Monday, October 7, 2013

PPP Day 7: Using "the Google"

"Google" and the Google Logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

So, you've made your list. You've checked it twice...just kidding. Anyway, you have a rough idea of what you want because not only have you thought about who and what your party is for, but you have written down the basic elements. However, you have *no idea* what that looks like. So this is where the fun part comes in: you get to troll the interwebs for ideas!

Perhaps you already have a theme in mind (that can be dictated by who or what you are having a party for) perhaps you don't. I don't recommend searching for broad terms like "cute party themes" or "inexpensive party ideas". You will be completely overwhelmed. The internet is far too vast. I googled "cute inexpensive party themes" for you. It returned 1,150,000 results, and the second one was a "Lalaloopsy" party. I doubt that was what the majority of you were looking for! You have to start to narrow it down. I would say to go for perhaps 2 maybe 3 ideas, once you start to look it shouldn't take long before you decide what to go with.

Recently I threw a "Shower" themed baby shower. I decided on a theme and then I began to compile ideas. I actually start with Pinterest first. They don't return as many results, and it is easy to see what everything looks like. I have a specific board for baby showers, although I do not do a separate board for each shower. You can pin however it is easiest for you, and don't forget to take advantage of your "Secret Board" if you are planning a surprise! But back to the shower theme. I initially searched for "sprinkle shower", thinking about rain sprinkles and doing a smaller shower, you know they call them sprinkles.

That did not work. I ended up with a bunch of photos about baking sprinkle themed showers! That was not what I wanted. If that happens to you, reevaluate your search terms. This is where your elementary English skills come in. What are some synonyms for what you are looking for? I ended up trying:

-rain baby shower
-cloud theme baby shower
-raindrop baby shower
-rain themed party
 -umbrella themed shower

And a whole lot more. It can sometimes take a while before you start to see images that are in line with what you are thinking. But just keep changing the wording until you do.

   Also, don't restrict yourself to just having "party" or "shower" in your terms. I searched "cloud DIY" on Pinterest and found an adorable cloud mobile that was perfect! I usually add "printable" to whatever I am searching for. For my son's Avenger party, I searched "Hulk printable" and found the faces that I used on his favor bags. That's another good example: is there a specific part of your theme you could search for? When doing the Avengers party, I could have looked for Captain America, Hulk, Ironman, etc. For the raindrop shower I looked for: raindrops, clouds, umbrellas, rainboots, and even weather!

       From my experience, pin or bookmark, EVERYTHING you even sort of, kind of, think you might use. In the past, I have thought, "oh, that's cute, but it isn't exactly what I was looking for." Then I sleep on it, and have a great idea how I can change it to work, but then I can't find the original link! That is sooo frustrating. No one is charging you to pin or bookmark, so don't be stingy! If you are really old-school, open up a new Word or Notepad document and copy and paste the links. This also works for sites that may not have pinnable content.

     Don't get overwhelmed. Sometimes there is just too much! You may want to limit yourself to only looking for a particular element at a time (garland ideas, or recipes for themed food) or perhaps you could decide to only look at 4-6 websites in a sitting. Click on anything that looks interesting-often there are more ideas or photos on the site. I actually have to limit myself because I could spend hours looking for ideas! Start with the part of the party that most interests you: food, decorations, games-that's where you will feel the creativity starting to flow.

1. Begin by narrowing your ideas down to 2-3 themes. If you don't have a theme, I recommend starting with Pinterest over Google. It will be easier for most people to be inspired by photos rather than just phrases. And at least use terms like "boy birthday party" over "cute party themes".

2. Use a variety of search terms to see the best results, in both Pinterest and Google. Use lots of synonyms and descriptive terms. Don't forget to add "printable", or "Diy", or even "craft" to your theme to see things that might not be specifically for a party but would work great!

3. Pin or bookmark any interesting links so you don't lose them.

4. Don't get overwhelmed! Limit yourself to a certain amount of time or number of links if you feel like you are drowning in information.

5. Start to get excited! You are finding the inspiration to help you make your party "perfect".

This is Day 7 of "31 Days of Perfect Party Planning". Find the rest of the series here!

Linked up to "Thrifty Thursdays" at Living Well, Spending Less.

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