So, I had this crazy notion that as Doodle got older, life would get a little less hectic.

You know, no changing diapers, burpings, late night feedings? But holy cow, I’ve traded those things for t-ball, book fairs, PTA meetings and a seemingly never-ending stream of classroom parties.

Is it just me, but do Pinterest and other various social media outlets ever make you feel like you’re a failure as a mom/wife/blogger/friend/woman if your pantry isn’t organized and color-coded Martha Stewart style or you haven’t managed to craft your own china hutch out of milk crates and recycled  glass bottles in five easy steps?  Really, I’m lucky to get us out of the house in the mornings wearing clean clothes and matching socks.

And don’t get me started on birthday parties.  When I was a kid, I had perfectly nice parties–cake and ice cream with a few friends, and maybe a trip to the skating rink.  There were no photo booths in the back yard, bouncy-houses, or customized cupcake pics and water bottle labels.  While I might be guilty of going a little overboard for Doodle’s birthday parties, the truth of the matter is that kids really don’t care about color-coordinating or treat bag labeling, or any of those other little nitpicky details we often get stressed out over.

That’s why I like these Birthday Sugar Cookies from Nestle TollHouse.  They’re completely hassle-proof, yummy, and baked with love.  Not only will the kiddos love ’em, but serving these will definitely free up some time for more important things–like hugs and kisses, and just spending good ol’ quality time together.

Here are some great tips I found over at Five J’s for some stress-free reduced-stress birthday party planning:

  1. Forget the cake (kind of)!  Make cupcakes instead, and let each child frost his or her own.
  2. Scoop out the ice cream into individual cups before the party.  Even easier?  Fill a cupcake tin with foil cupcake liners, and then fill the liners with the scoop of ice cream.  Leave ’em in your freezer until party time.
  3. Don’t make goody bags ahead of time.  Purchase gift-sized brown bags and then let the kids decorate the bags with stickers and markers during the party.
  4. Make a paper bag pinata from a large gift bag, decorate it with streamers, and then fill it with the candy and party favors.  The kids can pick up the goodies and put ’em in their treat bags.

And here is an awesome birthday party-planning checklist I discovered at Handmade Charlotte.


My goal for Doodle’s next birthday is to follow some of these tips myself (mom, don’t laugh).

What are your tips for easy party planning?  I’d love to hear them!


This post is brought to you by Nestle Toll House Birthday Sugar Cookies. Bake some birthday love.

Disclosure: As part of the DailyBuzz Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program, I received a stipend to taste Nestle Toll House Birthday Sugar Cookies. All opinions expressed are my own.