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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Party's Over!

So, Kira's 2nd birthday party is over!  Someone asked me today how it feels, and I said that I feel relieved.  But, truly, I do not feel like it is over yet because there is more to look forward to!  I cannot wait to get the photographer's photos, to start my quest of trying to be featured on party planning blogs, and finally to post photos here!

From Kira's party, I definitely learned the importance of being organized for a party far in advance.  In fact, because it was held in my own home, I was able to slowly set things up over the weeks before the party (which proved to be invaluable!).  Therefore, on the morning of the party, the only major thing I had to do was food preparation.  I wonder how this is going to translate into planning parties for others?  How do I set up a party at another location when I do not have access to it weeks and months before the party?  I would love to hear advice from other party planners!

Believe it or not, the food prep was actually the most stressful part of the day.  I did not think I had too much planned, especially since I was just having appetizers, but it sure did take up the entire morning and afternoon (even with the help of my mother and husband).  I was disappointed, because we did not even get to make everything that we had planned, and all of the food was not displayed by the time guests started to arrive.  I don't think I could have done anything differently, though.  I started at 6:00am, baking cupcakes, and my mother and I never stopped until the last items were done.  Perhaps, I could have prepped a few things the day before?  I don't know.  Anyway, in my professional business, I am not planning on providing food service myself, so I guess I do not have to worry about that.  And, the food was a big hit, even if it was not all served at the exact time I wanted it to be.

Biggest hits with the children: ladybug coloring sheets, bug- and flower-related silly bands, party hats, craft activity, and bounce house my husband rented at the last minute (they are so much fun!)

Biggest hits with the adults: decor, dessert table, quiche and other foods, Kira's darling party dress, the DJ!!

I am off to bed for now - so tired!!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Not-so-Brief Update

Since Kira's birthday party is coming up this Saturday, my life has been so busy and my head is spinning!  Thus, I have decided to skip my Monday's Great Finds feature today and next Monday.

I am excited, nervous, anxious, thrilled (and any other like adjective that you can think of) about Kira's birthday party.  I am feeling pretty confident about the decor and layout of the party.  That is definitely my area of strength.  I even feel pretty good about the scheduling of events during the party.  My creative consultant, Melissa, the queen of planning and organizing, helped me to set up an exact schedule to follow so that all things I have planned for the party will fit into the three-hour time frame.

Here is the schedule (FYI: Meliss, I edited it just a tiny bit from the night we worked on it):

11:00 am Photographer arrives (I have a great story about this...will share later)

12:00 pm DJ arrives (Yes, I know it is over-the-top to have a DJ for a 2nd birthday party, but we happen to have a friend who is an amazing DJ and will be able to mix children's music with hip, modern and appropriate adult music)

1:00 -1:30 pm Guests arrive; Chad (hubby) will be responsible for taking a photograph of each child as soon as they enter our home

Hot and cold foods will be artfully on display on my gorgeous kitchen buffet.  Will "model" eating for the guests to get everyone started :)

1:45 Craft activity with children (parents encouraged to help younger ones). They will be decorating picture frames with lady bug and flower stickers, and my hubby will be personalizing them with their names (he is awesome at lettering)

2:05 Children's time to get wild and have fun.  We will have a bounce house in the back yard (I know, over-the-top as well, but my hubby is very excited about this, so I am pleased for his contribution).

For those who prefer to stay indoors (the FL heat can be unbearable!), there will be party dancing indoors.  I will have a basket full of 2 ft long streamers for the children to dance with and wave around.  Freeze dance is the Plan B activity to keep the dancing and fun going.

While this is going on, someone (likely my brother - surprise, if you are reading this!) will be printing the photos of each child that Chad took when they arrived.

There will also be ladybug coloring sheets and bowls full of crayons for children to color with during this time or any other time they need to be occupied.

3:05-3:15 Singing Happy Birthday to Kira and devouring the yummy cupcakes and desserts that everyone will sure to be eyeing up the entire time!

3:15 Gift opening.  Move this quickly so it does not bore people.  Eating, dancing, bounce house, etc can go on during this time for those that do not enjoy sitting and watching someone open gifts (I personally LOVE this, but I am not sure about others).

3:50-4:00 Pass out goody bags and completed picture frames (with photo inserted) to each child.  Give away floral arrangements to adults (PLEASE: CAN SOMEONE HELP ME COME UP WITH A CREATIVE IDEA FOR HOW TO DO THIS?  I'D LOVE TO DO SOME TYPE OF CONTEST, BUT I CANNOT THINK OF ANYTHING REALLY UNIQUE!)

Guests go home and we are left with - ugh - clean up!  :)


Photographer Story:  My photographer, Gary Kaplan, called me on Friday and informed me that he will be bringing along with him his good friend, who just happens to be Colin Cowie's official photographer, to the photo shoots.  Seriously!  The Colin Cowie.  The photographer of Colin Cowie.  Photographing MY party.  I am hyperventilating just thinking about it.  Cannot speak (er, type) in complete sentences.  Oh - my - goodness.  I do not know how this has happened to me, but I am thrilled!!!!!

In addition to shooting the party, they will be coming on Friday to do an individual photo shoot with Kira (and I am hoping they could potentially get some head shots of me!).  I have three outfits planned for Kira to wear for this.  One is the lady bug outfit that she will wear the next day when she is ready to get down and dirty and change out of her party dress.  The other is an adorable black, red, and white poppy dress (from Gymboree).  Kira looks amazing in red, so this is a perfect outfit choice.  Finally, the last ensemble is the AMAZING monarch butterfly costume that I purchased from Adisten's Closet.  It arrived in the mail last week and is stunning (this will also be her Halloween costume in October).  The only thing I am panicked about is that I am quite certain that Kira will not want to wear the hat or the wings that go with the costume.  And, these are the best, KEY features of the outfit.  "Just breath Andrea - she will wear it, she will wear it," I tell myself in mantra fashion. :)

That is all for now, although I know I have more to say.  The hyperventilating over Colin Cowie has caused short-term memory loss - LOL!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Monday, August 9, 2010

Pocket Full of Parties {Monday's Great Find}

So, I thought I would be too busy today to blog about another of my favorite party planning businesses.  But, I decided I cannot skip a Monday!  It is one of my favorite things to do - giving love to amazing people, businesses, and artisans!

Today's "Great Find" may likely be one that you are already familiar with (especially if you have read through all of my blog).  But I am featuring it anyway, because the designer's work blows me away everytime I see something new from her!  And, hopefully, I may spread the word to a few people who do not already know about this business.

Monday's Great Find is....Paper and Pigtails (check out Etsy Shop and Blog).

Kori, the owner and designer, is a lovely friend of mine with an amazing spirit and a beautiful family.  I remember when I first met Kori and her husband (then fiance).  Chad and I had just moved into our first house, the neighborhood was new, and we did not know many people.  We were walking our Brussels Griffon, Baxter Blackbeard, and Kori and her husband were just getting out of their car in front of the home they were building (Are you feeling nostalgic Kori?  I know you must now that you will be passing that home on to someone else!).  Kori showed love to Baxter, and both of them were so friendly and warm.  We left that first meeting excited that we would have such cool neighbors.  And, they did grow into great friends during the time we lived in that neighborhood.  We had some fun pre-children times :)  Chad and I moved out of that house a little under two years after first meeting Kori.  We lost touch for a couple of years, but I found her again through Facebook, this time post-children on both of our ends:)  I have since discovered her amazing artistic talent!

Paper and Pigtails' Etsy shop is a DIY party printables shop.  Kori designs all of the graphics.  You can find anything from invitations to cupcake toppers to snack cups.  She has many lovely designs and themes available, but the best thing about Paper and Pigtails is that she is able to do custom orders in whatever theme you can dream up.  And, she can do pretty much any type of DIY party printable that you can imagine.  For Kira's party, I ordered invitations, address labels, water bottle labels, favor tags, food and drink labels, etc. 

As I mentioned in my last blog post, I attended Kori's daughter's third birthday party this weekend.  It was amazingly designed and planned!  Everything I thought it would be and more!  I know she will post her own pictures, and I do not want to spoil that for her, but here is a "sneak peek" picture that I took (excuse the fact that I am NOT a professional photographer!!).

Please visit Paper and Pigtails Etsy shop and order away for all of your party needs!  You will not be disappointed!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

A Weekend Full of Parties :)

I am so very excited for it to be Friday, Aug 6th right now!  I have a weekend of parties to attend, and I cannot wait!

This evening, my husband and I will be going to a party together with friends.  It is a bit "rock and roll," so we have amazing outfits planned (my dress was custom-designed by couture fashion designer Raven Reda of Tampa, FL).  Will post pics later!

Saturday morning, my daughter and I have the honor of attending the 3rd birthday party of Kori's daughter (of Paper and Pigtails).  While Kori has mentioned that she is not a party planner (I recommend you read her blog:, I am confident that this party is going to be amazing and beautiful!  How can it not be, when Kori is so very artistic!  If she okays it, I will post pictures from this party as well!

Saturday afternoon, I will be going to my neighbors house, to help her decorate for her son's 3rd birthday party, which will be on Sunday morning.  The party is Peter Pan themed, and I think it is going to be a precious event!  I hope I will be of at least a little help to her in figuring out where all of her decorations and party things should go.

So, then obviously Sunday morning is the neighbor's Peter Pan party.  My husband will be able to come with me to this party because he is not working.  I am so excited to see this event unfold!  My neighbor has put so much work and love into her planning, so I know it is going to be fabulous fun!

And, this weekend puts us at the two-week countdown to Kira's 2nd birthday party and my first custom-designed children's party!

Can life get any better?!  :)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Pocket Full of Parties {Monday's Great Find}

I have an endless list of favorite party-related websites so I think I will be doing "Monday's Great Find" for months and months to come!  If you have not been featured yet and would like to be, just comment here or e-mail me at

This week's great find is (drum roll please)...Giggleberry Creations

Giggleberry Creations makes the most beautiful fabric bunting I have yet to come across.  I cannot wait to order bunting for a future event or decorating need (I have already gone WAY overboard for Kira's party and her room is already too full of decor, so these options are currently out).   Here is a wonderful bio about the business and its owner Amy:

My name is Amy, I am a WAHM mum of 3 busy bees and I just love to create! Giggleberry Creations was started after I wanted to find a unique item to decorate my daughters bedroom that I could also match to her new quilt handmade by my mum. I had a play around with the left over fabrics from the quilt and came up with the very first Giggleberry bunting. After making sets for my nieces and nephews I had family and friends asking for buntings to match their decor or party themes and before I knew it I was taking regular order from all over the world.

Giggleberry's fabric bunting banners add character to any space. Lovingly handmade with care, each flag is double sided so can be hung across a room without hems or 'wrong side' of fabric showing. Every Giggleberry banner is professionally finished with a fabric tag and heat sealed grosgrain ribbon.
Our banners have been made for bedrooms, cubby houses, parties, play rooms, weddings, nurseries, market stalls, shop fronts, holidays, even caravans!

If this has not won you over yet, here are some beautiful photos of her bunting creations:

Look how amazing the bunting looks as part of everyday decor!