Search: sprinkle some fun

I love throwing parties.  I used to throw three a day at Saks Fifth Avenue in 3 separate departments sometimes all at once and I kind of miss it.  Decorating, party planning, and celebrating with themes is in my blood and so with Juliet, I combine themed parties with play dates.  And together we’ve celebrated each holiday in style and have elevated the average mommy and me get together to something special, something beyond. And that is what I aimed to do again with a sprinkle-themed play date.  I enlisted 7 sponsors through my database of contacts and threw a series of “sprinkle some fun” themed play dates for some close blogger friends of mine.

how to throw a kids party

It all started out with Juliet using her kid-friendly cooking set from Real Cooking.  They gifted us and the blogger moms in attendance with adorable cooking sets, cake pop makers and handy egg crackers perfect for toddler hands.  Given Juliet loves cooking so much (even sleeps with her whisk), she was super psyched to show off her cooking skills by baking cookies for all her guests to decorate.

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She helped present all the fun sprinkle options in these cute containers and I encouraged everyone to decorate with their own dollop of frosting and sprinkle toppings.  dsc_3420

Of course, eating your finished product is the best part!

cooking with kids, baking with kids, real cooking kids

Other activities included coloring in pages supplied by Crayola in a fun sprinkles theme.

sprinkles party

Below is Juliet’s finished artwork – not bad for a 3 year old, right? dsc_3715

After school snacks included:  fresh fruit, trail mix, hummus and chips, cheese and crackers and a selection of drinks.

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The kids loved the displayed ice cream truck and doll sponsored by Our Generation.  I mean really, is this not a dream toy set for any little girl or what?

ice cream truck, ice cream truck toy

The “sweet stop ice cream truck” features movable wheels, wipers, a pull down seating area and chalk board sign.  And it even has buttons to signal left /right, lights for cruising in the dark, a music button to play 3 songs, brake pedal lights and wipers that actually work!

our generation doll, sweet stop ice cream truckAnd with 128 delicious and beautiful pieces (think snow cones, banana split sundaes, popsicles, donuts and ice cream galore), the imaginative play is endless!

our generation ice cream truckPlus you can feel good about this product because the packaging is made from recycled materials and a portion of any Our Generation product sales goes towards the Free The Children’s Power of a Girl Initiative.  And unlike many other toys, this one doesn’t need a makeover.  It’s perfectly pretty already!

The Our Generation doll that was gifted with it was also a hit!  She traveled everywhere with Juliet and her friends!

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When I asked Juliet where they were driving off to, she replied “to the fashion mall!”  haha she is definitely my daughter!

If you’re wondering why Juliet is pictured wearing two different outfits it’s because this play date was a 2 part series.  It’s hard getting all these busy moms to agree on one date!  But it all worked out because Juliet got to show off different ways to style her new Beach Town Baby tee!  The raglan tee, with its cute saying, “It’s a confetti and sprinkles kind of day” was the perfect addition to the play date for our minifashionistas.  Each girl styled it in her own way which really showed off how versatile the tee (which comes in both pink or blue) really is!

11-10-002I even found double use for the tees and draped them over the chairs as decorative chair covers.  And yes that is wine.  The moms need to have some fun at the play date too! lol

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Not only was each blogger kid gifted with a Real Cooking set, and a Beach Town Baby tee, they also got to take home a gift from Charm It! and Watchitude!

Both companies carried on the sprinkles theme with cute accessories perfect for girly girls like ours!

raglan tee, beachtownbaby, charmit, watchitude, tees

Sprinkles themed watch patterns included gumballs, gummy bears, donuts, sprinkles, and ice cream.

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I love how the watches slap on for easy on/off wearability and the fact that they are analog, not digital makes them educational tools too!  I am already starting to teach Juliet how to tell time with them!

kids watches, cupcake party, sprinkles party

Charm It! offers the cutest selection of charm necklaces, bracelets, brooches and stick on charms.  The teeny bopper in me got super excited while shopping their colorful website.  Of course we chose charms with a sprinkles theme for this play date!  But she also chose and received some really sweet Disney princess charms to transform her necklace for those days when she is feeling more royal (follow me on Instagram to see more!)

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sprinkles, kids necklace

Sprinkles cupcakes were supplied by Sprinkles.  Who better to partner with on a sprinkles themed play date??  No but really, they had the most delectable cupcakes.  I’m totally addicted and find it nearly impossible to pass by their store without a little treat.

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tablescape, kids parties, kids tables

A fun, dance-able mix of songs played in the background and confetti push pops and polka dotted balloons invited kids to revel in their sugar high.

how to style a kids party

Thanks to all our guests for such a memorable, laughter filled time!  @gothamlove, @downtownchicmoms @eunicekindred  My cheeks hurt from smiling at all the cuteness overload.  And special thanks goes out to all my sponsors who made this posh play date possible.

 

 

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To help create special moments for my family, I enjoy celebrating each holiday and marking the passage of time with mini celebrations.  I host themed play dates for Juliet, play dress up, produce photo shoots in holiday colors, bake themed desserts with my little one and have fun re-decorating the dining area with her.  Here’s my 2016 year in review showing how just one small area of a NYC apartment came to life each season.

pancakes and pajamas, kids party, galentine, valentine, posh play date

For all the details from this adorable, “Wild For You” themed Valentine’s PJs and Pancakes play date, click here!

The girls played with their furry stuffed animals, sprinkled toppings on heart-shaped pancakes and brunched like little ladies while wearing their matching animal PJs.  It was so much fun that I hosted another Wild For You play date during Valentine’s with a slightly different setup.   For this posh play date we decorated heart-shaped Valentine cookies and wore heart printed sweatsuits. Click through for all the details and tips on how to create your own!

kids party, animal party, pajama party

For her birthday at the end of February, I turned our dining area into a Mickey Minnie black and white themed space since our Disney kid was clubhouse crazy!

kids mickey party, mickey mouse party, how to host a kids birthday party on a budget

Click here for all the budget-friendly details!  The next month, I hosted a princess themed play date featuring a Beauty and the Beast screening, ballroom dancing, and mommy and me manicures.  With free printables, I transformed the buffet area to a blue and pink sparkle and sweet station.  Click here for more!

how to plan a princess party, princess party ideas, princess play date, princess party ideas for kids

I’ve never been one to celebrate the fourth of July with such enthusiasm until recently.  Decorating my home in red white and blue has become a tradition ever since having a little one.  I want to celebrate every holiday with her in a fun, stylish and meaningful way.  Besides being festive, holiday decor is a talking point from which teachable moments can spring forth.  My little one learned about the American flag, identified stars and stripes, and practiced color memory with these visual aids as a baby.  Nowadays she likes and insists on getting involved with the decorating!

fourth of july decor

During my birthday month (Sept.) I used some remaining party decor to make the place feel festive.  Hubby agreed to cook me his first dinner ever as part of my present.  What better entertainment on my birthday than to watch him try and figure his way around the kitchen I thought?  Juliet and I set the table with all our Oh Joy for Target items leftover from last year while daddy fumbled through the Hello Fresh kit with all the dinner ingredients.  Below was the end result!

birthday party decor

I opted out of hosting a Halloween bash this year and instead hosted some close friends over for a crafty trick or treat pre-party.  Here’s our dining area transformed once again with a damask shower curtain and homemade banners on the wall.

nyc apartment, dessert bars, candy bar, halloween candy

And for a simple and comparatively minimalistic Thanksgiving scene, I cleared out the dramatic Halloween decor and re-purposed items around the house for a totally different look.  Using fall favorites such as white pumpkins and apples, I created an elegant scene with pure white with silver accents.

thanksgiving decor, jonathan adler chandelier

Then I held a posh play date sponsored by 7 or 8 brands under the theme, “sprinkle some fun” which you can see here and got to re-use the backdrop from Juliet’s bunny birthday party as well as the princess party.

kids party ideas, party decor

 

These are some of my favorite looks using whatever I had around the house, gift wrap, shower curatains, re-purposed party decor.  I hope this inspires you to change it up every once in a while and give your home a fun festive look for your favorite holidays in 2017!

Happy new year!

 

 

 

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mommy and me, mommy and me manicures, milk n cookies, nyc kids, things to do with kids nyc

Being the girly girl that she is, Juliet loves manicures and My Little Pony.  So I knew she would have a blast at the limited time only, My Little Pony pop-up at Milk ‘N Cookies Kids’ Spa.  So she wouldn’t get totally spoiled with the spa treatment, I used it as a reward for getting 40 stamps on her new chart, a reward system I made up that includes getting stamps for things like: cleaning up, brushing her teeth, listening well, etc.  She was so proud of her achievement and excited to celebrate with our latest mommy and me adventure. Here she is picking out her nail color (blue and gold glitter)! I chose a light pink and a gold glitter topping for a rose gold mani effect.

milk n cookies, kids spa party, kids spa party ideas, kids' spa

The 1100 sq. ft. kids’ spa “features four hair stations, three manicure stations, two pedicure stations. In addition to haircuts, up-dos and washes, the spa services includes mani, pedis and fun facials.”  There are special treatments for boys, as well as mommy and me services too!  Being a huge sweet tooth, I loved the adorable dessert themed offerings like the flavored facials (think lemon, chocolate, strawberry and vanilla), scented “cookie crunch” haircuts and “gummy worm mud pie treatments.”  FUN, right?!?

nyc kids spa, kids spa party, kids manicures nyc, kids manicure new yorkHere she is finishing off her manicure with squeals of delight! (laughed uncontrollably when her nails got filed for the first time too)DSC_7357

Moms can rest assured that the kids’ spa nail polishes are organic and safe for kids.

milk n cookies kids spa, splat,

Next up was the My Little Pony inspired ponytail hair styling!  Check out little Juliet getting the total glam treatment – rainbow streaks, glitter and all!

This was truly like a little girl’s dream come true.  Get your hair and nails done, AND walk away with one of your favorite toys too??

kids haircut nyc, kids hair salon nyc, kids spa nyc

To top it off, we got to hang out, play with My Little Pony toys and watch some My Little Pony on their big screen while enjoying our complimentary cookie and milk.

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 The Children’s Place, boots & dress, Target Cat & Jack cape, Ba Ba Bling long sleeved tee

It’s definitely a sweet spot that we’ll return to!  Already she is asking if we can go back to the spa..  better start collecting those stamps I tell her!  Fair warning, if you do decide to try a glittery, colored hairstyle like this, expect to come home and have to wash a bunch of things.  That evening, she left a glitter trail everywhere she went and left me having to wash our white -turned-pastel-sofa slipcovers.  It was like My little Pony came and sprinkled her fairy dust all over our house…  try at your own risk!

 

 

 

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I love celebrating Valentine’s with Juliet because it’s such a fun girly holiday filled with hearts, pink, red and lots of love.  Every year, we transform our dining area with themed decor, I make my annual pink heart pancakes and break out all our Valentine’s colored fashions.  Another annual tradition we enjoy is hosting a Valentine’s-themed, posh play date.  See last year’s pajamas and pancakes play date, or Wild For you play dates!  This year, I’ll show you how we threw a pink and metallic Galentines for kids.  You can Do It Yourself at home too in 5 easy steps!

  1. Pick a color theme.

    I generally recommend picking and sticking to no more than 3 colors when decorating (with white not counting).  (That is unless you are having a rainbow themed party in which case color explosions would be required).  Because Juliet’s upcoming birthday party decor items were pink and metallic, I decided to make double-use out of items already laying around the house and use what we already had.  The white, pink, silver and gold went well with our home’s neutral color theme, and the shot of baby pink just made things so much sweeter.  To go along with the theme, I asked Juliet’s friends to dress up in those colors which made for super cute coordinated outfits (and photos)! kids valentine's party, how to throw a kids valentine's party, kids valentine's party ideas

  2. Dress the table.

    I like to dress up the dining area for special occasions and holidays and it never takes much money.  The flower centerpiece was actually a gift from a blogger event I had just attended, The pink paper plates were found at the dollar store and set on top of our fancier chargers to elevate the look, the borrowed sequin linen was folded into a runner and I made placemats out of cardstock paper.

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    I have bought a giant pack of patterned cardstock paper during Michael’s sale and have found them so useful year-round for all sort of crafts, activities and yes, as placemats!  Just throw them out once a mess is made plus they look so cute under the clear chargers, don’t they?  DSC_6737Another tip when dressing your table is to layer.  Notice how the placemats and plates are layered on top of one another with a Valentine’s greeting card on each plate?  Or see how the pom pom ball string was added to each side of the runner?  All these layers add visual interest and elevate your standard dining table setup.

    pink and gold party, pink and gold valentine's, cupcake decorating for kids

    Juliet helped me DIY placecards by adhering letter these circular white and gold stickers to each plate, spelling out each child’s name while reinforcing her alphabet recognition.

    3. Get photo ready.

    With each holiday, you’ll want to capture all the cute memories and milestones.  You’ve already asked your guests to come dressed in color theme, so think about the photo opps!  For a simple backdrop, I cut out letters out of the same cardstock used in the placemats and spelled out “Happy Galentine’s,” scotch taped them to the wall for an easy, temporary banner.

    galentines for kids, how to throw a kids valentine party, pink and gold event, pink and gold party, tips for throwing a kids party

    Then I added xoxo letters to my dining area’s mirror and a love balloon (found at Target) to my other mirror.

    happy galentine's, galentine's party

    My selfie station included lip, heart and kiss me photo props with a framed sign encouraging guests to, “pick a prop and pose” (and they did)!

     

     

     

    valentines props, valentines photo props

    4.Plan an Activity

    Every get together needs an entertaining activity.  For a little girls’ Valentine’s get together, I like to have them do some simple decorating of food items like topping their heart-shaped pancakes like in my last Vday party (or for this party), sprinkling sparkly confections onto already frosted cupcakes.  Valentine’s card crafting could be another fun activity for moms and kids to do together but for the sake of time, I find it best to choose just one.  galentines for kids, how to throw a galentine's party, pink and metallic party, valentine's party decor ideas

    You could save time by purchasing store-bought cupcakes but Juliet and I enjoyed preparing for the party by pre-baking our own before the party started.

    DSC_6826(Don’t you just love the shot of chocolate that Max Brenner gave to me as a blogger who attended their event?)  You can inject it into the cupcakes, or just spread it over the top!  The colorful sprinkles and candy toppings were a major hit too!

    cupcake frosting, cupcake making party, valentine's party, valentine's for kidsAnd if you’re hosting a play date, sometimes, it’s fun to plan an activity for the moms as well.  I had prepared this fun get-to-know-you card game given to me by the brand during a toy fair. “Ladies night” it’s so fittingly called; and each card poses an interesting and revealing question, perfect for getting your Galentine’s going! how to host a galentine's, happy valentine's party, valentine's party for kids, ideas for kids valentines DSC_6782Combine this with a little pink champagne or rose’ and you’re all set!

    5. Party!

    Lastly, don’t forget the background music, prepare enough time to set up before your guests arrive and when they do, relax, and party with your girls!  Valentine’s is the perfect time show your girlfriends your love. Happy Galentine’s!

valentine's party for kids, kids valentine's, gold and pink party

 

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Gingerbread cookie making is one of our favorite holiday traditions.  I started it with Juliet when she was less than 2 years old and it has become something we look forward to each year.  The first year, I let her decorate a jumbo sized gingerbread man (found already baked at Whole Foods).

gingerbread cookie decorating

The 2nd time in 2015, we hosted a plaid play date which you can see here where everyone decorated gingerbread men and got to enjoy some sponsored toys.

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Similar to last year, I hosted a “Cookies and Cuties” posh play date at our place and let our growing toddlers run wild with the gingerbread man decorating session.

gingerbread cookie, cookie decorating with kids

It was so much fun to see the kids interacting and talking so much more with one another this year.  Oh how they’ve grown!

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Juliet really loves her frosting!  She was a great help and loved adding the candy eyes, bows and sprinkles onto my cookies for me.

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I’m not sure who had more fun decorating – the kids or us moms.

DSC_6375 And of course there was play time!  We watched and marveled at how our little ones were so great at pretending they were little mommies themselves.DSC_6364

They decided that even babies need hairstyling!DSC_6371

These water babies are so great because they double as a bath toy.  Children can fill them up with water to weight them, making them feel even more life-like!  I love that they are sized so perfectly as to proportionately seem like they are newborns next to toddler mommies.

just play water babies, newborn baby doll

The Dream To Be Water babies are so soft and cuddly, Juliet couldn’t help but sweetly rock hers and adore it while waiting for her friend to come over.

We thank Just Play for providing the adorable water babies and helping to make this play date possible!  Click here for more posh play dates!

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Lame.  That’s how this NYE party girl turned parent would describe my first new year’s eve with my child. Don’t fret if yours wasn’t spectactular this year.  Realize there’s too much unnecessary pressure on having an amazing night and also know that celebrating in style with kids can happen -maybe just next year.

Having just experienced my 3rd NYE as a parent, I’ve since learned how to best celebrate with kids and ensure that it never sucks again.  If you’re an overwhelmed new parent wondering how to elevate your new years with kids into a stylish soiree that is both memorable and fun, read on for my top 10 tips:

  1. DRESS UP and GET GIRLY.  Remember how during your single days, half the fun of new year’s eve was about getting to wear the new outfit, and getting dolled up?  Continue the tradition!  matching mommy and me outfitsAs you can see, for us that meant matching outfits and fun glittery mini-hats.  Maybe for you that might mean sparkle and shine or a dress divine!  (Clearly I’ve been reading too much Dr. Seuss lately).   Even if you’re doing a simple stay-at-home evening, consider dedicating some time during the day to do something extra to feel a little more glam – ’tis the season!  These days for instance, I never have time for a manicure but on NYE, I made sure to carve out time during the day for a mini-mani.  new years eve with toddlerEven 2.5 year olds really get into this!  Just doing this gave me reason enough to want to celebrate! For me, this involved some pre-planning.  I made sure to get all household chores out of the way with a thorough cleaning the day before so that I could free up time and not spend the day cleaning the toilets like I did my first NYE with baby.
  2. RECORD THE OCCASION! Kids grow fast and you’ll want to remember how small they were come next new year’s eve.  If you’re a momarazzi like me you won’t need the reminder to take photo and video.  But remember to also think DIY Photobooth! Free NYE themed props are downloadable here, or just buy a couple cheap hats at Party City like we did.  If you really want to be festive though create a fun photo backdrop (even leftover wrapping paper or Christmas tinsel will do!) and try video pocketbooth’s app. Or if you don’t want to go through the extra trouble, just grab your camera phone and find a simple background to snap some pics for your social media like we did and concentrate your efforts on the other items on this list. (A busy parent can only handle so much, I KNOW!)new years eve with a toddler
  3. DECK THE HALLS. Every occasion deserves a little festive decor.  Last year, I created 2015 out of paper napkins and made an entire dessert bar backdrop and display to match.
  4. new years eve decor
    If you’re not hosting others though you might just want to opt for a simple banner like this one from last year where I videotaped my toddler wishing everyone a ‘happy new year” and then proudly sent it off to her grandparents. And aunts. And uncles.  And anyone who would listen to my toddler speak so well haha.
    oh joy for targetOr perhaps you’ll want to concentrate on festive table presentations like I did this year.
    new years eve snacks
  5. MAKE A MOCKTAIL.  Be your kids’ first bartender while teaching them all-important NYE traditions such as clinking glasses and saying ‘cheers!”  Sparkling cider or water are easy options but you can get as creative as you like.  This year we opted for the sparkling cranberry cider and a rose’ sparkling wine to match our red party theme and I added rasberries to our fancy champagne glasses.  Juliet loved joining in on the fun!  And so will your kids!new years eve with a toddler
  6. SPRINKLE!  Incorporate confetti into your New Years Eve lesson and use it as an excuse to slather everything in sprinkles!  Think fruits, ice cream, frosted desserts and even milk cups!sprinklesThis year, Juliet enjoyed decorating cookies with sprinkles and tomorrow morning she is continuing the funfetti tradition with toast spread with nutella and sprinkles of her choice!  My little baker LOVES getting her hands on these things so I make sure to have a whole variety of sprinkles for all our baking needs!
  7. ENJOY A SPECIAL MEAL.  Notice I didn’t say make a special meal.  Parents have a lot on their to do list and some of us might not have cooking as our specialty.  Don’t let that stop you from having one special occasion meal though!  If you love Chinese food, spend the day in Chinatown sampling the best of from various places.  Order in your entire family members’ favorite foods if you have too.   Overpriced NYE dinners are out of the question for most families like us in NYC.  (I mean c’mon, Olive Garden here charges $499 pp on NYE!)  So last year, I cooked a feast and invited another family with a toddler over for a chic little get together.  You could also consider a mini tea party like the one I hosted for toddlers on new years day heretea party for toddlersWhatever you do, make sure to have one out of the ordinary meal to mark the special occasion.
  8. DANCE!  Blast the music, dance like no one’s watching, copy the dancers you see on TV, copy each other. Twerk.  Play a game of freeze dance.  This is a fun, free activity that will lead to guaranteed laughter and really get the party started. (sorry no personal pictures to share here).
  9. MAKE NOISE.  Kids are natural noisemakers and this is the one day we can encourage them to get wild, bring out their instruments and blow party horns. You could even have a scavenger hunt with the family to see who can make the neatest noisemaker out of ordinary objects found throughout the house or craft your own.  Post birthday party, I once made a rattle shaker with leftover candy stuffed into a water bottle for instance.  Juliet got a kick out of that one.
  10. GET CRAFTY.  Even if you’re no Martha Stewart, anyone can handle adding 4 numbers onto a pair of glasses you already own.  Here are full instructions on how to make the more elaborate ones below.new years eve glasses (2016 glasses)
  11. YEAR-END REVIEW.  Wonder in awe at how the year flew by as you create a photo album or decorate a scrapbook together as a family.  As a family, choose your favorite photos from the year and print and frame them.  Or if you don’t have time for any of that, simply go through some of your photos and videos with your kids and spend some quality time taking a stroll down memory lane.  I love bringing back memories with Juliet who loves watching herself on video.  Her reactions and recollections are priceless.
  12. COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS.  Staying thankful is always in style.  End the year on a positive note by being aware of all the good things in your life.  There are tons of ideas here on family projects that promote gratitude.

So there it is!  Are you feeling inspired to do it all again next year?  How are you resolving to make your next new year’s eve special and stylish for you and your kids?  Let me know if there are other things you would add to this list!  I want to hear from you.

 

 

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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.

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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.

dessert table backdrop

I know this is a late Valentine’s post but I hope you all had a happy Valentine’s!

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On Valentine’s day, we made Valentine’s themed art and played at Kidville’s awesome new gym in the Financial District of NYC.

valentine's outfit

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!

IMG_2138I can’t get enough of matching outifts in photo shoots, so here’s another one!  Thanks for this pic, Suzanne (from Gotham Love photography)!

 

 

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I have known my dear friend, Janell for about 6.5 years and she is one of those people that just brings a smile to your face.  I’ve celebrated meeting her ever since I met her while traveling in Dubai.  She is a bright ray of sunshine.  You know, one of those people that is always so positive with an amazing, contagious energy.  I loved her the minute I met her!

So when she expressed possibly needing a venue for her baby shower, I volunteered our apartment and my event planning services.  And though I didn’t know exactly how I’d convert my post-renovation apartment with construction materials still there into a party space I thought it would be good to have a deadline in mind for us to work towards cleaning it all out.

Turns out orange and fuschia were the colors Janell was imagining for her nursery so we agreed on making that the color theme of her baby shower.  The colors are so fitting given her personality is just as vivacious and fun.  Next, we threw in her favorite pattern, chevron, (also likely to be used in the new nursery) and boom, that kick started all my brainstorming which you can see on my pinterest board here.

With the budget in mind, I found these great FREE, downloadable party printables with the orange-fuschia-chevron theme.

chevron partyAnd I continued the theme at the all-important food station (which typically becomes the center of any party) by purchasing a similar orange and white chevron blanket at Century 21 for less than $15.  Thumbtacking it to our wall, created an eye-catching backdrop.

orange chevron party

The banner was created by printing large blank papers from that downloadable link, cutting flags out freehand and handwriting the message with a sharpie in as consistent of a font as possible.  (I’d advise printing out onto card stock to prevent wrinkles).  Lastly, I covered my kitchen cabinet pull handles with some fuschia fabric I bought on sale a while ago for another purpose.

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I created the diaper cake centerpiece out of newborn and sz 1 diapers, some ribbon, fuschia napkins, some florals and a baby headband.   I’m always looking for an excuse to use my glue gun so I was happy to have an excuse to pull it out again!

diaper cake

The orange tray that you see here was found at a dollar-type store for just over $3 and the orange runner on my countertop was made with paper bought on clearance at Michaels.orange chevron cupcake

 

The cupcakes were homemade by the other 2 co-hosts, sprinkled with fuschia sprinkles and finally topped with a chevron onesie that I bought from Etsy designer, Scrapbits

cupcake topper

In addition to these cute cupcake desserts, the brunch menu consisted of:

  • mini quiches (3 varieties)
  • Croissants (3 varieties)
  • Yogurt parfaits
  • cranberry brie bites
  • fruit skewers
  • trail mix
  • mimosas, OJ and coffee
  • sparkling water  (orange or rasberry flavored to match the color theme)

quiche  IMG_8309 fruit kabob orange party

trail mix

Cupcake liners in your party’s theme colors are a great way to present and distribute items that require a handful. And baby items in coordinating colors sat next to some of the food displays for an additional dose of cuteness.

Every baby shower needs some sort of an activity for the guests.  But since the mom-to-be in this case didn’t want traditional shower games, I offered to create a fun photo booth setup instead.  The guests at her wedding all seemed to be into the photo booth in the past so I knew it would be a hit plus what better way to commemorate the event than with pictures?  It didn’t hurt that her guests were so photogenic…

new york fashionista PicMonkey Collageeorange baby shower

diy photo booth

photo booth

To make this DIY photo booth, all I did was set up a remote control SLR to a tripod and hung orange curtains with some leftover crystal beads from an old curtain I once had.

diy photo boothphoto booth propsProps included:

  • bibs
  • rattles
  • bottles
  • paper pacifiers from Etsy designer ScrapStarz
  • felt bowties, mustaches, lips and hats

Presents were opened and stories were shared underneath a banner that read, We (heart) Vienna – the baby’s name.

baby showerAnd simple white onesies hung in the living room windows.

baby shower

Guests left with orange M&M favors in these cute bottles from Etsy seller Lovingly Mine, 

We added the signs with the free, downloadable prints that I found.  They just required some printing, cutting and ribboning.

baby shower favor My thank you goes out to Janell for letting me co-host her very special baby shower.  I hope that it was memorable and everything you dreamed it to be.  You are going to make a wonderful mom and I’m so excited to be able to share in this new chapter of your life!

  • See my Instagram account @fabgabblog for the party video highlights!
  • Click here for other fab fetes that I’ve organized.

 

 

 

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At the store, we had a promotion for contemporary clothing and called the event Contemporary Carnival.  Our carnival was about fun, food and fashion!  There were many elements but let me start with one of my favorite – the food or in this case, the dessert bar!   Having studied many dessert bar photos in the past year, I’ve picked up a lot of ideas and have taught myself the tricks of the trade along the way.  Knowing that the background wall is just as important as the table itself, I made sure to consider what would take up half my photo opp.  Here, you see the beginnings of my setup.  (1) 6′ table covered in black linen topped off with a furry piece of extra fabric that I found in our visual storage room which i simply cut to length and stapled on with a cute pom pom trim.  Having browsed through Etsy.com before, I knew I could find just the right trim to customize my candy bar table.  Weeks before setup day, I found the perfect trim below.  It coordinated perfectly with my graphic elements (which you’ll see in this post soon) and for just $7 for 7 yards, how could I resist this adorable piece from Cathie Filian?  That yellow stuff is popcorn – can’t have a carnival without one.  I had my intern assemble cones out of Saks Fifth Avenue gift wrap using some simple scotch tape and scissors.   What a project that was.  She was sitting in the hallway of the executive office, on the floor, trying out different templates until she got it just right to which she jumped up in celebration and soon after started taping away like a madwoman.  Isn’t this cheap and easy?  The presentation method added a little extra branding for us too!   The acrylic holders with which we held the popcorn were found online and would also be perfect for ice cream cones, cake pops and more!  Below is a picture of step two.  Add in the other candy elements making sure to vary the height and create symmetry.

All the clear cube vases were found in the visual storage room and the black sparkly risers and bling rectangular trays were purchased at Michael’s (with coupon)!   And can you believe that the black and white polka dot piece sitting on the table is actually a free find that I picked up on the streets of NY?  hah I knew I could use that fabric covered canvas board someday! Dumpster diving rocks! lol JK…really!  JK.

Thanks to another talented Etsy artist, Jodie from Party NV I had fabulous paper products to go along with my carnival theme.  I shopped around etsy for quite some time and found the perfect design theme.  She was super to work with and quickly followed up on all my customization and wording requests after all we did have to change it from Vincent’s 4th birthday to a chic fashionable event.  Here is her original design template that I fell in love with.

I loved the vintage feel and thought that the crimson red and bright blue would be a more elegant color combination than the traditional primary colors that were usually associated with carnivals.  The color scheme also played well with our black/white base, found in all our branding.  So in addition to the candy bar labels that you saw above, I also had Jodie create fashion -related hang tags which we used on our goody bags and (sorry I don’t have a picture of the goody bags).  But we also used them as labels for our candy grab bags which are pictured below.

The roasted peanuts and cotton candy (hard candies) were bought through candywarehouse.com, a site I frequent anytime I’m in need of fashionable candy.  I love their search function which allows you to search for candy by color.  And being as anal as I am in matching colors at my events, this search tool is quite handy and immediately lets me browse all the blue options for instance.

Here are some close-ups of the candy prep and the final photo of me with my candy creation!

Another creative cost-saver was the fact that I re-purposed our store’s blue hanger slips into candy bags.  Thsi is what the pink version really looks like and this picture below shows you how we normally use them in the store.

All I did was cut them to size (as you can see they’re a little too long).  Then I just tape them closed, hiding the tape with the “Enjoy” stickers!  It pays to be creative!  tip  Never look at an object with just its original purpose.  See the possibilities.  How would it look cut?  Upside down?  What else can it hold?  What else could it be used for?  This sign holder shown below is actually a coat hanger taken apart for the event for instance.  By taking off a couple stems, it became the simple pole that we needed to base our customized signs off of.

See behind me are custom Party NV signs alerting shoppers to our in-store raffles, gifts with purchase and contemporary carnival themed event.  For event hours, I hired a cute staffer and dressed her in Saks clothing, themed of course, to the carnival look.

She helped to serve guests, treat them to some Pop Rocks Pop and keep the area nice and tidy. I should have had her watch out for freeloaders too because one lady came back and stuffed her purse with as much as she could before walking out!!


The Pop Rocks Pop was basically just red soda with a sprinkling of Pop Rocks, that nostalgic explosion-in-your-mouth candy that brings you back to your younger years.  It was a concoction I dreamt up after browsing the online candy sites.  I actually liked that the red and black Pop Rocks packaging matched my candy bar and was playing with different ways to incorporate them into the whole look.  Why not sprinkle it onto drinks for a little snap crackle, pop?!

Stay tuned for my follow-up post on the contemporary carnival’s magic makeovers, clown shoe cupcakes, pin the purse on the fashionista and fashion fortune telling!  There’s just so much to share!  Please don’t forget to leave your comments here and let me know what you think!

 

 

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