Turning 7 During a Pandemic

We hit a new milestone this past weekend. Our little guy hit the big 7! Even with corona still kneecapping much of the nation we made the most out of it!

Our little bubble hasn’t changed much since this time last year. We didn’t know that my son’s 6th birthday party was going to be the last week of normalcy we would experience. Because just a week later everything shut down, schools closed, and life changed for pretty much every single person on this planet.

Here we are a year later and honestly, not much has changed. We kept the kids home for virtual schooling for the first semester. They did great but we could tell they needed to get back to the classroom. Our main reason for keeping them home was no longer there and so back to the classroom they went.

It is interesting to see the difference a year can make. Things blend together so much in our own personal lives that when you look back at someone else’s life, you can really see the growth.

My son is such a caring person. He has concerns about corona and he wants everyone to be safe and wear a mask. His big heart shines bright and even though many of his favorite places are just not great ideas for parties we made sure he had a blast turning 7.

So we made sure he had an amazing day. With a beautiful weekend we got out the various yard games, and made a bon-fire. The next morning we ate some breakfast and went metal detecting! We never found any treasures but we did have a nice chat with a park ranger who gave us some helpful tips.

Of course Raya and The Last Dragon was our family movie choice and let me tell ya, this kid loves his Micro Machines! I cannot believe they are back in stores and this dad is pretty stoked his kid loves them as much as I did. There were plenty of other gifts and a lot of fun had. I am proud of the young man that I am raising. Full of respect and has a heart of gold, I love that I get to call this kid my son.

Happy Birthday Dad!

Gone but not forgotten, today would have been my father’s 69th birthday. It is crazy to think that it has now been 20 years without him. I still miss his stories and jokes. I always thought he was hilarious. Plus, I wish I would have gotten that BBQ sauce recipe from him. I guess that just gives me all the more reason to experiment and I am totally okay with that.

Mom and I were talking a while ago about how he would have loved the way technology has evolved over these last several years. With the way he made your radio shows back in the day, my dad would be all over the modern day podcast. I can only imagine the topics he would talk about, the jokes, and of course the music. I think with how computers work, we would be creating some off-the-wall content… But unfortunately, this is all after his time. So I am going to take the reigns and make sure I leave a legacy that would prove just how true the Williams family rocks! Happy Birthday Dad!

Throwing a Surprise Party for Your Other Half

So, you have decided to take on the challenge of throwing a surprise party for your other half? And, now that you are into the planning phase, you are starting to regret it? Don’t worry; most people feel like this once they have committed to party planning. After all, there is a lot to do and consider, and the last thing you want is for the party to be a flop. However, there is no need to panic. Read on to discover some helpful tips for planning the perfect surprise party…

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Keeping it a secret – Let’s begin by dealing with the most important element of all: keeping everything a secret. This is often the hardest part. The best thing to do is enlist the help of one or two key people. This could be your partner’s best friend or sibling for example. After all, carrying the burden of organising a surprise party by yourself is often too much to handle. Plus, it is always good to have the opinions of others who know your partner well. Avoid enlisting the assistance of more than two people; otherwise, it can become a bit messy and complicated. In addition to this, you need to keep decorations and any other equipment hidden. You should not risk storing these items in your home. Instead, see if one of your new helpers would be willing to keep the items at their house instead. Once you start inviting people, make sure you stress that it is a surprise party. The last thing you want is for all of your plans to be ruined because one of your guests has a big mouth!

Make a plan – Another sure-fire way your surprise party will be ruined is if you struggle to get your other half to play ball. If they don’t want to go out and you cannot get them to turn up, you will end up having to tell them about the party, which is the last thing you want. This is why you need to have a believable plan and diversion in place. A lot of people pretend they are taking their partner out for dinner, for example. No matter what option you go for, make sure you are planned for every possibility. What if your partner suddenly decides they don’t fancy going out and they want to have a takeaway instead? You need to be prepared to handle all situations.

Choose the venue wisely – Getting your partner to the venue can be the difficult part. As mentioned, you need a believable diversion. This is why you need to choose the venue with care. Make sure that it is somewhere you would take your partner even if it was not for a surprise party, or that it is at least in an area near to restaurants and bars. If you have booked out a hall in a hotel, you may want to pretend that you are whisking your partner away for the night instead. You can find tips on choosing an event venue at https://whova.com/blog/things-consider-when-choosing-event-venue/. Your venue and your story need to easily match up.

Don’t forget the entertainment – It is easy to become so wrapped up in keeping everything a secret and inviting all of the right people, so much so that you forget about the vital party elements, such as entertainment. Getting the entertainment right is so important. After all, you don’t want everyone to be sitting there twiddling their thumbs because they are bored. Luckily, there are so many different entertainment options available today, and various ways for you to add an extra element of fun and excitement to the event. Photo booths are a great example of this, and you can find out further information on hiring one by heading to https://boothboyphotobooth.com. Not only do they enable you and your guests to have great fun by taking lots of photos and making the most of funny props, but also you will be able to capture special memories, enabling you and your partner to look back on the photos for years and years to come. Of course, this is not the only option. You have everything from musician to magicians to select from. Think about what your partner will like, as well as what is going to appeal the most to everyone in attendance.

Try to relax and enjoy it – Last but not least, this is probably the most difficult part of it all: relaxing and enjoying the occasion. This can seem like an impossible mission when there is so much to think about and worry about. However, if you are having fun, then it is highly likely that everyone else is too. Try not to stress. Good parties only take a few simple ingredients: good people, good music, good food, and good drink. If you can bring these four ingredients to the table, you will have nothing to worry about.

So there you have it: some useful tips that will help you to plan the perfect surprise party for your other half. Hopefully, you now feel more pared to tackle the party planning and to give your other half the best party they have ever had. Yes, you can expect to have a few stresses and strains throughout the planning phase, but it will definitely all be worth it in the end when you see the smile on your loved one’s face. Good luck!

This post is a collaborative effort by St. Louis Dad.

Party Perfection: Making Your Child’s Birthday Awesome!

Anyone that has kids will know they can be some seriously tough critics. So when you’re hosting a birthday party for your child and their friends, it’s easy to feel the pressure! Keeping a big group of kids occupied and happy for a few hours while giving your son or daughter a day to remember can be more tricky than it seems. With that in mind, here are a few ideas to give their party the wow factor!

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Choose a Theme

Themed parties really look the part. You can choose decorations, entertainment, even make the party fancy dress all based on the theme. It could be something traditional like cops and robbers or a princess party, or it could be something broad such as animals, Disney or even your child’s current favourite character, movie or tv program. Once you have a theme in mind you can start deciding on colours and decorations- bunting and balloons based on the theme is a good place to start. Plus you can get specific decorations for just about anything these days on places like eBay. For example, if you were doing an ‘under the sea’ theme you could go with blue and green balloons, mermaid, fish and sea creature decorations and even make some seaweed bunting.

Get The Food Right

We all know how picky kids can be, so keep it simple with some fail-safe crowd pleasers when it comes to the food. If you like to have your children’s birthdays in a venue, see if they have any hot food or catering options available. Otherwise, a finger food buffet will work well in most cases and you can put it together yourself. Sandwiches, pastries, chicken, cakes and sweets will all go down a treat. A pizza party is another idea, you could either make them yourself from scratch, cook some ready made pizzas from the store or order them in from your local takeout joint. A couple of different flavours should cover all bases, cheese and tomato, pepperoni and a chicken and ham version should suit most kids.

Decide on the Entertainment

The entertainment is arguably the most important bit of the party, and you need to make sure everyone is having a good time and kids aren’t getting bored. Hiring a bouncy castle is a good option, this will keep most children busy for hours. You could also arrange some party games complete with prizes. You could hire a photobooth which will keep kids occupied and give them a fun memento of the evening with their pictures. Or an entertainer, depending on the age of the children. A character based on your theme, a magician, a balloon artist or face painter are all options you could consider.

Your children’s birthday parties are something they will remember for years to come, they’re so exciting when you’re young and could quite possibly be the highlight of their year. So as a parent, it’s something you will want to get right.

This post is a collaborative effort by St. Louis Dad.