Happy 4th of July

Happy 4th of July
What plans do you have?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Birthday Parties for “Ones”

At our site we do a lot of invitations for 1 year old birthday parties. Of course, we all know that a one year old usually has not much of a clue of what is going on, though he or she knows what to do with the cake! 1 year old birthday parties are more for the parents and grandparents and other family. I treasure the pictures of my daughters and grandsons on their first birthdays.

If you let your 12 month old feed herself or himself cake, you’ll probably need to plan a bath afterwards. Often icing and cake go in the hair, get smeared on face, clothes, high chair and anyone within reach. If you’re lucky, only face and hands will be covered. We have pictures of my first grandson tossing cake to the floor – the universal “I’m done” signal.

I’ve recently discovered there are first birthday highchair kits – they include a mat, bib, party hat, and a banner to decorate the highchair. Pretty cute. Eventually we’ll be offering them at our new site Parties and Games, which we’re working on now. There are lots of cute 1st birthday party themed tableware out there – we have some at Invitations by You and will be offering more at Parties and Games.

I also recommend that presents be done before the cake or after the cleanup. Your little one will need help opening packages. Often older children like to help with this process, but you have to watch out that they don’t take the toy or gift away from the baby once it is open.

Here are some resources if you’re planning a 1st birthday party:

First Birthday Party from the Berkeley Parents Network

Five Ways To Have A Successful 1st Birthday from lifetips.com

Planning Your 1st Birthday Party from amazingmoms.com

1st Birthday at kidspartyfun.com

1st Birthday Party Ideas, Activities and Tips from birthdaypartyideas4kids.com
Click here to read more!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Teen Hollywood Party

I just read some really creative ideas on Yahoo answers for teen Hollywood parties and thought I’d share them with you:

- One girl created a DVD with spoofs of movies (Indiana Jane, The Incredible Hulkette, Legally Strawberry Blonde, etc.) – sounds very fun.
- Another girl had great decoration suggestions including: “Now Playing” posters made from pictures cut out of magazines advertising movies, red fabric draped as a carpet, and silver stars cut from wrapping paper on the wall, flashlights angled against large Hollywood lettering in a window.
- Someone else suggested playing the Hollywood game with questions and answers about celebrities.

Here’s a whole Hollywood party scenario from teenpartyideas.com.

I found a helpful article on an “American Idol Teen Birthday Party” at suite101.

The article “Lights! Camera! Action! Birthday Party Theme” by Denise Witmer on about.com had some great ideas.

Don’t forget the idea of doing hair and makeup and taking glitzy “head shots” of your guests, too.
There are some fun Hollywood themed invitations and paper products out there, as well. My favorites on our site are the Director’s Cut Tableware.
Click here to read more!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Beach Weddings

My daughter’s friend wanted to get married on the beach in Hawaii – unfortunately, that didn’t work out – but what a fun thing to do if you are an ocean beach lover.

So what do you need to think about if you’re planning a wedding on the beach?
Your guest list
Obviously, if it is a “fly to” location for most of your guests, that will probably cut down on the number of people able to attend.
If your ceremony is actually in the sand, walking for elderly or disabled guests could be an issue.
Unless it is a “tropical” ocean beach, weather is definitely going to be an issue. I’ve spent most of my beach time on the Oregon coast and even in August it’s not really warm. (The warmest—and driest—time is afternoon.)
If you plan on providing seats for the ceremony and/or reception, those will need to be hired and set up, unless there is an open air venue on the beach you can rent.
High heels, well most shoes for that matter, are not the most practical in sand. Keep that in mind when choosing what the wedding party will wear.

Here’s a “Beach Weddings” article with additional thoughts. I really like their idea of a beach theme wherever the actual ceremony is held.

More Resources

We have some cool invitations for beach weddings in our Themed Weddings section.

And here are some sites with beach theme wedding favors:

Wedding Favors to Go

Click here to read more!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Camp Mail

For kids going to camp, it’s often like going to a week long sleepover party. Yeah, there may be classes and sometimes the food isn’t so great, but there’s all that outdoor play, new friends to make, campfires, whispered exchanges after lights out, etc. Often camp counselors are young college age guys and gals that are way better than “parents.”

However, even for only a week long camp, some kids get a bit homesick and writing letters or receiving mail can be a help. I remember the tension of “mail call” and wondering if I was going to get anything or get too much! At our camp if someone got a lot of mail in one day they often had to do something silly like run around the dining hall while repeating some phrase at the top of their voice.

Letters to or from home might not have a lot of content, but can be fun anyway, so be prepared when your kid goes off to camp. First, provide writing paper, envelopes, pens or pencils and stamps for your child to take along. We have some cute Camp Writing Kits on our website – some are fold and seal; others are the more traditional kid style stationery and matching envelopes. Send your mail to camp early in the week so your son or daughter gets a letter early. Keep your message(s) light and upbeat. Don’t emphasize to a kid with a tendency to be homesick how much you miss him or her. (Or how much you’re enjoying them being gone!)

You might want to save those letters you get, too—they could be a nice treasure years later.
Click here to read more!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Wedding Etiquette

There are standards of good behavior at weddings and receptions. However, for some reason a number of movies that show bad etiquette come to my mind (The Wedding Crashers, 28 Days) and one where the bridesmaid/maid of honor was way overbooked (27 Dresses). So guess the movies don’t help us much.

This Wedding Etiquette Quiz might prove useful.

And this blog with an entry called Weddiquette : The Ceremony

This article even had tips on How To Acknowledge the Death of a Parent at Your Wedding

Planning a destination wedding? Destination Weddiquette might be the article for you.

Or for a Jewish wedding, this resource weddiquette: keeping kosher could be very helpful.

But I’ve saved the best for last: The Weddiquette Blog is chock full of information. The recent entry that interested me most was on joint bachelor/bachelorette parties. Fun idea!
Click here to read more!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Birthday card idea

My family has a number of birthdays in June and sometimes finding just the right card – especially milestone birthday cards, when you don’t want “put downs” – can be difficult. So this week I got the bright idea of making customized birthday cards using invitation/announcement cards from our IBY site. Not only did I write my own text, but I personalized each card with the person’s name. I can’t wait to hear how each one liked her card.

You can do the same thing either by buying single card stock and printing yourself or by using a printer (like us), who has no minimums and either no set-up fees or minimal setup fees. If you are ordering over the internet, order a number of cards at once, so that the shipping charges don’t make the cards too expensive. Ask for an electronic proof (free on our site and probably free on many sites) to make sure the card looks just the way you want it to.

What to say? Make it as personal as you can. Talk about the person’s exact age, or things that happened when he was born, special memories of her, relate it to his favorite hobby or her avocation, or even what is happening this year.

The only thing I suggest not printing is your name. Sign the card as usual.
Click here to read more!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

4th of July – a whole day to celebrate

Now that Memorial Day is behind us, the next holiday on all calendars is Independence Day. At IBY we are already having people order their party invites for July 4th and several have chosen one of our brand new patriotic cards.

This year the holiday is a Friday, which means another 3 day weekend – woo whoo! 4th of a July is another good time for family gatherings, summer activities, and, of course, fireworks. I prefer the professional fireworks. A couple years ago, I got to watch them while listening to a concert, which was great fun! Though probably the most memorable was watching them with the Statue of Liberty as a backdrop.

When our kids were young, the town where we lived put on a 4th of July parade. Kids could participate by dressing up in any holiday related theme. Once our girls marched as cowgirl and Indian partners. The other years we were merely spectators, but that was fun, too.

One year I made a rectangular chocolate cake, used whipped cream for the icing, then decorated it into a flag using blueberries for the blue section, and strawberries for the red stripes. Looked and tasted good!

Thought you might be interested in some ideas to make your day even more fun, especially if you don’t have a parade to attend.

from FamilyFun

4th of July Parties, Printables & Games

Party ideas from 123greetings

Want something a little more unique? Check out these articles:

How to Go Green for the Fourth of July from ehow

How to Plan a Spectacular 4th of July Menu! from ehow

Fourth of July Recipes and Menus – includes a Red, White and Blue Menu – from Busy Cooks
Click here to read more!