Archive for the 'Traditions' Category

Let’s Party Mondays: Hello Campers!

Hey, it’s Monday again — let’s party! Today’s theme is Camp!

As you know by now, I am loving Camp at the moment. The morning day camp the staffers attended was a big hit and it sent me into a nostalgic frenzy. (ahhh, Camp Arrowhead, Good times…) But, my love of camp has been taken to a new level this week — the staffers are attending Nature Camp this week. That is 4 1/2 hours a day Monday through Friday. And it couldn’t have come at a better time for — EVERYONE!

Besides giving all of us a break from each other, (I’m banking on “absence makes the heart grow fonder” all around) the staffers came home with great games, crafts and were so tired they had very little fight left in them — JACKPOT!

I’m not the only one loving camp at the moment. My favorite magazines have weighed in with some great ideas as well. So, here’s a little somun-somun I put together — welcome to Camp!

Decorations

Now is the time to drag out that dusty tent you may have or borrow one or at the very least hang a simple tarp. I found a very competent video that explains how to make a tent out of a tarp. If you make a tent happen — sit back, you are golden.

If you still want to take it up a notch, I say go for the campfire. Fire and kids seem a bit dicey for me — I’m looking for theater here. I would pile a few logs together and create a faux fire — maybe some orange and yellow tissue paper. I didn’t get to try this out yet, but I was thinking of a small fan with crepe paper ribbons attached to give the illusion of flickering flames. I’m not sure if that would work — if I can make that happen you will be the first to know. (Maybe the second, I may have to explain myself to the neighbors)

Cake

I don’t want to talk about cake — let’s talk S’mores. S’mores and Camping are like Peanut Butter and Jelly, Macaroni and Cheese, Captain and Tennille (Did anyone get that last one? Sometimes, I really am just writing for myself.) So, I offer several S’more options:

Activity

My Mom saved the August issue of Family Fun magazine because it had some great camp crafts. The Totem Pole was her favorite. You have each person create a self-portrait on a paper plate using markers, natural materials and white glue. When the glue dries, tape the plates to a large stick and set the stick into the ground – wah-lah a Totem Pole. Nice work, Mom.

Game

Now, there are various iterations of tag and the staff has played quite a few of them at camp — to rave reviews I might add. Now, the Party MOMster usually shies away from tag because someone is “it”. Everyone runs away from the person that is “it” – it just feels wrong to me. But, those super smart camp counselors have teams of people being it – no one is left to be a pariah. Brilliant! I promise a sampling of the most-loved tag options from the staff by the end of the week.

I have got so much more to say including a great game that the staff and I started today. It’s drying overnight. (Oh, are you intrigued?) So, I’m calling it a night and just making my Monday deadline. We will have more Camp ideas for you tomorrow. But, feel free to pitch in a few of your own. (That whole Golden Graham thing has got me a bit down too — that Cinderella song has me all choked up)

Put Your Cards On The Table Week…

Whoa…After my niece’s stage debut, a Graduation party and Father’s Day, the Party MOMster’s got a celebration hangover. (That does not mean the same as it did in college. I did not partake in the Beer Pong game that evolved at the end of the Graduation Party. I’m just really tired, but my house does look like a Frat house at the moment.)

But, I shall press on — because I’m the Party MOMster and I’m on a crusade: squeezing every last penny out of greeting cards. Call me “Joan of Hallmark”. (A clever twist on Joan of Arc…..ok, moving on.) My pocketbook is still smarting from my Father’s Day card purchases, as I mentioned in last week’s post, Father’s Day Gift Idea. So, this week is “Put Your Cards On Table Week”. We are going to take all our old cards, throw them on the craft table and get to work.

To kick off this week, I’m actually going to highlight a project that I did a few years back. We added our second staffer and received many beautiful cards congratulating us on our bouncing baby boy. I also had a baby’s room that could use a little art. So, I created this card collage. It was a cool memento of all the well-wishers, as well as a neat art piece for the little guy’s room.


I believe this could be a great 1st Birthday Gift. But, I think if you are looking for some cool wall art for your kid’s room, sifting through some old cards is a great start. One staffer loves pink, princesses and hates to throw stuff away. We may create another cool card collage this week or something else — you will have to stay tuned…

So, you wake up on Monday thinking it’s just another ordinary day, and you find out it’s “Put Your Cards On The Table Week”. I know the sun seems a little brighter, the air has a sweetness to it and a bird has just rested on your shoulder to chirp you a tune. Share the euphoria and your card ideas with us this week!

Father’s Day Idea: Make Dad Feel Like a ROCK STAR!


There was a time when we freely expressed our passions by emblazoning them on our chests. The Party MOMster had a GO GOs baseball t-shirt with 3/4 length purple sleeves that was worn with pride. (sigh) Good times…(written wistfully) Even the staffers proudly wear their faves: Nemo, Disney Princesses, Dora.

Doesn’t Dad deserve this kind of adoration?

We have expressed our love for Dad in various ways throughout the years — fabric painted onesies, Gap PJs and ridiculously expensive catalog T-shirts. Why? Because, we can’t resist Mr Party MOMster’s face when the staff rushes him on Father’s Day liked crazed fans with T-shirts proclaiming their love. (Think the mob in Back Street Boys, I Want It That Way or the snarkier homage of Blink 182, All the Small Things )

This year, we will continue this tradition with handmade shirts using supplies (fabric markers and iron-on inkjet sheets) from our Guest of Honor Project . But, I wanted to put this out there in plenty of time for others to partake. We will be working on ours today as we enter our 11th day of rain and 14th day of summer vacation.

So, have fun and show your love, because DADs ROCK!!!!!

P.S. (Beware the Back Street Boys videos. They seem to have a hypnotic quality. I’ve listened to five of them while I posted this. “You are my fi-re. My one de-si-re….” …Must…brake it’s hold…it’s just… too… stong! )

Father’s Day Gift Idea

Well, the Party MOMster and staff are on high alert in preparation for Father’s Day. I purchased cards today and OUCH! that really adds up. We will likely be making more of our own cards in the future. Especially after the staff added their personal touch to today’s posh purchases — they are barely recognizable.

But, enough regrets — the staff and I created a nifty card keeper to keep those little slips of gold in as a Father’s Day Gift a few years back. We used a photo box bought at the craft store and covered it with pictures of Mr. Party MOMster and the staff. Mr. Party MOMster is very sentimental and couldn’t image tossing out his beloved cards, so now he has a safe place to keep them.

Now, if your staff is a bit young or heavy with the glue stick, you can also use Full Sheet Ink jet Printer Labels at an office supple store. You can just print out your pictures, cut them out and stick them right on. It looks nice and neat and the pictures are less likely to curl or pop off. I love these label sheets. We have used them on goody bags, presents and invitations.

For those of us that are a little less sentimental and want to get a bit more mileage out of our pricey bits of paper, I have started keeping a small scrap box of old cards. The staff can take bits to make other things — like cards (I should have remembered that earlier), place mats, bookmarks, art, etc.

Have any handy Father’s Day gift ideas? Please share. We love to spoil our Dad, Grandad, Poppy and Great Grandad on Father’s Day.

Ode to SimplySparkles

Hold it I feel a poem coming on ….

Today, I hit a new low.
A diaper let go of the flow.

On the road with a dipe M.I.A.,
Paper towels had to save the day.

And though I felt like a mess,
to see me no one would guess.

For my SimplySparkles earrings are so divine,
I LOOK like I have it together just fine.

As I mentioned in my post, Ode to Aqua Poppy Designs, I often feel
poetic when I feel intense joy and gratitude. Today my muse is SimplySparkles, a jewelry site on Esty for two reasons:

  1. It provided me fabulous new earrings that have given the illusion I have my act together. (The compliments I received on a recent visit to school when I was groomed and wearing clothes — not sweats, made me realize I needed to step it up a notch when it came to my appearance.)
  2. It introduced me to Esty, this online marketplace of handmade goods. It is awesome! It has so many unique and personal items. Decorations, invitations, party favors, keepsakes — I’m out of breath! And so reasonable — I’ve seen similar things in cutesy boutiques for twice the price.

While on browsing Esty, I found a kindred spirit at Oh Sew Sweet Creations. There was a stuffed letter birthday banner that I had to have and in the description it says “Every Special Day deserves a little whimsy!” RIGHT ON! Although, I might just part with it for my first giveaway which will be revealed next week. (Wait for it…)

Now, my fabulous earrings and I are going to go fold some laundry.

You got a Book in my Party. You got a Party in my Book. Two great things that go great together….

I love books, especially Children’s Books, and books can be a great theme for a Birthday Party. If you are not convinced, then here is a celebrity example. Christina Aguilera had a “Where The Wild Things Are” First Birthday Party for her son, Max, earlier this year. http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20253528,00.html

And even bigger celebrities, like yours truly, has pulled off a book party or two.

One thing I love about a party that is tied to a book is the amazing keepsake the book then becomes. The guest of honor will always have great memories tied to that book, which will be triggered every time it is taken down from the shelf.

Now, the book can become the theme as Ms. Aguilera did. Or the book works with a larger party theme, like jungle, polar or princess. It can be displayed as a decoration — maybe guests can sign the inside of the cover or leave a message. A staffer received If I Ran The Circus by Dr. Seuss at their Circus Party. Inside was a poem their clever Grandmother wrote, needless to say it is one of their favorite books.

And reading a book can be a great party activity, especially for toddlers and preschoolers. At a Safari party for preschoolers, we read Sitting In My Box by Dee Lillegard. It is a cute story about a bunch of animals that join a boy in a cardboard box. We had a cardboard box and animal puppets which we used to act out the story.

Coming soon, more book suggestions and ways to bring them to life at your party. And if you have a great book to share — please post!

PS (Did anyone get my homage to the classic Reese’s Peanut Butter commercial? Come on give it to me!)

Chair of Honor

If you are looking for a way to make someone’s Birthday a bit more out of the ordinary, decorate their chair creating the “Chair of Honor” (Can you feel the Grandness of it all — imagine trumpets blairing) Big or small — no one can resist the Chair of Honor.

This can take many forms. You can have your staff decorate the chair with pictures, paper, bows, balloon, stickers, streamers. Too much is never enough on this one.

Or for a keepsake that can be used again and again. Take a pillowcase and decorate it with fabric markers, ribbon, buttons, iron-on patches or laser printer sheets. On Birthdays, you can slip the pillowcase over the back of the honorees chair. The staff and I just finished up this one today. One side we used iron-on laser print sheets and on the other side was customized by the staff using fabric markers.


The “Chair of Honor” can become a great family tradition that can help punctuate the extraordinary nature of the day. Other ways of achieving this are eating in the dining room or anywhere out of the ordinary — picnic in the family room! I have a red plate with “You Are Special” painted on it that is only used on celebratory occassions. You can make something like this at a paint your own pottery place.

Have a great tradition to pass along? Please share!

Stay tuned to see if the staff embraces this great tradition for yours truly(Tomorrow is the big day!)


Party Tableau from My Talented Staffers

Super Foolishness (According to Me!)


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