Sunday, February 6th, 2011

v-day b-day

It came to my attention that Mimi had never had an official birthday party where people other than family members attend (well, last year the Johnsons did come over for a quick b-day get together for Mimi). I decided this year was going to be the year for Mimi’s 1st (except it was her 6th, if that makes sense) birthday party. After racking my brain for theme ideas I finally settled on the Valentine’s theme. I mean, Mimi was actually due right around Valentine’s Day, so what better way to celebrate her birthday. Both girls were on board after I revealed the news to them. In fact, it was all they could talk or think about from that point on (why haven’t I learned not to spill the beans until only hours away from events?!?). Since Valentine’s is all filled with red, pink, hearts, and all things girly, I decided to only invite girls to the party. I’m sure no boys were offended for dodging that hug-filled bullet.

I found so many ideas for Valentine’s parties on the internet, so the trouble was narrowing it to down to fill only 2 hours. I have to say that the Oriental Trading Company is about the best thing since online shopping became possible. It made getting crafts, goodies, and party materials enough for 12 people so easy. However, we only invited 10 people, and only 8 showed up. Hallelujah! I don’t know what I would have done with 2 more girls, since we were squished into my dining room as it was. I banished Mike and Violet from the house, but my friend Julie was a wonderful assistant throughout the entire event. Thanks, Julie! Everything went off without a hitch except that I totally forgot to take pictures of the party set-up prior to the event. Oh well, I think I was able to capture most of what was planned, made, or part of the event. See for yourself.

By the time I started snapping pictures the girls had already played with their cootie catchers, exchanged their valentines via their personalized mailboxes, colored their shrinky-dink heart pendants, and played Valentine Bingo using large conversation hearts as tokens. At this point, the girls are chowing (or not chowing) down pizza.

The table decorations included glass dishes full of various candies and the lovely, framed art piece that my thoughtful sister-in-law sent for just this occasion. (Thanks so much, Sara!!) Of course, it was all set on a tablecloth full of red, pink, and purple hearts. You can kind of see the personalized mailboxes. Notice the empty dish in the second picture. The Hershey’s Kisses were apparently a hit. I made heart-shaped pizzas that evidently only two of the girls and I liked to eat, but at least it was heart-shaped. Unfortunately, I also spaced taking pictures of those, but I’m sure you can imagine what a mom-made heart-shaped pizza looks like (read not that great or convincingly heart-shaped).

Polyhedron, anyone? I couldn’t resist making these when I saw them in some pictures of another Valentine’s party. They were actually quite easy to make once I got the hang of it.

A Valentine’s party is not complete without a heart garland. Am I right, or am I right? Ha, notice I covered the glass in the china cabinet to hide all the unsightly junk inside of it (this produced a HUGE eye roll from Mike).

And, lastly, I couldn’t resist serving Valentine-labeled, red sodas. We had to search hi and lo all over town for those durned things. Of course, most of the girls were not too keen on engulfing a full bottle of diabetes-inducing liquid. But, oh, how cute did they look?!?

After the food was eaten it was time to play a quick game before presents. I purchased this inflatable octopus at Oriental Trading. It was almost actual size from the picture shown on the website, but the girls still managed to have fun with it each taking 2 turns.

Mimi received a lot of fun gifts (that Mike hates, hahaha) including a Liv(?) Doll, Barbie Doll, Tea Party Game, manicure/spa stuff, princess mirror craft, Zhu Zhu Pet Castle, Legos, PlayDoh, an American Girl ballet outfit, and a mega princess gear pack and a 6 pack of princess shoes. As you can see Mimi was beyond ecstatic!

Finally, it was CAKE TIME! Mike spent the evening before making this all by himself. I decided to throw some fondant into the design, and Mike did a wonderful job working with it and coming up with a fun idea. I must take credit for the overall design idea though.

I’m so glad I decided to do this. Just to see how lit up Mimi’s face was the entire day made it all worthwhile. If I had waited another year or two, then I don’t think there would have been as much excitement and magic in the event. Thank you to all the girls who attended and helped Mimi celebrate, and thanks again to Julie and Mike for being such a great help.


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