Real Parties: Tips & Tricks from everyday Mums 1


Welcome to the first in the Frog Goose and Bear Real Parties series where we’ll be taking the ‘daunting’ out of at-home parties by interviewing fellow everyday Mums for their party planning tips and tricks.  The first cab off the rank is my friend Jane who lives in Hungary (how cool is that?!) and blogs at Mama Pea Pod.  Jane is Mum to two girls aged 4 and almost 7.  I have been following Jane’s blog for years and she’s a creative, party loving Mum who always inspires!

Jane – Mama Pea Pod

How far in advance do you start planning a party?

This will sound crazy, but I usually start thinking about them at least 6 months in advance! That’s because it is difficult for us to get many party supplies here in Hungary, so I have to order items through Amazon and often have to have them delivered to a friend or family member (since Amazon is usually not able to send them here), and then wait until they visit and bring them to us. This takes months of planning ahead to be sure I’ll have them in time for birthdays. Then I keep an eye out for anything I spot around town that might fit our theme and pick things up when I see them, and start collecting cool theme ideas on Pinterest. (Right now my nearly 7 year old has not made a final decision on the theme for her birthday coming up in 2 months and it’s really stressing me out because I need to place my orders now!)

mamapeapod1

What are your top 5 party planning tips?

1. Lists! I keep a notebook just for party planning and have a separate page each to plan for food/drink, games/activities, guest list/invitations, goody bags, decorations, shopping list, things to make, thank you notes, etc. so as not to forget anything.

2. Classic party games are always fun and we always include at least a couple – pass the parcel, musical statues, egg-and-spoon races, etc.

3. If you have prizes, make sure everyone wins one by the end of the party, especially for little kids. I always gauge a party’s success by the amount of tears shed – no tears = a successful party!

4. Plan some unstructured play time (preferably outside – even better if you can hold the entire party outdoors!) into the schedule as well as the organised games. For younger children (up to 4-5 years of age), play ‘stations’ set up that kids can wander freely among are better than organised games.

5. Send kids home with a fun goody bag – if they leave happy, they remember the party as a great time!

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Out of all of the parties you’ve planned, which one was your favourite and why?

Oh gosh, that’s hard to choose! Our Mermaid Party (for my daughter’s 5th birthday) was lots of fun and laughs, and we had great fun with the games in particular! Our most recent party, a Dinosaur Party (for my other daughter’s 4th birthday), was really easy to prepare and run and the kids loved it. And one of our earliest parties, a Rainbow Party (for my elder daughter’s 3rd birthday), was so fun to plan and so pretty because it was so colourful!

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Where do you draw your party inspiration from?

I collect pins on my Parties board on Pinterest throughout the year on various themes that look fun. My favourite party blog, of course, is FGB! But really my kids pick their themes from their own imaginations and then I use those as my inspiration source, creating or seeking out food and activities, etc. that fit with that theme and that I know they’ll appreciate. So really my kids are my main inspiration.

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What is the next party that you are planning at your house?

Well, it’s looking like it will be some kind of science fairy party – whatever that might be! – for my daughter’s 7th in June. She likes to challenge my creativity, I think!

Thanks so much for being a part of this series Jane!

You can find more pictures of Jane’s parties here on her blog. She also ran a wonderful series on her blog entitledABC’s of Kids Party Ideas which showcased lots of different party themes from DIY party bloggers all over the world which you might be interested in if you are having trouble coming up with a theme.  Another thing that Jane does that I think is just gorgeous is that she interviews her kids each year on their birthday to capture what their thoughts on life at each age. As well as her blog, you can also find Jane on facebook, twitter pinterestinstagram .

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Every fortnight on a Friday morning I’ll be asking a different party loving Mum the same five questions and sharing their party pics.  In the alternate weeks I’ll be sharing photos and details from parties that I’ve been involved in recently. If you’d like to share your party tips & tricks and be interviewed as part of this series, I’d love to hear from you too!

I also know that lots of you out there have some awesome diy party ideas yourselves so, as a way of continuing to inspire each other, we’ve started posting DIY party pics on facebook and instagram under the hashtag #diypartyfun.  You are welcome to re-tag older party pics on instagram or to post pics to my facebook wall and if you are not on either of those platforms and you’d still like to be involved, you can email me your diy party pics if you like.  Every Monday morning, here on the blog, I’ll be posting my favourite pics that you (my lovely readers) have shared!

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A new series: Real Parties from everyday Mums

It may not come as a surprise to you that I love parties.

There are so many perfectly styled and super expensive parties out there in blog land and they do look fantastic, but sometimes they can feel very intimidating and ‘out-of-one’s league’.  Some of them are not even real parties, but staged photo shoots.  My personal passion is to encourage and inspire fellow parents and share how an awesome ‘at-home’ party is totally manageable.  Obviously we don’t all have the time, interest or space to have our own DIY parties at home (and that’s totally fine!) To be honest, we all know that all our kids need is to feel loved and special on their birthday and they certainly don’t need a party every year, but for those who are keen, and maybe feeling a little overwhelmed, read on…

I’m starting a new party series here on the blog, where I’ll be interviewing some fellow everyday party loving Mums who have hosted some awesome parties!  They’ll be sharing their tips and tricks to help take the scariness out of hosting your own party and perhaps be a bit of a resource as well. I’ll be sharing these interviews with you every fortnight on a Friday morning here on the blog. I hope you enjoy the series! There are some fantastic interviewees lined up – you’re going to love it!

A party in it’s entirety can look very overwhelming but, if you look closely, often each individual thing is actually quite manageable and with a few tips and tricks up your sleeve, you’ll be hosting awesome parties in no time!

I’ve been involved in quite a few parties recently that I haven’t had a chance to share with you here on the blog so, over the next little while, I’ll be sharing them with you over the coming weeks as well.

I’m getting closer and closer to my dream of being a party planner and as a way of dipping my toes in, I have started helping friends out with their parties on a more professional basis. I can’t tell you how exciting this has been for me.  I still feel like I’m learning and growing in this area, but I do know that it’s nice to follow one’s passion and to be doing something that you love.

Kidspot recently asked me to write a post on DIY parties and the brief was to share 21 shortcuts, tips and ideas to save busy Mums time, money and stress, so while you are waiting for the first interview next week, you can read all of my tips and tricks over here on Kidspot.

If you’ve got photos of a party that you’ve hosted or you’ve got some tips you’d like to share and would like to be interviewed, do feel free to send me an email.  I’d love to hear from you!

Also, for a bit of fun, for those who are on instagram, I thought it might be fun to create a hashtag to collate all of the photos of our real and awesome diy parties, putting them all in the one spot so that we can inspire each other. I’ll check them out each week and post my faves on my own instagram feed (and possibly on the blog). I was thinking #diypartyfun as it hasn’t been taken yet. What do you think?  I’ve tagged a few of my pics on instragram to get the ball rolling.

Do you have a party coming up in your house?  What are your plans so far?

The photos in this post are from Frog’s ‘Fancy Nancy’ themed birthday party.

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