Birthday Party Recap


January 17, 2013 by Decorum DIYer

Good afternoon, all. I realize that it has been one full month since we celebrated my daughter’s birthday and I have yet to share how it all went down.   Well, in a nutshell, things were great.  Although prepping my house for a party is stressful at best, it is always nice to share my home with friends and family that care about me and my children.  Claire’s birthday party was busy, but fun.

You may recall that I had several grandiose plans in the works for Claire’s big day:

  1. Brunch Menu
  2. Cheap, but cute, gingerbread themed/red, pink, and aqua party decorations
  3. Have mini-gingerbread houses for the party guests to decorate and take home as party favors
  4. Serve a delicious cake made by no other than our fabulous ‘Mom Mom’ (my mother-in-law)

Well, I succeeded on all points, however; I really don’t have much proof of any of it.  You see, I never get to ‘relax’ during parties, much less take pictures of the party scene pre-party, nor the action during the party.  I am pretty terrible at that all around.  I guess my children will need to rely upon their birthday memories, as I have no photographic evidence.

A quick overview:

  • I deep-cleaned every nook and cranny of my house.  So, many of the rooms looked like the photo below whilst my husband kept the kids ‘occupied’.  I don’t play around when I clean.  I move everything and deep clean everything.  This is quite difficult in a single level house with three kids underfoot.
    Our 'empty' living room during the deep clean.

    Our ’empty’ living room during the deep clean.


    Please, feel free to take note of our mis-match assembly of hand-me-down furnishings and oh-so-outdated television. And the vacuum, yeah, that is 13 years old.

  • I decorated the house for Christmas, as I normally do, since I always use a Christmas theme for Claire’s parties.  Makes my life so much easier for reasons I explained in a previous post. I added in the paper gingerbread men as garland to the fireplace and sprinkled paper gingerbread houses throughout our home.  I also printed the mini party hats – too cute!  I have a thing for mini hats, so it was right up my alley.  Also, I used the deer label printables as place cards for the gingerbread houses.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  • The night before, in addition to cleaning, I prepped all of the food, and my husband and I cut and assembled the gingerbread houses from graham crackers.  It was fun and easy.  I was quite smitten with them, I must say.  I didn’t have time to make a tutorial, but why reinvent the wheel when I can provide this link to Mom’s Crafty Space blog?  I purchased 8 count goody bags at the dollar store and they were the perfect size to house the hand-crafted treasures. The gingerbread houses were quite the hit!  I am amazed at the creativity that all of the children from 2-12 years old have.  After the gingerbread houses dried, I simply placed each gingerbread house into the goodie bag, secured with the built-in twist tie clasp and adhered a paper, deer-themed, place card (free printable) for each child.  This made giving each guest his/her special gingerbread house easier when the party was over.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  • And of course, Mom Mom’s delicious cake.  Not only are her cakes made with love and decorated beautifully, but they taste amazing!  She is a great cook and baker.  Funny thing, she uses box cake mix!  Her secret?  She adds one package of jello mix (just the mix, not the additional ingredients) to the box cake mix and it makes all of the difference.  So moist! Try it, you’ll see!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Even though I don’t have beautifully styled photographs of the event, nor many photographs at all, it was a fun party.  My house is small, the guests were crammed in, but we, and the kids, had a great time.  I guess the food was a hit, as I didn’t have any leftovers and there wasn’t even a single drop of hot chocolate left.  I didn’t even get a taste of the hot chocolate, but that is fine by me.   I guess I am in the business of ‘memory maker’ and not ‘photo taker’.


Until next time…, happy partying!


4 thoughts on “Birthday Party Recap

  1. I’m so glad to hear things went off without a hitch! And my husband would applaud you for your deep clean method; I’m more of a lazy cleaner. Would rather just leave the dust-bunnies under the couch than go to the effort of moving it and doing all that extra cleaning. (Shame-face.) And that’s definitely a great sign that the food and hot chocolate were all inhaled – – I’m not surprised with that menu you shared with us; and your Mom’s cake looks so professional! What a great tip with the Jello pudding mix. I’ve heard that you can use it in cookie batter, too, to make the cookies extra soft. Might have to try that. Thanks for sharing your update! I was definitely curious-George about it. 🙂

    • You had me at ‘curious-George’. Only one of my children’s favorite book characters and television show. (Sigh) My deep clean method is the way I roll. That said, I also have dust bunnies like tumble weeds and three kids that keep my busy cleaning up goldfish, Cheerios, and cracker crumbs. My three kids are messy and our living room is THE ROOM that my kids enjoy most. It is a well-used (not so much well-loved) room. Trust me, a deep clean is a necessity!

  2. Everything looks great. I love the color of the curtains in your living room, by the way – where did you get them?
    The decorations and gingerbread houses look so cute. I’ll have to try that cake trick. Maybe for dessert this weekend.
    Oh, and deep cleaning, wow, I wish I could do that but it seems like we have too much stuff to move it all. Glad it all turned out wonderful. Sounds like great memories for the kids. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thank you! Curtains are from my favorite place to buy window treatments – JC Penney. Although, I don’t think they are still available. Also, ever since the big marketing change, I don’t really care for the (lack of) quality, nor style and prices of their offerings as of late. Smith & Noble has my number now, but not my credit card number, if you know what I mean. 😉

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