We're One!

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A year ago I started Posing as Parents. I have always had a family blog with my husband, but this was meant to be something a little different. This blog was a new project...personal, yes, but also more of a space for others as well.

In the last year, I have learned some things. I wish I would have blogged more regularly. I wish I would have used social media more for Posing as Parents. And I wish I wouldn't let this be one of the first things I neglect when life gets too busy. I love it here...I love it because of you. I started this blog to help create a sense of community. 

I have said it a million times...in a world that we are literally connected 24 hours a day, there is so much disconnect. Perhaps ironic that this a blog, but I can't invite you all over to sit for a spell. But YOU can invite others to be a part of your community. 

Why would you want to do that? You are busy, you don't have time for other people...people you don't know. That sounds like the worst. Can't someone else cultivate some community?

No. 

We live in a world in which we need to share responsibility. It’s easy to say, ‘It’s not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem.’ Then there are those who see the need and respond. I consider those people my heroes.
— Mr. Fred Rogers

It all starts with us. Every one of us. We are in this together. In the immortal words of Eminem, "You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow. This opportunity comes once in a lifetime." This is it kids. This is our time here and now, make the most of it and don't you want it better than you found it? Not worse?

I talk about community and ways to create community over and over again because I truly believe it is our salvation. If you feel responsible for your neighbor you will find ways to feed them, clothe them, educate them, keep them safe, and love them. 

We have also talked about parties here on the blog. While they may not save the world, they sure can make people feel happy and valued and that is a step in the right direction. So here is a Quick Tip on how to throw a party. 

5 Tips to Throwing a Quick Party

  1. Get some flowers. Flowers (or some type of greenery) makes it feel festive and steps it up a notch. 
  2. Get out something fancy. Whether it is a cake stand, real china, a teapot, whatever...at least have one "real" dish out. Yes, paper plates can be a lifesaver with a crowd, but have at least one piece that classes up the gathering.
  3. Get your treat on. Buy a cake, make some cookies, or even something savory. Who says you can't celebrate with fried chicken or a beautiful salad. Pick something special and unique to the person/thing you are celebrating. 
  4. Get up a decoration or two. Paper Chains, Paper Tassels, or Pendants...it makes no difference what it is. Just hang something up to show that the space is different and that you are ready to celebrate.
  5. Get your stress out. The number one thing in having a party is having fun. Don't worry about it not being perfect. It totally won't be perfect and that is okay. It is about loving the ones that you are with. Enjoy the party and the time with people you like (or maybe love). 

I will leave you with another Mr. Rogers quote. Really because I love him so much.  Mr Rogers and my Nana are who I strive to be every day. But I think this encapsulates what I hope to do here at Posing as Parents and in the world. Maybe this will speak to you too.

As human beings, our job in life is to help people realize how rare and valuable each one of us really is, that each of us has something that no one else has—or ever will have—something inside that is unique to all time. It’s our job to encourage each other to discover that uniqueness and to provide ways of developing its expression.
— Mr. Fred Rogers

Thanks for doing our human job with me. I hope that we can do even more for this next year. Thanks for being here and I will see you soon! 

Party Planning 101

Tomorrow we are having a birthday party for our son and as of this very moment we have 55 RSVPs...that is just counting one per invite...there may be more. I am a little stressed. Not so much because of the number, but because of the forecast. It is supposed to rain during the party. Now I am worrying about the number. ALL of those kids shooting Nerf inside? I am less excited about that. Oh well, we will be making memories...and getting hit by Nerf.

So many Darts

So many Darts

Today I am giving you my TOP TEN LIST for Party Planning 101. Sure there are more than these, but this will get you started off great. 

Pick Your Theme-Remember on Monday we talked about the importance of a theme? Choose something so you can have some framework on what to do, how to decorate, etc.

For this birthday party my son picked Nerf. That is the theme that I based everything upon. 

Make Your List-I am the Queen of Lists (it is a formal title...duh), now I am also the Queen of Not Following Lists (a lesser known royalty). Most of my lists go into my phone so I always have them, but when I get serious I break out the cardstock and the Sharpie and start writing my punch list. I make lists for the guests, the menu, the decorations, the things we have to do around the house, etc. 

I am starting the serious list today.

Pick the Time- This is important. Unless you want to have a big meal with everyone, then pick a time in between meals...that will help save money too. And the duration of the party is also important. Most people do two hours for kids parties...not me, not anymore...I do an hour and a half. It is perfection...you wouldn't think those 30 minutes would make a difference, but yet they do. Of course it depends on the age of the kids, but sometimes it is hard to entertain kids for two hours straight.

So the Nerf party is from 3:30 pm-5:00 pm...in between meals and less than two hours.

Send the Invite-The invite depends on the demographics and the size. Typically I use Paperless Post it is an online invitation and card service. You can choose free or low cost invites. But if you are having a small party do some paper invites...you can do all sorts of sweet and unique ones. Or if you are having people that aren't technology savvy then do paper invites. I send the invite at least a month in advance.

We did Paperless Post for the Nerf party. 

Plan Your Meal-If you didn't listen to me then let's plan a big meal. If you DID listen to me (then you are my favorite)  I will share what snacks to have. This is just a list of the easiest and/or cheapest party foods.

Big Meals: Pasta, Bruschetta Bar, Hot Dogs, Pizza, Burgers, Funeral Sandwiches, Baked Potato Bar, Tacos, Sandwiches, BBQ, Homemade Salad Bar, or Appetizers (a ton to make a meal). 

Snacks: Veggie Tray or at the very least a bunch of carrots, Ranch Dip (If you can get Uncle Dan's get that and just mix it with sour cream...the yummiest), fresh fruit (don't get grapes...they taste great but you can't trust kids with them...you don't need to do the Heimlich), Pirate's Booty, Crackers and Cheese, Pepperoni, Meatballs, Popcorn.

Also, you can always have "theme food." Shape the food like your theme or have food to go along with the theme..a veggie Yoda for a Star Wars party and cornbread for a cowboy birthday. 

Tomorrow we are having just snacks for the party: carrots and ranch dip, fresh fruit, chips (I mean, it is a party), lemonade, water, and cake...lots of cake. We are also having a sleepover...that is when we are having dinner...appetizers (so many appetizers), veggies, and fruit. 

Paper Goods or the Real Deal-If I have a large party I do paper goods. If I have a smaller gathering then I use the real deal...plates, cups, napkins, and silverware. You can also mix and match the real and the disposables. I get my paper goods at Target, IKEA, Walmart, and the Dollar Tree.**** You also should invest in some platters and some serving utensils and everyone needs a cake stand (or four). If you have right gear it makes throwing a party soooo much easier. The best places for those are HomeGoods, IKEA, Ross, Target, and Crate and Barrel. 

For the Nerf party we are doing the paper route. I purchased the papergoods in the colors of Nerf...blue, orange, and yellow. 

****Okay, I get it the horrible things that Walmart does. I grew up in Arkansas the birthplace of Walmart, so I do go there sometimes. It is in my DNA. They do have hella deals. And the same thing for the Dollar Tree I love/hate the Dollar Tree...they have so much amazing stuff for a $1! But what are the environmental and social implications of those deals? I know, I feel bad. I do. Seriously I always think about what if a horrible disaster happened when I was in a Walmart or Dollar Tree and how much shame I would feel if that is where my loved ones would find my dead body. So I try to do good in the world, I try to shop local, we grow our own food...I do what I can for the world to balance out my retail sins. I am trying people.****

Decor-Make your own decor like paper chains or tissue paper tassel banners. I typically don't crazy about decor all over...I just focus on a few statement pieces. I love pendants and banners. Make them or buy them. Cheap and easy is my style. ;) Oh, and I don't typically do balloons indoors unless there is enough for each kid. It is too sad to see kids fighting over the decorations. I do put balloons on the mailbox to help guide people to our home. Once again this is how you get to use your theme. For our daughter's Zoboomafoo party we had an artificial Christmas tree up and decorated it with these knitted snakes I made for the party, they also doubled as a party favor. 

For the Nerf party, we will have a giant balloon and streamers, we are also having a ton of pendants throughout the front room, and maybe a few targets here and there. There are no party favors at this particular party. 

Activities-So first and foremost make sure you plan a game/activity based on your theme. Check this link for some ideas and then adjust them to go with your theme. 

The activity for this party will be shooting people with Nerf darts. Novel, huh? We have a million (that may be an exaggeration) safety glasses. 

Wardrobe-It is so nerdy, but I also get everyone in my family an outfit to highlight the theme for each of the kid's birthday parties. Maybe it is a costume or coordinating outfits, or tee shirts highlighting the theme. A LOT of our parties have included full on costumes.

This party we are wearing black or camo so we can shoot people. Oh, and our son got this great shirt that talks about him being an awesome 9 year old. 

Implement-The days before and the day of the party I am a nut job. I am mainly freaking nuts because so much of the house looks like we were victims of a home invasion...we weren't.  The best thing to do for this day is to take a deep breath and don't stress (as best you can). This is also a great time to make a detailed list of the countdown of the day...this will help keep you on track!

I am cleaning all day, shipping kids off to clean some more, and whatever else I need to do!

Hope this helps get you off and running for Party Planning! Please say a prayer as we embark on the crazy birthday party zone!

Give Me a Theme...

We are getting ready to celebrate my son turning 9. What the heck?! I was talking to some friends this weekend and I shared with them that I seriously feel like I just brought our son home from the hospital and now he is turning 9. How does that happen? I blinked and here we are. Ugh. It hurts my mama's heart. 

Well, my son and I were planning his party...three months ago. (I seriously work on my kids parties for about three months. By work, I mean I think about it...I casually start planning...I start zeroing in on what we are going to do.) When we were talking about what he kind of party he would like I asked him what theme he wanted. He hemmed and hawed and then he asked the most shocking thing he could ask me (in that given moment...I mean I am sure he will do other things that will be shocking to me as well.) He asked if we could forget about a theme. He wanted a "normal birthday party." This doesn't  compute for me.  Dude, you have known me for almost 9 years why would you think I would be just cool with that? Needless to say, he did decide upon a theme...

Oh my goodness, our boy loves few things like he loves Nerf...well, I guess Legos. But Legos don't let you shoot your friends. You could throw the Legos, but that wouldn't be very satisying. And how fun is it to shoot people with foam and rubber darts? Super fun. 

My last Nerf war with the boy and his buddies. One shot me in the neck!!! I am coming for you D!

My last Nerf war with the boy and his buddies. One shot me in the neck!!! I am coming for you D!

I pick themes because it helps give me some parameters for a  party. I need some structure to plan around. Holidays. Boom! Easy! You have a built in theme. But everything else, you have to think about that. We have had a LOT of themes...special 1st birthdays. cowboy parties, army parties, Star Wars parties, Zoboomafoo parties, donut parties, dolly parties (oooh, a Dolly Parton theme would be amazing), Cinderella parties...the list goes on. I love a good theme!

This week we are going to talk about parties and party planning.  Make it Monday we are learning how to pick a theme. Why in the h-e-double hockey sticks would you need to have the skill to be able to pick a theme? Birthday parties, school events, work events, church events, even dinners...you can have a theme...so this may help.

First you need your "supplies"...

  • Topics-What are some things that you like? For the boy's birthday we first thought we would do a luau. But it evolved into a Nerf War. Don't let yourself get hung up on one thing. Things can change...and some themes are easier to base a party upon.

Here is a little list of topics-

  • Garden Party
  • Sports theme
  • Special decades
  • Rock star party
  • Western party
  • Seasonal themes
  • Licensed characters
  • Favorite shows
  • Favorite books
  • Specific colors
  • Hobbies
  • Favorite Foods

And honestly you can totally pick rando things and make a party out of it. One year our daughter wanted a Zoboomafoo birthday party. It is a show that ran from 1999-2001. She was born in 2012. But she LOVED this show. So we decorated like a rainforest, got some coordinating paper goods, got a stuffed animal lemure, and I printed off a bunch of photos of the Kratt brothers from the show and we made it work. So pick out what you love and we can make it work into a great themed party. 

The girl loves these guys. 

The girl loves these guys. 

Think about what you have coming up in your life and if a "theme" is something that could be a good fit. Start brainstorming now for the week of Party Planning. See you Wednesday!

Luck of the Irish

Do you like holidays? I love holidays! Real ones, fake ones, I don't care...I like to have a theme and to just go with it. And before you roll your eyes because you may think I am a perfect Pinterest mom, I am seriously hella lazy, so I am not doing anything crazy...just a little something to give a shout out to whatever holiday we are celebrating and to show my family I care.

The next "holiday" is St. Patrick's Day, which is this Friday.  St. Patrick's Day was my Nana's favorite holiday so it has a special place in my heart. I grew up with my Nana and she celebrated every holiday. She also liked a good theme and she would make the day special and in turn she made me feel cherished and important. I know there are a lot of people that don't feel like we need to make our children's lives magical, but I am not one of them. Look the world is hard, bad stuff happens all the time, and being a grown up can suck...so if childhood can't be magical then when can it be? My mom always told me growing up "Life's not fair and people don't act right." We have to learn that lesson from Day 1. I am not saying catering to our children's every whim or making yourself miserable trying to celebrate every dang holiday (that is my jam...it doesn't have to be yours)...I am saying just doing the little things so the people you love know you care. My Nana was way before Pinterest and mommy blogs...she just made an effort and I noticed and it made a difference, but alas I digress...we are talking about St. Paddy's Day (turns out it isn't St. Patty's Day...not sure I always knew that). 

Anywho, this holiday can go a couple of ways. It can be really G rated and where you wear green or if you don't you get pinched, maybe you build a trap to catch a leprechaun, and round it all out with some corned beef and cabbage and maybe some gold chocolate coins...case closed. Or the other way it seems it can typically go is you can get super trashed and do your liver no favors by celebrating the holiday hard. We are probably going to go with Option A since our four and eight year olds don't know how to do keg stands yet and I doubt they can even hold their whiskey. 

Every year we have a St. Patrick's Day meal (corned beef, cabbage, and potatoes) and everything else just depends on the year and where we are at as a family.  Last year I thought I would be clever and I made green homemade bread. It didn't go over well. The color was off-putting to the kids...maybe it was just one kid...I can't really remember other than they weren't that impressed. This year as I posted this picture, the four year old thought it looked yummy. Hmmmm. I clearly remember being a little kid and BEGGING my mom to make me green eggs and ham (I think you see where this is going). I PROMISED I would eat it. Of course she made it and of course I was not interested in eating it one bit. I don't think that went over well either. Food that is not a natural shade of green can be unnerving for sure. 

Green Bread

Green Bread

I am going to list the things we are going to do this year. Maybe they will help spark your interest...I mean I am giving you a couple of days heads up so you have plenty of time. 

  • We will be making a leprechaun trap or two the night before (Thursday night).
    • Popsugar has some great ideas on different types of traps. My son will build some crazy thing that will seem like a Rube Goldberg invention.
  • When the kids go to bed Thursday night (which will probably be late...thanks a lot Daylight Savings Time) I will decorate the dining room table.
    • By decorate, I mean I might add some green napkins, throw around some shamrocks, set a fancy place setting, etc. This is not a holiday they get gifts so I am just really focusing on the decoration. I go heavy on the green, but you could do gold or rainbows too. Check out 
  • On Friday morning it is officially St. Patrick's Day!
    • The family and I will go and see if we caught a leprechaun. Since they are super hard to catch, the kids usually find fake gold coins (plastic or chocolate...just depends). And the leprechaun usually leaves a tiny note taunting how he got away. What a little jerk!
  • Then we have some themed foods.
    • For breakfast,  I am planning on going rainbow...we already talked about the green food and how it isn't appreciated. However, a green smoothie may be just perfect. I will probably make Kodiak pancakes with a rainbow skewer of fruit.
    • For lunch, I am packing as green as I can...sugar snap peas, broccoli, green pears, etc...you get the idea. 
    • For dinner, we are having the corned beef and cabbage. (Thanks for having us over Mom).  
  • Everyone is wearing green!
    • I will make sure the kids are properly repping St. Paddy's day. I don't want them to be the kid who is arguing that they color they are wearing is "really green" but it is more a color in the blue family. We all know that kid!
  • We will probably make some kind of craft. This isn't specific to the holiday, we just love to craft.
    • I think we will either paint with the colors of St. Patrick's Day or we will make something with air clay...or we will make something with air clay AND THEN paint it. Boom! I just blew your mind,
  • That is it! 
    • I don't think we have any St. Patrick's Day movies or books...typically with a holiday we try to mix it up...we want to learn about the holiday in a variety of ways. I will probably read this Irish blessing that was read at our wedding (we had our wedding the day after St. Patrick's Day). 
May the road rise to meet you.
 May the wind be always at your back.
 May the sun shine warm upon your face,
 the rains fall soft upon the fields. May the light of friendship guide your paths together. 
May the laughter of children grace the halls of your home. 
May the joy of living for one another trip a smile from your lips,
 a twinkle from your eye. And when eternity beckons,
 at the end of a life heaped high with love,
 may the good Lord embrace you
 with the arms that have nurtured you
 the whole length of your joy-filled days.
 May the gracious God hold you both
 in the palm of His hands. And, today, may the Spirit of Love
 find a dwelling place in your hearts. Amen.
— Irish Wedding Blessing

Happy St. Patrick's Day! See ya back here Friday!

 

I Could Totally Make That

Have you gone to a boutique or some fun shop and looked around at all the adorable things and thought "I could totally make that"? I do that...like all the time. I always thought it would be fun to have a store called "You Could Do It...But You Won't" and have it filled with the types of crafts, jewelry, art, etc. that you could totally make, but that you won't. (BTW I call dibs on that idea.) But alas, most of the time I don't make whatever it is and I just buy it or I go without. 

I have seen these precious little tissue tassle things all over and I while they aren't expensive they are enough that I thought I could make them for next to nothing and for little effort. And can I just say that these sort of things just make life fun? You may think, "why take the time?" Why not take the time?! You can churn these babies out quickly. 

Party Tip: 

Banners and pendants instantly make for festive decor. 

Tiny Tissue Paper Tassels

Tiny Tissue Paper Tassels

So I pulled out the tissue paper and some string and got to work for Making it Monday

First you need your supplies...

  • Tissue Paper-Any tissue paper you want. Metallic would be so lovely, perhaps a pattern...seriously any paper you choose is just dandy. 
  • Scissors-You already know about my lovely scissors (well, if you read I'm Your Puppet). But any ol' scissors will do!
  • Baker's Twine, Ribbon, Yarn-The sky is the limit. I used all three. I am extravagant. . 
  • Washi Tape (optional)-I would have totally used this for today's project, but wouldn't you know it I can't find one stinking roll in my house. #mykidsstealmystuff

SUpplies (Give or Take)

SUpplies (Give or Take)

Step One

Collect all your supplies.

 

Step 2

Fold your tissue paper.

You can use a full sheet of tissue paper or even little scraps...the idea is the same. Fold the tissue in half over and over again. Once you get the paper to a small size fold it in half (the other way). Then cut the tissue into long skinny fringes and then twist the top of the tassel.

Step 3

Twist and stop. Twist and tape. Twist and tie. 

You can do this step several ways.

  • You can twist the top and leave it. If the tassels are small enough they should just stay just fine. (The larger tassels need a little more support.)
  • You can wrap the "neck" of the tassel with washi tape. I would demonstrate it, but we have already discussed the great washi heist of 2017. You can probably guess how to do it.
  • Lastly, you can tie baker's twine, ribbon, or yarn around the top. You can just do a simple tie or wrap the top of the tassel. 

Step 4

Hang it up!

Now just string the tassels with the twine, ribbon, or yarn. I like to tie the tassels on the string so they stay where I want them...I am controlling that way. So little tassels or big tassels...decorate as you like! 

Unsatisfied Customer

Unsatisfied Customer

Unfortunately, these adorable little tassels don't make everyone happy. Look at this sourpuss! She wanted a pink tassel NOT this silly purple one. I hope you have more success!