Menifee Mom: How to Blow Out the Candles This Year?

By Michelle Walsh

Let’s talk about birthday parties.

I’m lucky to have two daughters with October birthdays. Kallan and Allie’s birthdays are three weeks apart. Every year since Allie’s birth, we’ve had “share parties,” as my daughters have named them.

That’s one party for both girls! Twice the fun, if you ask me. They are starting to think otherwise and asking if they have to have “share parties” this year. YIKES!

Chloe’s third birthday is coming up next month and it’s time to start party planning again. I have a small perfectionist problem, mix that with my uncontrollable desire to create things (did I mention I have a crafting problem too?), and I can really drive myself insane with party planning.

I’ve done a few parties at home and I learned real quick that "at home" parties were not for me. Cleaning, cooking, decorating, entertaining and then CLEANING AGAIN ... no thanks! I’m not against them; I just don’t think I’m the happy hostess when required to do that kind of birthday party.

We’ve done a few parties outside the home and they are fun. We’re in, we’re out, no mess, no fuss. The kids all have a blast and that is what is important.

In just the past few weeks, we’ve been invited to and have attended parties at Pump it Up, a Reptile Party -- complete with all kinds of amazing animals -- a Rapunzel party (awesome, with the Princess there herself), and we have an upcoming party at Cartwheels (a gymnastics studio) and another birthday party with a cute “Dapper” (fancy attire) theme. All these parties have been wonderful, as I’m sure the upcoming ones will be too.

Whether at home or at an outside entertainment venue, it’s a lot of planning, and it can be costly. I’m thinking this year I’d like to try to keep it simple.

I’m thinking something along these lines: The theme: birthday party. Yes, just that! A simple "made at home" cake with uneven frosting and the birthday girls’ name scribbled in a gel that is off centered and almost running off the cake -- but made with love. This served with a scoop of ice cream and a little fruit punch in a Dixie cup. Add a paper cone party hat with an elastic strap that would almost certainly break and snap you on your chin.

A small gathering of friends crowded around the table singing “Happy Birthday” while you make your wish and blow out the skinny stick candles that match your number in years. Throw in a couple of party blowers, a game of Pin the Tail on the Donkey, open some gifts and the party’s over. Just the thought of this kind of party makes me happy.

Yes, this year we will do simple. I hope to make it a tradition that will stay with us for many years to come.

Michelle Walsh is a Menifee resident, a wife and mother of three young girls. She is a former teacher who enjoys running, exercise, sewing, gardening and socializing. Each week, she shares her experiences as a Menifee mom. Michelle welcomes your comments here.


  1. Love your 'plain' birthday party idea. It can get a little over the top when trying to out-do the previous years party. Expectations can get a little too high from everyone involved.
    Good luck!

  2. I have 2 boys, April 1st and April 5th (2 years apart). Luckily they are still young enough to not understand the fact that they are sharing a party. As they get older and hit milestone ages like 5, 10, 13 etc then we will do seperate parties, but if its not a milestone then it will be shared, lol. We did the milestones with my step son, even with him I learned that they really dont care once the day is upon them, its just the love of family, friends and of course opening presents and cake that they truly enjoy!

  3. I always liked the idea of having it outside, especially since California weather is nice just about all year. Kids love hot dogs and hamburgers, have a party for a small group of friends, BBQ, have a cake like you suggested, and games and no big messes to clean up afterward OR, go to the park and have everyone play and eat, again no mess and yet a lot of fun. Kids really don't care they just want to have fun and be remembered!