If you are following me on Instagram you might have seen that Friday June 9th was Arielle's BIG GOLDEN birthday!
The golden birthday is when you're turning the age of your birth date. Arielle was born on the 9th of June and she was turning 9. Some people say that this is supposed to be a lucky year....
I always try to make nice birthday parties for my girls, but with that Golden Birthday in mind, I decided to throw a slightly, not necessarily bigger, but better party. With lots of love for my little one. One never gets too much love, right?
One of the things I did to please her was to let her invite who ever she wanted, but it had to be friends. Not random playing partners. We ended up with 14 friends coming. That's 16 kids including mine.
Another thing I did was to let her have the party at my house. That was her wish.
And then I started thinking about what I would to make it very special.
I made myself an idea sheet, as well as a Pinterest board and a place to jot ideas on a phone, in the notepad application.
This list was just a starting point. I would say that I ended up doing only half of what's on here. But it was a nice way to classify my ideas. I like this way better than a digital list when I need to brainstorm. Afterwards though, my digital list was the one I always went back to, because it was more convenient.
The day was FILLED with surprises, big and small. And there were some bumps along the road, but I would say that in general, she had an unforgettable day. :)
Here's the day in word sand photos:
1. I woke her up almost one hour earlier than I usually do. My thinking was that she can take her time and not be stressed out, for once!
2. I "filled" her room with golden balloons and Dad, Maya and I all woke her up by signing happy birthday to her. We needed to sing twice.
Spontaneous hug from little sister.
She is 9. :)
3. She came downstairs to find a homemade birthday crown. And a stack of birthday cards from her friends and family, some she havent seen in 4 years! That was "the BEST birthday present ever", she said.
I hung some pink and white pompoms over the table.
I also placed the birthday gift from her little sister on the table so she could open one gift before heading out to school.
She was pure joy until she read the last card. Even putting the birthday crown on her head made her so happy! I wouldn't have thought that it would have such an impact.
Here's how I made the crown:
1. I've cut out the shape of a crown in a toilet paper roll. I made two slits on each side so I could slide it onto a metal hair band.
2. I've pressed the toilet paper roll onto a Versamark ink pad and used gold embossing powder. I had to do this process twice. I also thought of using gold Stickles over the embossed crown, but I thought that it looked good enough like this.
3. I used a head band with flowers on it, thinking that the crown would stay in place more easily.
Here's the finished crown. I like the texture of the embossing powder.
My goal now is to make a mini scrapbook with photos of the party and I want to add all the cards. It's really precious. I asked people to write why they love Arielle. You can imagine that it's very emotional to read through these. Her cousins, uncles and aunts, grand-parents made cards, but also all her ex-teachers, including her swimming instructor and all her best friends that she still remembers. Her oldest friend is from Pre-K 3! Everybody was so nice to write! Technology can be very helpful if we think of using it wisely. :)
I woke her up almost an hour early so she had a good 45 minutes to go through all of these. It really was the best birthday gift and I highly recommend it if you want to do it yourself!
Here's my card:
I made it with a stamp set from Lora Bailora, a small scrapbooking company in Spain. They ship world wide. I made the background with watercolor and stamped the sentiment with pink ink. I LOVE the sentiment. It fits my daughter so perfectly!! You can't see it on the picture but I added some glitter with my Wink Of Stella pen in the hair of the unicorn and on the balloon. I also stitched with golden thread.
4. I brought muffins to her classroom without telling her that I would!
It was early morning so I opted for raspberry muffins instead of cupcakes. They were homemade by Daddy himself and they were absolutely delicious!! No frosting needed and I used a really cute gold candle to put on one muffin. Notice how she brought her crown in class! She was a happy and a proud 9 year old that day!
5. The party with friends!
6. I've put a lot of effort on the decor! We blew up some gold, white and pink balloons with helium, at home, the day of the party.
This was the table. Some food was still missing when I took this photo.
I made some really yummy raspberry and lemon-lime homemade lemonade. (Recipe to come in future blog post!)
I labeled all the glasses with the names of the kids.
We took some photos before the kids arrived. I love the little golden crown on this picture.
And the kids started arriving. Sadly, we didn't take a group photo, nor an individual photo with each of them like I had planned. 16 kids, it was "a little" overwhelming for Mom. :(
My husband still managed to take some pictures while the kids were playing outside.
Here we were hiding in the shade and playing a game called "do you know the lyrics" where the kids had to guess the lyrics when I stopped the song. I was fun.
We also played musical chairs (a favorite) and we did a treasure hunt! Another favorite.
7. Here are some pictures from the treasure hunt:
These are the 9 things the kids were looking for.
I gave them each a bag and this card with the 9 hints. We read the hints together. All the things they had to find were related to Arielle and the hints brought them to think a little. They didn't technically need the list to find the objects but I told them to fill the card as they were finding the objects to see how they related to Arielle. It took them a good half hour of running to find everything and some came back to show me their answers.
I bought little plastic jars and filled them with small candies. And I took some small plastic bags to hold the pink peppermint. I closed the bag with a cute metallic gold and white washi tape. The goldfish baggie was holding a crystal.
I sent them off two by two. The team factor made it so much more fun. Toward the end, when they couldn't find the last 2 objects, all the teams started helping each other. It was my personal highlight of the party.
The kids ate all the way through the party. I thought there would be a set moment for that, but everyone just helped themselves on the table. I can't blame them, it looked so yummy. ;) So after the treasure hunt, we served the cake.
The theme of the Golden Birthday was "gold", obviously. But I must admit that it was a little challenging to find how to integrate gold into the cake. I found these really nice gold candles. And then I decided to o with the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Arielle wanted a unicorn, I thought it was doable and that it would go great together.
I added a little crown, hearts and flowers with golden centers. Clouds, flat and puffy (Arielle wanted to help me make the cake, so I always let her do some things that make it onto the cake. On this cake, the flat clouds.)
I'm pretty pleased with the end result. The cake inside is a typical Czech cake that Arielle loves. It's not sweet at all. She's not a big cake fan, so I was happy to find a recipe that made her happy. I was also happy that it was a Czech recipe. American recipes don't really work with Czech ingredients. I had the same issue when I was living in Switzerland.
The kids sang "Happy Birthday" in English and in Czech! It was pretty special!
She was mesmerized by the golden rocket I've lit. Look at that high flame and sparkle!!
I was filming, Dad was taking pictures. I love to have both ways to document a story!
The kids decided that they wanted her to open her gifts with them. It was unofficial. One kids went to get all the gift bags and then kids started coming in one by one until the whole 16 kids were gathered together. It was a really fun moment!
One last thing I'd like to show you. I made a photo corner. I wanted to have a picture of each kid with Arielle in front of this quote:
I just love the quote so much!! We totally forgot about it though and this little girl was the last one to leave. I wanted to show her mom the wall and that's when we took this photo. Their hair, red cheeks and tired expressions scream "party is over". But the sparkle in their eyes also reveal that they had an awesome time!