Atia’s latest obsession is Hello Kitty. She has loads of paraphernalia boasting the white cat’s expressionless face – shirts, skirts, pants, sweaters, socks, panties, purses, hair accessories, nail polish, lip glosses, jewelry, pillows, a comforter and a sleeping bag.
I’m actually quite surprised her interest in this character hasn’t waned; it’s truly akin to my son’s obsession with cars and trucks. Truth be told, I fully support her passion for Hello Kitty. When I was younger, I loved all things Hello Kitty too, although the selection wasn't as vast as it is now. So I totally get it, and when it came time to selecting a theme for Atia's 5th birthday party this year, it was a no-brainer.
Hello Kitty all the way!
Recently, as Atia was thumbing through a Chasing Fireflies catalogue, she stumbled upon the most beautiful Hello Kitty birthday decorations. Of course, everything in there was sweet and fanciful, but came at a very hefty price. So instead of buying a "party in a bag," I used the pictures as my inspiration, and went hunting. I scoured Birthday Express and Pintrest and found some great ideas. So many, in fact, that I was able to piece together an exquisite event without breaking the bank.
Here's how I did it:
Location: At Home
Duration: 2 hour
# of Guests: 12
Atia was allowed to have a dozen guests at her party, including herself, because that's how many decorative plates came in a single package. I didn’t want to have to buy two of everything; it’s how I controlled costs (for my son's party this month, he gets 8 because that's how many come in his plate package).
I used $4.99 solid color paper plates from Party City for filler. I borrowed a kid’s table and four chairs from our next door neighbors, who coincidentally have the exact same table set as we do, so the two created a nice kid-sized banquet table. I added two stools on the ends to accommodate ten of the twelve guests (fortunately, the two left out were Atia's 2 year old brother and her 3 year old cousin, who could have cared less).
My husband and I covered the chairs and stools in hot pink and light pink tulle. We reused the exact same material and concept from last year’s Pinkalicious Tea Party birthday. The $10 banner, $6 decorative plates and $5 cups came from Chasing Fireflies. The $3.99 napkins and $1.99 tablecloth came from Party City, and the $2.99 (each) water bottles and $2.99 (for 8) Hello Kitty rings (I used as napkin rings) came from Birthday Express, and were given out as party favors.
We set it all up and then invited Atia to come take a peek. She was overjoyed!
The second big surprise for Atia was the amazing birthday cake her Auntie Sonia arranged and gifted.
Atia actually helped design it. Noelle, the owner, chef and artist extraordinaire of Tickled Pink Cakes, asked her a series of questions and then came up with 4 concepts. Atia ended up choosing elements from two different cakes and combining them to make the final product – "pink and purple stripes, not pink and white ones, and Hello Kitty should look like she's skipping" were Atia's requests. Noelle reported that it took 12 hours to make. This cake was a true piece of art; everyone at the party was talking about it. It was fancier than my wedding cake, no joke!
Since we opted for a 2-hour at-home party this year, instead of renting a play place, I had my work cut out for me in filling the time. Pintrest quickly became my best friend. I looked up kid’s party games and kid’s activities and was presented with a series of great options. I ended up selecting three basic games and one craft project.
The itinerary was:
1. Hello Kitty Mask Painting $1 each from Jo-Ann Fabric.
In my stash, I had the paint and decorating supplies from my son's birthday party last year. I made an example mask ahead of time. This craft was used to pass the time until all the guests arrived. It was something the kids could do on their own with minimal supervision.
The little artists
The finished products! They were a big hit and the kids decorated them beautifully.
Once all the guests arrived, we moved on to our 1st game, which I purchased at Party City for $4.99. The kids wore masks to shield their eyes and the bows were stickers that simply stuck to the game board.
While the kids were adding hair accessories to Hello Kitty, my mom cleared the craft table and set it up for the 2nd Game, a "Minute to Win It" challenge, which I found on Pintrest. It was a very basic game with big rewards. The kids had so much fun watching their Dixie cups fly across the table as they blew through their straws. We played several rounds in groups of 4; they all wanted multiple turns. The parents really got into it, too, cheering their kid on. It was great!
Atia won! Her cup slid off the opposite end of the table 1st.
We moved from the table to a circle on the floor for the 3rd Game, another "Minute to Win It" challenge I found on Pintrest. This time they had to move five cotton balls from one bowl to another without using anything but their noses. I dabbed a tiny bit of Vaseline on their noses and gave them the green light to get started.
They dove right in!
Another successful game! They loved it and got the hang of it very quickly. Many of them actually asked for more Vaseline so they could do it again.
5. Food Break!
Collectively, the crafting and gaming took about an hour, and at that point, the kids were hungry and thirsty. Thankfully, my husband had been working hard preparing the food while we played the games. So, we sat down for hot dogs, chips, Jell-O Jigglers and pink lemonade.
6. Pinata Time!
After everyone’s tummies were full, we headed outside for the Hello Kitty piñata, purchased at Chasing Fireflies for $18 (it was less expensive than the same exact one at Birthday Express).
7. Birthday Cake!
Finally, it was time to sing Happy Birthday and cut into the beautiful cake.
Atia made a wish and blew out the candle.
I am happy to report that the cake was as delicious as it was beautiful. It was a white cake with cream cheese frosting binding the layers. It was moist and flavorful, which was actually surprising because it was so gorgeous. We were prepared to sacrifice taste for looks, but in the end, we didn’t have to!
Oh, and the Hello Kitty figure at the top, yeah, that's made out of rice krispies, formed and covered in fondant. Atia's been eating the cat's limbs and body parts slowly over the last three days.
8. The End
We took a quick group picture and before we knew it the party was over.
Atia was one super happy 5-year old, and told us that it was the best birthday party she'd ever had. I even got extra kisses and super strong hugs. I'm glad we were able to create this special memory for her. I remember things when I was 5 years old, and I hope this is something that she'll remember for a long time to come.
Happy Birthday, Atia.
Mommy and Daddy love you so very, very much!