(But I had fun doing it!)
On Saturday, we threw Deirdre and Bernadette a joint birthday party for their friends. It was a Halloween theme, and my girls and I had a blast prepping for the celebration. Back in September, I'd suggested (though some might view it as pleading) to Dee and Bee to rethink their original plan of having a Frozen birthday party. I'm fine with Frozen...and I'm fine with Disney themed birthday parties...but the girls were already arguing about who would be Elsa, who wouldn't be Anna, and how many Olafs would be in attendance. So in an effort to redirect their energy toward productive party planning, I suggested we do a Halloween theme. They agreed, and off we went to Pinterest to find every Halloween party idea every conceived. (Bernie now looks over my shoulder, finds pictures she likes, and says, "Pin it, Mom, pin it!)
The good news with Pinterest is that you don't have to reinvent the wheel. The bad news is that you're tempted to take that wheel and run with it. We actually did a pretty good job of culling through all of the ideas. We didn't choose anything that required fondant, a staples gun, or wood work. But the projects we did choose still took time, and once you complete one, and it turns out great, all you want to do is get to work on the next one!
Below you can see just some of the party touches we went with (you can see my full pinterest party board here) and here are the lessons I learned along the way:
1) Call in recruits when you need them:
It was right about Wednesday of last week when I decided that I was going to need some help. I'd woken up with a swollen pointer finger and thumb (my paper cutting digits!) for three mornings in a row, and it was obvious that I had to call it quits on the cut-outs. So I asked my sister if she could send over my 10-year niece, the party prepper of all party preppers, to help. She (and my sister, who can never resist a creative craft), came to the rescue on Thursday evening, and we finished up every last goodie bag and pumpkin cut out. It was fun to work together, and I woke up Friday morning without a swollen joint in sight. I felt 100% going into the party, which is always a good way to greet 20 princesses who show up at your door, in costume!
2) Stop when you've had enough:
I had a few things on our list that we just couldn't get to, and I had to be okay with it. One of the last things I was going to make was this awesome tri-colored spooky Halloween bundt cake that I'd been planning for weeks. But once we got to Thursday evening, it was obvious that choices needed to be made. I knew that buying a cake would eliminate a ton of time and energy (not to mention another round of kitchen clean up), so I opted for a pre-made Costco sheet cake special, and it turned out great. It was the best compromise I made for the entire party, and I felt really good about recognizing my limits, and finding a good, time-saving, joint sparing solution.
3) Let the kids help (a.k.a. don't be a perfectionist!):
Almost every party touch we used allowed the kids to contribute in some way or another. They glued googly eyes to ghosts, hole punched hanging bats, painted candy corn, stuffed goody bags, cut Frankenstein's stitches, scoured the yard for "witch's broomsticks", and shopped for every prize, cookie, and decoration we bought. It was REALLY fun to do it together...and I let them cut, glue, color, and trace everything. There were outlines that weren't quite straight, eyes that were more than crooked, and cut-out mice that were placed in places a mouse would NEVER be, but we just went with it. They were really proud of their participation, and I certainly wouldn't have done it, had they not be as willing or able. I even think they might be up for another Halloween birthday party next year. (Although at ages 4 and 6, I'm not counting on it!)
|Tangerine pumpkins, candy corn bark, caramel apple cups, pumpkin spice puppy chow|
|Pin the face on the pumpkin AND Pumpkin bowling|
|Witch's Broom Favors|
|Candy Corn Count AND Name that pumpkin!|