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Monday, April 19, 2010

there were no dancing circus monkeys at this party

I thought it would be fun to have Lily's 7th birthday party here at home. And by home, I mean our tiny apartment. We'd decorate like crazy, then count the minutes until all her little girlfriends from school arrived. I thought she'd think it was special and I'm all about making a memory. OK, who am I kidding? I just didn't want to spend $1000 on a party for a 7 year old.

Welcome to New York City, the home of the best bagels, pizza, and out of your mind birthday parties for children.

In the city, you can rent out museums for sleepovers, have your own personal chef create a special meal for you and all your pre-pubescent friends, or you can learn the proper form for the downward dog at your very own yoga party. The possibilities are endless and the list goes on and on...and usually ends up costing at least $1000.

Don't get me wrong, if you have those kind of parties for your kids, I have no problem with it. In fact, please invite us. It's just that I can't justify spending that kind of cash. I'm trying to buy groceries here. And Bobbie Brown makeup. And I sure could use some botox.

So after realizing my lack of options, I resigned myself to having the party here at home- something almost unheard of in Manhattan birthday party land. When I told Rod, he thought I might be a bit crazy. But then I ticked off the financial data and he thought I was beautiful. I mean...genius. I don't care. I'll take either.

We actually had a great time. We only invited the girls from her class because there is not quite enough air in my apartment for a party with the entire class. And you know what? It turned out great. I found the key to having a birthday party in a small space is provide lots of activities for the kids to do. If they run out of activities, they will run laps in your apartment. Note to self: Need to plan about 10 more minutes worth of activities next time.

I gave you a sneak peak yesterday, but thought I'd share more pics with you today.

I borrowed this idea from Lola B. I had all the girls decorate Peep birdhouses out of graham crackers. A spring version of a Christmas gingerbread house.

Lily and I assembled the houses before the party, so the guests would just have fun decorating them with jelly beans and royal icing. FYI- It takes exactly 15 seconds to get a sugar headache from eating too much royal icing. I know this first-hand.

We used pink peeps and edible Easter grass. However, I would like to debate the word "edible" that was on the package.

It tasted quite a bit like a combination of hay and styrofoam. It was not delicious like the word edible would allude to.

The cupcakes were my only splurge. They are from Two Little Red Hens Bakery.

I ordered 18. Lily's party was for 6. I'm sure you understand the math here. They are delicious.

And a little girl's party would not be complete without the sparking pink lemonade.

This also makes a fantastic beverage for a big girl's party if you splash a bit of vodka in it. But I'm not telling you how I know that.

All the girls went home with their bird houses and these tiny gift bags full of candy necklaces, bubbles, and sparkly pens.

There you go. A NYC birthday party on a budget.

I don't think she really cared that we didn't have one of those fancy schmancy parties. Do you?


Leah@Storybook Ranch said...

oh wow! I just had an 'at home party' for my 7 yr old son and his friends & they DID NOT sit down at all. I am in awe of all of those little girls sitting at the table like that. Looks like a beautiful party :)

We used the edible grass for easter, as well-not delicious at all.

Danielle said...

Beautiful! I'm bookmarking your page so that I can steal all of your ideas for my daughter's next birthday! :)

sherilee said...

Love it! What a wonderful party and I bet it was refreshing for all the girls not to be at some over-the-top event. I've done both (though not quite NYC-style) and much prefer home parties.

Those cupcakes are beautiful!

nickernoodle said...

I love all the decorations and it looks like they all had a grand time! Where did you ever find those flowers that you have hanging from the ceiling? I want some for Brooklyns room! Love them!

Heidi Jo said...

beautiful. with a view like that, who needs a museum? :o)

did you shuttle all of the men out of the house that day?

ItchyBits said...

Perfection! Exactly how a party should be! I choose outside parties usually only because I don't want the prep or the clean-up. Yes you spend a lot of $$. Thankfully my 2 are moving past parties and more toward a night or day out with close friends (much cheaper). Of course our birthdays last multiple days between the friends thing and then the family party and then the other side of the family get the picture.

The Vagabond Priest said...

I love those big puffy ceiling decorations- what ARE they? You should submit this party to Ohdeedoh as an example of sheer awesome. I'd have loved a birthday party like this as a kid. Heck, I'd love one like this now!

Janette said...

I love your ideas! Did you make those ceiling flowers ~ if so, are they Martha Stewart? Thanks for the great ideas for my Julia's birthday next year! ~Janette (friend of Kelly Hasz)

Anonymous said...

there is no end to your genius. absolutely brilliant.

celine1fan said...

What a wonderful, memorable birthday party! I think you splurged where it was really necessary: the cupcakes! Great job!

Kasey said...

the party looks like a total hit!
so fun.

Just Mom said...

LOL at the "edible" Easter grass comment. I bought that stuff too. :-D

I love how you decorated for the party. Oh! I'm still in love with those cupcakes. :-D

michelle from Six in the City said...

Thanks everyone for your sweet comments!
I did make the ceiling flowers. They are tissue paper and are a Martha Stewart kit. Gotta love Martha.

Danielle (elleinadspir) said...

OMG, I love it. You did an amazing job! Lucky girl! I have never even considered doing something like those birdhouses for a spring party. So much fun.

Thanks for your comment your blog. Can't wait to come back often..and to participate in your weekend links. Love it!

Lisa H said...

What a beautiful party! How fun for Lily. :) I totally prefer home parties too...they're always more fun.

Alina said...

It looks fabulous! I would have loved to have or attend a party just like this when I was that age. I am dying to throw my daughter a tea party. But I will have to wait a few more years because she is only 9 months old!

Anonymous said...

When my girls were little everyone was off to MacD's or Chucky Cheese or wherever. I was the mom who thought a home party was far better. I had great memories of my parties as a child, all at home.

Okay, so the first party was a bomb. I held it in our backyard and whasps showed up. Can you say 15 1st graders screaming from buzzing whasps? Help! The next party was far better. By the time I did #3 it was done to a couple of best friends and back to heading out for special desserts and laser tag.

Kuddos for making your home party a smash! If I had to do another home party I'd want some of that vodka!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

massively impressive. if you ever have a moment of free time, i invite you to decorate the apartment and plan the birthday parties for our design-challenged family ;)

michelle said...

Looks like a great time!

carrie said...

Looks like a wonderful party! Happy belated to your girl. She is adorable.

Meredith from PenelopeLovesLists said...

What a picture perfect party for a little girl. Gorgeous! Great job, Mom!

stacey said...

Looks like a fantastic party!

Sammy said...

I'm a bit late, but what a lovely party!

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