Murdered by Pirates is Good (a Princess Bride 10th birthday party)

by | Feb 2, 2014 | Birthdays, It's Party Time | 22 comments

Fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles . . . The Princess Bride is my favorite childhood movie. And unlike all the other movies from my childhood, I never had to go diving for the remote in horror as I tried to share it with my little kids (I’m looking at YOU Ghostbusters).

So imagine my delight when Betty announced that she wanted a Princess Bride birthday party! And then my dismay when she added that she’d like it to be a sleepover. But . . . a 10th birthday is a big deal, and her friends are really sweet girls, and my defenses were down because — Princess Bride! So I said yes.

Disclaimer: It has been brought to my attention that I do not, as I previously believed, throw “simple” birthday parties. They seem simple to me, because I enjoy doing this sort of thing. So, before you scroll down, just keep in mind that I liked doing this, that it’s mostly homemade, that some of it is wonky and I’m okay with that, that we planned, prepped, and partied as a family, and that we had fun on each of those steps.


I’m sure you can make all that tissue paper stuff and the flag banner pretty easily at home, but we didn’t. We got all the decorations at Party City. The flowers are from the yard. Betty was especially excited about the goblets. Jack did the calligraphy for her. Gus mostly just stood around looking pleased with himself, as he is wont to do.

I printed the posters using Publisher. But if I ever get to redecorate a kids’ room, I really want to buy this one:

from LittleOwlDesign

The other was more interactive:

by Nathan W Pyle
For dinner we made As You Wish Personal Pizzas, which was very fun, but required some attention, and I forgot to take any pictures. But here are the girls saying grace while the pizzas cooked:
For breakfast in the morning we had popovers from my grandfather’s recipe with strawberry butter, apple butter, and loquat jam, lemonade, fruit, and various breakfast meats:
The cake! Yay, the cake! This was a very collaborative effort. Betty wanted it to be like a wedding cake (which I do not have the skill or equipment to create, but that’s never stopped me before) and Anita suggested that it have them falling down the hill. Brilliant! So, that’s what I did.
It was carrot cake inside and cream cheese frosting and it was super yummy. (Recipe here.) I made the words and figures with melting chocolate in a ziplock bag. The people are based on a t-shirt design.
The birthday girl was pleased!
There was nail painting:
And gifts:

Frankie didn’t get any
And a unicorn pinata because hitting a unicorn with a stick is appropriate for all occasions:
And pajamas:
And sleeping bags and watching The Princess Bride!

And there was even actual sleeping at a reasonable hour, but I didn’t take any pictures of that.
It was a lovely time for a lovely 10 year old. Happy birthday Betty, my sweet, sweet girl!


  1. Jenny Cook

    Oh my goodness. That party looks epically awesome. Goblets! I would have killed for some goblets.
    And as I've said before, if that is your simple, I would LOVE to see your version of complicated. Maybe we'll see that at Betty's wedding in a decade or so? 🙂 Now that I think about it, a "Princess Bride" themed wedding reception would be pretty amazing. Shoulda done that…
    Your kids will truly look back on all of your parties with fond, fond memories, and that is the best part!

  2. Anonymous

    Happy birthday Betty, ten is an awesome year! Looks like you had a great party!

  3. Camilla

    That cake and those goblets–awesome! What a fabulous theme for a party! Then again… our wedding song was "Storybook Love" from the Princess Bride. My husband gave me the actual movie script as a gift once. So I'm partial… can't wait to show your pics to my daughter! Thank you for sharing!

  4. Iris Hanlin - Writer/Photographer

    I absolutely love this!! My birthday is in Lent, so I usually don't throw a party (except for that one glorious year my birthday landed on a Sunday – Yes, Lenten Loophole time). I'm pondering a half birthday party for myself now thanks to this (My mother is going to keeeeel me). Who says you can ever get too old for a theme party? Not me. Happy birthday to your beautiful girl!
    ~ Country Girl's Daybook, recently posted: Happy blogaversary to me! →

  5. Mrs. Amen

    Awesome party! That movie is my favirite of all time. I am going to have to keep this in mind for a future party. Maybe my 40th, which is coming up soon…ohhh, i could wear my wedding dress if i can manage to not be pregnant. Ahhhhhh! So excited. Betty is one blessed little lady. Happy 10th birthday!

  6. Nanacamille

    That is a simply beautiful table and any "princess Bride" would be delighted to have her birthday there. The cake is once again amazing and would thrill any bride I know except maybe Aunt Kara who had pumpkin. Enjoyed the photos since we missed this lovely party. Happy Birthday Betty! Nanacamille

  7. Anonymous

    I love the party decorations. I only have boys (all grown now) so I am holding out for granddaughters. Off topic question but what is your husband's occupation?

    • Kendra


      My husband is in health care management.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for answering. Just curious when I saw some pics of him in a military uniform.

    • Kendra

      He was an artillery officer in the Marine Corps when we met and married, but got out shortly thereafter and went to business school.

  8. Sarah Scherrer

    Very, very cool! We love this movie, too–I hope one of my girls will want a party like this 🙂

  9. Cristina

    This is amazing! And you are one brave mamma! I'm not sure what I would do with one little girl in my house let alone ten on the living room floor 🙂

  10. Colleen

    I want to have a birthday party like that now, and I'm 34!! Hands down, it's my favorite movie ever. I haven't even shown it to my kids yet (the scene with the "perfect breasts" comment is making me hesitant to show it to my group of boys) but I think they are old enough now, or at least young enough to not get it 😉

    • Kendra

      Aww, really? I have a huge problem with all the secret double entendres in kids movies. Have you seen Planes? There is a vasectomy joke. I kid you not. But people seem to think it's fine because it'll go over kids heads. I HATE that. I always want to stop the movie and immediately explain it to my kids so they'll know that this movie is secretly trying to corrupt them. But, usually, I restrain myself.

      That perfect breasts comment doesn't bother me because it's straight forward. It sounds Shakespearean to me. Plus it's used as a plural, There is a shortage of perfect breasts. As in she has A perfect breast, one of only a few, which seems less offensive.

  11. Christy from fountains of home

    Omigoodness what a wonderful party! I wish I was friends with Betty and could have come! I just love Betty…I mean…just from her pictures I know she must be awesome. So happy birthday Betty!
    I so loved the cake, you have such great skills! And those pink goblets…I want to use those everyday. And the pyjamas…love it all….

  12. Anna

    I love your birthday party posts! Is it that you are super cool or that LA is super cool or both? Me and all my friends in matching pj's is an unfulfilled dream of mine. We had many a Princess Bride sleepover but never with such excellent decor. Have you read the book by William Goldman with your kids yet? I read it in high school and it was just about the most enjoyable read I can remember from my childhood. I don't remember enough to know about age appropriateness however.

    • Kendra

      I *have* read the book, and I like it. But I actually think I like the movie better, which is pretty rare! Betty would love to read it, but she'll have to wait a bit. Remember all the author talking to you parts? They are pretty snarky and include "adult situations" that my kids wouldn't really understand, like bickering spouses, and parenting conflicts, and temptations to adultery in a hotel pool.

    • Anna

      Hmmm. Must have skimmed over those bits. Good to know.

  13. Albusowner

    This is so cool! I may be a decorator for a Princess Bride themed night soon, could I possibly use your poster design? It is so great!

    • Kendra

      Thanks, but I didn't design it. If you click on the link underneath, it will take you to where I found it. Good luck with your party!

  14. kelly

    Oh, wow! This has given me many ideas for my dd's 10th. You are very creative, thanks for sharing!


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Hi! I’m Kendra.

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