Kavi's 5th Birthday Extravaganza!
On her actual birthday, Kavi got to open the presents from us, my parents, and Karina. She had fun, although her little brother kept trying to open her presents and claim them for his own. She put up with that for a bit, and then demanded he stop.
Anand didn't take that so well.
One of the presents she'd asked for was a wedding dress for dress-up. Kev and I were a bit weirded out by the whole thing, but, y'know, it's her birthday. Kavi took one look in the mirror, and proclaimed that she was "gorgeous!" Okay, then. I do like that it's sort of Renaissance-style wedding dress. :-)
Part II of her celebration took place at WonderWorks, a fun children's museum / partyland sort of place. Pizza and cake and a dozen pre-school friends running around like frenzied squirrels. We got a face painter, and much fun was had by all.
Cupcakes courtesy the grocery store, although I did add the little princess / crown flags (from Michael's, I think).
Then we went back to our house. And this is where I'm honestly not quite sure what to do for future birthdays, because the truth is, I really love having parties at the house -- I love decorating for them, and having our close grown-up friends over to celebrate our kids' growing up with us. But the kids did have a blast at WW with their pre-school friends, and I remember as a kid thinking the venue parties were really exciting (I have very fond memories of two in particular, at Chuck E. Cheese and a roller rink). And fine, we can do both, but my god, I was exhausted at the end of the day. But perhaps that was because I'd somehow, very foolishly, scheduled a separate event we were hosting on the day before? I don't know. I suppose it would make life a lot easier if I'd just scheduled them on different days, rather than one right after the other. But regardless, I'm thinking that Anand's third birthday in September is going to be lower-key. Maybe we'll just do big extravaganzas for the 5, 10, 15, birthdays -- and then skip to 21? Hmm...something to ponder. Anyway, back to the house party.
It was 92 degrees, and while we had the AC on in the house, I did tell the parents to bring the kids' suits. There was some battling between the bigger kids and smaller in the dragon wading pool, but I think they mostly sorted it out. We had the sprinkler going too.
The decor was pink and white and gold. Very princess-sparkly. These are the balloons I filled Kavi's room with on Friday, two days before -- they survived much longer than expected, hooray. Maybe the hi-float they talked me into adding actually does something?
I froze chopped strawberries in a heart ice cube tray, v. pretty. And then popped them into the pink lemonade dispenser -- where they promptly melted. I think if I wanted people to actually notice the pretty ice cubes, it might have made more sense to have them sitting in an ice bucket with tongs, so you could add them to your drink. Ah well -- next time. I need to get an ice bucket.
Pink and white star marshmallows (from grocery store; I picked out the blue ones :-), in a glass container I had (from PB, I think?), with a princess dress tag from Etsy shop The Porcelain Rose.
This is the lace (about $10 worth) that I made into little crowns, using fabric stiffener, paint and glue. I actually think it looks lovely like this, without paint, but Kavi prefers things pink, gold, and sparkly. Maybe when she's ten I can talk her into a more vintage look.
The crowns were very easy, super-charming. Tutorial here. Tips: spray painting is way faster than other painting. Tall lace tends to fall over some. Ruffled lace makes a weird-looking crown -- flat is better. Sparkly wands from Party City, maybe a dollar or two. They brought a lot of joy -- the kids ran around with them and took them home. Ditto the crowns. (Be sure you have bobby pins for attaching them.)
Charming little milk bottles from Shop Sweet Lulu, ditto stripey straws. I plan to reuse them for many birthday parties to come, also as vases (a row of three would look charming marching down the dining table, filled with wildflowers), and just for everyday kid drinking (with straws). To sugar the tops, first make a sugar-water solution in a pot, then dip the tops in that and then dip in a bowl of colored sugar. It didn't come out as neat as I would have liked, but I kept telling myself not to let the perfect be the enemy of the good. They were good, and the kids were super-excited by them. :-) They were guzzled.
White gift bags hand-stamped with gold crowns. Simple and easy.
Kavi wanted a castle cake -- luckily, we already had the Nordicware castle mold. I suspect there will be many castle cakes in our future. If you brush in a bit of Wilton cake release (a mix of flour and some kind of oil) beforehand, the cake just pops out beautifully. I did a lemon cake mix with Jello lemon pudding mix for adding moisture -- really good. And then just sprinkled powdered sugar and pink sugar over the top, added four crowns (on toothpicks, from Michael's) and a 5. Photo credit: Mike Schiffer.
The lemon mascarpone cake on the left was for the grown-ups. Recipe on Epicurious, oh my god delicious. But time-consuming -- plan ahead. Decorated with rose petals from my garden, which are pretty, but not tasty -- might be better to sugar them first.
Princess contemplating her kingdom (also by Mike):