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I'm Nadine. Thanks for stopping by. The floors are creaky, the kids are loud, but the door's always open and the coffee's always on.

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A Tired Mama's Guide To Party Planning

A Tired Mama's Guide To Party Planning


Gilbert’s second birthday — and subsequent party — is in less than two weeks.

We have very little planned.

Ursula suggested two themes for his big day: an “Ursula party” or “Cookie Monster and Winnie-the-Pooh.”

The first option is hilarious in a dark-indie-film kinda way. “When I was a kid, my parents threw me an Ursula-themed birthday party. I was not the favourite.”

The second option is better, obviously. Although I’m hesitant to go all out on the branding. It’s like the marketers won.

HOWEVER. When Paperless Post asked me to try out their invites, and I saw a Cookie Monster option, I was like, “That’ll do, pig.” (Anyone else quote Babe all the time? Just me?)

Gibby 2 envelope.png
Address has been changed because our kid’s an introvert and does NOT want y’all to crash the party.

Address has been changed because our kid’s an introvert and does NOT want y’all to crash the party.

(Gilbert LOVES Cookie Monster. Possibly more than he loves cookies. Which is A LOT.)

For previous parties, we created our own invites, emailed out to family. (We haven’t extended invitations to friends yet, as family fills the living room and our kids are still a little too young to have an inner circle. School is about to change that significantly.)

Here’s a look at a couple. Matthew created the Teddy Bear Picnic one. Obviously.

Here’s my general approach to parties:

  1. Pick a (simple) theme.

  2. Keep decor simple, mostly with a single focal point, like a wall or mantle.

  3. Add fresh flowers.

  4. Keep food kid-friendly. Provide coffee & sparkling wine for adults.

  5. Use a cake as a centrepiece.

So for Gilbert’s birthday, we’ll probably have a cookie platter. Maybe a blueberry face? Somehow tie in some beloved characters and bright colours. Feed kids too much sugar. And pray for park weather.

As for those invites, the Paperless Post experience has been pretty seamless and user-friendly. All of our RSVPs and messages were gathered in one place — anyone else lose emails? — and all of the info about the day is super-accessible to our guests.

(Warning: There are SO MANY gorgeous invitation options — and then there are customization options on top of those. Decision-making paralysis is a real thing. So maybe have an idea of what you’re looking for before you begin. Or keep your evening totally open and just let yourself go down that rabbit hole of endless possibilities.)

The ONLY thing I find stressful about invitation websites — and this would apply to any digital platform, not specifically Paperless Post — is that it’s easy to get your RSVP numbers a little messed up when inviting children (who don’t have email addresses) and both parents of said children. Both mom and dad might respond that they’re bringing four people with them, magically doubling your numbers. When I send out an email, often one parent responds, but on behalf of both. When I send out an e-vite, however, there isn’t a way to loop in your spouse the way a reply-all or cc’d email does.

But that’s a minor complaint. Because I know how many kids my brothers have.

The Cookie Monster invitation still won me over. And I’ll probably be using Paperless Post again. And again. (Beware: the site will make you want to plan so many parties. Cocktails! BBQ! Super Bowl! Back to School!)

I guess I should go plan that party now, huh?

Disclaimer: Paperless Post approached me to write a review in exchange for free invitations. All opinions are my own.

P.S. Adorable photo of very sticky toddler is by Benny and the Becks Photography. Hire them.

Four Years Old!

Four Years Old!