3 Ways to Make Events Easier! (And a First Birthday Party!)

I’m the type of gal who loves to host events “from scratch”.

Know what I mean? If it’s a birthday party, I like to make the cake, snacks and drinks from scratch. I like to craft all the decor. I like to think up and put all the favors together myself. I’m that kind of “from scratch”.

Buuuuut…I have twin 1-year-old girls. ‘Nuff said, right?! Sometimes “from scratch” is simply not possible! And, if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that time is FLYING. And it’s really hard to enjoy yourself at an event that you really want to enjoy yourself at if you’re worried about the things that you still need to finish crafting.

So, sometimes I have to make events easier. 

A couple of weeks back, we celebrated the birthdays of our twin girls. Y’all, I CANNOT BELIEVE they are already an entire year old!

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(Clearly they can’t believe it, either! HA!)

So, for their first birthday party, I kicked in three simplicity factors:

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Don’t Forget About the Roses

As you’ve heard me mention of late, we recently purchased a new home. One of the reasons why we love this house is that it’s great for entertaining! Wide open spaces, lots of natural light, great places to set up a hearty buffet, and plenty of room for our friends and family! We’ve had two gatherings here so far in the two-and-a-half months that we’ve lived here…and I’m about to have another one this coming weekend. Still loving how the house works so seamlessly for entertaining!

tay amazing!

Besides the space, light and room, I, like you, have my own favorite elements to add to any gathering I host. 

  1. Fresh towels in the guest bathroom. You know…the GOOD towels that people are afraid to use?! I LOVE having my bathroom stocked with those! it’s like bringing out the good china!
  2. A good variety of foods in the kitchen. I normally want something sweet, something healthy, something crunchy, something salty…you get the idea. As long as anyone who comes in my home has SOMETHING to eat, I’m good.
  3. A wonderful smell throughout the home. Sometimes that comes from whatever I’ve had baking in the kitchen. Sometimes from diffusing essential oils or burning candles. And sometimes…from fresh flowers!

In fact, fresh flowers will add to almost any gathering, wouldn’t you agree? I love my local grocery store, because they have a small “florist” section, and I can always pick up what I might need for any gathering. Or even grab a nice assortment of blooms if I feel like fresh flowers on the table for dinner!

But, you know what? I’ve gotten SO used to ordering just about anything online and having it shipped to the house. I mean, come on – anytime I have to go somewhere, I have to prep 2 one-year-olds and their diaper bag to go with me. Once I arrive wherever I’m going, I either have to get them all situated in their stroller or in a shopping cart…and if it’s a shopping cart, is there a double shopping cart? Do I have wipes to clean it off with? Do I have the shopping cart covers with me? It’s always an event for us to go anywhere!

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A Guide to the Perfect Cheese Platter

Well, it’s the day before Christmas Eve, and I think I’m pretty much all set. I won’t lie, a few things didn’t work as I wanted them to, and I probably stayed up too late a few nights trying to pull things together, but that’s the excitement of Christmas, right?!
 
I mean, the holiday season is always an exciting time! You get to decorate your house with sparkling lights, sort through your ornament collection, and sing along to festive music. But more than that, you get to come together with friends and family to reflect on the past year and count your blessings.
 
If you’re planning on hosting a holiday get together this year and don’t want to spend all day in the kitchen, there are plenty of options that will impress your guests. For example, a cheese platter.
 
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Cheese platters are versatile, allow you to get creative, and don’t have to be kept warm. To help you craft the perfect cheese platter, my friends at FTD created a guide detailing cheese types and cheese tools. The guide also gives suggestions for the best accompaniments, so you can make sure to create a platter that everyone will enjoy!
 
 
Check this out…

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5 Must-Haves for the Organized Mom

This post is a part of the Summer Must-Haves for Mom event! From April 27 through May 10, 2015, make sure you check it out to win awesome prizes, be a part of fantastic parties, and be encouraged by wonderful ideas from other women! CLICK HERE TO GO THERE NOW!

If you’re a regular reader here at The Road to Domestication, you know that no, I am not a mom yet. However, you may remember that I worked my way through college as a nanny for triplet boys and their baby brother, too, so when I put on my “mom” cap, those rough and tumbles are who I think of.

With three boys of the same age, and a BABY, too, organization was a huge key in my job as their nanny. Within about a year of working for them, I was not only nanny, but household manager, and personal assistant to their dad and mom.

(Now, let me clarify: this was a household of 5,000+ square feet, their dad was a radiation oncologist and their mom had her own medical billing company. From the yard crew to the tutors to the music teachers, to the housekeepers, to the chef…it was the real deal.)

You get the general idea. I was thinking about ALL of that when I chose these products! So, without further explanation, here are five organizational products (in no particular order) that I truly believe every mom needs!

1. Diaper Bag Organizers

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Seriously, HOW MUCH TIME IS WASTED DIGGING IN DIAPER BAGS?! It used to drive me absolutely bonkers! I KNEW I had put the fingernail clippers in that bag – where on earth were they?! Oh, if I had only had these lovely little treasures. Literally a filing cabinet for your diaper bag. Heck, I could use these for my purse!

http://www.heysugarsnap.com

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On Planning a Minecraft Birthday Party

If you’re a regular reader, you know that we don’t have kids yet. So I don’t know too much about the phenomenon that is Minecraft. But I know that the majority of you who are reading this post right now probably know more than you would like to about the game…errr…sport….errr…ACTIVITY. Chances are that YOUR kids are pretty into it! So when I saw my out-of-town cousin post pictures of the Minecraft Birthday Party she did for her 8-year-old daughter, I was totally amazed. I knew all of you would be, too, so I asked her to write today’s blog post! (She is also responsible for all of the party pics!)

And now, without further ado…allow me to introduce to you my cousin, Shira, and her beautiful family!

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Let me stop right here to give a shout-out to the fabulous Crystal from Little Lane Photography who took these photos. She has also photographed myself and my hubby, and we all LOVE her! Check out her Facebook page by CLICKING HERE!

And here is the afore-mentioned Minecraft-loving 8-year-old:

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Is she not the CUTEST?! (Since she’s the youngest in our family, we all pretty much think so!)

Here’s what her momma had to say…

I am a party planner extraordinaire.  I have an extra building full of color-coded Sterlite storage tubs for every imaginable themed occasion.  It’s what I do.  I’m good at it.  But when my 7-year-old daughter came to me and said that she really wanted a Minecraft birthday party, I was stumped.  Aaliyah is the youngest of our 3 blessings… and she’s the youngest by 7-ish years.  In that 7-year gap, I skipped over the phenomenon that is Minecraft.  And it’s not that I was completely in the woods about the game, but for the 5 seconds that my now almost-15-year-old son was interested, I honestly thought it was a retro revival of an old Atari game from my childhood… or as my little darlings call it, the “before times”.  It’s also probably important to note that I never mastered PacMan or the rubix cube, so Minecraft was a bit out of my 2-dimensional league. 

But Aaliyah… my Aaliyah can NOT get enough of this game!  Or of Stampy Cat.  Or this guy named Steve.  And while I should be more on top of my “mom” game and have already carefully monitored, researched and examined Minecraft, she hadn’t started worshipping Satan or tried to kill her siblings, and the school endorsed it as “educational”, so I was okay with it.  But when she asked me for a Minecraft theme party, I needed a serious crash course in the game to even know where to start.

My dad sent me an awesome article to begin my journey.  If you get a chance, check out http://2machines.com/183040/.  I was pretty surprised by the impressive problem solving skills that Aaliyah was learning by playing the game.  And then a few other friends sent me the same article, http://www.sunshineandhurricanes.com/minecraft-for-moms/, and both articles together gave me somewhat of a working knowledge of the game, so I could at least fake it enough to pull a party together.

And that’s when I turned to Pinterest. 

HOLY MOSES.

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