How to host a party that fills buckets

Weeks have gone by since I held our 3rd Annual Let's Party Like Girls night, yet I have still to share about it!

I have a little secret to tell you, though. It was my best party ever.

Want to know why?

Because it had heart. It had purpose.

It wasn't just a party, it was a night of filling up when we were empty. And giving back because we have something to give.


I have to admit, I don't necessarily think it was my prettiest party, though it was definitely lovely. Other than some new streamers because my other ones had gotten ruined and (real!) pineapples we spray painted gold, I didn't even purchase a thing.

The food wasn't catered like it had been in the past. Instead, I headed to Costco, got creative myself, and actually said "YES!" when friends asked if they could bring something.

I think the Lord swiped His hand atop our home that night, because it just felt blessed. And I love that there seemed to be more ladies over that I didn't know, than those I did.

It was a rough night for a party. Our community's Christmas party was the same night, as was a big parade downtown. Festivities had begun and office, church, and other excuses to gather were in abundance. And yet we had about 40 women.

Several friends who couldn't make it but had come in years past, encouraged their friends to come anyway, spreading the word that "it's a night not to be missed." And those that could come, brought a carful of ladies along with them...all dressed to party and reconnect.

Instagram friends became real-life friends. Neighbors new to our street became dear to my heart by the time they walked back home. 

We gathered in our living room at one point, with the purpose of sharing about Denver Dream Center. We had an additional tree set up next to the piano full of names of children with fathers in incarceration and families in our city with great need.

By the following morning, every card was gone. 40 children and a handful of families...all sponsored in honor of our Lord's birthday. You amazing world-changing women stepped up and now these families had gifts on Christmas!

Several of you who saw my posting on social media even reached out and though you didn't live nearby or were able to party with us, you still sponsored a child, or two, or five!

Love may have been poured out to others in need as each card was pulled from the tree...but my desire was to pour out love on the ladies inside my own home, as well.

Giveaways such as a Kids Advent journal, Anchored Press devotional planners, Noonday Collection jewelry, a bag from JOYN, goodies from Fair Trade Friday, Bought Beautifully, gold-foiled prints, journals, and even a beautiful (original!) fashion illustration were gifted to squealing ladies.

I also gave away books I love...some by friends and some by ladies I'd like to be friends with: Curious Faith, Looking for Lovely, The Nesting Place, Loving my Actual Life, Girl Meets Change, Hello Beauty Full, and a few others.

For many of the gifts, I pulled names from a hat. But for others, I'd describe the book or explain the heart around something and toss it onto the ground in front of me saying, "Whoever feels like they need this in their current season, grab it quick!"

Even if you don't have the ability to gift things like I did, what about making a slew of luxurious sugar scrubs, pouring them into little glass jars. Or maybe print out a stack of your favorite Bible Verses and tie them up with a pretty bow. Or even go crazy and have a few freezer meals to gift! Maybe not everyone would receive one...but how pampered would those feel who did?!

Think outside the box. It doesn't need to cost much, it just needs to come from the heart.

Not everyone at our party left with a giveaway item, but even if they did not, they left full. Empty turned to overflowing. Buckets filled so we may fill.

And that was the whole point of the night anyway, right?

Thanks to all of you who Airdropped photos to me throughout the evening! 'Cuz I kept forgetting to take them!

Click here, here, and here for more posts on past Let's Party Like Girls nights!

Take Joy,


P.S. If you're ever in need of pretty cookies, turn it into a craft project with the kids! A package or two of colorful macroons, sugared flowers (I got ours from Michael's), and a little icing as glue...and suddenly they're fancy!

I also had a little edible gold leaf from another party and added a little extra glam!

KIDRUCK Bootcamp {Army} Birthday Party

We had the most fantastic party for Anton's 6th birthday yesterday.

I'm so excited to show it to you.


He wants to be in the Army when he grows up so he requested a "KIDRUCK Bootcamp Army Party."

Challenge accepted.


After getting geared up and ready, Ben sat the kids down for a few minutes to talk to them about what it means to be a soldier and how men & women in the military give their lives to protect us. Per Anton's request, he also explained a little about a group called Goruck that Ben is very involved in. Complete with a rucksack full of bricks, these 12-17 hour Goruck Challenges are a slice of what the Special Forces go through in training.

This party's events are a kid version of what the Goruck challenges are like...KIDRUCK


First was the "Welcome Party." Each child that wanted to, came up front and chose an exercise to lead the rest of the group in. They did 6 of each, since Anton was turning 6.

They did burpees, jumping jacks, sit ups, push ups, etc.


Though the kids initially thought of it as a race, Ben helped them understand that they needed to work together as a team on several of the events.

They sweated it out as they learned to use teamwork and carry Ben's backpack filled with 6 bricks, from one side of the field to the other...without it touching the ground.


Another of the teamwork events is called a "Litter Carry" {basically a stretcher}. Ours was made using poles placed through the body & arms of 3 t-shirts.

The kids thought this was SO much fun.


The rest of the events were running tires, hurdles, army crawl, and several climbing & balancing challenges.


I was so excited to find fake barbed wire at Hobby Lobby. A few of the kids were a little concerned before I told them what it actually was.


Ben made everything himself. Luckily, he was finishing up just as Anton's friends arrived.



After several water breaks and lots of running around, it was time for snacks and cake.




Every year, I make a very special cake for the birthday-kid. Every year it's been something different. Often it's simply a cake in their favorite color {see this post}.

This time though, I tried something I'd never attempted before.

A camo cake.


Both the cupcakes and the large cake are camouflage inside.

I'll do a tutorial on how later this week {it's actually pretty easy}.


It was too windy for the candles on Anton's cake to stay lit, so we did a little re-do at home later on in the evening.



Wow it tasted good.


I cannot believe my baby is already 6.

You are such a joy to me, buddy. You are incredible inside and out and I am so proud of you and the fun & caring boy you are. You make my heart happy.

Happy Birthday, my sweet Anton!

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