Recent Posts


Soap Box Party for Parenting

A few months ago Parenting Magazine contacted me about doing a party story for them. I didn’t think the timing was going to be right but I mentioned I had already planned a Soapbox Derby Party for Moses’ 5th birthday and they thought it was perfect for the magazine. I have to give Suann Song credit for the soabox derby theme idea, we talked about it a couple years ago and I’ve always thought it would make a great party theme. I used this Kate Spade campaign as a visual inspiration. As this kind of thing has become a job I really try to be careful to not mix actual life events with work. So we had Moses’ actual birthday party with his friends and then a few weeks later had a photoshoot that my team worked on and we invited people to come and model. The pictures below are of the actual party (the ones in the magazine are from the photoshoot.)

Just a little party philosophy: when I’m doing a party I try to not invest time and money in things where there isn’t a big payoff. I love spending time making sure there are great details but I always want to make sure it is worth it. What I mean is, if I spend all day working on a 10 foot long cake and it is the center of the party and everyone remembers it forever. Then that is time well spent. But if I spend all day getting the labels just right to add to the bubble favors in the gift bag and everyone just forgets and throws it away anyway…I want to try to avoid that. For this party I spent an afternoon gathering material and ordering things about two weeks before the party. And one of my team members spent 2 hours spray painting the boxes we got from Kinkos. But the rest of the party I put together the night before the party. I started about 4pm and went to bed at 11pm. The morning of I made a trip to Kinkos and Safeway to copy some signs and to pick up food.

We had the party at our art studio and set up “pit stops.” The kids decorated their cars, then made buttons to decorate their jumpsuits like sponsorship patches. Midway through the party we went to the park and did races and set up a trophy stand out of milk crates. Afterwards we came back to “fuel up” and eat lunch and blowout candles. It was a fun party for the kids and seeing them walk around in little cars was fun for the adults too. See more details in here at Parenting Magazine.

photos by Paul Ferney for Oh Happy Day / Photos in Magazine by Aubrey Trinnaman

click through for some iphone snapshots

  1. The New Diplomat's Wife

    April 18, 2013

    what a fun idea and one that you could incorporate easily pretty much all over the world – happy birthday moses!

  2. meg

    April 18, 2013

    What a cute idea…
    I am sure the kids had a blast!

  3. sarah

    April 18, 2013

    Super Cute! I can’t wait until I have a little one to try this with!


  4. Tibi Osorio

    April 18, 2013

    Excellent idea!
    I would like to adapt this for a girl party.

    Beautiful pictures.


  5. Itziar

    April 18, 2013

    Pretty pictures, pretty kids and pretty cars! A great party! It’s true that the best toy for a kid is a box…
    Felicidades Moses!
    In love with Oh Happy Day ^_^

  6. Summer @ WATF

    April 18, 2013

    This is awesome! I love this idea! And the kids look they are having a total blast!

  7. Jordan Bariesheff

    April 18, 2013

    Jordan this is absolutely tops! Love it when you post your own events. Im always a big fan of a constructive activity too. Looks like Moses and crew had a great time. Will you be sharing more about the invite? It looks fun!

  8. Jane

    April 18, 2013

    Too bad you couldn’t invite suann to participate in the story with you. Did you credit her with the idea in parenting magazine, too?

      • jordan
      • April 18, 2013

      I emailed Suann before I decided on the party theme. But thanks for worrying about her!

  9. Paulette Leto

    April 18, 2013

    That looks like a great event, I hope everyone had fun! You make a great point about making sure your time and energy is invested in the right details when planning your parties. You want everything to be just right, but if you put too much energy into something that isn’t really important, you’re going to A) feel bad that people aren’t noticing the thing you spent all that effort on, and B) probably forget something more important. So very great point!

  10. Jenny

    April 21, 2013

    When you talk about time management and your priority list in your posts it makes me feel like the effort is worth it and envisioning what’s realistic for me is a lot easier. It’s so helpful and encouraging. So thanks for keeping it awesome while still giving parameters and guidelines for the Pinterest Fail queens like myself.

  11. Martha Ware

    April 24, 2013

    this is fantastic! pinning it for my boy’s birthday someday!!!

Comments are Closed

More Recent Posts