5 Tips to party planning – a NEW perspective

Less Stress, More Party!

I remember the day I planned a party at home for my first born. I felt so exhausted and overwhelmed. Being new to hosting parties at the time I recall the anxiety to please everyone, the worry of making everything perfect. Then on the day of the party, my daughter got the stomach flu, she was miserable and it really put things into perspective for me. ‘What was this for again?’ I look back at that event now and learned that it didn’t have to feel that way.

It’s really just my approach that has shifted and if you can get anything out of this post I hope it’s this – remember that ‘It’s a blessing to be able to celebrate’. We’ve had to skip some parties because of hospital stays and emergencies in the past. So when we party now, it really is about celebrating that life.
Over the years as our family has grown (We now have 4 children) I’d like to think I picked up a few tips along the way.
I wish for your event planning to be enjoyable, memorable, less stressful and you have more time for the fun.
Let’s begin.
1. Dream it up early –

You don’t have to physically get started but go ahead and dream. ‘Why not?!’. I love this one because it’s free :). Go to Pinterest, scroll through and create boards that inspire you. Chances are you’ll gravitate to a theme that you’ll love and get excited about. This excitement will usually fuel you to get started early with the actual physical planning. Early is always best.

2. The theme that motivates.

It doesn’t have to be complicated but you’d be surprised how a theme can put things together for you and organize your thoughts. It can be a colour motif, your child’s favourite hobby, the celebrant’s unique character (We just celebrated my little ‘fashionista’s 5th birthday party and made a collection’). Pin the theme down and creatively own it. Don’t you just love hearing people say, ‘That party had YOU all over it” or “That was so her style”, “On-point”. In the world of design and marketing your theme acts as your ‘branding’, being consistent adds a polished look.

3. Don’t forget the dollar dollar bills –

Hey, I said less stress not no stress. I’m sure budget is that piece that can give you the heebie-jeebies. But take a deep breathe and relax, you’ve got this. Depending on the celebration, you decide your budget, different cultures and families give certain life events importance. Say a quinceañera for the latin culture is a large event, but for others they save for the 18th birthday called the debut. Personally, we put a lot of importance on baptisms and first birthdays – the mustache theme was a fun one. So I know cultural expectation plays a big part in your decisions but your savings and realistic budget should be honoured.

If most of your budget goes toward the venue opt for DIY invitations or ask for help from your talented friends and relatives for entertainment, photography or food options. We have been fortunate to find The Cakebooth to create our cakes and some giveaways.  That’s the nice thing about cultural events, since others see it as being big, for the most part they are also willing to lend a hand. And if your event is more low-key, have fun using creative ideas that relate to your theme (i.e. use blue KoolAid in an aquarium as a punch bowl for an undersea party, add cute names to your food dishes related to the theme, personalized gift tags with your event details). No matter what, don’t forget to spend your money on what makes sense to you and your family.

4. Ask for help …even from the world.

Brings me to the next point, don’t forget that help comes in many forms. Some of you might say “I don’t know people who can help” or “they are too busy”…”too much drama”…so you might even be thinking I’m talking about immediate people in your lives, of course there’s that but I also suggest help in the not-so immediate. Jump on social, I learned how to create DIY Mickey Mouse Oreo cookie sticks from Youtube, you can even ask your Facebook friends if anyone knows of cool and affordable venues.

The great thing about social media is that so many people are eager to share and help because they know a time will come when they will need your help too. You know for yourself how excited you get when you’ve had a good experience with something. There are tons of freebies you can find online, and we personally love sharing, so just for visiting we created these “Thank you” tags for you.

(Customizable DIY black and white Thank you cards. Use them as tags or print them on label sheets to cut out and use as stickers.)

Don’t forget to check out reviews of vendors too, it’s a huge thing when you have a lot of money invested in an event, especially for weddings. Point is, ask the world!

5. Smile…let’s celebrate!

Things aren’t always going to go as planned but the saying holds true that ‘when you’re having fun, your guests will too.’ All will become a distant memory so don’t forget to enjoy the moment, the photos will help you reminisce and the smiles will make all the difference. Focus on the celebrant, and let them get involved. Play, play, play. Remember what I said earlier ‘It’s a blessing to be able to celebrate’.

Here are a few photos from some of our events and our online store. You can even follow us on Pinterest for more ideas. We hope you like this article, feel free to share with us below and don’t forget to subscribe to our FREE email list so we can keep you updated. All the best!

Mustache theme collection from LD Design Loft

Committed to a theme much…it’s just part of the fun. Click here to visit our store and personalize this specific design.

“Mustache” you to take one and have some fun.

“Mustache” you to take one and have some fun.

Mustache cake

This three tiered cake has three flavours, mocha, yema cheese and red velvet. The chocolate moustache sticks was a hysterical giveaway.

Fashionista theme collection from LD Design Loft

Fashionista collection

DIY Fashionista party photobooth

DIY photo booth with props

DIY Fashionista Name decoration

Script hand cutout with polkadots

Fashionista purse ice cream cake

Baskin Robin’s Very Berry Strawberry Ice cream purse cake was a hit.

Octopus lantern

undersea decor

Under the sea decor for a home party.

Colourful Mermaid cake to compliment the undersea theme.

Colourful Mermaid cake to compliment the undersea theme.

DIY ceiling octopus lantern and streamers. Undersea home party.

DIY ceiling octopus lantern and streamers. Undersea home party.

Ballerina butter cream, red velvet cake. Name script lettering decor overhead.

Ballerina butter cream, red velvet cake. Name script lettering decor overhead.

White chocolate covered pretzel

home made white chocolate for ballet theme party.

Bookmark with seedlings

Unique giveaways, bookmark with removable cross seedlings. The captioning instructs guests to plant the seeds in celebration of the child’s baptism, symbolic of their growing faith.

Elegant baptism cake with rocking horse and flowers.

All white baptism cake

DIY gummy candy kabobs

DIY gummy candy kabobs.

Daddy and Baby boy’s matching shoes cake.

Daddy and Baby boy’s matching shoes cake.

Mickey Mouse DIY Chocolate covered Oreo pops

Mickey Mouse DIY Chocolate covered Oreo pops

Black and white, photo reel, retirement cake.

Black and white, photo reel, retirement cake.

Retirement cookie giveaways with fishing and travel theme

Travel and fishing themed cookies for these retirees.

Blue cake with train and blocks

blue cake with train and blocks

Room To Share

Childhood memories built here.

(Create personalized wall art. – encourage sisterhood)

As I stand outside my two daughters’ shared bedroom I’m excited that I’ve finally finished reorganizing their space. I suppose I can tell you that the cute little things were gifts from generous family and friends purchased from Potterybarn Kids, HomeSense and the likes, but the room has a different story to share. It reminded me of something a lot more significant. I’m the middle child and the only daughter, I loved growing up with brothers. I knew about comic books, sports, wrestling, superheroes and Nintendo but a part of me still really enjoy playing with dolls, dressing up and girly things. I remembered a time when we stayed over at a family friend’s place.

It was memorable because they had two daughters and they had the most spectacular room from what I remember. It had everything I ever dreamed of, a kitchen, a dollhouse, pretend play area, books etc. But what made it even more incredible was how excited the two girls were to share everything with me. We had a sleepover and I watched Disney’s Sleeping Beauty for the first time there. It wasn’t about the stuff, it was the warmth and generosity that I remembered. I felt sisterly love and I share this story with our own daughters to strengthen their already big hearts — to help them be humble, grateful and kind. As they grow older I want them to know the importance of sisterhood, to be generous of what they have to all the other women they will meet. We as women need to know we can trust each other, to feel we belong.

personalized wall art

A fun little project to personalize her room.

P.S. I painted feathers for the girls and added quotes, on one of them it says “I touch the sky when my knees hit the ground.” – all things come from above and we are humbled by love, let us share it freely. (you can also create these for yourselves from here)

The art of gift giving

I don’t think I can be a shop that shares unique gift ideas without telling you this personal holiday story. I was a witness to such a heart warming gift-giving experience for my own girls over Christmas.

See when I started my LD Design Loft designs my eldest girl Julia started drawing sketches right beside me; talk about a personal cheerleader. She even called her imaginary shop ‘JD Shop’. Julia loves to sketch and one visit to her cousins’ place she left some of her dress sketches there. We had no idea that Lola Nanay (their grandmother) got hold of the sketches. Eighty-five year old Nanay is an experienced seamstress, I think she can know your measurements by just simply hugging you…I doubt that’s an exaggeration. She sewed dresses and uniforms for years until her arthritis started bothering her. So how delighted was Julia to open her presents on Christmas day from this thoughtful lady. She created two of Julia’s dresses from her sketches, this wonderful gift spoke to our hearts, it encourages creativity and the belief in a child’s talents. How amazing what crayons, paper, a few yards of fabric, imagination and love can do. We will look back on this forever and know we learned from a master. The art of gift-giving is not in the material but in the time, love and thought. What a wonderful lesson for all of us.

Homemade Goodness! Sweet Traditions

We really enjoy receiving homemade treats during the holidays in our family. We’ve also been known to give out a few ourselves. We once got almond roca bars and my husband was hoping to get some this year…so I said “Why not just make some ourselves?!”. Needless to say, he was way too excited over the idea…ha.
Our girls really loved helping with these, and it is officially on our list for traditional recipes during this time of year — what’s more, this year our second child has outgrown her allergy to hazelnuts and almonds =D. ..so thrilled she can enjoy these with us. Gifts of homemade goodness are awesome! Who doesn’t love the warmth and goodness of memories, especially when it is made tangible through delicious foods and gifts?!
We hope you have fun making, sharing and scarfing them down.
Thank you to The Food Charlatan and The Girl Who Ate Everything for sharing their take on this recipe. I used both blogs to help with ours.
Almond Roca Bars
Ingredients
  • 1 cup butter (at room temperature is best, I use the guide on the package when measuring)
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9″ x 13″ baking dish. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter with the white and brown sugar in a large bowl. Add egg, almond extract and salt and mix to combine. Add in the flour and mix well some more. Spread mixture into the prepared pan, it will be like cookie dough in consistency so have fun pressing down with your clean hands. (Wet your fingers a bit to help with this part).
  2. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Spread the chocolate chips immediately after baking and let them sit to melt, we put it back into the oven for 5 minutes to speed this up (the chocolate chips won’t look like they melted from sight, spread a part to check if they has softened). Spread the chocolate evenly on top and sprinkle with sliced almonds. I suggest you cut the bars while it’s warm so it’s easier to lift once cooled to avoid cracking.

 

Create your own Christmas ‘Word Banners’

Create your own Christmas 'Word Banners'

DIY tutorial - download the templates from our Freebie menu to get started.

Your own 'Love, Hope & Peace' Christmas tree banner

Recreate these banners with the PDF template .

Recreate these banners with the PDF template

If you're like me, this is about the time of the year when you start getting that Christmas feeling. I hope it's of excitement and not of frantic emotions, it helps to start slow by creating the Christmas atmosphere in your own home. For us, we usually start with the tree, so I head over to Pinterest :).
I have always admired the simple silver and white look and decided it will be our theme this year; I am often drawn to the ones with 'word banners' and thought I'd give it a go. Since I'm a graphic designer I knew I needed to create the letters on the computer, I'd like you to be able to do this project too so I've provided an electronic template for free and below are basic steps for you. Simply print the template pages from your home printer and let's get started.

1-what-you-need 

 

What you will need.

• The supplied template (3 pages in total) from our Freebie page
(note:  the singular banner flag shape is 4" x 5" in size)
• scissors
• glue stick
• pencil
• black bristol  board (dollar store ones at 22" x 28" will do the trick)
• one hole punch (1/4 size holes)
• silver craft cord (this is what I used but feel free to use a cord or yarn you prefer that will work with your tree)
 
 

Step 1

2

Cut out the single rectangular banner flag.

 

Step 2

4

Use the shape to trace it onto the black bristol board. You will be making the words 'Love, Hope, Peace', so use the shape to trace all 13 letters for the flags.  
(Helpful tip: if you trace them side by side you will save time when cutting.)

 

Step 3

5

Cut out all the flags from the bristol board that you traced.

 

Step 4

6

Now cut out all the letters from the template with your scissors.

 

Step 5

7

 Apply glue to the back of each letter.

Step 6

8

Place the letter on a black banner flag. Do this for all of your letters.

 

Step 7

9

Punch 2 holes on the top corners of each flag. Do this to all of them.

 

Step 8

11

String the cord through the holes to form your word banners.

Step 9

12

Spread the letters as desired.

 

Step 10

love-ig-tree

Hang all the banners on the tree, wrap the cord on branches to hold in place. Step back and admire.
You're all done! I always find that personal and handmade decor have a way of attracting attention; it's those small details that show your thoughtfulness. Feel free to share and comment if you would like to see more of these kinds of tutorials. We have other goodies on our freebie page or discover the products from our store for unique gift ideas.