Sunday, July 29, 2007

Finally THE Birthday Party Post!

I am sooo sorry that it took me this long to write about Allison's 6th birthday party. Life has been very busy! One thing I have learned from my absence in posting is that I have great readers out there. I've had so many emails and requests for the party post that I am touched that you all care. Thank you!
Now on to the party! If you have been a reader of my blog you know that I give Allison the freedom to pick her birthday party theme each year and then I run with it. This year she picked a kitty party which is probably no surprise to anyone. She didn't want "Hello Kitty" because it was too "girly."
I found a couple other choices and we settled on the one pictured. It is called the "Cat's Meow" and ended up being fun and a perfect choice! I couldn't find any of the supplies locally so I ended up getting them on the internet. My advice to you is to check as many websites as you can when online shopping. They are all different prices. I thought I found it the cheapest as one place was "clearancing" them out but then Birthday Jubilee came in even below the clearanced ones! Shipping really isn't that expensive with the price of gas these days and it was definately worth it being able to shop at 5:30 in the morning in my p.j.'s! Another secret of mine for online shopping is to go to http://www.naughtycodes.com/ and use one of the codes they have listed for hundreds of online retailers to either get free shipping, discounts, bonuses or special deals.

Now that we have the kitty theme going, I had trouble with the invitations. I didn't like the ones that matched the partyware.
I also didn't like anything I came up with. I settled on these and they worked just fine. The cat and the writing was printed on the computer. The balloon is a diecut and was attached with a pop up dot (double sided foam tape) to add dimension. I then sliced a slit on either side of the cat's tail and then connected the balloon to the tail with satin thin ribbon. Inside I printed "Join us as we PAWS to celebrate Allison's 6th Birthday!" I use a paw print font to spell out the work PAWS and it was too cute! Along with the details of the party, I added the line "Kids, We will be doing a craft with paint so don't wear your Sunday best!)

Now that the theme had been picked, the partyware ordered and the invitations made and sent I kicked it into high gear. We rented a shelter at the local park this year since we were inviting more people (her classmates) than we usually do. The park is 5 minutes away and it was so PERFECT! We will be doing this every year!
I didn't have to worry about borrowing tables, cleaning my house company clean, organizing the basement (since this is where you walk out to my deck and picnic area) or having enough parking! The shelter I chose has electric, lights and water so it worked out great! It seats way more people than we invited so we had plenty of room for the food tables, gift table, craft tables and seating area for our guests. There are even bathrooms at the end of the entrance to the shelter! I'll need to call early next year to make sure we get the same one. I LOVED it! I've already started a party notebook with checklists to cover everything I used to have a party away from home. I packed everything into totes and it was very little effort at all...that is after all of the planning! Okay, sorry for the rambling about the shelter!

The decorations were easy! I used purple, sky blue and yellow tablecloths on the tables.
I added balloons in the same color and then put these adorable stuffed kitties on the tables for decorations. I got them from Oriental Trading and when the party was over we let the each kid pick one out and then we tied a name tag on the kitty with their name on it.

Since we had a very large grill this year that came with the shelter, Chef Curtis cooked hot dogs, smoked sausages and kielbasa for us. I also made my pasta salad (with kitty faces and paw pasta), "calico" beans, potato salad (thanks, Mom) and I also had bags of potato chips in a basket on the table. Oh, and a big hit with the kids was the goldfish crackers in a kitty dish. I bought Princess new bigger ones but didn't use them until after the party.

This year I decided to make the cake. I knew I wanted a cat cake but I hate having to cut the cake to shape the cat. I was telling my friend, Sandy, who lives in South Carolina that I hate all the crumbs you get when you cut the cake. She said "Why don't you make a cupcake cake!" I said "What?" and then she explained it to me. She said it was really big down there and was too cool! She was right! It was too cool and so easy to serve! Thanks Sandy! Here is a picture of the cake. You have to click on it to enlarge it to get a better look. It turned out better than I had hoped. I put it off until last as I knew that I wanted a calico and wanted it to have fur but I wasn't sure how I was going to pull it off. I am proud to say that everyone loved it and one little girl asked me why I put fur on the cake! Poor thing! She thought it was real fur not icing!
Since the cat cake was white cake, I decided to make chocolate cupcakes too. I piped the icing on them and sprinkled them with nonpariels. I also made (well actually designed...my sister put them together for me) sticks to put on the cupcakes to make them more festive. I took a picture of Allison and her kitty, Princess, and added the text "Happy Birthday Allison" to it, and shaped it into a circle. I had them printed on cardstock and punched two holes in them so we could attach them to the sticks. And then to top them off, tied purple and yellow curling ribbon to the top for a little added touch.

I wanted to keep the activites for the kids to a minimum. I didn't want them running around the shelter and getting hurt. I decided on one craft and one game. I purchased paper mache frames from Oriental Trading so the kids could paint them. I made craft kits for each of them. It included one frame, one foam plate, one sponge brush, one artist brush and one cotton swab. This worked out great because all we had to do was pass out a ziptop bag to each child and those adults that wanted to do one too. They picked their acrylic paint colors and went to town. Once they were dry, they picked cat or dog stickers made out of craft foam to embellish their frames. This was a big hit with both the kids and the parents. Here are some pics from the craft.



A Daddy getting involved with his daughter!
The big kids! My sister Alesia & niece Stephanie had to do one too!
Another big kid...my best friend Susan.
A couple of finished products. Their names on their frames have been whited out for their protection.

After the frames were done, we played a fishing game. I made fish out of craft foam. I put a paperclip on each one and numbered them from one to twenty. Those went into a fish bowl which was a large tupperware bowl decorated on the outside to look like a fish bowl. It's amazing what you can do with craft foam and markers! I then took a dowel and added a ribbon to one end and at the end of the ribbon was a magnet. Each child got a chance to go fishing and the magnet caught a fish because of the paperclip. The number on the child's fish corresponded to a wrapped prize. Yes, every child won a prize. I don't like games when all the kids don't win. Maybe when they are older I feel different. But for now, no child goes away disappointed from Allison's party.

One more thing I want to share before I post present pics is the gift bags. I just took plain white handled shopping bags, wrote each child's name on them, stamped them with a cat's face and paw prints and added paw print ribbon to one of the handles. In addition to their frame and stuffed kitty, they also got a pencil with cats all over it, a cat bookmarker, cat stickers, a rubber cat (like a rubber duck but a cat) and a Kit "Kat" candy bar.
Now for the present pics:




She LOVES snakes!
Starting to tire out here!
First of all, this is the most unflattering picture of me and my best friend, Susan. However this picture definately says a lot! My Mom, Dad & sister, Alesia, gave Allison a tv/dvd combo for her bedroom. Allison was THRILLED! It is something that I said she couldn't have for a long time. They did clear it with me and Allison knows there are rules with it but boy was she excited. She knew it was for her but wasn't sure where it would go. When it came time for her to make a wish and blow out her birthday candles, her wish was "I wish that tv can go in my room!" How cute! By the way, Allison doesn't know that her wishes should be kept secret and I don't plan on telling her anytime soon. I love hearing her little wishes!
Another shot of the surprised Allison. The flash didn't go off on this pic so I had to play with it with a picture program to enhance the image. I love the look on her face!


WOW this post has gone long! Sorry! Now that I am at the end of it, I want to say that I LOVE doing parties. I wish I could do them for a living. Maybe some day! However, Allison's parties could not be possible without the help of my friends and family. Thank you Curtis for putting up with my craziness in planning the party and helping me with whatever I ask of you. Thank you Alesia for coming the day before and helping me with the last minute details and entertaining Allison. I will make a crafter out of you yet! Thanks Mom for everything and the potato salad. You make the best! Thank you Susan, Grandma Sandy, Stephanie and Doughty for your help the day of the party. I couldn't have done it without you! Thank you to my friend Sandy in SC. The cake was an awesome suggestion! I have faith that one year, you'll be here in person!


One last pic before I go...the traditional family cake pic!


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4 comments:

~Sandy in SC said...

YEAH!I am glad you liked the cupcake cake idea and that it worked out! Your cake is BEAUTIFUL!!
You should absolutely be a party planner and make some money!!
The party looks AWESOME!!!!

Kim said...

That cake is too awesome. How cute is that cake! Looks/sounds like Alison had a great and memorable birthday. Can't believe she is 6 already! From one scrapper to another you will have some great pages with all the kitty embellishments out there.

Jolene George said...

You threw an awesome birthday party for Alison. You're such a great mom. I'm sure she appreciated it.

Susan said...

I'm way behind in keeping up, sorry. I love all of the pic's, even the bad one of you and I. I'm glad we could help. We had a great time!!!

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