Search: party animal

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.  Get inspired as this post shows you how to incorporate the party animal theme into everything from the fashions to the decor to the entertainment to the food!

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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.

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The birthday invite (from Paperless Post) encouraged guests to come dressed in their wildest fashions.

animal inviteJuliet’s fashionable friends did NOT disappoint!

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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?!!

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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.

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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.

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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.

animal themed party

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.   birthday partyThe 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
  • bunny chocolates
  • organic bunny gummy pouches
  • vanilla cupcakes
  • candy balls
  • 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)

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The snack side of the table featured:

  • snake sub (with olive eyes and red Twizzler tongue)
  • safari salad
  • monkey food (bananas)
  • hungry hippo hummus and veggies
  • bear nutella sandwiches
  • coffees teas, waters and jungle juices
  • parrot pineapples

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And the entertainment consisted of:

  • musical performers singing animal themed songs (Think “in the jungle”, “itsy bitsy spider”)
  • Pin the Tail on the Elephant
  • stuffed animals, animal books and puzzles and animals that you could ride on

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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.

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animal parade masks

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!!”

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Last year, Juliet’s birthday party started out with the perfect birthday dress.  See here.  This year, her birthday party was inspired by Meri Meri paper products that I found during a random clearance sale.  Here is just a sampling:

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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:

  • party animals
  • animal-themed wall decor
  • themed water bottles, Gogo Squeezes, and Applesauce
  • backdrop board and risers
  • banners
  • milk bottles
  • birthday hats

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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The musical entertainers performed in front of that photo wall singing songs with animal lyrics and leading an animal parade around the room.

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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!dessert bar

Juliet-8935Everything 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.

dessert bar

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!

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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!)

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The birthday hats, milk bottles and banners were all made with leftover paper and fabric.

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milk bottles

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!

The pictures from this post are a mix of mine and those from www.Hammjackk.net

 

 

 

 

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Juliet’s only request when asked what kind of party she wanted was that there should be pink, cupcakes and lollipops.  So with that simple request this year, I delayed her celebration a bit to the week before Easter to throw her a Hoppy bunny birthday which was perfect ‘cuz this 3 year old just LOVES to jump around these days!    And of course, I made sure to include pink, cupcakes and lollipops!

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The invites were customized on Paperless Post, my go to online invitation source for stylish evites.  I love how they let you customize everything from the backgrounds to the stamps and wording!

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I’m not a poet but I came up with this original invite wording for the occasion.  “Some bunny is turning 3, so hop on over to celebrate me, dress to impress for pics w/Easter bunny, what’ll you find in the egg hunt, money?  Sweet treats and bunny bites too, but it’s not a party without YOU! xoxo, Juliet”  I feel the invite is super important for setting the tone and getting guests excited for the event.  I hoped this floral invite not only hinted at the springy, Easter theme but got them anticipating the dressy egg hunt too.

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After having taken her Easter photos last year and having been challenged by my husband with the question of what I’m going to do with these print outs, I came up with the idea of putting them to use by displaying them at a future bunny themed birthday party! With that in mind, I immediately went shopping the day after Easter to snag all the party decor at 80-90%off.  (I have to work within a budget, ya know)!  From there, I scoured the web to find the perfect crafty, DIY, and fashion details buying everything at wholesale prices, and scoring amazing finds from the Target dollar bins.  After having waited months to see it all come together, you can imagine my excitement finally getting to set it all up!

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It was so exciting to finally have all the details out of my head start to come alive during setup.

easter party ideas, bunny birthday ideas, how to throw a kids party on a budgetIn any party space you may come across items that are not allowed to be removed.  Don’t fret.  Creatively cover them up!  There was a random framed photo of a strange man in this party space so I used wrapping paper to hide him and applied a cutout cardboard ‘3’ (also gift wrapped) and some wholesale bunny balloons.  The balloon arch was easy for me to make despite never having made one before – just used packing tape!

Here are my top 6 ideas for throwing a bunny or Easter themed party.

  1.  Get Pun-ny, Bunny.  For a kids party I say it’s OK to get a little cheesy with the puns.  Phrases like, “hoppy birthday,” “thanks for hopping on by,”  You’re Egg-stra special,”  We’re so egg-cited to see you soon,” are handy for invitations and thank you notes.  I also plastered such sayings onto the birthday banner, around the water bottles and Reeses Pieces bunny tubes (which I found at a local drug store for a little over a dollar each).  They have the same decorative effect as cake pops for a fraction of the price! IMG_6922 hoppy birthday, easter party, kids party ideas, kids party styling, yellow and white party2.  Post Easter or bunny themed photos of the guest of honor.  We all like to marvel how much kids have grown during a birthday party so why not post pictures within the party’s theme?  Last year for Juliet’s party animal themed party, I posted photos of Juliet holding various stuffed animals and labeled them each with a matching decorative title (‘lamb’, ‘puppy’ or whatever she was holding in the pic).  This year, I posted photos from her past Easter shoot, 1 year earlier. how to throw a bunny themed party3.  Bunny cut outs.  There are so many ways to incorporate a decorative bunny as part of the party’s decor.  I used enlarged bunny felts, bunny shaped-sandwiches, and bunny footprints leading up to the party’s entrance.  For more ideas, check out my Pinterest board!
  2. 1394.  Offer bunny – themed entertainment for the kids.  There was a coloring and sticker station, bunny book reading area, bunny game, a bunny and easter egg decorating area, bunny stuffed animals to play with and an Easter bunny to take pictures with at our party for instance.   All were toddler-friendly activities that parents could help out with or not! (Note how easily a borrowed Bugs Bunny costume can easily be converted into an Easter bunny with a simple felt add-on)?143how to throw an easter party for toddlers5.  Encourage Easter animal adoption!  A fun way for me to greet each guest at the door was to welcome them with the opportunity to adopt a pet of their choice.  Cabbage Patch Kid Style, they were given a certificate of adoption after getting to name their new pet.

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ideas for a kids easter party

6.  Host an Easter egg hunt!  Juliet helped me fill a whopping 200 Easter eggs.  (Child labor laws don’t apply in my home)! And the kids really seemed to have fun with this.  I loved it as a parent because the public Easter egg hunts in NYC are always overcrowded which means long lines, toddlers getting trampled, and the big kids getting to the eggs before the little ones have a fair chance at finding them.  Our private rooftop park gave them the exclusive opportunity to enjoy a leisurely hunt (ehem during a light drizzly snow day the day before Spring)!

how to throw a kids easter party, easter egg hunt for toddlers

how to throw an easter party for kids

The Easter eggs were filled with everything from egg-shaped chocolates to toys to coins and googly-eyed bunny stickers! tips for planning an easter party for toddlers

The lucky kids who found a golden egg or super-sized egg were prized with one of the bunny-shaped balloons to take home from the party!

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I think I smiled ear to ear the whole time being surrounded by all these cuties!

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kids easter party, kids bunny birthday, bunny birthday ideas I liken planning this party to giving birth.  It took 10 months of research, planning, buying, and preparing, and then intense laboring culminating in estatic celebration with post-op type recovery and bed rest in the end. Phew!  I don’t think I’ve ever worked so hard on any one event, simply because I’m a one-mom production company. But come load-in and setup, I did have a little help from friends!  Thanks Roniescia, Janell, Stacie and even John and Juliet!  Subscribe to read on about my tips for setting up a stylish kids’ Easter table (not pictured here) and follow me @fabgabblog on Instagram and Twitter for all the preview pics and recap videos!  That’s a wrap folks!  ‘Til next year!!

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Please leave a comment and share what you liked most about this party so far and Happy Easter to you all!

Photos are a mix from Image Ready, Gotham Love and friends’.

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White parties have a certain elegance and excitement surrounding them.  They signal summertime, celebrations and …P.Diddy.  And what’s cooler than P.Diddy?  I’ve waited years for P.Diddy’s white party invite but strangely, have yet to receive one so I decided it was time to host one!  I figured it would be a great chance to use all the white decor I already had lying around the house.  You know, the stuff my husband nags me about not using enough of i.e.cake plates, platters and other frivolous items that he doesn’t understand.  But other than trying to prove him wrong, I just wanted to bring people together and enjoy the last bit of summer.  Anyone who knows me I love finding a reason (any reason) to celebrate.  Extending and celebrating summer sounded like a good enough reason to celebrate as any!

I thought it would be cute to anniversary last year’s white themed play date in the park and invite moms and their kids.  Every mom appreciates a fun reason to dress-up and meet up elsewhere other than the usual park / playground.  This time though, the event would be more formalized, with a dinner spread and even florals and candles. (gettin’ fancy here!)

Here’s how to create a white party of your own:

1).  Ask guests to dress in all-white! The stricter you are with this requirement, The better the pictures and the better the ice-breaking.

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SAMSUNG CSCJuliet would remind you not to forget to accessorize!

white party2). Feature white furniture and/or table linens (white gift wrap, contact paper, plastic table covers, sheets, drapes and blankets all work too!)white party nyc IMG_7681 IMG_7683

3).  Serve white beverages (We had sake, white wine, sparkling cider, white grape juice, and water)

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water

The branded waters were repurposed sheets of party circles meant as cupcake toppers, designed by That Party Chick.

4).  Serve white foods and snacks.  I served sushi rolls, Japanese chicken and udon noodles, pork dumplings, cheese and crackers, white dip for veggies, and hummus with veggie chips, and popcorn). Kids’ white snacks included Mum Mums and Trader’s Joe’s cereal bars (both of which had white packaging and were served upright in clear vases).

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Other non-white foods like the edamame and seaweed salad were served on white platters that showcased the Rocksbox promo code ‘FabGabBlog’ which all my guests were entitled to for a free month jewelry subscription.

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5).  Have white desserts (For this party, I presented white frosted cupcakes, marshamellows, powdered sugar doughnut holes, white rock candy swizzle sticks, white yogurt covered raisins, animal crackers and white macaron puffs).

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The white rock candy swizzle sticks were a hit amongst the kids!  But who doesn’t love these??

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6). White decor -Besides my white ruffle linen, I brought down pillar candles and 3 silk hydrangea vases from my living room along with some white baroque frames and set them along the white marble communal table that was already at the rooftop terrace.

kids white party

7).  Create a white photo backdrop – I set up a simple white banner backdrop with some cardstock and a strip of fuzzy white yarn found on clearance at Michael’s.  You could also hang white: balloons, Chinese lanterns, drape, crepe paper …the list goes on…

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These besties were hamming it up for us!

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For fun, I had some photo props for guests to use if they liked.

photo booth props

Get toddlers grouped together for a photo by sitting them atop a bench that is just high enough for them to not want to try and jump off.  I learned this terrific tip from my professional photographer friend who took half these photos for us, Gotham Love!

how to throw a white party

8).  For kids’ entertainment, I had asked parents to bring a silent toy or two that their kids wouldn’t mind sharing.  And I had a bubble maker and white blown – up balloons for them to play catch on – site for the kids.  But music (if the venue would have allowed) and games would have been great additional add-ons.  For our party, the WHITE noise of the waterfall and children’s laughter in the background was our music.

For the parents, I thought that a confessional round where each guest reveals a white lie they recently told would be fun too – maybe next time!

 

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All in all, it was a memorable time and a fabulous chance to wear our whites one last time before summer officially ended!

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Juliet is still talking about all the fun she had!

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matching mommy and me outfits

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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.

 

 

keep calm and sparkle on

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.

goody bag

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.  goody bag

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).

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goody bag

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?

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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??

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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.

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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.

princess partyDrinks 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.

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princess IMG_5192 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.

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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.

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It was like shopping without the pressure to buy!  What girl doesn’t enjoy THAT?DSC_2362 IMG_5172

I also brought out Juliet’s purses because you know, princesses all have a weakness for purses!

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My sweet daughter was so good about sharing all her fashions, accessories and toys.  Mommy was proud.

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In addition, primping was encouraged.  My vanity featured a princess mani station. Who can resist a chubby toddler hand made even cuter with bows??

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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?”

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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…

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So we had fun hamming it up for other shots..

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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!

disney princess partyHere 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.

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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.  IMG_5276

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….IMG_5316

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.

princess in training  And the white lace hearts were leftover craft items I already had and I strung them on ribbons leftover from my wedding.

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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 Swappies for 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.

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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.princess in training

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.

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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.DSC_2238

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.  IMG_5181

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.

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My friend couldn’t get over the cuteness of the miniature appetizer plates and forks.

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Mozerella cheese sticks for kids and kids at heart!IMG_5189IMG_1885I 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?

snack station

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
  • cocounut macarons
  • prince charming cookies (with a prince emblazoned on each cookie)
  • sliced fruit

Here is the before picture of my Drink jars.

Starbucks 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!

starbucks glasses

Thank you to Party Aww Sweet for supplying the purple and white straws!

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?

disneyside partyKids 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!

princess certificate

Here’s a couple shots of post-party Cinderella clean-up, dresses, tiaras and all.

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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

And my event sponsors:

  • GoGo Squeez fruit squeezes for everyone
  • J and G handmade hair accessories for the prize package plus 20% off the shop for anyone entering promo code ‘princess’ and leaving a comment in this blog post.
  • Crunch Pak free Mickey ear snack packs for everyone
  • Catchick6 Creations princess potty training panties for the prize package and for the upcoming blog giveaway
  • Sweet Lil Bows  Sophia the First necklaces for everyone
  • Happy Family purple teething crackers and pink rice cakes
  • Party Aww Sweet party straws

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I admit it.  I’ve become that crazy mom who is constantly planning lavish parties for her little one.  You would have thought I was planning a wedding with as much thought, time and energy I invested into my daughter’s first birthday.  See for yourself here.  I was dead set on making it the best birthday she’d never remember.  And on a budget.  And all by myself.

And now that her next birthday isn’t for another 7months, guess what… I’m already on it.  I have the theme, venue, Pinterest board, invites, decor and even the paper plates ready to go.   Don’t believe me? Much to my husband’s dismay, all the paper products are stacked and in my hallway closet.  The party’s theme is animal themed if you must know.  Guests will get to initially take pictures with Leo the lion (Juliet dressed in costume).  There will be animal mask photo props for the photo booth area, the singing troupe will be leading singalongs only with songs with animals in the lyrics, and themed foods will include hot dogs, animal crackers, and critter cupcakes – all designed with a strict vintage colored decor theme.  Juliet’s party animal friends are going to roar with delight.

And as if that weren’t crazy enough, I’ve been dreaming of other party themes that I could have Juliet host during the inbetween months now until her birthday. Because you know, you can never have enough parties.

Already I’ve got Juliet hosting a back to school party this September with my FB page “Fab Kids”(check it out now and give it some love).  Yes, she’s only 1.5 years old but yes she’s going to school this fall semester so why not celebrate?!  We’re requiring all the guests (babies and toddlers that is) to dress as nerdy as possible.  Think glasses, suspenders, bowties and pocket protectors.   It’s all about the fashion after all!  AND I already have Juliet’s outfit planned.

Those of you who follow me on Instagram already know that we’ve already hosted a (toddler) white party – P Diddy style where all guests showed up in white.

white party

White for a picnic playdate you say?  Deal with it.  Fashion is impractical.  It’s best kids learn that lesson early on.

Here is Juliet greeting her guests

host

Look at our little ones breaking bread and communing with one another (while wearing Chanel)….

toddlers and babies wonder where P Diddy is

 “Wherever did you get those shoes!  I Die.”IMG_9619

You’ve gotta look fab while you’re having fun!

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The kids had a load of fun playing with the park’s toys and enjoying story time and singalongs.  And I think a few passerbys and gawkers couldn’t help but vicariously enjoy the fun too.

All we needed was for P.Diddy to show up.  Ah well, there’s always next year.

Stop by Facebook to vote on details for our next NYC mommy and me meetup.  Nerds Rule!

And follow us on Instagram @Fab_Kids for outfit inspiration for your minifashionista!

While you do that, I’ll be planning my next, next party.  I’m thinking Haute Halloween… fashionable halloween anyone??

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I try to celebrate the every day in style.  Even when it comes to hosting play dates, I like to elevate the experience by offering something a little more memorable than your average mommy and me meetup.  Here’s how I hosted a pajamas and pancake play date at my home for less than $10.  Hopefully, this will give you some inspiration for your next children’s gathering.

1).  Find a fun theme.  Themes get people brainstorming and anticipating the excitement that lies ahead.  And for a play date, they immediately make meetups special.  I had never held a breakfast play date before so I set this one up with a pajamas and pancake theme. (invite from Paperless Post)

paperless post

2).  Use what you have.  There’s no reason to spend a lot.  Search around the house and find items that may inspire you. I noticed for instance that Juliet had amassed a bunch of Play doh gifts so I hosted a Play doh themed playdate – same with Hello KittyClick on those earlier blog posts for more ideas!

This time around I was determined to use my leftover 2nd birthday decor.

party animals

I figured these plastic animal figurines that I bought wholesale and decorated for Juliet’s party animal themed birthday could easily turn into a fun ‘wild for you’ Valentine’s decoration. I just cut out letters freehand from scrapbook paper that I already had.   And even used coordinating tissues (yes as in travel-sized Kleenex) found at Target for $1 to make the ‘YOU’ cutout letters.

wild for youThe animal figurine display set the backdrop for the pajamas and pancake play date nicely.

animal party IMG_0919

To continue the animal decor, I sat furry stuffed animals on each chair which helped welcome our sweet little guests, strung animal Valentine’s cards that I found for $1 at Target into a banner, and laid down a twin sized duvet cover that was a pink zebra print for the table linen.  (Think out of the box!)  And the melon rectangles that awaited the kids were stamped with bunny bento cutters that I already owned.

animal birthday

3).  Encourage pancake decorating! It’s not often you’re encouraged to play with your food but it sure is fun!  Our pancake decorating station included:  sprinkles in 6 colors, mini chocolate chips, blueberries, rasberries, whipped cream and syrup.

image13And I made the pancakes PINK to coordinate with the decor and add some Valentine’s fun.   Too cute! IMG_0927

pancake party To add to the menu, I made heart shaped omeletes (with mushroom, red pepper and cheese) as well as offering muffins and organic granola bars to the mix for variety.

pancakes and pajamas

4).  Elevate your play date style.  Kids meals, parties and play dates don’t have to mean primary colors and character paper plates.  For this get together, simple white paper plates were placed onto beautiful chargers.  Coordinating paper napkins were folded with kids silverware, and adult cake plates and platters added contrasting height to the arrangements.

wild for you IMG_0912 IMG_0913 IMG_0931

5).  Prepare toys within theme.  For this Wild For You Pajama and pancake play date, I made sure to bring out furry stuffed animals, animal puzzles, animal games and toys.  IMG_0948

Of course, sometimes the kids will find other toys just as fascinating and that’s ok.

cute kids IMG_0980 IMG_8887

6).  Don’t forget the fashion.  Consider how you can incorporate the theme with fashion!  And don’t hesitate to get kitschy or a little wild.  It’s play time and whimsy should be encouraged!  For instance, at Juliet’s party animal themed 2nd birthday, we asked everyone to dress in their ‘wildest’ fashions which turned guests of all ages up in bunny ears, animal prints and darling animal heads all over their clothes. For this animal themed play date though, I actually styled the kids (meaning I bought and returned for the photo shoot) coordinating animal printed pajamas.

gap pajamasAnd I accessorized with furry hats that we already owned.  You can buy similar hats here.  Use my promo code 012BC82D8 for a FREE HAT (just pay s&h).  They have tons of cute styles for infants, toddlers and even adults!

fab kidsWhat do you think?

For more Fab Kids themed playdates, and special event invites, make sure to like facebook.com/fabkidsnyc and send me an email with your email, names and age of child!  If you’re in the NYC area you should join us for our upcoming Easter bunny brunch, Fab Fit Fun mommy meetups, red white and blue July 4th picnic, and white party in the summer!  Spread the word and tell a friend.

xoxo,

Stella

 

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It was a wintery, snowy morning in NY when a fellow mommy friend and I trekked out to Brooklyn on a Little Swappies treasure hunt.  I rarely venture out to the outer Manhattan boroughs but the draw of kids fashion and the opportunity to trade-in some of Juliet’s gently worn items for a good cause compelled me to go.

littleSwappies-Event-400x400

I’m so glad I did!  In addition to the sponsored goody bag filled with snacks and promotional discounts, I found 20 items (toys, books and fashion pieces) that were in great shape.  They must have increased the maximum take-home number because last time I went I only brought back 9 things.  Click here for that blog post which includes tips on what you should know before you go.

 

If you are familiar with my blog, you know that I love a good deal and enjoy mixing high and low brands.  Well the same goes for baby fashion.  Juliet’s closet is a mix of high-end designer, consignment/thrift/hand me downs, and everyday brands.  The below outfit is a prime example.

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The designer, mini-melissa shoes which I bought during an online sample sale are mixed with the free tank top that I scored at Little Swappies and a Baby Masala bottom from their Little Swappies sponsor sample sale.   I mixed it in with accessories already in Juliet’s closet and boom, new summer outfit for just $5!

minifashionista

Also found at the same sample sale was this cute Baby Masala dress for $5 which I accessorized with a mustard scarf that I’m selling through my FB page, Fab kids and their stylish moms, Old Navy boots and a pair of sunglasses gifted from Love My Alannah whom I met at Kids Fashion Week.  (I wish I could remember the brand’s name so I could tag them here!)  The leather jacket is from Target’s sale and the rabbit, gifted from Kid Robot.

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Thinking of the same leather jacket, I bought this Baby Masala dress for $5.  The brand is all organic by the way!  The boots are from Target, the book was gifted and the glasses are on sale at Fab kids and their stylish moms FB page. The flower crown is from H&M and altered to fit J.  If you see an elastic accessory outside of the kids section, remember that it can easily be altered to fit the little one!chanel baby

This Carter’s cardi was found at the Little Swappies event and styled with items already in Juliet’s closet, a black knit skirt, (fake) kids Chanel purse, shoes bought at a sample sale and head piece from Aldo.  So sophisticated, huh?spring dress

This sweet Laura Ashley dress caught my eye because I’m a sucker for Peter Pan collars and smocking detail.  I was psyched to find this at the Little Swappies event and styled it at home with Juliet’s Mini Melissa rhino boots (bought on sale), my cell phone cover and a flower crown from Forever 21.baby outfit

Anyone that follows my Instagram account, @fabgabblog knows that I love dressing Juliet in androgynous looks.  I mix boys clothes and accessories with girly pieces for a cute mix of masculine/feminine.  The above is a prime example.  Tee was free from Little Swappies and the Carters romper and hat are from TJMaxx.  She’s a Maxxinista like me after all!  The purse is from Target and the sneakers are boys shoes from a second hand store that I bought for $2. cute baby clothes

I couldn’t believe my luck when I found this classic, crisp white blouse at Little Swappies.  It was in perfect condition and featured the Peter Pan collar that I love so much!  It is such a versatile piece and I knew I could layer it and wear it a million different ways…oops I mean Juliet could.  I am living through her.  The mask is also a free find from there and it is paired with Baby Gap boots and raincoat along with a vintage short/bowtie set bought off of Etsy – one of my favorite sites for unique baby fashion.  Who says baby girls can’t wear bowties??how to style a tutu

This outfit would be so cute for a birthday party, wouldn’t it?  The hat is actually something Juliet wore on her first birthday.  Click here to find out how her birthday outfit inspired the entire party’s decor.

Right now is the season when Juliet’s social calendar gets crazy packed with birthday parties and I can totally imagine her bouncing around in this cute ensemble.  With this giant party hat though she might steal the spotlight…  Here, the monkey onesie was the freebie from LS and it is paired with a Zara cardigan also worn here, Joe Fresh tutu, scarf and socks that can be bought through me and my FB page. Shoes were from a sample sale and from a brand called Stella – gotta love that since that is my first name!catimini

The high-end Catimini fur vest and Tahari plum ruffled dress here is styled with a free flower crown from LS and Baby Gap boots.  The Harajuku – mini head is an applique from Etsy and the party animals are items I DIY-ed for Juliet’s upcoming party animal themed 2nd birthday.  Wait til you see the rest!

In addition to these fab fashion finds, I also picked up some books and a Mickey toy.  I think it’s safe to say that I SCORED!  Overall, it was a fun event and I even made some good contacts for my future party sponsor needs.  Did I tell you that I’m running sponsored kids events in Manhattan?  Like Fab Kids and their Stylish Moms on FB and follow @fab_kids on IG for invites and all the fun!

Thanks for reading!

 

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I believe in recycling and re-using what you have and the same philosophy comes up during Halloween when I’m preparing costumes for our endless series of special events.  See my last post about 8 easy DIY Costumes from last year here as an example!  This year, I took a slightly different approach and let Juliet”s favorite toys serve as the inspiration to all our make-at-home costumes.  They were so fun to create with her and for her.  See below for some costume inspiration and let me know what you think you could create at home with what you already have!

  • Baby Momma.  Does your doll love dolls?  Make her a mommy this year!  With an infinity scarf, I made her a makeshift baby carrier and stuffed her Water Baby in there.  Props could include, a (plastic) wine glass (I filled our with sparkling water), a Starbucks cup, a cellphone, a stroller, baby bottle, purse and kitchen accessories!  We glammed her up as a fab mom but you could easily do the stressed out mom look and opt for a more disheveled tee shirt and leggings paired with some under-eye circles and messy hair lol!diy costume, make at home costume, kids costumes, kids costume ideas, mommy costume, beauty salon dropout, beautician costume
  • Beautician.  If your daughter is like mine, she is obsessed with anything beauty-related.  Here she is making over Barbie’s hair, make-up and nails.  The Barbie hair styling bust came in handy for this photo opp (as well as for our recent Barbie-themed play date read more here.  You could however, easily use any long-haired doll, play make-up, or an apron filled with tools (ours was from Melissa & Doug). 
  • Veterinarian.  Do you have a doctor’s set and some stuffed animals?  It’s easy to re-create this doctor’s costume with a button down shirt, glasses, a cute stuffed animal and doctor’s tools (stethoscope, thermometer, bandaids, suckers, etc).  My friend made this lab coat and gave it to us as a hand-me-down and it completed the costume!!  BTW, if you haven’t already heard of Parker, you’ve got to check him out! While he looks like your classic, cuddly teddy bear, he actually digitally interacts with an app for an immersive, augmented reality experience!  We live in the future, I tell you!parker the teddy bear, seedling bear, seedling toys, dr costume, kids costume ideas, veterinarian costume
  • Rock Star.  Encourage your kid to rock on with his/her favorite musical instrument of choice and/or a microphone.  Get flashy with the outfit, and have fun!  I gave Juliet’ an 80’s rocker look with MY fishnet stockings, hair in a side ponytail, a bright neon dress, toy guitar and sunglasses.  Must have sunglasses.rock star costume, 80s rocker, 80s rock star, kids costume ideas, diy costume

Thanks to the toy sponsors who sent us the beloved toys!  Follow us on IG and watch our IG stories to see the toys in action!

Seedling for the interactive teddy bear and doctor’s set

Just Play for the Barbie styling head and Water Baby Doll

 

 

For more Halloween inspiration see the below links!

See my past Halloween parties here.

Party treats by Gym Craft Laundry

Craft and healthy snack by Ottawa Mommy Club

free printable Halloween decor by Mommy of a Princess

More DIYs by Jones family travels

 
 
 
 

 

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domino magazine party, domino pop up, citypoint brooklyn

Domino Magazine is my all-time favorite home decor magazine so when I got called upon to cover their VIP party at the newly opened, and beautiful City Point (Brooklyn mall), I just had to see it for myself.  Golden Globe winning actress, Maggie Gyllenhaal (and my little Juliet) graced the opening reception to the delight of photogs.  Is it just me or does one seem strangely more at ease in front of the cameras than the other…

domino magazine, domino magazine party, maggie gyllenhaal

We walked into a burst of colors, tropical fruits and a summery soundtrack that immediately put us in the mood for the season.

domino pop up, domino magazine, tropical trend, summer style, citypoint, nyc kid, nyc mom

Together, we enjoyed fruity popsicles, enjoyed the festive party go-ers and shopped the store which included so many stylish finds.  Domino expertly curated items from the best of the design world including: Dusen Dusen, Bushwick Kitchen, Found My Animal, Bushwick Kitchen, Recreation Center, and Fredericks & Mae and proceeds benefited Prospect Park Alliance’s community art project, The Connective Project.

citypoint, domino magazine,

Those are patterned soaps by the way in that first picture! What a fun way to freshen up your bathroom decor or leave a little hostess gift behind, huh? The whole space was just breathtakingly beautiful.  But what else would you expect from Domino?

domino pop up shop, domino nyc party, domino magazine nyc party, domino magazine brooklyn party

The appetizers could not have been more alluringly laid out either.

appetizers, hors d'oeuvres, fruits, vegies, vegetables, party food, food styling

Even the bar area provided plenty of eye candy!

bartender, bar, nyc party, domino magazine party, citypoint party

Overall, we had a swinging good time and highly suggest that if you’re in the area you drop on by!

domino magazine party, domino mag pop up

The Domino Summer Pop-up Shop will be open three weekends in June [June 2nd-4th; 9th-11th; and 16th-18th] from 11am until 8pm daily.  It is conveniently located on street level in City Point at 445 Albee Square West in Downtown Brooklyn, accessible by the 2, 3, 4, 5, A, C, B, F, G, Q, and R subway trains.

minifashionista, reading, kids reading, reading books, reading to kids

 

Check out the last time we were at City Point for a kids’ fashion show HERE!

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