Search: polka dot

Who wears short shorts?  Um, apparently I do.  Here’s a pair of polka-dot, navy pleated shorts from Charlotte Russe – a total deal at around $15.  Whenever showing so much leg, I like to stay more covered up on top.

Above, I’ve paired the shorts with a lacy navy H&M blouse also worn here.   And below, I’ve paired the same pair of shorts with a light sweater that I found at Marshall’s for around $20. 

Who can resist a little sparkle?  For more on the sneakers, click here.

Can you believe summer is almost over?

 

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Who here loves polka dots?  I love the whimsy and fun that polka dots exude.  Above, are some inspirational images for a polka-dot themed event.  I think this theme would be great for a kid’s birthday party.  What about you?

Click here for inspiration on a rainbow – themed event and here for other inspiration boards.

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The faux fur coat is Express.  The camel vest, Club Monoco.  The skirt is Tahari, the polka dot, tie-front blouse is by Lord & Taylor and the heels are Dolce Vita from Saks.   I’m thinking about selling the Chanel purse you see here because I fell in love with another one so message me if you want to make an offer! It’s in mint condition.

It’s been a long, long work week.  It’s been 10-12 hours /day in fact since I’m working on about 40 events at once and being that I have 21 events just this month to plan, invoice, execute and recap ( on top of handling the PR, local business development and helping to drive retail sales for the store).  It is times like these that I start to fantasize about an early retirement.  But I can’t complain ‘cuz once I do force myself out of bed, finish my (up to 1hr) commute and step foot into the store, I’m somehow energized.  Perhaps it’s the fashion that surrounds me.  Perhaps, it’s the people there that I love.  Or perhaps it’s simply because we’re all required to smile and be happy in this service culture. ha whatever it is, Saks Fifth Avenue always brings a smile to  my face. 

 

 

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Here are some inspirational images for a Polka Dot Party (all gathered from Pinterest).

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If you want an Instagram-able photo, just head to any of NY’s graffiti walls and you’re bound to get the distinctive look that you’re hoping for.  I personally love street art and apparently am instilling an appreciation of it to Juliet who stops to admire and talk about the art she sees along our pathways.   The Lower East Side’s Allen and Delancey area is one of these perfect stops for photo opps.  We headed there today and found nearly a dozen cool graffiti walls to choose from within a 1 block radius!

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Being that her half birthday just passed, I thought this was the perfect wall to shoot in front of.  (Now she’s 3.5 years old!) Definitely not a baby anymore.dsc_1155

Her outfit consists of new back-to-school finds from The Children’s Place (skirt, socks and ankle boots) along with the puppy purse and nerd glasses already in her arsenal of accessories.   This is the look she’ll give you if you try and call her ‘baby.’

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As if this wall wasn’t awesome enough, it is surrounded by several other colorful backdrops like this cool, claw one.

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This girl loves candy.  And I’m not gonna lie, sometimes I bribe her to pose a little longer with me if she’s not naturally feelin’ it. dsc_1147

Below, she is wearing a Ba Ba Bling tee for which she is a brand ambassador for.  We love this graffiti style New York printed tee because it’s edgy, cool and perfect for our NYC kid.

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It’s paired with polka dot stretchy pants from The Children’s Place. which as you can tell, I’m a fan of for their fall collection this year!dsc_1213

On Orchard and Delancey was this can’t miss, bright sunny yellow wall which drew us in.  It’s such a fun pop of color isn’t it?  dsc_1223

I wish more of NY was painted in vibrant colors like these! dsc_1245 dsc_1251

Stay tuned for more NYFW coverage where Juliet and I covered all the kids’ fashion shows together.  And follow our daily adventures through our Instagram stories and feed!

 

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If you saw my last post recapping Dining By Design, otherwise known as DIFFA, the leading trade show for table decor and party design, you know I love a fabulous tablescape! Here, I’m going to share with you some of my top tips for designing a stylish kids’ tablescape using pictures from my daughter’s bunny birthday party that I just produced!

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As a party planner, I’m a little jaded when it comes to party decor.  I’ve pretty much seen it all.  So when I plan my own, I like to stray from the ordinary and try to feature some unique items or two.  For instance, for the bunny birthday that I threw for my daughter’s 3rd birthday, I added a whimsical wow factor with a tall centerpiece that I hand crafted for the event.

how to throw a kids party on a budget, kids party decor, kids tablescape

The tall silk flowers were bought during a sale at Michael’s, the picket white fences from a Chinese wholesaler, and with some flower foam, hot glue, and juice boxes to weigh everything down, I had the perfect springy centerpieces that didn’t take much room, could be filled with Easter egg basket grass, and that created an immediate fun factor to the table.  It was one of the first things you saw when you walked into the room!

plan a kids party on a budget, bunny birthday, designing tablescapes, kids party decor, kids tablescape

The party space (within our building) fortunately had free kids tables and chairs for us to use but the chairs were a mish mash of different colors so I made them uniform with some spandex yellow seat covers (adult sized) and fitted them with a chair sash turned into a bow.  Both materials were bought wholesale which made them cheaper than renting and now I can use them for future events or sell/rent them out to others!

To continue the couture feel of this kiddie table, I color coordinated EVERYHING.  I am super strict about matching exact shades when it comes to purchasing napkins, straws, forks, cupcake toppers.. I mean everything.  It will bother me to no end to see something a shade or two off when I have already sent snippets of the exact fabric for the cake maker to match for instance.  i.e. Juliet’s 1s birthday party.

table design, tablescape, how to plan a kids party on a budget, kids party ideas

That’s why I often customize my table decor down to the very last detail.  Notice the paper runner, the frame turned into a tray, the milk bottles covered in coordinated papers and ribbons, and the covered styrofoam to stick the lollipops and chocolate bunnies in.  184

And to go along with the Easter timing, I presented each child with their own berry basket in lieu of a dinner plate.  Inside you’d find, a pink napkin, bunny-shaped sandwich, bunny trail mix (popcorn and cheerios), pretzel sticks wrapped in a yellow and white polka dot mini-bag, & a cupcake holder filled with fruit.  The milk jars were poured with milk, water or juice, whatever the child’s preference was.  189

Knowing that the pool table would be in the background, I also crafted the yellow and white backdrop that you see above.  With help from Mialandyn Events who helped build the actual structure out of foam core, tape and wood, I covered it in coordinating fabrics, floral garlands and gift wrap on the other side.

photo opp, hoppy birthday, bunny birthday ideas

When designing your tablescape, always consider what you’ll see in the background of your photos.  In this instance, I didn’t want a pool table to be in all my pictures so I dressed it up, used it as the food and dessert station, and created a photo opp area on the other side of it making double use out of the one backdrop piece! (That coordinating box that you see above by the way is simply a diaper box covered in fabric and it was great for kids to stand or sit on).  I’m a huge fan of creatively using what you have to save money.

kids party ideas, easter party ideas, how to throw a kid easter party

Here’s what it looked like on the other side during setup (The dinner menu of baked salmon, pulled pork, sweet plantains, beans and rice had not arrived yet).  Those Easter hats that you see hanging from the ceiling there by the way were given to each child in lieu of a party hat.  They were SO cute ON (one of my amazing finds in the Target $1 bin!)

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To summarize, here are some useful secrets from a professional party planner turned mommy planner that you can use when designing a kids’ tablescape:

  1. Color – Coordinate EVERTHING.  Be Hitler when sticking to this rule and your table will thank you for it!
  2. Consider the background for your most important shots.  What’s behind the cake? What’s behind the kids’ table? Remove or disguise eyesores.
  3. Add a themed centerpiece.  Not only is it a conversation starter but it can really stand out and turn your average kids’ table into a standout stunner!
  4. Think out of the box.  How about an enlarged candle in a cake, for a one year old’s birthday (the kind you’d stick in a candlestick?), how about a coordinated paper place mat that they can draw on, safari hats instead of birthday party hats for a safari themed event?
  5. Decorate your chairs.  Hang birthday hats from them, use them as placecards by assigning a child’s name to each one, hang a giftable cape on each one for a superhero themed party, slide tutus on them for a girly get together.

For more kids’ party inspiration, check out some of my other Fab Kids party posts and please leave a comment with your thoughts on these tips or let me know what you’re currently brainstorming and let me help you!

my Disney sponsored princess in training party

my gingerbread man cookie decorating play date sponsored by Bright starts

my Hello Kitty play date sponsored by HP

my pancakes and pajamas play date

My Toddler tea party

Thanks for reading!

kids easter party, toddler easter party, toddler easter egg hunt

Special thanks goes out to Image Ready for the pictures used in this post!

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fab kids halloween

Now that I’m a mom, Halloween is an extra special time to enjoy with my toddler.  She loves dress up, and so do I so our week is filled with fun festivities and non-stop costume changes.  See my 8 easy, no-sew, make-at-home, costume ideas in my previous post for some shots of what she has worn through the years.  Or here for our matching flapper costumes for the Gymboree 1920’s Gatsby themed party.

Last year’s Fab Kids Halloween party was so much fun, I just had to host it again and luckily, Gymboree Tribeca was on board to be our venue sponsor.  And they gave away terrific raffles for the event!  By tagging #gymBOOree on social media posts and by following @gymboreenewyork and @fab_kids, guests would be entered to win free tickets for Gymboree’s next event.  Plus those submitting emails would automatically be entered to win a free month of classes and open play valued at $260!

 

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The kids had a BLAST climbing, sliding and soaring through the air.

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It really brought out the superhero in everyone! soaring

These pictures make me laugh out loud remembering all the giggles and funny party moments!

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gymboree new york party

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Since everything is padded, and kid-safe, the parents can sit back and enjoy the show!

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Though it’s so hard to resist playing right alongside the costumed kids.

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Sometimes you just have to jump right in!

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We don’t blame you!

If the kids needed a break from all the action, they could getaway into one of Gymboree’s side rooms and make some creepy crafts.  Here are the BOO-tiful ghosts that were stickered, an easy task for toddler hands to create on their own.  (Hey, ghosts need to accessorize too!)

bootiful

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Or you could pamper yourself with some free face-painting and a mommy and me mani thanks to Fun Faces by Brenda!

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fun faces by brenda

Next door to all this action was our video room where guests got to do their thang in front of the camera (dance, act silly, and act out their costumed character) in front of event sponsor, Jessa Flynn Productions. 

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Jessa masterfully, records, edits and then magically produces a perfect 15 second snapshot to upload to your Instagram!  How perfect for an @fab_kids party and all our Instagram followers, right?  Go check out her site.  She has the most moving music video captures of newborns, families and special occasions!  We were so lucky to have her.

And if all this worked up an appetite, a dessert bar and food station awaited you!  What’s a Halloween party without some tricks and treats?

a Designing dessert bars is one of my favorite creative outlets.  I love picking a theme and the process of taking stock of what I already own, figuring out what I need to purchase on a tight budget, and then creating something out of nothing.  Call me crazy but it’s one of the most fun challenges ever.   I went with a black white and orange theme because Gymboree had orange walls already, and because I already owned a lot of black and white (see my black and white themed blogger bash and last year’s Haute Halloween party).

I found these free black and white Boo printables here.

And I re-used my $1 banners found at Target before my black and white blogger bash.

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Not sure you can see in the photo above but the pail of wine says, “in case you came for the BOOs.”

I think it’s important to offer some healthier snack options for kids at parties so I made sure to add in baked goldfish crackers (front, right), caramel flavored rice crackers (front left), and mandarin orange snack packs in real fruit juice.  See my earlier post for more healthy Halloween party snack ideas.

healthy halloween party snacks

The Jack O Lantern faces were drawn on with a black sharpie pre-event and other orange colored snacks were added in.  I’m a stickler for sticking to theme colors!!  Check out my other dessert bars here.

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The pumpkins are topped off with Halloween hats from H&M and the pumpkins are leftovers from last year’s Haute Halloween.

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The second station featured baby oranges made to look like pumpkins (just me getting crafty with a Sharpie again!)

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The banana ghosts with chocolate chip faces were a Pinterest fail for me.  They would NOT stand up!c

These ghosts on a stick however, were a win for me and a last minute idea.  I was trying to figure out how to re-use these striped Target $1 vases that I used for my black and white blogger bash and there really are few treats long enough to be visible while sitting in something so long.  But I had the straws and this ended up being a popular treat amongst all the kids!  I just added the Boo printable with tape to coordinate with the theme.halloween party food

These custom rice krispy treats and Boo cookies were made by Angela’s Sugar Fix.  She took my idea and ran with it!  If you’re a baker yourself and are up for a challenge, the Instagram printable for this dessert was found here.  Angela is just the sweetest, the easiest to work with, and full of creative ideas and beautiful presentation options.  I’d highly recommend her for your next NY party!

SAMSUNG CSC The Halloween decor consisted of items I already had in my house.  The pillars, I’ve used over and over at all my parties (and each time I top with coordinating papers) and the skull lanterns were a freebie from another mom.  I just placed them on top of a goblet and upside down bowl that I already owned.  The paper products were found on sale at TJMaxx.  I’m a Maxxinista after all! SAMSUNG CSC The banners are items I’ve used at past parties.  The white one which I made from scratch can be found at our toddler white party.  SAMSUNG CSC And that polka dot linen is actually my daughter’s crib blanket!

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Near this area, Julia Tzu, world-renowned dermatologist from Wall Street Dermatology was on-site to answer everyone’s beauty questions and to give away a raffled free consult and distribute to everyone, a goody bag.

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Between all the event sponsors and Fab Kids, we filled out the goody bag pretty well!  Here’s what was inside for those of you who missed the party (shame on you!)

goody bag

If you’d like to join us next time, message me with your email and like Fab Kids on FB! 

And if these pictures aren’t enough for you or if you’re curious about our Fab kids events and themed play dates, check out our new Fab Kids photo share site!

Thanks to everyone who came out and BOO-gied down with us!  Seeing old friends and making new ones is the best way to celebrate any occasion in our book!

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veronica and j

 

 

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We took our 21 month old to Disney world and she loved it.  Mickey Clubhouse is her favorite TV show and it blew her mind getting to see the characters live, in-person.

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I will never forget the joy on her face as she got to kiss and hug Donald, Goofy, Mickey and Minnie.  She let out the cutest squeals and delighted waiting in line for her turn even.

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My suitcase was packed with Mickey Clubhouse themed outfits for the entire week before I ever knew there was a term for this – Disney Bound.  It’s where you dress inspired by a Disney character without looking costume-y.  i.e. you are not wearing a head-to-toe Mickey store-bought set.  Instead you add pieces from your normal wardrobe using the color and pattern theme of your favorite character.   Click here for images of adult Disney Bound outfits so you can better understand what I am talking about.  This post is all about Disney Bound toddler outfits.

disney world mickey minnie

For instance, in the above outfit, I ran with the red/black/white and polka dot theme to create a Mickey and Minnie inspired outfit from Juliet’s closet.  Her red polka-dot retro hairband is from Janie and Jack, her sweater that screams her favorite word is from Nununu and I’m actually selling that red skirt you see on her through my FB page.  Darling, huh?  I finished off the outfit with some polka dot leggings, red squeaker shoes and a Mickey doll which she loved carrying around the park.

Disney outfit

Sometimes all it took was some Mickey ears to complete her Disney outfit.  In the below shot, I borrowed her hat.

mickey mouse outfit

We both wore black and white stripes with red accents and matching Prada – inspired sunnies.  Below is what her outfit looked like without the coat.IMG_4492

It was a $5 Old Navy Mickey shirt with an added collar from Etsy paired with a matching striped leggings and headband set.

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My daughter must take after me because she loves purses…disneybound instagram.com_2014-12-22_20-07-15

Everywhere we went, she felt compelled to shop for more Mickey Clubhouse dolls… is this foreshadowing a shopaholic in our future?instagram.com_2014-12-22_20-07-31

These are my favorite shoes from her closet.  They’re by Mini Melissa and I bought them during an online sample sale.  Love!

Visit my Instagram page for more outfit posts from Juliet’s closet!

 

 

 

 

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The first year birthday for a first child in the family marks a significant milestone not just for the child transitioning from infant to toddler stage but quite notably for the parents.  It’s a time for reflection on how fast the baby grew, how quickly the year passed, and how your whole life has changed.  Parenthood changes you.  It changes your lifestyle, your priorities, and who you know yourself to be.  And it challenges you to become more selfless than you have ever been before.  It has been a whirlwind year for us with the new baby, new home and the constant moves for baby and me trying to avoid the renovation hazards.  And we’ve come a long way, baby!

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I knew I wanted to celebrate the first year birthday in a big way.  We opted out of having a baby shower so this was a a celebration long overdue.  Also, it is in Korean tradition that the first year is celebrated in a big fashion, akin to how we Americans might celebrate a sweet 16 or bar mitzvah.  Plus, I’m a party planner at heart and by trade so planning this party was a creative outlet that I much looked forward to and enjoyed during the process.

It all started with the dress.  Being obsessed with fashion, I wanted to find the cutest birthday dress for Juliet and actually started looking for it around month 5 or 6.  After scouring the web and browsing literally hundreds of options online, I came across this adorable set from Mudpie. I loved the fun mix of polka dots and stripes and fell in love with the matching hat.  Adorable, isn’t it??

one year old birthday dress

And since I felt a birthday girl’s dress shouldn’t clash her party decor, the dress determined the party color theme and decor.  If step 1 was finding the dress.  Step 2 was finding an invite and party paper set to match.  Between you and me, this search for birthday invites and countless, shameful hours of Pinterest “research” ignited the long-lost thrill of party planning that I feared was over now that I had left my event marketing/PR job post maternity leave.  I giggled recalling how my event planning girlfriend and I once lamented the end of our weddings as we both experienced withdrawal because I felt I was now getting to re-live that sort of planning fun all over again.  And indeed, we have not seen some of these invited guests since 2011 when I got married.  So the first birthday was all that more exciting knowing I’d reunite with some family and friends after yet another life-changing milestone.

Onto the party paper.  That Party Chick on Etsy sold the below invite and I knew it had so much potential to match the birthday dress and become the starting point for the entire event’s look and feel.  birthday party invite

The colors were right, and it gave the graphic stripes and polka dot details on her dress an added complimentary floral pattern.  Michelle Wise from That Party Chick was awesome at creating the requested matching custom: thank you cards, chocolate wrappers, signage, water bottle and favor stickers etc.  I’d highly recommend her as she was quick to respond, and up for all challenges.  Here is a sampling of items I had customized and designed with her help.

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As a new mom without full-time help, you can imagine I was strapped for time and had to make sacrifices in order to finish all the DIY projects that I had on my party planning list.  And there was a lot to be done if I wanted this party to look as professionally detailed as I wanted (but on a budget).  Here is a sampling of my DIY todos and keep in mind I had to also set aside time to research best prices for supplies, buy them, print/cut them before creating any of the below:

  • Wrap 100 water bottles
  • Wrap 100 mini chocolates
  • Cut and create toothpick flags for sandwiches
  • Make (2) tulle table skirts
  • Make matching party hats for the little guests
  • Cut and place papers on platters for customized look
  • Make paper garlands for backdrop banner
  • Make tissue paper fringe for table borders, party hats and balloons
  • Create matching risers and presents

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party planning

So out went any hopes of shedding the remaining pounds before this party.  Work out?  WHEN?!  I was going to be lucky if I could sneak in a shower during my sparse free time.  Also on hold was the preschool research that I had started.  6weeks before the party date, I had a one-woman crafting sweatshop to run!  Thank you to the couple people who volunteered time to help me in my crafting craze!  I couldn’t have finished the party hats or toothpicks without you!  And thanks to my husband who let me take over the countertop pictured below to store and assemble!  And thanks for letting me do my thing, even though you did wonder out loud how all this “junk” was going to turn into decor.  Oh ye of little faith!

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Possibly the most time consuming project of all though was the party’s guestbook.  Since the day she was born, I had already recorded her rapid growth using the same Ugly Doll in each photo every week and only changing Juliet’s elaborately styled outfits.  It wasn’t until after I had reviewed others’ Korean first birthday parties that I noted how people displayed (monthly) growth photos at a welcome table.  They were usually in the form of framed photos or hung as a garland.  As an event planner who has pretty much seen it all, I like to find creative ways of doing traditional things.  So I added a twist to the usual and used my weekly growth photos which I already planned to turn into a book for Juliet and got double use out of it by turning it into a party guestbook.  That way, guests could view the weekly fashion photo shoots I styled , enjoy the silly captions I made and record their presence for her with a personal party message.  Shutterfly actually has a great template for guestbooks where you can add in pages that allow people to write their messages, predictions and sign-in.

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party guestbook

It became a fun, interactive element to the party and gave guests something to talk about and do (there were 52 weeks of photos to browse after all!)

weekly growth

Other interactive elements that I incorporated into the party included:

  • coloring stations for the kids (easels and markers for the older ones, birthday templates and crayons for the younger ones)
  • enter to win -raffle associated with the Korean doljabi ceremony (more on that in my follow-up post)
  • roaming photographer took family photos and candids (photos will be emailed to all guests post party)

I believe in the importance of thinking of your guests’ experience.  Here are some general party tips when planning your own party:

  • Ensure the atmosphere is welcoming and comfortable (enough seats for elderly, space to move between aisles/chairs, extra coat racks and hangers, specific directional information and reminders pre-party)
  • Consider the kids (have child-friendly drinks and snacks available, age-appropriate toys and activities)
  • Delight and surprise.  Don’t give away all the details of what to expect and incorporate fun, creative elements whenever possible.  For instance, I posted humorous developmental update signs throughout the party for guests to discover along the way (see below).  And I played gangnam style when hosting the Korean traditional doljabi ceremony (also added Psy as one of the items Juliet could pick up and choose).

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one year old birthday

For more party pics, follow me on Instagram @FabGabBlog and click here for part 2 of this fab fete post!  Part 2 includes:

  • Dessert bar
  • Snack / beverage bar
  • Korean Doljabi ceremony
  • What went wrong (but nobody noticed)

Let me know what you think!

 

 

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I found this amazing deal on this Sans Souci striped dress at Marshalls.  I think the dress was $19.99.  How could I resist?  Here, I’ve styled it 4 ways.

I added brooches to each end of this thrifted necklace, layered a v-neck sweater over the dress and carried my Juicy tote.  The flats were free from a styling job I did and are from H&M.

 

Here, I added my Brooklyn Industries black topper and styled it with my Esprit tote and Aldo flats.

This is the tote bag that I got as a free gift with purchase when I attended the Henri Bendel event

I think I like the above outfit the best.  What about you?  The cardigan is Sinclaire 10, the heels have bows and the polka dot purse is Aldo.

And for all the above outfit details, click here!

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