Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A Birthday party on a budget i.e. without pony rides or a jumpy castle

Yes, it's true, (cue sad violin music) Pearl's Birthday came and went without intricate balloon animals or a visit from the reptile man.  But I think it is safe to say that she had a great time. 

I just wanted to share a few things I learned in doing this (my first time) that I hope might relieve some stress for those of you out there that are as frightened by children's Birthday parties as I was.

You might recognize some of these decorations from this post.  The great thing about having a collection of neutral decorations is that you will truly use them over and over again.  I spent about $30 at the dollar store for this party and with one girl and another on the way I am sure they will get used many times!

I put a framed picture of Pearl on our front door to welcome guests and collected black frames from around the house to decorate the mantle.  Then, because I had a hard time choosing what to frame we covered the whole fireplace with pictures!

My wonderful mother-in-law made the cupcakes, my soon to be sister-in-law took all the fabulous pictures, my sister made a salad, my mom made black beans and my mom and dad saved me in the kitchen, prepping ingredients and doing dishes.  What did I do?  Sat on the couch and ate bonbons of course!  My point is that there is little glory in a one woman show.

This is not the time to try a new recipe or make anything that needs to be fired up last minute.  I made two different types of enchiladas: Shrimp and Cotija Enchiladas with salsa verde  and my own recipe for chicken enchiladas (ask me for the recipe).  My mom made some black beans, dressed up with bacon, onion, roasted poblano chilies, and Cotija cheese.  My sister made a fabulous Caesar salad and we had tons of salsa,  guacamole, and sour cream to munch on beforehand.  If you do decide to go the Mexican food route please find your nearest Latin market and purchase as much as you can from them.  The quality and prices are better and you are supporting an important cultural fixture in the community.

Unless you want to stand next to your food and give descriptions.  Didn't think so.

Hurray for glow in the dark jewelry from the dollar store, and balloons you have to (gasp) blow up yourself! Put on some tunes like Putumayo's Latin Playground and get down with your bad self.  At the end of the night we all sat down and watched Pearl's favorite short film "I Want a Dog"

As long as everyone is having a great time, I believe that it is all good.  You know your child, so hopefully you wouldn't have a rager for your sensitive introvert.  Throw your hands up and put your feet on the coffee table you just cleaned five minutes ago.

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