Special 50th or higher birthday bash!

10 Top reasons to hire a professional photo booth and disk jockey for your special 50th or higher birthday bash!

The professional photographer:

#1. You are spending a lot of money to put this together, the last thing you need is after the party is over , is to find the photographer got trashed at the party and did not take pictures of any one you told him or her do to. So now you are relying on Aunt Martha’s old Kodac camera and because Aunt Martha is short, she has cut the heads off most of your guests. Of course this could be a good thing with the divorce rate being what it is!

#2. Anytime you are doing an over 50th birthday, be considerate of the guests. They may want to have a best side showing. Make sure your photographer is versed in making everyone look good. When I say your “professional”, I mean just that, ask for recommendations from him or go to a website that deals with party planning to make sure you have the person you want. Many venues will have a list of recommended vendors as well.

#3. Make sure the photographer can deliver the pictures to the guests before they leave. Many may have come from out of town and the last thing you need is to be having to haul large amounts of pictures to be mailed. Make certain the photographer understands from the start that everyone has to take the photo or album with them when they leave.

#4. Let him know well in advance of what type of props you would like him to bring along. A truly professional will come prepared with what they think will make for a successful event, but you may have some hidden treasures at home that you would like to be used as well.

#5. Perhaps, you have a few favorite people that you would like to send a special gift to after the event. Perhaps it is a coffee mug, with pictures of the event, a framed picture, a calendar (where each month has a different picture of the party), a photo book with stories about the pictures, etc. Ask the photographer if he can do these or is it best to use a company like I have done, called Shutterfly. Make certain they will give you the pictures you paid for and not watermark them, meaning you can’t use them.

NOW TO THE DJ

#6. So we are doing a party for someone over 50? Here again ask for recommendations from the venue where you are having the event at or use a party planner.

#7. Make sure he has a vast array of music to fit the age if everyone from there. Quite frankly, if there will be children, break up things with music for them, that the adults can participate in as well such as the Hockey Pokey, The Chicken Dance and any other song that will get everyone off their chair and moving.

#8. Check ahead of time, do you homework, make sure this DJ has some energy. The best parties I have seen is where the DJ interacts with the guests and just doesn’t stand behind his keyboard. The more fun the

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Summer Is Here – 4th of July Time

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What do you think of after the Memorial Day Weekend has passed? We start thinking about pool parties every weekend, with great BBQ and libations, planning our vacations for summer, going to the beach and after that is the The Fourth of July. It is amazing how fast the year has gone already.

July 4th is a great time as we celebrate Independence Day. Let us not forget what the holiday is really about though. It is so wonderful to gather friends around and plan to watch those beautiful fireworks displays. The colors are so brillantl and calming. If you live near a river or and body of water, they are even more spectacular reflecting off the water. I love to see the ones in the New York Harbor on TV as they have the music to go with them. We have had the pleasure of seeing and being part of July 4th displays for many years. The best time was on a boat in the harbor of Manistique, Michigan where my husband is from. It is located in the UP of Michigan and believe or not, boats came from all over. Each boat had it’s own theme. Our boat was Christmas in July. We got to play Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus and it was fun to see the expression on the children’s faces.

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For years, I put on a large fire work display on the west side of the Phoenix Valley. For the bi-centennial we had the largest display in the city and was sponsored by a little shopping center. In 1975 we spent $6,000 on fireworks and that was a lot of money. The Corvette carrying the master of the parade and myself over heated (remember in July in AZ it is hot), so we walked the whole way hand in hand an laughing about it.

Planning a party for the July 4th holiday? My suggestion is keep it simple! We have a Traeger smoker, so we will be smoking ribs. Whether you do the cooking your self or have it catered, make it a fun day… no stress… and make sure you guests are comfortable. Plenty of water, no matter where you live. Make sure you have a lot of munchies and food for all.

Make the best baked beans ever by using B&M Baked or Bushes beans and add chopped onions, diced jalapeno peppers, catsup, mustard, brown sugar and whiskey and bake for about 2 hours on low. Your guests will never guess how you made them. Deviled eggs are always a hit and so simple to make. Again use mayo, yellow mustard for the dressing part of the yolks. Add a little zip by chopping very fine dill pickles or sweet if you like. Just make sure to keep them cold. Sprinkle with fresh dill and you will have another hit.

Last but no least, PLEASE, if you have pets, keep you furever friends safely in the house when the fireworks start as most dogs get so scared. Nothing will ruin you July 4th than loosing your beloved pet and by all means watch the little ones around the fireworks. Sparklers look harmless but are not toys. Happy July 4th.

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How to make that Memorial Day Party POP!

Do you ever wonder why some parties are so much fun and organized and some are not? Anyone can put on a good party, but it takes a great deal of planning to make it a GREAT party.
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  1. Start by planning far in advance, so that your guests mark their calendars for your event. It doesn’t matter, if you make the invitations yourself or buy them. Make them colorful and have cute themes so that people will want to be at your party. Make sure if you have an address that is hard to find, that you include a small map. You will want to make sure that the hours are reasonable both start and finish. There is nothing worse than trying to get guests to leave and the won’t. Also RSVP is crucial, even though some people don’t know what it means.
  2. Perhaps if possible, get some activities ready for the older kids, other than babysitting.
  3. Decorations… this is the fun part. If you live in a sunny area, make certain there are tents or canopies for shade.
  4. If your party will be going at dusk or later, buy some of the those cute paper lanterns or any type of hanging lights. They can be re-used next year or at another party. Again, think COLORFUL! Lots of balloons and festive table cloths and napkins. Paper plates, plain Jane is fine if you are on a budget. Remember trash receptacles. If you are in a buggy area, remember covers for the food. There are tons of party stores around to accommodate all your needs. I am a great fan of the disposable warming trays that you just toss.
  5. When it comes to food, be creative but that doesn’t mean you have to break the bank. My husband and I have catered many a pool party in our home and half the fun is making it yourself. Here again, think of your guests. Some may have a special diet and they always appreciate when you have options for them. I make the best Whiskey Baked Beans and you can do it by doctoring them up with many things. Potato salad is a real keeper. If it is going to be hot, make sure food is kept chilled!!!
  6. The bar! Keep it simple, there is nothing wrong with beer and wine and a punch for the little ones. Remember LOTS of water. If you want hard liquor, I would always hire a bartender. They can tell your guests if they have had enough.
  7. Perhaps hire a couple of young people to help with the clean up as the day goes along. I am sure you and your guests will appreciate not having pests around the food.
  8. Music? Use a DJ and make sure they have come recommended. Remember, if you use a DJ or any type if music.. invite your neighbors.. then they won’t complain about the music.
  9. Always make sure you have time to visit with everyone and if there are new people, get them involved in the conversation. If you delegate many things both you and your guests will have a great time and look forward to your next party.
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Quick Ideas for Big Toddler Parties!

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When coming up with ideas on what works and what doesn’t when it comes to putting a party together, it can be very difficult. This gets magnified when you are putting together a great party for your toddler. As a mother, I have to accomplish what seems like the impossible at least a couple times a year. This past weekend my daughter was invited to a Birthday party and when we arrived, there was the usual fair. Food, cake, soft drinks, and plenty of kids. The stand out was the entertainment, a bounce house.

At least in Arizona, this is becoming standard for toddler parties. There are plenty of companies around that offer bounce castles with super heroes and princesses plastered on the sides. These are great, but as a parent, I always want my kids parties to have something special and unique. So I went off to scour the internet again in search of the best ideas I could find for toddler parties. I found many different party games and unique party themes, but these are my Top 3 Toddler Party Ideas!

Number 3

Chain Restaurant Party! This one is going to be location specific but most of us live near a place with kid games that allows the booking of parties. For example, when I was a kid Pizza places were the place to have a party. Chuck E Cheese or Peter Piper Pizza were amazing places to book your birthday and every kid was excited to go. This idea has been expanded and evolved into booking parties at Dave and Busters. Just make sure you book in advance and you will see that not only will your kid be incredibly joyful about where his party is, but you will have the staff there to make sure none of the party guests go unwatched.

Number 2

Themed Parties! This is one section I like to pride myself in. Finding a subject that my child really is into, creating cool and unique party favors and decorations, then creating fun games that fit the theme. These are at the core of most Parties. There is one fallacy when it comes to these kinds of parties though, the level of creativity required can be immensely high. The best part is though, if you can pull off a great themed party, the feeling of accomplishment is unbeatable.

Number 1

Toddler Foam
Foam Pit Party! This has been a growing trend that actually was the focus of my last blog post. I still haven’t been able to find anything that tops a Foam Party. It is a safe and entertaining way to keep the kids entertained. Non-toxic and Non-irritating foam solution pours out and covers all the little ones running around. There are even foam pits available to keep the foam in a centralized location. Completely unique and very fun, this will be a party that is talked about by the kids and adults. If you want to find more information on Foam Parties, Click Here!

Now don’t take my words as a guarantee that your child will love his or her birthday setup. You know your kid best and if you have a kid that would rather play with a karaoke machine and sing Michael Buble all night with his friends, then make him happy and buy a karaoke machine! If you have a child that would love anything and you just want to give them a party that he will remember for a long time, then you can definitely use my tips. All in all, MPP and I wish all you parents luck and hope you put together the best parties for years to come.

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Great New Party Trend: Foam Parties!

This Holiday Season was a very busy one for me and I am sure it has been the same for all of you reading my blog! Now that Christmas and the New Year has come and gone, I am ready to get back into the party game for my kids!

I’ve always been into making sure the decorating and theme of a party all match perfectly and I create a whole world for my kids birthdays. This works well with my young children that have vivid imaginations, but as they grow older more emphasis is placed on what activities are available at the party. As a parent we all know that there are the basic games that we can always add to spice up a party. Musical Chairs, a Pinata, a Jump Castle, if you are lucky enough to have a pool then Pool Party. The bad part is, I don’t like plain and simple or things that have been done. So I decided to start asking my coworkers what was getting a ton of attention. They gave me a two word answer: Foam Parties!

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Knowing that warm temperatures are finally coming back, it seems that Foam Parties would be a good idea to have, but like anything I had concerns. If you want a lot of foam, I bet it would cost a ton, take a team of guys running it, and it’s going to make a huge mess for me to clean up! Since i’m writing this post, i’m guessing you caught on that I was wrong with all my assumptions.

Foam Party 1When it comes to the cost, I would say it’s reasonable for what it is. I’ve spend tons of money on all the aspects of a party for my children and even though the price depends on what Foam Machine you order, they can range from $650 all the way to over $1200! Now when it comes to the prices, the companies that have the higher prices have the same basic machinery as the ones with the lower prices. So my focus was to shop for price. Also, to get a ton of Foam for your Foam Party, it doesn’t take a team. It takes me mixing some foam solution with water then turning on the machine. And last but CERTAINLY not last, the clean up. If you have a nice space to just dump the foam onto, you can do that and after a while, the foam will evaporate.

Foam Party 3What I fell in love with though is there are Foam Pits that you can rent with your machine and it will contain the foam like if it was an overground pool! This makes the process of toweling off the kids as they come out to eat their hotdog much cleaner. It’s inflatable and just like everything else, they have different sizes for you to order from. Once it gets a bit warmer where we live, I will put together a Foam Party and see how it goes. I might even keep it running so that the children can have fun in the foam during the day and then the adults can take it over after dark!

Setting up a Foam Party has a ton of potential for people of all ages and I am glad that it’s a growing trend. If you are interested in getting more information about Foam Machines make sure to visit FoamMachines.co! They are the company with the best prices and can ship to you quickly if you forgot to plan ahead.

Christie Stocker

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Top 10 Halloween Costumes 2013

With Halloween just around the corner, I decided to start on some research and find out what is going to be what is hot this Halloween. I’m not looking for any specific age group, just the top 10 most sought out for costumes this year! Most of them are popular every year, and others are going to be popular for just this year. So let us start right away with the Top 10 Halloween Costumes of 2013!

10th Best Halloween Costume
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A tie between Batman and Spiderman, for the last couple years these two have dominated the Top 10 lists on every site. The good thing about these is that no matter your age, size, or budget, you can put something together and still be recognized as one of these two great superheros. We’ve even found full motorcycle outfits for batman fans that give you full protection from a crash with it’s armor. And of course with The Amazing Spiderman and all the talk about the new Spiderman movie with Electro and Rhino, this outfit is not going away anytime soon.

9th Best Halloween Costume
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If you have seen Tosh.0 lately, you saw him wearing a cry baby mask when he was in a skit of how he negotiates. Although we don’t like the $350 price tag, you have to admit it does leave an impression. Not very cute and mildly disturbing, this hyper realistic baby head might even have the power to make real babies cry. For the most part though, it’ll be something that everyone is going to talk about after seeing it and you’re going to have to make the entire suit as authentic as possible. Make sure you get a great diaper and baby bottle. This way you will literally be the biggest baby at the party! Now the hardest part of this mask is where to find it. We did find one website with that enormous price tag that we mentioned, but i’m sure there are other places that are cheaper.

8th Best Halloween Costume
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The Walking Dead and Zombies take the Number 8 spot. This is the month that Season 4 is starting up of the Walking Dead. This will make so many people want to come out for Halloween as Rick or one of the Walkers! Zombies have been getting more and more popular every year. And ever since The Walking Dead started up, even the people that weren’t into zombies have come around. Everyone is part of the Zombie Craze!

7th Best Halloween Costume
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Star Wars is our number 7. Although there hasn’t been a movie release for years, Star Wars never dies and with the purchase of the Star Wars name by Disney this year, many people are excited to see what Disney can do with it. With great characters from Luke Skywalker to the pictured Boba Fett, everyone has someone to dress up as.

6th Best Halloween Costume
circus-costumes-for-kids-tween-steampunk-girl-costume-22079Steampunk is something that not many people are familiar with. It’s an alternate reality of the world if Steam power was the main form of power. Although this does sound a bit different, it creates a lot of really cool and mechanical styles for clothing and items.

5th Best Halloween Costume
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For Number 5 we have another set of superheros and bring up Iron Man and the Man of Steel. With two major Blockbuster movies out this year, these two superheros are at the top of their game. Superman as the leader of the Justice League was always too good and allowed Batman to take the spotlight, but now he shows why he’s the main man. And Iron Man, ever since Robert Downy took over the role, has been the mouth of the Avengers. There’s no doubt that these two have what it takes to be great heroes to dress up as.

4th Best Halloween Costume
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Game of Thrones has captivated a huge audience with it’s amazing visuals and gripping story. This always means that everyone is going to want to be part of that world and with a holiday like Halloween, they are going to have a chance to pretend they’re out playing the political game with the Lanisters and risking their heads if they make the wrong move. Be Ned Stark or bring your dog along and dress them as a wolf to show you’re part of the House of Stark.

3rd Best Halloween Costume
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Miley Cyrus is being talked about a lot right now and whether you like her or not, you’re going to see this outfit a lot this Halloween. This news worthy performance has caused a stir and many people are taking advantage of that by dressing up as Miley and going out to Trick or Treat. We don’t mind seeing this outfit out there, just please don’t let young daughters put something like this on. As long as everyone is responsible, we congratulate Miley for making it to Number 3!

2nd Best Halloween Costume
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Duck Dynasty is the show that has taken over the Hill Billy crowd. These bearded men have become extremely popular with their hilarious situations and good morals, we love to see people out in camo and beards showing their love for the workers of Duck Commander. Just make sure if you dress up as Si, you make sure you’re not as crazy as he can sometimes be!

Top Halloween Costume for 2013
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Our Number 1 choice as a Halloween Costume for the year of 2013 is Breaking Bad! With the season finale, and final episode just airing a couple weeks ago, the talk about Breaking Bad has not slowed down. That also means that everyone is going to want to dress up as this good teacher gone bad. This ends our Top 10 Halloween Costumes of 2013 but we will soon see how close our list is to what you’re going to see on your streets this Halloween! We just hope that everyone has the best night and safe night.

For most of these costumes, you can click on them and find the exact costume to buy. We try to make everything easy here at MPP but if you don’t like what we have here, any of the links above have tons of costumes that you can choose from. There is no need to stick with our list, you find what you love and fits you best!

Christie Stocker

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SNL Costume Party

Saturday Night Live has created some very memorable characters that have been on our TV sets for as long as we can all remember. There have been so many memorable characters that are loved all over the country. Here we even put a great list put up by WatchMojo of the top 10 SNL characters:

To bring back these characters with your friends and making new hilarious situations for them the only direction you can go is having a Saturday Night Live Character Party!!! Whether or not you’re a follower of SNL or if the last episode you saw was a decade ago, everyone has a character that has made them laugh.

FbqbphHere we put up someone that decided to be Sean Connery playing Jeopardy. When he chooses the next question, i’m sure he won’t say “Therapist for 200″ correctly! All he really needs now is a friend to dress up as Will Ferrell as Alex Trebeck! The great thing about SNL is that you can get everyone involved. If you want to get your guys together, you can all dress up as the single ladies from Beyoncé’s Video with Justin Timberlake, and Andy Sandberg. When you go out, everyone will laugh and know exactly who you are. Perfect for starting up some good conversations. As you can probably tell, I am a huge fan of Saturday Night Live and have loved watching it every week to end a great Saturday. And all the people I talk to are the same way and have been for many years. That’s why putting together a SNL Character Party can be the best costume party idea ever!!!

eddie murphy gumbyI know that many people now say that SNL was funnier back when it first started. And although SNL has had many memorable and talented people on their staff, they are still coming up and putting together great characters. People forget that back then they had just as many skits that failed than were popular. SNL has never died and the reason for that is their ability to create great characters. Even Seth Meyers is taking over the Jimmy Fallon spot in the primetime night shows! Jason Sudeikis is also out doing movies and being funny as ever, and he is still considered a current generation member. Don’t let me deviate from the idea that i’m trying to get across though.

I’m here to help with party ideas and since Halloween is coming up soon anyway, this is one of the best costume parties to put together just because of the variability of the characters and how widely known they are. Plus if your party doesn’t have too many guests, you can pull out a computer and judge how each person did on their costume while watching a hilarious skit with their character! I’m going to end this post here so I can start planning my SNL Party! But I leave you with Adam Sandler giving great Cheap Costume Ideas!


Cheap Halloween Costumes by Adam Sandler by Capig

Christie Stocker

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Kids Super Hero Party!

With current movie releases like the Amazing Spiderman, The Avengers, and Man of Steel, kids are going to have the idea of superheroes constantly on their mind. And if you’re kids are old enough, you as a parent are going to learn all about these superheros!

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The Justice League versus The Avengers and every superhero and villain in between, as a mother of a couple boys, I have learned that to put together the best superhero party, you have to know your details! If you have a boy that is fighting crime with Batman and Superman, he’s not going to like when the X-Men try to walk on his turf. Most kids love all superhero’s though, just make sure you know which crime fighters your youngster prefers.

Superhero Birthday InviteWe want to make sure your child feels like they are a part of a hyper powerful team, and it all starts with the invitations! This is a really fun idea to do with your child, find a website or even just an image online with their favorite superhero team and paste their face on one of them. You can have fun with this by painting their face green and making them the Incredible Hulk! This is also a big hit with family members and has become one of the invitations I have decided to keep to show them when they are having kids of their own.

Hero CookiesNow since all superhero’s have their own symbols, you can use this to your advantage! Instead of having to draw out or color a full human figure, you can just take the hero’s symbols and colors, put them on cookies, cupcakes, or pops and you have superhero treats! Everyone is going to have their favorite cookie because of the symbol on the treat! I myself am a Superman fan, and that started all the way back in the Christopher Reeves era. If you look closely at the image of all the cookies on the right, you’ll notice that we also had fun with them and didn’t only have the main hero’s. The Incredibles have been added, Hulks fist, and some sound effects bubbles have been made as well. Stay focused but also have fun with it, it’s still a party after all.

Hero PopsFor more cartoonish portrayals or even more realistic images of heros on the treats, there are edible stickers that you can put on different types of food. Costumes are also going to be a big part of your kids hero party, and if you’re looking for a costume, now is the time to look. With Halloween just around the corner, there are going to be many opportunities to find a great superhero outfit for your kids. And if you want to start looking now, MyPartyPlanner has a Costume Section. We have a lot of outfits to choose from, and especially during halloween, we’re going to be really focused on finding some of the best and coolest costumes.

Superhero Birthday Party (2)Last but certainly not least, the party games are something you are going to want to plan. You have to remember that you still have to come up with the entertainment of the party. And with a theme of superheros, you’re going to have some fun with it. Two games that I put together for my sons and their friends were Superman Change and Who’s The Real Batman. In Superman Change, we all remember Christopher Reeves change from Clark Kent to Superman in half a second, so we saw if the kids could do the same. We had a superman outfit and made a phonebooth made of cardboard. Each kid took a shot at putting on that superman outfit in 5 seconds, then we lifted the phonebooth and saw how far they got. It was hilarious and the kids were having fun competing for the title of being Superman. In Who’s The Real Batman we got all the kids together and started giving clues about who the real Batman was. All the kids had to look at each other and find the one kid we were describing. Great fun and perfect for the theme of the party. I can only give you ideas now, share this article and post comments about what you all have done for your kids party that was a hit!

Christie Stocker

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80s Themed Party

Unfortunately the 80s are long gone and we will never get to experience the magic and wonder of this era. The closest we can ever get to reliving the 80s is by throwing an 80s themed party. i_love_the_80s_lowres_xlargeThis is a party that adults enjoy and reminisce upon the good memories they may have had and kids can also dress up and enjoy the music and fun. There are a few key components to throwing a good 80s party and we are going to make sure you know what they are.

The first main ingredient for a successful 80s party is the music. If you want to keep the party going all night long and make sure people are entertained, ensure that you have enough 80s music to last you the whole night. Your best bet is to make a playlist with all your 80s music and put it on shuffle, so you don’t have to worry about choosing songs all night. A great way to give your party a modern feel is to try and throw on some recent remixes of popular 80s songs. Kids and parents can both enjoy these songs as the parents will know the words and songs and the kids can enjoy the modern techno dance beat.

Next you are going to want to have some 80s props and decorations. 220px-FerrisdayoffAn easy way to get started is go to your local mall and see if you can pick up a few posters from some of the popular 80s movies such as Ferris Buellers Day Off, or The Breakfast Club. It may also not be a bad idea to have an 80s movie playing in the background. This gives your guests a chance to wind down and enjoy some of the timeless cinematic classics.

In my opinion the most important part of a successful 80s party is ensuring that everyone comes fully decked out in 80s gear. Nothing brings back memories of the 80s like dressing up as if it was the 80s. Do a costume contest to encourage guest participation. Some guests may have kept some of the outfits from 30 years and ago and won’t have to do any shopping for their costume. IMG_4647

It’s always interesting and fun to see how people dress up in 80s theme, so be ready for a few laughs because an 80s party is definitely one of the best parties you can have!

Christie Stocker

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Simple Baseball Themed Baby Shower

 ASU Themed Baby Shower

When my dear friend, Risa told us she was pregnant with her third little boy we all knew she was not going to want a big extravagant baby shower.  Some ideas were kicked around that a group of us would meet up for lunch and then it kind of just grew into what I think was the perfect little shower.

Rbaby_shower_baseball_ticketsisa and her boys, husband included, all love baseball.  However, they are BIG fans of the ASU Sun Devils Baseball Team.  Like I always say, “You have to have a theme”.  Even if the theme is just colors, you really need one to make any function look put together.  So we ran with it.  Maroon and gold, ASU, and baseball.

We started with the invitations.  These invites were inspired by an invite I found by doing a google search.  I asked my graphic designer husband to take the design and make it ASU themed and this is what we came up with.  We only had to pass out 14 invitations so we had these printed at Fedex/Kinkos for a baseball_hurricanewhopping $3.50. We passed them out like we were handing out baseball tickets, so no need for fancy envelopes or postage. These invites set the tone and theme for the entire shower.

We knew we didn’t want to make a big fuss over all the details so we went very light with the decorations.  The shower was thrown on the patio of a local greek restaurant, My Big Fat Greek Restaurant.  The decor consisted of balloons in maroon and gold, a couple baseball filled hurricanes, some ASU candies, and a baseball for all the guest who attended to leave their signatures.

onesieboxThe food was served on platters buffet style and we served iced tea, water, and lemonade to drink, the bar also provided some of us with lemon drop martinis. This was a laid back shower with no games.  We just drank, ate, opened gifts, and celebrated the expectant baby and Mom.

It ended up being a relaxed, stress-free baby shower celebrating a lucky little boy to be!

baseball_onesiesA few days before the shower a small group of us got together and designed some DIY onesies for the baby shower.  Here are a few photos.  Look for a tutorial to follow soon!

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Christie Stocker

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