Twin Birthday Parties on a Budget

Twins are rarely two for the price of one, especially when it comes to their birthday parties. So, what are some smart ways to cut back on spending and still plan for a great event? Today we’re partnering with our friends at Twiniversity to share with you some great strategies for planning twin birthday parties on a budget!

View Episode Transcript

Twin Talks
Twin Birthday Parties on a Budget
Episode 45, October 14th, 2014


Please be advised, this transcription was performed from a company independent of New Mommy Media, LLC. As such, translation was required which may alter the accuracy of the transcription.

[Theme Music]

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: As most twin parents know, having two kids with the same age is rarely two for the price of one. And this includes activities and events especially birthday parties. It seems that this one particular event can be a major budget buster for twin parents everywhere. Today we are here with our expert panellist to share some tips on how you can have a fabulous birthday party for your twosome without breaking the bank. This is Twin Talks.

[Theme Music/Intro]

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Welcome to Twin talks, broadcasting from the birth education centre of San Diego. Twin Talks is your weekly online on the go support group for expecting and new parents of twins. I’m your host Christine Stewart-Fitzgerald. Have you heard about the Twin Talks club?

Our members get bonus content after each new show, plus special giveaways and discounts. Subscribe to our monthly Twin Talks newsletter and learn about the latest episodes available. And another way for you to stay connected is by downloading our free Twin Talks app it’s available in the Android and iTunes marketplace.

Before we get started, let’s meet our panellist in the room. And let’s see here, well first I’ll introduce myself as the host. I’m a mom to five year olds identical girls and we just celebrated their birthday last week. So, I have to say a lot of these is so relevant. I’m like ‘oh my gosh’ I feel like you know every little bit you know putting up tons of money so, and girls, what can I say? And I do have a singleton who will be two next month. So now we’re already starting to plan for her birthday as well. Sunny . . .

SUNNY GAULT: Yeah, so hey everyone I’m Sunny and I am the owner of New Mommy Media which produces Twin Talks as well as Parent Savers, The Boob Group and Preggie Pals. And I am mommy to four children, ages four and under.

My oldest who are boys, a four year old and a two year old and then I have identical twin girls Ainsley and Addison who as of this taping are about ten and a half months old. So we are creeping up on the one year birthday party which my mom reminded me of the other day. And I went ‘oh no, I have not thought about this at all’ I’m really bad with first birthdays, I don’t know. There’s just so much to consider and I feel like there’s so much pressure from people, so this is a good episode for me as well.

SHELLY STEELY: I’m Shelly; I’m the producer here at Twin Talks. I have identical twin boys who just turned two in July. So, this would have been helpful sooner probably. And I have a singleton girl who is just three weeks. She’s here in the studio with us today

SUNNY GAULT: And she’s so pretty, what’s her name?



SUNNY GAULT: Alyssa. We’ll take some pictures

SHELLY STEELY: I wanted to actually let you guys know about our virtual panellist program if you haven’t heard about it. So if you’re following along at home, you can participate in our conversation. You can follow us on Facebook or Twitter. You can also use #twintalksvp to stay a part of the conversation

[Theme Music]

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Well today we have a special segment with one of our twin moms who just recently gave birth to some fairly large twins and I think record setting. So today we are with Sammy Lawson.

SUNNY GAULT: Her twins we’re a combined 18 pounds and 13 ounces. Her son Jack weighed 9 pounds 10 ounces. And her son Roby weighed 9 pounds 3 ounces.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: So, I mean, I’m curious. I mean early on in your pregnancy when you’re going through, you know, all the multiple ultrasounds, were they measuring big throughout?

SAMMY LAWSON: When we went in at my, like my twenty weeks girls, they were measuring them like the 90 percentile. And then it seemed like they slowed down a little bit at my last ultrasound like the week before, five days before, I ended up delivering the uh, they’re, they estimated them like 7and a half pounds each. So, obviously their estimate weren’t too accurate

SUNNY GAULT: They never are


CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: And I guess, I mean, you had a healthy pregnancy throughout? I mean were there any you know, concerns or anything you think might have contributed towards the larger, you know, sizes?

SAMMY LAWSON: No, no. I had no gestational diabetes. I myself gained a lot of weight but I did that with my daughter as well who was 10 and a half pounds and uh

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Oh so you just, you’ve had big babies

SAMMY LAWSON: I do make big babies, yes. So we, with that saying, we we’re expecting them to be big but we didn’t think they’re going to blew us into town as her so

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Oh wow. And then, I mean you said you had them vaginally which is fantastic. And you know, did you, you know, were there any concerns thinking okay if they’re going to be on the larger size, were there discussions about you know, having them via C-section or,

SAMMY LAWSON: No. I had a really great doctor, and I kind of you know we went in there saying that, the C-sections like other than healthy mom, healthy babies, you know we really wanted to avoid the caesarean. But then he told me that they’re both heads down, they’re both cooperating [inaudible] I’m not worried about these guys

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Oh that’s great. And so tell us about the delivery itself, I mean, you know, did you have a long, you know labour process and of course you know every mom thinks about you know, big babies you know. Labour is difficult, but, I just have to say, I, my hats off to you for being able to, you know, push out two big babies, that’s a miracle.

SAMMY LAWSON: The pushing was actually the easier part. The waiting, I, my daughter was overdue and I ended up getting induced with her, and I hated it. And I was just, it was just really bad experience with her. And not traumatic but just it was uncomfortable and I’d rather let, you know, if I could let them come out on their own.

So, I went to my doctor a week before and I was already a 4 centimetres which is [inaudible] with my daughter and was told, that was really encouraging. And then, you know, five or six days went by, just kind of contractions that would start up and get going and then they slow down again.

And then I went to the hospital I think I’m six centimetres and then overnight I only progressed like 2 centimetres, my doctor, kept asking if I wanted him to break my water, if you wanted any [inaudible] I kept, no, let them go. This is a really slow labour and I think we should get this started. And I keep telling him no, you know, okay kind of been there done that, I want to avoid it and then [inaudible] I ended getting an epidural at 9 centimetres. And I was able to take a nap let me sleep all night and them uhm..

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Oh yeah, that’s important

SAMMY LAWSON: and the pushing, and then by the time, it was time to push, they came out in like five minutes, you know


SUNNY GAULT: Oh my gosh


SAMMY LAWSON: And by the time, when they came out my doctor was like, ‘oh well, that’s why it took so long because they we’re gigantic’

SUNNY GAULT: They have gravity working against them


SAMMY LAWSON: They were also fighting for position baby the one that was supposed to be baby A was [inaudible] my whole pregnancy and ended up coming out second which is good because baby B was actually the bigger one


SAMMY LAWSON: They ended up switching the last minute


CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: So baby A became baby B upon delivery how interesting. So I’m sure you’ve got probably some celebrity status in the hospital and we saw that you had a new story in the papers

SAMMY LAWSON: Yeah it was, those lady who did the PR for, on the hospital. She came in all excited and then she kind of set everything up and she’s like ‘well they’re going to be there, they’re going to call you to say and these guys are going to come and I’m like okay, sure. But it was, it wasn’t [inaudible] it really blew up on facebook [inaudible] on facebook and stuff so it’s interesting to have all these different people that I know from different areas like sending me like ‘oh you showed up on this page’ or ‘oh this group shared you’ or that’s just kind of cool.

SUNNY GAULT: You’re famous

SAMMY LAWSON: It’s fun reading all the comments

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: And of course as all twin parents know the celebrity status just never ends.

SUNNY GAULT: That’s right. It’s just the beginning

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Well great. Well hey Sammy thanks for sharing your story. I mean it’s inspiring I think for twin moms everywhere so we really appreciate that. Thank you

SAMMY LAWSON: Yeah, no problem. Thanks for calling

[Theme Music]

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Well let’s jump in and today’s topic is twin birthdays on a budget and we’re partnering with our friend Twiniversity to share tips that help twin parents keep their sanity and stretch their dollars when planning a birthday party for their twosome. So hey, thanks for joining us everyone. And before we start talking about the strategies, maybe we should just take a moment to you know say how much do twin parents you know actually spend? I mean I know we are parent, we all have kids who are a few years old, we’ve done this and you know I was just recently reading that the average parents spends by three to four hundred dollars on a birthday party

SUNNY GAULT: On a birthday party?


SUNNY GAULT: Oh my goodness. You know I just went to a birthday party yesterday for a neighbourhood. Actually it was a parent of twins but it wasn’t for the twins birthday it was for one of their younger daughters. And it was at a very well-known establishment for kids. And you know they come with all these pre-packaged stuff and one of the mom’s said to me it can get really crazy if you go to these places and buy their packages. She’s was like, don’t do that buy your own stuff, bring it in. And so she was very cost savvy because you’re right it can get so expensive and I kind of feel like sometimes these places feed off that


SUNNY GAULT: You know what I mean?

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Yeah. And then you know, I can say I went to, you know one of my kid’s friends, you know party and it was you know kind of an indoor inflatable place and it was, I have to say it was very well organized and we had fun and my you know kids had fun. And I’m thinking ‘oh my gosh’ I mean they provided the food, they provided the, you know, I think the cake. They, you know have this very organized thing and I’m thinking ‘oh my gosh’ I mean it’s got to be at least what? Twenty bucks per kid. And then there’s you know like you know, I think there was twenty five kids. I mean that’s pretty crazy

SHELLY STEELY: Yeah I mean there’s pinterest, so it’s out there making everybody think that your kid’s first birthday has to be perfectly themed and matching and everybody needs a full meal and a dessert and a goodie bag and like a candy bar. And then you get the themes like the licence character themes. And they’re playing on toddlers. You know you’re kids got their favourite TV show, and then next thing you know, you’re you know buying everything Disney makes

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Oh my gosh. That’s so true, I mean like you pay like, you know, I think you pay more for you know like the Frozen or the Jake in Neverland pirate

SUNNY GAULT: Or anything PBS too


SUNNY GAULT: Everything about PBS because they’re making some money on that too, you know they’re public television

SHELLY STEELY: For twins, I mean you have twice as many friends, you know so, when I put together the guest list for the party as my playgroup, every one of my playgroup is a family of at least four. You know, so you invite ten families and you’re already a fifty people


SUNNY GAULT: That’s true, yeah

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Well let’s see, let’s look at how we can keep those costs down. So, using some tips that we’ve got from our friends over at Twiniversity, and one of the first thoughts is you know give it time to plan. So, I mean, I know that’s kind of a general you know, tip but I know like you know in my case, you know I saw some really cool you know, game ideas and things and I could go into the local store to buy them right away. But then if I gave myself the time to go online I could buy it from some of the online retailers. But of course you got to count for all the shipping, you know the time and you know it’s like that could take an extra week

SUNNY GAULT: Well you always pay more for our convenience, just like we’re talking about these places that cater towards these birthday parties right? It’s more convenient, usually, to go to another location, not have to clean up afterwards right? Have the entertainment you know kind of come you know, to that place. Don’t have to worry about it. But then you know they’re going to tack a bunch of these and stuff like that as well so, I like convenience though


SUNNY GAULT: If I had it in my budget, even if, I will do it

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: But I think it’s great that you know, if you do, I think if you do start out early then you give yourself you know time to research. And I admit, I’m one of those research people. I like to find out you know freebies

SUNNY GAULT: Yeah, yeah

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: And depending on what time of year, and sometimes you know and here’s a thought too sometimes there’s sort of free activities going on especially if your kids have birthdays in the summer time. And you know, sometimes you maybe you can kind of tag along with those you know free activities

SUNNY GAULT: Right, right

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: You know like for here in San Diego where we can have free museum month so you know maybe we could tag on that if you know, if you know that ahead of time

SHELLY STEELY: Another benefit to planning ahead is to kind of spreading out the costs so for both of my boys birthdays, I pick the theme, you know I had it in my head a couple of months ahead of time and then if I was out somewhere and I saw something that would fit, you know I would pick up napkins on one trip and cups on another trip and then I saw that, and so it really kind of spread out. You know, so it wasn’t huge chunk of money out of my budget all at once, it was kind of spread out over a few months which went out nice

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: And you know I think that’s also a good thing if you’re really planning on being you know holding on a strict budget to use cash. So I mean, so and another idea is to cash out, I mean literally like set aside money in your little envelope or something. It’s like, okay and this is what we’re going to spend. So you know, I mean, I admit I used credit cards a lot and it’s like you know, at the end of the month that’s like, ‘oh’

SUNNY GAULT: That’s what I charged. That’s a good rule for me for Starbucks too, always pay in cash. I’ll spend a lot less money there

SHELLY STEELY: I, for me it’s hard to get cash out because getting all three kids in the car into an ATM. But what we do is we use budgeting software and I set a category for their birthday and it’s I mean its still, we’re still using debit cards. But I set an amount and then it automatically updates. Like you could see each purchase adding up and headed to the top of that total so you know, it’s not using cash but it’s the same idea with exact amount and it just updates so we knew how much we were spending on their birthday

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: That’s a great idea. Now see here’s another one come up with a thing and I know Shelly you had mentioned that too. And I think that’s that’s smart. If you know ahead of time what you’re going to do then you’re going to stick to it rather than going ‘oh well this is a cute you know Jake in the Neverland Pirates and then you see some Dinosaur thing and then you’re like ‘oh wait, why did I buy this?’ like random and then you’re kind of having this sort of you know stick things together and you know your money’s spent. So yeah that’s smart.

Let’s see, here’s another one, okay so we talk about the timing of the events. So now I think most people usually think of having birthday parties on the weekend, right? Saturdays that seems to be pretty popular


CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: But I think as Shelly mentioned, you know, a lot of these venues they kind of jack the prices up or I should say, the prices are higher on the weekends

SUNNY GAULT: That’s the correct way of saying it I guess

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: But then, you might actually find discounts like maybe during the week, in afternoons or maybe on a Sunday

SUNNY GAULT: Well like yesterday, the birthday party that we went to, I thought it was, it was interesting because the mom had it at six thirty at night. Now it was a little for a little bit older you know a party for older kids than what mine were. But I was a little bit nervous because I was like ‘why she having it at six thirty?’ and then I realized she probably thinks that Saturdays and Sundays are going to be very busy times for families.

And if you really want kids to come so in addition to discounts stuff just scheduling to make sure kids are there. You know, it, we could only stay for like an hour or so because my two year old was just throwing a hasty fit because he didn’t have a nap. But that is something to can consider too with timing is that nap times

SHELLY STEELY: Nap times. Consider the age of your kids because we, my boys first birthday party, we scheduled it from 12 to 2 because they were on two naps a day. But all of our other friends, they were older than the twins and they were all on one nap a day. And so it was really kind of poor planning


SHELLY STEELY: So and this year we locked out everybody’s kind of on the same afternoon nap so we had it in the morning when kids are happiest. So if you’re dealing with toddlers,

SUNNY GAULT: That’s true

SHELLY STEELY: I recommend like a nine or ten o’clock in the morning because toddlers are always happier in the morning.


SHELLY STEELY: Because once they hit the afternoon they could skip a nap which two year olds love to do

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Right. And another thing to consider is like let’s say in the morning, you know, a mid morning, you know you’re really, it’s not really breakfast time and it’s not lunch time. So if you have them kind of come in the middle you can serve snacks

SHELLY STEELY: That’s exactly what we did we just had, we had food and pretzels and popcorns and didn’t have to have a whole. Because their first birthday party we had a Mexican food place cater. And we had lunch for sixties. So I don’t even want to tell you how much money we spent on that

SUNNY GAULT: It sounds good though, it has made me hungry

SHELLY STEELY: It was great but yeah but those



CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Well see okay here’s another tip, you know, limit the guest list. So now I mean, that’s kind of obvious limit the guest list but you know you could, you know work out sort of a rule of thumb and what I’m looking at here is where you could maybe have the number of guests per your child’s age, you know plus one. So if they’re two years old then maybe you have like two or three guests per child. So then you know for your twins then maybe you’ll only end up with like six guests


CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Which is pretty manageable

SUNNY GAULT: Is that more like because my twins are so young, I haven’t really experienced this yet. So that’s probably more when your twins start to have their own sets of friends right? Because in the beginning like Shelly was saying, you know, she belongs to twin groups


SUNNY GAULT: And it’s kind of like they come in sets


SUNNY GAULT: Because the parents are really been invited and you know in addition to the kids

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Yeah. I think so when especially I know now I’m just getting in to it now that my girls are in kindergarten and I’m you know learning the whole protocol in you know siblings and you know all of that. And so, I don’t know we haven’t even looked at you know when it comes to inviting the whole class. So, that’s going to be a whole thing of itself. But I think it’ll have to be, yeah, do they want to have a big party? Or maybe just something more intimate.


CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: So we’re going to take a break and when we come back, we’re going to talk about how your location of your event can keep your cost down

[Theme Music]

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Welcome back, today we’re talking with our expert panellist and we’re joining with our friends at Twiniversity to learn how to plan a fun birthday party and keep our costs down. So we’re talking strategies and I think one of the strategies we can look at is having a cheap location. Now, again, venues can be really expensive. I mean if you’re looking to have a party at a, you know, let’s say, I mean, what to say, country clubs, you remember the high ends or maybe an indoor. I mean here in San Diego we have a lot of you know outdoor locations but it can be really expensive to rent a venue or you know one of these all-in-one, all inclusive places really expensive. So, what are some of the alternatives?

SHELLY STEELY: So we’re lucky here that the weather’s always nice in San Diego. But we’ve had the parties at parks. Benefit of parks is we have tons of them and they’re free


SHELLY STEELY: But also, there’s very little decorating that you need to do at a park. So it really cuts down on those costs you know. You just have a couple of things on a table but, it’s not like at a house where you know you feel like you have to put up the streamers and the banners and tape balloons and what not. So we found it was a good way to cut back is to take it outside.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Oh yeah. Absolutely. And you know I found a, you know, I’m sure different municipalities have different fees, like I think in our case you can have up to like seventy five people without having to get a permit

SUNNY GAULT: Is that like insurance? I’ve seen that on signs at playgrounds and stuff. Is that?

SHELLY STEELY: Yeah if you have over

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Over like seventy five people then you have to get a permit with the local parks and recreation department

SHELLY STEELY: But they’re pretty affordable. They’re like fifty bucks maybe


SUNNY GAULT: The other thing that happens a lot in our community in our neighbourhood so we’ve got one of those like centralized areas that people can like the kids can come and play with a little playground and stuff that’s part of our development. And I see a lot of, it’s like right in the gate when you’re first like come in to our development. And I see a lot of people using that space which is obviously free you know. The down side is, and you, I don’t know if you run in to this with the park, this is my concern with the park is that, unless you go through the permit thing like you’ve got enough people where it’s on file somewhere that you’re going to have that space that what if you show up and someone’s already there or, you know what I’m saying? I don’t know that parks really have a reserve list

SHELLY STEELY: Yeah, so you can’t, we actually got married at the park so we were kind of worried about that


SHELLY STEELY: Wanting a location. It’s first come first serve but

SUNNY GAULT: So you had your wedding at seven o’clock in the morning

SHELLY STEELY: No, we did not get married at seven but what we did do is we sent people there first thing in the morning with like a pop up tent so they wouldn’t get you know and a cooler full of you know drinks and snacks. And they just kind of hang out at the park and saved a spot so. And that’s worked for all the parties we’ve had there you just got to get there. And to be honest, we pick the parks closer to the beach. You know if you pick a park in a community where there are a lot of younger people. They’re not getting up early in the morning. So you’re going to be just fine


SHELLY STEELY: Whereas if you pick a park in you know a more like family friendly neighbourhoods you know you might be elbowing out someone else’s birthday party so that’s something to consider too


SUNNY GAULT: I wonder if you can have, and obviously this won’t apply to everyone that’s listening, but here in San Diego, has anyone been to a birthday party on the beach? Like on a public beach?

SHELLY STEELY: You can have them at the shores

SUNNY GAULT: At the shores?

SHELLY STEELY: Yeah. I mean it’s just

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Yeah I’ve had picnic, you know sort of the picnic tables in the grassy area

SUNNY GAULT: Yeah, I mean very informal


SHELLY STEELY: Also the comfort by the bay, one of my best friends had like almost all their family birthday parties on the bay side

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Now you know I mean for those who want to have an indoor party I mean if it’s you know dead of winter and you know for our friends in the snow. Outdoors isn’t an option. How about, you know for like rec centres. I mean


CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: I could imagine, you know renting a rec centre and maybe there’s a gym and you know the kids could play games like basketball and you know doing some fun stuff indoors.


CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: I mean that’s has got to be uhm you know do-able

SUNNY GAULT: The smart thing might be to go to your city’s website, you know what I mean. Contact the city and see what they have available because it’s like in the summer when they offer a bunch of programs that are usually discounted parks and recs does it. I would think it would be the same thing. They always have exercise classes and different things that are a lot cheaper than if you were to go the commercial route. So that would be my advice on that

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Okay. Great! Well hey, okay let’s look at another tip, okay and I have to say I love this, reuse. You know this at Twiniversity we talked about reusing things that might be just in your household and just sort or repurposing it. So you know you might have items in your toy box that they can reuse. You know you might have sort of things that for you can use as a theme like let’s say you’re going to have a tea party. And you can bring out some china if you’re up for that but maybe for the decoration



SHELLY STEELY: Were not getting any china near my twins

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: But you know just use what you have on hand I mean I know and I often think of you know parties and you have to go out and you have to colour coordinate your table cloth and your napkins. And the balloons it has the same theme. But we’ve got a lot of that in our home already

SUNNY GAULT: Yes, yes. Or it might be worth, you know investing some from the get go of just some white table cloth. So we’re blue or red or whatever

SHELLY STEELY: Yeah, I was going to say my boys were born in July so what we did as their first birthday we made a nautical theme, red and blue. And we bought red and blue napkins, red and blue straws but we also bought some plastic ware you know like to hold snacks and plates and silverware and stuff. And then we just stashed all the leftover. And then this year we had a baseball theme party which is also red and blue. We just, we just reused it so took advantage of the time of year and then keeping the stuff around so

SUNNY GAULT: one thing I was going to say, my mom has done this for years, because she’s got a pool and has people over a lot and they girl out, those kinds of stuff. For years, she started out, when we first, when they first got their pool of buying some really good and sturdy like you know fork spoons what do we call that?



SUNNY GAULT: Cutlery. But they’re still plastic but they’re really like durable ones. Not something you get like fast food or whatever. And she has reused that for years. Just think about how much money you would save. And she just has it in like this little receptacle thing it says please save the silverware. She always has a basket you can put it in on the side and she has saved so much money and you know for years she’s done that. So I know that’s something really simple but you know how many times we just pick up something because it’s easy and we just throw it away and you know

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: That’s smart. And I think people are becoming much more green minded


CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: So as long as you have a place and sort of give your guests sort of the instruction to do that, I think that’s a lot easier, it will be so much easier

SHELLY STEELY: The plastic plates and cups that we bought, the reusable ones, my boys just eat off of them because they’re toddlers and plastic is great. Yeah, we’re still reusing the plates from their party basically everyday

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Yeah and you know another idea too is I think in like decorations. Now I have, in fact we use it for the third time this year. I have this happy birthday banner, and you can switch out the numbers. So, it was happy second birthday, third birthday fourth, fifth. And so we, this is like becoming a tradition. We got the same banner and it was, I mean it was such a great deal instead of having to you know buy birthday banners


CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: And then I also got a roll, so instead of getting individual table cloths, I got a roll of plastic. And so, I use that every year to you know purple roll, because my girl like pink and purple. So I mean that becomes a, you know I take that out and I mean I’m not reusing the plastic itself but, I can say since I got that roll it was like maybe I don’t know eight, nine dollars and I’ve gotten like three, four years use out of it

SUNNY GAULT: Yeah. See? Absolutely

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: And another thing I wanted to mention, I just saw recently one of our gals in our local twins club, she posted that she dug out some decorations that she found and it was a theme and so she was offering that up to other members of the twins club

SUNNY GAULT: Oh that’s really smart


SUNNY GAULT: Use your twin club. Yes, yes

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: You want the themed stuff there’s a good chance your fellow twin moms might have some stuff that you can borrow


CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Let’s see okay, want another tip, use the internet so I think we have everyone’s pretty internet savvy but I have to say I am amazed. No, I’m not a big you know pinterest person, you know for ideas but I know when I talk to people they’re like ‘oh my gosh’, you know, they got these really cool things and the I ask them like ‘where did?’ ‘oh pinterest, you know’

SUNNY GAULT: Pinterest is so idealistic it’s like ‘yes, if that’s all I had to worry about in this whole world, that’s what my party would look. I think it’s great for ideas, I just don’t want people to think that everything has to be the way because keep in mind now this probably changes as your kids grow older. But especially when they’re really little like you’re doing this for yourself and for pictures. They don’t care. They don’t care, right? And so as long as we have that caveat that you know, it’s idealistic, it’s pretty to look at and it makes nice photos or whatever but give yourselves some you know, cut yourselves some slack

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Definitely. But you can find some deals though. I mean in every searching, I mean, I got to say, I, I have the amazon prime, so

SUNNY GAULT: We do too


SHELLY STEELY: Everybody needs Amazon prime

SUNNY GAULT: And that’s a mom thing, we talked about amazon on other episode


SUNNY GAULT: Episode mom

SHELLY STEELY: If you don’t have it get it.

SUNNY GAULT: Amazon mom

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: So, it’s I got to say, I mean, I can type it in and do a search and there’s probably a ninety nine percent chance you’re going to find it on amazon or on ebay or on trading. You know one of those companies. And again I think form a timing perspective if you give yourself the time to research it and then figure out you know what’s the best deal and then shipping. But I mean you can find some really great deals. I know, we did sort of I guess carnival theme for my girls last year. And then we just reused it this year again.


CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: But we did a, you know I got these really fun little bag toss you now games


CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Where you know try and toss it through the hole and get points. And we got, pin the tail in the donkey and we’ve got these little duck game, floating ducks where you try to match there’s a number underneath. You know all they just little, you know, fun things that you know now I can use from year to year but I got them from you know Oreal Trading Company. And they were just, you know, I don’t know a few bucks here and there so

SUNNY GAULT: Right and I like the idea of being able to reuse it not just for another birthday party but just in day to day, just to keep your twins occupied, you know what I mean? So you know, if you’re investing a little bit more money you know for this item for the birthday party. Think about how you can reuse that in just day to day life. Yeah

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: And you know and when it comes to decorations, I was going to say internet if you do a search you can find them online. And I think also another great resource too that I found is dollar stores





SUNNY GAULT: oh my gosh for any


SUNNY GAULT: Yes, plates and also wrappings stuff like


SUNNY GAULT: Bags and little trinket toys. If you’re looking for something to stuff little gift bags


SUNNY GAULT: And stockings. That’s the way to go

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Let’s see what else can we do? We can, how about do it yourself? So if you, and you know I have to say, I’m not like the most crafty person but I do like the idea of having some things that you know do yourself. And I think it’s great to do just maybe just one or two things. I mean I, you know I know some people do everything, but I think it would just say, okay, I’m going to do one, maybe do a little goodie bag. Or you know maybe your, I saw here’s a picture where they’re giving away water and they put a little fun, cute label of on the

SHELLY STEELY: Yeah you can print out those labels for the water bottles

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Print out labels in water bottles and party favours, so

SHELLY STEELY: I’m not crafty at all. But do it yourself instead of buying like pre-packaged themes, we’ve always, I, you know we kind of pull it together like I said a nautical or baseball theme and then okay this is red and this is blue. And this has a baseball on it and let’s get popcorn and pretzels and like cracker jack that kind of thing. And something you can do yourself instead of buying goodie bags, we give food, because everybody loves food.


SHELLY STEELY: So, their first birthday would like I say the nautical theme, the gift bags had salt water taffy for the adults and the gold fish crackers for the kids. And then this year we gave the goodie bags had cracker jack and little hotdog and hamburger candies. And taffy again, so just, people love eating stuff


SHELLY STEELY: and so like, like I found that I prefer goodie bags that are edible I mean I know junk food with kids. But rather than the toys that go home and get lost and



CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: The little plastic things that are getting vacuumed up

SUNNY GAULT: Or when you got younger kids, I worry about choking hazards. You know, because it’s fine for the boys that are older, but my twins, ten months, I’m like not okay for them

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: No I agree with you. Now how about for DYI, making the cake, so

SUNNY GAULT: You mean DIY? Did you say DYI?




SUNNY GAULT: That should not be a part of your kid’s party

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: No! DIY, yes. How about for you know, making the cake. So you know I’m not a big baker but I have made some cakes and I know we’re trying to do everything healthy and you know using whole grains and that’s kind of my motivation. But I do confess there’s the really wonderful bakery that does amazing cakes. So that’s kind of like our one splurge. But usually we would just do that like at home if we have a, you know party but

SHELLY STEELY: You can also ask a friend, so


SHELLY STEELY: For the boy’s first birthday party, my best friend and her sister made cupcakes and iced cookies and did that for us, you know rather than getting them a present. And her present was making them for us

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: What a great gift! What a great gift

SHELLY STEELY: Yeah which was awesome because I am not a baker. But also you’re local grocery store does. They do themed cakes and cupcakes and it’s really affordable and really delicious too

SUNNY GAULT: The other thing that I would say

SHELLY STEELY: So that’s a good thing if you’re not baking it yourself

SUNNY GAULT: That’s a great idea. The other thing that I would say too is I think cakes are kind of about expectation. You expect cakes to look nice and neat. At least for me that’s, that would be an issue like why I wouldn’t want to make a cake because I would feel like people were judging what the cake look like. I don’t feel like people necessarily have the same expectations for cupcakes


SUNNY GAULT: And I like cupcakes because they’re individual and granted you can get the gourmet cupcakes that can go all out like I get it. But if you do cupcakes then you’re really limiting portions sizes for kids and you could cut out using more forks, plates

SHELLY STEELY: It is easy to make cupcakes, you look nice. One tip is you can use a, if you don’t have a piping bag, just cut the corner off of a zip lock bag, put the icing in there and then you could just squeeze it kind of in a circle and they look really fancy rather than spreading it with the knife. So you can just do like a little swirl so it’s easy to make cupcakes look fancier than it is to bake a cake

SUNNY GAULT: And then you can go to pinterest to see how to do it [inaudible 00:35:39]

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Let’s see okay, our last one here is how about for, you know for entertainers. So, you know I can say, entertainers, I don’t usually think of having entertainers but our friends at Twiniversity have talked about there can be a huge advantage if you have someone who can wrangle the kids.

Because I know, you know lots of times as the parent, you know you’re running around, you’re like ‘okay got to do this activity’, ‘okay, we got to do the cake’ you know you’re running and trying to get everything in place and then try and take pictures. And you don’t really enjoy the time with your kids.

Now given some entertainers can be really expensive and they’re several hundred dollars just themselves but what about the idea of hiring, you know, someone who’s local or a, let’s say, young, a teenager who like to dress up and has a little frozen costume

SHELLY STEELY: A lot of stay at home moms are doing that now. I have two friends actually who kind of have a little side business dressing up like Disney characters and doing a little face paint. And they’re less expensive than a professional would be. You now and it’s really, kids don’t know the difference


SHELLY STEELY: It looks to be really successful. The kids just get so excited over the characters and then there’s a little bit of face painting and they can read stories and it’s definitely seems like a great idea

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: And that just seems kind of worth it to be there really being part of that moment with your kids

SHELLY STEELY: Or if it’s something, I mean, this is really weird I know most people hate clowns but I was obsessed with clowns as a kid. And my parents hired one for one of my birthday parties and it was one of the most memorable ones because I just thought this was so amazing. I had my very own clown at my very own party. So that’s something that your kids are in to, you know Frozen or magicians or whatever then

SUNNY GAULT: And it’s nice because like Christine says it takes the focus off you or off you know just the craziness. If you can draw attention to someone, you know what I mean, I think you know, if there’s a Disney princess there or whatever, I think that you know the kids are going to be a little bit better behaved. At least that’s what I’m picturing. So it might be just a nice way to kind of calm things down a little bit.

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: Alright. Well thanks so much everyone for joining us today and for more information about planning your twins birthday party or for more information about any of our speakers and panellist, visit the episode page on our website. And this conversation continues for members of our Twin Talks Club. And after the show we’re going to talk about an alternative to having a birthday party. For more information about the Twin Talks club, visit our website and you can get other great tips for twin parents from our partner at

[Theme Music]

SUNNY GAULT: Alright it’s time for another segment on Twin Talks. This is our Twin Oopps segment which is so much fun because that’s when we all learn that every twin parent makes mistakes right? So this story comes from Jessica. And Jessica writes: Oh I have lots of stories but the one I love the best is when they worked two-ish. I like that ‘two-ish’. They were really into flushing things down the toilet, cat food, toys, etc. One day they flush up a potato down the toilet. Of course it got stuck.

My husband took the toilet off of the floor, flipped it over and there was the potato. A few weeks later they flushed a paint brush down my mom’s toilet and we had to do it all over again. Oh my goodness Jessica, I cannot tell you how many times we’ve had to tear apart our toilets too.

I can tell you that it’s not just twins that happens with but I can imagine when two or more are gathered. There’s a little bit more mischief, so, something I have to look forward to as my twins are nearly nine months old right now. So thanks so much for submitting this. If you guys have a funny Twin Ooopps story you wanted to share with us, call our voicemail at 619-8664775 or send us an email through our website

[Theme Music]

CHRISTINE STEWART-FITZGERALD: That wraps up our show for today. We appreciate you listening to Twin Talks.
Don’t forget to check our sister shows:
• Preggie Pals for expecting parents
• The Boob Group for moms who breastfeed their babies
• Parent Savers, your parenting resource on the go.

This is Twin Talks, parenting times two.
This has been a New Mommy Media production. Information and material contained in this episode are presented for educational purposes only. Statements and opinions expressed in this episode are not necessarily those of New Mommy Media and should not be considered facts. Though information in which areas are related to be accurate, it is not intended to replace or substitute for professional, Medical or advisor care and should not be used for diagnosing or treating health care problem or disease or prescribing any medications. If you have questions or concerns regarding your physical or mental health or the health of your baby, please seek assistance from a qualified health care provider.
SUNNY GAULT: New Mommy Media is expanding our line up of shows for new and expecting parents. If you have an idea for a new series or if you’re a business or organization interested in joining our network of shows through a co-branded podcast, visit

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