Guest Room Goals

Happy Monday all! Moving day is around the corner, and I am so excited to finally be in our new home. We will dearly miss our current house – it’s a charming cottage we bought right before we were married. From our days as newlyweds to bringing both of our children home from the hospital to this house, we have loved every minute. The cottage will always have a special place in our hearts,  however, life is filled with change, and this change is one we are all ready for! We can’t wait for our next chapter and the fun adventures ahead.

So what am I most excited about? The pristine white kitchen of course! You know how I love to cook, and having a beautiful space to make all the meals will be a real treat. And the playroom – finally a place to store all of the boy’s toys!

We will now have a guest room for loved ones too (hooray!), and we will need to put the finishing touches on this cozy retreat so it’s ready for visitors. We’re doing a neutral palate – think white, tan and blue – including some special monogrammed pillows for the bed. I still need to find a headboard, mirror, and other furniture, and so I’ve been trying to find some inspiration. Here are a few of my favorite guest rooms, and cheers to a great week ahead!

Etiquette Tips for Hosting Toddler Birthday Parties

Happy Friday everyone! As promised, I give you the second installment of toddler birthday party etiquette: tips for hosting toddler birthday parties. I’ve hosted two of such soirees and learned quite a bit about the modern manners for the host and birthday child.

Last year I planned a “Curious George” themed party for C’s birthday, and he had the time of his life! Primary color balloon bouquets and charming decorations by Toot Sweet – think pom pom party hats and a mixture of striped and polka dot place settings – filled the room, as well as “Curious George” book party favors wrapped in cello and bows, and we of course enjoyed C’s favorite vanilla and sprinkle celebration cake. I will always remember the look on C’s sweet face – he lit up! – when he first walked into the party room and realized it was his special day. His big blue eyes and darling smile said it all, and I knew he was on cloud nine.

And so, if you are hosting (or plan to someday host!) a birthday party for your tot, here are my etiquette tips. Cheers to the weekend!

Quick Tips

Etiquette Tips for Hosting Toddler Birthday Parties

•••

Send invitations (list the “who, what, when, where,” etc.), whether it’s an e-vite or paper invite

List an RSVP date on the invitation and follow-up via phone if needed to get a final headcount

If siblings aren’t included, only address the invitation to the child being invited, otherwise address it to the family

If you know of any guests attending who have food allergies, try to offer snacks and treats they can enjoy too

Ensure you have enough cake, food, and beverages for each child and their parents/siblings (if attending)

Since a toddler’s attention span is limited, it’s best to wait until after the party to open gifts

Party favors are a nice-to-do, but not a must-do

If your child receives gifts at their party, send hand written thank you notes on their behalf

Have a first-aid kit on hand at the party in case anyone gets hurt

If your child falls ill before the party, call each of the guest’s parents to let them know and re-schedule the party if possible

Etiquette Tips for Attending Toddler Birthday Parties

Since becoming parents to our two darling boys, we’ve been invited to our fair share of first, second and third birthday parties, and from balloon bouquets and bounce houses, to face painting and petting zoos, we’ve attended some wonderful celebrations. C of course loves birthday parties – playing with his friends, devouring a big piece of frosted cake, its toddler heaven! I remember one party in particular, while walking to our car with goody bags in hand, he sweetly told me “it was really hard to leave mama!” because he was having such a great time. Oh how I love that boy!

I’ve also hosted two birthday parties to date, with C’s first birthday being at our house (a summertime theme complete with hamburgers, an ice cream truck, bubbles and pinwheels) and his second birthday (a Curious George theme at his favorite, “Little Gym”), and I had as much fun planning as C did celebrating. I can’t wait to plan his birthday this year, as well as his baby brother’s first birthday party.

Now having experienced both the roles of guest and host, I can say I’ve learned a great deal about the modern manners associated with this childhood tradition. I know I will learn so much more as the boys start school and birthday parties evolve, however I wanted to share my tips (in a two-part post) on how you and your little ones can be your best selves when attending and hosting toddler birthday parties. Enjoy!

Quick Tips

Etiquette Tips for Attending Toddler Birthday Parties

•••

RSVP as soon as you receive the invitation.

If your little ones are sick come party day, be considerate of the other guests and skip the party.

If the invitation says no gift, you do not need to bring a gift. You can bring a cute card if you’d like.

If you can’t make the party, you are not obligated to send a gift.

Only bring siblings if they are invited (i.e., if the invitation is addressed to them or to the whole family).

For toddler birthday parties and unless noted on the invitation, parents should plan to stay at the party.

Cutting the cake signals the end of the party.

At the end of the party, have your child thank the birthday boy or girl and their parents for hosting you (or you can do this on their behalf if they are too little).