Long ago, when we added a second child to our quiver, we set some ground rules for upcoming birthday parties. You know, the parties with all the hoopla – invitations, friends, goody bags, piñatas, games etc. Every birthday would be celebrated with immediate family and grandparents when possible (thankfully, we all live within five miles of each other), but there would be precious few hoopla birthdays. Specifically, they would be birthdays number 1, 5, 10, 13, and the rest were up for discussion.
I’m proud to say we’ve nearly stuck right with that schedule, except for Jacob that didn’t know anyone when we moved right before his 5th birthday so we saved the hoopla for birthday number 6. That was an awesome birthday party, by the way, but it happened months before I started blogging… sorry. He’s been a year off kilter since. Remember his Lego party for his 11th?
So my baby girl turned 10 this month. I could spend the next three paragraphs lamenting the fact that my baby is 10, but I’ll spare you. You’re welcome.
Anyhow, age 10, the first of the “oh” birthdays, as in “the Big one-oh“, entry into the double digits, is one of those special years. It was time for a hoopla party.
But I just couldn’t gear myself up for it. I wanted to, really I did, but I didn’t have the energy or even desire to pull off a hoopla party. Not to mention the money.
So we came up with a new plan. We would become “those” parents and host the party in a party room at a pizza place. Not just ANY pizza place, mind you, but the Incredible Pizza Company. It’s an experience in and of itself.
We added just two friends to the guest list (as a surprise) and the formula for a perfect party was nearly complete. All that was left were goody bags and cake – the pizza place was taking care of all the other entertainment and food. Shoot, I wasn’t even breaking a sweat yet!
The goody bags were simple, pink, paper lunch sacks, folded over, punched and tied with contrasting ribbon. Inside were a few inexpensive girly items.
The cupcakes were probably my favorite part of the party – easily portable, delicious and cute as can be! The packaging was inspired by a Pinterest find. Just a 9 ounce punch cup dropped in a “treat” bag (near the cake decorating supplies at China-Mart) and tied with ribbon and a spoon. The tag is from my QuicKutz stamped with a birthday message. I’ll share my recipe for Lemon Meringue Cupcakes in a day or two. They were pretty good and easier than pie.
In my overachieving, party planner’s mind I wasn’t doing enough. I was lacking that spark that would knock this one out of the park and qualify it for hoopla status. I achieved it with just $5.50 more. $1 for the car window paint pen and $4.50 for the bag of balloons. (Plus what it cost me to have my boys pre-wash my van…) I don’t count the cost of 6 feet of curling ribbon hanging from the antennae.
Balloons falling out of the car when she opened the door and that almost-a-limo-ride feeling of a painted up party wagon made this portable birthday a winner.
There was no question about it – all over town and on the highway – we were having a party!
I will confess to you now that this wasn’t one of my budget-friendly parties, but it could have been. What took it over the top was meeting the minimum number of guests at the pizza place, even with the bare bones party package. If I did it over, I’d just take the three girls to the pizza place, leave the brothers and grandparents at home and forego the party room. But they did have a great time and couldn’t stop smiling and talking about it.