Okay, medical jargon out of the way, we’ll catch up.  You may recall that my old college roommate, Janet (who is not old, I swear), and I are starting a home birthday party business.  We decided on the name Goodness Gracious.  And we staged a fake birthday party on Thursday so that we can take pictures for our website-to-be.  We went with an Under the Sea theme, since Janet had this amazing papier mache octopus that she’d made for son Ian’s birthday party a couple of years ago.  Our plan is to offer between 5 and 7 basic themes, allowing for tweaking (under the Sea could be made into mermaid or pirate easily enough, Space/robots/aliens, etc.) and we’ll offer custom parties for a fee.  But, as you’ll see, we make a lot of stuff, and while most of it can be reused, we don’t want to be constantly making table linens.  

We used two rooms for the party, one for the craft and games, one for the cake.  Here is the first room, with our themed table and doorway decor :

 

Janet did the cool stuff, I made the linens.

Janet did the cool stuff, I made the linens.

Isnt he amazing?  Well be sad when some kid inevitably smashes him.

Isn't he amazing? We'll be sad when some kid inevitably smashes him.

 

I made this banner.  yay me.

I made this banner. yay me.

 

 

 

 

The table setting.

The table setting.

 

Well provide the real linens and real settings--no waste!

We'll provide the real linens and real settings--no waste!

So we started them off with some homemade playdough and put out rollers and cookie cutters.  No end product, just something to keep their hands busy while all the guests arrived.  Once all were there and attention was starting to wander, we marched them off for hand-washies while we cleared the dough and the table.  Then we had them do a crab-walk relay race while balancing a bean bag on their bellies.  That sounds fun, right?  What actually happened, was I tried to get them to shut. up. and listen to me and eventually just let them waddle around.  Parties where the moms stay stink.  Kids are SO much easier to wrangle without the moms around.  But these were Janet’s friends and moms of Ian’s friends and they wanted to see what we were up to.  But lord, I’d forgotten how l o u d four year olds are.  yowsa.  Good thing they’re cute.  They I made an attempt at “slippery octopus”–hot potato with an octopus beanbag (that I made, just like the other beanbags.  Because I rule)–but they could hardly hear the music of the laughing/crying/chatting.  They seemed to enjoy it nonetheless.  Then we hustled them in for cake.  We were trying to power out a 90 min party in an hour.  EAT THE CAKE!!  We plan to offer cake as an add-on.  Cost of cake plus a 10 dollar hassle tax.  I can provide gluten-free cake or organic cake or vegan cake or what have you.  But for this party, I made a cake.  I wanted it to be all-organic so it would look nice an homey.  To make pink icing, I blended up some strawberries…but it came out sort of “flesh-toned and lumpy” instead of “sweet and homey” but no one complained.  From cake, we moved on to the treasure hunt.  Janet made little rhyming clues and they scurried around finding them.  At the end, they found this:

 

papier mache fish filled with goodies!

papier mache fish filled with goodies!

Originally, these were to be mini-pinatas that you smash to get out the goods, but Janet realized the kids would probably rather just have the fish, so she left the hole flap open.  Just like real fish!  If you reach into their butts, you get presents!  And finally, the pinata, which was so awesome it was a shame to smash it:

 

I made little cloth bags for the kids to put their candy into.  We’ll offer pinatas empty in the basic package, but will fill them with organic candy for a fee.

We booked 3 parties from this one, so that’s a good start.  We need to sit down with our receipts and research and figure out pricing and then get the website up.  I’ll keep you posted…

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