If you know me, you know I love a good theme party so when Gymboree New York hosted its first-ever prom, Juliet and I had to go! What fashionista doesn’t love a reason to dress-up?
Last year, Juliet wore a white sequin tutu dress from Little Trendsetter that featured an outrageously cute, oversized bubble-bow.
And so I made her and her date matching corsages and boutonneire with flower puffs, some elastic, a pin and my handy glue gun.
Her handsome date, Willem thoughtfully surprised her with a bouquet of flowers. What a sweet date, huh? At the party, they danced, chased each other around and dined on pizza making the most of the incredible play space that Gymboreehas to offer.
They even shared a secret little kiss!
The evening ended with them being crowned Prom King and Prom Queen! They were so honored.
So this year, when Gymboree announced it was having its prom again and after People Magazine wrote this article, we were so excited to return!
Juliet and I had already dressed as flappers last Halloween so we already had Gatsby-esque outfits ready to go! Here’s a snapshot of us returning from our trick-or-treating adventure last year.
For this event, we just changed up the accessories a bit. I love this Les Tout Petits dress of hers! (She is seen wearing it to Kids Fashion Week here). It is so great in motion!
And this girl loves to DANCE! Here she paired the dress with dollar store necklaces and Mini Melissa shoes that I bought at a sample sale online.
From the looks of it, her date also liked her look.
Here they are re-living their prom king and prom queen moment from last year.
She played cards with friends and had so much fun!
Of course I had to match my minime. Here is a close-up of the handcrafted headpieces I created with a glue gun and some broken jewelry from home.
5 dresses + 1 tutu+ 2 vests + 2 shirts+ 1 jacket+ 3 shoes = 23 outfits! See for yourself! It’s all about mixing it up with different accessories and layering in different ways. Here is what I packed for my 2 year old toddler’s first trip to Italy this Spring.
My mom gave Juliet this cute Ralph Lauren dress which I was so excited about because it perfectly matched her little blue bow shoes from Gymboree. Here it is styled with Madeline (the doll) as the muse. And below, is another way the dress was worn by Juliet while on the trip.
I found the adorable fanny pack at a local Italian store called Accessorize and let Juliet choose which snacks to carry in it. Isn’t it just the cutest fanny pack you’ve ever seen??
This blue dress is a vintage find from Lishyloo and styled two ways with different layers. It’s topped with a Gap raincoat on the left (which I’m selling by the way), and worn over a tutu on the right. Below she wears the dress without any layers and no socks for the 3rd look.
Going along with the red, blue, yellow color theme, this vintage dress is styled 2 different ways below and is also inspired by Juliet’s doll, Madeline. With vintage clothes, it’s always best to style with modern accessories and shoes to avoid looking too costume-y.
This long – sleeved dress, also another Lishyloovintage find, can be worn on colder days or night and is seen layered with a fur vest for extra warmth on the left, without it on the right.
And here is Juliet wearing the dress accessorized the 3rd way.
1 denim vest worn 3 ways. In the picture on the left, it’s worn over a white tutu dress and topped with a faux collar/tie that I bought off of Mabel’s Etsy store. On the right, it’s paired with the tutu skirt and a simple white blouse that I swapped at the last Swappiesevent.
On our second day in Rome, she wore it with the tutu dress and a yellow bow in her hair.
And here is another vest outfit with a mini gondola hat that I couldn’t resist buying when there. It was kinda love at first sight.
This white tutu dress with the sequin detailing on the top is so versatile. I find that I can style it numerous ways. In addition to the above examples, see below.
We ended up buying a lace dress in Venice under which I had Juliet wear this white dress because of how see through the dress was. It acted like a slip. The shoes were bought in Italy at the Zara there.
The red tutu that we packed was also styled 2 more different ways – shown below. You can see how the same pieces can look so fresh and new when paired with different items.
Here it is worn in Italy another way.
One of my tips when trying to pack light for a trip is to pick the shoes first (pick ones that can match lots of outfits!) Then work your outfits under the strict rule that they have to go with those shoes. For our 16 day trip, each of us packed just 3 shoes. Pack accessories and layers to change up your basics and you’ll look like you’re wearing a new outfit each day!
I love challenging myself to never wear an outfit the same way twice. I like to mix it up and shop my closet for new looks all the time. That way I never get too bored of what I have. The same goes for my daughter’s closet, which similar to mine is a mix of high and low brands. This post revolves around 1 skirt that I bought from Target (on sale). It’s still a bit big around the waist so I think we’ll get 4 seasons of use out of this one (an amazing feat as any mom of a growing toddler knows!)
She first wore it during my Haute Halloween party where kids dressed up as their fashion icon. Juliet dressed as Anna Wintour.
Here I paired it with a cardigan from Zara and shoes from Old Navy that you can see here. Click here for more outfit details and ideas on how to costume your child as Karl Lagerfeld or Andre Leon Talley!
Here, she is wearing a tee from The Children’s Place that I bought for $5, a Catimini reversible fur vest from Century 21, and gifted glitter shoes. The glitter crown comes in 4 colors and can be bought on my Fab KidsFacebook site.
She attended Kids Fashion Week in NY wearing this Target outfit (blazer, skirt, purse). The tights are from Catimini bought on sale at Century 21, the tie was found at The Children’s Place on clearance, and the Elsy designer blouse is from Century 21. The sneakers were from a hand me down shop called Once Upon a Timeand bought on sale for just $3.
The same tights, blouse, tie, skirt combo is shown here again for her nerdy school outfit. I topped it off this time with a cool leather jacket from Target. And lastly, today she wore the tights, and skirt with a Catimini shirt (bought at Century 21), and wore it with my bandana and a vintage purse I bought on an Etsy sale. The sandals which she is quickly outgrowing are from Gymboree. Don’t be afraid to mix patterns as long as the’re in the same color family!
For more of Juliet’s outfits follow me on Instagram! And for more of my outfits ( I haven’t done these posts for myself in a while) click here.
We’ve jokingly called Juliet a party animal ever since she was born because she has been a night owl going to bed anywhere between 10pm (nowadays) to as late as midnight during her first year of life. So it was only fitting (and such a cute unisex party theme) to make “party animal” her 2nd birthday theme. You’ll see from this post that everything was party animal themed from the fashions to the decor to the entertainment to the food!
Let’s start with the fashion. Juliet wore a bear necklace and (sometimes) wore / carried her lion backpack (perfect since her birthday invite introduced her as “Leo the lion”. I wore my party animal necklaces from Mustard Dandelion’s cute Etsy shop with my leopard Banana Republic heels.
The birthday invite encouraged guests to come dressed in their wildest fashions.
Juliet’s fashionable friends did NOT disappoint!
We were happy to see lots of animal print, fur, animal faces, and bunny ears! My friends are always up for a fun fashion challenge and luckily, they’re as crazy committed to themed parties as I am. I find that it just adds another level of excitement, enthusiasm and involvement into a party. How cute are they all?!!
The decor which you can see consisted of a consisted yellow, orange and baby blue theme. And animals were incorporated wherever possible. Here’s the gift table that sat conveniently right next to the entrance’s coat check-in.
Those 3 teddy bears are actually bears from my own childhood. I just added the ribbon and party hats to align them more with the theme. I used them at Juliet’s 1st birthday party too and love that they represent daddy, mommy and Juliet.
Underneath the table, we stored all of Juliet’s presents. And on top of the table, we featured the favor bags which included: stickered go go squeezes, organic gummy bunnies, stickered Ziploc full of animal crackers and goldfish, a rubber duck, a book about animals and animal stickers. Additionally, each child went home with one of the giant, yellow balloons featured at the kids table.
The framed sign and favor bag stickers were custom created with my direction by That Party Chick, the silk flowers were bought on sale at Michaels, the riser was a diaper box that I covered in fabric and ribbon and the white topper is a shower curtain that I only use for special events. If you follow my blog, you’ve seen it re-purposed in 3 other events. And the yellow tulle fabric is just taped directly onto the table’s perimeter.
Every kids’ birthday should feature some photos. I incorporated photos of Juliet holding different stuffed animals and/or costumed as an animal herself and created a consistent look and feel by printing them all the same size, posting them to card stock and adding a label to each one to continue the animal theme across the mirrored wall. The food station was split into the sweets and snacks tables. The sweets table included:
a macaron tower from The Macaron Cafe
frosted animal cookies from Elinis
organic animal cookies
organic bunny gummy pouches
animal shaped suckers with “happy birthday Juliet!” stickered on the back
yellow gummy bears
stickered applesauces (which OK should be on the snack side but there was more room here)
The snack side of the table featured:
snake sub (with olive eyes and red Twizzler tongue)
stuffed animals, animal books and puzzles and animals that you could ride on
And the animal decor included animal masks for the kids, plastic animal centerpieces (which you can read more about in my earlier post), and animal chair covers which were a big hit.
It was a lively party that kids and adults all enjoyed. Juliet was so happy to celebrate with all her little friends. It was the first year she really understood what it meant to have a birthday. I’ll always remember her cute voice saying, “I’m TWO! Happy birthday!!”
Last year, Juliet’s birthday party started out with the perfect birthday dress. See here. This year, her birthday party was inspired by Meri Meripaper products that I found during a random clearance sale. Here is just a sampling:
I adored the color combination, unisex animal theme and the amazing deal …. so much so that I didn’t care that her next birthday wasn’t for another 6 months. Yes I realize that that officially makes me THAT crazy party planning mom. But what do you expect? I loved planning parties as part of my Public Relations and Marketing profession pre-baby. So I’m bound to plan events with the same passion for my daughter. Besides she is way cuter than my previous clients (Samsung, Saks Fifth Avenue, Toys R Us etc). Plus it’s always so much more meaningful when it’s all about family and your daughter’s BFFs.
Too bad the budget isn’t the same. Oh well, that’s why I have Pinterest boards full of DIY ideas. In addition to the Meri Meri paper products that I bought, I complimented them with customized handmade items. This post will concentrate on some of the DIY party projects that I had fun glue gunning, spraying, and sticking:
animal-themed wall decor
themed water bottles, Gogo Squeezes, and Applesauce
backdrop board and risers
The party animals were done 3 months ahead of time and involved buying (wholesale from Amazon) the plastic animal figurines and then gluing random items on them to make them fit into the party animal theme.
The presents on the larger animals’ backs were made from old jewelry boxes and Nerd candy boxes! I just wrapped them in coordinating papers that I bought on sale from Michaels and added washi tape or pom pom trim. Hats were made from anything from paper to pom pom balls to buttons and ribbon. I just used whatever broken jewelry, leftover craft supplies and ribbon I had.
And I painted the nails of some of the animals which made my husband label them the “gayest animals he has ever seen.” True as that may be, they were pretty fabulous.
I’m selling these party animals as a package to anyone who can pick up from NYC. Message me if interested! They made for great centerpieces at our party but can also serve as fun displays in your kids rooms.
To make our venue more in line with our theme, I decorated the walls with animal themed photos of Juliet and also decorated the pillars – one with a pin the tail on the elephant game and one with art that Juliet created.
The musical entertainers performed in front of that photo wall singing songs with animal lyrics and leading an animal parade around the room.
As I always am with snack stations and dessert bars, I want all my food displays to match. Choosing items within the color theme are a must for me and when things don’t exactly match, I sticker them!
Everything from the GoGo Squeezes, to the toddler-friendly mango applesauces, water bottles and favor bags were stickered in my so-called free time (without a nanny) and made to coordinate with the theme. Michelle, from That Party Chick who I worked with on Juliet’s 1st birthday party was kind enough to partner up with me again on this project. Check out her shop! She is super creative and lightning fast with her graphics. I’ll have more pictures of the dessert bar in my next post but here’s a sneak peak.
The backdrop is something I’ve been wanting to craft ever since I saw some online how-tos during my research and Pinterest round-up. It took some time but was a cheaper alternative than having a customized graphic designed and printed large-scale. Basically, I taped together foam board pieces, added fabric with spray adhesive, then taped on a banner. And now I can store and re-use the foam core board for other future events!
The riser in the middle is simply tissue boxes covered in blue giraffe print fabric, something you can easily find and DIY at home. See how I used it prior to this event during my Disney sponsored princess party here. I also covered a diaper box with plastic tablecloth and pom pom trim to create a last minute riser for one of the kids tables shown here (last minute RSVPs!)
The birthday hats, milk bottles and banners were all made with leftover paper and fabric.
I’m excited to show you how the whole party animal theme came to life through the themed outfits, food, entertainment and the rest of the decor! Stay tuned for a continued blog post coming soon!
Unlike Northwest, my minifashionista does not whine, squirm and cry when waiting for a fashion show to start. Quite the opposite, she giggles with nearby (new) friends, tries out her own runway walk, and claps and bops to the music.
Post-fashion show, she can’t seem to get enough and asks to see more videos of her experience. And she does this EVERYDAY. Just like mommy, she can’t seem to get enough of fashion week. Here are some of of the looks from our favorite fashion show this year, Little Miss Galia.
The clothes from Miss Galia’s collection looked special, luxe and girly. I loved the styling details with the birdcage veils, gloves and fur collar toppers and want to dress Juliet in each and every look. This is the brand to shop if your little girl wants a little glam!
plus if you live in Manhattan, also win 2 free skate passes for South Street Seaport’s skating rink! AND if you like, you can also take home with you the remaining, unused, Sophia the First party items shown below
Just leave a comment here with your name and state, and another comment in any of my previous posts.
And check out JandG Handmade for adorable, girly hair accessories! Get 20%off anything with code, “princess” at checkout!
Post-princess party, I couldn’t bare to take down the decor right away even if I had lived with pieces of it for 2 weeks leading up to it during the planning and setup stages. So I re-used it for Valentine’s by taking down the Sophia The First #disneyside elements and keeping the fuschia pink fabric on the foam core board. Juliet’s boyfriend (yes she’s not yet two and has a Valentine already), gave her the sweetest Hello Kitty card which I posted as the centerpiece to our Valentine’s backdrop.
Before this was up though, I gave Juliet a little pre-Valentine’s breakfast treat – heart shaped pancakes. She helped me mix the batter and loved getting to add the red sprinkles on top.
I know this is a late Valentine’s post but I hope you all had a happy Valentine’s!
On Valentine’s day, we made Valentine’s themed art and played at Kidville’s awesome new gym in the Financial District of NYC.
Below are some videos from Kidville’s Valentine party, Citibabes where she’s riding a horse, and a baby photo shoot with her friend. As you can see, it was a fun-filled Valentine’s weekend for little Juliet!
I was selected as a host by Mom Select for Disney Side Celebrations and received a kit with decorations, party favors and other supplies to inspire me to plan an at home celebration. I was asked to plan and execute party details on my own . No monetary compensation was provided and the views and opinions are my own.
This is all I could think when faced with the challenge of planning a princess party on minimal budget within 2 weeks for 8-10 2 year olds at my apartment. I don’t have a nanny so all I could do was devote 30minutes each day to researching, planning, purchasing and setting up as soon as my #disneyside 20lb box of decor, and party favors arrived care of Disney and Mom Select Media. (See earlier post about being a chosen blogger to host an at home celebration). Somehow my prince charming of a husband put up with me and all the pink and purple that took over our house 2 weeks leading up to the celebration. I swear you’d have thought Sophia The First’s castle had exploded in our living room… For that somewhat pressured (and I say pressured because I’m a perfectionist) period, my head spun as I designed the kids dining area, brainstormed ways to create varied elevation at the snack station, and played with various activity ideas for the kids.
Because I like to stay strictly within a party theme, I opted to exclude using the Mickey decor and baking items received in my package. I’ll save those for another festive moment in my 2 year old’s life. And there were several items I chose to break apart and give away in the goody bags like the big box of Disney Princess chapsticks/glosses and box of Disney Princess stickers. Here is what I ended up giving away as party favors. Additionally, each guest is still waiting to receive the Princess in Training tee shirts gifted from my one of my event sponsors too since they did not arrive in time.
And here was the final bag. I topped off each white bag (bought at the dollar store where a 70 year old man hit on me) with one of the Sophia the First tiaras because I knew my guests were all arriving with their own sparkly head pieces.
In addition to preparing goody bags for each guest, a very special, overstuffed bag was created as a prize package for the best dressed mommy and me duo to encourage guests to dress up and show off their princess style. Here were the contents (some from Disney, some from me and my other sponsors).
Though honestly, my fashionista mommy friends always seem to be up for a kitschy theme (gotta love that) and are girly enough to enjoy dressing-up so it didn’t take much persuasion power on my end. I was so thrilled that they took the dressing up as seriously as I did because it really added to the party and made for fun conversation starters. What a way to kick-off NY Fashion Week, huh?
As you can imagine, their outfits made it extremely easy for my doorman to recognize who my guests were-see invite here. Who else would dress this way in NYC on a normal day??
Just my fab friends… Aren’t they SO cute?? Winner was selected by popular vote and it was a tough call because all the duos were dazzling in their own way. But in the end this is who took home the prize! Totally deserving.
A Sophia the First coloring sheet (from my Disney package) that featured the Royal Academy and said “welcome” greeted guests at the front door as did a coat check. Upon entering, guests heard music from Pandora’s “everyday princess” soundtrack in the background as they passed the hall of mirrors into the kids royal dining area.
Drinks were served and the princesses in training played politely, sharing the princess toys as we waited for all the guests to arrive. Sophia the First’s movie played silently on the TV.
I didn’t have Disney princess toys to go along with the theme so had a friend share some of her Disney princess dolls and other collectible toys at the party.
And I created an accessory station in my bedroom using some old costume jewelry and Juliet’s necklaces and tiaras. That was a big hit! I presented the jewels along a chaise that was the perfect height for them to gaze into a mirror and try on sparkly jewelry.
It was like shopping without the pressure to buy! What girl doesn’t enjoy THAT?
I also brought out Juliet’s purses because you know, princesses all have a weakness for purses!
My sweet daughter was so good about sharing all her fashions, accessories and toys. Mommy was proud.
In addition, primping was encouraged. My vanity featured a princess mani station. Who can resist a chubby toddler hand made even cuter with bows??
And one of the bathroom mirrors had a princess message written on it, “mirror mirror on the wall who’s the fairest of them all?”
Once everyone had arrived, we tried (I emphasize TRIED) to take a group shot of all our princesses in training but that proved to be a bit of a challenge with squirmy 2 year olds…
So we had fun hamming it up for other shots..
After pictures (it’s always important to get the shots in before the kids start eating and ruining their outfits lol), the girls dined and sat on big girl thrones (kids chairs that I covered in white tees and tutus). Surprisingly, the 2 year olds had no major mishaps. They ate their tiara sandwiches, savory snacks and crown cupcakes in peace. These princesses were on their BEST behavior!
Here you can see that I didn’t just lay the free Sophia the First plastic table cover down. I first covered the table legs with a couple, never-used shower curtains that I keep for decorative event purposes like this (see the 1st birthday party that I threw), then I steamed, yes STEAMED the plastic tablecloth that Disney gave me because I’m anal like that, then I laid a ruffly, runner on top for my centerpiece desserts. The layered additions gave the Sophia the First plastic cover a more elegant touch and elevated the look all together.
The mini-cupcakes were the perfect size for toddler hands (and appetites) and were simply bought at Whole Foods (along with the heart cookeis). I was estatic to find the perfect pre-made shade of pink frosting and knew that all I had to do was add my fondant pre-made tiaras that I bought at Michaels for a customized, more couture look.
My baby is an animal when it comes to devouring her cupcakes. She was so good at obeying my orders to not touch the cupcakes until all her guests arrived that when it came time to eat, I let her have the requested 2 but then she just HAD to have the last one too….
You don’t have to spend a lot on a kids party. Just use what you have and get crafty with dollar store finds. The overhead garland above the dining table is actually just made up of 3 plastic tablecloths that I bought at the dollar store and then hand cut fringe on for instance.
And the white lace hearts were leftover craft items I already had and I strung them on ribbons leftover from my wedding.
The Princess in Training sign is just foam core board that I cut and wrote on and the two Sophia the First framed photos that sit beside it are pictures I found in a free poster album book that I picked up at Little Swappiesfor free. I just made sure to find and cut pictures within the same pale pink and purple color theme.
Because I was simultaneously planning my daughter’s 2nd birthday (which was planned to be held 1 month after this party), I really really wanted to stick to a tight budget here. So I got creative.
I used pages out of that free Sophia the First poster book and created a backdrop by simply taping pages with coordinating colors on the wall. I bought the posterboard that hangs in the middle on sale at Michaels for $5 then covered it in fabric and velcro taped the Princess tasks for certification list so it became the centerpiece of our Princess in Training snack station.
I chose to stick the stand alone decorative items that Disney gave me (the 2 small pieces below the foam core board) as wall decor instead of as table decor and placed their snack bowls right beside them on a riser that I created from scratch.
The center riser is just a diaper box covered in dollar store plastic tablecloth, tissue paper that I cut for my daughter’s first birthday, saved and re-used and extra pom pom trim -also leftover. And the long narrow, riser in front is a bunch of Kleenex boxes glue-gunned together and wrapped. You’d never know, right? Both worked so well I think I’ll re-use them next month at my daughter’s 2nd birthday -just have to re-cover them in a different fabric for her color theme.
The “pretty in pink rice crackers” and “flower petals” are from my sponsor Happy Family, an organic food line, and the “princess pretzels”, well they are a toddler crowd pleaser.
Savory snacks for the adults included truffled mac ‘n cheese bites, figs, nuts, veggie reduced fat chips, Stacy’s pita chips, purple/pink corn chips (yes I like my food to match the color theme!) and fruit, not shown here.
My friend couldn’t get over the cuteness of the miniature appetizer plates and forks.
Mozerella cheese sticks for kids and kids at heart!I bought the purple glitter paper all on sale and used them to accent these cute cake risers (cut into a circle and saran wrapped here). They were also used as a sparkly counter runner just to bring a little more color into the mix. So the money I did spend was mainly on snacks and foods. I got creative with decor and re-used things I had around the house and I think it turned out all right for being on a tight budget, don’t you?
The snacks which you can’t see up close also included:
healthy yogurt granola bars cut into halves and presented in cupcake liners
kids mini-sized yogurts perfectly coordinating in purple
prince charming cookies (with a prince emblazoned on each cookie)
Here is the before picture of my Drink jars.
Frustratingly, this project cost me the most time. Ever get inspired by Pinterest and then totally regret trying out that crazy idea? Well, after I had downed a couple cases of this Starbucks mocha frappuccino stuff there really was no turning back. Even if it did take me over a half an hour to scrub each of the bottle’s stickers off and even if I did lose layers of skin during the process, I was dead set on finishing my Pinterest project!
While the little princesses were occupied and happily eating in their own royal dining area, I thought it would be fun for the grownups to get to know one another a little better with a little princess activity for ourselves. So I dreamt up a little game of Princess truth or dare-only without the dares. Here are some sample questions, (each mom pulled a question randomly and had to answer honestly).
This game and all the questions were made up by me so don’t laugh:
Princesses sometimes have to kiss a lot of frogs before finding their prince. How many did you kiss (multiple choice with different number ranges were given)
Princesses own more than just one glass slipper. How many shoes do you own?
Hi Beauty, Have you dated a beast Why and tell us about it.
If you had a magical princess power what would it be and why?
Kids are not the only ones who can play games at princess parties!
The party went overtime, a sure sign that the guests were having a good time and I was thrilled to see all the smiling faces and laughter. In the end the clock struck past people’s dinner times and princesses had to rush off in their stroller carriages after receiving their official princess certificate which annointed them as an official princess. I printed these from a free online printable. See my Pinterest board for more ideas and links to other free princess printables!
Here’s a couple shots of post-party Cinderella clean-up, dresses, tiaras and all.
TIPS on making a kid’s party look more sophisticated:
Don’t rely on just the kiddie paper products. Mix in elegant serverware, cake platters and risers.
Layer in real linens with the plastic tablecloths and napkins.
Feature unique hanging decor like garlands, tassel balls, coordinating ribbons, fringe..Balloons are popular with the kids but also expected.
Stick to your color theme and coordinate down to the very last detail.
Feature fresh florals – ooh fancy!
And that’s IT! Read on to the next post where I show you how I transformed this decor into a Valentine’s backdrop and for a chance to win a supersized goody bag from this party!
Onto NY Fashion Week and then to furiously finish planning my daughter’s 2nd birthday!
Special thanks goes out to Disney and their associated sponsors, All, Wisk, Beyond Meat