Motherhood operating systems in progress.

This area does not yet contain any content.
Find Us On...
Subscribe to MommyBeta
Latest Tweets
Join My Parenting Book Club!

Entries in Party Planning (2)


Goody Bag Alternative: Art Jars

Art supplies instead of a goody bag!

For each of Nic’s birthdays, I’ve done a “non-goody bag” favor. Goody bags can be fun, but I prefer something a little different. Usually, my favors are a bit crafty, and for Nic’s 5th birthday, it was no different.

The boys and I made “art jars,” for each party goer. These were mason jars stuffed with craft supplies for Nic’s favorite activity, project-making. Here’s what we used: 

  • Mason jars
  • Feathers
  • Beads
  • Dyed pasta
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Old fashioned clothes pins
  • Googly eyes
  • Layard string
  • Pom poms
  • Glue sticks or tiny Elmer’s Glue (I actually didn’t put these in, but wish I had!)
  • Gift tag
  • Ribbon for tying on gift tags

The art supplies make these favors so colorful!

If you can get a good deal on the mason jars, these are really inexpensive favors, and they look terrific! Scope out dollar stores for great deals on craft supplies.

Mason jar favors, the finished product,

These were really fun and easy to put together with the boys. 

Nic loved getting involved in making the favor for his party.

Pro Tip: Keep the mason jars in the boxes they come in. Do this for two reasons.


  1. When filling the jars with kids, a bunch of supplies end up between the jars. Having the box there makes clean up way easier.
  2. The boxes make the jars super easy to transport if you are having an off-site party. 


The kids and parents all seems thrilled with the jars at Nic's party. I'm already coming up with ideas for more mason jar favors. What would you put inside?


A Giant First Birthday


With all of this talk about first birthdays, I realized that I never wrote a post about Nic’s first birthday party!

I LOVE to throw parties.  I lay in bed at night thinking of the little details that will make them special—like mismatched teacups as gazpacho bowls at Jennifer’s bridal shower or the crossword puzzles that greeted my wedding guests at their seats.

Nic’s party was no exception, I had been thinking about it for months.  Shaun and I agreed that a backyard BBQ with a San Francisco Giants theme would be fun and apropos for our little World Series good luck charm. 

We sent out this invite to family and a few of our oldest friends.

As the week of the party arrived, we were expecting 40 guests and RAIN.  Our house is small, so this made for some creative thinking.  For instance, we broke down our bed, moved it to the garage and set up tables in our bedroom.

I had been making felt banners over the course of the proceeding weeks, and we found good spots for them inside.  I also moved my Giants baby gear “clothesline” and our rented popcorn machine indoors.


Nic LOVED the party.  With each new event—lunch, presents, cake—we got more smiles and giggles. 

My mom and I had spent the whole previous day in the kitchen baking dozens of cupcakes and a big baseball birthday cake (thanks for all the help Nana!).  The chocolate cupcakes were delicious, but the vanilla didn’t turn out quite right—at least they were all cute!

No first birthday is complete without a cake smash, and Nic’s was no different.  I was so excited that my cousin captured such great pictures!




Nic was still taking two naps a day at this point (he's down to just one now), and he refused to nap the morning of the party.  We had one VERY tired, but still very happy little birthday boy by the time his last guests departed.  But within minutes, he was reliving the excitement in dreamland.