Princess Tea Party

After this post, I will finally be up to date with posting all of my children’s parties up to this point…Phew!  I hope to start blogging more about party planning as I embark on planning the next birthday party which will be Morgan’s 4th birthday in March.  The theme yet to be determined, but she talked about wanting a Care Bear party, so we’ll see.

In June, I threw Madison a 5th birthday party.  What a milestone…I can’t believe my baby is 5!  The theme she chose this year was a Princess Tea Party.  I was very excited to find out her preschool teacher had a small Princess Tea Party business.  I booked the date with her and the planning began.

First, I had Madison’s silhouette made by Vana at Le Papier Studio.  I took a profile shot of Madison and sent it to Vana who came up with a beautiful princess silhouette.  I bought the jpeg from her so I could use it throughout all the party decor.

Madison decided she wanted the colors pink and light blue as party colors.  I love how it all turned out.  Here are the details.

The invitation featured her princess silhouette, very simple and sweet.

I made a sign with balloons in the front yard to welcome the party guests.  Here is the birthday girl waiting for her friends to arrive.

A framed welcome sign hung on the front door.

The banner I created hung above the dessert buffet.

I love placing the dessert buffet in the corner of the room.  It works well for the birthday girl to stand behind when blowing out the candles.

The dessert buffet included…

wand lollipops

strawberry rice krispie treats (I cheated and bought pre-packaged ones)

cupcakes from Crumbs Bakeshop topped with the cupcake toppers I made

silhouette cookies made by my good friend Brenda…I purchased edible paper decals from The Frosting Gallery on Etsy.  Brenda placed them on top of the cookies.

Crown cookies from Totally Scrumptious Cookies on Etsy.

pink macarons

strawberry milk placed in these vintage looking milk bottles

(I searched high and low for vintage bottles at thrift stores and Ebay, but was unsuccessful.  The week before the party I came across this post on Celebrations at Home blog that suggested using Starbucks Frappucino bottles.  It was exactly what I was looking for and I drank 16 of these babies in one week.  Crazy, I know!)  

In the center of the table was the sweet and simple cake from Cornerstone Caterers with a custom-made cake topper made by Sweetie Pie Cake Topper on Etsy.

I decorated a wire dress-form I found at Homegoods with a my girls’ princess skirt from their dress up box and my pearl necklace.

On the kitchen island I set up adult food for the parents who stuck around.

The menu consisted of tea sandwiches, mini Quiche, scones and macarons to go with the theme.

Favors were in my apothecary jars.  I had bracelets with a princess charm made for the girls and they each went home with a crown cookie and wand lollipop.

I hired Madison’s preschool teacher for the entertainment since she has a Princess Tea Party business.  She came with all the table decor, real tea cups and plates, food, drinks, games, prizes and princess dresses.  She did an amazing job!

Here is Madison choosing her princess dress.  She chose Ariel just like the doll she’s holding.

Madison and her friends all dressed up!

After dressing up, the girls had their make-up and nails done. 

CUTE!

After getting made up, the girls sat down for the tea party.  They had tea sandwiches and “lemonade” tea.

After lunch they participated in a few games…Hot Potato, Freeze Dance and Limbo!

They also made a craft…decorating a mirror.

Just before leaving, we sang Happy Birthday and the kids enjoyed cake and treats from the dessert buffet.

I was so glad to get a picture of the group.  It was such a cute party and Madison had a blast!

Happy 5th Birthday, Princess Madison!  I hope you enjoyed your princess par-TEA!

XOXO,

Mommy

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A Berry Sweet 1st Birthday Party

Molly turned 1 at the end of May and we celebrated with a Berry Sweet Strawberry themed birthday party.  This theme came to me when I saw this outfit at Gymboree and just knew it had to be her birthday dress.

I decided to go with the colors in the dress for the decor….light blue and red.  Since Molly’s birthday was Memorial Day weekend we decided to go with a pool party barbecue.  We held the party at Ryan’s aunt’s house on Long Island.  She has a great pool and beautiful setting for a party.

I made most of the decorations myself.  Here are some of the details…

Everything on the cake/dessert table was either blue, red, white or strawberry flavored. We had white chocolate covered strawberries, strawberry licorice, jellybeans, m&ms, gumballs, cupcakes, and strawberry cookies.

The cake was from our favorite local bakery, Cornerstone Caterers.  They never disappoint!

I used these old-fashioned jars for some of the sweets…gumballs, m&ms and strawberry jellybeans.

Gotta have cupcakes…these were strawberry flavor.

Beverages…Skinny Girl Margarita with fresh strawberries for the adults and strawberry lemonade for the kiddos.

I wrapped the water bottles again!

Can’t have a Strawberry themed party without a  Make Your Own Strawberry Shortcake Bar!  Yum!

We served hamburgers, hotdogs, jambalaya, sausage, and strawberry salad.  I even jazzed up the condiments with themed labels.

I had strawberry cookies and strawberry cake pops as favors.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get a picture of the cakepops, but they were adorable!  Sorry about the shadow.  I really need to learn how to use my camera.

My cousin Lindsey helped make these edible strawberry topiaries which were centerpieces for the tables.  Thanks, Linds!

Even the big sisters coordinated with the party!

I didn’t get a picture of Molly in her swimsuit, but she changed into this cute strawberry swimsuit from Gymboree when she went swimming.  A-D-O-R-A-B-L-E is all I can say.

And here is the birthday girl eating a strawberry…love her!

I hope your 1st Birthday was BERRY SWEET- just like you, Molly Kate!

Love,

Mommy

XOXO

A Nightmare Before Christmas Party

I threw this party for my nephew when he was turning 4.  When he told me he wanted a Nightmare Before Christmas party, I was stumped.  I had never seen a party with this theme on any of the blogs I read and I had never seen the movie, so I had no clue how I was going to pull it off.  But I wanted to make him happy so I set off to research A Nightmare Before Christmas.  I chose the main character, Jack Skellington as the focal point and the colors black, white and orange.  Now, this party was in May…springtime…so not much out there that time of year to do with skeltons and pumpkins.  Come to think of it, this would make a great theme for a Halloween Party as well.  I found a few things on ebay and created most of the party decorations myself.  Here is how it all turned out.

The invitation.

The sign welcoming guests to the party. 

I put some decorations in the plant next to the door.

The main attraction…the dessert table.  All of the treats were either black, white or orange to match the theme.

The dessert table included…

 Cupcakes

Clementines, Orange Twizzlers, and Mini Oreos

Apricots, mini-marshmallows and black M&Ms

Airheads (because skeletons have nothing but air up there) wrapped to match the decor.

I made cones to hold popcorn.  The kids loved these, when they were empty the would re-fill them with other treats from the table.

And last but not least an ice cream cake from Carvel (nephew’s request) that my husband decorated to look like Jack Skellington.  I think he did a great job!  Thanks babe!

Hanging above the dessert table were three white paper party lanterns from Party City that I decorated with black scrapbook paper and double sided tape to look like Jack Skellington’s head.

Favors for the guests were black and white cookies…from the Italian bakery in town.

Digging in…

Drinks were black and orange too…rootbeer and orange cream soda.  I also had orange mango fruit juice for the kids.

The table centerpieces…

I won an 8 pack Nightmare Before Christmas party set on Ebay.  These were perfect for the kid’s table.

The adult table place settings…

Everything gets decorated…even the utensils.

Blowing out his candles.

The birthday boy on his special day.  I hope you had a wonderful 4th birthday, Julian.

XOXO,

Aunt Shannon

A PEEPS Party (for Easter)

I’ve always loved celebrating Easter with Easter Egg hunts.  As a Kindergarten Teacher in a Catholic School, the Easter Egg Hunt I planned for my students was my all time favorite activity.  When I moved to NY and began teaching in a public school, I was very sad that this practice was frowned upon.  I really think those kiddos are missing out (Catholic or not) on a beloved Springtime event.  To satisfy my Egg Hunt urge, I would plan an egg hunt for 5 of our little cousins that live on Long Island.  We celebrated Easter with them three years in a row and they loved the Egg Hunts.  Once I had my own children and those 5 cousins got older and busier I started planning small egg hunts for my kids and their younger cousins.  I’ve always longed to throw a larger Easter Party and Egg Hunt and this year was the year!  The idea began with a playdate with friends and turned into a festive soiree.  I chose a PEEPS theme for the party since I love those little marshmallow delights. I was inspired by these Ideas for a Peeps Party I found on Celebrations at Home blog.

I made iron-on transfers to match the theme for my girls to wear to the party.   I found free printables here.

I love this play on words…PEEPS = FRIENDS :-). 

I created these signs for the patio doors.

The party took place outside.   It was a beautiful spring afternoon.  A little chilly but not too bad.  I set the main table up on our deck.  I wish there wasn’t a shadow when I took the pictures. The party was after lunch so I served some sweet treats and light snacks to go with the Easter theme.  Food included Peeps (of course), cupcakes, cookies, Annie’s Cheddar bunnies and baby carrots.

I made regular cupcakes and topped them with PEEPS.

Another cupcake tower was used to display the leftover PEEPS.  I bought way too many packages of these.

 My friend Kristina made these yummy Easter Egg cookies for the party. 

I found free water bottle labels here .  I had no time to create my own for this party. 

I kind of threw together this PEEPS Garden Centerpiece.  I put the peeps on lollipop sticks and stuck them into styrofoam inside the basket.

I served Pink Champagne for the mommies and it was yummy with the Peeps garnish. 

Pink Lemonade for the kiddos with a floating Peep just for fun. 

I created the banner for the front of the table using scrapbook paper and ribbon. 

In addition to the egg hunt, the kids dyed Easter Eggs.  

I also created Coloring Sheets for the kids to color.

The main event was the Egg Hunt and the kids had a blast!  Each guest brought 12 eggs filled with surprises and the mommies hid them around the yard.  I told each guest to find 12 eggs and then they could open them.  What fun!

Since I had so many peeps leftover, each guest went home with a little Peeps treat.  This was super easy to make and super last minute.  I used ziplock bags I already had on hand and these toppers I found for free here… 

This was such a fun day and I loved celebrating my favorite season with friends and making it special for my girls.

XOXO!

Olivia The Pig Party

Morgan really loves Olivia the Pig (books by Ian Falconer and Nick Jr. Cartoon) so for her 3rd birthday we decided to throw an Olivia the Pig Party for her and 10 of her closest girlfriends.  I always said I would never do character parties but this is the 2nd year in a row for her…last year was Abby Cadabby.  I like to create the party decor rather than purchase the character supplies at the party store.  I usually choose two or three colors that match the character and go from there.  We went with black, red and white for Olivia the Pig.  The Olivia the Pig V-Day party on HWTM was a huge inspiration for this party.

I love creating a sweets or dessert table, although I’m not sure why I do it…I know the parents of the little guests don’t like all the sweets for their kiddos. I just think they are so beautiful and a great way to add flare to a party.  I am going to have to start thinking of some healthier foods for the next round of parties…I’m afraid people are going to stop coming with all the cupcakes, cookies, cake pops, candy, etc. that are served.

The party was in March and still cold outside.  I have an empty room in my basement (just haven’t gotten around to furnishing yet) so I decided to hold the party in there.  It was a little small but worked out well.  I planned a two hour party with a craft activity, a game and also a bounce house in the back yard.  We also had lunch and cake and desserts.  It was fun, but exhausting entertaining 10 little girls under the age of 5.

Here are the details…

The Party Room

The Cake Table

My favorite local bakery, Cornerstone Caterers, made the cake.

The topper was purchased on Amazon and is actually a bobble head doll.

I made the water bottle labels.  The water bottles were served with lunch.  I think it is always fun for the kids and the birthday girl to have customized water bottles.  It is also a great way to highlight the party theme.  I love the twist top water bottles from Poland Springs.  They are perfect for little kids and spill proof because the actual cap cannot be removed.  I take off the labels and replace with my own using scotch tape…super quick and easy.

I used red lunch bags that I found at Target to pack each guest a little lunch.  This made passing out lunch to each child super easy.  I served macaroni and cheese in individual containers.  I used ziploc containers from the supermarket.  I created a round label which fit perfectly on the top to tie in the theme.  The small red bags were leftover from V-Day treats and I used them to hold chicken nuggets.  Each lunch bag also had a small red apple as well but it didn’t make it into the picture.  The label on the bag said “Dinner with Morgan” after the book, Dinner with Olivia, which I read to the girls just before serving lunch.

I tried to serve treats that also coordinated with the party colors.  I included M&Ms in red, black and white, red strawberries, red heart peeps (from Valentine’s Day), and Red Twizzlers, cupcakes and custom cookies.  I designed the toppers for the cupcakes and the party circles used to dress up the jars I used to hold the treats.

Yummy #3 Cookies from Andrea’s Goodies on Etsy.

I made this feather boa wreath which I hung above the dessert table.  I used this tutorial on Heavenly Blooms to make the wreath.  It was super easy…but not super inexpensive.

This cluster of honeycomb balls and daisys hung on one wall in the party room.  I used party circles on the centers of the daisys.

I had a large Olivia the Pig in the corner of the room to serve double duty as a photo prop and for Pin the Bows on Olivia.  I bought the Olivia Giant Wall Decals from Birthday Express and put the large one on a large cardboard box.  I then cut around the decal with an exacto knife.  It worked out great and the kids loved posing with it.

I decorated the TV we have mounted in the room to resemble a theater and had Olivia playing throughout the party. 

I made party hats using heavy scrapbook paper and ribbon. I embellished the birthday girl’s party hat with red feather boa.

I set up a table in our living room as well and the kids colored Olivia coloring sheets that I printed off of the Nick Jr. Website as we waited for everyone to arrive.

Once everyone arrived, I read the book, Olivia by Ian Falconer, to the group. 

There is a part in the book where Olivia paints Picasso style on the wall using black and red paint.  For the craft, I bought a small canvas for each guest and gave them 5 minutes to paint Picasso style as Oliva did.  It was a very messy craft!

While a cleaned up the craft the kids went outside to jump in the bounce house and play for a bit.  Then it was back inside for Pin the Bows on Olivia.  I attached double stick craft dots to small red ribbons and let the kids try to pin the bows on Olivia’s ears.

After the game, I read another book Dinner With Olivia, before serving lunch with Morgan.

After lunch it was time for cake.  We sung Happy Birthday to the birthday girl!

When the party was over, each guest went home with an Olivia Activity Book and a Crayon Roll made using Olivia Fabric.  I got them custom made from My Kids Boutique on Etsy.  I placed both in a large celophane and tied it up with ribbon and a black and white swirl Lollipop.

The party was a success and Morgan had a blast.  She still talks about her Olivia party almost daily and it has been 4 months.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MY BIG 3 YEAR OLD SWEETHEART!

MOMMY LOVES YOU!

XOXO

P.S. Morgan’s Outfit was a Custom Pillow Case Dress with fabric featuring images from vintage Olivia books.  It was made by Wonderfully Made on Etsy.  I paired it with black crop leggings and red Converse sneakers.  Super cute!

Molly’s Christening Party

We had our little Molly christened when she was 7 months old…a little later than I would have liked, but it seems a lot harder to get around to doing things when you have three kiddos.  She was Christened on February 6, 2011 at Resurrection Church in Rye, NY.  Both of my other daughters were Christened there as well and they were Christened in the gown I wore at my own Christening.  Since I waited so long to baptize Molly, the gown no longer fit so she got her very own gown.  Her Godparents are our very good friends, John and Jennifer Degl.  I planned a very small celebration at our house after the Christening.  The only guests were the Godparents, Grandparents and Uncle Jeff.  I still wanted it to be a nice party so I created some printables and a dessert table.  I chose the colors pink, white and silver and included crosses to go with the Christening theme.  The event was actually on Super Bowl Sunday so I chose a menu that would go with watching some football. 

Molly’s NEW Christening Gown hung on the wall in the party room until we got her dressed. Her grandmother, Patty, bought it for her.

After we dressed Molly in her gown I hung my gown that I wore and my other two daughters wore when we were baptized in its place so it could, at the very least, make an appearance that day.  My Godmother had it handmade 34 years ago.

The party food was set up on the kitchen island and on the dining table which I pushed against the wall. The menu included Penne Alla Vodka, Cosi Signature Salad, Jalapeno Poppers, Mozzarella Sticks, Prosciutto and Mozzarella, Buffalo Wings, Grandma’s Pizza, and a 4 foot Italian Combo Hero. 

I love my apothecary jars!  I always try to fill them with something to match the party colors.  This time it was Hershey’s Kisses, Yogurt Covered Pretzels and White Cheddar Popcorn.

The dessert table included kid-friendly treats and sweets for the adults too.  I tried to keep everything in the pink and white theme.

I created a banner on the front of the table using scrapbook paper that I cut into cross shapes. 

The cake was from my beloved Cornerstone Caterers…love their cakes!

Kids love fruit, but it is even better on a stick!  These were a huge hit!  I slid grapes onto wooden skewers and topped it off with a strawberry.

I found Pops Cereal snacks in my grocery store.  The pink is strawberry flavored and the white is vanilla.  These were a hit with the kids too!

These are actually Brazillian Brigadeiros.  Find the recipe here.  I made the pink ones by adding Strawberry Flavored Nestle Quik.  The white ones were made by leaving out the Nestle Quik called for in the recipe.  I rolled them in sugar so they would sparkle.  These were gone in 10 seconds flat.

I found these cheesecake bites in the freezer section at Target.  Talk about delicious!

I created the water bottle labels to add to the decor.

These were Hershey’s Chocolate Bars which I wrapped in coordinating paper and added a party circle so it would match the table display.

I even found Pink Champagne…how perfect!

I got custom Cookie favors from Totally Scrumptious Cookies on Etsy. 

I even staged the utensils and napkins.

I found these hanging daisies at Party City in the Wedding Section.  The colors were perfect, but I added party circles to the center to tie in the Christening theme.

The banner I created read “God Bless Molly”.

And here is our little sweetie with mommy and daddy.

And here she is with her wonderful Godparents!

She did so well at the actual Christening.  She didn’t make a peep.

God Bless Baby Molly.  We love you sweet angel!

XOXO,
Mommy

New Year’s Eve Party

We had a small party at the house for New Year’s Eve 2010.  We had two other couples and their kids over to celebrate.  We enjoyed yummy appetizers, Louisiana Gumbo, Champagne and good company.  We watched the ball drop on TV and the kids got to stay up way too late!  It was very laid back and a lot of fun.  It was a party afterall, so i had to decorate for the occasion.  I actually found free printables for the banner and cupcake toppers so I didn’t have to make anything myself…just print, cut and assemble…gotta love that.  The printables can be found here.

Cupcakes and Ice Skates

As part of the Newcomers and Neighbor’s club January kid’s event I coordinated an Ice Skate party at Playland Ice Casino in Rye, NY.  I wanted a catchy theme so decided Cupcakes and Ice Skates would be fun and I went with it.  Again, this is a party on a budget so nothing fancy.  Most of the money we had went toward renting out the rink so we had to get creative in other ways to make it a nice event.  I created the printables for this party with the Cupcakes and Ice Skates theme in mind.  I decided on a blue and pink color scheme since the event was for girls and boys.  The colors looked great together!  The other two committee members and I each baked a box of cupcakes for the event.  I brought in the cupcake stands and tried to make it all look nice and presentable rather than throwing some cupcake tins on a table and calling it a party.

Here are some pictures I took of the event.

The cupcakes I decorated with the cupcake toppers I designed to coordinate with the event.

The table display- I made the banner and also the centerpiece which were large party circles on a lollipop stick.  I placed them in a glass vase that I lined with a piece a coordinating scrapbook paper.  It really helps to anchor the table.

Here is my Madison ice skating in her boots…she was scared of the skates!

Madison taking a break to enjoy a cupcake!

Molly and I were even on skates!

Snowflake Holiday Party on a Budget

Another budget friendly party…this time for the Holiday Season.  Like the Halloween Party I posted about, this one was for the Newcomers and Neighbors Club I am in.  There is really little to no money to put toward these events and the bulk of the money goes toward the entertainers or activities the kids are doing.  I wanted to try to dress up the party a little bit so it looked festive but also couldn’t spend much money on food/drinks and decor. 

I went with a red and light blue color scheme  for this event.  It was held in mid December so a snowflake theme seemed fitting.  I had these snowflake photo holders at home so brought them along to hold some of the signs.

A table was set up for the food and drinks.  We served Winter Oreos (they have red filling instead of the traditional white) and Water.  We also had powdered donut holes which we named “snowballs” and candy canes.  I brought in a box of ornaments from home which I kept in the package they came in and dressed it up with a ribbon. They added some height to the “snowball” dishes. 

The Winter Oreos were placed on a cupcake stand that I trimmed with ribbon and bows.  The cookies were placed inside the cutest little cupcake wrappers found at Michaels.  They were red and white polka dot and blue and white polka dot which coordianted perfectly.

I created matching labels for the water bottles.  These labels are just printed on regular paper and taped around the water bottle.  We used the cheapest water we could find and removed the labels replacing them with these.  The labels cannot be placed in coolers of ice or the ink will run, I just refrigerated the labeled bottles prior ato the party so they would be a little cold.

I placed the Candy Canes in a glass vase that I trimmed with ribbon and a little party circle.

The “snowballs” are white powdered Munchkins from Dunkin Donuts! YUM! 

I had signs at the tables with directions for each of the crafts.  We ordered holiday frames and winter sticker scenes from Oriental Trading for the kids to create.   

After the craft and snack the kids enjoyed a holiday concert by children’s entertainer Zev Haber.  He was very fun and entertaining and did a fantastic job keeping the attention of the children.

Hopefully you’ll see some ideas in here that you can use to host your own kids holiday party.  Remember: Cheap doesn’t equal UNSTYLISH!  It doesn’t necessarily need to cost a ton to host a stylish little get together. 

Halloween Party on a Budget

I am on the Children’s Events Committee for the Newcomers and Neighbors Club in my town.  Each month I am responsible for planning a party to entertain the children.  The budget for the events is rather slim so everything has to be done on the cheap.  I love to plan and decorate and it was my goal to make these “cheap” parties look “not cheap”. 

This is what I did with the Halloween Party last October. 

We served individual bags of pretzels and water…I told you it was cheap!  I whipped up water bottle labels, a banner and some signs to add to the decor.  I brought in some decorations from home to incorporate in to the party. 

I had pumpkins donated from a local orchard and set up a mock pumpkin patch for the kids to choose a pumpkin. 

They then decorated the pumpkin with craft supplies from Oriental Trading

The kids wore costumes to make the event even more festive.  This was a fun one to plan.  It was very challenging to plan a party on a shoestring budget.