Megan Cooley

Megan Cooley. Megan Cooley

Megan Cooley is a journalist, mother and former middle school teacher with a passion for parties.


She has worked as a journalist for nine years, including being on staff at The (Spokane, Wash.) Spokesman-Review and as the editor of a magazine called Inland Northwest Homes & Lifestyles.

Megan now freelances, and her work has appeared in publications around the world, including over the Reuters wire service and in The Boston Globe.

Before becoming a journalist, Megan taught eighth grade language arts, history and math.

In 2008, Megan tapped into her creative side and began writing a blog called Penny Carnival about her adventures in crafting and motherhood. Penny Carnival has been linked to on several popular craft and parenting Web sites, including and

Megan also writes a blog called Dwell Well for The Spokesman-Review about home, garden, craft and sustainability topics.


Megan has a b.a. in Elementary Education from Linfield College, in McMinnville, Ore., and a m.s. in journalism from Boston University, in Boston, Mass.

Megan Cooley

I'm always surprised--and saddened a bit--when I hear a friend say that planning her child's birthday party stresses her out. Birthday parties, graduations and other celebrations should be fun, not full of pressure.

This Guide Site will help you plan parties that run smoothly and inspire ideas that will bring joy to your child, whether you have a toddler captivated by pirates or a teenager earning a diploma. It's my goal that everyone will enjoy those special days, including you.

To me, putting care and thought into a party isn't about spending a lot of money or trying to upstage other parents. It's about upholding traditions, starting new rituals, celebrating the child and strengthening family and community bonds. I've found that it's usually the inexpensive--or free!--touches that are the most memorable and meaningful.

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