Posted in Cat House, Getting Organized

Why We Have a Cat House (And Why You Should Too)

A lot of people ask us about our Cat House
And so here is why we have one and why you should have one too

First Reason: I hate cats
Hahah… no really, not a fan
BUT
I also hate that we had 16 FERRAL cats in our yard every morning
SIXTEEN people!
That’s too many cats for anyone!
Why?
Well, the people down the street moved away
And no one moved in for several months
Then another neighbor moved away
And no one moved back in
And they had to have been feeding the wild cats
Who now ALL came to my house
Starving and looking for ANY food we could offer
Now, we had a couple cats
And trying to feed them without feeding the whole herd
Becomes problematic
Soon I had cats in my flower beds,
Cats lounging on the lawn, the neighbor’s lawn, everywhere
Cats were crapping in my flower pots, on the gravel,
They were crapping at the base of trees, on the patio, on the grass…
Crap everywhere….
And you know what else the wild cats brought?
FLEAS.
In no time we had fleas all over the whole property
And since we had to walk THROUGH our yard
To get to the house,
Soon, we had fleas inside the house also
Fleas that bit us, the kids, everyone had bites everywhere
And we were going crazy.
Hello huge pest control problem
And huge CAT HERD and CAT TURD problem

The cats were desperate.
They hung around the doors all the time
And every time you came out the door
There they were, waiting, watching
Sitting right in the way, trying to rub on your legs
Or worse, trying to run away at the sight of you
And just walking across the yard
Made you feel like a scary creature
Cats running away, crouching, scared
And yet wondering where the food was?

I started wondering what to do with them?
The bugs, the crap, the animals everywhere…
I looked online about ways to catch WILD cats
And for the most part I got this response:
AWH, POOR KITTIES
No joke, people would ask:
How do you catch wild cats?
can you drug them?
What traps can you use?
And the general response was
Awh, How could you even think such a thing???
The best response I saw was one guy who said this:
You know the only difference between a Cat and Rat?
One letter. 🙂
That’s pretty much how I felt too.

Everyone was so astounded
How could he be so unfeeling???

I called Animal Control
(they have yet to call me back and it’s been over a year)
(Their message said not to call back, they’d call back when they felt like it,
which I guess is never)
I researched how to catch them
(mostly finding a lot of “poor kitties, how could you?” responses)
And I thought to myself: I hate cats.
What other creature is allowed to behave like this?
If I had 16 wild dogs in my backyard,
Animal control would come and “Save” me
(HA! or fine me!)
If I had this many… Rats? Mice? Cockroaches? Dogs?
All of those things would be questionable, dangerous, and reason enough to call a Pest Control company, an animal expert, someone and they would come take care of my “PROBLEM” and not think twice about how inhumane or insensitive I was.
Why do we treat cats like these special creatures that can do whatever they want???

I finally convinced my husband to build a “Cat House”
And it took some convincing, and here is my speech:
I figure, we keep every other animal in a cage/pen:
Chickens, pigs, birds, cows, horses
And we don’t do it to torture them necessarily
But to care for them properly.
Why not cats?
I mean think about it
Why is it that we are okay with a huge population of animals
Who roam the streets, starve to death
And even spread bugs and disease
And when someone offers to care for them,
Everyone is suddenly concerned?
What is the big problem caging them?
They are WILD ANIMALS.
They will not become someone’s pet EVER.
They are WILD ANIMALS.
This way they will:
1. Have a warm/cool place to sleep
2. Be fed every day
3. Not breed constantly and have more wretched kitties that die
(and who cannot be cared for because mom is starving)
4. Be able to receive medical attention when needed
(especially as kitties and especially when it comes to pest control)
5. Not spread bugs/disease/turds everywhere (like my yard and house)
6. Hopefully be tamed enough that we can fix them just in case they ever do get out (and as of right now, all but one is, and our recent addition of a momma and 3 babies is not but hopefully she will stay for awhile)
And finally: 7. These are SUPPOSED to be domesticated animals and they are not. I’m not caging an animal that is supposed to be roaming the Rocky Mountains and is on the endangered species list. They are supposed to be sitting on someone’s rocking chair and they aren’t.
These are abandoned animals. Why is that okay?
Why can I not Un-Abandon them and take care of them?

I don’t like cats.
I’ll openly admit that.
I’m allergic to them.
I think they are weird and dumb most of them
But still, I am opposed to mistreating animals
And mostly I’m opposed to people ignoring problems
Or not taking responsibility for problems
Do you realize how HUGE the Ferral Cat population is????
Because everyone thinks someone else will deal with it
No one wants to take care of them
They are wild and not yours, I get it.
But how many cats live in your neighborhood?
If you built a Cat House and started setting out food to lure them in
How many could you catch?
Right now we have 9 cats, recently added a momma and her babies
So now we have 13 cats in our House
And of those, all are fixed except one
And except the Momma and babies we added this last week
Did you know that a female cat can produce 4 Litters a year???
So even if you don’t catch them, if you just fix ONE female
That prevents anywhere from 12 to 25 cats from being born
(and dying or living to come crap on my lawn)

But do they like it in their house you wonder?
They do actually.
At first they didn’t
They freaked out, they busted out, they ran away
But they came back for the food
And once the house was built,
There was no food except inside the House
So we lured them inside
And after the first week,
They won’t come out
They LOVE it in there
They don’t want to leave, they stay and are perfectly happy
We caught the momma and her babies fairly easily
Because she brought the babies
And started hanging out just outside the Cat House
She threw a fit when we finally got her in
But now only a few days later, she won’t leave
They like having a Home
They like being together
They like having clean water and food
And they like being HAPPY.
(verses desperate and starving)
I love my Cat House
And now you know why.

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Posted in Food, Getting Organized, Getting Started, Planning the Menu

Why You Should Plan your Menu by Type instead of by Day

I’ve been rearranging lately
I’ve come to realize that planning a menu by days of the week is useless
I have done it that way for years
And I usually write down what we are having Monday
And that goes well
And then Tues I follow the menu also
But then Wed, eh I do something else
And then barely look at it the rest of the week
This I think is a reflection
Of my busy days
Weekends are the craziest days
Week days are calmer and more organized
So why do I plan every day the same?
Despite all my best intentions
There will be a day where I’m like:
What the crap? It’s 5pm already? What are we having for dinner?!?
That’s at least once a week despite any well thought out meal schedule
Especially when everything on the menu requires a brain and forethought
And some days I have neither

Or there will be a day I just don’t feel like cooking at all
and just want to eat something and get on with our lives
Why does dinner have to be such a huge event?
(I mean my kids are fed and back to their stuff in less than a minute,
why do I stress about it?)

So here is my new board:
imag3373_burst002.jpg
You can have it here: Type of Meal
I’ve found it’s easier to plan a REAL menu this way
(one that will last us for two weeks)
Because it makes me think of a variety of meals
Instead of planning what I am in the mood for right then
Because then TOMORROW
When I’m in the mood for Tacos
We will only have stuff for Soup
And suddenly it feels like we have to go grocery shopping again
Even though we just went…

On Pinterest I used to have just one board called “Main Dishes”
And it had around 600 pins on it
No kidding haha
So I thought it was time to get a little more specific and make things a little more usable
And lately I’ve been revamping them into categories
Now I have the following “Dinner” boards and it’s been so much better
I know Pinterest gets a bad rap sometimes
But it really is an excellent resource
That probably doesn’t get used WELL enough
It gets used…but using it to help me actually feed my family
And help us not just eat Mac n’Cheese every night
Now that is the trick…

So here are the different categories I made:
(click on the highlighted title to see the whole board)
Dinner: A Healthy Twist
This is a link to all those “sub” lists
And ideas of how to make my diet better
Things I should do more often
Dinner: Casseroles
Who invented these?
Probably big families, right?
A one stop meal
Everything included
Whether you like it or not 🙂
Dinner: From the Crock pot
I love it when I have it together
And those days I usually do the crock pot game
It’s easy, it’s organized
And you have all day to do the dishes before you get tired 🙂
Dinner: Just for Kids
Have you ever made the spaghetti noodle thing?
I have, it’s so fun
Here are foods that are fun for kids
Things I should do more often
Especially when the husband is working late
Dinner: Pasta and Rice
Does anyone else do this?
Pasta or rice is like an either/or
You can interchange them in almost anything right?
So I thought they could be a co-board
Things to make out of pasta or rice
And ingredients could be anything
Dinner: Salad
It’s summertime and so salad for dinner? YES.
It’s cold, it takes some nice relaxing chopping
And there is dinner
And I usually keep it all separate so everyone can just choose their own
Dinner: Tacos
I live in California
And can I just say?
We have the best Tacos in the country
And there are so many kinds!
Easiest thing ever and I am in love
Dinner: Sauces
You ever see those recipes for that amazing BBQ sauce?
Or Alfredo sauce? Or salsa?
I see those and I think of all kinds of things I want to try
And then I forget I have them
So I made a whole board for them
Sauces to try for dinner
I guess it’s kinda like planning an outfit around your new shoes?
Dinner: Sandwiches
Quesadillas count as sandwiches, just so you know
I am the worst at this
I see these ideas for sandwiches
And they look SO GOOD!
So why do I feel like such a slacker making them for dinner?
This could also be part of the Lunch board I guess
But hopefully this will help remind me to make these
Dinner: Something with Beef
This category is sometimes difficult
Technically you could put any of these in other boards as well
I put these here because I thought Beef was the pivotal item involved
No matter how it was cooked
Dinner: Something with Chicken
We eat a lot of chicken and sometimes it feels like we do the same recipe over and over
Again, some of these could be put different places
But the key ingredient here is Chicken
Dinner: Soup
Soup is wonderful in the winter
But so many times for me, it has nothing to do with the season
It has more to do with the fact that you can make soup
Put it in the crock pot
And cook it all day
And your house smells amazing
And you feel like the best cook ever
And it’s the best meal ever
That’s my experience with soup
(at least as an adult)
Dinner: Turn on the Oven
I love to bake
Why do I not do it more often?
And why does it seem like anything you bake involves pizza?
I have no answers to these questions
This is definitely something to investigate
But in the meantime, pizza is good 🙂
Dinner: We’ve got Company Coming
Am I the only one who only does appetizers for company?
Normally, this appetizer is: It’s time for dinner, come sit down
But when company comes
Whether it’s family or “real” company
I always start thinking of something more to do
So this list includes appetizers
And different fun things to do that are extra special

As well as these boards:
What’s for Breakfast?
So many times we just have cereal
And I would say more often than not
We have Breakfast for Dinner
So this is for Breakfast…
But it’s also kinda one of my Dinner boards 🙂
What’s for Lunch?
Usually we all eat at school or work
But during the summer?
Suddenly I am wondering what in the world is for LUNCH???
So this is a lot of School Lunch ideas
That I’ve been using to think of ideas here at home too
(and I’ll use them later for school lunches too)
What’s for Dessert?
Need I say more?
We all need more ideas for cookies
You can never have too many… 🙂

So…. what’s for dinner???
This is what our next two weeks looks like:

Casserole: 
Ravioli Lasagna
Ravioli-Lasanga-41


Crockpot: 
Pineapple Chicken Verde
pineapple-chicken-verde-v-

Kids: Animal Sandwiches
funkylunch_7


Pasta/Rice: 
Ham Fried Rice
c69c9ed067d18356f5dd369f07842f87


Tacos: 
Chalupas
7eacf79ae690e6835ec2d42d4d28a2f4


Salad: 
Skinny Tuna Salad
Healthy-Greek-Yogurt-Tuna-Salad

Sandwiches: Bacon Monte Cristo
Bacon Monte Cristo Finger Sandwiches


Beef: 
Meatball Subs
crock-pot-meatball-sub-recipe


Chicken: 
Hawaiian BBQ Chicken
8d67a5190a9617759030c9337ffc703f


Soup: 
Posole
(only I use green sauce, not red)
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Oven: 
Sliced Baked Potatoes
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Company: Chicken Enchiladas
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Posted in Movie Reviews

Saturday Morning Movie Review: Now You See Me 2

image

I was so excited for this to come out
I thought the first one was amazing
Loved the magic tricks
Loved the plot twists
Loved the mystery
Loved “inside look” into this new “magician’s world” that I never knew existed
It’s like the circus meet the Illuminati
Who knew?

So between the two movies
I still like the first one better
Much like Ocean’s 11, the second one was more
Run and Hide and Chase Me Around
Instead of the “wow look at my cool tricks”
Granted they had some cool magic tricks–the water thing? Amazing still
But most of them were already in the trailer
So no big wow because I’d already seen them
There was less Cool Magic
And more pursuit and getting out of danger
Seemed like they were trying to portray the “magicians are human too” aspect which I found myself asking “why does that matter?” If my magician messes up his performance I should be more understanding? Is that a major social problem  I’m unaware of?
A few amazing scenes though:
The search scene where the different people pass around the card while being actively searched by guards
Mind blowing.
How they get from the performance to China was brilliant albeit creepy and mildly disturbing to contemplate in its implications
I found myself pondering if the whole world is really secretly controlled by an unknown hypnotist? This movie makes that seem like a real possibility!
And the plot twist at the end?
Very twisty but not entirely unexpected
I still kept thinking the dad would show up alive
But perhaps that’s a plot twist in and of itself?
And in the end, the performance by Radcliffe as a bad guy was hard to swallow. Just because you can grow a beard doesn’t make you evil. I just sit there thinking how funny Harry Potter looks with facial hair.
Overall, I give this movie a B
Worth seeing
Some funny parts
Good magic tricks overall
But if you miss it in theaters
You’ll love it at home too

Posted in Uncategorized

5 Important Factors in Amazing Photos

The Number One Factor

IMG_2125
Here’s the reality: I’ve seen people with REALLY nice cameras
Take some really awful pictures
And I’ve seen some really amazing pictures
Taken with a phone
And I’ve seen a lot of people
Buy “a better camera”
(or have a loving relative gift them one for Christmas)
Thinking that will help them take better pictures
(which is KINDA will, but not really)
(and by now it’s probably collecting dust in a closet somewhere)
And I’ve heard people apologize for the quality of their pictures
Blaming it on their camera/phone
And saying it’s because their camera is not as nice
And that’s why their picture is not as good?

And in my head I always say two things:
A better camera wouldn’t help sweetie” (LOL sorry but it’s true)
And: “I take the picture, not the camera

So here is the first principle:
Hold up one finger
YOU are the most important factor
YOU are the one that determines the quality of the picture
And while Photoshop and high tech cameras HELP
(And correct many mistakes)
In the end, they always come second to YOU
This finger you are holding up
THIS FINGER
Presses the button and takes the picture
And that is the most important factor there is

2. The L Factor
Remember that finger you are holding up?
(What? You aren’t still holding it up???)
Now extend your thumb as well
Now you have an L
(you did that with your Left hand right?)
The second most important factor is Lighting
Diagnosing and assessing the quality of light
Is the number one reason your pictures will be poor or amazing
It’s the difference between a picture like this:
light4
And a picture like this:
light6
Light should be EVEN
It should be BRIGHT
But muted at the same time
Bright light makes people look like raccoons
And it makes them squint
light1.JPG
None of which are very attractive 🙂
A good picture should show details
You should be able to see people’s eyes
And they should have a good smile
Or at least a good look on their face
(or whatever you are going for I guess)
light9

3. The Dual Factor:
Hold up TWO fingers
There are two reasons to take a picture:
Recording and Art
Now the problem is that too many times people mix these up
Below is an example:
light3
This is a picture of me and my daughter Kelsey shortly after she was born
It’s blurry
It’s too dark
But yet I still have it
Why?
Because it’s the only one I have of her and I at this time
The camera I had at the time was a piece of crap
And if you didn’t prefocus it and didn’t hold deathly still
You ended up with pics like this
And this is what we ended up with
So I will always have this picture
But it’s not something I will ever hang on the wall
And it’s not something I SHOULD put on the wall either
This picture is a RECORD of this event
It’s not Art
But that’s okay.

There are two reasons for taking a picture.

The second reason we take a picture is for Art
We take it to record
But we also want this Record to be on the wall for all to see
Pictures are a poor man’s murals 🙂
So do yourself a favor
And pay attention!!!
Record Photos are whatever they are:
Records of the event, EXACTLY as it was
Art Photos though are different
Art Photos should be of the subject
Which means that it should be one step higher

One of my biggest pet peeves is this:
background3
Cute right?
But do you see anything wrong with this picture???
Anyone?
If this was simply a RECORD
It’s fine as is.
But if you want to hang this on the wall
You need to pay better attention to the BACKGROUND
background 3B
If you intend your picture to be ART?
You have to think like a Professional Photographer
You have to think like an Artist
Your picture should have not have:
*CARS
*Trash Cans
*Or Random People (lol)
*weird awkward spaces
In the background
Crop it closer
Edit it out
But please FIX YOUR ART
Otherwise when someone walks into your house
And there you have your HUGE family picture on the wall
They are going to tell you how cute it is
And in their head they will think:
Whose car is that there?” and
Nice Trashcan
Why the space here? Is that where the ghost is standing?”
(all things I’ve thought to myself haha)

IMG_0951
The W Factor
In a world of a million pictures
A world where we could literally record every moment
WHY record this one?
WHAT is so interesting about it?
Is it the kids diving for candy when the pinata breaks?
Zoom4Or is it the one kid that draws your attention?
Zoom4BWHERE should you take this picture from?
If I take it here, does it really show what I thought was cute?
zoom1AOr would it be better to get closer?
Zoom1CWHEN is the best time to take it?
Does your timing matter?
RecordsThese are things you have to ask yourself
And getting it RIGHT is what will determine
If someone says WOW or WHATEVER when they look at your pictures

IMG_8014The Fifth and Final Factor:
Have you ever gone to take a picture of a group of people
And they all lean in towards each other?
Why do they do that?
They are assuming something aren’t they?
They assume the picture will be of them
And specifically of their faces
So they lean in so their faces will all be together
They ASSUME that You, the photographer, are composing the shot
And that you are not also taking a picture of the ceiling, the floor, the 10 people behind them and the table beside you
Are they assuming too much?
They probably are.
So please, next time, STOP
Think.
Take a step forward
Zoom in
Crop closer
And compose the picture right

And lastly, do us all a favor:
SToP saving everything!
Delete the ones where people have their eyes closed
Delete the blurry ones
Delete the ones where people are making goofy faces
(Or save them for blackmailing later)
Click on auto-correct
We do not use film anymore
You can delete pictures folks
It’s okay
Delete delete delete
Your posterity will thank you for culling the herd

I read once in a photo tutorial
(And this is from the film days)
That if you save more than 2 good pics from a roll of film
You aren’t editing very well.

How many pics do you need of your granddaughter blowing out her candles?

One.
(One good one that is)

Posted in Decorations, Getting Organized, Getting Started, Throwing Parties

8 Ways to Make your Party Better

When my husband and I were dating
One of the conversations we had was this:
Let’s be the people that have parties all the time
IMG00208

Now we don’t drink, do drugs or “party” in the “traditional” sense
But we do have great parties anyway
And I can honestly say that now 10 years later
We are the people that give parties all the time
And since we have four young children
These are not cocktail parties 🙂
These are birthday parties, Halloween parties, and BBQs 🙂
Someday I imagine we will graduate to “Older” parties (lol)
But until then, we throw an amazing birthday fiesta 🙂

Since I have four kids, I also ATTEND lots of birthday parties
And lots of other activities and events kid related
And so next is my list of things that I think make up a good party
These are things that I do WELL when the party goes well
And these are things I have NOT DONE and regretted it later
So please don’t think this is a “I do these perfectly” list
But rather a “This is what I SHOULD do” list
And maybe what YOU should do and learn from my mistakes and successes?
Right?
Alright, here we go:
costumes
1. Prep the Venue
My house has permanent nails on the patio ceiling
What are these for?
These are for hanging lines of balloons and sparkly hangers
They have been there for years
You know why?
Because I assume I will have a party this week
And again in a few weeks or months
And I plan things/adjustments for my house
Based on “This will come in handy at the next party”
Do you?
Having a party go well is actually much dependent on the history
The first time it’s an experiment and everything is unexpected
But the next time it should get easier
And especially if your venue is your own house
As many parties are?
You can build on prior parties! Lights, decorating, flow of people
Those are all things you KNOW about your house and your yard
And planning for those things gets easier if you build on the past

Every year (except for last year) we throw a Halloween Party
And every year I get asked: How do you throw a party like this?
The answer is simple: I don’t.
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I threw an OK party the first year
And a better party the next year
IMG_7933
A slightly better party the following year
And at year NINE, it’s becoming more and more of a process
IMG_4014
The party is a built thing
And something I construct and add to every year
I didn’t buy all the decorations the first year, or the second…or even the third
I didn’t USE certain areas until many years later

So you’re saying: But I don’t throw a Halloween Party every year
Yes, but do you have kids?
Do you plan on celebrating their birthday every year?
Then you have years of parties to plan
Welcome to the party planning club 🙂

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2. Plan your Time
The clock is ticking
The party is in an hour
And the reality is you can only do so much
At some point, the guests will arrive
And prep time will be over
So you need to work out a list of priorities:
What can be done DAYS before?
For example: Balloons can be blown up the day before and hung
(As long as the weather is not too windy)
What HAS to be done the DAY OF?
It’s probably not recommended to make the cupcakes a week in advance…
And if you clean everything a week before, it’s probably not going to last
But buying the cups and plates can be done anytime?
And the hot dogs/hamburgers can be frozen…but not the buns…
The difference between a good party and an OK party hinges on these things
And I think so many times
(And I include myself in this group)
we think “Eh, it’s just a birthday party, no big deal”
But again, great parties hinge on planning
Even small ones

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3. Plan for Anxiety

Your guests are apprehensive about coming to your party
Some of them don’t really want to come
But they will anyway.
Some of them will want to leave early
And some will
And some people won’t be attending a party of yours ever again
Because of the last time they came
And I’m sure there are people who say this about my parties too
So the best thing you can do is this:
Plan for Anxiety
Think of what makes you feel nervous about parties you attend
And think what the people coming to your house will need
Are there little kids in attendance?
(their parents will be grateful you provided them with something to do)
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Are there young parents coming?
(they might be grateful for appetizers, swim diapers and sunscreen they forgot)
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Are there older people coming?
(they might appreciate a soft chair and a quiet place to watch)
Will there be nursing mothers or diapered babies?
(at some point they will be asking you for a quiet room alone to take care of business)
You as the host need to plan and EXPECT these issues from your guests
And be ready to handle them,
Even to handle them up front
Your guests will be relieved.

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4. Plan the Entertainment

Again, this sounds silly. Entertainment?
It’s a party, of course they will be entertained!
It’s a party! Everyone will be….partying!!!
But seriously:
How are you really going to ENTERTAIN your guests?
Say we are having a swim party
Not everyone will want to swim
What will they do?
And not everyone will want to swim ALL the time
What will they do for a break?
Not everyone likes the noise and chaos of a party
Where can they go to escape the craziness?
You got a bounce house and games for the kids
What will the parents be doing? (besides being bored to death)
IMG_7763
Dinner is in an hour
But my kid is starving and cranky, what do you have now?
I’m being supportive but I really don’t know anyone
Introduce people. It’s a dying art. People need this so many times…

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5. Plan for the Baggage

We all know that kids require a lot of STUFF
When attending a party, the first thing I worry about is:
Where is our “CAMP” going to be?
Where will I put my bag/our towels/the diaper bag?
So that I know where it is and my kids know where it is
(so that we don’t lose shoes, underwear, toys, etc at your house)
Where will we sit comfortably?
Where will I change clothes?
Where is the bathroom?
Where is the food?
Where can I sit so I can talk to people and enjoy myself?
These are all problems that I think very often take a backseat to the cake and decorations but are some of the most important aspects of your party
People need to know there is a place for them
Both physically and socially
At your party
So often I’ve been cramped into some bench or a hot corner
Or turned around awkwardly on a couch corner trying to talk to someone
Thinking to myself: When will this party end???
Plan more seats, plan nice cool corners
Plan spots where parents can sit and watch
And myself, I have never thought I do the best job on this
I ALWAYS think I could do more
And at every party I am eyeing different areas
Trying to figure out how to make the seating and gathering better
And it’s never perfect
Because people are awkward and weird
But the better the atmosphere caters to comfort
The better everyone will get along

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6. Plan The Decor:

It sounds silly to say this
But your decorations should scream:
PARTY!!!
And if they don’t
If all you can manage is a few streamers?
Your party will instead scream:
I don’t really feel like partying and neither should you
I have been to very few parties that I felt had enough decorations
Very few….especially birthday parties…which is sad really…
Most of the time the decorations say:
I don’t want to have this party, but I guess we have to…
Party people!!! Blow up more balloons!
Get out the dangly things!
Run lights!
Make it seem like a HUGE DEAL
And everyone will follow your example
Be happy
Play loud music
Have lots of balloons
Eat a piece of cake
And enjoy yourself

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7. Plan to have things handled

When people come in the door for a party
They want to know a few things almost instantly:
Where do I put this (thing I brought)?
(In my experience, it’s like it will burn their hand off if they don’t have a place to put it the second they walk in. So have the “drop off” very close to the door so they can set it down and move on with their lives)
The next things they want to know are these:
Where is the food? (Appetizers help lots)
Where can I get a drink? (coolers front and center)
Where is the bathroom? (arrows or signs?)
Where is the party? (sound easy but you’d be surprised,
many people will feel “lost” in your house
even though common sense would tell them
to just walk toward the party sounds.  
Also, people don’t want to just walk into your house,
they feel they need permission so this is where you come in
(even though you’ve already invited them to the party))
These are all issues you need ready answers for when people walk in
If you don’t, just fake it
No one wants to feel like asking for a drink is an inconvenience or an annoyance to you
Nor do they need an apology from you about the state of the bathroom
Clean your bathroom, don’t make excuses, handle it.
And while you are at it, make sure there’s enough TP in there 🙂
(thanks ahead of time from all of us)

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8. Plan for a Contingency Plan

What happens if something happens?
What if the food isn’t ready?
What if you run out of drinks?
What if something catches on fire? (lol)
What if someone gets overheated/too cold?
What if someone gets hurt?

Now outside of calling 911 for emergency
And a ready first aid kit
The minor emergencies are going to be handled by YOU
And every party needs an errand runner
Be careful about who you choose
(the birthday boy can’t go run errands or that messes up other things)
And be careful what you assign out
(if your assign someone who is super late to bring the appetizer you’ve just defeated the purpose of appetizers)
But be ready to handle issues and disasters and last minute needs with ease
And remember that as HOST
You cannot be the one to run out for ice
Someone had to be the Captain
And you can’t be both Captain and Errand Runner at the same time
(unless you want to run away from your own party…)

And most importantly…. Have fun!
The Host sets the tone
Enjoy what you have created