AND it’s time to write my first wrap-up post! When 2011 ended, the IDEA! blog was still very new and truth be told, I knew almost nothing about blogging. I’m good at making things pretty but writing perplexes me sometimes. I do love to write, but being the perfectionist that I am, I expect the most perfect words and language and grammar to come flowing out of me magically. Pretty sure that’s not how it works even for ‘real writers’. Being a ‘not perfectionist’ is one of my goals for 2013. Hopefully I’ll be writing in my 2013 wrap-up post that I made progress with that goal! Okay, back to what this post is about (learning to focus on one thing at a time is another goal for 2013)… I wanted to recap with you all my first year as a ‘business-woman’ (that sounds so incredibly stuffy!) and how I have grown along with my little IDEA!, and how I have SO much more growing to do. In short, it has been an incredible year of learning, meeting wonderful people, building new relationships and discovering my fiery passion for growing my business. But slowly. I don’t want to grow at a rate I cannot control. I don’t want it to take over my life and family. Or myself. Slow growth is the best kind I’m discovering. Which has led me to the decision that 2013 will be the year to pick the projects that I most love and connect with. To graciously say no to events that conflict with important dates in my personal life. I don’t want to be one of those moms that is too busy to plan her own kids’ birthday party! Here’s what my year looked like in quick snapshots! January 2012 Started the year celebrating Janvi’s 1st birthday, whose parents have now become dear friends. Those are the best kind of clients, right? That’s what I hope for with every event because I hate goodbyes. Here she is with her big sister (whose 2nd birthday I planned in April!)… February 2012 My sweet Naomi turned ONE! Oh how I love this little girl… she has brought all my dreams of pink, ruffles, lace, pretty dresses and glittery shoes to reality! March 2012 We celebrated Naomi’s 1st birthday with the theme “Sunshine & Bubbles” which you can read more about here and here. It was the month of another special milestone for IDEA! because Naomi’s party was featured on Pizzazzerie! It was my very first website feature and it still makes me so happy to see it. Thanks again Courtney :) April 2012 Celebrated Suhani’s 2nd birthday with a lovely “Enchanted Garden Fairy” theme which you can read more about here and here. This client has become a dear friend too which in my mind makes this event a bigger success :) It was also featured on Kara’s Party Ideas… Eeek! Also launched my Etsy store which had already been open for a few months prior but with un-stocked shelves :) And also sneaked in a quick trip to Seattle and Vancouver, both incredibly beautiful. May 2012 My little man turned SIX! Neil is a HUGE fan of lego so I had no trouble picking a theme for his birthday party. When I say huge, I mean HUGE. This kid can tackle lego sets that are made for 12 year olds with ease, I am so proud of him! He is the absolute light of my life and it made my heart so happy to see him having an awesome time with his buddies doing one of his favorite things ever. Read more about his lego party here and here. Also celebrated Hudson and Lilah’s birthdays with a combined pirate/princess party. The Pate family was so sweet to work with, the kids are absolutely adorable! June 2012 Time to take a break to TRAVEL, one of my very favorite things to do! We spent 2 weeks in Switzerland and parts of France, my first time in Europe and oh how I fell in love! I was indescribably excited about seeing the Eiffel Tower… finally. And it was about a 1000 times bigger than what I’d imagined. I’ve had a HUGE art print of it in my living room for years, which has always been beautiful to look at.. but now, it means so much more to me. It reminds me of the 700 steps that we climbed up and down together as a family. That’s right, we didn’t take the elevator! I’m going to write a post soon about the trip with more pictures… this will have to do for now. July 2012 This was a BUSY month! Started with celebrating Saahil’s 1st birthday with a classic nautical theme! I absolutely adore anything nautical so this was right up my alley. Read more about this party here. Oh and this darling little party was featured on The Party Wagon, check it out! And if you don’t already follow this blog, you should. Lydia’s own parties are spectacular and always have very unique details. Also celebrated Jal’s 5th birthday with a “Transformers” theme… it was the month for boy celebrations! Ended the month with the planning and execution of my first gender reveal shower. I’d never actually been to one or planned one but can I just say I’m addicted? This turned out so. much. fun. I was wishing I’d done one for myself!! Crystal and Rae (they JUST had their baby boy btw) were so sweet to work with and I can totally tell they are going to be laid-back and FUN parents! Crystal has a great sense of style which made this a really fun event to work on… read more details about it here and here. And guess what? The sweet Courtney of Pizzazzerie featured it on her lovely blog as well… I could get used to this ;) August 2012 August brought about the celebration of Shreyan’s 5th birthday, Janvi’s older brother. One of the sweetest, most well-mannered little boys I’ve met. Here’s a little glimpse, see more here. September 2012 Started with celebrating Kiran’s 1st birthday with a “Vintage Circus” theme. Full of fun little details and colors! See more here… And then came Prisha’s 3rd birthday! This beautiful little girl loves elephants and pink and princesses. In that order. And so, that’s exactly what she got for her birthday party which was aptly titled “The Princess Who Liked Elephants”. She was one happy little princess. Oh and I have hair envy… look at those curls?! See more of her party here and here. October 2012 A most FANTASTIC milestone month for IDEA!… Naomi’s “Sunshine & Bubbles” party was PUBLISHED in Occasions Magazine. OMG. Seeing your work on the glossy pages of a beautiful magazine just kinda takes your breath away. Really. I was so floored and so proud. Thank you Heather Vreeland for the honor. And then a fun little celebration for a fun little boy! Angry Birds fun… see more here… November 2012 The biggest celebration of them all… my 33rd birthday! Ha.. just kidding. Being an event planner means I like my own birthdays to be quiet, unplanned and simple. And that’s exactly what I got, along with a shiny new iPhone 5… thanks hubby :) This was a girly pink month for sure… LOVE! Started off with celebrating Olivia’s 3rd birthday with a “Vintage Cinderella” theme. Sweet vintage details and soft colors, it turned out as pretty as the birthday girl herself! See more here. And from soft blue and pink, I moved on to bright pink and gold to celebrate Kimani’s 3rd birthday with a “Ballerina in Paris” theme. Super chic party, clearly pink and gold were made for each other. See more here. December 2012 Time for a break to gear up for 2013! Many great hopes and plans for IDEA! this year! Lots of them. Wait and watch… :) And a BIG THANKS to you all for following along and encouraging me in many different ways!