Unicorns, Rainbows and Minnie Mouse too

I wanted to round up Charlie’s past birthday parties to show you all before I tackle her SEVENTH birthday party this weekend. It was interesting to go through my photo files and see the past parties. I think my stress level of the party reflected how many photos I took at the time. Ages 3-6 there are very few photos as I was sweating, leading games for toddlers, tending to her and her brothers all while trying to be a lovely host. My husband will tell you that I do a great job at planning their parties but he likes to stay as far away from me as possible the day of. Parties can be stressful but I have learned a few things over the years. Trust me I’m still a ball of stress every time but here is how I make it manageable for myself:

  1. I am not someone who can host the party at my home. It just causes WAY more stress than I can handle. I go all out for decor and games and everything else … I can’t add cleaning my entire house and keeping it clean with three small kids until everyone arrives to that list and still be pleasant to be around. Two years ago we made the switch to location parties and for me its the way to go.

  2. PLAN AHEAD. I let my kids choose the theme, what they want for cake/treats, and the location within reason. After that I take care of the rest. I order and plan at least a month if not two in advance. I still end up running to Target the week of, but I start a Pinterest board at least two months out … don’t hate me.

  3. Last thing for me personally is to do it all in one party. Our family doesn’t live in town and the kids always want to invite friends so we just combine it into one big party. Cousins, grandparents and friends. I like to have the one cost for an event space and after the big party we can just crash at home the next day without the crazy mess of having the party at our house. I don’t think I could handle separate events. Someday I might change my mind if we had room to host guests but we just don’t … so for now … it’s indoor playgrounds and pool parties and I bring my organized tote of party supplies to setup when we arrive.

Here is a photo recap of Charlie’s parties from age one to six! In the comments below let me know what tips you have for not losing your mind during party planning.

This was her 1st birthday invite … Milk & Cookies theme! All I can remember is being an emotional train wreck at the party because I had this feeling I was pregnant. Took a test the morning after her party to confirm her baby brother was on his way :)

This was her 1st birthday invite … Milk & Cookies theme! All I can remember is being an emotional train wreck at the party because I had this feeling I was pregnant. Took a test the morning after her party to confirm her baby brother was on his way :)

1st birthday photos go either way … no one was surprised these were how she felt about hers.

1st birthday photos go either way … no one was surprised these were how she felt about hers.

Here is her 2nd birthday party … she loved Minnie Mouse so I went with the polka dot and pink theme :)

Here is her 2nd birthday party … she loved Minnie Mouse so I went with the polka dot and pink theme :)

These marshmallow pops were super easy! I dipped the smaller marshmallows in almond bark and stuck them to the bigger marshmallows to dry. Then I stuck in straws into the big marshmallows and dipped the entire thing in almond bark and sprinkled before they dried. Stuck in floral foam to let dry upright.

These marshmallow pops were super easy! I dipped the smaller marshmallows in almond bark and stuck them to the bigger marshmallows to dry. Then I stuck in straws into the big marshmallows and dipped the entire thing in almond bark and sprinkled before they dried. Stuck in floral foam to let dry upright.

Charlie was turning 3, Caleb was 4 and Miles was 18 months old. Is anyone surprised this is the only photo I got of her Doc McStuffin party? Ugh.

Charlie was turning 3, Caleb was 4 and Miles was 18 months old. Is anyone surprised this is the only photo I got of her Doc McStuffin party? Ugh.

For her 4th birthday she wanted a dance party and wanted everyone to dress “pretty”

For her 4th birthday she wanted a dance party and wanted everyone to dress “pretty”

These were her guests at her dance party and this was the last party held at our house haha! Never. again.

These were her guests at her dance party and this was the last party held at our house haha! Never. again.

Her 5th birthday was at my studio downtown, this was the first time she invited classmates and friends. She had a dance party, a unicorn theme, a pinata, and one tired mama!

Her 5th birthday was at my studio downtown, this was the first time she invited classmates and friends. She had a dance party, a unicorn theme, a pinata, and one tired mama!

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unicorn birthday party
party guests
Her 6th birthday we had it at a local indoor playground. They jumped in bounce houses, burned serious energy on a playground and then had cake and presents. I was still stressed to be honest, but it was much better than hosting at my home so I will take it. The mess stays there and someone else cleans it! Genius.

Her 6th birthday we had it at a local indoor playground. They jumped in bounce houses, burned serious energy on a playground and then had cake and presents. I was still stressed to be honest, but it was much better than hosting at my home so I will take it. The mess stays there and someone else cleans it! Genius.

easy popcorn mix

This popcorn treat was super easy! I used pre-popped popcorn and melted almond bark and poured it over the popcorn. While still hot I sprinkled on the sprinkles. When dry and cooled I scooped into these party boxes and added a colorful candy stick to each one and these were party favors for her guests.

Her theme this year was unicorns and rainbows so I got a plain cake from the bakery and had them stick marshmallows all over the frosting to make it look like a cloud. When I got it home I just stuck on these candles from Meri Meri and it looked super cute! That’s a great way to save money is to order a plain cake and decorite it with fun candles or small figurines yourself.

Her theme this year was unicorns and rainbows so I got a plain cake from the bakery and had them stick marshmallows all over the frosting to make it look like a cloud. When I got it home I just stuck on these candles from Meri Meri and it looked super cute! That’s a great way to save money is to order a plain cake and decorite it with fun candles or small figurines yourself.