Personal Statement

Personal Statement

Friday, October 8, 2010

Parties I'd Totally Throw . . . if I Had a One Year Old

My laptop is up and running once again (thanks, Dell Dude!), but I'm sufficiently paranoid that it could crash again that I spent some quality time last night with my Maxtor external hard drive, backing up all of my files. (Drive was another gift from my husband - isn't he romantic? No, seriously, it's a testament to how attuned he is to me that he knows what a premium I place on peace of mind. Knowing that all of my pictures and other memories are safely tucked away makes me happier than a lot of pretty, shiny things could. Not happier than all of the pretty, shiny things, mind you - just a lot of them. And Parnell is awfully proficient in the procurement of "pretty and shiny," too. Yup, I married a well-rounded gift-giver, for sure.)

During the backup process, it occurred to me that I have a lot of party ideas. A lotta lotta LOT of party ideas. Most of which will never get used by me and therefore are doomed to remain ideas saved onto a hard drive - unless I share them with others.

Hence my new blog feature - "Party I'd Totally Throw (Dot, Dot, Dot)."

Parties I'd totally throw if I had the space on the calendar. Parties I'd totally throw if I had a girl child. Parties I'd totally throw if I could turn back time and recreate a birthday from the past.

The party concept set forth below falls into that last category. It's no secret that a first birthday party really isn't about the birthday boy or girl. Give the birthday child a smash cake and a roll of wrapping paper to rip and crumple, and he or she is good for the day. A good first birthday party should appeal to the sensibilities of Mom and Dad (who, let's face it, have probably had enough of the cutesy stuff by now) as well as offering entertainment for all ages (given that first birthdays tend to be multi-generational affairs, involving both adults and older children). Oh, and there should be photo ops. Lots of photo ops.

So I present to you the first of this weekend's party cast-off selections . . . the mustache party.

Because a baby with a mustache is funny. Also funny: Grandma with a mustache. Or the dog with a mustache. You get the idea.

These old-timey mustache invitations are from b.nutes' Etsy site set the perfect tone for the afternoon. (I picture this party being held outside, on a crisp fall afternoon. Meaning that if you live in these here parts, this is a good party concept only if your child was born some time in a four-week window stretching from October to November, which - SURPRISE! - both of mine were.) I'm picturing long tables covered in awning stripes and lengths of paper or fabric pennant-style flags strung from tree to tree. Food would be simple and old-timey as well - fried chicken, maybe? Lemonade ladled out of big glass jars, and popcorn in these great striped boxes from Plum Party ($7.00 for 20)?

The boxes would also be good for corralling party favors, or you could make these adorable awning-topped bags:

Check out Zakka Life's blog for the 411 on those.

Zakka Life

Reaching inside the favor boxes or bags, one would discover these beauties:

MUSTACHE-SHAPED CRAYONS! A bargain at twelve for $12.50, courtesy of Chase Dreams' Etsy site. These adorable cookies (from Short Bread NYC; available with or without googly eyes) could be favors as well:

Or they could top cupcakes served in these retro-striped cupcake wrappers:

The party would be centered on a photo booth - or a quote-unquote "photo booth." You can rent a real one, but since I envision this as a backyard or park party, the path of least resistance (and a pretty darned cute path at that!) would be to tie a clothesline between two trees and throw a big piece of awning-striped or other vintage-y fabric over the clothesline as a backdrop. Ideally, you would want a piece that is big enough to drape onto the ground, creating a seamless expanse of wall and floor. You'll need a chair - something wooden and simple, or something overstuffed and funky - and you'll need props. Like these mustaches on a stick, which inspired all of this insanity:

These come from Little Retreats' Etsy site.

Not pictured: paper top hats and monocles on sticks, which would be lots of fun, but you could also go through your own attic (or hit the antique mall, flea market and/or local garage sale) and scare up some crazy hats, some truly atrocious ties, etc. I also love these chalkboard speech bubbles from Shabby Chalks:

You could encourage guests to write happy birthday messages to the birthday boy or girl!
You'll need a photographer, too, or a rotating cast of photographers. For an added touch, go to Big Huge Labs' Web site, print the pictures from the party four to a strip, photo booth-style, and mail those out with your thank-yous.

If you're a traditionalist, you can make a cone-shaped hat for baby, trim it with some tissue shred . . . and glue a mustache cut out of fake fur to it. Or a series of fake fur mustaches. Or the number 1, if you're REALLY a traditionalist - but can we agree that you will at least cut it out of fake fur?

Personally, I think I'd pose the birthday kid with a mustache on a stick, wearing a Shriner-style fez. Hmm, a fez . . . foreshadowing the next party concept.

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