Posts Tagged ‘Birthday party’

I’m trying to plan an awesome birthday party for my soon-to-be 3-year-old. Some of my friends tell me their almost-3-year-olds have given then all of the details of where they want their party to be, and what kind of theme. Lil’ J was like that before her third birthday. She wanted a Rapunzel-themed party at the bouncy place. Perfect!

My little guy isn’t quite as specific. For the longest time our conversation went like this:

Me: Do you want dinosaurs or choo choos?
Son: Choo Choos.
Me: Are you sure? Do you want choo choos or dinosaurs?
Son: Dinosaurs.
Me: Dinosaurs or choo choos?
Son: Ummm, choo choos.

Finally one day I was successful and got him to say something OTHER than the last thing I said and it was dinosaurs that won! Probably a good thing because last year,we did a train party. Oh my goodness, I’m terrible because I STILL haven’t shared all of the pictures and video, but maybe I’ll make it a goal to do that before his next birthday.

I get really excited when it comes to planning birthday parties, especially when my kid currently has something they’re really into and we can come up with a fun party theme.

I know what you’re thinking the PBS Show Dinosaur Train would be the perfect theme! But no, my son is obsessed with actual freight trains and scary dinosaurs. Not cartoon Thomas or colorful talking dinosaurs.

If we were to do a Dinosaur train party it would have to look something like this:

Realistic Dinosaur Train

He hasn’t seen Jurassic World (exactly) but he has seen the last 3 minutes of the two big dinosaurs duking it out at the end of the movie. He watches it on YouTube over and over. If I try to bring up any kind of happy, friendly singing/dancing dino on YouTube Kids, he wants nothing to do with it.

It’s almost the same with Thomas. He has no problem playing with Thomas trains, or watching videos of other people playing with Thomas trains. But he doesn’t like the show. It’s like he can’t understand why a train is talking and not driving around.

He’d much rather me queue up a 45 minutes of freight train home videos. He likes actual trains and actual dinosaurs.

So right now I’m thinking making just getting Jurassic World party decorations, maybe printing off a few pictures of trains, hosting it at one of his favorite places to play and call it a day. It’s really a miracle I’m even thinking about it this early. Normally I like to procrastinate.

Have you done a dino-themed party before? Any tips for making one with realistic dinosaurs without the potential terror?

I’ve mentioned before how much I was dreading turning 30. Well, I found the perfect way to ring in a new decade, with a new vision board! Start Your 30’s The Right Way and learn how to host a vision board party!

Vision Boards: How to host a vision board party and a tutorial for how to make a vision board to help all of your dreams come true! What a great way to ring in a 30th birthday!

A vision board (also known as a dream board) is a tool used to help you achieve your goals by having them displayed in front of you daily.

Vision Board Party

I made my first one years ago, in my early 20s. My husband and I printed out goals of ours: To buy a house, pay off our car, him to finish college and start a new job, have two kids, get a new computer, a new bed, living room furniture etc etc:

Vision Boards: How to host a vision board party and a tutorial for how to make a vision board to help all of your dreams come true! What a great way to ring in a 30th birthday!

We had the board set on our dresser to look at every day. The idea is the more you see and visualize your goals, the more likely they are to become a reality because you’re focused on them more often.

Our first dream board is basically complete. Everything except the Lexus came to fruition. So I decided I’d kickoff my 30s with a new vision board and making some memories with friends and loved ones.

Vision Boards: How to host a vision board party and how to make a vision board. What a great way to ring in a 30th birthday!

I asked my mom if we could use her house so I could have a night out without the kiddos, and she went ALL out with the party planning: Balloons, decor, food, everything! I just planned to bring a few magazines and some glue! So remember this lady right here is responsible as you look at all of these photos! haha.

Vision Boards: How to host a vision board party and a tutorial for how to make a vision board to help all of your dreams come true! What a great way to ring in a 30th birthday!

So in this post I’ll explain how to plan a vision board party and how to make a vision board.

How to host a vision board party:

Make a guest list

Vision Boards: How to host a vision board party and how to make a vision board. What a great way to ring in a 30th birthday!

It’s a good idea to keep the group relatively small. You’re going to be working on piecing together your dreams and you’ll want to make sure you’re with people you’re close enough to feel comfortable sharing that with. Whether it’s just family members, your spouse, or your closest friends.

Plan some snacks

Vision Boards: How to host a vision board party and a tutorial for how to make a vision board to help all of your dreams come true! What a great way to ring in a 30th birthday!

It can take a while to piece together a work of art from the heart and you’ll want some brain fuel. We ordered some catered food from our local grocer and had more than enough food to last us through the evening (That went close to 5 hours). We had sparkling cider in champagne glasses, which I thought was a nice touch.

Gather supplies

Vision Boards: How to host a vision board party and a tutorial for how to make a vision board to help all of your dreams come true! What a great way to ring in a 30th birthday!

Of course you’ll want to remember foam boards, scissors, glue sticks, and lots and lots of magazines. I went to Savers and got magazines for $.29 each (buy 4 get 1 free). You can also ask your guests to bring magazines to share. Also consider having a vision board example out on a display for people to look at to grasp the concept. I forgot my first one at home but I brought it up on an iPad and had my sister’s on display.

Tips for making a vision board and how to host a vision board party. Celebrating my 30th Birthday with a vision board party!

Set up a printing station

Vision Boards: How to host a vision board party and a tutorial for how to make a vision board to help all of your dreams come true! What a great way to ring in a 30th birthday!

Not all of our dreams are printed in that magazine we’re thumbing through. Have a laptop or tablet setup for guests to browse and print from. You may also want to stock up on an extra ink cartridge, just to be safe!

Now that you have everything you need for an awesome vision board party.

Let’s talk about how to make a vision board!

Vision Boards: How to host a vision board party and a tutorial for how to make a vision board to help all of your dreams come true! What a great way to ring in a 30th birthday!

You’ll want to list out your goals. Either mentally, or written down someplace, then search for images that speak to these for you. These are your big items. Then flip through the magazines and find words, images, quotes, whatever, that go along, or add on to your goals.

Line up all of your images the way you want them to be. Keep in mind that we naturally read from left to right. So your eye will most likely be drawn to the top left corner most often. Put some of your biggest dreams there!

My first one had everything randomly attached all over, but this time I tried to make room for lots of dreams and thoughts so I lined quite a bit up to fit it all in. It’s worth noting that if you overlap too much some of your images may get lost.

A lot of people have asked me what the timeframe should be for this board. I say whatever you want! Think both short-term, and long-term. My first board I thought would take a lifetime to complete, but we achieved most of it in under a decade. My new board is focused specifically on my 30s.

Easy enough right? The first time our board was very specific with the “things/items” we wanted. Now it’s more of experiences I want and skills I’d like to develop.

I’ll just show it to you!

Vision Boards: How to host a vision board party and a tutorial for how to make a vision board to help all of your dreams come true! What a great way to ring in a 30th birthday!

I love these because they’re a way to keep track of dreams you’ve had and see all that you’ve accomplished. Lil’ J even made her own vision board and I’m so proud of her! The party is a great way to make some fun memories, but the board is a great keepsake in and of itself, even if you just take a picture of it before you begin to work on another.

Have you ever made a vision board? What would be on it?

How to throw a vision board party

She Says: I’ve been too busy with work to plan this party for this weekend. I’m just going to order a cake from the grocery store and call it a day.
He says: That’s cool.
She says: I wish they had regular trains and not just Thomas but whatever.
He says: Yea, that’s fine, he thinks everything is a train anyway.First birthday party

She says: What flavor should I get?
He says: What are the options?
She says: Chocolate, white, marble, yellow, strawberry or half chocolate half white.
He says: What’s his favorite?
She says: I’m not sure, chocolate or vanilla… I’ll get half chocolate half white.
He says: Cool, just like him.

I didn’t want to… But I laughed.

I’ve been in denial long enough. My son is turning ONE. I feel like I just had him a few months ago, not 11 months ago. It seems like he just started crawling, and now he’s trying to walk. I just snapped a picture of his first tooth, and now he has eight. Time has flown by much too fast, and it’s time I accept it.

Big T is probably my last baby. And I LOVE babies. Have I mentioned that? This stage he’s in right now… The happy, non-moody; Crawling, not running; Compliant, non-picky-eating; Babbly, not talking my ear off and constantly asking “why?” stage. He is so much fun and I just never want this to end.

diy Hot air balloon kidSince this will probably be the last first birthday party I throw, I’ve decided to plan ahead and try to put together something I’ll be proud of. That’s right. Me. He won’t remember any of this. But I will. I’ve decided to do party theme based on the Dr. Seuss book “Oh the Places You’ll Go.” I love that book, and it has such a great message for both my kids, especially for my son on his first birthday.


I don’t have everything set in stone yet, but I know we’re having it at my place, and that I want to have a little photobooth. My bright blue wall will come in handy as a sky backdrop. I bought a basket off craigslist for $5 that works as a perfect little kid hot air balloon basket. I tested out the area yesterday photographing pictures for his birthday card. Choosing a favorite was much harder than it should have been.diy-hot-air-balloon-partyI’ve decided I’ll use extra photographs and outtakes as decorations for his party.

I’m also pinning other party ideas like crazy… A tiny ball pit/pool area, maybe a popup tunnel, and lots and lots of snacks. I love the cute pastel rainbow theme and colors of the book, and luckily Easter candies and decorations use the same kind of colors, so hopefully finding party items won’t be too hard.

rainbow cake in a jarjello boat

I’d also like to tackle at least one Pinteresty food project. I’m thinking either these jello boats, which look awesome, or this rainbow cake in baby food jars. I’ve been saving baby food jars just in case, but I’m thinking of filling them with cotton candy or Hersey’s kisses as a party favor instead. Only because cupcakes and other finger foods won’t require forks, and I’m wondering if adults will find them small. Then again, cupcakes are small too so never mind.

Other ideas on the menu: Pigs in a blanket, fruit kabobs, chocolate covered pretzels, popcorn, marshmallow pops,  goldfish. Basically a lot of sweets and junk food.

Aside from decorations and food, I’m chewing on an idea for a time-capsule like project for his birthday. Maybe a tradition I start for him. Perhaps I’ll have party guests give him a piece of advice on video, or mention a memory from the year 2013, or both. I’m workin’ on that.

If you’ve had party successes with decor, food, entertainment, whatever, please share! I want this to be a non-fail.

So, you’re the princess of procrastination and you want to throw a birthday party? Oh, you want it to be tomorrow? Well, don’t worry because the queen of procrastination is here to help. I did it and you can too.

In order to pull this off your going to need money (this isn’t a party for $50 or less) and helpful friends. Lucky for me I have both. A friend of mine offered to make a photo banner for Lil’ J’s party and it was my favorite detail of the day!The first thing you need to do is grab a calendar. Identify the nearest holiday. That there is going to be your theme. Now if you happen to have the unfortunate luck of a birthday near Labor Day or a boy who’s not into a Valentines themed party, default to a beach/hula party. Just trust me on this one. Ours is obviously the 4th of July so stars and stripes it is.

Secondly, one word: Evites. It’s greener, and perfect with your in a pinch. I wanted a little more pizazz for my party so I looked at a few etsy designs for inspiration to make my own. I normally would consider buying the design but since I needed it LAST WEEK the turnaround times didn’t work for me.

Third, find a friend who is throwing a party the same day. Tell them that was the same time/place/theme you were thinking and bum off their party. I wish I was kidding.

Hopefully your kid has a summer birthday and you can easily host it at a pool or park. If think indoor, and easy. Whether its your house, a bounce house play land, or modern day Chuck-E Cheese (I don’t know why but those seem old school to me).

Scour Pinterest. Look for ideas involving your party theme. No, you aren’t going to be able to pull off half of these things, you waited too long. But find ONE easy thing you can pull off in about 15 minutes and do that. That’ll be your ticket to looking like you spent a long time planning this party.

4th of July food ideas via Pinterest via I’mSimplyMe

For me, I made a flag fruit kabob with marshmallows, strawberries and blueberries. These things got snatched up like hot cakes and every kept raving about how awesome I was for making them and asking “how do you have the time?!” Boy did I have them fooled!Next, hit up the Dollar Tree and to crazy getting all of your decor. Everything is a dollar do you don’t have to feel bad. Don’t forget to pick up your goody bag supplies.

Then, call in the catering. I called the local deli and when they informed me they needed 24-hours notice I told them my daughter’s birthday party was TODAY in my most desperate voice. They obliged. Score.

Next, as your running out the door to the party yourself, pick up some cupcakes and a personalized cake at your local bakery (they can personalize it while you wait). Homemade stuff is so overrated.

Show up to the party, set the food out and let the people entertain themselves at the pool, playground, or fun place your party is hosted.

Hopefully it works out as well for you as it did for me. A 4th of July theme was my “party theme lifeline” I thought I’d save for a year where I totally procrastinated and… I’ve now used it up on year two SO… Hopefully I’ll be better at least the next few years.

I wanted to do a school bus theme and rent a tumblebus but the only one I could find wasn’t available until way after her birthday and it was $200/hour. I thought I’d rather spend that kind of money once she’s old enough to remember. By the time I decided this it was end of June and I had a week to throw a 4th of July part or else it would be a 4th of July party AFTER the 4th and I’m not that bad.

All of Lil’ J’s friends showed up and despite the cloudy and windy weather for the first half of the party, everyone still had fun.

Lil’ J had a blast swimming with her daddy. And there was plenty of food and decorations. My ONLY regret was that I myself didn’t get to play with her as much as I would have wanted. I didn’t realize the pool closed at 7. That was just when everyone was leaving and I was thinking “ok now I’ll go swim with her.” Then they blew the whistles and it was time to go. Despite so much being taken care of, I still felt the need to play hostess and I probably played with my kiddo the least.

Not to say she didn’t have fun. At one point she ran up to me, gave me a big hug and said “Thank you mommy! Thank you mommy!” I got a lot of photos, and helped her drink all the juice and eat all the cake she wanted.

Good thing is her actual birthday is tomorrow (ok now it’s today), so I’ll have a chance to make up for it.

We are in Utah this whole week for a family reunion (sans husband, so pregnancy is a definite NO this month). I’m excited for her to play with her extended family she rarely gets to see. Including one of her aunts who flew in from Atlanta for EFY this week. Family events like these were fun as a kid then got less entertaining the older I got. Now that I have my own kid to bring, it’s fun again.

Tomorrow (ok so technically now since I’m still awake) is her big day! I won’t be sad. I can’t be sad.

Happy birthday baby girl. I promise next year I’ll get a head start on your party planning!

Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget


I'm a part-time journalist, full-time wife and mother striving to make the world a better place and inspiring others to do the same. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day.

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