Wild and Three

My youngest turned three in May and she proudly holds up three little fingers when anyone asks how old she is…or what her name is…or her favorite color…but I digress.

Jensen loves to wear dresses on the days when she will actually wear clothes. She dances with her full body to any music. She knows every song from Encanto and asks Alexa to play the soundtrack. She has no fear when it comes to a physical challenge. She thinks it hilarious to call everyone dude and says “what the heck?!” as animatedly as possible. Her personality is so sassy and her sense of humor has us laughing together every day.

J hasn’t had a birthday party yet, the same as many other pandemic babies. But with everything finally calming down and her being old enough to appreciate it, we decided to throw her a party.

I enjoy having people over, but party planning is not my thing. There are so many choices! What theme? What decorations? What food? What cake? Who should I invite? Which of the hundreds of Evite templates should I use? What entertainment? It is very overwhelming and I am getting anxious just writing about it a month later. The need to have an Instagramable kid’s birthday is great if you’re an influencer, but that is not me. So here’s three things that worked.

Tip #1 – Break it down

Here is a project management pro tip: break it down! Don’t look at the party as whole forest. Focus on the trees. Make one decision at a time and remember that your kid won’t remember how much money you spent, they remember how you made them feel. I like to track all the decisions in a spreadsheet so that I can fill in the budget too. You can use a Word doc too if that’s your thing.

Tip #2 – Outsource

Use Cupcake Decor and More for all your banners, cake signs and cupcake toppers. Full disclosure, Brittni, the shop owner is a very good friend and she did not charge me in exchange for shouting her out here. Regardless, her banners and toppers are super cute and I am so happy with how they turned out that I was going to link her shop anyway. She has one day processing (until she gets too popular with y’all to keep up), free shipping, and can customize any of her items to meet your party animal needs! Her attention to detail is top notch, especially with her double-sided toppers. My favorite thing about Brittni is how generous she is and she donates 5% of the item’s sale price to charity! You can check out her Etsy shop and follow her on Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, and Pinterest @cupcakedecorandmore. She is always adding more stuff, so check her out!

If it’s in your budget, order catering! Chipotle is always a party favorite. Everyone can make their own bowls or soft tacos exactly as they like them. I will usually make own appetizers (try my guacamole recipe!), but it is so much less stress to have someone else provide the main course!

Tip #3 – No gifts

My best birthday party tip is to skip the gift. Unless there is something you’ve really had your eye on, chances are your littles don’t need another toy to clutter their playroom.

Our “gift” to Jensen was a homemade ice cream cake…actually two. In her eyes, we were the best parents ever. She got to help construct and decorate and we spent quality time with her. She likes to feel helpful and involved in things and never realized that we didn’t buy her anything. We had cupcakes on the side for those who don’t like or can’t eat ice cream and I colored the frosting to match the cake topper and banner.

If you’ve felt the pressure to have an extravagant party for your pre-schooler…this is your sign to take a step back and ask yourself why you feel that way? If you can afford it and you want to do it, go for it! If you’re like me and start to panic at the thought of planning a big event (I had to call my cousin Aubrey out from California to talk me off the ledge when planning my wedding) it’s okay to keep it small and make it as easy as possible for yourself. After all, your child’s birthday should be filled with nothing but joy!

Let me know if any of these tips helped you by leaving a comment! You can always follow me on Instagram @joyandotherthingsblog…someday I will start posting regularly again.

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