the opportunity to scrounge up something!


On the super off chance that we've done some majorly terrible calculating (I can't even imagine- seriously) please don't make a huge deal about it. As in, kindly ask the hostess in private if there might be any other favors because your child didn't get one. Don't start yelling, "Where's _________'s favor?! I don't see it with the rest!" Just....... don't.

And if you must be angry about that missing favor, have your kid go snatch it out of that uninvited cousin's hand.

Also ask yourself, "Did I RSVP?"

In conclusion... We really do enjoy throwing parties. Maybe too much you're thinking! May-be. But we caaaan't stop... And we woooon't stop. We love to entertain guests and show off our skill just like a runner loves to run in a marathon. We've spent a lot of time getting ready for the party in hopes of sharing a great day of celebration with you- because we love what we do and hope you will enjoy it too.

xo Party or Die xo


Monday, February 24, 2014

The Art of Attending an Event Planner's Party {Part One}

It's a scary thought- actually pressing "Publish" on this post- maybe more so that any other one I've ever written! I've had the idea for this entry for quite some time and while I feel there is probably never going to be the *perfect* time for me to put it out there (as a mom who throws real parties)- here's to hoping this time frame is better than publishing it the week after one of my kid's parties? The truth is- a lot of these things haven't even happened to me directly- really! But I'm in a community with so many other party & event planners that at this point if I'm going to go for it- I feel like I have to share for all of us...

Party Planner aside- obviously no mom wants to make their guests feel like they can't just attend their party like every other normal party... This is true, I want guests to feel at ease and have a blast.

However...what is also true- and this may be a total contradiction- is that it isn't in fact any other "normal party".

You know it, I know- if your kid's have attended previous parties- they know it. And if you don't know it- the invitation will usually always clue you in. A party planner prides herself on the snail mail invite and glitter is usually involved.

There have been weeks (mainly Party Week) where I have dreamed of throwing the Normal Party... Days I wish I could take a break and be Mellow Party Mom for one party in my life. That care-free spirit of a woman who texts people the party info a week before the party. She puts chips and dip out and serves water with lemon. She places the candle in the middle of her self-frosted cupcake, hands it to her child and helps get the "Happy Birthday" song going, complete with "And many more, on Channel 4...". Oh, to be her- my idol at 2am the night before a big party.

Bless it.

But, of course... that will never happen. The elusive "Normal Party" is fleeting in my mind. I have tried- and failed, many times. My attempt at a normal party for Cormac's 3rd Birthday Yo Gabba Gabba Party is pretty much what launched me in to this business, unbeknownst to ever knowing I wanted to be an actual Party Planner. This was before I knew about dessert tables or backdrops or "linens"... Before I knew about anything party-related really... Anything other than spending copious amounts of time on things most people wouldn't notice. Which I'm actually totally fine with now, really. I have gotten to a place where I very much realize the details are for me and my fellow Party People (you know who you are!). In the same way a lot of woman dress "cute" to impress other woman- I do things like wrap napkins in dyed doilies and ric-rack bows- for other party planners.

In my year of blogging I've deemed myself as kind of the party planner who says what most other party planners are thinking... It's a tough role to fill at times, ain't that the truth!?

In an effort to not piss off every past party guest of mine, I am going to try and carefully broach this subject. But we all know I am not known for being exactly... errrr, gentle- per say... So, I will probably still offend every guest I've ever invited (and maybe even cut my numbers in half so I have more of a décor budget at the next party- oh c'mon, kidding!)

And while yes, I am kind of writing this on behalf of party planners... I'd also say these suggestions apply really well across the board- when invited to ANY party. So if you don't ever think you'll attend a party planner's function- don't think you're off the hook!

In the title of this post I very carefully used the words, "Art of Attending" vs. "Rules of Attending" because I'm offering these up as more of, well let's see... Suggestions? Strong, strong suggestions.

Shall we begin? Let's start with...


You've checked the mail and stumbled upon something non-bill like with a carefully placed festive sticker on it, or perhaps a stamp or two to clue you in to some sort of theme coming your way. You're happy with this joyous piece of mail- and you know your kids will enjoy it as well.

Birdie's 1st Birthday Party

You open it. Your kid's note the theme and you quickly note the date, time and location. You get on your phone, or look at your real-life calendar to see if you're available.



Most party planners give a generous 3 weeks to a month's notice which should give you some flexibility in deciding if the day of the party is a going to be a good fit for you. If it isn't- a NO is a perfectly acceptable answer, because.... WAIT FOR IT, it's an answer. And amen to answers. Promptly texting, emailing or plain ol' fashioned calling the host to let them know that unfortunately the party isn't in the cards would be SO greatly appreciated. A NO helps us know we don't need to worry about adding your child to our favor, food, dessert and chair head count.

I have some more crazy news I'm about to share. A MAYBE is also an answer. Giving the hostess a heads up that you have other plans as well that day (soccer game, another party, WHATEVER) but that you're going to try your best to make it to the party- is a perfectly good enough response in my opinion. This let's us know we should probably have a backup favor and cupcake just in case maybe-child can swing by after all. A party planner's worst nightmare is a kid showing up to find no customized favor bejeweled with their name on it. I choke up just thinking about it.

Well, now it's about to get wild, because coming at you is some EXTRA crazy news. A YES answer- though exciting- also needs to be communicated to the hostess. Do not assume because your son is besties with the birthday boy that the hostess innately knows you're going to make it. A quick little text, "We'd love to attend!" is perfect- even more perfect if it's timely- as in, not the night before the party.

If you RSVP as a yes- unless of course sickness strikes or an emergency arises- be a YES. Don't suddenly the day of say, "We were just so tired from yesterday's crazy schedule so we decided to stay home!" At least lie to me about a sickness, k?

Let me confess something to you. This past January- for my son's 5th birthday party, I didn't even put an RSVP on the invite. That's how defeated I feel by the RSVP. I resorted to straight cold-texting people asking them if they were going to be able to make it- which is just plain weird.

In conclusion- we're all busy. No one should be so busy they can't communicate even a Maybe answer.

Cute planner from Etsy... Just a thought!

Look- I get it. 6ish years ago I wasn't invited to my friend's daughter's 1st birthday party. AND I STILL REMEMBER IT. I was her- um, briiiiidesmaid?! I know first hand that a no-invite can sting.

I also now totally get it. You just plain can't invite everyone- as much as you may want to!

So, in the event the invite does not make it to your mailbox- please for the sake of all that is good and holy- do not go on social media and leave comments like, "Guess my invite got lost in the mail!" on party photos or status' about said party. It's just awkward. If your child didn't get an invite- seriously ask yourself these questions before getting offended, "Is my child [still] a close friend of the birthday boy/girl? Do they play together often?"

Be gracious- I have had to learn this myself big time. Like every mom- a party planner closely calculates numbers, costs and space and because of the level of detail going in to the party- probably even more so.

I hate the fact that we will always inevitably leave people out but the bottom line is that it's not realistic to invite every child your kid has ever known, until we move in to the MPM Mansion, that is.


Look- being late to any party is tacky... Not just a party planner's. But with the right excuse, like being caught off guard by traffic, a toddler meltdown, etc. most hostesses will totally get it. We're moms, and for the most part fairly reasonable women. However, please try to be on time- like within the first 30 minutes. We've been planning this party for way too long to publicly acknowledge and there's this thing called a timeline we'd like to somewhat maintain. Is that too much to ask?

On the same note- do not show up early. Or if you do- be prepared to get put to work- which I hate doing to guests, but it inevitably WILL HAPPEN. Trust me when I say that no party planner is ever sitting around 25 minutes before a party saying, "I wish my guests would hurry up and get here already!" NO. We're sweating, tired, hungry... it ain't pretty. Give us until the specified start time unless you want to witness: Birthdayzilla, a ferocious beast of an animal no party guest should have to experience.

Ok, so there you have it- the first half of the post. Now if you were even slightly offended by that, I'd highly recommend you pretend like PART TWO doesn't exist.

xo Party or Die xo

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Celebrating One Year of Blogging and Sharing What I've Learned.

That's right, I've officially been a blogger for a year this week... is someone popping the champs yet or what?

That's what I thought.

Well, kind of a year I should say. I got my first post up on 2.17.2013 and then took a month off to contemplate whether or not I really wanted to have a blog. I had a few fears that I'm going to address a couple of times here.

I'm writing this post because it's something I wanted to read when I was trying to figure out if I wanted to start a blog. I wanted someone who wasn't a "professional blogger", or photographer or a graphic designer... But instead just a normal ol' person wanting to share great ideas. Someone to let me know that you don't need to be perfect or crazy knowledgeable on the computer in order to blog.

Back to my fears... In a nut shell I was freaked out about putting my personal life out there for the world to read, I'm pretty all-or-nothing so I knew if I was going to have a blog- personal things were going to get shared. I was also freaked out because I'm a perfectionist and doing things online is NOT one of my perfections. They more lie in hot gluing, home decorating, cleaning, crafting, sewing... Anything other than things having to do with the computer- (except cooking). So I doubted myself a lot in that month while weighing the pros and cons of truly starting the blog. I asked myself questions like, "Will it look the way I want it to?", "Will I know how to do updates on my own or will I get myself in to a money pit trying to maintain it?" I'm going to answer those questions and a few more for you in a bit- so hang tight.

First before we get there, let me tell you what I'd dreamed up early on for my 1 Year Blogiversery- a term pretty widely used in the blogosphere (another bloggy word for you). I had visions of the 1 Year Blogiversary having a huge Mutli-Blog Giveaway and me throwing giant fistfuls of confetti and shouting from roof tops, that I- Kenna O'Brien- Miss Party Mom- managed to grow a blog following for One Entire Year. I figured I'd be so overwhelmed with joy and pride that something like a Giveaway, and lots of shiny confetti, would be well... Obvious?

But here's the thing. I don't feel like that at all anymore, a year in to blogging. I just realized tonight that I'd been blogging for a year and I celebrated with a nod of the head and a smirk. I think the reason is because the blog has become a part of my life, my routine- it's my journal in a sense. It is not something I think about in terms of being successful or making X amount of money a day or tracking how many entries I've done this month- or how long I've been blogging, how "established" I am as a blogger.

When I started monetizing the blog (we'll get there) I checked the financials daily, I checked my page rank weekly... I DID very much care about all of these things. And then I just sort of realized that I'm not doing the blog for those reasons. I thought I was! But at the end of the day- on the days I made .03 cents on add banners- I still wanted to blog. It had become a part of me, like a best friend- as odd and definitely borderline whak-o as that sounds. A place I could go unleash any feelings and at least while I'm writing them- feel no judgment. A place I could write and feel less anxious. A place to process feelings about things I don't quite feel like verbalizing. A place to make friends who like the same things I do- who sometimes feel closer to me than my actual real-life friends. I mean, I can definitely understand how people fall in love over the internet, just sayin'!

The blog is always right at my fingertips when I need it. After a while I learned not to let stressers like posting a certain number of times a week get to me. Because that really zaps the fun from it, quickly. A friend once said to me when I mentioned I was taking a break from blogging that, "It will always be there when you decide to come back"- great advice that's been so true.
And of course- a lot of people are blogging to make money- some for a living and that's awesome! But at the heart of this blog is a simple no-frills mom (except for actual frills) with no specialty in web design or degree in English... But just a party planner trying to navigate through motherhood while keeping creative, going back to school, being the wife of a youth pastor- whatever it is I'm doing in life- that is my blog. If it makes money awesome. If it doesn't- I'm not too concerned.

Blogging has taught me that I like to write and that I am a pretty decent at it! I discovered that little bit of info at 32 years old. I found that I enjoyed sitting down and downloading my life on to a computer screen after a long day of chasing kids. Call it therapy.

Blogging has given me opportunities for press on NBCNews.com and in May I'll be showing off my party planning tips on the NickMom show Take Me To Your Mother. They didn't find my website, they found my blog- that's pretty priceless I'd say!

Being a blogger has introduced me to friends and provided me with a support system I couldn't have imagined.

So after sharing my reasons for blogging, I'm going to break down 5 fears/challenges that I faced a year ago that maybe some of you who have wanted to begin a blog for a while have. I learned this simple Fear/Affirmation model I'm going to use below in my business class- so no, I'm not a genius.

Fear/Challenge #1
I'm not good on the computer.

Affirmation: You don't need to be! Blog domains like BlogSpot pride themselves on how easy they make it to start a blog. When you get to a place where you can't figure it out- finding someone to help you get the design you're going for is as easy as hopping on Fiverr.com or Etsy.com

Fear/Challenge #2
I'm not sure I want to be so open on my blog.

Affirmation: Not everyone has to be an open book! Blog about whatever you want to- whatever you're good it- be it parties, baking, sewing, etc. You don't have to blog about that fight you had with your husband. But if you do, please link it to my Facebook.

Fear/Challenge #3
I don't want to go broke starting a blog!

Affirmation: I had my blog graphics and set up done for less than $200. I'm talking my illustration profile pic, banner, avatar, favicon, etc. If you are a learner you can figure all of this out on your own via You Tube... If you're like me, you can get started with $50 and an idea of what you want.

Fear/Challenge #4
I don't know Photoshop or Illustrator.

Affirmation: Hey, I don't even know PicMonkey! There are all sorts of blogs- you don't have to have a Photoshopped blog. Do they look beautiful? Sure! Is it a necessity? NO. In one year I've grown my rank from a 0 to a 3 without the help of any photo editing software- but instead just focused on what I'm good at: content.

Fear/Challenge #5
There are already other amazing blogs out there writing about the very things I want to write about.

Affirmation: This was a huge hang-up for me. And then as I started blogging I realized that my voice was different than anyone else's- and yours will be too! There is room for all of us in the blogging world! Try and keep in mind that no two blogs will be alike because no two people are alike!

Monetizing Your Blog:
This was a big scary subject for me where I had no clue how to make it happen but I wanted it so badly. And now- in a sense I have access to it- and I don't want to put in the time that a monetized blog takes. I just want to write out of passion- not because I'm being paid to talk about some new cell phone promotion... (And trust me, I have. If you're a regular reader you remember it.) But I wasn't passionate about those posts and even if they added $25 to my bank account I didn't feel proud of the work. So you have to ask yourself those questions and find the right balance for you.

The easiest way for me to go about making a small amount of money has been through Google AdSense. It took me about 5 months to build up enough traffic to even be approved for AdSense. I know a lot of bloggers who love BlogHer as well. I am SO not the expert in this area... as I mentioned already- I came to a point where I decided the "pay-off" was more in the community & opprotunities it's provided me, as well as the release it's given me to do something creative- yet different for me.

For me personally, I don't want to ever be known as a "Mom Blog" or a "Party Blog"... I just want to share my life and if people relate- well then, awesome. The thing about being a "lifestyle blogger" (oh how I hate titles) that's nice is that your content is ever flowing- if you let it be. Now am I saying you should blog about changing a poopy diaper? No, I'm not saying that. But if you're interested enough in blogging- this probably means your life is somewhat interesting. I draw my content from life, feelings, occurrences... And really great epiphanies.

One thing I've subconsciously done (if nothing else to keep my mind from thinking about the same subject for too long) is to rotate between posts that are: encouraging, controversial, Pinterest-worthy (posts that will get clicks for their amazing pics), how-to, etc. This will only work if you're not trying to have a specific blog. Like if the popular party blog: Kara's Party Ideas started blogging about her marriage- I'd be freaked out! So stay true to who you are/want to be as a blogger. And if you don't know (I didn't!) DON'T WORRY- it will define itself as you start blogging. I decided I wanted to be an eclectic writer and always keep my readers on their toes... But I only figured that out after writing about only parties for 2 months and being so board with myself I couldn't even finish my own posts. The blog will evolve and figure itself out- just give it permission to!
OK- So this post didn't involve confetti flying out of your computer (Blogger Fail) to celebrate the big ol' MPM One Year BLOGIVERSERY or a crazy Giveaway- but I'm hoping if you've ever considered blogging- this gave you a little insight on how to get past the initial intimidation of it.

One thing I'm totally sure of is that if I can do it- YOU CAN DO IT. Just trust me.

xo Blog or Die xo

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

How To Plan An Awesome Baby Shower

I'm excited to have the all-boy party blog Spaceships and Laser Beams over on The Adventures of Miss Party Mom today- sharing some easy steps for how to plan a baby shower- something all of us are probably going to be in charge of at some point in our lives!

Enjoy! I'll be back this week... I promise.

xo Party or Die xo

A new baby is on the way—and you get to host the baby shower! How do you get started? Assuming you already know where the party will be held, there are five main components to planning it: invitations; decorations; menu; activities; and favors. Considering these areas will help you organize your thoughts; make a list and you’ll remember details…and you won’t feel overwhelmed!

Baby Shower Theme

Decide on a theme to give your party a focal point. There are tons of theme options, so decide: do you want the shower focus to be on new baby and childhood joys or on mama-to-be and her hobbies/interests? Thinking of the mood you want to create can help you decide, too.

Baby Shower Invitations

With all of the electronic devices used today, lots of invitations are extended via e-mail, but if it’s possible, use the postal service to deliver an invite. “Real” mail is fun to receive, and it ramps up anticipation for the party.

Baby Shower Decorations

Baby shower decorations don’t have to be expensive or elaborate, but they make a huge difference. A visual welcome can pull guests into the party as soon as they arrive when you use a wreath, banners or something that relates to your theme. Focus decorations on the main food/dessert table and gift table. If your venue is large enough that guests will be seated at tables to eat, then don’t forget centerpieces that relate to the main table. At a more casual gathering, guests are likely to be finding seats in a living room; two or three small decorative elements can be arranged within the room.

Baby Shower Menu

A theme for a shower will help you with menu choices, if you tie the two together. For example, if your theme is an elegant afternoon tea for new mama, you might include croissants and macarons vs. a cowboy theme that celebrates new baby and offers grilled burgers and chocolate chunk cookies. Whatever direction you decide on, finger foods and easy to eat choices are always popular at showers.

Baby Shower Games

There is much game potential for showers! Whether or not you opt to include games, plan some type of activity to encourage guest interaction. Craft tables have become popular options. Decorating onesies and bibs are two of the current favored choices, but there are lots more ideas. Just be sure you can readily demonstrate the craft how-to and have enough materials for everyone to participate.

Don't Forget... Baby Shower Favors

After a fun time together, send guests home with a favor. It doesn’t have to be something huge to say “thanks for coming”. A special sweet, bath bombs or nail polish are current favorites; cute hang tags or pretty bows add some “wow”. Hosting a baby shower does take preparation, but it’s a special occasion that will always be remembered. Organizing the details will help you plan a terrific celebration! Be sure to check my blog for my inspiration!

What theme would you love to see at a baby shower?

Stephanie Keeping is mom to a boy named Sam, a blogger, and an Etsy-preneur. She celebrates boyish charm at Spaceships and Laser Beams, where she talks about all things boy and birthday party. You can connect with her on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Twitter and on Etsy.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Oh Dear, Am I That Mom I Hate?

In this day and age of mom-competition, where every mom has her own brand of being a mom ("Organic Mom", "Homeschool Mom", "Breastfeeding Mom", "No-Spank Mom", "Yes-Spank Mom", "Attachment Mom", "Baby-Wise Mom", "Cloth Diapering Mom", "No-Vaccine Mom, "Homeopathic Mom"... the list goes ON and ON...) I find myself always making it clear to anyone that will listen that I do not subscribe to any "parenting theories". I am theory-less. I'm just trying to make sure that my husband and I's "theories" at least meet- like half of the time.

I don't spend copious amounts of time reading up on parenting trends or soaking in books/magazines/podcasts on child rearing. Or any time at all. If I pick up Parenting Magazine, it's because I saw a pennant banner on the cover I liked, or a friend of mine has a published party in it.

I'm just sort of doing it, this parenting thing. Most days I struggle... like STRUG-GLE. I am not all up and at um' at 7am, excited about making homemade pancakes and juicing up my own healthy concoction for some added energy. I am begging, and I mean begging these two children of mine for, "5 more minutes please- then I'll put in some Eggos" and then downing cup after cup of glorious coffee, all while walking around until about 11:00am with some of the worst bed head you've ever laid eyes on.

I have good mom days and really, really bad days. Days I'm fried by 6:30pm and literally feel like these children must put themselves to bed- or I will in fact, implode. Days where I start off sentences to a 2 year old with, "WHY ON EARTH?" and "Are we SERIOUS here?!"

I read these blogs that talk about not saying, "Hurry Up" to your kids and definitely not EVER yelling. These are the new parenting forbiddens. Are these woman on Prozac? These blogs buzz around the internet once, find you on a bad day- and make you feel like crap... and then they come back for round two (just happened) for all the people who missed them the first time. And of course you have to stumble upon them both times on the days you happened to have yelled, "HURRY UP!" repeatedly.

I find myself wondering what brand of mom is really not saying "hurry up" and you know... Pretty much despising them. I'd go so far as to say if you're the person that's sharing all the, "don't say this to your kids" blogs, I'm probably rolling my eyes- like slow motion rolling my eyes at your profile picture. Unless I already love you- then you can do no wrong... but if I'm on the fence and you're going all perfect-mom on me then yaaaaa.... Totally rolling my eyes and yelling, "Oh brother!" at the computer.

But this weekend something hit me. It hit me that I could be... the annoying one. That eyes could be being rolled at ME. Little ol' no-child-rearing-theory-mom ME. The gal who has no true daily routine, no "meal-plans", no weekly mom-group play dates... ME.

I have always felt that because I have been so honest both in person and on the blog about how much I struggle devoting my life to motherhood- that no one could be annoyed by ME trying to be a perfect mom. Because I'm so not and it's so obvious that I'm not in the mom-competition, or if I am, I'm in like last place, dragging past the finish line. Hey- I may be in last place- but least I'm not annoying!


I'm in the clear, right?

Well, it was brought to my attention after my sister visited this weekend that I might not be in the clear. She mentioned, in her lighthearted way- that more than a few people in the last 6 months has asked her if, in a nut shell- she's intimidated by throwing parties for her two girl's and inviting our mutual friends with me as her sister: Miss Party Mom.

WOW. I'M being used as the litmus test for how to throw parties? Well that IS annoying! As if us moms aren't already feeling judged by every woman in our lives- now we're going to act like the way we throw our kid's parties should hold any baring on us as mothers?

I guess it's time I set some things straight about being a Party Planning Mom. Maybe overdue actually.

Hear this ladies: Throwing a killer party for your kid- does NOT make you a good mom. At times, it can actually make you a really shitty one. It can completely blind you from who the party is actually for and wrap you up so deep in it- you've forgotten about LIFE and actually having one.

So if big parties are not your thing- don't throw them! Don't let Pinterest and other moms (like me) make you feel pressured in to doing something you're not great at and don't love.

I throw parties because, as I've mentioned many times before- I NEED some form of creative outlet and I happen to love throwing parties, always have. I did not start this business for my children- because I am some awesome mom who wanted them to always have the very best parties. I very much started it for myself, so that I'd be doing something I enjoyed every night when the kids went to bed.

The thought of moms (especially friends!) looking at my parties and rolling their eyes, saying, "Oh brother!" at the computer totally makes me cringe. I'm sure it's going to happen- in the same way I know friends who will never stop pinning, "Organic Must-Try Meals" or "10 Ways to Make Your Husband Feel Appreciated Today"- things that literally make me want to regurgitate... Well I guess parties can do that to people too, my parties might do that to people.

I might be that mom I hate.

So in trying to ponder this new found discovery that I may be someone's "organic mom" (my version of the ultimate eye-roll) I guess my point here is that maybe us moms just need to focus on our strengths. And yes- it's probably going to annoy the next mom- SO what!

You want to grill up that green pepper and stuff the hell out of it with weird food I've never even heard of and definitely can't pronounce? Go for it. Ya, I'll still roll my eyes when you put it all over IG, FB and Twitter... but heck, if it makes you happy and you're good at it- have at it.

And I'm going to do my parties- not because I'm trying to out do anyone or be Super Party Mom. I'm just trying to be a mom who doesn't loose herself totally to wiping butts, popping Eggos and building Legos.

So you go cook your crazy meals and remember that I SUCK AT COOKING. You go run your marathon knowing that I'm WAY TOO LAZY FOR THAT. You go do anything other than throwing a killer party and remember that I probably have no idea how you even thought of that.

AND- If you want to do throw a Dora party with Walmart décor and focus on a gourmet meal... By all means we will GLADLY be at your party ready to enjoy your gourmet meal. Don't think I'm above anything because I throw my kid's "cool parties". I am still just a girl from the ghetto who had every birthday party at Pizza Hut on Inglewood Avenue. I had just as much fun there as I would have had at a the local light-up bowling alley where the "cool parties" were held.

Please remember this about your kids too, before you roll your eyes at that super annoying Pinterest party... That hopefully I didn't do.

xo Party or Die xo

Pretty much my only parenting theory.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

A Valentine's Breakfast-Party Surprise!

I am sharing this party- not because it's some amazing creation I did- but because it's TOTALLY DOABLE for every momma. Sure I happen to possibly have a few extra props than the normal mom- but I mainly just gathered house hold items (see a kid's kitchen in there, a box of their dress-up clothes, stuffed animals galore, a red wagon- you get the point...) and went to work styling them the best I could.

This was last year's party and I put the entire thing together Valentine's Eve- I didn't even get the idea until about 5:00pm. I started around 7:30pm, when the kid's went to bed and worked on it until about 1:00am- making one run to Target for goodies like powdered donuts, honey buns, one mylar balloon, some plates, cute little plastic $1 isle heart cups and a V-day garland- of course! 

I invited one set of my kid's friends to keep the breakfast small and within my $30 budget. I woke Cormac & Birdie up the morning of February 14th and showed them the fantastic little outfits I'd put together and told my son to get ready- we had friends and breakfast waiting! He was beyond excited and loved the fact that it was a surprise. My daughter was just excited about the powdered donuts.

The whole "party" lasted about an hour and a half and then I whisked my son off to preschool and cleaned up shop.

It was a great Valentine's celebrating with my little sugar-loving loves- I highly recommend you try it ;)

xo Party or Die xo


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