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Claire's birthday was last weekend. I can't believe she is already six years old. She was born in Boston in the middle of a snow storm, two minutes before midnight, which I was thrilled about because I didn't want her to have a March 17th birthday. I mean, who wants to have a St. Patricks Day themed birthday every year? Apparently this girl:

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In our family we don't do friends parties for every birthday and for Claire's birthday this year we decided just to have a celebration at home and invite over our cousins that live in Westchester. I've talked about my sweet friend Jenna here before. She has absolutely cornered the market on cuteness - her clothes, her kids, her blog, are all amazing. And girlfriend can throw a mean party! Between Jenna's skills and Claire's enthusiasm about a St. Patricks Day party, I knew I wanted to do something fun for the decorating, while hopefully not breaking the bank.

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The Dollar Tree, Michaels and Party City came through for me. All of these stores have dollar or less sections that carry pretty cute stuff. You just have to hunt a bit, and then get creative. Streamers are two-for-a-buck at the dollar store, and buying eight rolls was an easy and cheap way to make a rainbow wall for our photos.

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It was Claire's idea to make the chandelier look like a cloud that the rainbow was coming out of. We picked up a couple of these accordion garlands at Party city for $2 each. We added the green garland, satin bows and dangling clovers for good measure.

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I love that my girls came up with most of these ideas and that they executed a lot of it by themselves. Nothing makes me more proud than seeing their little creative brains at work.

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Since we are from Arizona originally, we hold true to the idea that a party's not a party without a piñata. I showed Claire the Pot O' Gold DIY piñata that Jordan posted a week or two ago and Claire said we just had to have it.

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This was my first piñata and I was surprised at how easy they are to make! And pretty fun actually. It took me and Claire about two hours in all to cut out the cardboard and glue the fringed tissue paper. We watched Darby O'Gill and the Little People while we were at it, to get us into the spirit of the thing. :)

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The pinata activity at the party worked out perfectly this time, which as any mother will probably know, doesn't happen very often. 

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This time every child got two full turns at the bat and then Claire, the birthday girl, was the lucky one to bust it open. 

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Chocolate coins and gold nuggets were everywhere! I think the candy scramble is so hilarious to watch now, but I remember being so stressed out as a kid as soon as that candy fell out. Must. get. all. the. candies!!

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The kids used their party favor baskets to collect the piñata spoils.

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Claire and I found the tiny little baskets at Michaels for 99 cents each and just chose the ones with the most green on them.

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Claire embellished the baskets by herself with a little ribbon and some monogram placards made from stickers and cardstock.

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There was plenty of room in the baskets for more candy and other little trinkets we picked up in the dollar section.

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We also gave these little leprechaun clover pots as favors. Aren't they so cute? My local flower bodega guy was selling them.

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We picked up the clover when we were buying some forsythia branches and a bunch or two of daffodils.  (you know it's spring when the flowers start to get cheap again!) :)

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I think the rainbow backdrop was my favorite part of the party though.  It made for some fun shots of the kids.

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I have two instant-print cameras (both are really pretty inexpensive), the wide format is here and the small, credit card size is here. I'm finding it's such a chore to get my digital images printed out these days that these cameras are such a treat to have on hand. Especially when we have visitors over. And seriously, who doesn't love the magic of watching your image appear in a matter of seconds?

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We let the kids pick out their favorites to take home with them, and then once the party was over, the rest of the photos were moved to the coffee table, where I'm sure we'll enjoy them for a couple weeks.

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All in all, we had a busy but a great weekend. Claire told me in her sleepiest voice last night as she was drifting off, that no one in the world has ever had a better mom or a better party than the one she had this weekend. Which of course made me feel like a super hero. I'd go to the dollar store every weekend for the rest of my kids' lives if it meant hearing lines like that. :)

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