Saturday, August 31, 2013

Alya's 4th Birthday Party: Saddle up!

Alya turned 4 in July but we decided to throw her a birthday party in June because her actual birthday fell during the month of Ramadan and most of her friends were out of town in July. Last year's birthday party was designed around the paper plates that I got on clearance, orange and red circles, and you can read about it here. This year is a "Cowgirls and Horses Year" by excellence. Alya's answer to any question is cowgirl and horses related.
what is your favorite toy "Woody, Jessie and bullseye"
what is your favorite toy to play with? "a horse" 
what is your favorite color? "the color that cowgirls wear"
what do you want for breakfast? "can you make me a cowgirl pancake?"
which PJ you want to wear? " the horsy one" etc...

But just to be on the safe side I asked Alya in April about what kind of birthday party she wanted and she said she wanted Cowgirl and horses party, of course. There it was, a cowgirl and horses birthday party to celebrate my daughter's 4th birthday! However, according to my husband, this was my party. There is a little bit of truth in this..I sure love to throw parties and knowing me, everything has to be made at home and by hand if I had my way. 

The stylist (moi) chose this red bandana inspired skirt with this simple white shirt decorated with white flowers. She chose blue bandana and Cowgirl hat.  Her auntie Suzan braided her hair. How cute!

I thought that the menu was very western-ish like and catered for adults and kids.  The menu consisted of the following:
  • Two kinds of potato chips, regular and BBQ (Store bought)
  • Homemade guacamole and tortilla chips, 
  • Homemade Hummos and pita chips, 
  • Homemade Spinach artichoke dip with baguette served in a cast iron skillet 
  • Beef hot dogs with condiments 
  • Cheese quesadillas
  • Best cocoa brownies, recipe here
  • Decorated cowgirl boots and hats sugar cookies
  • Yellow buttermilk cupcakes frosted with swiss meringue buttercream, recipe here
Two kids of Potato Chips

Homemade Hummus and Pita chips

Cupcakes and Decorated Cowgirl Boots and Hats
Best Cocoa Brownies
Crusty baguette slices 
Homemade Spinach Artichoke dip

My husband also made our fine homemade lemonade that we served in a giant glass container with slices of lemons, juice boxes for kids and water bottles chilling in galvanized planter. Very cute!
Homemade Lemonade, juice boxes and bottled water
Luckily all the food was finger food so there was no need for cutlery. I chose red paper cups with white and blue polka dots to serve the Lemonade. Red baskets with blue and white checkerboard wax paper to serve the hot dogs. Simple white plate for desserts and simple blue napkins.

I made the birthday invitations by hand, a lot of detailed work but so much fun to do. I made set in red  frames and others in blue frames, with cowgirl boots and hats. I will post a tutorial soon. 

I also made the cupcake toppers, a tutorial will also be posted soon. The cupcakes were served in red and blue bandana cupcake liners.

I made this banner using the same colors as the invitation cards and cupcake toppers. I also made the  glittery letters to showcase the birthday girls' name.

I used several wooden boxes of different sizes to show case different cowgirl-ish items and horses. I also used tins of canned tomato that I saved and cleaned as vases and put cut flowers from my garden. 

We also inflated red, white and blue balloons with helium. My original plan was to put them in bunches   on each side of the table but all the kids wanted balloons so we gave them to the kids. My main concern was to hide the wall as much as possible because I dont like it. I drafted a general design of the party table to avoid last minute decisions.

We know that kids will eat anything and care less about decor, but entertainment is a big deal and I tried as much as possible to make it fun and inexpensive. I made a woody Photo Booth for kids to take their pictures in it.

My sister in law Suzan made this Pin the Tail on Daisy board

She also brought Hula hoops that kept the kids busy 

I decided on a last minute game of Drop the Tins game using extra tins of canned tomatoes and a ball.

However, the creme de la creme was my sister-in-law Suzan who dressed up as Sally the Cowgirl and kept the kids busy with the games. She is an Elementary school teacher and has her magical ways with kids. She was totally immersed in the role, accent and all. The kids loved it so much and it relieved me of the task of entertaining the kids because someone had to cook those hot dogs and cheese quesadilla! What a great help! She was so good that parents thought that she is a professional entertainer and were trying to book her for their kid parties! Yay for Family!

Favors you ask? I decided that I am not going to give favor bags full of little things that drive parents crazy! instead We gave each kid Red or blue cowboy hat, bandana and sheriff badge to dress up as cowgirls and cowboys! We hang them on our lemon tree where the lemons for our Lemonade came from. I used twine to make cloths lines and wooden cloths pin to hang the favors.

We had so much fun despite the fact that Alya had a major meltdown in the beginning. She does not like too much attention and boy she got so much attention looking so gorgeous and cute! As for me? I was so exhausted for the coming days that I vowed to never throw a party again..yeah...right ;)

My little baby is 4 years old! I wish her all the happiness in the world! Happy Birthday Alya!

Resources and Supplies
Cupcake liner from Jo Ann
Wooden Boxes Jo Ann and Michael's
horses, Jessie, Bullseye and Woody are Alya's from Disney and target
galvanized planter from Ikea 7 years ago
Lemonade Glass Container from Costco 4 years ago
Red Bandana skirt is part of an OshKosh B'Gosh from Costco
White Shirt from Carter's 2 years ago
Paper cups, plates and napkins from Target
Red Basket and blue and white checkerboard paper from Jo Ann 2 years ago
Cupcake stands from Home Good 2 years ago
Tin vases are tins of canned tomatoes cleaned and flowers are from my garden
Cowboy/cowgirls hat are from
Red and Blue Bandana are from Jo Ann
Twine for Cloth line and wooden Cloth pins fromMichael's
Sheriff Badges, Balloon and Helium tank from Party City

I will post soon various tutorials on making the invitation cards, cupcake topers, the banner and The Woody Photo Booth
I will post soon the recipes for the homemade Spinach and Artichoke dip, Guacamole and Hummus


  1. very nice work Nadine..I liked it a lot..
    Happy bday Alia..wish u all the best

  2. Beautiful party Nadine! Looks Alya had fun after she got over being the center of attention :) I love the last picture of you, James and Alya! I can't believe she's 4, I remember James posting pictures of when she was born like it was yesterday!

  3. Amazing birthday party!! Everyone had a good time there. Birthday girl looks so cute and happy. Liked the arrangements. It reminded me of my daughter’s birthday party at one of Los Angeles event venues. I did a great job in arranging everything best there and everyone liked my efforts.