Wednesday, January 29, 2014

When a Party Planner Resolves to Throw a No-Stress Party (ha!)

I made some New Years Resolutions this year and I'm off to a crazy impressive start, I must say. Normally I think of resolutions as being things people do if they want to loose weight or stop smoking. But this year I decided that I too, could use a resolution- or two. So I went big and made two:

1) Get my business in gear and figure out just what in the world I'm doing with it 
2) Let my children's birthday parties be about them, not the business
... And don't let the week before the party (aka Party Week) be hell on the family. (As I've mentioned in a post before- I think I've thrown some parties where the recipients- my kids- wish they were never turning a year older.)

As for the first resolution: Check. Mate. I signed up for a class. A full blown business class. As a woman who gets seriously confused by word problems this is a BIG DEAL for me. I wouldn't exactly call myself studious.... But it was time for me to stop making excuses and figure some ish out. Like really, really figure it out. Here's to hoping this investment I'm making financially and with my time is majorly going to pay off. I start February 11th and I'm crazy excited and nervous all wrapped up in to one little very easy to understand word problem.

On to the second resolution- in which I'm half way there... Let me explain.

It all started about 5 months ago when my son eagerly told me he wanted an "All Boys Golf Party". I was thrilled. Smaller party (because we were essentially eliminating half of the guests) which hello- meant WAY more detail (my thang thang), plus the obvious lots-of-argyle-and-plaid options going on AND the fact that it was a pretty unique theme that I could do differently- I was sold. "Cormac's Boy's Club Golf Party"... ZING! I hit the ground running (I mean pinning) and before I knew it I had purchased an amazing new table cloth and 8 matching cloth napkins- I officially had my color palette, the hard part was over.

Party designed by TomKat Studio
And then, then it happened. As he was coloring at the kitchen island that one day in early November he looked up at me and said, "I changed my mind. I want an Art Party with Twisting Balloons!" Gulp. What in the world? All I could think about was how my husband HAD to stumble upon his old balloon twisting bag and twist up a few amaaaazing creations... The nerve of this guy. And then Cormac HAD to realize how much he in fact LOVES art. (Like lives for art.) Damn. I had a situation on my hands- why didn't I see this coming? I was stumbling upon my words trying to answer his requests for this sudden change in party... in SPIRIT I should really say... And there he was planning- planning away, "Balloon Art Party mom- how fun!"

All I could think about were all the bad 80's balloon art engrained in my head from years of begging my parents to buy me just one balloon dog at a carnival and never getting one- an image in my mind so dated that it couldn't even be cool in a "retro" way.

And an Art Party... the FAMOUS Art Party.

You see, in my industry- Art Parties are the new Rainbow Parties. Not tracking with me? They're the new Pirate Party. Still not tracking?! The new LALALOOPSY PARTY! Oh for goodness sakes- they're over done- do I have to spell it out?!! They've been done extremely well already by a number of crazy talented party planners and need be done NO MORE. If I see a Rainbow Party on Pinterest (other than Birdie's, which still totally excites me) I'm literally yawning unless it's like shooting gold coins out of the bottom of the rainbow (Oh ya, I've done that too)- so pretty much I'm just yawning. As a party planner- I am trying to do NEW themes- to excite the masses! Anyone feel me?

Now I know you might be thinking, "Aren't you doing an Art Themed Party for the show 'Take Me To Your Mother'? And, yes- yes I am... but somehow it works on TV where an everyday theme is exactly what we were looking for (don't want to spoil it too much!). And also because of my awesome contributors- I'm getting to do some really unique and fun things I wouldn't be able to do on my own.

I mean, we're talking serious competition...
However, for my own personal children's party- I wanted something NEW, UNIQUE... BOLD. I tried to stay positive and view it as a challenge. Ya, that's it- a challenge! I started channeling Jeff Koons and his famous balloon dog sculptures and thought about POP Art and BALLOON Party. POP: BALLOON, brilliant.

And thank God I'd remembered Pop Art and how cool/different it is because I KNEW, I just KNEW this had to be the year that I considered doing a theme change because #1- who makes their kid pick a theme 5 months out? Oh ya, party planners do- sometimes 6 months. #2- we were moving a month before his birthday and I just wanted him to be happy as I knew the move would be a hard on him... and #3, I was really aiming to throw as normal a party as a party planner can throw a child because that was in fact- going to be my New Year's Resolution- I was gearing up for it. Would it still be over the top? A-duh. But my goal was to really not bring my kids in to the stresses of the actual party planning OR the stress of Party Week. Like for instance last St. Patty's day photo shoot when both kids and their friends all got serious time-outs for throwing a stuffed horse around the house- almost harming my cake pops? Ya, I was going to try and stay away from that version of my party self.

Annnnnd... I am really proud to say I did. It takes a lot for me to be proud of myself (are you new to this blog- or what?) but I can honestly say my kids did not see "ugly-Kenna" (or as an old friend used to say, "The Wrath of Kenna"). My mother-in-law picked them up mid-day Thursday and took them until the party started on Saturday (our little amazing tradition) and I was able to shield them prior to that from Miss Party Mom- and instead just be a mom planning a really awesome party. I had Cormac coloring art to showcase at his party while I was wrapping napkins and putting together "Art Kit" favors. Both children also had clean underwear all week, were fed 3 meals a day and didn't start calling me Miss Party Mom instead of just mom... Winning!

Here's a couple phone pics- I can't wait to show off the professional photos!
Oh I know what you're wondering....? Did the husband, the intern, Hannah and any other person who was dumb sweet enough to arrive early to try and help all experience "ugly-Kenna"? Well duuuhhh... of course- what am I a flippin' robot?! Things need to get DONE people! It doesn't happen at the snap of a finger! (Trust me, if it did- I'd have no thumb print left) but that's a resolution for 2015... right? Something to aim for, nice.

To my party girls: Hannah. Kristin. And my newbies Lauren, Ben and Mirielle. I love you. You're amazing and I'm sorry that Ugly Kenna exists. But helllllooooo- was it a great party, or what?

xo Party or Die xo


  1. Oh goodness, as a fellow party peep I am thankful I've never experienced this. Sure I get a little stressed but it's mini stress energy that I channel and it never bubbles to the surface. The beauty of people is, we're all different :) I'm glad your kids had a stress free mom for their party and I wish you the best in your resolutions. Can't wait to see the rest of the party.


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