Posts Tagged ‘birthday party’

Caroline’s 3rd Birthday – Princess Party!

Monday, December 16th, 2013

This is not the most amazing party I’ve ever thrown. I think Caroline’s woodland fairies from last year was a lot more creative. I decorated more, I made more food, I had more crafts and activities. But both kids are now at an age where they have An Opinion on what kind of party they want and as much as I like throwing fancy parties I really just want them to be happy – which means this year Princess Caroline got her Princess Party. She had an absolutely amazing time and will probably talk about it every day for the next year, and that’s really what matters.

Food and decorations first: The giant 3 balloon is from Oriental Trading and I will be buying one for every birthday from now on. I bought one of those disposable helium tanks since none of the local stores would blow up a balloon I bought somewhere else and it’s still floating 2 days later. The printables all came from an Etsy shop called Mama Moonlights, who customized the colors and name for free. Almost all the other decorations were from previous parties (one of the advantages of so many parties is I have a TON of stuff!).

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Welcome!

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I am not a chalkboard writing expert yet, but give me a couple years.

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That frame has been in the basement since a yard sale last summer. I bought three for $2.

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The tulle covered lights were from Caroline’s first birthday.

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Christmas lights are the best part of December birthdays

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A reading/relaxing/seating corner

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Seriously LOVE this balloon

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Dress up selection – I bought the adjustable rack for $20 from Amazon

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Lousy iPhone photo of the Royal Tents – also from Amazon and extremely well made by Pockos. They’re around $30 right now but I paid about $20 each.

For our food and drink, my theme was Pink and Fancy. It was a 2 pm party, so I went with mostly light food and desserts instead of a full lunch. Of course I had a ton of stuff left over, so please come to my house and eat some fudge and candy. I bought a bunch of pink candy from Amazon and Oriental Trading to make the table extra pink.

Food table

Food table

Crown cookies, decorated by my mom and the kids

Crown cookies, decorated by my mom and the kids

Tomato & cheese tea sandwiches

Tomato & cheese tea sandwiches

Recipe found here

Munchkin fruit skewers (these were totally gone)

Munchkin fruit skewers (these were totally gone)

Jello cups with pomegranate seeds (so sparkly!)

Jello cups with pomegranate seeds (so sparkly!)

Sugar cookie cups with mint buttercream (the crowns are Wilton, I bought them at Michael's)

Sugar cookie cups with mint buttercream (the crowns are Wilton, I bought them at Michael’s)

Recipe found here (way prettier than mine, but mine were gone post party so they must have tasted OK)

Thumbprint cookies

Thumbprint cookies

Radish dip

Radish dip

Fruit "crowns"

Fruit “crowns”

Tex mex tortilla wraps - these were also ALL gone

Tex mex tortilla wraps – these were also ALL gone

Adapted from the recipe found here

Cake from Big Y. I highly recommend their bakery for your ridiculous cake needs.

Cake from Big Y. I highly recommend their bakery for your ridiculous cake needs.

Hot chocolate bar with grown-up options

Hot chocolate bar with grown-up options

Pink punch - strawberry soda, strawberry guava juice and raspberry sherbet

Pink punch – strawberry soda, strawberry guava juice and raspberry sherbet

Enjoying her punch from fancy cups

Enjoying her punch from fancy cups

Strawberry milk in "milk bottles" (frappuchino bottles)

Strawberry milk in “milk bottles” (frappuchino bottles)

Kids love straws

Kids love straws

Fancy pink goblets to drink sparkling cider (from Oriental Trading Co)

Fancy pink goblets to drink sparkling cider (from Oriental Trading Co)

Also a hit

Also a hit

For activities, I was counting heavily on the kids enjoying dress up and using their imaginations to entertain themselves. It actually went pretty well! I also had the printable coloring sheets that came with my Etsy set but didn’t get a picture. They’re really cute.

I started buying accessories for the Princess Makeover station a long time ago. Walmart and Target both have cute party sections where you can find costume jewelry and tattoos and crowns and things, and they often go on clearance to make room for new stuff. The temporary tattoos and the clip-in hair braids were two of the most popular items (I left out some sponge pieces and a small cup of water so grown ups could help with the tattoos).

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Crowns, tiny hair clip crowns, hair extensions, rings, necklaces, bracelets, eye patches, foam swords and wands

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Browsing her options

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That chalkboard was the train schedule sign for Evan’s train birthday

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One of his many tats

I also collected all the princess dress up I could find. Some hand-me-downs, some consignment store finds, some gifts, and some purchased over the last year meant we had a ton of wardrobe choices for our guests. The pink dress Caroline is wearing and the knight costume Evan is wearing were both awesome Costumes.com deals, purchased for $5 after Halloween. We now have an extremely complete collection of size 3-5T princess dresses.

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We even dressed up our baby friends as princesses

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Pirate-knights

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Handsome

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Caroline was happy to share her dresses, although at first she kept saying “You have the same dress as me!”

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Friend hugs

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So blurry, but so happy (That’s my dad)

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We are a no judgement princess zone. There were only 3 boys in attendance so they got into the spirit too.

Caroline has been talking for WEEKS about how everyone was going to sing Happy Birthday to her and how excited she was for that part, so please excuse the ridiculous number of photos.

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Her brother helped her blow them out.

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The cake topper opens into a purse/castle toy and Caroline has been playing with it ever since. Pretty good deal if you ask me.

Well, that was over 1000 words about a pretty simple princess birthday, so I’ll wrap it up by saying thank you to my parents and E’s parents who both came to help basically just for the party. I could never have gotten all the food made and the house in decent shape without them. It means a ton to me that our family understands and supports my birthday party addiction. And thank you to all our friends who braved the snowstorm to come celebrate with Princess Caroline – she had a truly magical birthday and it wouldn’t have been special without all of you!

One more of the birthday girl:

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 p.s. Caroline’s actual birthday isn’t until Thursday, so I’m going to be totally fine until then. But expect a SERIOUS meltdown on Friday about my baby turning THREE.

 

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North Fork 2013

Monday, July 8th, 2013

We went to Long Island to visit one of my very favorite people and her two boys. For someone I met on the internet, she sure doesn’t seem like a crazy person. Unless you mean crazy-awesome. Her whole family is crazy-awesome, in fact, including an awesome boyfriend who read approximately one zillion bedtime stories to the kids.

We went to celebrate JD turning four with a super hero birthday party Kim threw together entirely on her own while also working full time. I mean, my parties ARE my full time job when I’m planning, and they still don’t go as smoothly as her’s. She’s basically Superwoman (which made the theme even more appropriate).

Party Photos:

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Then on Sunday we had a super leisurely day that involved Evan taking a nap in the stroller (!!!!!!) and me buying $17 worth of pickles. And also strawberries. And also a giant bread ring stuffed with pepperoni. And that was just the farmer’s market in the morning.

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I’ve gone to visit Kim on Long Island a few times now, and every time I drove through the North Fork from the ferry I thought “Man, this place is GORGEOUS. One day I’m going to come back and just drive around.” Since Kim and the boys had plans in the afternoon the kids and I left around 2, which gave us plenty of time for just driving around. Thanks to some directions from Kim’s mom and some really good luck (plus ignoring my GPS’s insistence I stay on the main road) we found plenty to occupy ourselves. A farm stand with fresh snap peas, blueberries AND a playground is basically their idea of heaven.

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Twins! Even when they’re eating.

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Apologies for all the blueberry pictures, they were so gorgeous.

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And then we caught a 6 pm ferry home. It was a super fantastic weekend. I love summer.

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Caroline’s Winter Fairy Birthday Party

Monday, December 17th, 2012

 

Hello, welcome to our magical winter fairy birthday party wonderland! We’re so happy you’re here to celebrate Caroline’s second birthday. Our theme this time is winter fairies, who like the ice, snow, cold weather animals and of course, pine cones:

Fancy Chalkboard

Fancy Chalkboard

Winter Fairy Birthday

Fairy house and magic tree

Winter Fairy Birthday

Welcome to my cottage, friends!

Welcome to my cottage, friends!

Winter Fairy Birthday

Caroline’s yearly books, from her first day til this month

fairy tent over food table

Winter Fairy Birthday

Don’t forget proper fairy attire:

Fairy party wings

Wings, headbands & antlers!

Winter Fairy Party

I spy some fairies!

Please have some food:

Winter Fairy Birthday

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Thumbprint cookies (so, so, so good. Insanely good. You won’t believe it good.)

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Candy Cane Chex Mix, Caramel/Chocolate/Candy Appples

Winter Fairy Birthday food

Sparkling Brie Bites (these are now a tradition, since we had them last year too)

Winter Fairy Birthday food

Gum drop fudge (I used those sparkly gummy fruit wedges – DELICIOUS)

Winter Fairy Birthday food

My mom made her traditional Christmas coffee cake

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Coconut snowballs, Pita Trees

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Pancake tree-tower, dusted with powdered sugar and surrounded by extra sparkling cranberries (I used the store brand complete mix, which was surprisingly good!)

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Caprese Pops (pin link, original pin goes nowhere)

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Reindeer Cookies –  E said these are his new favorite Christmas cookie

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Cucumber sandwiches – ALWAYS a hit

Winter Fairy Birthday food

Pinecone cheeseball – I ignored the recipe and mixed 1 block cream cheese with a tub of Rondele herb cheese and added a little dill and garlic powder. Then I ate ALL the leftovers for dinner.

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Snowman marshmallow pops

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Microwave popcorn in paper cones I made with scrapbook paper and a hole punch

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Olive wreath – This was the only thing that was TOTALLY gone at the end

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Fruit tree – thanks to my mom for doing all the work on this

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Cupcakes – white box cake mix with homemade frosting (1 stick butter, 1 block cream cheese, 1 2 lb bag of powdered sugar, the end)

winter animal cupcake toppers

Sparkly polar bears! Reindeer! Narwhals!!

Winter Fairy Birthday food
Extra cupcakes

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I forgot to take a picture of the buttermints, but they get 5 stars definitely will make again

Help yourself to a drink:

Winter Fairy Birthday hot cocoa bar

Winter Fairy Birthday drinks

Homemade gingerbread donuts on “milk bottles” (actually those store-bought frappuchinos) (idea from here)

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On the hot cocoa bar: candy cane dippers, peppermint sticks, mini M&M’s, mint marshmallows, regular marshmallows, whipped cream, 2 kind of creamer, whipped cream vodka (THIS IS A THING), peppermint schnapps, Bailey’s, sugar sprinkles, milk hot chocolate, dark hot chocolate, coffee, hot cider.

Decorate a tree to take home (or eat right now because they’re delicious):

Winter Fairy Birthday activities

Winter Fairy Birthday activities

Winter Fairy Birthday activities

Winter Fairy Birthday activities

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Winter Fairy Birthday

Winter Fairy Birthday

Caroline really enjoyed this part of the party

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Winter Fairy Birthday activity

MESS.

Don’t forget your party favors:

Winter Fairy Birthday favors

Red & white glitter play dough in mini mason jars with printable tags

Winter Fairy Birthday favors

Magic wands I made from dowels, tiny eye hooks, ribbon and jingle bells (I totally forgot to give them out!)

Winter Fairy Birthday activity

Foam ornament decorating

The birthday girl had a wonderful time (even though her brother blew out her candles):

Winter Fairy Birthday blow out the candles

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Thank you friends for coming!

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I actually missed photographing a lot of details and people because I was too buy enjoying my own party (for once!) Despite a lot of things not going as planned – Caroline refused to wear EITHER of the “princess dresses” I planned for her, misplacing her beautiful hair bow (not that she’d wear that either), forgetting to give the kids their magic wands, not getting many photos in the photo booth – I think everyone had a really good time and that’s what is really important at a 2 year old’s birthday.

Sites and Sources:

My Pinterest Board

Tips for writing on chalkboards (dipping the chalk in water worked REALLY well)
I made the chalkboards using garage sale frames, spray paint (silver and chalkboard colored) and a piece of particle board
Wings are from both a local bargain store and The Hair Bow Company
Headbands and antlers from Oriental Trading
Tissue paper snowflakes from Oriental Trading
Branches, crystals, ice cubes, paper stars from Save on Crafts
I made the tent with Ikea curtains and an embroidery hoop (
tutorial here)
Balloons from Oriental Trading
The Fairy House is a the Discovery Kid’s Playhouse I bought on clearance after last Christmas for $10
Mini light strings, paper gingerbread house, red lanterns, various other Christmas decor from Ikea
Hot cocoa k-cups purchased at Bed Bath & Beyond
Deer cupcake toppers, cupcake wrappers, paper straws, sprinkles from Bake It Pretty
Super awesome tree stump stands were made by my dad
Winter animal cupcake toppers were custom made by PaperPartyParade
All banners, signs and labels were made by me using cardstock, my printer & free fonts found online

Pretty much everything else is from Target or Michael’s

That was really fun but I am SO glad it’s over and I can concentrate on wrapping Christmas gifts and not baking for 12 hours a day. I think my theme for next year is just going to be “Milk & Cookies” and I’ll spread out all the cookie-making over a month so my feet don’t feel like they’re going to fall off from standing in front of the stove. Mmm…cookies.

Winter Fairy Birthday Invitation

p.s. I forgot to include the beautiful invitations my friend Denae designed for me! She did Evan’s dino invites too & is so talented.

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Saturday, March 31st, 2012

Back to normal. Party prep. Houseguest prep. Repeat.

Sunday:

Couch nap has devolved into floor nap

I've pretty much ruined my pinking sheers and also my hand.

Dinner battles are exhausting

Monday:

No YOUR Halloween jammies still fit in March

Neckwarmer cat is reading over your shoulder

Toddler-built train track

Tuesday:

Singing the stretching song at Stroller Strides

Evan and I painted five dozen Easter eggs to make them dinosaur eggs...but it didn't work very well. I ordered green ones instead.

LOVE

Wednesday:

Morning iPad

World's Strongest Baby!

Shockingly, this did not end in tears

Thursday:

I don't think that's going to fit in the ball popper, but you can try.

Helping Daddy fix the fridge

I couldn't find a travel mug so I put my coffee in a kid's cup from Chili's

Friday:

Ridiculous

Super Firefighter Evan TO THE RESCUE!

Lap nap ginger head

Saturday:

Early birthday presents are EXCITING

We have three cousins visiting, so of course the kids picked the VERY LOUDEST POSSIBLE ACTIVITY

She's bouncing her train on her horse and it's the best joke ever.

The cousins are here until tomorrow, and my BFF and her family comes on Thursday for Evan’s 3rd birthday party on Saturday (for which ALMOST EVERYONE I invited has RSVP’d – usually it’s like 50/50. I’m freaking a little.) Please forgive me if I can’t form any coherent thoughts this week.

Did you take any camera phone photos this week? Link up with one or lots using the linky below and grab the code (so it shows on your blog too!) over at Amy’s . It’s really fun!

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