Puppy Dog Birthday: A Perfect Paw-ty Theme!

Maggie asked for a puppy-themed 9th birthday party.  My initial reaction was, “Aren’t you a little old for that?”  But in my quest to be a less-controlling mother, I let it go and agreed that a puppy party was a brilliant idea.  As usual, when I let my children take the lead on things like this (you know, things that matter hugely to them yet … Continue reading Puppy Dog Birthday: A Perfect Paw-ty Theme!

Gratitude Day 3: The Gift of Hatcher Pass

“Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.”  ~John Muir, Alaska Days With John Muir, 1915 A few weeks ago I asked my dear friend Nancy, “If we could do anything to celebrate your birthday, what would it be?” It took her a few days to answer honestly, but … Continue reading Gratitude Day 3: The Gift of Hatcher Pass

Stuffed Animal Birthday Party

Yesterday was Maggie’s 8th birthday, and this year she decided on a stuffed animal party theme.  (Legos were a close second, but in the end stuffed animals won.)  She sleeps with a menagerie of furry friends each night, and spends copious amounts of time rearranging them in her room each day, so we weren’t terribly surprised. For the invitation,we gathered all the kids’ stuffed animals … Continue reading Stuffed Animal Birthday Party

Mother Goose Birthday Party

If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that beloved books make great birthday party themes.  At the age of two, our two-year-old Maggie was seriously obsessed with one book:  Mary Engelbreit’s Mother Goose.  And so it was decided:  a nursery-rhyme birthday party! I had fun with the invitation wording: The Humpty Dumpty cake, on the other hand, was not so fun.  I tried my best … Continue reading Mother Goose Birthday Party

An Olympic Birthday Party

Last night’s opening ceremonies in Sochi brought back memories of a favorite birthday theme:  the Olympic party.  When Sam turned six he was passionate about both sports and geography.  He especially loved to draw flags, so an Olympic-themed party was a perfect fit. The invitation was simple and bold: The cake was a cinch to decorate:  five Olympic rings, served with patriotic plates and napkins: … Continue reading An Olympic Birthday Party

Happy Birthday, Mario-style

I’m not a huge fan of commercial characters, but I have a soft spot for Mario and Luigi.  My brother and I spent many hours of our youth seeking secret passageways and power ups to help those cute plumbers conquer dragons and rescue Princess Peach.


A few years ago my husband actually found a classic Nintendo on Craigslist, and it was one of my best Christmas gifts ever.  (I trained from December to July, but sadly my brother was still able to defeat me, all these years later.)

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Cooking-Themed Birthday Party

Maggie loves to help out in the kitchen, and has been our enthusiastic cooking sidekick since her wee days.  When she turned 4, we decided to celebrate this passion with a cooking-themed birthday party. As usual, designing the invitation was one of my favorite pre-party tasks:   (If you like this invitation, it is available for $10 in my Etsy store.  I will customize it … Continue reading Cooking-Themed Birthday Party