Friday, August 26, 2011

Birthday Parties

Birthday parties are expensive.  A less expensive option than having a party at a bounce place or Chuck e. Cheese's is to have a special party at home.  I try to do it as wisely as I can.  The parties are always on the back of my mind.  During the year as I'm walking through Target, I watch for clearance items that could be the future stuffings of birthday treat bags.  I watch for invitations and decorations.  I even watch for plates.  This has worked as my kids have been little and I've had a lot of say in the themes of their parties.  But, as they get older, I am finding they have more opinions and it is important that I listen to them.

Fortunately for me, my girls have loved the princess theme for several years.  This year is no exception.  So, I've been doing my usual.  Collecting supplies, invitations, etc.  My girls will have a joint birthday party at the beginning of November.  A few years ago I tried to have separate parties.  The problem?  Six little girls could come to Autumn's party and none to Sami's two weeks later, because everyone had gotten sick.  So, now we have one party.

The princess theme can be a little tricky for me because we don't do the whole "Disney Princess" thing in our house.  So, what can I do new this year?  Well, I found a little book to help me.

It's the Pink Princess Party Cookbook.

Inside you'll find plans for 6 different types of "princess" parties like a "Snowflake princess party" and "Enchanted Pony Princess Party".  There's one called the "Spa Princess Party which I think would be perfect for a young tween that mom wants to have a party for and the daughter wants to be a kid and a grown up at the same time.  

Each party has food suggestions and recipes as well as crafts you can make.  The crafts are appropriate for 6 or 7 year olds to 11 year olds.  In the front, the author does say that children can make the recipes and crafts.  Her advice is that 5 to 7 year olds will need more help and that children 8 and older will be able to do things with less assistance.  

This party guide is smaller than you'd expect.  The font is small, but readable.  The directions are pretty simple.  At first, I thought they were too simple.  Then I tried the author's directions for the Snow Princess Punch.  She suggests dampening the glasses with a lemon or sugar half (I just used a lemon wedge).  It worked well!  I've tried putting salt on margarita glasses before with mediocre success.  The lemon wedge worked much better!  So, I learned through trial and error that the directions were enough with some recipes and crafts.  In one craft, the directions weren't quite enough.  Or rather--I'd do it a little different.  The craft was the Pink Princess Tiara.  It would have been nice to know how much room you needed to leave on each end of the pipe cleaner without beads and also that a little bit of space should be left between the beds.  The other change I would make is to use glue dots instead of tacky glue.  It would be very hard to make 4 or 5 little girls wait an hour for their tiaras to be dry!   

As my girls and I looked through the book, we picked from each of the parties what we wanted to include in theirs in a few months.  Autumn wanted to do the snowflake meringues, but they didn't go with the other things they picked out.  So, we'll save them as a special treat for Christmas.  

If you're wanting to throw a princess party for your daughter, this book will give you lots of ideas.  Some are easier than others, but amidst the bunch, you'll find enough to have a fun party!

Please note that I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from Simon and Shuster Publishing.

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