Birthdays as the kids get older

As kids get older, many things change. No longer do they need you to get them a snack or pick out their clothes. As you would expect, their tastes in TV shows and books change as do their friends as they grow up and experience more.

So it is no wonder that birthdays also change. Many parents throw birthday parties for their kids when they turn one. The party of course is more for the parents as the baby has no idea what all the fuss is about. They are all about playing with the boxes and smashing cake with their fingers.

We never did big parties when our kids turned one or two. In fact, they only had parties with us and the grandparents until they turned 5. Then it became parties where you invited their whole class. I use to like doing them at party places as they seemed to be less of a hassle, and I got to enjoy the party rather than run it. (I even wrote a post about that. Click here to read it.)

The inviting the whole class worked for a few years. And then we would just invite the boys or girls – depending on if it was Jase’s or Lexie’s party. And three years ago, we moved to having the parties at home. It gave us more creativity with their themes.

Jase did an awesome Army turned Lego party followed by a How to Train Your Dragon party. Last year, he just invited a couple of friends over for science experiments, video games and a water balloon fight. His birthday is tomorrow. We celebrated with family yesterday, but he is going with some friends to a bowling/laser tag place this coming weekend to celebrate.

For Lexie’s home parties, we first did a Minecraft themed party and this year it was Pokemon. Next year, we will probably try to scale her party back to maybe just a few friends. Or perhaps she will have a sleep over.

Jase next year will be in middle school. And with that, I imagine parties will end. Of course, Lexie is quick to point out that teenagers can have parties too. I just don’t think we will be making that a yearly thing.

I know college students and adults who still throw parties for their birthday. And if the kids want to do that, I am not stopping them. It just isn’t something I have every done. My last birthday party was when I turned 21. It was also my only surprise party. (And the day I got engaged.) I’m perfectly happy celebrating with a dinner out with the family. But we will see as the kids get older what they want to do.

Introducing Another World Cards – custom birthday invitations #etsy

This month I opened my own shop – Another World Cards – on Etsy, the online marketplace for people who make, sell and buy unique goods.

frozen1For the past four years, I have designed my kids’ birthday invitations. In November (and the previous November), I created an invitation for a Christmas party I was throwing. I love doing this type of design work. And that made me think that perhaps I could sell these invitations to others.

With that in mind, I began looking at Etsy. After reading many blogs about setting up your own Etsy business – including the pitfalls and tips on pricing – I decided I would give it a try.

GOTGI had six cards already designed so I decided to make 22 more. I ended up creating 14 girl-themed and 14 boy-themed invitations to start my shop. Since then I have added about a dozen more and have a few more in the works.

Now the invitations I make are designed to be printed on photo paper. It only costs about 18 cents per invitation at the one-hour photo processing center at Wal-Mart to print them.

Last year, I spent $3.50 for Lexie’s invitations. The last time we invited all of Jase’s class it cost $5.20. And the best thing is they are custom invitations featuring whatever character my kids are really into at the time.

MLP Equstria girlsSo if you are planning a kid’s birthday party, and you want your own custom-designed invitation, please take a look at my Etsy store.

Each invitation is $7.99. This includes type-setting and making any font or font color changes. On some of the invitations, the background color can also be changed to make the invitation uniquely yours. A proof will be sent to verify the invitation is perfect before sending the final jpg file. It is then up to the client to print the invitation at whatever photo lab they want or to print them at home.

Lego SpidermanAll invitations have been printed (at Wal-mart’s 1-hour photo lab) to ensure they look as awesome printed as they do on the screen. They do tend to print a little darker than they appear on the screen.

And if you are looking around and don’t see a character that you want, let me know. If I have the time, I may be able to design an invitation around that character.

So please, head on over to my store and check them out. Thanks!