Party Time

No matter the season, it's always a great time to have a party! And I know this is crazy to some of you, I love to plan, design and coordinate a good party. In fact, deciding which is more fun - creating or attending - might just be a toss-up for me!

This summer "Little STRUCTUREbags" turned five and had her first kid-centered party and I thought I'd share a peek inside it with you.

Party Time. Handmade by STRUCTUREbags

I knew we were going to keep it simple and budget-friendly, but couldn't wait to brainstorm with my little lady on what fun was important to her on her big day.

Azure Butterfly Birthday Party By STURCTUREbags

Choose a theme:

We are strictly a no-mass-produced-themed-birthday-party household. I know, I know... this is character blasphemy in a child's mind (just ask "Little"). But with a bit of encouragement, our brainstorming turned out to be a ton of fun. Every picture book we read had ideas (Ladybugs! Rainbows! Farm animals!). We finally settled on a Fancy Nancy - inspired theme.

Theme: Azure Butterfly.

Azure Butterfly Birthday Party By STURCTUREbags

Choose activities:

This was both the easiest and the most challenging. Every kids loves to have fun and mine had dozens of ideas on how this could and should happen. Fortunately, we already knew we were keeping it simple - so the venue was set: a lovely park down the street form our house. We settled things that included play, nourishment and creativity.

Activities: Scavenger hunt and play, food, craft, cake, gifts.

Craft Time at Azure Butterfly Party by STRUCTUREbags

Choose decoration:

Since we'd already chosen a theme, the color choices became obvious: all shades of blue. Bonus if they were iridescent, because both Fancy Nancy and my little lady love all things that glitter. All the decorations were covered in a few quick shopping trips. Two separate trips to Michael's for the hanging decorations, table cloths, felt place mats, bags and butterfly accents (we are always in there!). We grabbed two blue buckets for our mini water bottles from the local dollar store. Our trip to Target completed our list with adorable mix and match paper plates, straws and balloons.

Decorations: Upscale outdoor table cloths, mix & match place settings, balloons, hanging paper art and gift bags.

Azure Butterfly Birthday Party By STURCTUREbags

Choose food:

This was a kid's birthday party and I wanted to make sure it was kid-focused. Although we kept the party short - a two-hour time window - we hosted the party during lunch, so I made sure we had enough food to feed the kids - and some extra for the adults to snack on. My little lady was thrilled to have tiny, crust-free triangle sandwiches to share, and they were perfectly sized for her and her friends. Everything was nut-free, including the cake, becuase why take chances with our most precious gifts?

Food: tea sandwiches, pretzels, fresh fruit, cake and water - all nut-free.

Nut-free Organic Cake at Azure Butterfly party

Create take-aways:

I always love to have my guests take something home with them - and this party my "Little STRUCTUREbags" was no exception. Together, we hand-made adorable butterfly headbands, paper-wrapped the water bottles, created a scavenger hunt list (she chose the items and their images - look close!) and personalized some charming brown bags. For grown-up parties I like to do food or a hand-crafted gift for home or holiday.

Take-aways: handmade butterfly headbands, butterfly mask craft, hunted items, personalized water bottle and a personalized gift bag to take it home in.

Take-away bags - personal and no junk!

Pre-party preparations (not including shopping) ran about two hours and our day-of at the park prep took about 90 minutes. We could have done everything faster, but who wants to rush? Prepping the headbands, scavenger cards and personalized items together with my daughter was fun for both of us. And who am I kidding? I selfishly love the memories we created together, so I will go slow every time!

Masks on and complete!


I said I wanted a budget-friendly kids party - but did I do it? There is always a little creep in the budget - especially when crazy, detail-oriented moms like me get involved. But here's an approximate look at what we spent for our RSVPs: eight kids and 12 adults.

Item Cost
Butterfly masks, glue, glitter and feathers $25
Headbands, ribbon and butterflies $10
Tablecloth, felt place mats, forks, napkins, straws, buckets $25
Balloons, paper decorations, tins $20
Bags, butterfly stickers, butterfly cut-outs $10
Store-made sandwiches, pretzels, fruit and water $75
Cake from Whole Foods $35
Twine, metallic pen, scrapbook paper, glue sticks and glue gun Free
Fabric, craft paper table cover, tape, card stock for printer Free
Benches at park, folding table and pop-up Free
Total $200


Have a great party!


Written by Brenda Guyader — July 29, 2015

Thursday nights are Farmer's Market nights in San Luis Obispo. And we finally made it back out!

Fall is in the air - even here in sunny California.

So, grab your pumpkin latte - if that's your fancy - and follow along... Because today we share a couple of ways we've made our home a little more festive this season: DIY style!

Written by Brenda Guyader — October 13, 2014

Engineering. Just the word conjures up super-charged, nerd-like images.

Today on the blog: find out how my nerdy background translates to a better bag for you.

Note: no calculators were harmed (or used) in the writing of this post.

Written by Brenda Guyader — September 29, 2014