Partying has taken on a whole new meaning since becoming a parent. Don’t get me wrong, I like dressing up, freezing my bum off, standing in line, and having a hangover as much as the next guy . . . wait, what?
The Oscars are a big deal. Despite the annual post-Oscar trashing that everyone engages in (“The speeches were boring,” “The host was a nob,” “There wasn’t enough twerking,” etc.) the Academy Awards still sparkle with all the glitz and glamour that the entertainment world holds.
The Oscars are still worth oohing and ahhing over. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, they are the gold standard in going big.
It’s with that in mind that even I—the most curmudgeony of partiers, much like YMC’s Party Mummy—can get excited about hosting my own Oscar shindig. In my pajamas, mind you.
Here’s a checklist to help you organize your own sparkly-yet-subdued Oscar party:
This theme is incredibly easy to pull off, and also has the benefit of being a clever double-entendre. The stars of Hollywood AND you in your pajamas under the night sky!
This anti-party deserves a fitting guest list. Limit this to:
o People who are permitted to see you in jammies
o Those whose jammies you don’t mind seeing
o Fellow party-poopers
With the “Stars” theme, you can throw together a gorgeous invite from Paperless Post. They have a whole set of Oscar-themed invitations.
Head to your local Dollar Store, and your cart will be bursting with cute, cheap, and on-theme items to make your night-in a special one. You’ll probably be able to find:
o Star napkins
o A “red carpet”—a plastic picnic tablecloth secured to the floor works well (for doing your jammie photos, obviously!)
o Glow-in-the-dark jewellery
If you want to take the set-up to the next level, a party store can help you with:
o Star helium balloons
o A “real” red-carpet
o Adorable paparazzi photo backdrops
Bam! A stellar set-up that only took moments.
Ask your guests to wear their coziest jammies, with some paparazzi flair, such as:
o Top hats
This year the Oscars are featuring an interactive Twitter red carpet. If you follow @TheAcademy and tweet a red carpet-ready photo of yourself using #MyOscarPhoto, you could have your photo featured on the red carpet! Celebrities will then pose in front of a video wall showcasing your tweeted photos, which will be tweeted back to you. Just be sure to first sign this online release form.
THE EATS AND TREATS:
Keep it simple, satisfying, and fun:
o Delish Onion Ring Poutine
o A veggie tray (even celebrities need their vegetables)
o These Hanukkah star cookies are right on theme.
THE COCKTAILS AND MOCKTAILS:
o The “official” drink of the Oscars is Moët & Chandon. What a shame.
o YMC’s Party Mummy also makes a mean mocktail for the designated drivers or the under-nineteen crowd.
THE MAIN EVENT:
Use this printable party ballot to predict the night’s winners! The party guest with the most correct predictions wins the SHWAG BAG!
THE SHWAG BAG:
In the spirit of party minimalism, make one adorable little Shwag Bag for the winner of the Oscar predictions. Inside the bag, you might include:
o 2 movie passes
o Your favourite fancy popcorn
o A DVD/Bluray of one of the nominated films
Being a parent doesn’t change how fun you are, it changes how you are fun. I am counting the hours until our family’s Oscar Pajama Party. Who knows, I might even go really crazy and get some new slippers for the big night. Whatever I wear, I know my family will love me . . . ”they really love me!”
If you’re planning for guests, you might want to check out this post:
Hotel Secrets to Make Your House Holiday-Ready
If you need to remove those pesky price stickers from any of your party supplies, check out:
I’d love to say that I was being eco-friendly in my recent cleaning pursuits. A steward of the environment. A real crunchy mummy — the one I often aspire to be, but fall short of when I break out the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.
If I were being honest, I would have to admit that my search for a make-your-own goo-remover was motivated by impatience.
It’s nine o’clock on a Saturday (cue the Piano Man), your baby is fast asleep, you’re home alone, and you need to get a household task checked off your list. You understand the situation I was in: ingenuity took over.
My problem was this:
When our daughter was learning to walk, I wrapped the coffee table in a giant foam bumper. I used both double-sided tape and duct tape to ensure bumper-longevity. Ten points for safety, minus a thousand for easy cleanup.
When I finally removed the bumper this week, a gross-gooey mess remained.
I had used commercial goo-removing products in the past. But, at this hour (with a baby asleep and a job that needed doing) I was going to have to take matters into my own hands.
The surface area that needed goo-removal was truly considerable. The mighty paste worked like a charm! In fact, I’ve even re-purposed a small baby food jar filled with this magical goo-remover for stubborn price stickers.
In my giddy post-goo glow, I forgot to remove my batch of homemade goo-remover from the coffee table. The next morning, my little one wandered happily into the living room, put her fingers into the coconut oil and baking soda mixture… and licked them.
It was then I was truly thankful for the gentle, eco-friendly, cleaning product I had used the night before. It's so gentle, your toddler can eat it.
If you're all over your big, bad, to-do list today, check out how a crap basket will cut down on your clutter. Or, if you're stocking up on cleaning supplies, you'll want to grab these items at the dollar store!
“Out of clutter, find simplicity. From discord, find harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” – Albert Einstein
Clutter is the beast that can fell even the most productive parent. We live with, use, and need stuff. We have come to rely on the stuff that makes our lives better, easier, faster, prettier, and warmer. The price of our habitual consumerism can be that the stuff begins to own us.
You can forget about actual cleaning when there is junk crammed into every corner of your workspace, home, and your personal life. More than anything, clutter can make you feel defeat — that horrible, obnoxious, feeling that is reserved for failed grade 4 math tests, provincial driving exams, and…clutter.
The first secret to controlling clutter is: do just one thing. Do the thing that annoys you most first. The second secret is to use the time you have, and not let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Sometimes, 30 minutes (or roughly one nap that includes a snack and a coffee for you) is all you have. Make it count!
Here are 30 Clutter-Control Tricks that each take less than 30 minutes to complete.
DISCLAIMER: PLEASE DO NOT BE AN OVERACHIEVER AND TRY TO DO ALL 30. THIS DEFEATS THE PURPOSE OF THE “JUST DO ONE” RECOMMENDATION
Start your timer for thirty minutes. Chose ONE task. And, go!
1) Unroll your inbox
2) Clean out your voice mails. All of them.
3) Update your contact list. If you are too far behind in these updates, then set your timer for 30 minutes and do as many as possible in that time.
4) Get rid of ten pieces of paper. Any ten. Maybe you file them, maybe you toss them. They just can’t stay in that pile anymore.
5) Organize your small office supplies. I love using a cute tray where you can see everything you have.
1) Reign-in electrical chords. When in doubt, use zipties!
2) Clean and replace light fixtures. Don’t let those crusty dead flies stare at you anymore.
3) Wash all phones and remote controls. A recent study showed that phones carry more germs than toilet seats. You don’t rub your face on those, do you?
4) Clean your front entrance by removing all the shoes/coats/hats that don’t get used daily.
5) Feng Shui experts suggest you should place treasured objects in front of a mirror. Try grouping your decorative items in once place for a cleaner, less cluttered, look.
1) Organize your kids’ art, smartly, using the wicked-cool app called Artkive.
2) Teach your kids to make their bed using the burrito method.
3) Create an organized homework space using an over the chair solution.
4) Get books off the floor and into a book nook.
5) Go through their closet and put the “too smalls” in a bag for donation. Here are some great places to donate:
The Canadian Diabetes Association (They’ll even pick up!)
1) Get the junk out of your trunk, and wipe down the interior of your car.
2) Organize your glove compartment with a zippered folder. Insurance, manuals, and all the important stuff you need in case you’re on the run from the law, or your family.
3) (Accurately) label all the tubs in your garage — front and top.
4) Put all of your garden shed tools in one basket. I like to upcycle an old flower pot.
5) Clear your front porch or walkway of all accessories (like shovels, and salt). Curb appeal goes way down when there are personal items in view.
1) Meditate for 30 minutes. If you need some guidance and inspiration, there is a great App called Calm.com.
2) Do a Facebook friends de-clutter. Negative posters can be a drag on your mood.
3) Set up a notebook beside your bed to write goals, lists, thoughts, and even jokes, as they come. It’s use it or lose it when it comes to brain clutter.
4) Set up automatic billing for all your monthly expenses! It’s a total no-brainer that will save the stress of a missed bill and the clutter of the mail that you don’t need.
5) Clean out that crazy purse! Damn, woman, you’re starting to look like Mary Poppins *pulls lamp out of purse to illustrate point*
1) Write a will. Even something simple is better than nothing at all.
2) Clean out the fridge and get rid of the sauces and dressings you haven’t used in the last month.
3) Import five CDs to your computer. It’s a guarantee you’ll actually listen to them MORE and have to dust them LESS in the e-format.
4) Take everything off your kitchen counter. Now, only put back the stuff you use daily.
5) Call your mom. Seriously. Tell her how amazing she is for not letting the house fall to shambles while you were growing up.
Ding! Time is up, you de-cluttering machine, you. Take a big, fat, marker and cross whatever job you chose off this list. With the universe on your side naptime will come again tomorrow — and with it, another 30 minutes of clutter-control.
Still on a high from all your clutter-control progress? Why not grab these essential items from the Dollar Store. Or, if you need a little extra motivation, read: Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good!