Monday, June 14, 2010

Bon 8th Anniversarie, Averie!

Hydrangeas from the garden served as a pretty centerpiece

I love putting effort into Avery's birthdays, and this year was no exception. She always chooses the theme now, and I run with it. Of course, sometimes I have to help her narrow that theme, and this year was one of those times because initially she chose "A French History Mystery Party." Now, how much fun does that sound for 8 year olds, and as the planner, what on earth could I have done with that? So, with some gentle persuasion, she settled for "A Day in France" party to celebrate her 8th birthday.

Paper lanterns hang from clear line, and helium-filled balloons are tied to the chair backs to add visual interest to the open space of the room.

The decorations were black, white, shocking pink, and bright green to give a Spring in Paris feel to the 'soiree'. We always decorate about a week before the party so that Avery can enjoy them, and the excitement builds for her special day. Plus, they make the house look fun and festive, which is never a bad thing.

I created this menu so everyone would know what they were eating, and to offer a little French lesson. Even though I don't speak French ; ). Thank goodness for online translators!

French berry soda and escargots were served. Of course, no one was willing to actually try the escargots. I thought one boy would be brave, but he reconsidered once the can was opened, stating, "I don't think I should eat that." I have to say I agreed with him--blech!

The birthday girl & her guests enjoyed a bistro lunch with real Parisian recipes: Ham & cheese croissants, tartines, haricots verts, and carrottes.

This year, the cake was store-bought to save time and I decorated it to match the theme. Black M&M's make handy polka dots and the skinny candles are from France, courtesy of ebay. I purchased the Eiffel Tower candle from a craft store. Magnifique!

Activities included a crepe toss, painting canvases 'along the Seine', and speaking in bad French accents. After they were given their French names for the day, the boys got to wear mustaches so they could pretend to be Frenchmen, and the girls got scarves like they would wear while riding their vespas through the streets of Paris. OK, maybe my imagination went a little wild with that, but they did have fun!

This was one of the neatest parts--I had ordered French coins (euros) from an online vendor in France for the treat bags, and she agreed to send Avery a postcard for her birthday! The black & white one on the mirror is of the Champs Elysees in the 1920s, and she wrote 'Happy birthday' in French for Avery. She was SO excited, she took it to school with her. Thanks Patrice, my new French friend, for a memento to remember!

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