Last week, my second daughter turned 4, and let me tell you, this event has been a Long. Time. Coming. As happens with an older sibling and lots of pre-school aged buddies, birthday parties are on the radar BIG TIME.
For me, kids’ birthday parties bring me one, massive dread: party favours! Or, in our house, where piñatas are king (queen): piñata contents.
You see, if my kids return from a lunch with Grandma at McD’s (or similar), the prize/toy/doohickey generally goes directly from our car into the curbside garbage bin. And while I way prefer that no-fuss solution to the build up of clutter in our home, I cringe at the waste of it all! Now, take that concept, multiply it and concentrate it and repackage it once per year at a larger scale: Party Favours be thy name.
I love fun, and I love celebrations, so I actually like the abundance of an exploding piñata, and my daughter loves creating a treat for her friends to take home. My problems are that A) I don’t want to spend an excess of money on a pint-size birthday party, and B) most of what is marketed for this purpose is, in my opinion, well, junk.
My definition of junk would include:
I hear again and again from friends, or read online, that parents loathe party favours, but feel obligated to buy them. I suspect that for many of them, it’s that same tension which I have experienced. You don’t want much expense or hassle, so you buy something that is simply packaged and cheap, but then feel irritated at having spent any money at all on items you don’t like.
I feel you!
Here are 20 ideas to help you fill your party favour bags or piñata with some great value, reasonable quality, well-received contents:
As you can tell, I favour (so to speak) things that come in multiples in a bag or larger package, but aren’t packaged as favours, per se.
Personally, I would avoid bouncy balls & marbles (choking hazards), anything noisy (sorry, slide whistle), or anything that might annoy the parents (like the coloured bubbles I already apologized for sending home last week).
Any more ideas? What are some of the best party treats you have ever sent or received from a party?
Our production partner, Basha, began in one little office in Dhaka, Bangladesh — the most densely populated city in the world. Over the many years they have been in business, creating kantha textiles & jewelry, they have expanded: both in number of staff, and also locations.
It was helpful for some women to leave the norm of their old life environment, to get away, to start fresh in a new city. So, Basha created different offices in varied locations. They established a girls' home to safely house daughters & other vulnerable young women as they come of age.
As Basha has continued to identify the great need of women in Bangladesh, there is another area they have expanded: actively seeking women in brothels & whispering the potential of a new life.
As I was packing for our first family international flight (to London UK), I wanted to make sure that we had everything we needed to make our overnight journey the most comfortable. As you know, those flights can be a little chilly - so I wanted to bring blankets for all of us. Naturally, I wondered...
Can I bring a blanket onto a plane?
In short: YES! According to the TSA you are allowed to both check a blanket in your luggage and to bring a blanket on a plane within a carry-on (and this also includes electric blankets). You can even bring your own blanket in your arms as you would a jacket or hat, without it counting towards your carry-on or personal item limits or paying any extra fees.
When I got married as a baby (4 days over 21), I was still a student. Then, we both worked for a bit, then we had babies, and then my husband was a student. For almost all of those years, our "budget" was: try to not spend money.
This head-in-the-sand tactic has served us... ok... BUT, now that I'm pretending to be a real grownup (at age 35 — youngest children tend to be late to the responsibility party), I'm taking a new approach!
After Christmas, I started using You Need a Budget (YNAB) to track every expense & plan for future spending. Two months in, here’s what I think.
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