My Secrets for a Successful 3-Year Old’s Birthday Party

My bebes Lilia and Grayson turned 3 years old this weekend and there were a few moments of genius regarding the planning (and the usual crazy stuff that wasn’t as genius) that I wanted to share.
(1) The game plan: Lots of things to do. Good food to meet every allergy, age and appetite requirement. Games and Snacks 10-11. Pizza assortment delivered and eaten 11-11:30. Cupcakes 11:30-11:45. More play time 11:45-12-ish. Then…naps!
(2) Because I actually wanted to talk to some of the parents we set up the following in the backyard so the kids, ages ranging from 4 months to 4 years, could play at their own pace: kiddie pool; jumpy castle; bubble machine; crayons and markers set out on a huge piece of paper; face painting (which I did–whiskers and a nose, nothing fancy); jungle gym; a dress-up assortment; fruit salad; juice boxes; mini muffins; and cheerios mix.
(3) We did the party from 10-12 to beat the heat and get kids at their best hours of the day + give the families the rest of the day to do whatever needed to be done.
(4) Cupcakes. I make great ones, but I don’t make great frosting. So, I made all 30 cupcakes from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook (One Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes) and ordered the frosting in bulk from a local baker. Divine. Then I topped them with every character you can imagine so each kid got something they liked. Plus cupcakes are great–no cutting, waiting or plates.
(5) Presents. Tough when kids are three and not fully sharing or understanding the idea of presents and manners. So we opened them later that evening (post-nap) and photographed each one to send along with the thank you cards to the respective parent/kids. The parents didn’t mind skipping the insane, “no, that’s a gift, honey.” and it taught my kids to have a bit of patience.

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The opinions expressed by the Bébé au Lait Bloggers and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of Bebe au Lait or any employee thereof. Bébé au Lait is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the Bébé au Lait Bloggers.

Breast Cancer Awareness

I have clients who are survivors of breast cancer and one of them recently mentioned to me something I’d never heard of before, Inflammatory Breast Cancer. It is often mis-diagnosed and cannot be detected during a mammogram. So, mom-to-mom, here’s a video (click on the dark red link above) from the newscast showing and explaining the symptoms since early detection and treatment is the best course of action.

The opinions expressed by the Bébé au Lait Bloggers and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of Bebe au Lait or any employee thereof. Bébé au Lait is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the Bébé au Lait Bloggers.

Two Hour Vacations, aka the Staycation

It’s a fun new word, the “staycation”. Meaning, gas is ridiculously expensive and so is everything else right now because of it, so what can I do locally for a much-needed break?! The typical vacation can be brutal anyway, the angst and panic that can set it when you plan to take a few days or a week’s vacation. The planning, the packing, the fun-making; it can overwhelm the best of us before you even leave the house. Suddenly the staycation goes from an interesting idea to something you are actually going to do.

Here are some ideas on how to freshen up your routine enough to feel like you’ve had a break without spending too much $$ or time.

(1) Treat yourself to a real manicure, pedicure. Schedule it at a day spa and read a magazine cover-to-cover. It’s okay to tell the nail technician you are there to “zone out” and don’t want to talk. Pick a bright, cheery color and bring your own polish so you can do touch-ups yourself and lengthen the amount of time it lasts.
(2) Consider a vocation-vacation. Ever wonder what it’s like to be a ______? Find one near you and ask them if they would mentor you for a day, a weekend even, and give your dream or curiosity a chance to bubble up to the surface.
(3) Go to a movie by yourself. I do this because a good movie gives my mind a great break from MY life and lets me focus on someone else’s for a few hours, plus I like to see the wardrobe choices on my favorite stars.
(4) Plan a themed dinner party for the friends in your life you want to re-connect with. Do something exotic like a Moroccan themed dinner party—you can learn to cook something new, have fun with festive décor, and remember how nice it is to do something different and laugh a bit. InStyle magazine always has great ideas and so does this site: HostessWithTheMostess
(5) Go to your Farmer’s Market and create a meal around the items you find there. Get the kids involved smelling the herbs, sampling the produce, picking the produce and really relish is the food choices that are abundant right now. Talk to the farmers there about the crops and how to pick the perfect XYZ. They are usually happy to indulge you.

Enjoy.

The opinions expressed by the Bébé au Lait Bloggers and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of Bebe au Lait or any employee thereof. Bébé au Lait is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the Bébé au Lait Bloggers.

Commemorate Moments

I don’t love the words push present but I like the idea, and beyond just the birth of your baby. I like to commemorate big and special moments in life with jewelry–not always uber-expensive, but special pieces for special moments. I have a diamond ring I wear on my right pinky, as did my mother and my grandmother. It’s been passed down for three generations. I have gold hoops that a dear friend gave me when my life was confusing and she wanted me to feel special again. I have my first Tiffany piece (a silver necklace) that I bought myself when I finally got a promotion I had been gunning for. The list goes on, including this ring I just made from one of my grandmother’s vintage earrings (more on that in a new post, coming soon).
My point is two-pronged: (a) as a stylist, I am always reminding clients that jewelry is a wonderful expression of who they are and a beautiful finishing touch to even the simplest outfits; and (b) jewelry with a story and a memory can be a powerful and uplifting little moment in your day. I like being reminded of the day my children were born (bracelet) and that my grandmother was a professional pianist (the right hand diamond ring) and of my wedding day (ring).

One of my favorite pieces was a gift when my twins turned one–that was a HUGE achievement! It was from Hot Mama Designs and has the kidlet’s names stamped on two disks. I love it. And I like the real deal kind of stuff–hers are still custom and hand-made in Boulder, CO, not a machined version of her great idea.

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The opinions expressed by the Bébé au Lait Bloggers and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of Bebe au Lait or any employee thereof. Bébé au Lait is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the Bébé au Lait Bloggers.

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