Feature2 Collage


***Disclosure: Lilliput Play Center waived the party rental fee in exchange for advertisements on Diary of a First Time Mom.


Dear Diary,


This year, I’m throwing an election themed kids party. Last year, I broke the bank on my daughter’s first birthday bash. It was worth every penny, because the memories are priceless. But I went way beyond the budget.  As a matter of fact, I didn’t even set a budget!  I still wanted to throw a huge party but with a much smaller amount of money. I decided not to go over $200, which was still more than I hoped to spend! I had to stretch that amount to cover the cost of the location, cake, decorations, party favors, food and a party dress.


First, I searched for a party venue. I contacted Lilliput Play Center—where I would live if I was about three feet shorter, and asked about a possible advertising trade.  They agreed and offered their space for free! The miniature houses and businesses inspired a Red, White and Two theme. Caitlynn would run for mayor of Tot Town!  Lilliput provides decorations and table cloths and serves pizza and cake.  You also have an option to order additional food items.  I opted to bring my own decorations. The play center also provided hours of pretend play, so I didn’t plan other entertainment.  As soon as the children entered, their imaginations ran wild!


Trolley Collage


The kids toured Lilliput Play Center a.k.a. Tot Town on the trolley and slid into action.


Doctor's Office Collage


Anyone who wasn’t having a good time got dropped off at the doctor’s office to get their funny bone checked out.


Salon Collage


The second stop—the beauty salon. Caitlynn shampooed and blow dried my best friend’s daughters’ hair.  Who knew when Fawn and I met in the 7th grade our little girls would become friends in the future!


Fire House Collage


The heat from the curling irons sparked a small (pretend) fire, so firefighters quickly rushed to the scene.


Grocery Store Collage


The excitement worked up an appetite, so it was time to go grocery shopping and out for ice cream.


Gas Station Collage


When the kids ran out of gas, they drove over to the table, where they ate pizza and cake and sang Happy Birthday.


Click here to find out how I threw a posh party with lots of ideas under ten bucks!  I’ll share my single mama secrets of party tricks that only cost a buck!

About The Author

Vlog Mom/DFTM Creator

Not long ago, Heather Hopson hosted a television show in the Cayman Islands. Today, she's back home writing a different kind of story as a new mom. In her 15 years working as a professional journalist, this by far is her best assignment! Growing up, she dreamed of becoming Oprah Winfrey. She was the features editor for her school’s newspaper and a teen talk show host for her city’s most popular radio station. She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Michigan State University. After graduation, she worked as a television producer and reporter at CBS, NBC and Fox affiliates throughout the U.S. Instead of heading to Chicago to join Ms. Winfrey on her set, she bought a plane ticket to the Cayman Islands instead. She arrived five days before a category five hurricane! She lived in paradise for seven years, hosted an award-winning television show and traveled the globe with a government delegation. She also served on the board of directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters and spearheaded a Send a Kid to Camp campaign. Then, she relocated to Washington, D.C. to obtain a teaching certification and instruct 8th grade reading at a high needs middle school. She later returned to her hometown of Pittsburgh, PA to raise her daughter Caitlynn, now 4-years-old. During her 10-month-stint as a stay-at-home mom, Caitlynn inspired her to create this blog, and Diary of a First Time Mom was born on Mother’s Day 2012. Two years later, she expanded the family to include 20+ writers. Currently, Heather serves as the communications director at Allies for Children. In addition, she is the owner of Motor Mouth Multimedia, which ranked #49 in Startup Nation’s Home-Based 100 Competition sponsored by Discover Card and Sam’s Club. Recently, The Pittsburgh Foundation and The Heinz Endowments selected Heather to receive an Emerging Black Artist award to develop Diary of a First Time Mom.

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