Oh my GOODNESS, bloggers and blogettes, it's been too long since I've posted anything, but I've got a pretty good excuse. Bab turned thirty this past weekend, and the two weeks after-Christmas-but-before-January-7th have been spent in a frenzy of birthday party planning!
The birthday guy, moments before I insisited on Downy Wrinkle Release-ing that shirt.
We were planning on making a maiden voyage to Dave and Buster's (which, actually, might be called Incredible Dave's now, making me wonder what happened to Buster's share of the video games-and-beer restaurant dynasty), but, after careful consideration, realized that our own home would a) fit more people and b) be more economically feasible.
Behold: the home video arcade.
We set up six tv's and series of game consoles along two pushed-together coffee tables. My coworker Jesse says I'm one catastrophic, emotional life event from becoming a featured story on Hoarders...but can I help it if vintage tiny tv's are a particular foible of mine? A number of extension cords/power strips later, we crossed our fingers that the wiring and the fuses would hold. And eureka! They did!
Then we marked out a dry erase marker board with electrical tape to create the "Pac-Brac", wherein party guests could compete eight-at-a-time in elimination rounds for fabulous prizes!
What fabulous prizes, you may ask? You know how you'll spot random, vintage-inspired items at your local big-box retailer and think "Wow, that's cute... I wonder if I'd get any use out of...naaaaah..." This practice of NOT hoarding new-manufactured vintage items came back to bite me when I was out scouting for prizes for our arcade tournaments. I could've SWORN I'd seen Pacman or Atari shot glasses, beach towels, dorm items, etc, before at Walmart/Target/Walgreens....mais non. We managed to track down some Super Mario Bros themed merchandise, but nothing Namco. So I set about the business of churning out everything under the sun I could do with Pacman paraphenalia.
The smaller Pacmen are made of styrofoam balls with the mouth cut out and painted yellow (Dollar Tree, $1 apiece!), then I hotglued black construction paper for the other pieces. The larger ball is from Hobby Lobby, $4 (she grumbles begrudgingly), and is covered in hot glue gunned flowers ($2 for two bunches, also Dollar Tree). The Sega Genesis system OF YOUR DREAMS ($5.99, Goodwill) is simply covered in hot glue gunned sequins (Hobby Lobby, $2). Not mentioned in price breakdown: MANY HOURS OF PAC LABOR. I kept telling people, when they would ask me what I was up to that week, that I was "still working in the Pac mines". But I do love a challenge!
I also learned how to make a Pacman pinata, who survived Matthew's birthday owing to the fact that it was his "birthday wish that his life be spared!". Cute things slay my cutie. I used the technique outlined in Miss Becky Boo's blog post on HER Pacman pinata (wallpaper paste! It's a paper mache miracle!) and Jordan Fearney's pinata fringe tutorial to make this handsome guy. Notice the OTHER dry erase marker board in the background, itemizing "to-do" lists for the party.
The streamers (pretty self explanatory) and the table in pre-food preparation:
The food (minus the pizza which I cut into strip long slices and placed on the green and yellow platters):
These cookies were SO. EASY. TO MAKE. Check out the instructional from this website. I used a sugar cookie recipe from the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook (had no luck at ALL with the pre made dough...the cookies blew up to 8 x their size and lost all shape!), but otherwise stuck with the program. They're so cute!!
Ya gotta have really bad for you food at a children's-type party, right? We put out hot cheetos, lemonheads (which bear a striking resemblance to power pellets, n'est-ce pas?), fruit snacks, Jolly Ranchers, and Dum Dums. I was in fourth grade heaven. To the right and below, I made little buttons by tracing a circle on construction paper with a can of mushrooms, then on a piece of cardboard, attaching the two, cutting out the mouth, drawing on the Pac eye (and adding more construction paper, for Ms. Pac), and attaching a safety pin to the back with postal tape. Voila! Pac badge! We issued these to all the party goers.
We set up the green room as an auxiliary, non-arcade game room, with Apples to Apples, Catchphrase, and the Rockafire Explosion on the the computer (which, yes, is so old one party goer mistook it for a tv, as no one's had a monitor like that since the early 2000's).
Paparazzi shots from throughout the evening (Matthew having an iPhone is kind of like *I* have an iPhone!!):
I forgot to take more pictures, mainly because I was scrambling around trying to get a word in with everyone! All our friends showed up (I think the guest count at the end of the night was 22? Which is more people than it seems reasonable to stuff into a 50's ranch house? But there they were), and we had a B-L-A-S-T.
Below, Alyx and Brian, married and just as awesomely stripey below as in real life, actually ended up head to head in the last bracket of the Pac tournament, which we've come to refer to as the "divorce bracket". Me: "Well, at least you know the prize is going to the same house!" Brian: "Are you kidding me? We have bragging rights on who can make an EGG better in our house. There's no WAY I'll ever live this down!" Lovely Alyx won the flower covered Pac, and a kitchen timer shaped like a strawberry. AND BRAGGING RIGHTS FOR LIFE! See how close the score was?
My favorite shot of the night (cue an instrumental of "Eye of the Tiger"):
Matthew, playing Castlevania III as Joe looks on, both near death at 1 AM: "I think this is mainly muscle memory at this point..."
I'm so glad I could throw an epic party for my most special little guy on his 30th. Now, to start planning the big three-one.... :)