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Party Planning

Planning a painting art craft party

My little girl is turning 5 in less than a week! The older she gets the more she has her own opinions of what she wants to do to celebrate. A while back she mentioned a rainbow party. I remember thinking ‘Fun! I can do that!’ Then she said she wanted to paint with all her friends, and it morphed into a painting/craft party (with the same rainbow cake as last year, per her request). Earlier this week she said she wanted a fairy party, but by then I had already stocked up on watercolor sets and paint brushes, as well as other crafting materials (and to be honest, I have no idea how to throw a fairy party or how we’d incorporate boys). Either way, I know Chloe is very much looking forward to having her friends over and having a good time!

I’ve done a lot of thinking about this event – trying to stay within a reasonable budget, keeping the amount of decorating manageable but festive, planning varied and age-appropriate projects to suit different levels of interests and abilities, and most importantly of all: keeping in mind that this party is for Chloe to enjoy.

It is all too easy to fall into the stress of making a party “perfect” and feeling the pressure to impress other people. Its happened to me before, and still does to some extent. I’ve had to remind myself that this is for Chloe. Will she like this activity? Will this be fun for her preschool friends? But ultimately, I want the parents to enjoy being at the party as well. Socializing is all well and good, but its even better if the parents can participate in the fun.

Lastly, I’ve asked myself “How much cleaning up do we really want to do after the party’s over?” I am under no illusions about what might happen while hosting a painting/craft party with little ones involved. It is risky business any way you look at it. Mainly I tried to choose “washable” options and was careful to steer clear of anything involving glitter. The husband hates to see glitter on the floor, which is hard since Chloe loves “princess-y” things and has been gifted glittery clothes and toys which often leave a trail of sparkles behind.

So, that’s that! It’s going to be the largest gathering that we’ve ever hosted at the house, even though I tried to keep the guest list down as best I could. I just hope that everyone has a good time, and that Chloe feels the love of having her family and friends here to celebrate her big day.

More details to come after the party!


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Home addition!

Big news – As of right now, we are currently moving forward with plans to add on to our house! Can you believe it? For years David and I have been discussing  ideas on how an addition would make our tiny home so much more liveable. And now I think it might finally happen!

How will it look? Well, basically our plan calls for a rectangular push out into the back yard. We’ll be losing our office space (boo!) to re-convert back to the garage, and losing our existing bathroom to make way for a hall. We’ll be putting both those rooms back within the new space, but what we’re really gaining is a large dining room (and possible small play space) and a second bathroom! What we are also not doing is making any changes to the kitchen, which is hard since it is so tiny, but it is serviceable, and we’ve decided it isn’t as high a priority to us as being able to sit at a real dining table.

That is one of the hardest parts about planning out our new space – figuring out what our priorities are. We plan on living here for a long time and raising two kids, plus we have a dog. It didn’t make sense to do just a part of it now, and hope that we’d add on again later. It is much more cost-effective to break up the house just this one time. And honestly, I’m nervous (and pregnant!). How will we cope with all the racket of construction as we continue to live in the house? How will Chloe nap (light sleeper that she is)? What about dirt, dry-wall dust and other airborne particles with a newborn baby around? Will there even be a working bathroom during my last trimester? So much to think about!

Lastly, all we can do right now is design on paper, but we all know that the way things look on paper and how they look (and feel) in real-life can be different. There are so many questions and choices. I can only hope we are making the right ones for us!

Just for the record, our humble shoe-box ranch looks nothing like Niek Geurts‘s modernist Lego house (above). While we love modern, our neighborhood association is strict about matching the current look of the structure. With my husband and daughter so into Legos right now, I thought it was a cool example of the possibilities.


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Free Holiday Gift Checklist

checklist

checklist

I am a big fan of list-making, and with the holidays coming up I thought this Holiday Gift Checklist would be an handy way to get organized. It’s a single-page printable pdf that you can use to plan out recipients and gift ideas while keeping track whether the gift has been purchased or made, wrapped, and given or shipped. Plus, in the upper right I’ve included a small at-a-glance calendar for November and December. This way you can see where you are and how much time is left for shopping, crafting and/or shipping. Hope you find it useful!

Next week: Free Snowflake Placecards

As I mentioned in my previous post, I am planning to provide a free download each Sunday from now until Christmas. It’s my way of saying thanks and giving a little back into the blogosphere this holiday. Feel free to check back next week!

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