Fitness Parenting

Workout Report + Home Bday Party

April 16, 2023

We celebrated A’s bday yesterday

Home birthday parties are not our usual practice. I generally prefer some kind of outside entertainment, if not an entirely different location that I don’t have to clean up 🙂

But A requested it . . . and I figured this would be a good scenario to give it a try. We kept the invite list smaller (ie, not the whole class) and her friends were a mix: current school / older school / camp. She invited 11 but 3 were in a play (all in the same production!) and couldn’t make it. I almost moved the party but the rest RSVP’d yes and we ended up having 8 girls. Pretty much perfect.


Tie Dye (kit from Michael’s; white T shirts for each kid). Josh helped them do it outside.

tie dye station

Painting wooden boxes (bought paint, glitter pens, stick on gems, boxes and other wooden items to paint from Michael’s)

box painting supplies

Gift opening!!! As one parent said, “kicking it old school.” But it was sweet; they watched her open gifts and it was actually pretty fun and kept them occupied at the end of the party.


Bagels / cream cheeses / fruit / veg tray

Crumbl cookies in lieu of cake (A’s request; I LOVE this cake alternative because it’s cheaper + easier – they deliver! And in my opinion they taste better too.)



Thankfully this is a good age group! Or maybe A’s friends are particularly nice. But seriously, these kids were very easy and great.

everyone was very focused

And, everyone went home with a tie-dye shirt and painted box, so no need for dedicated favors!

candle in a cookie 🙂

Would definitely do a home party again though I think waiting until kids are low maintenance and squarely in the ‘drop off’ zone (happens late in my area!) was helpful!

Workout Report

M: 7 mi with 2 running friends, ave 9:19/mi. 67F / 91%

T: Bad weather began! Did 5.08 treadmill miles. 10:12/mi ave + 30 min strength (Callie full body)

W: Bad weather day #2. 6.4 mi on treadmill with 4 x 90 second hills at 6-7% incline. Speeds 5.5 – 6.3 mph.

R: 7.75 mi with 6 x 20 sec strides up a tiny hill. 10:24/mi ave. 70F / 91%

F: 5 mi easy, 10:06/mi. 69F and 100% humidity! (I didn’t know that was possible. It did feel extra steamy/sweaty) + 30 min strength (15 min strength for runners / 15 min arms + shoulders)

S: 15 mi long run with 3 mi x 2 @ marathon pace (estimated future MP I guess). Splits: 4 mi easy @ 10:21, 10:09, 10:11, 10:28 // 3 mi MP @ 8:38, 8:36, 8:40 // 1 mi recover @ 11:03 // 3 mi MP @ 8:34, 8:46, 8:43 // 4 mi easy @ 10:29, 10:04, 9:55, 9:39. I really enjoyed this workout – it was just enough of a challenge! Took gels x 3. 72F / 96% humidity.

S: RESTTTTTTTT. Might do some stretching-centric yoga. And we are taking kids on a ‘training walk/run’ so I guess that will be something.

MILES: 46 // STRENGTH: 2 x 30 min


  • Reply Coree April 16, 2023 at 11:39 am

    Happy birthday A!

    We had a home party last year for my son’s 5th and we assumed not everyone would show as it was the week before school started, and we invited loads from nursery which was 20 miles away. And we only got 1 no, so we ended up with 16 kids and 20 parents. We ran out of cake for adults and I was vaguely mortified. The neighbour’s grandkids all piled in as well, and then their parents helped us clean up, which was really lovely.

    Parties in our area are mostly whole class bouncy house or pool parties at a local gym which I find really noisy and annoying, so we don’t always say yes to them unless they are a close friend.

    We went to a party with fire dancers telling the story of prometheus, an illusionist, an old school magician, and a face painter for a 4 year old. When my husband picked us up, T said “can we turn the radio off? I think mummy and I just need to sit quietly for awhile…”

    We’ve said 6 invites for age 6 this year, and hoping it’s a dropoff. He wants a How to Train Your Dragon party so I bought some paper mache easter eggs and we’ll paint those as dragon eggs, make cardboard shields, and do make your own pizzas.

  • Reply Lisa of Lisa’s Yarns April 16, 2023 at 12:25 pm

    We are solidly team cookie in our house! I usually make a cookie cake as it’s a little extra festive and actually easier than cookies. GF cookies are superior to cake IMO so that’s why I started to make cookies and my boys seem to prefer cookies.

    I’m glad hosting went well and the kids were easy to have around! We are having our 5yo’s first friend party in the next couple of weeks. I love how his classmates do parties. You just go to a park and bring treats. No presents, no favors. Easy peasy!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger April 16, 2023 at 1:00 pm

      ooh no presents no favors park party sounds awesome!

  • Reply Elisabeth April 16, 2023 at 1:27 pm

    This looks lovely and very fun, yet also relaxed. Yay!!

    I love when something IN the party becomes the favour. I kinda hate the whole party favour thing – if hosting it’s expensive (basically like buying everyone a gift) and if the kids get a party favour bag it’s usually full of junk that I end up throwing. Ugh. We did a paint-your-own pottery one year and I loved the fact that the favour was baked into the activity. This year, instead of favour bags, we had an open prize bin so when party guests won a game/activity, they got to pick a prize they wanted. We also always do a candy hunt, and let the kids keep whatever they find.

    I 100% agree that at-home parties work so much better when kids are older.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger April 16, 2023 at 4:02 pm

      yes!! we did a pottery painting place last year for A and the favor was the piece. I am now on the train of paperback books (or a small sticker book) as favor for little kids. Never giving out bags of plastic #(*&#$ again.

  • Reply Chelsea April 16, 2023 at 2:17 pm

    Looks fun! I think we are going to do our first big kid party at home this fall. My older two want to rent a video game truck, so I think we will do that as a joint birthday party where they can each invite a few friends since their birthdays are only 3 weeks apart.

  • Reply KGC April 16, 2023 at 5:19 pm

    We are big fans of homegrown birthday parties. For the second year in a row, we just did a cul-de-sac party for my older son (today!). We order pizza from Costco, grab juice boxes, and do a piñata so the filling is the goody bag. Today we started at 11am and finally all packed it in at about 3:45 – the kids had squirt guns, stomp rockets, bubbles, and basketball and were entertained for hours. We had over 50 people and all outside so minimal house cleanup 🙂 Sounds like A’s party was perfect!!!!

  • Reply A April 16, 2023 at 5:29 pm

    Looks so fun! I think I’m on the little-kid-outsource it train too. We did a 2 year old backyard party in Feb 2022. Covid cases had spiked in our area around the holidays and we wanted to be considerate. In retrospect it was probably overkill- it’s all kids from her daycare class anyway, so is this any different? It was fun- bouncy house and bagels – but definitely more work than I anticipated. This year we did a local gymnastics plave and it was super easy.

    As for goody bags, I hate getting them but also feel the pressure to send them. We did Pete the cat books this year and felt better about that than most things. Book clutter beats regular clutter, right??

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger April 16, 2023 at 7:38 pm

      Books are the best party favor if you have to give one! Little kids a casual park “meetup” type party can work. But agree I prefer outsourcing when younger, more fun and less stress for me that way!

  • Reply Grateful Kae April 16, 2023 at 7:54 pm

    Can you add workout durations to your workout reports?? 🤓 Would be curious to see how long you spend on the various workouts, and cumulative totals for a week!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger April 16, 2023 at 8:15 pm

      you mean you can’t do the math? haha.
      according to strava I spent 7 hrs + 40 min running last week and 60 min weight training.
      you can assume average of for every ~6ish miles it takes me an hour!
      almost all of my runs start between 5:30am and 5:50am and end between 6:30am and 7am (except weekend long runs can go past 8 am!)

      and lately I am doing strength post-work while kid watch a show . . . amazing to have kids old enough to generally leave me alone while I do a workout.

  • Reply Coco April 16, 2023 at 11:38 pm

    I’m copying the birthday party idea for Sofia!!! I also don’t love to host it at home but if they are responsible enough I think it’s not too bad. We are not doing anything for Lizzy as party as she doesn’t have many friends yet, and we are going to a cruise this weekend.

    I’m impressed with your mileage and also intrigued by different training approach. You are building high mileage base to see how much your body can take, while my coach has me on a speed segment to be able to run faster. Fascinating!!!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger April 17, 2023 at 10:15 am

      Mine is going to shift focus to speed closer to the marathon but does not want any true speedwork for now! I bet both work 🙂

  • Reply Jennifer April 16, 2023 at 11:43 pm

    So kids don’t open presents at their parties any more? I agree this is a fabulous activity and the guests always enjoy it too! Didn’t realize that’s “old school” now, haha.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger April 17, 2023 at 10:15 am

      I hadn’t seen it done for forever!!! And a parent (my neighbor) remarked we were “kickin’ it old school” when she came to pick up 🙂 but i agree it was really nice!

    • Reply KGC April 17, 2023 at 11:54 am

      Honestly, I think we need to get back to this. We had a few kids come up to my son at his party yesterday and say ‘can you open my present now?!!?’ because they were so excited for him to see whatever they’d brought. I also think there’s a skill of accepting gifts gracefully even if they aren’t the #1 thing a kid wanted. Ours was a big (50+ people) outdoor party yesterday that just wasn’t conducive to gift-opening, but I’m going to keep this in mind for the future. It’s weird to me that it’s ‘old school’ but I can’t remember the last time my kids were at a party where the gifts were opened!

      • Reply ashley April 18, 2023 at 10:33 am

        It’s complete and total chaos, and I completely understand why people don’t do a gift opening, but I will say that the gift-givers get so much joy out of seeing their gift opened. It’s probably 50/50 in our area. I did let me daughter open presents during the party and don’t regret it.

  • Reply Irene April 17, 2023 at 11:54 am

    We recently did an at home craft party for my oldest and it was very fun. But SO much work ahead of time to have activities. She’s a little younger than A but parties are now mostly at home I think. She’s been to several that are 5 plus hours long and involve a movie or trip somewhere for a couple of the hours (indoor pool, just to swim). I’m definitely not up for that…it was definitely chaos and I struggle with being laid back…

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