I’m planning my twins’ 11th birthday party and taking you through the process as I go, so you can see exactly how and when I do everything to pull off a party. Over the next few weeks, keep tuning in on Tuesdays, and I’ll share with you where I am in the party planning process. And don’t miss my party lessons at the end of each post.

Go behind the scenes as a party planner plans her own twins' birthday party and shares her favorite tips with you-part 3

Catch up with part one and part two.

* * * * *

I am freaking out

So, is “completely freak out” part of the party planning process? It is for me at the moment. (See, it happens to all of us!) “For a variety of reasons” (as a friend of mine likes to say), I’ve lost about two weeks in the party planning process. Hence, the freak-out.

Maybe it’s just me, but I always feel better with a to-do list. Getting everything out of my head and onto a list makes me feel more in control. This part is up to you, but I like to make my lists online so they are:

  1. Nice and neat
  2. Easy to update
  3. But mainly so I don’t lose the paper I wrote the list on

Using a tool like Evernote is perfect for this because then my list also is accessible from my phone when I’m shopping via the Evernote app.

Breathe, Jennifer: breathe

Now you may look at my list and think it’s hyper-detailed, but I like to check each step off. It’s my little motivator. I think listing each step (buy printables – send to print – pick up – trim) also helps me be realistic about my time … ’cause I have a *little* tendency to think I can do more in my waking hours than a normal person. And, let’s face it, I can’t. I can’t even stay awake longer than the normal person to do some night-time crafting — especially not when the siren song of Gilmore Girls on Netflix is calling my sleepy name.

So this is where I am. As I was making my list, I checked my activities against my Week-by-Week Party Planner (get it using the sign-up form below). That way, I don’t forget anything I may need to add to my to-do list.

I’m sure this list will grow as I go along. For instance, late yesterday I got a call back from the rental location I was considering. I wish it could work, but I’d only have two hours to set-up and I know that isn’t realistic for me. (Setting up at an away location — what a chore! — usually takes me 6 hours with an assistant.) So, that means I really need to add “figure out how the heck to seat 18 girls in my house” to the list. But, tomorrow is another day.

The next thing to do is for me to mentally group these to-dos together into like tasks. That will help me be more efficient:

  • Local errand running
  • Online shopping
  • Crafting day
  • Tidying / cleaning day

Jennifer’s Selfie Party To-Do List


  • Test Instagram red/yellow/green/blue stripe runners w/ WM fabrics
  • Gather / edit photos
  • Send photos to marshmallow lady
  • How display cakepops? Order new cakepop stand? (Papa Santone?)
  • Follow up with cake lady


  • Order Instagram frame backdrop – DONE
  • Order XL pic of M&G to fit in frame
  • Tape pic in Instagram frame
  • Buy heart and # sign marquee lights – DONE
  • Order Selfie Party banner from AndersRuff – DONE
  • Test arrangement


  • Order Instagram frame prop – DONE
  • Order selfie banner – DONE
  • Order felt garland – DONE
  • Order heart garland – DONE
  • Order tissue honeycomb balls – DONE – do I need more? Larger balls?
  • Where to place photo booth?
  • Silhouette cut hashtags (double glue or buy thicker cardstock)
  • Mount hearts and hashtags on sticks


  • Choose design
  • Craft wreath


  • Seat 18
  • Do I have enough Ikea Stools? (If not, Sweet Seats)
  • Wide yellow runner w/ square photos in placecard holders?
  • Flowers – felt flowers?
  • Finish napkin rings
  • White napkins?
  • Choose Create UR Plate design and order
  • Test place setting
  • Buy 4 more black plates (Target)
  • Buy soda
  • Wrap bottles
  • Choose straws
  • Emoji stickers to forks?
  • Borrow folding tables from Sheryl?


  • Elm Street – have to fill out form to get price; then wait two weeks – SKIP
  • LM for Tricia at Latimer Hall – DONE – not available


  • Make guest list – DONE
  • Order invites from AndersRuff – DONE
  • Have invites printed as 5×7 photos at WalMart
  • Order stamps
  • Buy envelopes
  • Mail/deliver invites


  • Do I have enough XL shirts? (prob need 3 – have M try on)
  • Cost of appliques?
  • Make emoji top hat test
  • Order headbands?


  • Finish frames
  • Add thank you tags


  • Order emoji balloons?
  • Set up Instagram account for M/G – DONE
  • Have carpets cleaned
  • Send printables to print
  • Pick up printables
  • Trim printables


  • Make scavenger hunt list – start/finish?
  • Time the hunt?
  • Design scavenger hunt list
  • Explain Instagram hashtag and scavenger hunt rules – print on back of hunt list?
  • Buy two selfie sticks


  • Pick up cookies
  • Apply clings to plates
  • Set dining tables (if party is at home)


  • Have balloons filled (Dollar Tree or Party City)
  • Hang front door wreath

Your party lessons for the week

If you lose time in your party planning — or if you’re just starting close to your party date — the to-do list is your friend. It will get you out of your head and calm your crazy. The to-do list takes away your biggest fear: forgetting something. And once that fear is gone, your focus will come back.

Even if you lose time, your to-do list can help you figure out what your priorities are in the time you have remaining. Because remember: you can always complete an item on your to-do list by deciding NOT to do it.

Get your crazy under control

Have you gotten your copy of my Week-by-Week party planning checklist? It’s the secret to how you can plan your next party without rushing around like a crazy person. Just fill in the box below, and I’ll send the checklist right to you.

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