Monday, April 28, 2014

Holy Awkward, When Did I Get So Awkward?

My junior high years were riddled with awkwardness- just ask my brother who jumps at the opportunity to show anyone my 6th grade picture. In my defense, I thought it would be a good idea to perm my already naturally curly hair the Summer between 5th and 6th grade. It wasn't. Not even a little bit. I mean a curl on top of a curl just equals frizz... Why didn't anyone tell me this?
Bikenstalks (real btw- thrift shop score!) and socks. You're welcome.
I'd seen one too many eps of Full House and DJ Tanner was pulling off the perfect amount of curl and I figured if I could just get mine a teensy bit more curly, I'd be amazing. Well it turns out "a little bit of curl" and "perm" never go together... Lesson learned! So I cut it short. Yah, it was an awkward couple of years. Like 4 of them. But then I hit a cool streak in high school and I thought I was in the clear, I'd done my time in Awkardville and I'd graduated with flying colors!

Or so I thought. Since moving I've come to notice that once again I'm hitting an awkward stride in certain unfamiliar situations. Which is like 90% of them when you're still getting used to a new place and new people... and WAIT FOR IT, are back in school. At 33 years old.

The place I most notice a different, much weirder version of me appear is at social networking situations through school and church. It's in these situations where I'm forced to introduce myself and talk about what I do. We just had one through my business class and oh man, I was dreaming of doing dishes and laundry- that's how much I wanted out of there. I tried escaping after 30 minutes and then again after 45 but got caught each time. Standing around a room talking to total strangers about my business is so incredibly painful for me... And just plain awkward for everyone involved. And being forced to listen to people's "advice" is enough to make me a full blown introvert. I had a woman tell me I should consider acting classes so I could get in to character at my themed parties. What the? WHY? Please can I leave now? I'm getting weird, you're already weird... I just want to go home and at least blog about this entire weird event. But instead of me sneaking away to the bathroom or something, somehow the extrovert in me still tries to engage people. Suddenly I'm talking about high school drama class and I don't even know why I'm explaining to this woman that I dropped out after 2 weeks... NO. Just stop. No one's taking an acting class, stop acting like it was a good idea and excuse yourself to GO TO THE BATHROOM. End the conversation, it can't be that hard!

Thank God that night redeemed itself with Thai food with a fellow classmate. I'm still ok in one-on-one situations... For now anyway...

Things like church parties and bridal showers have become kind of strained for me as well in my 30's. In my 20's those events were filled with all of my best friends or I was throwing them. But now a days I'm lucky if I know one other person at a shower. If I get cornered in to a conversation I'm not liking I suddenly don't know how to just get out of it like normal people do. Like hello Kenna, take a phone call for goodness sakes, people do that stuff all the time in the movies! Instead I'll do this thing where I can feel myself looking at the person with a look of confused-distain. YOU know that look. Ya, I'm the creator of that look. And if I'm feeling confused or annoyed or like I totally do NOT agree with what's being said (this happens to me a lot at "Christian Woman's" events) I cannot avoid The Look. I used to have a poker face, what happened to my poker face? Can't read my, can't read my... Poker Face...

Maybe I could make this my Poker Face...?
I keep having these weird flashbacks to feeling like an 11 year old permed outcast and at 33 I've got to say it's such a strange feeling. Most people at this stage of their life are really kind of good at talking about themselves. When I worked at Mattel I think I was good at it. I had a lot to rattle off about my job and accomplishments and future goals... And people just ate that stuff up. But give me an idea of my own to try and make happen (Miss Party Mom) and suddenly I'm almost shy and overly humble about it. It's like I'm in back in 6th grade and Scotty just broke up with me upon seeing the perm and I'm wearing my XL Strawberry Fields Forever shirt because my Great Aunt swore that all kids my age knew that The Beatles were cool. (They didn't Aunt Florence, they had no clue! Even when I tried to tell them! I guess it was more of a NKOTB era but who knew!)

And I know, I know- there are all of these ways to work on not being awkward. Like classes and joining public speaking groups. Like this woman who just came to speak to my class and talked about how she coaches a class of women to, "find their inner voice" and they learn yelling and breathing techniques and whhhaaaaaaaat are you even talking about? Why would I want to learn how to breathe when I'm breathing right now? I'm alive, aren't I? And yelling? Trust me, I yell perfectly.

Sometimes I think I'm a lost cause when it comes to social networking. That I'll always just be the awkward, weird, socially-strange girl in a sea of people plugging away their awesome selves. And then sometimes I remember that I am literally one of the most real people I know. I cannot fake-like or pushy-sell anything and it's a blessing and a curse all rolled in to one feisty little package. If you met my mom, you'd understand. So here's to just working on being a more confident version of myself and trusting in my dreams and my work enough to share them proudly without hesitation... Even if I'm awkward in the process.

The end.

xo Party or Die xo

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The #KidsofInstagram and Why I Hate Them

Ok, so the title is a little harsh. I mean what do you want me to do, go around titling blog posts about love and peace? Ya, that'll get me reads. Let me tell you something, when you declare you hate something in a blog title, the clicks pour in. There, a free tip for you new bloggers, you're welcome.

This post is going to be me picking specifically on Instagram and the #KidsofInstagram because currently it is my social media platform of choice and I see these kids as much as my own. If you aren't familiar with Instagram (IG for short) but you are a sort-of down to earth person, you will still probably relate to this post- so don't worry.

Ok, so maybe HATE was a little strong. I mean, my kids are on IG a heck of a lot, and of course I don't hate them. Well, sometimes... Ok, so I don't really hate any of the kids that have become the rolling feed of my Instagram... It's just well, I hate that they look so amazingly perfect every flipping day- in every aspect from their face to their clothes to even their bedrooms.

I'm serious. These kids are dressed to the nines like everyday. Every. Day. There's a photo shoot with them everyday. No judgment on the photo shoot or the parenting or anything like that... I can assure you I do some pretty weird/questionable child rearing myself during Party Week. It's just that seriously, what kid puts up with this stuff? I can hardly get my kids to sit still with shoes on, let alone actually look at the camera without them trying to rip it out of my hands. Even if my kids are dressed as cute as I can manage on my monthly kid's clothing budget of (Ha! That was good!) there's usually a stain involved or a blue tongue sticking out. But not for the #KidStyle, #ToddlerFashion, #FashionKids of IG. There's never a stain. Never a bad hair day. Never a refusal to give that perfect #ModelKid pout.

I think I must be jealous. Or something. Because look- I had all sorts of ideas on how I was going to dress my kids before I had them, just like I had ideas on how I was going to dress myself as a young cute mom. If Pinterest existed before I'd had kids I would have totally had boards titled, "Future Littles" filled with pictures of babies in scarves and toddlers in head wrap turbans. But then I had kids and became a mom and life and poop and spit-up- it all happened at once and I had to tone it down on the baby fashion and just hope I had an extra onesie somewhere. I figured I could just wait for everyday fashionable kids until toddlerhood! But somehow bow ties and button-up shirts didn't pan out for a kid who just wanted to make mud pies all day. And let me tell you, toddler skinny jeans are terrible for potty training. I also used to have strong opinions about my kids NEVER wearing licensed character items- I mean, that was my worst nightmare. Now I get as excited about a Lego Movie "Everything Is Awesome!" tee as I do about a good heather gray V neck for myself. Oh dear, I just admitted to liking both of those things, practically out loud. WHO AM I?!

With every IG photo of the adorably dressed, very hygienic looking child a little piece of the old fashion design obsessed-me dies. I mean, here I majored in fashion and I can't for the life of me get motivated to get my 2 year old in to anything other than leggings... Xhilaration brand leggings. Sometimes anything more than underwear is an accomplishment.

Of course I'm still totally eating up all of the carefully planned out IG #KidStyle posts, I mean I'd be crazy not hand out "like" after sweet "like" to the little girl in Freshly Picked moccs, a crop top and daisy dukes. I actually love that somehow these moms (and dads) managed to get their 20 month old in to a limited edition sailor outfit complete with heart shaped sunglasses and a head wrap. Not like I've ever dressed my kids "high end" or "limited edition" (because our version of high end is the Gymboree sale rack) BUT even our low class version of high end I save for two big holidays: Easter and Christmas. I figure my kids can handle Momarazzi twice a year begging them to smile, look at me and keep their shoes on. We just did Easter and I'm exhausted.

 Sometimes we match.
And yes, I know... Maybe I'm a hypocrite. Maybe these IG parents will someday stumble upon my IG and say, "HOW does she manage to pull off those parties with two kids vying for her attention!" (Oh, I sure hope someone, somewhere says that someday) but for now, I can't even imagine anything I do comparing to making sure your kids look really awesome, fashionable AND clean daily. And then to have them photograph well. What the...

My favorite little girl to follow, Harlow. Plus her Dad is hilar... The Daddy Fashion Stylist
And bonus- if you follow him, you can get in with a whole slew of these fashion-parents.

What gets me even more than the IG parents with their super gorgeous, never ketchup-stained children, are their followers who follow them and said Gorgeous Perfect child. I mean, the IGer could be posting a picture of their kid swinging in the park showing off the Spring14 hot off the press "Roaring Tiger" dress and the follower somehow notices something ridiculously small in the photo, like a red barrette. Yes I said barrette. Follower will then beg for the poster as well as any of their followers to let them know, "Where can I possibly find that barrette, MUST HAVE". I mean, for realz?

The IG kids clothing brands crack me up too, whether it's the crazy high end Mini Rodini or the indie designer's with a big following... Their fans are nuts. And I'm nuts so that's saying something. They seriously wait around on their phones for this stuff to "go live" and if there happens to be an auction- it's like watching vultures. I mean, heck- I'm all about supporting small(er) business but on IG it is normal for a toddler tee to be $58 and for people to buy it. I just can't, even if I were rich! I'm hard pressed to spend $8 on a tee for a 2 year old! And while I do admit to loving a lot of the designs on IG, it's still weird to me that parents care that much about their kids everyday PLAY clothing! AND I LOVE KID'S CLOTHES, even play ones! I'm not like some weird cheap hand-me-down mom- I actually love shopping for my kids! But caring about custom printed Aztec print leggings that cost $38 (indie), $88 (designer) that will be grown out of in 3 months- that's a little crazy! You know who else sells Aztec print leggings? CottonOn Kids. For $12.00. In multiple colors.

Last thought... A while back I kind of got the idea of the whole IG kid's designer and pop up shop concept. Because here I was thinking that sure you might be spending big money on your kid's clothes- but at least they're wearing totally different stuff than every other kid... But this is NOT true and my feed is proof! All these fashion kids wear the exact same stuff... AS IF! The $88 toddler polka dot high wasted swim suit paired with Saltwater sandals and please don't forget the head wrap, that ever important head wrap. And kids really actually keep those things on their head? I'm in awe of this. I can't even keep a good old fashioned real rubber band in my daughter's hair, let alone a big piece of fabric.

Whew! I got it all out.

I'm done.
I feel better now.

Off to spray stain remover on our poop-stained Target leggings.

xo Party or Die xo

(Following MPM on IG will get you pics of my daughter swimming in gutter water- true story- making you feel like the best parent on earth.)

You know you want one.

Monday, April 21, 2014

"Queen of Hearts" 40th Birthday Bash

This party has only been seen on my Instagram, that's how busy with school and motherhood I've been these last couple of months. This was the last party MPM threw and it took place a few months back on February 16th. My good friend Amy, who has an actual Valentine's Day birthday had been talking about a 40th birthday party since before her 39th... My kinda girl! And I mean, seriously- what better theme for a Valentine's baby- especially if you know her!
I'm not gonna lie (do I ever?)... Parties for friends are tricky. The "problem" is you actually know and love the person you're throwing the bash for... And once that fact is in the equation, somehow your hourly rate just goes out the door (well, if you're me it does!) which is why I really need to stop throwing parties for friends!
However, this party was a blast. Live band, dancing, hearing Amy sing and a photo booth with great friends... all a recipe for a PAR-TAY. It was a full 2 days of work, first fluffing and hanging the pom- poms and lanterns, and then the actual set up on party day. I literally showed up at the venue which Amy's husband is part owner of (an amazing Italian restaurant in Orcutt, Ca called Trattoria Uliveto) with my friend Lauren in-tow to help me figure out our layout. I didn't have a clue where I was going to place the dessert table because the windows in the room where really messing with my original plan. I knew that I was going to need to cover windows up with fabric to create some sort of wall for the table to go on, and I had some ideas about hanging the red glittered AMY letters above the dessert table. However, that was it. I had a bunch of stuff collected and knew it would come together somehow... But because the week before I was in LA filming for the Nickelodeon show, AND I had just started week 1 of business class... I was totally winging 95% of this set up. Like that mirror? Ya, I took that off the wall of the restaurant to help add some depth to the table. And that cool chandelier painting? I snagged it from Amy's house the morning of the party.
We finished setting up at 5:40 pm... The party started at 6:00 pm and you guessed it, I was pretty impressed with myself.
I'm still in party hibernation mode while I finish up the class I'm taking through Santa Barbara's WEV program. I will be back with a bang for Birdie's 3rd "Woodland Chic" birthday party in late June and it'll be worth the wait, just trust.
Enjoy the photos and as usual...
xo Party or Die xo
Event Stylist: Miss Party Mom
"Hello Forty" Gold Foil Print: One Stylish Party
Graphic Design: Tania Fischer Designs
"Sweets" Pinwheel Banner: Peckled
Photo Props: Tweedle Dee Designs
Happy Birthday Banner: TableTop Treats
Cake: Courtney Arensdorf, Orcutt Ca
Cupcakes: Charlene Sousa, Orcutt Ca
Gold Glitter Crown Cupcake Picks: Hues Studio
Striped Lanterns: Z Gallerie

Saturday, April 12, 2014

{Happy Sibling's Day!} & Crap My Kids Fight About


I really wanted to use a curse word in the title but you know... You trade in a lot of luxuries when your husband's a pastor.

It's been a busy couple of weeks since I last braced the blog with my deep thoughts on life. I'm in the thick of writing my business plan for my business class and we're on the financials part. True to always, simple math is kicking my butt. I've been meeting with people left and right trying to get my pricing structure in order and re-launch my business after graduation this May. It's exciting and nerve wracking and I'm learning so much about myself in the process. I mean, it's like therapy every week. And there's an actual therapist in our class too. I probably need to book a sesh...

Moving on...

So... Happy Belated Sibling's Day? That whole idea kind of blew up this year, eh? In honor of it- I decided to write about how lately my kids have been fighting about the craziest (ie: stupidest) things imaginable... Just to add a little zest to life I think. When I think about their fights, it's seriously laughable. And cryable. And screamable.

I've decided it would help me cope with their bickering if I gave the world a sampling of what I'm listening to on a daily basis...

So here we go.

They're fighting over plates. Who gets the dinosaur plate, who gets the owl plate... I'm about to toss out every cutesy plate and have them fight over white China. They'll only throw that at each other once!

They're fighting over who sits by the dog's crate while they're eating. I'm convinced my son doesn't even really like the dog, but my goodness he somehow needs to sit by him now while eating breakfast... I love starting the morning off with tears!

They're fighting over if the other is aloud to, "get in on their side of the car". Cormac's made a rule that Birdie cannot crawl over his seat to get to her car seat. So now Birdie has the same rule. So I've got to walk to both sides of the flippin' car now for fear that feat will be flying in the other's face trying to prevent the ol' crawl-across. These are the types of things you swore you'd never do before parenthood.

They're fighting over if one looks out of the other's window while we're driving. I mean, seriously you can't make this stuff up. This is our newest fight and it's mind numbing. Me trying to explain that windows belong to everyone- not just the person sitting nearest to it... Not the meaningful post-preschool chat I was hoping for.
They're fighting over who Birdie can be in the Circus Show they've created. Cormac is controlling (like me) and Birdie is a free spirit. She swears she needs to be the Clown Tamer, not the Lion Tamer. It is pissing Cormac off that she just can't be a normal Circus act. And she is mad he can't see the beauty in taming those unruly clowns.

They're fighting (actually mainly just Cormac complaining on this one) that Birdie only wanted to play with him on her first day of preschool. "That first day she played with me and now she'd rather play with sand!" But the minute they get home, you know where they're actually forced to play together- Cormac suddenly needs "alone Lego time". My brain hurts trying to process this stuff.

For all of the fighting they do though, I must admit they have some of the sweetest moments. Like when he actually breaks apart his baseball game snack to share it with her. And when her brother is in trouble, Birdie runs to his side and caresses his back and says, "It's ok Cormac, I love you..."

So for all the fighting, I have to remind myself that their love for each other is huge and I'm so happy they have each other as siblings.
So... Happy Flippin' Sibling's Day!


Follow me on Instagram for more photos of my kids when they're getting along. I try and capture every moment as if it were the last.
xo Party or Die xo
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