As children get older, it gets harder, more time-consuming and, worst of all, more expensive to plan their parties. My second oldest child, Hannah, recently turned 12 and this was her year for a birthday party (an every other year occasion). I wanted to incorporate all of the things Hannah loves (painting, baking, crafts, fashion), but make it affordable. I decided to have her invite her closest friends for a slumber party. This would give me time to cram a few activities into Hannah’s party (with much needed naps…errr…ummm…breaks in between).
About a week before the party (yeah, I’m a big procrastinator), I headed out to the stores to buy supplies for the party. It didn’t take me long to find what I needed for most things; it just took me longer to decide what I wanted to do LOL! I finally decided we would bake something (cookies, cake balls or cupcakes – the girls’ choice), paint/design bangles, and make tote bags. The tote bags would serve as goodie bags for the girls in which a treat bag (full of the treats they baked at the party) and the bangles they designed were the goodies.
The party started on a sad note for me, unfortunately. The day the party convened was the same day of the Sandy Hook school shooting in Ohio. I was so distraught over it, I could barely pull myself together for Hannah’s party. Thankfully, when the girls arrived, all they wanted to do was giggle, have makeovers in Hannah’s room and giggle some more. I had just begun to prepare the taco bar dinner I had planned for them when my husband finally came home from work. He saw the weariness in my eyes and told me to take a nap. Thank God for his discernment. My body was so stricken with grief plus the stress of trying to hold it together for Hannah’s party that it was in shut down mode…a long nap was just what the doctor ordered! I awakened to discover my hubby tossed the taco bar idea out, ordered pizza and rented movies for the girls to watch – now why didn’t I think of that? LOL!
I thought pizza and the movies would suffice as I noticed the girls settling in front of the tv, but they insisted on my staying awake long enough to judge their very own version of Cupcake Wars. I made the cupcake and icing batter from scratch, divided it equally to all the girls, set out every flavoring, sprinkles, flavored sugars, nuts and baking chips I had (and there were plenty) and let the girls go at it. Boy, what a night! We saved the fashion activities for when we were well rested…well when I was well rested – the girls stayed awake until 5 AM!!!
The party was so much fun and just seeing the girls learn something new (I gave them a mini lesson in sewing), partake in middle school girl chat, play together respectfully and just have a ball, really lifted my spirits. For instructions on making the bangles or totes, please see the appropriate posts in “she creates.”