Monday, May 23, 2011

officially seven

 

My sweet May baby was birthdayed a couple of weeks ago and it was a great party, if I say so myself. Nothing fancy. Just some old fashioned fun. She chose a Martha Speaks theme, and since there are no readily available Martha party accessories, I had to improvise. You can see her birthday outfit above, which is looking bedraggled post-party by repeated water gun soakings. The purple tank was found at Target, and I made the Lazy Days skirt from madras and purple grosgrain ribbon the night before the party. Easy.

 

Here's her birthday mixtape. I really enjoyed putting these together last year so I think this might become a birthday tradition. It makes them feel really special to have some music to mark the occasion. This year's selection for Thing 2 was chosen mainly for the toe-tapping beats and rollicking melodies, but some were snuck in there for my own benefit because I know I'll be listening to this in our van for a while. We had this playing outside during the party and also used it for the Pass The Martha game.



I tried not to go overboard on indoor decorations. My felt buntings from birthdays past and some balloons did the trick, plus some homemade Martha signs I put around. I found a picture of Martha online to use for those. 


I piled a bunch of jump ropes, bubble makers, frisbees, water guns, ring toss sets, lacrosse sets and hula hoops on a table outside the screened porch for easy access while the party goers were arriving.



After the party got underway, we played Put The Tail On The Martha on the screened porch. I had to make this game myself, so I sketched a picture of Martha from one of the girls' chapter books and painted it on yellow poster board. That was kinda fun because I rarely just get to draw and paint. I used loops of tape on the tails instead of tacks. I was worried that the kids would think this game was completely lame, even though they were mostly younger than seven. Boy was I wrong. They loved it, and it actually became pretty cutthroat with some blatant cheating thrown in.

Passing the Martha

Michael vids the kids pelting around the house, hot after a buried bone.

After Put The Tail there were several other games, including Pass the Martha (aka Hot Potato, except with a stuffed Martha doll), Dog Dog Cat (aka Duck Duck Goose), and a scavenger hunt for buried cardboard bones helped along by written clues from Martha. Prizes were won by all. We couldn't have asked for a prettier day to have it outside. It was very mild but when things got a little sweaty, I broke out the Popsicles.

What you see here is the extent of my cake decorating abilities.



The birthday girl requested eclair cake for her dessert. If you don't know this southern church potluck staple, it is a combination of layers of french vanilla pudding, whipped cream, graham crackers and a dark chocolate glaze. It tastes like a...you guessed it. Eclair. I like to whip my own fresh cream instead of using the store bought kind. Mmm mm good.

As far as other party food goes, we devoured take out pizza, homemade greek salad, homemade limeade, hummus, chips and dips. I am a huge believer in take out pizza for birthday parties. All kids/adults love it, and no prep for me.

I want to thank you all for your clever and amusing party game suggestions! You got my gears grinding. I haven't done a big party for the girls for the last three years, so I was kind of rusty. And guess what Thing 1 is already planning for her birthday in August?

13 comments:

  1. What a lucky little girl. You have taken such care and it looks like a beautiful day for it too! Lisa

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  2. Looks fun! Love the decorations!! (I also love your "H's" on the mantel. Very nice!)

    I look forward to being able to ask my girls what kind of birthday party they would like. They are 2 1/2 and 10 months, so I haven't had the chance yet. :)

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  3. What a great job you did for your daughter's party. I'll bet that she was thrilled! My son loves Martha Speaks, but I'm a little concerned because TD is his hero. Why not sweet Helen? Why does it have to be the goofy kid who never turns in his homework??? :)

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  4. She's getting so big! I guess that is what happens, but sad to be missing it, all the same. Tell her we miss her and love her! And Happy Belated Birthday! ;)

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  5. we love martha at our house! what a fun party!

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  6. What?....no alphabet soup? Sounds like a great party! We love Martha!

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  7. Looked like everyone had a great time! Fun and simple, just how birthday parties should be in my opinion :). That eclair cake sounds good! My mom has made eclair rings a few times (the real deal from scratch). I haven't attempted it yet, but should. It is SO good!

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  8. I just came across your blog while searching for Martha Speaks party. My daughter is OBSESSED with Martha Speaks and I am looking to have a Martha party for her too. Where did you get the images for the decorations and how did you print them?

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  9. Barry, the image I found of Martha that I used for the paper decorations was just one that I stumbled on when I did a Google image search. I'm sure you can turn up a similar one if you do the same. Those decorations I just put together on my computer and printed from my color printer. The large pin the tail on the Martha was hand drawn/painted. You can also check the PBS website for printables.

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  10. Nice job! You have given me great ideas for my daughters winter party! Where did you find the little Martha dog? I haven't seend one in stores.
    Thanks!

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    1. hey, Darlene! Thanks! I had to order the Martha softie online, probably off Amazon. Good luck!

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  11. Hi Larissa, I was able to get a lot of stuff from Oriental Trade to go along with the dog theme... and I did get the stuffed guy from Amazon :) thanks! I am having an awful time trying to figure out how to make the Martha (and her tails). I have no art skills so I was hoping I could print one off line (or take it to Office Depot) but no such luck with the images being big enough :( Thoughts for a non artsy person? I also looked on Etsy (but no one seems to gone on the Martha craze yet :(

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    1. Hey, Darlene,
      There are not that many resources available but there are free printables on the Martha part of the PBSKids website. I'd print a picture of martha and maybe use a projector to blow it up on the wall and trace it on poster paper?

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