Often, when I meet new people, what I do or what I am (i.e. a writer) will come up. A few minutes after that, something else I do or am comes up; it’s about that time I notice confused looks on their faces. I’m sure they’re asking themselves the same things you are: “I thought she just said she was this?” I have multiple career personality. I’m a writer, a business owner, a SAHM, an organizer and today we’re going to talk about my event planning prowess.
I’ve planned or been apart of planning 50 different events post high school. Since becoming a mother, my favorite events to plan have been birthday parties (although it must be said, if you give me a wedding to plan I’ll do several happy dances). Being able to plan favors, games, prizes and food off of one theme and all from scratch is such a fun challenge. With my first daughter, I was so excited to plan her pink ladybug first birthday. It was girly, it was cute and there was pink. It was all I could do to not jump up and down in excitement thinking of all her future girly birthdays.
Then came the requests for an Angry Bird party, a Wild Kratt party and a TMNT party. My hopes of princesses and castles were slipping away. Don’t get me wrong, those parties were awesome and so fun, they just weren’t girly.
Then in March, as her love transferred from leggings to dresses and we began party planning, my now 6 YO declared she wanted a The Little Mermaid themed party. I felt the angels patting me on the back and whispering, “Finally.” Pinterest boards were created, menus were planned and the party was executed. Most importantly, my very own mermaid loved it.
We started, of course, with the cake. I’ve made all of their cakes except for one (two counting this year’s), and I think you can see I wasn’t all that great at it.
Every year we comb over cake pictures in her desired theme and I let her choose whatever she wants on the cake. Almost every year there are 6 flavors and three tiers. We’re stuck eating cake for a week. This year, I told her two flavors and I wouldn’t be doing Ariel out of fondant, so she asked to have it professionally done.
I’m not the least bit artistic, so having this checked off my list is like giving me a birthday present early. It frees me up to work on aptly names food for the menu. I tried to call the spread “Sebastian’s Snacks,” or “Scuttle’s Snacks,” but 6 YO insisted on calling it “Flounder’s Snacks.”
There were Sea snails (essentially pigs in a blanket), caviar (blueberries and black olives), seaweed (pickle slices), shark teeth (cheese cut into triangles), crab legs (carrot sticks), peanut butter and jellyfish (cut into stars because I’m not artistic enough to cut jellyfish shapes), shells and cheese (exactly what it says) and driftwood (pretzel sticks) to name a few.
Then there is, of course, every kid’s favorite table: the dessert table. In this case we called it Ariel’s delights. She looks like she would have a sweet tooth, doesn’t she?
As much fun as it is compiling a menu, and oh man is it fun, my favorite is planning the games and take home prizes. Whenever we go to a party, my kid’s favorite thing is taking home some new item. It’s almost always cheap, but she always has so much fun with it. My goal is to get something that puts a smile on their faces and, because I’m an organizing freak, correlates with the game. This year we had 6 games for her 6th birthday. The Shark Toss prize was a stuffed mini sea creature (found them on Amazon). Find the Pearl is essentially musical chairs only as you win you leave the circle until everyone wins. I found some bouncy balls on Amazon that had fish in them for that prize. The prize for Pin the Fin were cool make-a-sea-creature sticker sheets, also found on Amazon. We went to the party section in Walmart and bought a bunch of those little toys for the Buried Treasure game. We also found the rocks at Walmart. The idea there is to paint one side and write a one word dream on it; supposed to be from Ariel’s grotto.
The game I was most proud of was the pinata. She’s been asking for one for a few years, and this year we finally got her one. It was terribly hard to break, but she loved trying.
I’m a minimalist when it comes to decor and that’s mostly because I’m not good at that part. I can hang a mean streamer and blow up a great balloon, but my signature pieces are the banners. For every birthday I hand make a corresponding banner and feel they should be satisfied with that.
All in all, it was a great and full day. The kids played every game a couple of times.
Almost all the food was eaten and everyone got to go home with a little something.
What are your birthday party triumphs?