Ann blogs at Mundane Magic where where she discusses family technology, parenting, family travel and daily madness. She is continually looking for the magic to be found in the little moments of family life. She also writes for The Savvy Source as the Atlanta City Editor.
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Plan a Child's Birthday Party with Pinterest
Pinterest has become the topic of so many conversations lately, and yet I am constantly asked, "What is it's purpose? Isn't it just a waste of time?"
I smile knowingly because Pinterest actually can make your life more productive. For example, I use Pinterest to gather ideas and preplan events. Last July I used it to plan my youngest daughter's 7th owl-themed birthday party. Grace is a unique personality and she is very creative. It seemed like this party needed to have some original touches to match. Since I have older kids I know that my days of planning fun parties are limited. Eventually your kids prefer a concert outing to a theme party and you have to face that reality!
Once the owl theme and date was decided I began to search for ideas which would match. The most obvious search was "owl party", but since our party would be outdoors I also searched for games and outdoor activities which could be easily matched to the theme. I found these invitations by Anj at Snowy Bliss and fell in love with them.
I initially contemplated making them myself since I am a graphic designer by trade, but the custom ones were so reasonable in Anj's shop on Etsy (Only $9 for the design with my information, which I printed on my own computer that very afternoon.) that I decided to order them. That left me to plan — or 'pin'— the rest of the party.
I fell in love with the tissue paper flowers I saw on in this pin. I remembered learning to make them as a child, but couldn't recall the exact details. Pinterest to the rescue! By following the instructions on Leslie Ann's blog I was able to add the exact supplies to my list (without waste) and eliminate the trial and error part. She has fantastic step-by-step instructions for this project.
I really liked the way the food was displayed on this table setting out of tree stumps. I used this picture from Baby Lifestyles to convince my father-in-law to help me create a version of them for Grace's birthday party. He was even willing to make the stump with holes drilled into it to hold cake pops.
The cake I choose was a pull apart cupcake style with lots of owl details. It was originally pinned fron Disney's Family Fun website. The mini cupcakes were so adorable, so I had them made also. (more below on that adventure)
DECIDE WHAT IS REALISTIC
One of the hardest decisions was narrowing my "to do" list based upon the time and budget which had been decided upon. I originally saw owl beanbags which would have been adorable take-homes. With many family deadlines in the weeks prior to the party, it was obvious that it was too late to complete the crafty project. For someone who already has those materials and sewing machine at hand, the project may have been do-able.
The cupcakes were quite an endeavor in creativity. I consulted with several bake shops and cupcake bakers, but Publix bakery became my choice once it became clear that the decorating team there was willing to experiment and try new things without up charging me for every choice. In fact, the decorators were so excited about the challenge that they went though the whole store by my side looking for the perfect match of candies, cookies, and pretzels to match the photo I brought them. Having the photo printed and ready to leave with them was critical to the conversation and helped me eleviate some of the anxiousness about the final product.
I also used photo prints to help my father-in-law visualize what I needed. He's a master craftsman in the woodshop, but I doubt he's ever worried about how cake pops would be displayed. In the end he used a piece of apple wood he had been curing for the project and carefully created my pinned ideas. I used regular ones to hold baskets of acorns and platters of goodies like these acorns.
EXECUTE THE FUN
I got plenty of pictures that day, but amid all the party fun and prep I forgot to take one from afar to show the final success...but really, you can take one look at the kids and see that the day went great. Grace had her owl party and I had questions about where I got all my good ideas. I simply smiled and was thankful for Pinterest.
After the party was over, I added more detail to the pinboard's description. Originally it said, "Grace's 7th Birthday" and as a subtitle I added "Owl themed birthday party, girl's birthday party ideas, summer birthday party" to aid in other's searches. It's my hope that these ideas help someone else gather their ideas for a fun owl party. There is something beautiful about a gathering which has been thoughtfully planned. Each detail in place.