Party Hardy

This last weekend was my little one’s 2nd birthday and after a busy couple of weeks I’m now at June 13th with my first June post.  But even if this month might have started out slow we will be picking up some great momentum now that we are 1/2 way through the Parents Tested Mommy Approved 2012 challenge!  Yeeehaw!  So far we have held Earth day parties at local parent-owned businesses, tried many new recipes and products, received some great advice from local parent professionals as well as entered our little one into the Parents magazine annual cover photo model contest!  I wonder what the rest of the year will hold??!!!

Okay… so like I mentioned in the last post, Parents magazine had ideas in both their May and June issues for birthday parties, so we decided to combine a little bit of BOTH months into our party and this post.

In the May Parents magazine issue there were birthday party ideas “from A to Z” and we picked a couple out to try…

First in the alphabetical birthday party ideas was the ideas for “Mocktails” under the “M”.

I decided to make my own variation and used a blender to mix different juices (depending on the guests choice) with ice and garnish with fresh fruit and a tropical bend-straw.  MMmmmmmmm!

Another A to Z birthday idea from May’s issue was for an “S” sign project on a pillow case.

We had everybody be apart of this project asking guests to sign, color, draw or leave a message for the birthday boy.  Our new month-old kitten (Kit Kat) even got into the festivities… too bad she can’t hold a marker pen!

Then came the “X” in the A to Z list where you take a strand of (we prefer “holiday”) lights and add some extra charm to them to brighten up the festivities!

Being the eco-artist I am… I decided to take recycled items for this project, I used a scalloped-round paper punch on some recycled paper and then pushed a hole through the middle to put them through the lights.  I also added some recycled tissue-paper flowers and an old Happy Birthday sign reassembled onto the strand and VOILA!  Let there be LIGHT!

I added my own style to the day by decorated our fridge with magnets, a common occurance in our household and within my family.  I guess you can file this one under “A” on the A to Z list for “Magnet ART”!

Then we added the June Parents magazine birthday suggestion of making our party into a “Birthday with Benefits” event and asked guests to bring items or donate to a local shelter here in Seattle called the Broadview Shelter.  A wonderful place that supports local women and children run by the larger nonprofit organization Solid Ground.

As you can see our guests were more than happy to contribute to the Broadview Shelter.  We collected donations and financial contributions from their “list of needs” on their website.  The Parents magazine article had other families that had made their parties into fundraisers too but even if you don’t have an extravagant 100-person party or a famous NFL linebacker as your dad you can still hold a more realistic, smaller event and still do a world of good for a local nonprofit!  With all the budget cuts lately, any help you can provide your local organization will be appreciated for sure!

One of the other ideas on the birthday A to Z list was “P” for photo tips and since we have some wonderful photographer friends we always end up getting some amazing images.

As you can see, the article suggests instead of saying “cheese” for photos to try using a different word and this is exactly what our great photographer friend,  Dr. Ashwin Rao (who’s photo blog is Life at Shutter Speed) did!  Without even telling him about the article, Ashwin told people to say “Dill Pickles” instead of the word “cheese” right before snapping them with one of our many Polaroids or with his awesomesauce Leica camera!  As you can see, we not only had the “shutterbug” friend for our party who had people saying silly words but these ideas obviously work REALLY WELL because just look at some of the images Uncle Ashwin took!

Thanks to all our party guests for coming to our party!  For contributing to a wonderful organization and for all the contributions to make our little one’s 2nd birthday an amazingly fun time!!

Mommy DEFINITELY recommends these Parents magazine birthday party ideas for your little one’s big day!  Check out the rest of the alphabetic A to Z ideas in their May issue!

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