Aidan’s birthday party is Saturday. In my ideal world, I would be making all the food from scratch or buying all-natural or organic food to serve. We would use real dishes, silverware, and cups. I would bake and decorate the cake myself, make the ice cream, cut up the veggies, make the dip, etc. We would serve only homemade soda, juice, water, and tea. We would decorate with homemade, recycled things.
OK, time to wake up from the dream and be realistic. Maybe someday this will work for a birthday party, but not this year. Tim and Tom have both been working long hours and my mother-in-law is sick. I’ve had to pick up the house and the outside and do the cleaning with only a little bit of help. In fact, it’s still not quite done. I’ve been picking up one room at a time, but of course the rooms get messed up again quickly. It’s unrealistic to expect the kids to not get toys out for two days or to not make messes. And we still need to use the house until the party. So it won’t be perfectly picked up and clean, but it will be better than it was. And, as always, the house cleaning is done without chemicals, mostly using vinegar and baking soda.
Yet I’ve had to compromise on a few things. I think it’s safe to say that this will still be a mostly homemade, sustainable birthday party. I’ve done my best, while also not putting too much on my To Do List (who wants a party to be stressful?) since I do also have two kids to play with and feed.
Here is what I am making or planning on making from scratch:
- ranch dressing
- ice cream
- tea and coffee
- egg salad
Here is what I am planning on buying from the Farmer’s Market:
- fresh fruit, probably apples and raspberries since that is what is in season
- any vegetables that can be served raw for a snack tray
- tomatoes for the sandwiches
We considered getting platters of sandwiches from Jimmy John’s, but I thought buying stuff at the store would be more frugal. I’d have to actually do the math to make sure, but I am pretty sure that I paid less for the amount of food that I got at the store than I would have for the same amount of food at Jimmy John’s. The other things I’ve had to get from the store:
- carrots, which are not quite in season, and possibly more veggies for a snack tray if I can’t find them at the Farmer’s Market
- lettuce for the sandwiches
- lunch meat and cheese
- bread, though I considered buying this at the Farmer’s Market, but didn’t want to slice it all or make everyone slice their own
- the cake
- juice and/or soda
As far as decorations go, I tried not to buy too much but I did end up buying some things at the dollar store. Honestly, I’m just not that crafty. Maybe for Mo’s party in January I’ll try to make some homemade decorations. We will also get a few balloons on Saturday when we pick up the cake.
I am proud to say that we have enough silverware that we won’t have to use plastic, especially since we will only need silverware for dessert. I bought plastic cups that are recyclable and I bought dinner sized paper plates and dessert plates that can be composted. Any food waste can be fed to the cats, chickens, or compost heap accordingly. So the only waste will be wrapping paper and packaging from gifts. The toy I bought Aidan came in a cardboard box and had very little plastic to throw away, and it was not made in China, though Italy is still far away.
What I have realized (or confirmed) is that we have way too much Stuff. It’s quite easy to just see the toys and think we have too many toys, which we do. However, it’s more than that. It’s too much clutter and too much stuff or not places for the stuff we do have and want to keep. I try to declutter and donate things all the time. It just seems that things come in faster than they go out. I have been telling the kids that we won’t buy something if we already have it at home or can make it at home. It’s time to seriously start thinking about all our purchases and questioning whether we really need that item.
This post is part of Fight Back Friday.
Tags: chemical free cleaning, cleaning with baking soda and vinegar, compostable paper products, green cleaning, homemade food, homemade ice cream, homemade mayonnaise, homemade ranch dressing, sustainable birthday party