Stories about sharing memories at home

Pretty in Pink

press tour8Anyone with daughters under the age of 10 will absolutely know two things: One, the entire soundtrack to Frozen; and two, that their birthday parties are pink and about princesses.

Being the mother of twin six-year-old boys, I’ve escaped these frilly realities of life, but that doesn’t stop me admiring the photos of parties other mothers have thrown for daughters. And while I just admire, other mothers are scouring Pinterest and other sites with serious intent, desperate for ideas for the next party. Yet some parents are realizing that a solution is closer than they think. In fact, it’s sitting on their home office desk.

“Kids’ birthday parties are expensive, and can be stressful. I used to spend $200 or more on invitations alone!” explains my colleague Stacey, mother of two girls. “My five- and three-year-olds are always changing their minds on the design—and the quantity needed.”

Luckily, Stacey realized that her Epson Expression XP-810 could solve many of her problems by setting up a print shop in her house. “Nowadays I just order printable templates from and print invitations, banners, tent cards and other décor directly from my printer,” Stacey says.

Using your home printer also makes personalizing the party decorations and favors that much easier, and cost-effective, to boot. “I’ve always loved personalized items for my daughter, and when her 6th birthday was coming up, we decided to make these cute, personalized party favor bags. She loves her name, pink and being a princess, so the design was easy,” says Diane, mother of my son’s classmate, “Princess Ione”. “They are very easy to make—perfect for busy, working moms.”

ione6Diane chose clear plastic poly bags she found at the party store, which look fancier than sandwich bags, and printed the toppers they designed on card stock. “It was so easy, my daughter did most of the work! We just filled the bags with candy, folded the topper over the bag opening and fastened it with a few staples,” says Diane. “We were both very proud of how they came out.”

Looking at sites like, it’s easy to figure out how to use a home printer to cut costs while still making a birthday party unique, whether it’s for a son or a daughter. With even less effort, customized stickers can be applied to bags from the party store, with the birthday child’s name on them, or personalized for each guest.

And since many of these ideas can be used for both boys and girls, it looks like it’s time for me to move from just being inspired by the photos and actually making some. At least I still have the advantage of twins—it means I only have to host one party for both boys!

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