28 July 2011

Twenty-One Days Remain: The Birthday Planner

Three weeks. Egads!

I sent out invitations to the Birthday Party last week. I was worried that they would get hung up somewhere in the great USPS, but thankfully I have confirmations that they've made it to most. I ordered post cards from Mixbook.com using a Groupon. I spent $15 for $50 worth of product with the Groupon, and my total bill for 35 invitations and a hardcover photo book was about $25. I spent $40 total, plus $8 for postage from the Post Office (not all used...); not too bad considering how expensive photobooks can be. Note that $20 alone was for shipping...

So what do these professionally printed invitations look like? Totally a-freakin-dorable.

I blurred out our residential information,
but hopefully you can imagine what it would have looked like...

I really enjoyed using Mixbook.com. The site was really easy to use and many options for grabbing photos to use, including pulling them from FaceBook & Picasa (where all of mine came from...). All of the photos in the book are the ones featured in my other photoblog, Life: by Nikola (you can go check them out!)

Here are some of my thoughts on using the custom print invitations...

... the invitations look great!
... mailing postcards is like getting a 40% discount on postage!
... customized with theme for party and photos of Niko!
... no writing! (except addresses...)
... high quality product

... pricey considering a pack of plain-jane invites can go for as little as $0.50 per pack of 8
... my address and phone number are available for postal workers to peruse on each invite
... I was nervous about them being legit enough to send as postcards (the cards are sold with envelopes... they were the 4x6 flats)
... I look like a chach for taking his First Birthday so seriously.

For real though, the invites look great, I've gotten compliments, and I think it's a really neat way to showcase how your little one has grown. Plus it's a cute keepsake (I have invitations from his Baby Shower, Christening, Christmas Card, etc., all in a scrapbook for him). I would recommend doing something like this if you have a few $$ to spare and the patience to put it together.

In the next edition of party planning: Choosing the Theme!

Birthday Party Tips? Share in the comments or on the FaceBook.
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25 July 2011

Birthday Party Planning: When, Where, with Whom...

(You may have noticed I am bad at counting sometimes. If not, nevermind.)

Thus continues the countdown to Niko's First Birthday! Twenty four days to go...

Some preliminary thoughts on Birthday Party Planning and some rough ideas of what we're doing lie ahead.

The only birthday parties I have had a hand in planning, really, were my own, and frankly, my mom did all of the hard stuff. I've had some dinner parties for a few friends and managed to host everyone at my house for Niko's Christening last October, but this "Birthday Party" thing is uncharted territory.

First Birthdays, from what I gather, can be kind of... eh... to plan a party for. I saw a poll on BabyCenter. Did you know that more than 10% of families spend over $500 on First Birthday Parties? What?! My budget is basically whatever it costs for food (which given my family, will be a lot). I'm fairly certain we'll be well under $200.

I've decided to have the party at my house. PROS: No crazy charges for renting space; No fighting off at a First-Come-First-Serve park pavilion; Kitchen & Grill readily available, not to mention Refrigerator... CONS: Limited space; Only on-street parking; Only one bathroom downstairs. I think this is the best decision.

I've decided to have the party on a Sunday in the early afternoon. PROS: Weekend; People may eat a little before coming; People won't have anywhere to hurry off to. CONS: Monday follows Sunday... Both of my parents work Saturday, so it was definitely out. Sunday just seems like a much better day to have a family birthday party - more convenient, more of a "family day," less rushed for my family to make it to my mid-suburbia dwelling that is 15 minutes away from any freeway.

I have invited my whole family. My mom's brothers. Their kids, ie. my cousins. My dad's zillion brothers (and one sister!). All of their kids, ie. my cousins. My brother's girlfriend. Some of my besties. I have handed out 30 of my 35 invitations. I don't think anyone's going to miss this party, and I am expected 50+ guests, at least 4 of which are under 2 years old, a few more under 5. Good times. I know that it is suggested that First Birthday parties be small, intimate gatherings, but since Niko has proven time and again to be the champ of being passed around, that piece of advice is being foregone, and we're opting for a bash!

Stay tuned in a few days for invites, decorations, the menu, and more! Thanks for reading!

What are you doing, or did you do, for your child's First Birthday? Tell me about it! Share in the comments or on the FaceBook.
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22 July 2011

The Countdown has Begun... T -27D

I meant to start the countdown like... a few days ago, but... eh.

The countdown to Niko's first birthday is officially upon us.

Twenty seven little days remain. (Thirty until his party...)

It's been an amazing year that I've been overjoyed in sharing with this developing nymph-Da-Sein. He's taken strides into the world of developed consciousness; he is becoming evermore aware.

I don't think I could have asked for a more perfect baby - he's adorable (no one ever stops gushing over him), he's smart (he has mastered a few signs and shows basic comprehension in many an area), he's funny (he's a Leo; of course he's a clown!), and he's loving (he hugs and kisses, and they are the best hugs and kisses ever).

Over the next 24 days, I'm going to share some of my party planning strategums, some memories, and lots of pictures! Here's your fair warning!

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21 July 2011
12 July 2011

Parenting Philosophy? Eh...

Welcome to the July Carnival of Natural Parenting: Parenting Philosophy
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have shared their parenting practices and how they fit in with their parenting purpose. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

One might think that I, the philosopher, the dreamer, the planner, would have a steadfast, rigourously outlined, and adhered-to parenting philosophy. Here's the truth - I do not.

I did not plan on becoming a parent so early (but geez, I'm almost 27... when would have been a better time?) and so lonesomely. I did not have a plan in place for how to make this work, despite having read a zillion (that is an accurate and precise number, mind you) books and magazine articles about parenting do's and don't's. I still don't have a set path that I'm taking. We're winging it, full-on.

If I had to describe my parenting philosophy in one word, I would have to name "Flexibility" as that one word.

08 July 2011

The Selectivity of the Media Circus

Casey Anthony was read her verdict this week and sentenced. The question remains as to whether or not her child's demise was of her fault and intention or whether her only fault is providing inaccurate and false information to authorities who spent frantic, long days and weeks searching for her poor, missing, dead child.

The Casey Anthony Case has been a media circus. I would venture to say that if you are unfamiliar with the case, or have not even heard a word of it, you must be living under a big rock that doesn't even have dial-up. The country, and those paying attention to us elsewhere, have been gripped by this story. It is heart-wrenching and a testament the gut-twisting, disgustingly dark psyche that inhabits a seemingly increasing number of people.
06 July 2011

Wordless Wednesdays: A Little Bit of Fourth

"I want to goooooooooooooo!"

"You know I can see you, right?"

Baby's First Popsicle...

Baby's First Fireworks!

What did you do for Independence Day? Share with me! Link up in the comments or on the FaceBook.
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