Monday, August 27, 2012

Little Golden Books Baby Shower, Girly Style

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Over the weekend, we had a baby shower for my oldest and dearest friend, Stephanie. Stephanie and I became instant best friends on the first day of fourth grade. We were both eight years old. We are now . . .significantly older than eight, and we have been thick as thieves ever since. I am beyond excited to welcome her baby girl into the world this October!

Our friend Sara graciously provided the location, her adorable house. Stephanie had mentioned liking the idea of a Little Golden Books theme for her shower, but with a girly twist for little Amaya (how cute is that name? Like I said, I am BEYOND excited).

We set up everything in Sara's bright and airy basement room, which opens out to her back patio and pool. The walls are a pale blue, which looked so pretty with the pinksplosion of decorations.

I covered a papier-mache letter A (from JoAnn) with pink tissue paper twists.

My mom and I made this bunting, which alternated aqua Little Golden Books fabric with pink Poky Little Puppy fabric.

You know I had to get all themey with the food.

I tried to include pages (mostly from The Poky Little Puppy) that referenced the desserts. I put them in "Little Golden" frames I found at Goodwill for 50-99 cents apiece. 

 And I labeled the food with little cards bordered with the Little Golden Books endpapers and written in the Lauren Script font.

"Chocolate Custard" cake pops. In little fence baskets. GET IT?

We kept the activities low-key. Stephanie is not a fan of traditional shower games (amen), so we had guests, at their leisure, sign a photo mat for Stephanie to frame with a picture of Miss Amaya when she arrives. We set out Sharpies in colors that coordinated with Amaya's nursery.

We also encouraged them to write down advice for the mom-to-be in a journal.

Favors were various strawberry print stationery items (memo pads and note cards) that we found at Michael's. 

The guest of honor and her hostesses.

We got a big group shot at the end of the shower with everyone holding one of the pennant buntings. 

Congratulations, Stephanie and Eddie! We all love you and can't wait to meet your little Amaya.

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Monday, August 20, 2012

Harry Potter Birthday Quest

Pin It Lauren is perhaps the sweetest ten-year-old I've ever met. She wanted a Harry Potter birthday party, but she was very specific: she wanted a quest! I had so much fun developing a series of Potter-y problems for her and her friends to puzzle through. Here are a few pictures from last weekend's party.

We started off the party by visiting the "Transfiguration Booth," posing with our props for some talking portraits.

Then we enjoyed a wand-making craft, based on the clever tutorial I found here.

Note the floating candles!

Don't these look great? Chopsticks, beads and hot glue!

Everyone was sorted into houses.

 The girls all lined up at Platform 9 3/4 (or the entrance to Diagon Alley, or whatever magical brick portal you like), which was really a sheet that I sponge-painted with red "bricks" . . .

And then it was time for some questing! It would take too long to go into all the details here, but to give you some idea, there were tasks involving glow-in-the-dark ink, spells, potions, and flying keys. At each turn, the girls had to solve a riddle that led them to their next clue. I had worried some of the riddles were too complex, but these girls were some serious Harry Potter scholars and flew through each tasks like experts. The quest had 5-6 distinct parts, and I hope to go over them in more detail in later entries.

It's not a Harry Potter party without some wizardy treats! We had peach pasties (instead of pumpkin), chocolate frogs, Hagrid's rock cakes (donut holes), cauldron cakes with little golden snitch gumballs, sorting hat cookies, and Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans in boxes made by yours truly.

We also had some veggies from Hagrid's veggie patch, and of course, butterbeer!

After the quest, dinner, and sweets, the girls retreated to the "dormitory," or the basement rec room, where they hunkered down for a Harry Potter movie marathon. And what's a movie without some broomsticks full of popcorn?

And I retreated back to my Chicago hotel room to collapse in exhaustion. Thanks, Lauren and family, for a wonderful time!

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