A Final Note from Alexis & Julia

After careful consideration, we have decided to close All Wrapped Up Parties to pursue individual passions. It has been an amazing journey, and we are thankful for all we have learned. To our clients and partners, family and friends: from the bottom of our hearts, THANK YOU for your encouragement and support. We are stronger for this experience, which would have been impossible without you!

Dr. Seuss sums it up perfectly for us: Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.

– Alexis & Julia

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Alexis-GoodbyeA Note from Alexis:

It is with tears in my eyes that I say good bye to a passion that consumed my life for the past 18+ months. Sadly, it was the wrong time for the intensity we had planned. As you may have noticed, Julia and I are not women who do things any less than the best. There simply isn’t enough time in each day for AWUP to become what we dreamed and devote ourselves to other professional pursuits. I am proud to say we remain best (actually, even better) friends for having this experience together. Life is a huge adventure. I regret nothing, especially meeting you.

What’s next for me? I will be doing freelance branding and invitation design under Alexis Jane Design. My branding work will be focused on small businesses and non-profits.

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Julia-GoodbyeA Note from Julia:

It’s hard to leave something I take so much pride in. All Wrapped Up Parties has been a source of great personal satisfaction for me, but my desire to return to teaching takes precedence. Working with so many children through AWUP helped me to recognize where I’m most needed. I’m more cognizant of my natural gifts as a teacher than ever, and I’m eager to devote my time and talents towards my greatest passion: helping children reach their full potential while inspiring a lifelong love of learning.

I’ll always feel grateful for my education in small business beside my dear friend, Alexis, and for so many happy encounters along the way. Cheers, to new experiences & pursuing what you love – the stuff of life!

Let It Go! [party control, that is]

By Julia

I’m a fool for the Let It Go song from Frozen. Absolutely love it, can’t get enough, play it in the car when I’m by myself – on repeat. My kiddos, 5 and 7, didn’t get into the movie or the songs. (Clearly, I have gone wrong somewhere in my parenting for this to be the case!) I have spent more time than I care to admit trying to change their minds. I blast the song as we scoot around town, ignoring their moans and groans. I attempt to convince them of its virtues, talking them through each part, explaining why I think it’s so wonderful (and with quite convincing language, if I do say so myself). To no avail. *sigh*

At least they appreciate Olaf’s song. I’d REALLY worry if they didn’t love Olaf.

5/28/14 UPDATE! Mommy has prevailed. Since I wrote this blog, my kiddos now know ALL the lyrics to every Frozen song and have requested to watch the movie TWO times! It’s about time they came to their senses, sheesh!

Puppet Show

But whether they eventually took to Anna and Elsa or threw the soundtrack in the trash behind my back (never), all I really care about, honestly, is that they feel safe and comfortable expressing their opinions and ideas. I think that’s the only way they’ll develop a strong sense of self. Freedom of the mind. Oh, my whole heart wishes these things for them. As it would be, the message of “Let It Go” suggests such freedom! And to accept yourself exactly as you are – another wish for my children.

Their birthday celebration is an easy, satisfying way to make these wishes reality. I do as the song suggests, and LET GO of party control. I embrace who my children are and listen to THEIR ideas, their wishes. And they never disappoint. When given the chance, my children dream up awesome themes, ideas, and activities for their birthday parties.

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The result? A reflection of self-expression for my children, coupled with my positive example of support and encouragement of their ideas and individuality.

 

Here are five chronological tips to help LET GO of Party Control and celebrate your child’s autonomy.

1. Keep an Open Mind
One-of-a-kind themes and party ideas can beautifully embody your child’s unique personality. Consider stepping away from trademark themes. Instead, encourage original ideas. You’ll be surprised with what they come up with! Case and point: My son, The Ham. For his 5th birthday he had one main request – to wear his hot dog costume that Santa brought him. He decided to incorporate this idea into a costume party theme! “Be What You Want to Be” is his original language, making his invitation a treasured keepsake.

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When we as parents listen and remain open to our child’s ideas we are motivating positive behavior. We are showing respect. We are instilling self-confidence. Our actions speak volumes. “You are valued. You are smart. You can do anything you set your mind to.”

2. Theme Selection Timeline
As we all know, children have a knack for changing their minds, so having a timeline for deciding the party theme is important. Well in advance, have your child make a list of his or her TOP 3 party theme choices. After a week, ask your child to cross one idea off the list. After another week, ask your child to cross one more idea off the list, leaving you with his or her theme.

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Once the theme is chosen, delve right into planning, generating lots of excitement. Your child will be less inclined to want to change the theme if you get him or her all pumped up!

3. Limit Activity Ideas
Now that a theme is chosen, it’s time to hear what your child wants to DO at the party. Too many ideas will get everyone flustered; keep it simple and guide your child to discuss 5-10 ideas only. Narrow your ideas down to his or her MOST favorites. If possible, throw in 1 or 2 unexpected surprises for fun.

Silly Eye Doctor and Silly Glasses

The games and activities for my daughter’s “Silly Party” were all her own, and it was perfect.

4. Look no further than your child for answers.
All too often we assume a number of things about our children – what they like or don’t like, what they may be feeling or thinking. We don’t ask questions – we make decisions for them instead. Sure it takes a little longer to involve our children, but when we include them in decision-making they become invested in an experience! And what we learn about them in the process is enlightening. We begin to see our children in a different light.

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Look no further than your child for answers to your party questions. Empower them to help in the planning by asking these and lots of other questions:

  • What type of food should we serve?
  • Who is it very important for you to invite?
  • Would you like to have cake or something different?
  • What music would you like to listen to?
  • With what colors should we decorate?
  • What is one of your favorite games to play?
  • Can you help me to set up the food table… organize this party activity… write your friends’ names on the favor bags… ?

5. Have a basic plan, then go with the flow.
During the planning process and come party day, follow a basic plan (Beginning, Middle, End) while remaining flexible. Don’t sweat the small stuff and don’t over-think. What is she enjoying in the planning process? (Keep doing it!) What are the children enjoying at the party? (Keep it going!!) When is he smiling and laughing? (A sure sign you’re getting it right.)

On the flip side, keep what DOESN’T go according to plan in perspective. Is it really SO BAD? Be prepared to adapt. So your party game was a flop. So what?! (Move on to the next activity or turn on some music and dance!) So your child had a birthday meltdown. So what?! (It will pass faster if you don’t react negatively. Give her a big hug and distract her with funny balloon noises. Or maybe it’s time to open presents!)

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What’s most important is that your child have fun. Root yourself in this mindset and you can’t go wrong! Remember to do yourself a favor and try to RELAX. Your child will follow your lead in attitude, and so will your party guests!

Birthdays are for celebrating, and so is TODAY. Celebrate Today. Let it go; apply these tips to your EVERY day and reap the happy benefits. The cold never bothered me anyway!

 

All Wrapped Up Parties, LLC is a mom-owned, child-centered party planning business serving North Carolina’s Greater Triangle Area. We specialize in creating custom Party Boxes, shipped or delivered right to your doorstep.

 

 

Book Rave: What Do You Say, Dear?

We love revisiting books from our childhood. The illustrations and words flood us with memory and feeling. As we read books from our past to our own children, they take on new meaning. We make new memories as we see the story through our children’s eyes, through their experience. Yet our experience isn’t lost, and as parents, many of us wish to communicate to our children what it was like when we were young. Books — because  of their power to preserve emotion — are the perfect way to share a part of our youth with our little ones.

Cover of What Do You Say, Dear by Sesyle Joslin

The book, What Do You Say, Dear? by Sesyle Joslin (illustrations by Maurice Sendak) brings back happy memories of “playing proper” with our mothers. The book takes you through hilariously imaginative situations. At the close of each absurd scenario the reader is prompted with the question: What do you say, dear? and encouraged to politely reply.

We have loved rediscovering What Do You Say, Dear through our children’s joy. Our little ones love the silly illustrations and pretend scenarios. We love its light-hearted approach to teaching manners. Here are 3 more parenting points encouraged by this charming book from our past.

Illustration from What Do You Say, Dear? by Sesyle Joslin

1. Learning manners can be fun.
When it comes to manners, children are inclined to “play along” when the parent plays a little, too. What Do You Say, Dear reinforces courtesy in a jovial way without taking anything too seriously. Its witty style also teaches humor!

2. Children learn through pretend play.
Children and adults alike can’t help but laugh at the ridiculous pretend scenes in What Do You Say, Dear. Children, however, respond so positively to the pages because “make believe” is the means by which they learn. Children must be granted the freedom to explore their imaginations in order to make sense of the world.

3. Reading with your child nurtures a bond.
There are many ways to strengthen your relationship with your child. A great way is to read aloud to your child. But so often parents aren’t sure how to engage their reader. What Do You Say, Dear offers a dialogue, where your child is an active participant.

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This Is the end. Goodbye. Illustration from book by Sesyle Joslin

Celebrate today; dig up and share a book from your childhood with your little one. You’ll be glad you did.  (Be sure to share which book in the comments, below!) We wish you happy reading together. Always.

All Wrapped Up Parties, LLC is a local, mom-owned and operated party planning business serving North Carolina’s Greater Triangle Area and shipping signature party boxes nationwide.

Parenthood: Look Inward & Enjoy the Ride

Welcome to Parenthood, the roller coaster entertaining billions that takes us up, up, up and DOWN faster than we can imagine. Every day on this ride we experience a whirlwind of emotions: We’re blissfully happy, then thrown for a loop. Laughing hysterically then painfully drained. Turned upside down and scared out of our minds. Sometimes it’s more than we can handle, and at the top of our lungs we find ourselves temporarily insane, screaming “GET ME OFF OF THIS THING!”

Unfortunately, celebrations have a sneaky way of inducing stress. Birthdays, family gatherings and other significant occasions may surface or heighten pesky, unpleasant feelings. Many of us experience guilt, anxiety, pressure, inadequacy or sheer panic in moments leading up to, during and after celebrations.

Ask yourself this: Whether it be surrounding a celebration or any moment in time – what do you do when you reach a low point, when you begin to feel your world crumbling, when you stop smiling? All too often, we crack. We may start crying, pouting, or screaming. We may take it out on someone we love. We may internalize all those negative feelings, or instead explode with anger. Unproductive reactions like these hurt us and those around us, furthering our angst.

We parents certainly deserve more. We don’t want OFF this crazy roller coaster; we want to ENJOY the ride as much as possible.

We’ve got to slow down. Better yet, we’ve got to stop ourselves in our tracks when the going gets tough. We’ve got to H.A.L.T.

Its origin unknown, this handy self-help acronym cues us to LOOK INWARD and assess four of our most basic needs. Let it be your “go-to” trick for those times when parenthood, or life in general, has you feeling down.

If you answer “yes” to any of these questions, don’t hesitate to TAKE ACTION and help yourself in that moment. Remember, you deserve it!

H = Are you hungry?
Yes? Not surprising. So much of how we feel can relate to our food and drink choices. With a little planning and healthy snacking you’ll feel better all around. Try these practical ideas:

Healthy breakfast for mom

  • Grab a healthy, high protein snack. 8 Snacks to Keep You Full via HUFFPOST HEALTHY LIVING
  • Plan ahead and pack snacks. (If you’re packing a snack for your child, you should also be packing a snack for yourself!)
  • We all know not to skip breakfast, but coffee lovers that we are, we like to modify this rule slightly: Eat breakfast first, then enjoy coffee, and drink water all day long! How much water? via The Mayo Clinic
  • Set a great snacking example for your children. Finding the Healthy Balance via Simple Bites
  • Embrace the power of meal planning. Grab an app and attack! Top 7 Apps via Life Scoop

A = Are you afraid?
Yes? Get your feelings out of the confines of your mind and out in the open. Here are some suggestions:

Mother on Phone Outside

  • Call your mother! Confide in someone you trust. Opt for a phone call over texting.
  • Record your stream of consciousness. How to via wikiHow
  • Write a good-old-fashioned letter to a dear friend or family member. You may be surprised how therapeutic it feels to put pen to paper… as Easy as ABC via The Guardian Beta
  • Record your thoughts and feelings with a “voice recorder” app. The next day or several days after, listen to yourself and reflect.
  • Sometimes children’s books have all the answers, even for adults. Snuggle up for story time with your child and overcome your fears together! Book List via Family Education

L = Are you lonely?
Yes? You’re not alone. As humans we need the connectivity of social interaction. As parents we need friends who will lift us up when we’re down, who will listen. Here are some ideas to engage your support network:

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  • Call a family member. Your Grandmother is an excellent choice.
  • Compliment at least one person you regularly see and at least one stranger every day.
  • Join a social group (Meetup is great!) or sign up for a class. Check out Gather in Cary, offering unique classes taught by local talent. Capitalize on an opportunity to meet new people and learn new skills… simultaneously!
  • Ask an acquaintance to join you for coffee or lunch. Reconnect with an old friend. Schedule a date with your spouse. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert or coffee – your treat.
  • Sometimes connecting with your children is like a cure-all. Peruse these 20 Awesome Ideas for a date with your child via Simply Kierste!

T = Are you tired?
Yes? Well, when aren’t we?! Here are some thoughts to tackle this every day ailment.

Tired Mom and baby

  • Check into bed early! We love these ideas to Get to Bed Earlier Tonight via HUFFPOST LIFESTYLE.
  • Establish a healthy nighttime routine for yourself and your children. If you feel at a loss as to how, consider a sleep coach for your family. Contact local sleep coach, Irene, at Loving Lessons for a free 15 minute phone consult!
  • Take a 20 minute power nap or short walk; both have rejuvenating powers.
  • Go to a quiet place and set a timer for 3 minutes. Close your eyes and focus only on your breath. Repeat if you have time. Introduction to Mindfulness Meditation, anyone? via Gil Fronsdal and The Insight Meditation Center
  • Be Gentle on Yourself. That’s #8 on this awesome tip list to combat exhaustion via Tiny Buddha.

We each have a choice to make at the top of that coaster crest: to shut our eyes tight, hide, and wait until the ride is over – or throw both hands up, release, and experience everything there is to feel.

This crazy coaster called parenthood isn’t always a joy ride, but we wouldn’t trade our ticket for anything in the world. H.A.L.T. to make the next trying moment in parenthood a little easier, and be sure to share this easy tool with a fellow parent. Don’t forget, it’s never too late to Celebrate Today!

All Wrapped Up Parties, LLC is a local, mom-owned and operated party planning business serving North Carolina’s Greater Triangle Area and shipping signature party boxes nationwide.

10 Reasons to Party at Home

Do you deliberately avoid being in charge of large groups of children? You’re in the majority. Like wild animals, children can be unpredictable. Unruly. The thought of a dozen hyenas in your home?? Terrifying! Many parents avoid in-home birthday parties for this reason alone. 

While we can appreciate this point-of-view [flashback to Alexis, crouched against the wall, hands over her head, being attacked by 10 pirates with foam swords], we believe in-home birthday parties are boundlessly fun and rewarding.

Blowing out Candles over the Decades

Say your child desperately wants her next birthday party to be at home. It’s all she can talk about, despite your best efforts to derail each conversation. Can you blame her? Of course not! You know your house rocks. The sheer request is a huge testament to YOU. You’ve worked hard to create a nurturing, fun and inviting space for your family to dwell. She’s proud of her home because of YOUR example.

On the flip side, the idea to have a party at home may not even enter your child’s brain. Many of today’s children have become conditioned to expect birthday parties elsewhere. Bounce houses, arcades and other “party factory” venues are so commonplace, many children don’t even think to request a party at home.

Keep that front door open for your children and their friends. Here are 10 reasons to party at home:

1. Plenty of children (and parents) are “bounce-housed out.”
This goes for the arcades and sports centers, too. These are frequented venues for children (and parents!!). Been there, done that. No one may be complaining, but variety is the spice of life. It’s time for something different.

2. Free to be you and me.
At home and “in their element,” children can feel free to be themselves. This helps everyone to feel comfortable, focused and invested in the celebration. As a result, memories of the occasion may be more vivid and meaningful.

Pink Party Pals

3.  Nurture your child’s relationships.
In-home parties under 12 children foster positive interaction among peers. The birthday child is most comfortable at home and friends will respond positively in return. In a relaxed setting, children are more likely to engage one another in meaningful ways.

4. Engage your child in a party partnership.
Reap the reward in working alongside your child to plan his in-home party. Request his input, even if it’s a simple “yes or no” answer to a couple of questions. Ask for help decorating, or create a “decor plan” together. Your child can plan the menu, choose the theme, even research the games or activities. Follow her lead to gauge her level of interest and follow-up with gobs of praise for her excellent contributions.

Backyard Party

5. Teach manners.                                                                                                                                                           An in-home birthday party is an ideal opportunity to teach your child how to be a good host. Children love to excitedly await the arrival of party guests. Watch his face as he welcomes friends inside. Pure joy. Saying thank you and goodbye is always a pleasure for children, as well. “Don’t forget your favor bag!”

6. Open your home, open your heart.
Your home is an extension of you and your child. Welcoming people inside is an invitation to be a part of your family’s life — to eat, drink and be merry within the walls of your home, together. When you open the door it’s not just to have a party, it’s a way of expressing friendship and love.

Unique to You Memories

7. Celebrate your child’s interests.
Offering your child a party at home provides you with the invaluable opportunity to discuss what makes him happy. One-on-one conversation about party activities, food, friends, decoration and other party details is an enlightening way to learn more about your child. Themed parties, in particular, are a fun and easy way to celebrate his interests.

8. Model a healthy example of pride.
In opening your home to others you send a message that you are proud of your home and family. Gracious hosting instills deep respect, care and love for the home.
Passing out Cupcakes

9. Embrace the creative possibilities.Your home, your rules. No one policing your every move; it’s time to let go and enjoy the ride! With an in-home party, the sky’s the limit. As a team, you and your child can explore unique ideas and make her birthday party a day to remember.

Umbrella Inside

10. Get more bang for your buck.
Money spent on an in-home birthday party for your child is always worth it. We’re talking about pennies invested in nurturing a bond with your child. Nickels towards an experience wholly unique and dimes spent boosting a strong family dynamic. Quarters supplied for smiles and memories worth more than money can ever buy.

What are your thoughts? Please share one of YOUR reasons to party at home!

A note for parents wary of hyenas:
You don’t have to go it alone. With our facilitation services, you can feel completely relaxed opening your doors for an in-home celebration. We facilitate party crafts, games and activities with your guests. Our fun, hands-on and attentive approach makes for very happy children. We play, laugh and engage, making every child feel special – especially the birthday child. Our rate is $40/hour, per person. One hour facilitation for Julia & Alexis = $80, two hours = $160.

All Wrapped Up Parties, LLC is a local, mom-owned and operated small business in Cary, NC.

5 Perfect Valentines

As girls living out our elementary school years, collecting Valentines in a decorated shoe box was the living end. I mean come on, we’re party planners. You can imagine what we were like as girls: detail oriented, obsessed with crafting supplies (and all things sparkly) and ALWAYS working on a new project. Valentine’s Day, in all its glittered glory, had us starry-eyed and positively dizzy! And still does.

With the help of our children, we love selecting that perfect, handmade Valentine to make their friends smile. We love ideas that are simple and inexpensive while creative and best of all, unique. We loved working with our children on these sweet ideas. Share one with someone you love!

PUCKER UP
Lollypop LipsWhat child doesn’t love a lollipop? Trace some fun lips of all shapes and sizes and pucker up!

RING BLING
Chocolate Kiss RingsPipe cleaners, Hershey’s Kisses and this simple tutorial by an adorable little girl. Done!

I ❤ YOU … THIS MUCH
Handprint-Valentine-CraftThis timeless Valentine is perfect for the grandparents. Help your child trace and decorate her hands, then write her name. Use stickers, stamps, glitter or whatever craft supplies you have around the house to decorate.

JUICE BOX ROBOT
Juice Box Robot CraftThese are so fun, and a clever option for a wholesome Valentine’s treat. Children have a blast deciding where to glue all the parts, and of course, giving their robot a name! This is a great activity to bring into the classroom as a volunteer, too.

CRAFTY VALENTINE
Get Creative Valentine DudesWhat’s better than a handmade Valentine? A handmade Valentine that doesn’t cost you a penny! Get crafty, using whatever you have in the house to create perfectly charming and unique Valentines. Happy Hearts Day!

All Wrapped Up Parties, LLC is a local, mom-owned and operated small business in Cary, NC.

A Magical Celebration

Magic will always hold refuge in the child. Kind-hearted, inquisitive and filled with wonder, this special birthday girl and her “magical celebration” will always stand out in our minds and hearts. In every party, the satisfaction and happiness of our clients (the parents and birthday child) are top priorities. This mother’s testimonial was so wonderful, we decided that our words recapping the celebration would simply pale in comparison. And so, do enjoy this All Wrapped Up Testimonial Party Recap:

“My daughter had two requests for her 6th birthday: she wanted a party at home, and she wanted the party to have a Harry Potter theme. When she shared these ideas with me, at first I thought, “How wonderful.” That thought was quickly replaced by the more worried sentiment, “Oh no! How will I ever make that happen?”

Owl Balloons and Party Stylizing

Custom Design and Cake

I love the idea of a party at home that focuses on the things in life that are magical for my child. Yet the reality of two working parents and very full lives means that planning a personal at-home party can seem like a daunting and overwhelming task.

Snitches and House Flags

Magic Wand and Necklace Craft Table

As I fretted about how to plan this party (and debated attempting to persuade my daughter to have the party at one of the all-inclusive party venues popular with her friends), I remembered that I had a business card from All Wrapped Up Parties. On a whim, I sent a note to Julia (then a stranger), explaining our goals for the party. From the start, Julia and Alexis were warm, personal, and poised to listen to what would make this a special party for our family. The reality they created far exceeded our expectations.

Party Stylizing and Custom Capes

Custom Cake and Cupcakes

Favors and Broom Game

Our party day was filled with magic on many levels. The decorations set the tone for an enchanted and festive morning. For the children, there were handmade personal touches to welcome them into the celebration. The delightful crafts and games ran smoothly and kept the children active and engaged. For the “feast” (lunch), Julia and Alexis exquisitely decorated a long table that became the highlight of the party for my daughter. For the adults, taking the pressure off of us to plan and facilitate the party allowed us to enjoy our guests (both children and their parents) and really focus on our child as she enjoyed her very magical special day.”

– Katie, Durham

Thank you, Katie, for your kind words and for sharing your beautiful family with us! It’s people like you and your daughter that mold our work and passion into meaningful reward and fulfillment.

In celebration, always,

Julia & Alexis

All Wrapped Up Parties, LLC is a local, mom-owned and operated small business in Cary, NC.

The beautiful baked goods featured above are from Sugar Buzz Bakery and Cafe, located in Cary, NC. All Wrapped Up Parties is pleased to partner with Sugar Buzz to offer our clients cakes, cupcakes and catering packages for their parties.

An Elf-ish Holiday Note

Hi Fans,

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I am All Wrapped Up Parties‘ special elf this year. I arrived straight from the North Pole (via Macaroni Kid) at the AWUP offices to help amp up their holiday spirits. Little did I know, these gals have spirit a plenty, so we decided to take this mission past these walls – straight to the internet. In addition to hiding around on their website throughout the holiday season, you’ll also find me giving great holiday advice to our Facebook and Twitter groupies.
Such a funny place this internet is, so much typing and photographing, but very little doing. I worried a bit that my hands would get bored and my skills would be wasted. However, Julia and Alexis have a long list of crafts to keep my elf talents in top order. I better get going on that bunting – it’s not going to make itself!
Happy Holidays,
Your Elf Friend (Find my name here and play along here)

Help spread holiday cheer at your house this year – with AWUP’s Cookie and Craft Party Box!

“Craft & Cookie” Holiday Party Box

We’ve loved creating and debuting our first annual holiday party box! Thank you for sharing the journey with us.

Reindeer Ornament Craft Box Party

In celebration of the New Year, we’d like to offer you a fabulous deal. Our remaining 2014 “Craft & Cookie” holiday party boxes are on sale now for just $50 (originally $99)!  And there’s more:

Receive a FREE 1-hr PARTY CONSULT (a $150 value) with the purchase of your “Craft & Cookie” holiday party box. (Be sure to read what’s received in our valuable All Wrapped Up Party Consult.) We hope you’ll take advantage of this HUGE time & money-saving opportunity!

Click here to order now! Limited quantities available. Free Consult offer only valid for local customers. Offer expires January 31, 2014.

*Local Triangle area deliveries, within a 20 mile radius, are FREE! Just leave us a note when you submit your order.*

Discounted Christmas Box

So what’s in the box??? Read on!

All Wrapped Up Parties has a delightful “Craft & Cookie” holiday party All Wrapped Up for YOU! Our Party Box is ideal for the busy parent who doesn’t have time to think through party activities and run around town collecting supplies. With our Party Box, the hard work’s done for you; just open the box and let the fun begin!

Christmas13-Invite

Check out your postcard invites (above), and easy party set-up (below). All materials are included in your Party Box — leaving you stress free, prepared, smiling and eager to SIMPLY HOST.

Christmas13-Tablescape

Your children can play an active role in hosting your All Wrapped Up holiday celebration. Our Party Box makes it fun and easy! Here are some ideas to get your children involved (and excited for the party!):
– Should their penmanship suffice, have them address and slap stamps on the included postcard invitations.
– Your child can prep the table, laying the tablecloth and setting out pre-packaged materials for each guest.
– Or perhaps they’d enjoy mixing up the simple icing (just add water!) or reviewing the craft directions for the reindeer ornament!

With the preparation already done, by golly, you’ll have time to hang some lights or mull cider for the adults, if you like!Christmas13-Cookie

Need an activity for the “kids table” at your family’s holiday celebration? Our party box perfectly supplements ANY holiday gathering — for children and adults alike! Ideal for friend and family gatherings, a December birthday party, playdates and preschool classes (ages 3 and up), book clubs, girls’ night, church groups or fun at the office — your Party Box for 12 guests includes:

12 postcard invitations
Beautifully designed by AWUP, our postcards save on postage while delighting your guests with MAIL!

2 red disposable tablecloths
One for craft and one for cookie decoration lead to a simple and fast clean-up and activity transition. AWUP recommends doing the craft first to let glue dry while the cookies are being decorated.

16 Christmas napkins

A craft instruction card

Materials for 12 reindeer ornaments
Craft materials are packaged per child, rather than per item. Each child receives all material needed for the craft in one small bag, including ribbon cut to size. A small paper plate for glue and craft toothpicks for applying glue and glitter glue is also included for each child.

A sugar cookie recipe card

2 high-quality, oversized cookie cutters
Large 5″ cookie cutters with minimal points and edges were selected to maximize the decoration area and minimize breakage potential (a Christmas Tree and a Bethlehem Star). Cutters are high quality tin that will remain in your family for generations to come.

Holiday sprinkles for cookies
The sprinkle set features six different holiday-themed sprinkles.

12 food-safe bags to take cookies home & 12 holiday stickers for decoration

Icing mix for 3 dozen cookies
Icing mix only requires the addition of water and makes enough for 3 dozen cookies. It dries hard to secure sprinkles and make for easy, mess-free, and successful transport home.

12 floor balloons
Because balloon play is an activity in itself! (balloons are red and green)

12 Christmas favor bags
Load your guests up with their handmade wares and memories to last well into the New Year!

All Wrapped Up Parties, LLC is a locally mom-owned and operated small business in Cary, NC.
Learn more about the owners, Julia and Alexis, here. And about what we offer here & here & here!
You can also find us on Facebook and Twitter.

Let’s Put the ART in pARTy!

At All Wrapped Up Parties, we wholeheartedly believe that children thrive when their interests are acknowledged and encouraged. Birthdays are the perfect occasion to do just this and celebrate what makes your child special and unique. Eight year-old Bennett is a budding artist. Her parents make a point to nurture her interest and talent, so it only made sense that Bennett celebrate her birthday doing what makes her especially happy: making art!

Bennett-Close-Ups

Bennett’s mother, Brooke, came to us with a fabulous idea. She loved the “Wine and Design” party idea, but wasn’t sure how to implement it for a group of 13 six, seven and eight year-olds. We were thrilled to set Brooke’s mind at ease, giving great thought to the logistics of her special project. We worked together to celebrate Bennett’s way, and “put the ART in pARTy!”

Welcome Sign and Tablescape

One of our favorite memories of this celebration was our client consultation. And by client, we mean the birthday child! It was a real treat to sit down with Bennett and hear her ideas, see some of her beautiful art work, and discuss together how we could help make her birthday party extra-special.

Four Unique Penguin Paintings

Most children have a strong reaction to a particular thing. Some may call it an obsession; we call it an affinity. Be it animal, toy, book or TV character, even person – this thing speaks to the child somehow, becoming a part of his or her identity. What’s your child’s fondness? For Bennett, it’s penguins. So it was an easy choice to decide what her group of friends would individually paint during the party.

8 year old paint party

Alexis got to work on four penguin friends to use as examples for Bennett and her friends. You’ll notice that unlike the “Wine and Design” model, each painting is different. Our AWUP “Design All Mine” model drives home the point that their art is unique and shouldn’t look the same as that of their friends. After all, it’s our individual differences that make this world such a special place!

Bennett-Unique-Penquins

Bennett and her friends didn’t require much direction; this wasn’t the first time they had worked with a blank canvas and acrylic paints! Step by step, we guided the girls through the phases of their project. They impressed us with their creativity and ingenuity. It began when the girls thought to secure their water jars in their shoes – brilliant! Then the girls thoughtfully mixed beautiful colors for their palettes. They gave names to all of their unique penguin friends, and we found ourselves blown away by the attention to detail and care that each girl gave to her work of art.

Bennett-Smores

Guests gathered to sing Happy Birthday to Bennett and enjoy s’mores around a fire pit.

We feel honored to have been a part of Bennett’s special 8th Birthday and look forward to watching her continued artful journey through life!