Planning a great party (and enjoying the process!)

When the mere sight of a cat produces squeals of joy from your toddler it makes choosing a 2nd birthday theme pretty easy! This recent kitty party was one of the most enjoyable and successful parties that I’ve ever planned.  If you get energized by pouring creativity into an event, love styling tables and enjoy DIY projects than we have something in common! Truth be told, a two year old isn’t really going to care one way or another what the theme is or if there even is a theme because the whole experience is just so new and exciting (and often overwhelming!) so mom’s you really don’t need to go all out….unless you really love the party planning process!

A few years ago I actually didn’t enjoy it that much. I put so much pressure on myself to do things perfectly and always left everything so last minute that it was often a stressful day and I didn’t get to enjoy it with our children the way I wanted to. I was also unable to be present for the guests because I was so busy doing a million things at once. That’s no way to enjoy a party! Even as the hostess, you’re entitled to have a great time. In fact you need to because your guests are likely going to follow your lead.

Thankfully, after one particularly disappointing event (from my perspective only I’m sure) it became very clear that I needed to change my approach to planning parties so I could enjoy the time spent preparing, feel happy with the job that I’d done and most of all be relaxed and fully present the whole day for our children.This led me to the realization that my expectations were often way too high and that procrastination and not planning ahead were very much to blame for my stress. So I decided to change that!


Lessons I’ve learned on how to make a party GREAT and most of all stress-free!

1) Plan ahead- make lists of all food, games, decor and budget.
2) Simplify your list based on time allowance- be realistic!
3) Outsource the making of the cake if possible unless that’s your favourite part, of course.
4) Be willing to let go of the things that you just don’t have enough time for. Sea animal shaped cookies were on the menu for our last birthday party but I left them too late. In the past this would have frustrated me a lot but I chose to let it go and no one knew the difference! (there was enough sugar on the party table anyways!)
5) Choose your DIY projects and get those done first. I worked on the garlands for this Kitty Party a week beforehand and enjoyed making them so much because I didn’t feel rushed at all. They are now packaged up and tucked away with some of the other party decor as a special memory for our two year old when she’s older.
6) Have your food and drinks ready when your party guests arrive so you’re feeling relaxed and can visit.(If grown ups are attending too!) If you’re very organized you likely have this down already but it was a huge struggle for me in the past. I always left so many little things to the morning of the party and was still prepping when people arrived!
7) Lastly, and most importantly, don’t plan your party to impress anyone. Do it because you love it. Do it because you love your child. As mentioned at the beginning, you could bake a simple cake, buy some presents, invite some friends over and that would likely be the best day ever from your child’s perspective, right? Do the DIY’s, bake the extra treats, style up the table and decor because you love it not because you think you need to do it.

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Birthday Girl wooden cake topper- Confetti & Sparkle Party Shop
Cardstock paper for garlands/Scrapbook Pad- Michaels
Rhonestone tape- Michaels
Cake- Verna’s Creative Cakes (local)
Gold stickers on name banner_ Michaels
Cake Stand- Homesense
Striped Gold paper plates- Homesense
Kitty Cookies- homemade!
Strawberry Shortcake Trifle recipe by



2 thoughts on “Planning a great party (and enjoying the process!)

  1. Such a beautiful party you planned! I think tip number 7 is so important. I’ve had Verna make me a few cakes too 🙂 Doesn’t she do a fabulous job?! I love your ideas for a successful party, we have one in February. Maybe I’ll be more prepared this year!


    1. Thanks Karen! I’ve never looked for anyone else to make my cakes! She is great! Planning way ahead has been a lifesaver…I’m sure your party will be amazing😍


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