Birthday party planning + why I won’t stress about it

A Fit Mess
June 9, 2016

June is a very busy month for us – there’s so much going on! Lots of things to celebrate and special dates coming up, including: the girl’s birthday and party, our wedding anniversary, and Father’s Day. We also have a lot of family visiting over the next few weeks so there will be company coming and going.



I have soon-to-be three-year-old twins. How does that happen? In a blink. This year we decided to keep the party small and just have our family over for a low-key gathering. I have the tendency to get stressed about the party stuff…agonizing over a theme, the perfect etsy decorations, and whether to have cupcakes or cake (#firstworldproblems). Then things go from being fun to high anxiety for me and I just want it to be over with.


So this year things will be different. I’m not going to get stressed about the little things. I’m just going to enjoy it and be grateful to have the chance to celebrate with loved ones without expectations and without trying to make everything perfect. Because let’s face it – with toddlers you never know what you’re going to get or how their temperament may be by the time the event rolls around.


Case in point, the first birthday:

A Fit Mess

And the second birthday:

A Fit Mess


This picture was taken at last year’s party. The girls were really tired and overwhelmed by it all, plus they both had colds. They were also still napping twice a day and were just exhausted. Ashlyn cried throughout the entire HBD song. Ha!


So, how am I making it (mostly) stress free this year?


  1. By keeping the guest list small. Next year we will probably start inviting the girls’ school friends, but this year we have kept it just family and a few friends. 20 people tops.
  2. Having a combination of store-bought and homemade food items. I usually start out really ambitious thinking I will do it all myself, but that’s a lot of work. And it kind of kills any chance I have to visit with guests and enjoy the party.
  3. Keeping it about the girls. Don’t force things and just let them have fun. After all, it’s their party.
  4. And reminding myself that it’s a KIDS birthday party. I’m not planning a wedding here. And, there will be dozens of  parties to throw in the future.


Decorating should be quite easy. The girls love orange and blue so that’s what we’re going with. Balloons, streamers, and paper goods can transform any space into a party zone. What more do you need?


They’ve asked for carrot cake cupcakes (I swear!) so that’s what we’re going with (obviously, I LOVE that idea!). The only request I’m not sure I can deliver on is a cake covered with cookies and cookie frosting. Hmmm. Any ideas? Pinterest, why do you have everything!? I feel so inadequate when I see these amazing creations!


And finally, we discussed gifts.  The girls have asked for orange hair dryers. I’ve gently reminded them that might be difficult to find so as a compromise they said they would take “All the things at Target.” I had to laugh when they said that. Oh, sure, coming right up! Like most parents, I feel like the girls just have so much stuff! I like the idea of gifting gently used toys or books instead or new presents. Maybe we’ll suggest that in the future. Does anyone do something like that?


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Any party planning tips? Do you like the planning process or do you get stressed out about it?


  1. Wow I can’t believe they are going to be 3! Can’t wait to hear about this bday.

    Sloane’s 1st bday is coming up in June too! I just went to my first 1st bday party, one of her daycare friends. The Bday girl was super cranky. That was a warning sign.

    Great advice. I definitely need it. Party planning in general makes me stressed but my mom aka glam-ma is being the 1st bday nazi-that’s not making it easier. So any great idea she has I agree with and let her know she can do it.

    We actually have huge trays of food that we made ourselves (enchiladas, lasagna, pizza, peach cobler) frozen. So the day of will be a matter of baking it and serving and we save some money.

    I’m also doing a carrot cake for her smash cake!

    1. Christina – the early birthdays tend to be if-y since you never know how your child is going to feel and act. I put way too much pressure on myself the first two years, but I’m taking it easy this year. I LOVE The idea of preparing food in advance. What a great thought! Hmmmm….maybe I should do that, too.

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