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Kid Glamping

If you asked me about car camping 10 years ago I would say no way. Why would I go into the forest to sleep next to my car? Why go into the woods so I have to be quiet and not disturb other campers? The reason is these two little faces.

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Now as a mom with two little kids car camping is the only way to do it if you want to have a good vacation and actually look forward to it year after year. I might go back to backpacking and minimalism one day but for now, I am 100% on-board with kid glamping and every year I look forward to our camping trips.

The Location 

If you live in the PNW you need to book your spot at least 6 months ahead. Yes, that is right, if  you want that sweet spot, the one group site near the bathrooms, the one with a water faucet, the one that has an outlet, the one that you to go every year then you need to book it on the first day you can so you don’t have to worry about getting something that is going to stress you out. We have that site, the one we go to every year with a water faucet, outlet, and picnic tables with a shelter. It’s a group site with good access and it’s been our 4th of July home for a few years now.

Pre-Camping

I love planning and taking notes. So last year after doing this a few times we really honed in on our pregame. It made a huge difference making the time to get some stuff organized and starting our trip on the right foot that I felt so ready I even got in an AM run before we hit the road.

Make a few premade dishes. We made some food ahead of time like couscous salad and chocolate-chip cookies. If you don’t have anything made I would at least consider having a lunch bag of food for each person so you have a quick meal ready when you get there. It takes time to set up camp and no one wants to be hangry. This is also a great way to keep the kids occupied while the adults set up camp.

Campsite Setup

In the morning your kids are going to get up at the crack of dawn. Be ready to roll out of that tent and have your lounge area set up. This is the area with the rug or large blanket. We have a few inflatable chairs and toys to entertain the kids. If they are really little you’ll have a playpen for them to chill in while you warm up the water for your instant coffee.

There will be bugs so make sure to bring net tabletop covers to keep them off your food. I also like to keep a basket out with utensils, napkins, and maybe a citronella candle to keep the tablecloth from blowing away. I keep this under the net tabletop cover to keep things clean while we are away from the site and all the critters get up on our table.

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For our picnic tables, we use the table cloths that are reusable and have a cleanable surface top and a cotton fabric bottom. They hold better to wood picnic tables and they are easy to wipe off and sanitize each time since at our location there was always chipmunk poop when we return to the campsite.

If you haven’t camped while and want to get one thing to make this camping trip a success get a new air mattress. Sleep is going to be hard in a new place, with new sounds, and you all might be in the same bed for the first time. To help get some sleep make sure you have a good bed and lots of pillows. If it is cold make sure to bring more blankets then you think you’ll actually need. Sometimes with kids, things get wet or dirty and better to have extra and not need them. I would also recommend having larger than needed blankets. So if you have a queen mattress bring king size blankets so everyone is covered.

Some things I do at our campsite and in our tent to make it feel more like home:

  • Large rug (or blanket) for the getting ready and play area in the tent.
  • Basket for shoes in the tent near the door.
  • “Doormat” outside the tent so there is a clean place to step or sit to put on shoes.
  • Solar lights to help see important areas.
  • Bathroom bag with a headlamp and all the stuff your kids want or need when you go no matter the time of day.
  • Air pump and a long extension cord. If you have kids they are going to jump on that air mattress and you are going to want to touch it up and fill it up a little more without getting it out of the tent. Trust me, bring an extension cord.
  • Furniture, and the cozier and more comfortable the better. We have found our favorite are the inflatables chairs and such. I bring some extra blankets and pillows to make it extra cozy.
  • I also like to bring some fun seasonal decorations.

The Food

Breakfast for the kids is that boxed cereal they never get to eat and while they are busy someone can make the adults some real breakfast. We do easy lunches and make sandwiches and let the kids snack all day. Then for dinner, we go big and make sure to sit at the table and eat family style like we do at home.

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There are a ton of tips online about what to make while camping but it is really up to your style. My hubby loves to cook fun stuff but he is also nostalgic about things and wants to have special types of classic dishes, especially for the 4th of July camping we do every year.

Here are a few of my tips around food:

  • Freeze large bottles of water for ice packs. This way you have water once it melts and when it does melt it won’t get everything soggy.
  • Bring a few reusable containers. They can hold lunch stuff to the beach or on a hike, they can be in the cooler for that half-eaten apple or the dinner someone didn’t eat.
  • If you can get dry ice that stuff is the best to keep everything cold.
  • Have a snack bag or box. This is all the dry snack items you have so you can have your kids help themselves. You can even have one in the cooler for perishables.
  • We use a travel bottle cleaner container that has a small dry area and comes with a brush. It is perfect for washing dishes.
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  • Bring something ready to eat like muffins, wraps, or comfort food.
  • Water bottles for the kids with their name on it. One trip… one cup!!!
  • We love making nachos. You can warm up the cheese over a campfire and then add all the sides to bowls so people and kids can build their own. Always a big hit with the groups and super easy to make.
  • This year the smores got an uplift with chocolate cookies.

The Clean and Dirty

We camp near the beach and by the end of the day, the kids need a bath, especially if we are there several days. We bring a large bucket/bin that holds our camping gear and use that as a bathtub. We warm up water with our sunshower and our immersion circulator if we need a little extra.

Once our kids are ready to go to bed we have them put their shoes inside the tent in a basket near the door. My kids are already used to taking off shoes in the house so this was easy for them to adopt. By keeping shoes inside we didn’t have to worry about bugs crawling in overnight outside the tent. This really helps limit the amount of dirt in our tent.

A few more things I add to my checklist:

  • Small dustpan and little broom to clean up dirt in the tent.
  • Disinfectant wipes (trust me you will need them).
  • Collapsible sink bucket to wash pots or dishes.
  • Paper plates for easy clean ups when you don’t want to wash dishes.
  • Large hand sanitizer for the table and a small one to take with you in your backpack for day adventures.
  • Bathroom bag or shower caddy with everything you need for the bathroom including a flashlight to get there.
  • Yoga matt for the inside of the tent to put shoes on or step inside the tent with shoes.
  • Large ziplock bag for the inside trash.

Bedtime Adventures

Bedtime for little kids is hard, even at home sometimes so we go the super easy route. I put my kid in our bed and give them their tablets with headphones. They watch a movie while I sit at the campfire only a few feet away and they pass out before the movie ends. I then transfer them when I go to bed. The great thing about the headphones is they don’t hear us talking and they get to stay up a little later than normal so hopefully, they sleep in a little.

I also suggest lots of blankets, extra pillows, stuffies, and kid lanterns.

Odds and Ends

We love camping and want to make the most of it for our kids. They thrive being outside and having everyone so close to them for days. It is a great family experience we get to share with close friends and do my best to make it fun and enjoyable for everyone.

Here are a few more odds and ends to make camping and exploring fun:

  • Scavenger hunt and exploring tools for the kids.
  • Smore’s caddy or station and stuff ready to go, including sticks with handles.
  • Glow in the dark toys and glow sticks for everything!!!
  • Toys like sidewalk chalk, buckets, shovels, and binoculars.
  • Stuff to do inside if it is bad weather like coloring books, crafts, and movies on tablets.
  • Warm robe for the kids. They are perfect for putting over PJs and keeping them warm all night long.
  • Backpack for day trips out and about to hold all the snacks.

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Hope this list and suggestions help to make your next family camping trip that much more enjoyable for everyone.

Of course, all this said, camping with kids is just like being at home with kids. It is crazy and you never know what could happen. You can plan for the worst and hope for the best and if you keep your bar low you will be happy with your vacation.

Happy Kid Glamping * L


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The REAL Working Moms Equal Pay Day

Last year on May 30th, was Working Moms Equal Pay Day.  It is a symbolic day dedicated to raising awareness of the working mom pay gap. In the United States, this date symbolizes how far into the year working moms must work in order to earn what men earned in the previous year.

This date is based on the % of the dollar earned by working moms. Current women in America with no children earn $.80 for every dollar men earned and celebrated equal pay day on April 2nd.

I didn’t think much about the date or data until I noticed this year it wasn’t the same date as before, and the official date looks to now be sometime in June. I should have dug into this data before, but now I was really curious as to how they got that date and what data was driving this outcome.

I’m a math girl and I love data. I love how black and white it is and often use it to leverage and base decisions on. That said, data can be manipulated based on how you show it. I’m going to share a lot of math with you but I want to be transparent.

In America here is what Wikipedia says are the different equal pay days based on the dollar earned:

  • Asian American women make $.85 for every dollar, and their equal pay day is March 5, 2019.
  • African American women earn $.61 for every dollar, and their equal pay day is August 22, 2019.
  • Native American women earn $.58 for every dollar, and their equal pay day is September 23, 2019.
  • Latinas earn $.53 for every dollar, and their equal pay day is November 20, 2019.
  • Mothers earn $.69 compared to fathers, and in 2019, their equal pay day is June 10, 2019.

The issue I have with this mother data is the lack of information on how they got it. Asian American women make more money than White American women. Same is true for mothers. So is June 10th the date Asian American Moms earn their full dollar or is it for White Mothers? I wasn’t happy with this answer so I did the math to find out.

Research around the Mother Penalty shows that hourly wages of mothers are approximately 5% lower (per child) than the wages of non-mothers. The research by Sigle-Rushton and Waldfogel found that 81% of mothers with children under the age of 18 made less than $40,000 per year compared to only 44% of fathers. Wage penalty incurred by women for motherhood varies significantly across nations as do work-family policies. What makes this data hit even harder is that women in lower-wage jobs suffer a greater percentage of loss in hourly wages as a result of motherhood than women in more highly paid professions.

A recent study found that the pay gap for mothers with one child rose from 9% in the period between 1986 and 1995 to 15% between 2006 and 2014. For mothers with two kids, the gap held steady at 13% and stayed at 20% for mothers with three or more children.

What is also interesting is Asian women face the smallest wage gap and they earn 97% of what white men earn, resulting in a pay gap of just 3%. White women earn 79% of what white men do, while black women earn 67% and Hispanic women earn 58%.

Using this math and the data we have, here are the true equal pay day for women in America. I also used data I found here on Business Insider and came up with this list. They didn’t have data for Native American so I deferred to the data above given in Wikipedia. The two had close data but it wasn’t exactly the same so makes you again wonder how accurate any of this data is.

Mother’s with 1 kid earn 15% less and it goes up to 20% with 2 kids. So using the data I have, here are Working Mothers in America, equal pay day by ethnicity and by 1 or 2 kids:

  • March 15, 2019 – Asian American moms with 1 kid earn $.82 for every dollar
  • July 15, 2019 – Asian American moms with 2 kids earn $.79 for every dollar
  • August 2, 2019 – White American moms with 1 kid earn $.67 for every dollar
  • August 29, 2019 – White American moms with 2 kids earn $.63 for every dollar
  • September 30, 2019 – African American moms with 1 kid earn $.57 for every dollar
  • October 10, 2019 – African American moms with2 kids earn $.55 for every dollar
  • November 10, 2019 – Native Americans & Hispanic American moms with 1 kid earn $.49 for every dollar
  • November 29, 2019 – Native Americans & Hispanic American moms with 2 kids earn $.46 for every dollar

I know it is super confusing but when we water down these dates to one, we don’t highlight the real complexity of the issue. We are also not able to reverse how they got that number or date without real raw data.

This is a good lesson to not just believe everything you read and dive into the data yourself to see the truth.  May 30, 2018 we celebrated Working Moms Equal Pay Day and now it looks like the official day might be June 10th.  Not sure how they got that date and for who? And what kind of mom is this the date for? Is it for the highest paid working moms, Asian American’s with 1 kid?

If I had a choice I think we should celebrate it on November 29th when the last working mom with 2 kids gets her full pay, but then again, maybe I am a bit biased since I am a working mom with 2 kids who’s 24% Native American with Mexican Citizenship.

Here I am pregnant with my firstborn. I started a new job at Amazon and moved to a different state, away from family, for my job. They didn’t know I was pregnant and part of me wonders if I would have gotten the job or the pay I did if they had known.

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What day do you think we should call Equal Pay Day for Working Moms in America? Have you seen new or more reliable data on the $ earned for 2019 based on ethnicity and number of kids? If so please share and thanks for reading. * L

 


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Thanks Mom for the Invention

Did you know that a long time ago women could not file for a patent in America? They had to file under their husband’s name or a use a first initial to avoid the gender question, thus many women never got the recognition. Even today there is a huge gender gap in women filing for patents. Women inventors made up only 12% of all inventors on patents granted in 2016. The good news is for the first time in a long time, if not forever we are seeing a change and more women than ever are inventing and getting credit for it.

I dug in a little deeper to find out who of these women inventors are mothers, working moms who made a difference. Working moms whom you’d have to thank if you’ve used Wi-Fi, windshield wipers, or a dishwasher.

Women in the workplace make it better for everyone! Diversity matters and moms in the workplace make a huge difference in our everyday lives and in the workplace.

Did you know a working mom invented the dishwasher? How about a Mother-Daughter invention of personality type indicator called Myers Briggs? Have you heard about the working mom Elizabeth Blackburn who won a Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine? What about Ingrid Daubechies who is one of the world’s most cited mathematicians? Maybe you heard about the actress working mom Hedy Lamarr who invented what was to later become Bluetooth technology. What about Ruby Violet Payne-Scott who was the first female radio astronomer?

 

 

If you are interested take a look at my Instagram page to learn more about the other 24 working moms and their inventions. I highlighted one each day in April and have loved learning about all 30 women who have each made a big difference in the world.

Diversity matters, and we are all better together for it. 

Happy Mother’s Day to you, your Mom, and to all the working Moms out there who are making a difference. * L

 


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HELP

Even looking at the title “Help” makes me a little uncomfortable. Does it do that for you? Are you good at asking for help? Do you often help others? How does the word help show up for you?

For me, it is both my strength and weakness. I have never been good at asking for help. In fact, I might be the worst at it and am still working on it today. That said, it has made me strong, agile, and able to have grit, grow and be a strong person who is always pushing herself to do more, be better.

I didn’t realize I was bad at asking for help until I was listening to my mom tell me a story about when I was little. I was selling girl scout cookies with my friends and I was complaining about my stomach hurting. It was Saturday and my mom was working so my dad picked me up. We went home and I went to bed complaining about my stomach. My dad didn’t know what to do so he called my mom who owned her own hair salon in town. She asked, “did she eat breakfast, has she eaten?” Well, that was it. I was hungry and the adult in me hearing this story made me realize how bad I was at asking for help as a child.

I was so bad at asking for help that as a child I wouldn’t even ask my parents for food when I was hungry. 

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As a result of not asking for help, I pushed myself. If I struggled I tried harder. I found a way to make it work. I got lucky that some people saw me struggling, saw me looking out the window at school too long, and asked me if I needed help. Even when I said I didn’t, even when the whole town knew my Dad had cancer I said no. When I think back I got a lot of help and people really cared about me. I wonder if they helped since they knew I wouldn’t ask, or they appreciated how hard I was trying. As a result, I have so much respect for people who are trying, people who are hanging on, do it on their own and be accountable!

I also love to help and feel thankful I have found a profession that allows me to help others achieve success. I also feel very lucky that I have a husband who is a helper. He is my best friend and knows me even when I am not paying attention to myself. He even got morning sickness when I first got pregnant (and I didn’t). We are very connected and having someone like him, has been a lifesaver for me. He also loves to help and it’s been a learning process to let go of the control and accept that help.

Many times a story of one’s life doesn’t look the same from the outside. That strong woman who has it all together needs help too and I write this not to highlight this in me but to highlight this need for all the others who are too strong, too scared, too conditioned to ask for help.

We all have our dark moments, our struggle, and when you see this in a friend, a loved one, don’t ask how you can help, ask them “what do you need” so you can do that for them. A true gift is one that is not asked for, one that is given from the heart, one that doesn’t need recognition or even acknowledgment for the true gift is the ability to give.

Life is hard and we all need a little help sometimes. Make sure you don’t miss the quiet ones, the strong ones, the ones who aren’t asking for help… as they are often the ones who need it the most. * L

 


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LOVE for all the Seasons of Your Life

Today is Valentine’s Day and I just love, love!!! Life is how you see it, so I wanted to share several ways I share love, in the different seasons of life. Perhaps something will inspire you to bring more love and happiness in yours.

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SINGLE LADIES 

When I was single I hosted a Glanetine’s brunch at my little San Francisco home. For several years we gathered with bubbly, flowers, and yummy brunch dishes. One year I got all the ladies corsage and every year it was a drunken haze after everyone left with my heart feeling full. Even when I had a boyfriend I made sure to leave February 14th brunch window open for my girls. Friends are so important, not only when you are single and need a buddy, but as we change our seasons, grown, and be there for you on life’s journey.

One year I made mimosa wedges!!! It was a lot of work but would love to make these again. I also miss hosting my girlfriends now that my life has changed but might try to fit this back in next year.

I don’t have a lot of guy friends but I did at one time. Another fun option to include everyone is to have a gender-mixed Pajama Party with all your best friends. Play Truth or Dare, watch a movie, play games and maybe even bake cookies or decorate them together.

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If you are not able to host a party here are some fun ideas if you want to do something fun with your favorite pals this Valentine’s Day:

  1. Make a “date night” where the two of you head out to a favorite restaurant and bring along a sentimental gift to mark the friendship celebration.
  2. Why not do a Couples’ Massage, with your BFFs. Enjoy the luxury of a spa visit with your BFF and you won’t care how bad your hair looks after the massage. You can make a day of it and just relax.
  3. If massage isn’t for you, do a Mani/Pedi. Choose a fun place that lets you bring a bottle of bubbly and fun treats to share.
  4. Create an adventure – whether you choose skydiving, a spa, private yoga lesson, hike, or a day/weekend trip to NYC, San Francisco, Seattle or some other great destination for the day. Do something with a friend that you’ve both always wanted to do, but don’t have the courage to do on your own.
  5. Binge on Netflix and your favorite snacks.
  6. You could sign up for a class, like one of the paint and wine ones, or the new ones that let you make a terrarium or new personalized sign to hang up.

LADIES WITH A PARTNER 

I had a first date on February 12th and when he asked if I wanted to go out again 2 days later for Valentine’s Day I knew he was the one. We went to some local sushi restaurant in San Franciso and we have been together ever since. New relationships are always so much fun.

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2 years later, my boyfriend proposed to me on Valentine’s Day in Tahoe CA while on vacation, and it was super special. We snowboarded all day, got massages, and had a nice dinner. The couple next to us got a bottle of champagne to help us celebrate. As a couple, not all valentine’s need to be this extravagant but it really did make me feel special.

Having a new love is so much fun and here are a few fun and exciting things you might want to consider this Valentine’s day with your new love:

  1. Go shopping for something fun to wear that night. Go bold and see who can top each other with their wild sexy gift.
  2. Plan a fun day trip or a weekend get-a-way.
  3. Do something to stretch yourself, dare to do something new, romantic, or wild. Why not, you only live ones and you are in love!!!
  4. Create something together or go on a tour.
  5. Create a fun game for your new love. A scavenger hunt, or a blindfold adventure.
  6. Or be you, and just treat your new love to breakfast in bed, a massage, or a special meal made by you.

MARRIED LADIES 

Having a partner to spoil is so much fun! Our first year married hubby made me a special dinner at home. He got new fancy serving plates and made my favorite dish, chocolate covered strawberries (along with other stuff). We hung out at home and watched a movie together.

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Being married doesn’t mean you don’t go out, but these days I do love staying home. Here are some fun things to do with your old time favorite love:

  1. Bing on your new favorite show and eat junk food in your new matching PJs.
  2. Recreate your first date. Maybe you can’t actually go there but you can try your best to redo it at home with the same dishes and maybe music.
  3. Take a blood test and find out your DNA, or go donate blood and feel good about saving someone’s life.
  4. Volunteer at an animal shelter or deliver meals. Sharing you care for others is a fun way to build the love for one another.
  5. Make the love last longer and give your partner a series of dates all year long with a fun membership or already planned dates with gift cards or reservations.
  6. If you can’t be with each other text them, send them fun videos, or memes to make the day fun and special and plan something at another time.

MAMA LADIES 

Having a partner to spoil is so much fun, but having kids to spoil might be more fun! My son is 6 and my daughter is 3 and I love giving them making them a little gift bag to celebrate the day.  For my kindergartener, I do a fun valentine’s day bento box lunch with heart cut apples and all. Then at dinner, we do heart-shaped personalized pizzas. It’s a lot of fun making the day special for them.

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Some other fun stuff I might do with them one day:

  1. Dad and daughter date, while mom and son go out too.
  2. Pamper night at home, with nail painting, face painting, and maybe a fun movie while drinking kids spa water (aka lemonade).
  3. Do a dance party with music, balloons, and fun snacks.
  4. Have the kids make valentines for others. I love crafts and this is a kind way to have little ones give back.
  5. Make a love obstacle course for your little ones. You can have the bag of gifts at the end as the reward.
  6. Find a bunch or valentine related love books for kids at the library and have a quiet day of love at home with hot cocoa, cookies, and books.

Also never forget to love yourself. Self-care is super important so you can be there for not only yourself but for all the ones you love.

Happy Valentine’s Day and let me know if you have other fun ways to celebrate the season of love. * L

 


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My Top 5 Kid Books of 2018

Here are some of my favorite kid books my 3 and 5-year-old daughter and son loved last year.

Not Quite Narwhal: Love the colors and illustration of this book about identity. This year my son started Kindergarten and as little ones and even adults grow up we often ask our self are we a unicorn or a narwhal? Well, maybe not that but it is a very kind story about Kelp finding out he might not be what he thought he was and how this new discovery actually made his life better by bringing two worlds together.

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Dagons Love Tacos: This is a funny book about dragons who don’t like to eat spicy foods but love tacos. Funny since I love spicy foods and my kids don’t, but also a fun way to show them that not all foods are spicy. Not even tacos who are usually spicy, especially the ones on mama’s plate. Found these absolutely cute taco holding taco trucks that came two per a pack (orange and green) so it turned into a fun night.

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Linus the Vegetarian T.Rex: My family is vegetarian (well hubby is pseudo) and this is a fun book on the topic to help not only my kids talk about what is a vegetarian but for all kids to open up to learning that everyone is different and we may not look the same, or maybe we don’t eat the same. My son started Kindergarten this year and I liked this book about diversity.

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Robo-Sauce: This is a fun book about a kid who turns into a robot. Love the creative images and a BIG foldout page that my kids can’t wait to play with. Great book about being yourself and noticing the people around you. Of course, I paired it with spaghetti night.

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Try a Little Kindness: Was the perfect addition to our month of December and random acts of kindness. This book is about different ways we can be kind, like letting others go first in line, holding the umbrella for someone, and opening the door for others. We can all use a little reminder and what a cute book to share with a little one in your life.

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Let me know what favorites you have. * L


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Par-TEA Tips for Busy Parents

My little girl turned 3 a few months ago when it was still warm out. It feels like forever ago but finally getting around to posting about it. I wanted to share some birthday tips for a busy parent who wants to do it all.

My little girl wanted to have a tea party for her 3rd birthday. At first, I thought it would be fun to do an Alice in Wonderland type of party but ultimately wanted to try and do something a little more unique,  so I thought perhaps a spinoff would be fun and a little different and we, instead aimed to do a dragon and fairy tea party in the backyard.

Here is the birthday girl with her fabulous nanny and these cute plastic tea cups with straws I got from Amazon. A blessing since the party ending up being inside and a bunch of little kids ran around with drinks in their hands.

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I really wanted to go all out and be crazy because I love parties, but I have been so busy at work, (starting work at 7am,  working evenings and weekends) and there just wasn’t a lot of time to do everything myself in my typical DIY kind of way.

As moms, we have to learn what is too much and not drive ourselves crazy with unrealistic goals. This is a great lesson we can teach our kids by example. 

I was an 80’s kid and I had my birthday parties in the garage with store-bought cake, and you know what, I loved it.

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Outsource Anything You Can

Instead of making a cake, I bought one. I wanted to get a really nice cake from one of the amazing local ladies but they both couldn’t do it that weekend. It kind of killed me not making my own cake since I love baking but it was a hot August day here in Seattle and that week of the party we had the worst air quality due to wildfires. I just didn’t want to cook in a hot house with the windows closed (we don’t have AC). So I got one at the store and it was fine enough. They got her name right and you know what… the kids loved it.

Get a Helper

My mom made a bunch of paper flowers we used pink tule to bunch them and decorate our home. Originally the party was going to be outside with a big white cabana for the sun, but the bad air quality kept us inside. Again, let it go and go with the flow!!!!

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It is always great to have a helping hand, and I was thankful my Mom was in town to help decorate and get the birthday girl ready. Especially if you have to pivot and go from an outside to an inside party. Trust me, get help. If you don’t have a close friend or family member then I would suggest hiring a local teen in the area to play with the kids while you set up.

Give Big Kids a Job

We did things a little different for this birthday party and didn’t do party favor bags to give at the end of the party. Instead, we did gift bags right when they got there. My son who is 5 got to have the job of passing them out and being a host for the event. He really liked having a job for the party and felt included at the tea party. The kids could either get a bag with dragon wings and a mask or fairy wings and necklace, in their gift bag along with some other sparkly and fun treats to take home with them.

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Activity or Game

I am a big fan of having a game or some kind of activity for the kids to do at a party. For the tea party, we had gold crowns, markers, stickers, and jewels for the kids to decorate and personalize them. We also had a bubble game for the backyard since it was summer and wanted to get the wiggles out after cake but of course, due to weather, we had to stay inside. Who would have thought?!

Keep it Simple

This was my lesson learned. We went a little overboard with food options. We love food and wanted to have healthy options as well as fun tea time treats. Everyone loved the options and ate, but we had a lot of food leftover. In the end, I think pizza, some fruit and maybe a veggie plate is fine enough. Keep the food simple and the kids won’t care either way. That said, I do appreciate coffee at birthday parties before noon.

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In the spirit of keeping things simple check out my friend’s blog on The Easiest Kid Birthday Party Formula for some other great suggestions. Right now I am planning my son’s 6th birthday and I am not making some of the same mistakes I have made in the past. * L