as in The Pajama Party.
Tonight was the girlies' birthday party. I know. You're thinking "wasn't their birthday like...5 weeks ago?" Why yes, yes it was. But this was the first weekend that didn't already have something planned (and the first one I was able to get the invites sent out with the appropriate amount of notice. ahem.)
So the theme was a "Sleepover" ....without the sleepover. They had been talking about wanting to do a sleepover for several months prior to their birthday and I almost gave in to the full blown deal, but just couldn't embrace all that it would require of me (like waking up early on a Saturday to make breakfast for a houseful of little girls....ummmm....no. I covet my Saturday morning sleeping in way too much.)
So then I read this most wonderful idea over at Musings of a Housewife. She threw her daughter this kind of "non slumbering" pajama party and I knew it was the answer for us as well. Thanks DCRmom!! I was able to convince my own girls that this would be a most fun party and they were on board.
The girls each got to invite 4 friends - making a total of 10! I just might be a little crazy. (I can share my theories of throwing parties for twins another time) So, invites went out. Just a simple Word Doc with some cute clip art. The guests were instructed to come in their coziest PJs, bring their pillow, a cozy blanket and their favorite stuffed toy. Guests began arriving at 5pm. 3 of 4 invitees ended up coming for each girl. We painted their nails, they danced to a Hannah Montana concert video. They enjoyed an easy peazy dinner of pizza and fresh fruit. For crafts/take homes, they each got to decorate a plain, white pillowcase with fabric markers and decorated cute picture frames using kits I found in the Dollar Spot at Target (love that place). They played with our collection of dress-up clothes for a bit. Gifts were opened, they played with gifts, we ate cupcakes and ice cream, and then they settled in with their pillows and blankets for a short movie until it was time for parent pick-up at 9pm. 4 hours flew by!! I had a couple of cute games planned but we never even got around to them.
Fun was had by all; the overall cost didn't break the bank, I loved watching the girls all hang out and be silly and play together, and the best part is the Momma is not totally stressed out! Success!
Here's are a few of my favorite successful birthday secrets:
1) have The Hubs take siblings out for their own fun, and hire one of your favorite teenage babysitters to come help you out. The extra set of eyes, ears, and hands is the key to success for me. I've done this for several of our children's "friends" parties and it's truly a lifesaver.
2) www.birthdayexpress.com you can order complete themed party supplies, so easy and relatively inexpensive compared to what you'd pay to buy items individually at your local party store.
3) www.birthdaypartyideas.com This site is made of up of submissions of regular folks' own party ideas, tried and true. It's an awesome place to search for games, food, and decor ideas for just about any themed party you can imagine.
4) Don't get stressed out about sticking to a super strict agenda. Have a loose schedule to help guide you, try to plan at least 1 more game/activity than you think you'll need, but be prepared to just chuck it all and to let the kids just spend time together and play.
Anyway, I hope you had a fun party Wren and Jules! You have such nice friends and it was a delight to throw this party for you. Love ya girlies!