Birthdays

Maggie's 7th Birthday by Kate Brightbill

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Ahh, birthday season kickoff has arrived! Maggie starts the birthday train in August and I feel like I have a little more energy to give to her parties than everyone else's. This year was a tiny party- just four girls- which I love best. It allows us to pay a little more attention to details and do things a little nicer for fewer kiddos. 

Maggie actually plans her parties, and I try to make them happen. This year was a pony party theme, but the retro My Little Ponies had a last minute backorder and wouldn't arrive. They were the main pony factor, so it unfortunately went out the window there. It's okay. She really just wanted to hang with her friends and have pancakes and berries and play dress-up. Grown-ups mess with the simplicity, and then sometimes have a freakout when the balloon order is wrong (specifically requested months ahead by the birthday girl who lovvvvves the giant mylar balloons), the printout won't work for the game, the birthday cake topper is broken in pieces by an unnamed little brother, and things are just not feeling like they're going smoothly.... but then there's a call placed to get the correct balloon (free this time), the printer magically starts working again, and hot glue fixes that cake topper right up, and the freshly turned-7 year old is lighting up in excitement that her friends are arriving, and all is right again.

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I love fresh flowers and that they brighten up a day or a party. Even just a few simple stems that are inexpensive have big impact. :)

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The poster isn't just decor- it's a game that I thought of a few days before the party. Maggie loves the "pin the ___ on the ___" game, but since it wasn't going to be a pony party anymore, I was like, do I bother sketching a pony for the kids to pin the tail on it? I did that with the kitty party a couple years ago, and the kitty wasn't quite as cute as I hoped in that scale, and it took me a lot longer than I care to admit, considering its quality. 

So then I was like, WAIT. I can get those huge printouts at kinkos or wherever for like $5. One picture of Maggie and a few felt bows with some tape later, we had ourselves a party game that was way cuter than the pony I would have sketched. Pin the bow on the Maggie. The kids loved it and it simplified things (except that part when the large scale printer wasn't working- so just don't procrastinate like me and you'd be good). 

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Maggie loves dressing up more than anything. She actually has her own really good style and calls the shots on her wardrobe. This morning we couldn't find a bobby pin and so I tried a flower clip, and she said to me, ummm I really don't think this works. It's like, cute, but way too fancy for my outfit today. And honestly- she was spot on. It cracks me up. She plays a lot of dress-up, and on her birthday, she played all the dress-up with her friends that she could want! 

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Pancakes are her favorite breakfast and the absolute easiest menu. I try to be healthier when I'm making them on a normal day and do mashed bananas, eggs, cinnamon, and vanilla, but for the party in bulk, I just went with good ol' Krusteaz. I just didn't feel like mashing that many bananas. No regret. 

SO in case you're looking for anything in the pictures, here are the links:

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Glitter Kitty Birthday by Kate Brightbill

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Five. 

What a good, strong number. Five is an age where a child is no longer a tiny, dependent preschooler. Five is the age of learning to tie shoes on their own, reading and writing without mama's help, and ... planning your own birthday parties (if you're Maggie, that's what you do).

Maggie knows her own mind and has her own vision of how things should be done. She is amiable, but is definitely not afraid to speak her mind. She requested a glitter kitty birthday party. She created her guest list (longer than I technically allowed, but we made exceptions, because five is a big number). She also had the following ideas for the flow of things:

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  • Serve pizza 
  • Serve a kitty cake
  • Have kitty ears for everyone
  • Have a pinata for sure (she wanted a kitty, but it just could not be found or made by me with the time constraints... a unicorn was the approved replacement). 
  • Play pin the tail on the glitter kitty (this I did have to DIY, and it was not as simple as it sounds, haha)
  • Let all the girls play dress up and have a ball. A literal ball. 

 

 

 

A couple things were REALLY simple: ordering pizza is soooo much better than me making food. Buying a cake at whole foods was wayyyy easier than making or paying out crazy cash for a bakery cake. All I really had to do was a little decorating, and a little furniture re-arranging. 

I bought a couple rolls of inexpensive pink streamers, thinking I'd string them across walls or whatever, but when I pulled them out and looked at the walls, I liked the idea of those streamers making more of a statement, so I taped them in stripes. Double stick tape, perfectly imperfect stripes-- it was a quick process but looked more bold than it would have strung around the ceilings. Our wall is pretty long, so I went and grabbed a third roll to finish it off. 

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I did one super-crafty thing, and it was making these little glitter sticks to label the cupcakes. It was a little tedious to cut the whiskers and tiny noses and stick them, so I only did two to label the two types of cupcakes, rather than having one stick in each cupcake. Simple is best more me right now, friends. If you're more of a perfectionist and would want to do like 10 of them for a party, I'd estimate they'd take about 5 minutes each, so close to an hour. I do love them. 

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-side note: I read a post online about 30 questions to ask your kids rather than "how was your day," and one I loved was "when were you most proud of yourself today?" I think in our efforts to teach our children humility and to be modest, we sometimes overlook the fact that we need to also be teaching them to have confidence in ourselves and our efforts, and that it's okay to feel proud of something we did well! That confidence and pride in abilities will allow children to dream bigger and give them a sense of achievement. //ANYWAY this came to mind because... my proud moments in party decor were these kitties. HA! May this give me confidence to go forth and make more kitties like this in my future? ;)

kitty cake

I didn't photograph the pizza- because- obviously, or the favors, or really even the food setup at all. My 2012 self would have been very disappointed in this, but my 2016 self is like, whatever. It tasted good, I didn't make it (thankfully!) and the kids liked the goodie bags. I did, however, photograph the cake, which received glitter kitty ears and some whiskers made of twisty ties. Simplicity wins. ;)

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Brian was a good sport about being surrounded by tutus and squealing girls. He was the deejay, the food orderer, furniture mover (you can't have a couch taking up real estate in the ballroom, obviously), the Jack-holder, and helped with the entertainment factor. That's love.

Dance

Maggie at age 5:

  • Favorite Color: PINK
  • Favorite Stuffy: Pink Monster (Maggie's lovie is the great neon pink Octopus that almost said her last farewell at the Oakland Airport this year, were it not for an extra 40 minute drive, and an airport employee who cares enough about a sweet four-year-old with tears in her big blue eyes trying to hold it together- to search a plane and an entire gate thoroughly and against all odds FIND THE MONSTER and become my child's hero).
  • Favorite Ice Cream: STRAWBERRY because it's pink. (it has to be because it's pink, because strawberry ice cream is not that good, let's be honest here).
  • Favorite Princess: SLEEPING BEAUTY because she wears pink
  • Favorite Sports Team: WARRIORS. She can identify players' voices when they come on the radio even. And she thinks we should probably go to Steph Curry's house because he has two sweeties and the girls should probably all get together to play soon.
  • Favorite Thing to Play: Tea Party. 
  • Favorite Sport to Play: Soccer.

There you have it. A very similar list of favorites and a birthday party for a happy and bubbly little sunshine girl. A chef, an artist, and a dancer. Can't wait to see what this next year brings for her. xoxo

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Past birthday parties around here:

ONE / TWO / THREE / FOUR 

SOPHIE'S 5TH (wishing I was blogging birthdays when she was tinier!)