My favourite party theme: “Stress Free”

I know that for some people parties are a BIG deal. Months of planning, cooking and preparing in anticipation for the big day. I think when an innocent gathering of people requires a theme, you know it is serious business.

Out of all the possible party themes, my favourite is “Stress Free”

I grew up in a house where getting stressed and flustered was (& still is) par for the course when it came to hosting any sort of social gathering. I can tell you under no uncertain terms, it’s not for me. I know I get overwhelmed pretty easily these days so I try not to exacerbate the situation with added complications.

Don’t get me wrong, I love attending events that have been beautifully coordinated. I’m so amazed by people who painstakingly hand make invitations, decorations and themed party food. Rest assured if you’ve managed to coordinate your tableware with the birthday boy’s outfit, I will certainly appreciate your efforts.

I really hope your child does too, because the cynical practical side of me believes that when it comes to a small child’s birthday, all they really care about are balloons, the cake, the party bag and being the centre of attention. And of course, the presents. (This probably applies to many grown ups, too)

Nothing is going to cast a shadow over little Bobby’s birthday party more than mummy freaking out that her cake pops are pooped. Or when the fire truck entertainment rocks up full of male strippers.

That is why for the Wilful One’s birthday this year I did something the pre-kid me never thought I’d do. We had a party at Macdonald’s.

Yes, I know, it’s all a bit bogan, but he really wanted to have a party with some close pre-school friends who he won’t see next year when they all go off to school. He’s never asked for daycare friends to come to a party before, always content with our predominantly family affairs and I couldn’t say no.

My dilemma was that at this stage I had already set my sights firmly on the “stress-free” birthday theme, and with the mandatory family celebration was already on the agenda.  I examined various options for outsourcing and in the end Macca’s won the bid.

Yes, it was run by a clueless 15yr old. No, it wasn’t flash and it certainly wasn’t how I would have done it. But The Wilful One ate ice-cream cake, felt like a prince, had lots of fun with his mates and quite frankly, that is all that matters to me.

Happiness at 5: Ice-cream cake

The Maccas soiree was followed by a low-key afternoon tea with the family en-masse, which once, again he loved as all the prerequisite boxes had been ticked. Balloons – check. Presents – check. Centre of attention – check. Oh and yet another cake – check.

This cake is ridiculously easy to make and is lots of fun.  I found it at The Tipsy Hostess (via Pinterest)

Apart from Macdonald’s I’m yet to pay for party entertainment. I think it’s prudent to save magicians and sumo suits for when pass-the-parcel and piñatas no longer keep pint-sized party goers amused.

I realise this time is fast approaching. That’s why I’m glad there are so many fabulous bloggers out there who rock some serious party mojo.  When my stress free no-frills approach to birthday celebrations no longer cuts it with the guest of honour, I’ll be turning to the following ladies to help up the ante:

Maxabella Loves: Bron is currently doing a wonderful series on all elements of hosting children’s parties. She’s got the whole planning caper down to a tee and there are lots of links and pics from other great online sources.

Great fun 4 kids: Simone is the party queen. Her parties inspire (& intimidate) me!  She has a whole page dedicated to invitations, recipes, decorations, the works. THEN she has a link up page where other bloggers can add their party posts as well. There are some amazing posts there.

Planning with Kids: Nicole is the Planning Queen and parties are no exception. She has lots of great posts and even has a Parties with Kids eBook.

So, when it’s time for me to step up, I know I’ll be able to find loads of inspiration and helpful tips in my hour(s) of need.

What’s your party style? Do you always have a theme or do you opt for stress-free like me?

Linking with Jess @ Diary of a Stay at Home Mum

Balloon image via We Heart It 

Things I know: A week of celebration!

The colour of Champagne

Wow, it has been such a huge week. And it’s not done yet! We’ve had quite a few things to celebrate so here’s the “Things I know” wrap up:

 I know I’m so super duper happy that my boy was finally accepted into the school we wanted. The relief when they phoned opened a flood gate of tears (for me). He is very excited and so ready.

I know the Christmas holidays will drag as I’m going to be asked every day “Can I go to my new school yet?” !!

I know 13 years ago not many people would have thought that The Man and I would still be together, let alone happily married with a menagerie.

I know that the Wilful One was so excited to turn 5 this week. He had an awesome time at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary on his birthday.

I know that I was grateful The Organised Housewife posted egg-free cupcake recipes just in time for me to make 2 dozen of them for preschool (they were a huge hit!)

I know that Saturday night I will have a very tired but happy boy after two back-to-back birthday celebrations.

I know seeing Pam Ayres perform live was fantastic. I took my mum as an early birthday present and we both thoroughly enjoyed it. An amazing lady with a wicked sense of humour.

Of course, there is a flip side to everything and there are a couple of things I know I’m not so excited about this week:

I know that I’m going to spend the rest of the day doing housework and stressing over  dust bunnies and crumbs. I know it’s needless as my family love me regardless of cobwebs.

I know that I’m so sad that my 5 week holiday is over and I have to return to the grindstone next week.

I know that I was a bit ambitious in all the things I planned to do while I was on leave but at least I made it through 3/4 of my list (ok maybe 2/3).

I also know that the end of my holiday signifies that Christmas is approaching like a freight train. Time to get organised. Eeek!

Have you had something to celebrate this week? Please share!

Linking up with Shae from Yay for Home for Things I Know.

 

 

 

 

Image from We Heart It