6 of 8 recently had a birthday and, of course, it needed to be all things 'Princess' (since she's a princess, you understand...I'm sorry, THE princess...). I took a religious vow (slightly overstated, but still) a few years ago that I just could not do another child's birthday party at a place with bad pizza and a plushy rat as the mascot. It puts me into some kind of deep funk to go in that place and spend hundreds of dollars.
So to that end, we've done the majority of kids' birthday parties over the last few years at home and have really dialed back the bling-bling factor. We usually just host one or two good friends, have a little activity, eat a lot of cake, open a couple of presents and call it good.
But 6 of 8 has more of a pageantry button in her psyche. She longed for ballgowns and bright lights and a big plushy rat and bad pizza and jewelry. We compromised. We had a 'Photo Shoot' where she and her best little buddy would be the models for that upcoming epic novel The Fairy Princess Cake Caper. The bestseller that follows is the result!