Friday, August 15, 2008

The Wild West

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In a previous post I mentioned my good friend, Eve. I marveled at her ability to effortlessly cater all of my parties and that she is one of the most creative people I know. What I failed to mention is that she does all this whilst being a terrific mom to five children. And in about a week that number goes up to six when she welcomes a baby girl. I often look at her in awe while her children say "please" and "thank you" and sit still with their little hands folded at the dinner table. I, on the other hand, consider it a good day if my 4-year old hasn't learned any new four letter words from mommy and if my 1-year old has eaten more than the 3 day old french fries she found in her car seat. But I digress...

Eve, being Eve, throws one of a kind parties for her kids and puts an incredible amount of effort into them. This past month she threw a party for her 3 boys, who happen to all be born in the month of July. Her 2 older boys were turning 6 and the youngest, 3. She went with a theme that could entertain both ages...western. The first step was the invitations. A western inspired font was used to create an invitation that looked like a "Wanted" poster. After the invites were printed on tan colored paper, coffee was brushed on to them like paint and then laid outside to dry which gave them a worn look. The party was held at a horse training center in Southern California. The location was perfect but the same rustic feel could be recreated at home with a little bit of effort. Not only were there pony rides, but there was a campfire-like setting, complete with a small stagecoach and picnic benches which she covered with an inexpensive burlap-like fabric Eve had purchased from Ikea. And while pony rides may not be realistic at home, a few unique activities would certainly keep the children entertained. For example, when all the kids arrived, they were given a small bag stamped with "Gold Rush." You can find similar bags at Favor Ideas. The kids then went around to collect "gold" (rocks that had been spray painted gold), that they could trade for a cowboy hat and a goody bag. So really, the favors also doubled as more decor for the party which is a great way to stretch your dollar.

There was traditional campfire food like hot dogs, chili and watermelon and there was old western music, like Gene Autry, filling the air. Given all the amazing aspects of the party, my favorite part, however, was the s'mores. The marshmallows were roasted on tree branches and, of course, finished off with chocolate and graham cracker. Now, if you are like me and don't have a bunch of tree branches lying around, they will have to be purchased from a place like Save On Crafts. When the day was done and the sun was set, the party was a hit with the kids and adults alike. Now if you excuse me, I've gotta go check the car seat to make sure my daughter has lunch for tomorrow.


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