Monday, February 8, 2010
My Style Monday, February 8th, 2010
Okay, so I really intended to do a post yesterday on one of my go-to favorites, Rachael Ray's make-your-own burrito bar, but catching up around here after EVERYBODY in my house was sick off&on for five days (including my mama, who doesn't even live here!) - well, suffice it to say that I almost made myself sick again with the frenzy of returning my home to order yesterday. So be on the lookout for my burrito post later in the week.
Short Southern Momma has asked for birthday party planning help&inspiration, as she's planning a fabulous tenth birthday party for her daughter.
Pretty Little Bare Feet just turned one, so obviously her birthday party would not be entertaining to a bunch of fourth-&-fifth-graders. However, I will share some of the things we did for her party that could work for an older age group; & then I'll share some links to some of my favorite birthday party blogs&shops for party stuff.
Pretty Little Bare Feet's nursery is done in a Raggedy Ann theme, as I've collected Raggedy Anns since my freshman year of college, when I joined my sorority, whose local mascot is the Raggedy Ann. Since we were planning on a very small affair for her first birthday, we decided decorating with a lot of what we already had would be a good idea.
We originally intended on just having
& a couple other family members
& close friends.
Then Pretty Little Bare Feet & I became a little more active in our playgroup, & attended a couple of our playgroup friends' birthday parties. So we decided to invite our playgroup friends.
six little boys,
all of their mommies,
& five of their daddies
over for birthday cake & finger foods. They played here for about an hour & a half (3pm-4:30pm on a Saturday seemed to be a good time for that age). After they went home, my best friend & her husband, as well as My Prince's best friend, came over with gifts for Pretty Little Bare Feet, & then spent the night to celebrate MY birthday (which is one week after Pretty Little Bare Feet's). Pretty Little Bare Feet's granny attended both parties. =)
Because Raggedy Ann is not somebody you come across alongside all of the Spongebobs & Yo Gabba Gabbas of the mainstream party supply circuit these days, I had to do a little bit of searching to find Raggedy Ann party supplies to buy. We found almost everything at Raggedy Land, a great little gift shop devoted to Raggedy Ann merchandise. My Prince had ordered from them before, for gifts for me.
In addition to solid red balloons, & blue&white streamers, we bought this one special birthday balloon for the birthday girl, which she loved & carried around for the first half of the party.
I also ordered this Edible Image from Raggedyland, which I took to Publix grocery store, & had them imprint onto a cake.
(Publix has a wonderful bakery!)
We picked up the cake the night before the party & kept it in the refrigerator overnight. They also gave us a free "smash cake" for the first birthday, which they decorated in coordinating colors.
(Go with the cream cheese frosting, if your bakery has it! They couldn't imprint the image on it, so we had a bit of a color difference between frostings, but it still looked adorable, & everybody raved about how much better the cream cheese frosting was than the buttercream everybody usually goes with.)
We also used these Raggedy Ann napkins, which we ordered from Raggedyland.
I found red gingham paper plates at Target, & we used solid red plastic silverware. I hung a multicolored "Happy Birthday" banner, which I found at Publix, on the wall above the cake table.
We also ordered this vintagey paper tablecloth from Raggedyland, & used it on the cake table. All of our other "decorations" came from Pretty Little Bare Feet's nursery. I placed little Raggedy Anns&Andys throughout the downstairs of our house, & if the children had been older, I would've done a "Can you find all of the Raggedies?" game.
I ordered these invitations from Fine Stationery. Everybody loved them, & the quality&service at Fine Stationery are great. They have a LOT of adorable party invitations that are so much nicer than the fill-in-the-blanks you'd find at Target. Of course, where you choose to invest your money is your preference, but I'll buy nice stationery for pretty much any occasion that I can come up with an excuse for!
I'm sure I'll forget something, but from what I recall, our food spread included:
charred pineapple dip
(made with charred pineapple relish from Harry&David),
cocktail shrimp trays,
(I love Simply Lemonade),
my mama's homemade bean soup,
pepper&onion relish dip
(made with pepper&onion relish from Harry&David),
punch with rainbow sherbet,
several varieties of roll-up sandwiches,
spinach artichoke dip from Harry&David,
sugar cookies with multicolored sprinkles,
vanilla ice cream...
I have a feeling people may have expected me to bake or cook, since I love to so much, but I just decided since we were having it at our home, my stress level would decrease exponentially if I relied upon mostly pre-made food choices, although the dips did require a little bit of easy prep, which my mama graciously did for us.
Because the child guests are so young,
& are mostly doing "parallel play,"
as opposed to really playing with each other,
we didn't really plan activities or games. Everybody sang to Pretty Little Bare Feet & ate cake at about 4pm, after starting to eat finger foods&snacks at about 3:30pm. Other than that, I just closed up our entertainment center with the television turned onto the satellite radio kids' station, loud enough that it could be heard, but not so loud that it was annoying. Then I placed Pretty Little Bare Feet's board books & toys all around the dining&living rooms, & we just let the kids play!
(I have to add that Pretty Little Bare Feet wore her little Raggedy Ann dress for the occasion, which I swear my mama bought way back, right after My Prince & I got married, before we were even expecting a baby. She just knew how much I loved Raggedy Ann, & knew how much I wanted a little girl, so she went ahead & bought it when she saw it at a Cracker Barrel one day! & now look - I have a cute little girl wearing it! :))
For favor bags, I ended up hitting the Dollar Spot at Target. I had looked around online at several different options for something more customized & "special," but the only thing I found that I was really interested in (a customized Raggedy Ann cookie favor), turned out to be appearing to be something it was not. (The Raggedy Ann was on the wrapper, not the cookie, but the listing didn't lead you to believe that, so when I emailed to be sure, I was disappointed.)
However, as little as our guests were, I think they were more than happy with:
a little pink gift bag with a cupcake design on it
(Hey, I had to get something girly in there someplace!),
a little Nerf-ish toy football,
a bag of Stauffer's animal cookies,
& some other colorful candy.
I was really inspired to find, just a few days before Pretty Little Bare Feet's first birthday party, a blog post of a Raggedy Ann-themed party geared toward an older crowd, which was done so beautifully&exquisitely, using turquoise. I'm definitely going to keep it in mind for the future.
Links to some of my favorite fabulous
baking & party food blogs,
birthday party blogs,
shops that carry favors or supplies,
& stationery shops: