Party time

Birthday cake

Okay, internets, I need your help! We’re having a shindig next month to celebrate my five years of cancer-freeness. Tonight J.P. and I put down a deposit on a hall, and now it’s time to figure out a few details. I’m working on the guest list and invitation angle, but we need to figure out the food, drink, and entertainment. I *think* I have a theme to work around, and I’m curious to hear your ideas on how to pull it off.

Since we’re celebrating five years, I’m leaning toward a Five-year-old Birthday Party theme. I have a few ideas already . . . what do you think?

  1. Pink. It’s a cancer party—gotta have pink. But no pink ribbons! I draw the line there. I’m thinking of asking people to wear something pink.
  2. Games. When I was a kid, we played games at birthday parties. So what “kid” games would you play with a bunch of grown-ups (despite the theme, I would prefer not to have children there)? My idea was Pin the Boobs on the Sharkey, but I’m not sure how that would go over with J.P.’s aunts. He thought Hoots and Ladders would be fun, but it’s not really practical since it’s a board game. So what other game ideas do you have? A pinata? Musical chairs? Relay races—what kind?
  3. Food. Now here’s where I’m kinda stuck. What kind of food to serve? I’m thinking we’ll start around 7:30 or 8:00, because I don’t want to have to serve dinner. Would you serve kid food? If so, what kind? PB&J, mac & cheese, and hot dogs seem a little too casual. And they don’t necessarily go well with mixed drinks (we’ll have a bartender).
  4. Cotton candy? I’m thinking of renting a cotton candy machine. Because kids love it AND it’s pink. But will adults love it? One bite is generally enough for me. What do you think?
  5. A “signature drink.” You know how when Oprah and Rachael Ray are talking about parties, they always say you should have one fun drink and then beer and wine so you don’t have to worry about stocking a full bar. We will have a full bar, but I’d still like to have a signature drink. Something pink, of course. What would be good?
  6. Decorations & favors. So far, I’ve got nothin’ here other than the color scheme.
  7. What else? What are some things I’m forgetting?

So let’s say you were invited to a party like this (maybe you will be!). Would you bring a gift? Because you know that’s the only reason I’m doing this, right? Okay, okay. Not really. But I am curious about your answer to this question because I DON’T want gifts. If people are thinking of getting me something, I would rather have them donate the money to cancer research. I’m thinking about putting that on the invitation, but I don’t want people to think I’m expecting gifts. If I received an invitation like this, I’m not sure it would even occur to me to bring a gift. Opinions?

All right, please get your creative juices flowing. Talk to your five-year-old (or your husband!)—what does he think would be fun?

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16 Responses to “Party time”

  1. Lola Says:

    What an awesome idea! Unfortunately, I only have suggestions for a couple of your topics…

    Pink Theme: I like the idea of suggesting that people wear pink, but maybe you could have like a basket of pink ribbons with pins when people walk in, just in case they forgot or didn’t have anything.

    Food: Could you fancy up some common kid food? Like, gourmet mac & cheese, for instance, with fancy pasta and expensive cheeses? Or if you want PB&J, do it on some special type of bread with some kind of rare berry jam, and of course cut them into canape-style circles.

    Cotton Candy: YES. That machine will be the life of the party – just watch.

    Decorations: You don’t necessarily need a theme with this if you already have your color picked out. Go into any party store and just grab anything pink that appeals to you. Or if you’re doing it the fancy way, think pink table cloths, pink flower arrangements, pink candles, etc. For favors, what if you got small pink photo albums (like, just big enough for one photo per page) and make mini scrapbooks for each guest or couple? A friend of mine did this for wedding favors – each page had a photo they took themselves on one side, and a poem or meaningful quote on the other.

    Gifts: You could ask people to make a donation to the American Cancer Society or whatever organization you might like. Either on their own (e.g., on the invitation say something like, “In liu of gifts, a donation may be made to ___”), or have them pay a little something as they enter the party – which seems a little sucky, paying to get into a party, but some girls on My Super Sweet Sixteen did it to raise money for charity.

    Good luck, have fun, and congratulations :o)

  2. soozieq Says:

    I don’t think I would necessarily assume that gifts were expected since it’s not your birthday party. Whenever I go to a party at someone’s house, I always bring something for the host/hostess though. So yah, I would most likely bring *something*. Therefore, knowing to donated instead would be helpful to someone like me.

    Hey what about one of those GIANT JUMPY things that Moto and I always see on our walks? Do they make them strong enough for adults to flail around in?

    I will have to get back to you on the rest. Let me talk to the Hubs (my five year old) and put my thinking cap on.

  3. eclectic Says:

    Hate to be the party pooper, so before I get to that, let me say I’m so happy to see you posting!! And congrats again on being 5 years new!! OK, now to my party-pooping: too much pink might make some of the guys feel odd. I like pink as an accent color, and one that is featured because of the purpose, but I like having the breast cancer pink plastic wrist bands in a basket or as party favors rather than dictating wardrobe. And if kids won’t be there anyway, then how about making it “Pin the Bra” on the Shawkey, and all the little felt or paper bras could be pink, and no need to scandalize relatives with nipples. I’m with Sooze — I’d bring a hostess gift — probably a bottle of wine — anyway, so I’d like to know that you’d prefer a donation. You know, you could side-step the whole thing by calling it a party to benefit cancer research instead of just a party. Then, everyone on the list is reminded to give a little something to the cancer society in your honor, without a direct request. As for games, how about limbo, with the caveat that everyone has to go under a pink bar with their titties up, no ducking under.
    I don’t know, Shawkey… I suck at parties. That’s the best I’ve got.

  4. LazyLightning Says:

    I LOVE cotton candy myself. But I’m odd that way, about sugar. I like the pink idea, and I like the bra idea of the commenter above me. You could serve the items you listed, with adult twists. Like beer brats instead of hot dogs… 3-cheese sharp mac and cheese instead of kraft-type, etc. That way, the food looks like kids’ food and fits with a theme, but is still flavorful and interesting for adults.

  5. Ortizzle Says:

    PINK: Pink crepe paper & balloons if you don’t like ribbons. Since this is related to breast cancer, hang up pink jogging shorts and sweatshirts all over the place (a la “Race for the Cure.”)

    GAMES: Hmm… I hate the kind of games they do at baby showers. Incredible that people can think grown-up women would actually enjoy them. But this is co-ed, so I don’t imagine any of that stuff. Kid games that adults would like? A piñata could be loads of fun. (fill it with adult prizes!!) Have a little karaoke if your friends would go for that. Also… my sister once gave a party with rented foosball and pinball machines: huge hit, especially with the men!

    FOOD: I would go with “finger food” but not kiddie food. If you get a piñata, you could consider a Mexican twist: lots of Mexican food is finger food, anyway. AND… this would tie in with my suggestion for the Signature Drink: Pink Margaritas!! I googled “Pink Margaritas” and found a ton of recipes, using everything from watermelon to maraschino cherries to pink lemonade. Question of testing it out beforehand to get the “perfect mix.”

    COTTON CANDY? I’m kinda luke-warm on this one. I know it’s pink, but… how much would it cost to rent a machine to do this? I don’t think the men would go for it at all. If you’re thinking of something sweet, why not watermelon? That’s more or less pink. You could have a watermelon seed spitting contest (yay, another game!)

    DECORATIONS & FAVORS: With all you are putting out, why do favors? Let people get their prizes from the piñata, heh, heh…

    THE GIFT: I wouldn’t have automatically thought to bring a gift. But I like your idea of donating to cancer research. I would not say anything on the invite one way or another. At the party, though, you could have a donation table with cards that people could pick up and fill out if they so desire. Next to it you could have a basket of those pink plastic bracelets for the ones who donate.

    Let us know what you decide, eh? And of course, we will expect lots of pics!!!

  6. Von Krankipantzen Says:

    The above ideas are all great. A bra pinata would be a hoot! Did I say HOOT? Dolly Parton should be played at some point too. I’ll think about it some more and either comment again or email you. But what a fantastic anniversary celebration and calling it a party to benefit cancer research is a great thought.

  7. kimpossible Says:

    My humble party thoughts: (this is long so bear with me-there will be a test)
    1. Absolutely people should wear pink – both men and women. For a celebration of this magnitude, it is appropriate to request both sexes to wear pink. Plus, as the t-shirt says: Real men wear pink. Also, for those that are somewhat ‘pink shy’ , the pink could be worn as an accessory (like a tie, a belt, socks, etc.) Lastly, pink is my favorite color and this gives me a real reason to wear pink from head to toe.
    2. Regarding Party Games: I don’t know why, but I generally don’t like ‘adult’ party games. But here are some that could float my boat:
    a) pinyata’s
    b) the Newlywed Game or something like it where different people get coupled together on a sort of stage and are asked questions about Sharkey. The team with the most correct answers wins.
    c) strip poker (no I’m just kidding- wanted to see if you are really reading my post)
    d) The ‘most’- a prize to the person that wears the most pink, the least pink, the best pink accessory, etc.
    e) rent a karoake maching and make sure you have songs
    available by the artist Pink and Sheryl Crow and other famous singers that have a pink or cancer connection. Plus any song on a karoake machine is fun for all.
    f)place a pink sticker underneath a chair or hand out numbered tickets and at the end of the evening the winner walks out with a beautiful bouquet of pink flowers or batch of pink colored gourmet cookies from that place down by Ron’s school house grille.
    g) maybe a cancer bingo game. We would need to have several versions of a bingo game board ready to go. Each game board should have general cancer info and some specific sharkey info. Then the caller calls out the words- whovever gets bingo calls out “CANCER FREE”

    3. re FOOD: I love the pink everywhere idea even in the food realm.
    a) appetizer and hors devours are definately the way to go. But there must be pink. If you make pb & j sandwiches the bread can be pink or have pink swirls in it (Issaacs restaurant does this) I do like the other persons suggesstion to class it up a bit by cutting them into a shape with a high end jam inside. b) Cotton Candy machine should be an absolute = you could also rent the slushy machine but make sure the slush comes out pink in color.
    c)also, there are pink merinque cookies, or those gourmet cookieswith pink icing,
    d)How about sugared rasperries as a little side snack
    e) fruit with marshmallow/whipping cream dip colored pink of course.
    f) ambrose fruit salad is good and is often pinkish in color
    g) pink angel food cake
    h) red beet eggs (to us they seem more dark pink and they are good)
    i)pink icecream for the pink cake
    j) strawberry milk or milkshakes
    k)crepes filled with a strawberry/pink cream cheese filling
    l) bagels with fruit flavored cream cheeses and lox/salmon
    m) Pretty pink punch: Mix 2 (12-ounce) cans pink lemonade concentrate and 6 cups water in a punch bowl. Add 4 (12-ounce) cans lemon-lime soda. Just before serving, add scoops of strawberry sorbet or raspberry sherbet.
    n) Drinks: pink lemonade and raspberry or cranberrry gingerale for those non-drinkers Oh, and pink ice cubes make them up in ice cube trays ahead of time.
    o) Pink whipped cream & berries: Add a few drops of red food coloring to whipped cream or whipped topping. It’s particularly pretty on a goblet filled with fresh strawberries sprinkled with sugar.

    SIGNATURE DRINK IDEAS (PINKTINI IS LISTED AT END)
    French Kiss ’Tini — Stoli Razberi with a kiss of Chambord & pineapple

    Sunrise ’Tini — Pineapple juice and Pink with Stoli Ohranj

    PINKTINI:
    2 1/2 cups currant vodka, 1 1/4 cup champagne, 3/4 cup raspberry schnapps, 1/4 cup lime juice

    FOR DECORATIONS:
    I would go one of 2 ways. Either all out pink- everything pink, the tablecloths, the napkins, the flowers, the pinyata, the balloons left to float on the ceiling, etc.
    Or I would go clean with pink accents. Like clean crisp white everywhere with sophisticated splashes of pink. Fuschia pink napkins, or bright pink pansies as centerpieces. Frozen pink/red fruit to use as ice cubes (raspberries, strawberries, cherries) Pink toule used to decorate the backs of the chairs, pink stirrers for the drinks, a small pink candle buring at tables and around.

    Re. Gift: Many people (myself included) ENJOY bringing gifts – they are an extension of our personality in a way that hopefully connects to you. That said, I totally support the idea of money spent on gift can be given to a cancer supporting charity. I think it is perfectly acceptable to place a statement like that on your invitation. Then it is up to the individual as to how they handle it.
    Also, at the party you might want to have some info packets readily available for people to peruse on different cancer research /support agancies. For instance, the 3day 60 mile walkathon to support Breast Cancer survivors is coming up in the fall. , et. Or maybe just a short list of some of the charities and what they actually do with the donations.
    Maybe this is too somber, but it would be interesting to know uptodate research stats on cancer survivors, diagnoses, etc. Like a fact sheet with recommendations .
    Maybe you could even rent a mamamogram machine (this last one was a joke just to see if you are paying attention to my incessent ramblings.)
    Lastly, I don’t know if you are having a dj or not, but could there be some pale pink shaded lighting flitting around the room? Or if no dj, how about a tv set up playing pink related movies: Pink Panther, Pretty in Pink, Grease,
    Ok , that ‘s all I got for now.

  8. mrtl Says:

    How awesome! Five years!!!! Weeeeee!!

    Remember the Janet Jackson booby cupcakes? Granted, they were chocolate, but I’m sure you could adapt them for a lighter skin tone. Maybe a cherry nipple…(http://blog.mrtland.com/2005/02/a_wardrobe_malf.html)

    Game idea: group breast exams. If not, a party favor could be directions for self breast exams.

  9. eclectic Says:

    LOL at Mrtl’s game idea!!! That’s…pardon me, I just can’t help it… a hoot!!!

  10. CircusKelli Says:

    Five years! That’s wonderful!!

    I have a “nearly five year old” — How about chicken strips (with honey, bbq, ketchup to dip them in) and some sort of special fries?

    A special drink? Mow about Mai Tai’s? Maybe change the name to My Ta-Ta’s. 🙂

  11. mrtl Says:

    LOVE the My Ta-Ta’s idea!

  12. Karen Says:

    Wow, great ideas! I don’t know if I can add any, but here’s my take on some things:

    – Men like cotton candy! It’s perfect for your party.
    – A pinata or two would be fun!
    – I’ve heard that karaoke goes over well at grown-up parties.
    – Personally, I like to know about the gift situation right on the invitation.
    – It would be great to have an area set up with information on (one or more) cancer-related charities.
    – The ability to donate to charity on the spot would be a bonus.
    – I think a prize for “most pink” would be appropriate, but “least pink” would defeat the purpose.
    – Other possibilities could be “most creative outfit” or “best pink accessory”, stuff like that.
    – If you mention in the invitation that there will be prizes, it implies that people can choose whether to wear pink or not (probably a good thing?).
    – Perhaps there could be a special prize for the man who wears the most pink? (I’m thinking a “manly” gift would be better than a joke prize.)
    – I like the idea of gourmet kid food, but maybe only the desserts should be pink.
    – For me, pink bread, pink eggs, pink cole slaw, or anything like that would be overdoing it — it probably wouldn’t stop me from eating though. 😉

  13. William Says:

    That is awesome that it is five years. I am thinking that as far as five year olds go that the food should be Pizza, Chicken Fingers and fries. Pink Jello molds, spiked with vodka Jello shots that look like breasts.

    I think as as far as games go, there is a game I love called Balderdash…you could do the same thing but with anatomy and medical terms.

    A game like pin the breasts….you take a poster with the female body outline on it. Blindfold the player and have them draw breast on it. Then you can hang each persons art work. I am sure it would be funny.

  14. mainlinemom Says:

    Five years, wow. Awesome. For a five year old kid party I would serve a Chickfila nugget platter. Yum. And usually pizza bites. And I love the pink theme, definately some kinda pink Cosmo or pink martini should be your signature drink. I do think there might be conflicting themes if you go with some bra/ boob things but try to make it like a kid party. Oh, and Karaoke is AWESOME at parties where alcohol is served.
    You could give out little posters or pamphlets on how to do a breast self-exam as party favors!

  15. debutaunt Says:

    Hee. Boobies.

    A bra pinata would be fairly easy to make. Two balloons and use cloth as the straps. Mom used to make pinatas when we were kids. Pretty easy to do.

    I like cupcakes. Easier to serve than cake.

    Mom also used to have a camera and would make a poster with the face part cut ou to take pictures. Pirates, Clowns, etc.

    Chicken nuggets are good.

    This sounds like fun!

    Presents are fun, but donating to charity is very cool. I’m not good at presents

  16. aMy Says:

    Bra Pinata! My Ta Tas!
    Have you had the party yet, Sharkey?
    Congrats times ten on five years, eh.


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