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Posted by on Nov 18, 2013 | 8 comments

DIY Kids: A Birthday Party Inspired by Project Runway

DIY Kids: A Birthday Party Inspired by Project Runway

When you’re 10 and you love fashion and the reality show Project Runway in which the contestants compete each week to design and sew runway “looks,” it goes without saying that you’d love a birthday party that mimics the show. My daughter Ana was thrilled to plan her Project Runway 10th birthday party from begin to end, with me just adding a few suggestions here and there. She wrote out the agenda for her 3-hour party to be nearly identical to an episode of the show. My family were game to play the roles of judges. We have me doing a not-very-convincing Heidi Klum, my husband Matt as Michael Kors, his brother Brian as Tim Gunn (he did the best impression of all of us, having watched Tim Gunn video clips to get into the part), and my mother-in-law Donna as Nina Garcia. Ana invited seven girlfriends to her party and decided she’d split the group into teams of two. Every one of the girls had seen Project Runway...

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Posted by on Apr 24, 2013 | 0 comments

Nadja’s Animal Storytime Birthday Party

Nadja’s Animal Storytime Birthday Party

My daughter Nadja wanted an animal-themed 5th birthday party, which had me stumped at first. How could I entertain 10 rambunctious kids, age 3-7, in our small house? And what if it rains and we have to be inside the entire time? Then, I decided to hire Barbara Effron, storyteller and a former children’s librarian, whom I had met last winter through an acquaintance. And all was well. Looking back, I think Nadja’s birthday party was probably the easiest I’ve organized yet. Barbara’s performance started as soon as the children arrived and lasted about an hour. She kept the kids, ages 3 to 7, entranced the entire time. Since Nadja wanted an “animal theme” for her party, Barbara chose stories to fit. She first performed the story from a classic children’s book called Crictor, about an old lady’s pet boa constrictor. She acted out the story using the giant stuffed snake she brought with her in a gift wrapped box. Then, she led the children in the story of Three Billy...

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Posted by on Jan 17, 2013 | 0 comments

A Del Ray Shower for a Del Ray Baby

A Del Ray Shower for a Del Ray Baby

Our neighbors Laura and John (whose home we featured here) are expecting their first child, a girl, in February. So of course all the ladies on the block wanted to throw Laura a shower to celebrate her upcoming bundle of joy. And Leslie and I were more than thrilled to DIY some special gifts for the baby too. The hostesses (Leslie, Newsha and Amanda) decided to have the shower at a local restaurant, instead of someone’s home. They chose Del Ray Cafe for its delicious food and comfortable atmosphere. Of course it did not disappoint. We sat upstairs at a large farm table tucked in the back corner, enough room for all eight of us. When we arrived, a special surprise awaited Laura — a gorgeous bouquet of flowers Amanda had arranged to be delivered to the restaurant. And on the other side of the table, these pom pom “flowers” Leslie made. Laura can use these in the baby’s nursery or repurpose them into a mobile or garland. As we...

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Posted by on Nov 20, 2012 | 1 comment

Spy-Themed Birthday Party

Spy-Themed Birthday Party

After visiting the Spy Museum in DC, my daughter Ana announced she wanted a “spy party” for her 9th birthday celebration. I did some research online but didn’t find much. So, we brainstormed the kinds of activities she saw at the museum and together, came up with a plan. Our mission accomplished, here’s how it went down: The Cake and Decor. First, I didn’t decorate the house at all this year. It was hard “letting go” of the need to put out the coordinated tableclothes, plates, napkins, a birthday banner (bought or homemade), balloons, and so on. But for this party, it didn’t seem fitting.  Ana made her cake with her friend Bea under the supervision of Bea’s Mom, the super talented pastry baker of P.S. Cakes. Like last year, Ana designed the cake, made the spy-themed fondant accents (moustache and footprints), iced it, and put the piping around the sides. The prologue. Ana was expecting seven friends total to come to her party and she wanted everyone to be...

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Posted by on Oct 31, 2012 | 0 comments

An Autumn and Halloween-Themed Baby Shower

An Autumn and Halloween-Themed Baby Shower

Leave it to Danielle Romanetti, owner of fibre space yarn shop, to think up the clever idea of knitting monsters for the baby shower she hosted in her home. She piled the irresistibly cute monsters in a big bin labeled “Adopt a Baby Monster,” so every one could take one home as a party favor. Monsters at a baby shower couldn’t be more perfect for a Halloween weekend event. What’s more, the guest of honor loves Halloween. Danielle writes on her blog about the “spooky” invitations she made by hand using glue, paper, and embossing powder and the phrase, “A ‘lil pumpkin is on its way.” Danielle kept up the seasonal theme for all of the baby shower decor and food, even going so far as to having the live Steelers versus Redskins muted on the TV in the background. A rabid Steelers fan, she admitted that she couldn’t miss a play. To tell the truth, the game fit in perfectly with the cozy, autumnal vibe of the party. The festive...

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