Real Party: Princess Party!


My princess is 3.

We are not sure how we ended up with a pPrincess, but we certainly did. She only wears dresses or skirts. Loves Disney princesses.  One day she literally told me (completely out of the blue), “Mommy, pink is my life.” Well ok then. I’m not completely anti-princess, but I definitely didn’t encourage this obsession.

However, when it was time to celebrate her birthday, I pushed aside any of my own desires and threw her a pink princess party. And she loved it. Therefore, so did I. I guess that’s being a parent.

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I made simple little invites to introduce our theme: Princesses & Pancakes.

I used the crown graphic throughout the party and avoided all characters (except our special guest, of course).

princess party decorations

Waiting for guests to arrive. I had a few little tables for kiddos, which they used for eating and the craft. I hung some fans, poms, and lanterns.

princess party decor

I decorated the mantle with some tulle strung between the crown graphic.  Easy peasy.

princess party craft

I bought paper crowns and foam stickers from Michaels and the kids could design a crown when they arrived. This was a total hit, with both boys and girls.

Mia loved it so much she refused to wear the cute pink crown I had bought her for the party.

princess and pancakes party

My husband is a very good pancake maker. He made several different kinds of pancakes, and we had a little bar set up with fun toppings for the kids: strawberries, several kinds of sprinkles, whipped cream, and syrup.  It worked out well.

In the kitchen I had a breakfast casserole, fruit salad, and some cinnamon rolls for the parents.

princess party cinderella

Mia had just finished up her pancakes when her special guest arrived: Cinderella!

princess party face painting

Cinderella painted faces, made balloon animals…

princess party sing along

…did a few little magic tricks and led a little sing along.  The kids loved it. Even the boys and the kids that were a little older than the birthday girl.

princess party cupcakes

After Cinderella departed, we had cupcakes.  Mia has been talking about pink cupcakes for her birthday for months. She was quite happy. I found the little crown toppers at Michael’s on clearance.

princess birthday party

Such a big girl. (Sniff, sniff)

princess party bounce house

One other detail: we borrowed a small bounce house from some friends.  This worked out perfectly.  We set it up outside, which served to spread the party out, and gave another activity for any guests that needed a break from Princess mania inside the house. (Not everyone is obsessed with Princesses apparently).  Our Princess loves to bounce herself, and spent quite a bit of time out there too. I’m so glad we had this.


Cinderella: Fire Pixie Entertainment

Craft supplies, cupcake toppers: Michael’s

Mia’s crown: H&M

Cupcakes: Whole Foods

Real Party: Frozen 3rd Birthday

frozen party for 3 year oldMy little buddy Addison recently turned 3. Her mom, my friend Adrienne, threw an amazing Frozen themed birthday party.

It was probably one of the best days of my daughter’s life, and I imagine Addison felt the same.


Cute invites set the stage for the party.

frozen party food

I helped Adrienne with some of the party prep. I really didn’t have much do do with any of the cuteness. I helped make tent cards for the food, but it was all Adrienne’s vision.

The highlight of the party was obviously the special guests…

anna and elsa at frozen partyAnna and Elsa arrived! The girls were spellbound.

frozen party seeing elsa

Especially mine. Its hard to make her speechless, but this did it.

frozen sing along

Anna and Elsa led the little guests in a sing-along. They played with bubbles, had a snowball fight, got balloon animals.  Mia still talks about the snowball fight a few months later.

Adrienne made tutus for the little girls to wear. The cuteness was almost too much to bear.

frozen party face painting

And lastly, they did face (or arm!) painting.

frozen party favorsParty favors. Adrienne made snowflake wands and had tiaras for the girls, in addition to their tutus. She had crowns, swords and shields for the boys.

frozen birthday party

Happy Birthday to one of my favorite 3 year olds!


Invitation: Itsy Belle Studio

Cake: Cakewalk Creations

Anna and Elsa: Fire Pixie Entertainment

Addison’s baby shower

Addison’s 1st birthday

Addison’s 2nd birthday

Real Party: Making Music!

1 copy

Last year Mia’s 1st birthday party was BIG. We joked and called it her wedding.

For her 2nd, I scaled it down. A lot. I had the party at our tiny house, with family members and just a few good friends. It was simpler, but we still had a great time. And she did too, which is most important.

Even with a small mostly-family guest list, we still had quite a few kiddos. (Mia has triplet cousins!) So I hired a guy who does kids music to come and entertain the masses. He was perfect! The kids loved him.  We went with a music theme for the party.  I kept it pretty simple, but still got a little crafty. princess_Bdayblue

 My go-to invite girl designed the cutest invites for the party! (Oh Creative One is the best!)

music party for 2 year old

Come on in!

music birthday party food

We had the party before dinner, so I just served snacks.  I made some pretty fans to hang behind the table. I found really cute music note paper on Amazon to use. (However I’m so late in posting this that I can’t find it on there anymore!)

smoothies for 2nd birthday

The other thing I had for the kids to “eat” was smoothies. I gave each parent a little card with a variety of fruits and veggies and they marked what their kiddo would want. My wonderful niece and nephew made the smoothies in a few blenders in the other room. I used these cups which were perfect: sturdy, BPA free, and lidded! We had no spills.

Kids love smoothies, and parents loved that their little one was actually eating spinach at a birthday party! It was such a perfect solution for what to serve.  Plus we were able to keep leftover frozen fruit and veggies and use them ourselves, so less waste.  I will definitely do this again.

I made Mia’s little shirt to match the bunting banners that were hung about. Her Auntie Drea made her tutu.  (Thanks Dre!)

music party for 2 year old birthday

Mr. Q is a popular party entertainer for kids in our area, and he did not disappoint.

music party craft

I had a simple little craft set up for the kiddos to do after the music was over. They made paper plate tambourines. I had stickers and markers for the kids to decorate their plates. Then we stapled them together and filled them with uncooked rice.  Directions here.

music party cupcake

Mia had been anxiously awaiting the cupcakes.

music party favors

I ordered music note crayons from this shop to use as party favors. They were adorable.

mia is 2

My heart.

I’m so late in posting this, I’m working on her 3rd birthday right now!

Real Party: San Francisco baby shower


There’s a story behind this theme.

Several years ago my friend Johanna moved with her husband to Portland. (We threw her a goodbye party of course).  When they moved back a few years later they were expecting.  So her baby shower was a “made in Oregon” themed party. This was such a fun theme. The invite incorporated the iconic Portland, Oregon sign. They served trail mix as favors, served Oregon-made beers and wine, encouraged people to wear their favorite “northwest-inspired” clothing. I didn’t ever post about the party because I didn’t end up getting very many pictures. But it was so clever!

Well baby #2 is 100% California. Johanna is lifelong resident of San Francisco (minus the short stint in the Northwest), so we decided to celebrate that with this party. As a second shower, we kept it pretty small & simple.  But the details turned out very cute.

san francisco baby shower invitation

I made this simple little invite and printed it on card stock.

We had the party at a restaurant and just brought in a few things to decorate the back patio space.

san francisco baby shower banner

We originally planned to buy a few SF themed onsies from Etsy or local boutiques, but quickly scratched that plan when we saw the prices. I whipped up a few designs based on the invite, and Lindsay printed them on transfer paper and ironed them onto a few white onsies. A much more budget-friendly banner.  😉

san francisco baby shower tableWe were able to sit at one long table on the back porch. We actually brought our own napkins. They probably thought we were crazy, but Katie owns napkins that matched our color scheme perfectly, so how could we not?!

san francisco baby shower place settingsI made a menu that complimented the invitation. We gave sunglasses as party favors. The tags served as place cards.

san francisco baby shower menuI love love love this restaurant. They have to do die for bruschetta with a million flavor combinations. Its really the perfect shower food.


The restaurant let us bring in our own dessert.

Lindsay made some vanilla cupcakes, and topped them with an m & m to match our color scheme. san francisco baby shower cupcakes

Of course Katie brought her matching tray to display them on. 😉

Johanna opened gifts and we all ooh-ed and aaah-ed.

sf baby showerAnd laughed.

I harassed everyone to get them to sign the guest book.

san francisco baby shower guest book

Congrats Johanna!!

mom to be

I cannot wait to meet the new addition. And if anywhere near as cute as Liam, you are in TROUBLE! 😉

(Cutest mom-  and grandma-to-be duo ever? Yes, definitely.)

Here’s the whole crew of Aunties:

party guests

And just because I like this picture:

baby shower onsie

Real Party: Vroom, vroom! Dylan is 2!

My friend Leslie’s son turned 2 recently. He is obsessed with cars, so it was easy to decide on the theme for his party. Leslie held the party at one of our favorite local play spaces. She kept the decorations pretty simple, but it was definitely a homage to his current passion.

2nd birthday carsLeslie found the most adorable car fabric, which I used to made Dylan this cute shirt to wear.

car birthdy party shirt

Dapper little host. 😉

The kids had free reign to explore the giant indoor play structure.

dylans 2 bday

And by “kids” I mean the adults too! I swear I love this place as much as Mia does!

How awesome is this slide?

After all the kiddos and adults were thoroughly worn out, we headed into the party room for pizza and cake.

car party table set up

Leslie’s genius idea was to use chalkboard paper instead of tablecloths.  Leslie, Lindsay and I got together one afternoon to transform the paper into roads. We used white tape for the center lines, and the drew car and truck outlines up and down both sides.

car party table decorations

Leslie scattered mini traffic cones, and road signs up and down the road.  We used this printable set to make the road signs.

party favors car party

Each kid had one of these cars waiting for them as their party favor.

car party 2nd birthday decorations

We also used chalkboard paper and printable road signs to cover the giant 2.

(The 2 has been used at 4 parties so far, getting appropriate make-overs for each one. You saw it here first. We are all about reduce-reuse-recycle apparently!)

Drea made one of her signature mini layered cakes for Dylan.

car party birthday cake

And all the other kiddos enjoyed cupcakes.

cupcake eatersThe cupcakes were a big hit.  :)

dylan bday cakeHappy Happy Birthday Dylan!

And just for fun…here’s one more video of my Mia’s favorite slide:

How did we get here? Take a trip down memory lane:

Dylan’s first birthday party is here.

Dylan’s sip & see is here.

Leslie’s baby shower is here.

Leslie’s wedding is here.

And lastly, vendors:

Venue: La Petite Play

Party favor cars and mini cones: Oriental Trading

Photography: Linsday Little