Well, my ten-year-old birthday girl didn't get the SNOW she was expecting on Friday, but she got something even better than expected: A SURPRISE SLUMBER PARTY!

Decorating for a surprise party while she was home on a rare Houston "snow day" was a little tricky, but my mom came to the rescue and took her shopping (tough duty!). Here's how we fancied up her room in a very short time:

Four friends and little sister hid behind the bed...
{Daddy was there to video.}

{She was totally shocked!}

The blog world abounds with super-beautiful, well-coordinated, crazy-creative party ideas. I admire the gift of hospitality those women have {it's truly a gift!} and love seeing the way a party brings out their creative best, but for me...simpler is better {using what I have around the house vs. running all over town to pull a certain look together...that's just me!}.

My party-giving motto: throw a party that authentically reflects who you are and what's important to your family. We're simple, we're homebodies, we're creative, we're healthy and we're a little old-fashioned. So our parties look like this:

1. A touch of festive decor, but nothing over the top...

{paper lanterns, balloons and Christmas lights}

2. Healthy treats (no artificial colors or flavors)...

{baking doesn't bring out the best in me,
but Whole Foods does the trick!}

Loving our new birthday candle holder:

{petit lume available here}

3. A craft, because that's what my girls love to do...

{Practical and crafty! From Anthropologie.}

Of course, card making is our favorite craft around here!

I even made a few myself when the girls were finished...

{So therapeutic to make cards the old school way!}

4. Timeless gifts that inspire the imagination...


We love books, especially those written in more
simple, innocent times.

{Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm}

A journal for my thoughtful, observant girl...

{From eeboo...love their products!}

And this adorable matchbox mouse...
how could I resist?

{So European! I found it at this shop in Maine.}

And the final ingredient for my favorite kind of kiddo party...

Home-based, because I'm a homemama!
{My new favorite word!}

Oh, and one more thing to finish things off for my very special 10-year old girl: a party favor that she was proud to give away to her four sweet friends!

{Personalized stationery by moi! I'm taking a break
for now, but will be back to designing in March!}

So how about you, Sweet Readers? What does a birthday party look like in your family? Any special traditions, favorite gifts, most-memorable party ideas?

Happy Monday!

P.S. I don't have a clue how to throw a boy birthday party, but these two creative friends sure do: Alston  {here and here} and Holly {here and here}. I love these party images because they authentically reflect the unique, creative gifts of the hostess and the priorities of the family. Enjoy!


  1. looks like such a sweet, fun party! and most importantly, the birthday girl looks so happy. i saw those matchbook mice at a shop in ATL and was tempted to buy one to put up for M -- they are adorable. I might get one the next time we are in town. I'm afraid that if I wait they'll stop making them!

    and thanks for the shout out at the end! our parties aren't a whole lot of fancy, but they are fun!

  2. love your party for the sweet birthday girl.....

    we do it very similarly to you....simple and heartfelt. We always invite our closest friends and enjoy good quality time together.....

    a favorite couple of traditions is letting the birthday person pick a restaurant that they'd like to eat at as a family and letting that person eat off of our special birthday pottery platter!

  3. perfect in every way. I will admit I went all out when Andrew was little, I loved it, he loved it, and his friends loved it. I went all out in terms of the games and the theme, I sewed costumes, I dressed up, we went on imaginary adventures, it was so much fun but also lots of work. some of the parties I see nowadays look all magazine perfect, almost more for adults and I'll be honest while pretty, I can only imagine the stress they create for the mom's. Nowadays we keep it all pretty simple. And your know what? They still have a blast. we too are big fans of old children's books. Andrew and i have read all the classics together and they are the best! Happy Monday, Linsey!!

  4. What a cool surprise for a sweet girl!! Her room looks perfectly festive and I love the card making going on. We did a bit of that this weekend as well (valentine box for school). I'm horrible at throwing kid parties and leave everything to the last minute. I'm with you on using what you have and NOT running all over town buying stuff. The personalized stationary was such a great party favor!!

    Thanks for your sweet comment on my post today too. ;) Urban Market this weekend??

  5. What a wonderful birthday surprise for your daughter! The crafts and card making look like such fun . . . I wish I still did things like that for my own birthday parties!! The note cards are adorable and undoubtedly made her friends very happy. Hope we can get together soon - January flew by.

  6. This is the sweetest idea for a birthday. I bet she was thrilled! She'll remember it for the rest of her life. Such a special and thoughtful day that was all about her. So cute.

  7. That looks like a birthday party that I would love even at my age :) And you images are once again so beautiful!

  8. this is one of the sweetest birthday parties I've seen. I think you may call if old fashioned but in reality...all our girls need to go back to " old fashioned"...just my opinion:)
    Love the candle holder...and I love her stationary you designed her..she is a doll
    I always let them choose a dessert and I make that or buy it ... I'm not to talented:) and we go out to eat at their favorite place..simple

  9. This is so fun...and she looks just like you! You are a good housemamma ;)!

  10. Looks like a lot of fun!

  11. I love that it was all a surprise!
    I am so going to do this for my 11 year old.
    she really wants a sleep-over!

  12. how FUN!!! this looks amazing Lins. i love the decor, and the tiny cupcakes on the stationery you made are super cute :) i love these posts you make about family...just how TOGETHER you all are, i can truly FEEL the love and happiness all the way over here in atlanta. such great memories yall are making, all the time!


"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You too? I thought I was the only one." ~ C.S. Lewis

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