Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Party Like A (poor) Rock Star.

Luca's 4th birthday party was this past weekend, and per her request we went with a 'pink and purple' theme. We tossed around several ideas, from a park (too unpredictable given weather in AZ in May can be 108 or 85 degrees) to a pizza place (a little too loud for our crowd) to an indoor jump zone ($$$). In the end, we landed on a party at home in our own backyard. After all, we bought this house mostly FOR its backyard, so why not use it to the fullest?

We used Evite for the invitation. I'd love to tell people we were attempting to be 'green' but really I was last minute with it and it was free. Luca helped me write the list of invitees, and told me she didn't want to include any of her friends from school, except one. Afraid of offending the other families, we chose not to invite that friend either, to keep it simple. In the end, it was some of our closest friends and immediate family who came, which was better because we didn't feel as stressed to impress.

The best part about this party was that I set a goal to keep it under $60 total. Sounds simple, but in the ends kids' birthday parties often end up costing a pretty penny because it's just SO FUN to go all out! Our budget ended up like this:

Location: free
Invitations: free
Pizza: $45 (3 extra large + coupon for 1 free large)
Soda: $3.75
Cake + frosting: $4.50 (bought mix and made at home, dyed with gel dyes I owned already, used candles we had leftover from another party)
Pinata: $1 (made it at home with supplies on hand, but the 'foundation' for the paper mache was a large beach ball from the 99 cent store)
Candy for pinata: $3 (3 bags)
Goody bags: $1 for 8
Balloons: $1 for pack of 24 pink balloons
Chips: $3
Other snacks: free, on hand already
Kool-Aid: $1 for 2 packages
Cups: $2 for 2 packs
Plates: $3 for 3 packs of 16
Napkins: $2 for 2 packs of 24

Grand Total: $70.25. While I ended up a little above my pre-determined budget, I think I did pretty well!

The day was simple: inflatable pool and sprinker in the backyard, pizza, pinata, presents, cake. The kids all seemed to have a blast, and the next day Luca asked when we could have the next 'party with pink and purple cakes and balloons with candy'.

Sadly, my camera is still in the process of getting repaired, so we didn't get any real pictures, but my sister-in-law did video the day. If I can figure out how to post that, I will. But, for now, here's a picture of the highlight of Luca's day: the pink and purple layer cake.

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