Sunday, January 24, 2016

Party Planning Guide

When planning parties for little ones I often encounter parents that are at a loss as to where they should start or simply lack time to properly organize without becoming totally frazzled.  My advice for parents is to do what makes party planning the least stressful and the most fun for your family, especially the birthday child. Since 2009 I have had the privilege of helping countless families plan their child's birthday celebration.   From the very simple play party to the most extravagant birthday blowout my staff and I have helped to create the "par-tay" magic! As my favorite shirt says: "I LOVE Parties" and nothing makes me happier than to help a parent create a day that they or their child will not forget.  Whether you are planning a birthday party at Amaya Papaya or another venue let me share my advice on planning the best celebration of your child's birth.

            Who are you planning to invite? Maybe you want to have a close family-only event, or maybe you want to invite 25 children (and their adults) to the party. If your child has a BFF, make sure you include them. Sending invitations out four to six weeks out usually ensures a good turnout to your party.
            What is your budget? Decide on a budget for your party. If you are looking to spend $100 or $1,000, you can create a memorable party for your little one. If you are looking at a venue to host your party, calculate the components of the party package within your budget. For example, at Amaya Papaya, half of our party packages include invitations, paper products and balloons, so you could deduct these items off your "to purchase" list.

            What are you going to do? Themed parties can be so much fun! If your child has a favorite character, movie, or television show, you can use this to determine the theme. Discover your creative side to develop a theme, or you can peruse sites, such as Pinterest, to give your creative side a kick-start! In addition to a theme, you might want to add entertainment. Balloon artists, face painters, bounce houses, characters and a DJ might be fun to add to a party. Make sure you contact your entertainment at least 6 weeks out from your event; they might require a deposit. Certain venues, like Amaya Papaya, are the entertainment. If your budget is tight, put your extra money toward your food and drink. Your guests will enjoy your party better.


            When will you start your party? One decision is weekday vs. weekend. On a weekend, more of your scheduled guests will be able to attend. For older children, a weekday party might be preferred; it stays clear of Saturday sports, rehearsals, etc. The time of day matters as well. If you plan to serve a meal, have your party during lunch or dinner times. If you are not planning to serve a meal, then plan your party between traditional meal times.


            Where do you want to hold your party? Home parties can be less expensive and you are not confided to time restraints. Venues, like Amaya Papaya, can be fun, exciting, and they make your job a lot easier, especially the cleanup.  Local parks can be a fun place for a party. Make sure you contact the local Parks and Recreation Department to secure the location. When choosing to host your party at any venue, reserve your spot as early as possible to ensure you are able to get your desired time and location.


            Why are you hosting a party? Parties are supposed to be fun, so don’t forget the fun items such as: goodie bags for each guest, party games like a piƱata or pin the tail on the donkey, and a fun music play list that gets the party going. Throughout the entire process, don’t lose sight of the reason you are hosting a party: to celebrate the birth of your child with family and friends. Make sure you take plenty of pictures to remember to have fun!

I hope this advice has been helpful and that it makes your party planning stress free. This year for my daughters birthday she opted on a destination party after having countless parties at Amaya Papaya over the years.  My husband and I planned every activity yet left room for alterations in the schedule. It was a fabulous day for her and her guest. My husband and I left the party happy also. 

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Vision Board Planning for 2016

When I was a counselor one of the coolest things I did with my clients was to have them create vision boards. A vision board is a really simple craft project that helps you to reflect on goals you may have or things you may want to manifest in life. To create a vision board you gather pictures, single words or quotes that you would like to adhear to a board.

When I was in the preparation phase for Amaya Papaya I created a huge double sided vision board. The board helped me to organize my ideas about various play areas and the type of toys I wanted to have at my facility. This really helped me in establishing my vision for Amaya Papaya as a creative play space called a playlounge that mostly offered kid powered & classic toys. 

5 Benefits of a Vision Board
  • Helps you to visualize your goals
  • Helps you to set your intentions
  • Helps you to gain inspiration 
  • Help you to stay accountability
  • It works!
Creating a vision board is simple and only requires a few simple items that you most likely have sitting around your home. Gather the items below, set your intention and start creating!

Materials needed
Blank piece of card stock or poster board (8x10 or larger)
Various Magazines

To create a vision board follow these simple steps
1.) Set your intention, think about your goals and the things you want to manifest in your life.  

2.) Cut out pictures and words from magazines that related to your goals or things that you want to manifest in your life.

3.) Organize the cut outs how you would like to have them on your board.

4.) Glue the cut outs to your board

Putting your vision board to work

Once your board is created you can share it with your friends or keep it to yourself.   Ideas of sharing with friends are posting a photo of your board to social media and explaining your board in a post.  You can meet up with a friend or friends to discuss your goals and intentions. Talking about your goals can often times be therapeutic and help keep you accountable.  If you should decide to keep your board to yourself,  keep it in a place where you can see it and reflect on it often. The more you are reminded of your goals and have them organized the better it is to achieve them.  You can add items to your board over time if you would like or create a new board for various aspects of your life.

Join me on Sunday January 10 at 2:30pm or Wednesday January 20 at 3pm for a Vison Board Session for the Bomb Mom! At this session you will visualize your goals through guided meditation, set your intentions through a Bomb Mom discussion with Amaya Papaya's Mom, gain inspiration from other Bomb Moms, create a network for accountability and have fun! 

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Be a Bomb Mom

Even as adult women, we have self esteem issues. We worry about what others think. We base our self worth on how much others love us. We are not happy with ourselves without face enhancers. Sometimes, we are a mess, yet we are ashamed to admit it. We live in a word where congruency is not accepted. 

I challenge you this year to post a photo a day of yourself. The photo can be with make up on or better yet, without. Under it use the hashtag #bombmom and post your emotion in that moment. Be truthful. Be congruent. Be beautiful. Be you. 

Join the movement to gain back our self confidence as women!  

Show your support for fellow #bombmom selfie posters. When you see the selfies posted be sure to LIKE them and even add a positive comment telling her why she IS a #bombmom.

Bomb Mom by @amayapapayasmom is a modern mama movement that supports mothers at all stages of their parenting journey. 

Bomb Mom is a community of women who honor a "no judgement" approach to uplift each other while navigating the maze of motherhood.