Birthday Party Planning Guide: The Stress-Free Way

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She’s THREE. My heart is filled with excitement, some joy, a little sadness (because she’s no longer my little baby), and a greater appreciation for time. Time goes by so very fast these days but as I prepared for her 3rd birthday, I tried to be in the moment, to not stress out over small things (like my husband getting the wrong cake) and I just tried to enjoy her and to be very present. It is for this reason that I wanted to write this blog. So here it goes!

PREPARATION: I usually start planning for my kids birthday about 6 weeks before, but I’m thinking about it 3-4 months in advance. That’s coming from someone that LOVES to plan. Most people aren’t like me so 6 weeks is enough depending on the age and size of the party.

DATE: This might sound obvious but think about your family dynamics and as much as you want to do it on the EXACT date of their birthday, try to think about what you have going on and if you have to do it a week early go for it. Every year our family celebrates our daughters birthday a week early because our church’s marriage conference happens on her birthday every year. We do take her out for ice cream on her birthday but the party happens early because that just works for us. No one says or thinks anything. Trust me it will be okay and you will be at peace. When mom is at peace, things just flow smoother.

VENUE: Should you have the party at a facility or home. Totally up to you and your budget. Don’t try to keep up with The Joneses (they’re broke), just do what works for your family. I’ve seen AMAZING birthdays done at home with just a few decorations and horrible birthdays that were done at an expensive facility. The parents were stressed out, the kids all over the place and it just seemed forced. So before you start…..make the decision that you will put your peace and your child’s peace as a priority. Then choose home or outside venue. If you choose an outside venue, lock down the venue asap. Get all the details of what they already provide. (This will make your job easier) Tie in what they provide with your decor and theme. It will also save a ton of money.

BIRTHDAY THEME: I know you have a grand vision in your mind and you saw this awesome theme somewhere, but just think, will you enjoy it more than your kid. If so, it’s for you. For some of you that’s okay with you (hey you paid for it). But for others that really want their kids to enjoy it, try to think about what THEY will enjoy. If it’s a WORD party theme, rather than a Princess theme….for it. My daughter have ZERO interest in barbie dolls or dolls in general. She like adventure, puppies and Moana. She like bubbles and balloons. So as much as I wanted her to have a cute little tea party, she turned three. The tea cups would have turned into throwing objects (with me praying no gets hurt) and she would have sat for all of 2 seconds then ran around until she found something of interest. I normally go for birthday themes that would allow me an opportunity to fill the day with activities that uses the energy she has.

ACTIVITIES: This is where all the fun happens. Choose 2-3 fun activities that will make your child cheese from ear to ear. It can be as simple as throwing balloons around or hiring a magicians. Just make it stress-free. Also, assign someone to be over the games. If you have no one then choose a EASY and yet fun game.

FOOD: Ok, I get it. This can be really fun. So have fun. But if you don’t have the energy to create those caterpillar grapes just go for a bowl of grapes. If you don’t have the time to make your meal look amazing, go for Pizza or something simple! Trust me, the pictures of the kids smiling while eating are worth FAR more than them not eating your dish that took a few hours to create.

FAVORS: Again, the theme is stress free. Let me share something with you. No one will be mad at you if you don’t provide favors. They usually throw them away anyway! So…if it’s too much to do, scrap it. If you must have favors (like me) Try to find something that you enjoy creating or go to Etsy and purchase the favors. Make it a one and one things.

My first DIY Home Renovation

Hey friends! It’s that time! I’ve been itching to do this! Ever since we built our home four years ago,  I’ve been waiting for the day that I can upgrade our kitchen. We built our home on a budget so I didn’t get everything I wanted but I knew we had time on our side. And that time has come!   

My first project will be replacing the backsplash in my kitchen area. I just want something to brighten it up a bit. We have a lot of brown and I want something more grayish. We spoke about painting the cabinets white but again I’m not sure. Here are my two options that I got from Mosaic Tile Outlet

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As you can see our cabinets are brown and the best option would be “B”, but I think I want to paint the cabinets white. Will it go with our countertops? Good question. I think I’m going to go back to Mosaic Tile Outlet and look at their vast catalog of other options until we find something we love! I can’t wait to share this with you! It’s a finally time!  Husband approves and all! So excited!

I will post more pictures as I move along. If you want to get your own DIY project started go to Mosaic Tile Outlet website and use code BRIDGETTE10 for 10% off your order. Here’s to upgrading in all areas of our lives! Let’s go higher! 

How to Stay Focused On Your Goals This Year

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Well there it is….another year has gone by and it is now 2019. Something happens the older you get and it’s a weird shift. Yes I look forward to the new as I am always excited about new beginnings but reality sets in even more that I do not have ANY time to waste. With new beginnings bring new hope and new opportunities. But this year more than ever before I am realizing that if I don’t do it now, I can blink and I will be 60. Life is truly short and it’s short because busyness steals our time.

As a  mom and wife, busyness is always around me. There is ALWAYS something to get done. From laundry to meal planning the list is never ending.  My storage closet is currently plaguing me as I so desperately want to organize it and clean it out. Then theirs my sons closet. He is on his way out of our room, he just doesn’t know it yet. This is why I am adamant about being intentional with my time and choosing to spend quality time with my loved ones. It is also why I take so many pictures. Every year I create a book that highlights our families last 12 months and the moments we loved and enjoyed! It is our yearbook to remember all that took place and an opportunity to reminisce on what went by so fast. I find myself stopping in the moments and saying “God, I thank you for this moment.” I realize that it is ONLY by the GRACE of God that He allows me to have these “heart” moments.

I enjoy those moments. So each year, I focus on create experiences. This is my year for Motherhood and Marriages. God is calling our household to serve families. My husband and I are in agreement on this and it has become our focus. This is why I created this free download for moms. It will help you stay focused on your goals that you set throughout the year. The idea is to center yourself and ask yourself where am I and where do I want to go. This download walks you through that process. I created for myself but I wanted to offer it for you as well.

Also, here are few tips I’m using to stay focused on serving Mothers and Marriages:

1.)    I write down my goals in clarity and with deadlines

2.)    I pray every day. “God how can I serve marriages and families today.”

3.)    Use technology to your advantage. Check out this post on the best apps for productivity in 2018

4.)    I refuse to chase what is not for me. I was tempted today. Saw something and was like that’s easy! Then I thought “Bridgette, that is not your focus this year nor will it serve families.” Yep….so true. Moving on.

5.)    Have an accountability group. If your in Dallas feel free to join us at Lily Pad Moms or Marriage & Grace. Either way, find your tribe and ask them to hold you accountable! Trust me, you need it.

6.)    Decide to be disciplined! This is just a fact. Consistency and discipline works! Period..

7.) Repeat Gods word back to yourself. I love this scripture: Philippians 3:15-21

15 So let's keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision - you'll see it yet! 

16 Now that we're on the right track, let's stay on it. 

17 Stick with me, friends. Keep track of those you see running this same course, headed for this same goal. 

18 There are many out there taking other paths, choosing other goals, and trying to get you to go along with them. I've warned you of them many times; sadly, I'm having to do it again. All they want is easy street. They hate Christ's Cross. 

19 But easy street is a dead-end street. Those who live there make their bellies their gods; belches are their praise; all they can think of is their appetites. 

20 But there's far more to life for us. We're citizens of high heaven! We're waiting the arrival of the Savior, the Master, Jesus Christ, 

21who will transform our earthy bodies into glorious bodies like his own. He'll make us beautiful and whole with the same powerful skill by which he is putting everything as it should be, under and around him.

There are a ton more ways to stay focused but honestly you know you! You know what you need to do this year to remain focus. Whatever it is, make that decision and choice NOW! Choose NOW to do something different. Trust me, you will get a different result. You ready? Let’s go higher.

Scared, But Not Afraid

Tonight we had a thunderstorm and even after all these years when I hear that loud crack in the sky, it always scares me. Josiah, my 8 month old, even jumped next to me when he heard it. But it was what he did next that inspired this blog. He rolled over, looked at me, noticed my calmness and proceeded to play with the blanket again. For a moment, he was scared, but he was not afraid.

If I can be one hundred, 2019 is a bit scary for me. God has commissioned us to do a few things that my first reaction leaves me scared. What God? How? Who? When? Then when I rest in the quietness of my prayers I hear His whispers, “trust me”. I know God is not the author of fear or confusion! I know. I get it says that Gods has not given us the spirit of fear. I know.  

But sometimes we get scared. And sis, I’m hear to share that it is okay. It’s fine. Just make sure your next move looks something like this: 

1. Look up at your Father

2. Notice His calmness

3. Know that He has your best interest and is your protector. 

4. Then go play. Go be great! Do what you were doing. Carry on! 

Like my son tonight....be scared, but don’t be afraid. 2018 isn’t over and 2019 is waiting. Let’s go higher, together! 😘