Alyson’s 16th Birthday Party

Harry Potter Themed Party

 for Alyson’s 16th Birthday [December 10, 2011]

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[The Invitation]

We didn’t get a guest list until a week before the party, so I typed up something really quick and sent out an email with this attachment. I also put it on Alyson’s wall and had her tag people that she wanted to invite. It worked out well for a last minute invitation.

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[The Party Decorations]

Sarah is the best co-party planner. We spent 2 hours brainstorming one evening (just a week before the party). And then a few days before the event, we spent 4 hours putting everything together. We then separated the remaining tasks between the both of us…and we managed to put it all together perfectly five hours before everyone showed up. It was magical. We grabbed things that we had around both our houses…purchased items from the thrift store…and borrowed a couple items to complete the decorations. If we didn’t have an item, we managed to re-create it with things we already owned. In our planning, we attempted to get the biggest bang for our buck. I think we made the best choices when it came to the decorations. It helps that we’ve done a few parties before…so we also know our strengths and weaknesses as individuals when it comes to party planning.

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[The Food]

 I think the food was my favorite thing to make. Somehow, we managed to make the perfect amount of food for everyone to enjoy throughout the evening. We are getting better and better at making the perfect amount of food.

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[The Guests]

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[The Games…”Guess the Harry Potter Movie Character”]

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[The Dinner and Tea Reading]

Sarah made an amazing dinner for everyone (“Mrs. Weasley’s Savory Stew”) to enjoy this evening. During the meal, we handed out cups of loose leaf tea to drink. While I cleared the tables for the games, “Professor Trelawney” went around reading everyone’s tea leaves. She was highly accurate…just like the movie.

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[The Sorting Hat]

I made a “Sorting Hat” to look just like the one from the movie. We used it to sort people into different houses so we could do a “House Cup Tournament”. I think this was my favorite part of the evening…and everyone seemed entertained by the whole process.

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[The Games…”Harry Potter Movie Trivia”]

The night before the party, I scoured the internet to find a long list of Harry Potter trivia from all seven movies/books. I was really impressed that everyone guessed practically every question that I had about the Harry Potter movies. I thought they were really challenging…obviously not. The Slytherine team wins this round and adds rice to their house cup…

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[The Surprise Harry Potter Look-Alike Serves Butter Beer]

Sarah asked her friend, David, to show-up at Alyson’s birthday party as a surprise guest. I wish I would have had the camera in my hands when David walked out of the kitchen holding the “Butter Beer”. Her jaw dropped and she was pretty excited to see that Harry Potter was attending her party. I found a recipe for “Butter Beer” online. I don’t know about everyone else, but I really enjoyed it. We might make it more often in the Kangas household…

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[The Games…”Jenga Tournament”]

Harry Potter arrived just in time to join the Jenga Tournament. We played two rounds…and they were the most intense games of Jenga I’ve ever played.

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[The Birthday Song]

Alyson is not a big cake fan, so Jared graciously made her an apple pie. My grandma also made some tasty Baklava (it’s Alyson’s other favorite dessert). The party wouldn’t be complete unless Harry Potter sang Alyson a Happy Birthday, so we sent him out with the pie and candles to start the song for everyone to sing. Naomi wanted to sing the Birthday song all by herself…as a gift to Alyson.

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[The Games…”Sorting Hat Ring Toss”]

The funny thing with this game is Naomi was the closest to actually getting the ring on the Sorting Hat. It was pretty entertaining to watch everyone walk up to the line and act like it was super easy. It was harder than it looked. In the end, Gryffindor won the House Cup (totally by chance) and they took home their very own prizes with the Hogwarts Crest on the outside.

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[The Birthday Girl Opens Her Presents]

I couldn’t resist making Alyson a “Muggle” shirt for her birthday present this year. It was super easy to create, and I think it got the point across (and went with the theme).

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[The Party Planners]

An enormous thanks goes out to Sarah for being my co-planner. I couldn’t have done it without her. She is the yin to my yang…and she has the ability to get things done in a short amount of time with minimal stress. In the end, I think Alyson really enjoyed herself, and I’m sure she will have fond memories when she thinks back to her 16th Birthday Party. I know I had fun planning it…

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