Fab Fetes


If you believe in celebrating in style, and you look for excuses to throw a good party, having kids won’t stop that party planning perfectionist in you.  At least that’s what I’ve learned.  I’m THAT mom who offers to host a play date and then surprises everyone with a full-out professionally coordinated, themed event. This July 4th have a Fab Fourth!  It’s is an easy time to decorate and really jump into a theme.  After all, everyone has some form of red white and/or blue in their homes and closets! Here is some inspiration for you to host a Fab 4th of July party or play date indoors.

fourth of july decor, kids party

I encourage you to have a Fab Fourth with kids in the comfort of your own home!  Simply stick to a strict color theme of red white and blue, use what you have and ask everyone to dress in theme.  Here, in partnership with Mialandyn Events, we decorated her rental teepees with fringe and taped-on star cutouts.  (Taping on additional decor is such an easy and clever way to temporarily transform a plain teepee to match any holiday or theme!) Next we added some matching fur blankets and patriotic pillows to complete the luxe look.  We also added fun toddler toys and balloons inside which invited kids to explore and play.

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Encourage a pretend picnic with gingham red picnic blanket laid out and kid-friendly finger foods like healthy snacks from Fresh Kids, blueberries in a star dish, star-shaped cake pops from Current Mood, sparkly red marshmallows and 3D chocolate covered Oreo cookies from Brooklyn Cake Pops!  Red white and blue napkins, cake platter and star-shaped dishes help carry out the theme.

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Ask play date guests (moms and kids alike) to dress head-to-toe in red white and blue and you’ll be surprised how they take to the fashion challenge. Having the kids match REALLY makes for some adorable shots and brings out the momarazzi in all of us!

fourth of july kids clothes

I had so much fun styling all the kids for this shoot with pieces from their closets and my daughter’s combined.

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Take the opportunity to talk to the toddlers about flags, stars and stripes and voila! You’ve had a patriotic play date!

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If you liked this, click through for more inspiration on how to throw a patriotic picnic outdoors and check out the NYC instameet that we hosted last week with Mialandyn and Fresh Kids.

Special thanks goes out to all the partners for this shoot:

Follow me on Instagram for MORE!  @fabgabblog and @fab_kids

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Have a fab July fourth with your kids by celebrating in style!  Last year, I hosted a red white and blue themed picnic which you can see here.  This year, I wanted to make it bigger and better. So Fab Kids partnered up with Mialandyn Events (whose rentable teepees and pillows you see here) along with Fresh Kids (healthy snacks) for a fun, free fashionable patriotic picnic for friends and followers alike.july 4th party, july 4th styleThe toddlers loved the mini golf setup on the great big lawn.

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But there were also pretend ice cream shop stations and toy picnic baskets for the kids to discover inside each decorated teepee.

fourth of july style, fourth of july picnic Everyone was challenged to celebrate in style by showing off how they rock red white and blue.  And boy, they did NOT disappoint!

cute girls july 4th, how to style july 4thI put together this little outfit for my toddler and it only costed $40 head-to-toe with hand-me-down, vintage and gifted items.  DSC_5950

That French-inspired bowtie is actually a hair bow that I converted with a simple safety pin clip.  I’m a lucky mom.  She lets me dress her in all sorts of accessories and doesn’t seem to mind at all! july 4th kids party and picnic

I thank all the many fashionable families who came out to celebrate a very #fab_fourth with us.DSC_5966

nyc family, fourth of july style

And of course the many mommies and their littles too!

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july 4th outdoor party

Congrats to the winner of our #fab_fourth raffle!  DSC_6071

And if you’re in the NY area, and want an invite to an upcoming Fab Kids event, please leave your first and last name, email and kids names’ and ages with me either in the comments section here or feel free to email me at fabgabblog@gmail.com.  Like Fab Kids on FB to vote on event details, see event photos and updates and get all the Fab Kids news!  We have a Summer Glamp (Aug), Geek Chic play date (Sept) and a Fa-BOO-lous costume party (Oct.) in the works and would love to meet you there!

For video recaps and additional photos follow me @fab_kids and @fabgabblog on IG!  Thanks for following and let me know how you’re planning to celebrate Independence day this year!

 

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Each Fourth of July, I’ve gathered a small group of friends for a red white and blue patriotic picnic which has resulted in some insanely cute photos and adorable memories.

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Each year they grow up, they get more and more active and independent and isn’t this the time to celebrate independence?

IMG_6980 This year, I’m happy to announce that I’m opening up the gathering to my @fab_kids following on Instagram, getting sponsors and partners involved and hosting a patriotic picnic that is sure to be full of family fun!  If you’re in the NY area or know of someone who is, make sure to submit your name, email, kids name(s) and ages, to fabgabblog@gmail.com to be added to our invite list!  And watch out for our FB site to have additional details pre- and post event!

how to celebrate fourth of july

We’re so excited to celebrate with you and hope to see you there!  Also, keep an eye out for our fab fourth photo shoot that I just styled which will show you a preview of what to expect at this patriotic NYC picnic.  Follow me @fabgabblog on IG!

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If your daughter is obsessed with Disney princesses, you’ll want to read on for inspiration on how to throw your own Disney princess party or play date.  I threw this one at home last minute using some free printables, hand me down Disney costumes, and every princess-y toy we had in the apartment proving that you can have a posh play date without spending a lot of cash.  It’s simply about adding special details, elevating presentation, and adding stylish touches.

Here are 8 tips to host your own posh play date and celebrate the everyday in style.

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  1. Give your guests a special message by showing them you took extra care in inviting them over.  Whether it be a themed evite, a welcome sign on the door, a goody bag, or photos sent post-event, I think it’s always nice to treat them in a special manner and let them know you took extra care in welcoming and hosting them.how to plan a princess party, disney princess party, disney princesses for toddlers
  2. Play some princess tunes.  These days, you don’t even need to buy a CD.  Free themed playlists can easily be found on Spotify and Pandora.  In 5 minutes, I was able to customize and keep for future use, a Spotify playlist with all the popular Disney princess songs.  It cheerfully played in the background when guests came in and as kids were playing with the royal toys.  You may find that it quickly turns into an impromptu singalong with kids belting out ‘Let It Go’ so have those mics handy just in case!
  3. Play a Disney movie.  Having just hosted a Frozen screening in our theater with arts/crafts, toys and snacks (all Frozen themed of course), I decided to change it up this time with a Beauty and The Beast screening.  We had popcorn and ballroom dancing going on in the living room!
  4. Mommy and Me Manicures.  As you can see from the video above, we were lucky enough to be graced by my friend, Kyeongah who was a Jamberry specialist. She wrapped our nails in pretty patterns that were non-toxic and unchippable. Check out her site to see the full collection and order your own pretty ‘polishes!’   It was a total treat and such a fun way for moms and their mini-me’s to share in some girly fun!how to host a princess party for toddlers
  5. Display princess toys and castles.  Being that J and her friends are all toddlers, it’s important to offer another activity or two to keep them entertained.  They’re unlikely at this age to sit through an entire movie.  Disney magic clip dolls and castles are the perfect toys for their nimble fingers to play dress-up and imaginative play with.  I also brought out all her Elsa dolls, and princess Pez’s to carry out the theme throughout the space.toddler toys for girlsdisneyside princess party
  6. Encourage dress-up!  Guests arrived with their own princess dresses but also got to try on beautiful costumes, necklaces, tiaras, gloves and bippity boppity boo wands upon arrival.  It was a princess’s DREAM!SAMSUNG CSCprincess play date, disney princess party, disneyside
  7. Offer princess snacks and treats.  Fruits, sticker-ed princess applesauce, Olaf cookies, Little Mermaid lollipops, princess jellybeans, and first love (Hershey’s) kisses were popular amongst the little ones!princess party, toddler princess party, disney princess party, olaf snack b c f FullSizeRender
  8. Prepare a photo shoot!  What princess doesn’t want to pose in front of a camera?  Preparing cut – outs of the Beast and Disney princes would be a fun way to encourage selfies.  I gathered all our tiaras and had the moms gather for a quick group shot (we hardly have any pictures together since we’re all about the kids, so this was a fun change-up!)how to host a party for a princess

And that’s it!  For more ideas and tips on how to make your kids’ event stylish and special click here! If you’re a Disney fan and want more ideas on creating a budget-friendly Mickey/Minnie party, click here.

Also, here are the free printables that I used from HappyandBlessedHome.com and Hostess With The Mostess.  Please leave links with your princess play dates if you decide to have one too!

NY mommies, make sure to sign up for my Fab Kids invites with your name, email, neighborhood and ages of kids.  I’m currently planning a patriotic picnic play date for June 25th, a white party and another back to school geek chic event.  Please follow Fab Kids on FB and IG for more information!

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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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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!

bunny themed party invite

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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mickey mouse party, minnie mouse party, disney kids party

Before even having visited Disney World, (which Juliet had done 2 Decembers ago), she loved Mickey and his entire gang.  We have watched the show, played with the dolls, figurines, and Disney toys and have watched her growing up saying, “Oh toodles!” So when it came to celebrating her 3rd birthday at home with family, I decided to bring out all her Clubhouse characters and throw a Mickey Minnie 3rd birthday party.

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The oversized “3” was just some cut up cardboard that I covered in 75cent gift wrap paper from Michael’s. I simply glued the paper onto the 3.  And used the remaining paper as: backdrop, dining table runner and dessert table decor.  Mickey and Minnie love black and white stripes and polka dots and so do I!

how to plan a kids birthday on a budget

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The dining room table was set with cheap paper plates, cups and straws from Target proving you don’t have to spend a lot to add a sophisticated level of decor to a kid’s party.  Just forgo the character plates and linens and opt for modern patterns and a coordinated look.  And much of this stuff was re-purposed party goods from past parties (i.e. the striped banner from my black and white party and halloween party, the mini party hats from our at-home new year’s bash).

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Each place setting was unique in its own way, yet coordinated still.

how to throw a disney kids party  mickey mouse party

And instead of traditional cone-shaped kids’ birthday hats, I opted for mickey ears and glitter top hats.  Even grandma got into it!

mickey mouse party

kids disney birthday party

The dinner menu consisted of breaded pork chops, roasted potatoes, panko crusted cauliflower, mixed vegetables, rice and these skewered fruit.  I considered making a Mickey themed menu and had a whole Pinterest board devoted to such ideas but in the end scrapped the idea in favor of foods that I knew the family would favor (over a hot-diggity dog bar for instance).

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At the last minute I was also able to have delivered these delectable Mickey mouse and Minnie mouse shaped cake pops from The Current Mood.  How cute are they??  I just stuck them into styrofoam rectangles. Easy peasy!

mickey and minnie desserts, disney desserts

My daughter loves cake and she loves lollipops.  These were the perfect mix!

minnie mouse cake pop(Notice her Minnie Mouse tights)?  I’m all about dressing in theme.

how to throw a minnie mouse kids birthday party

For fun, I posted Mickey’s face on a bare wall and asked the kids to pin Mickey’s smile after being twirled around with a blindfold on. Juliet since she was just 3 was given the distinct advantage of not being blindfolded.  Birthday girls get all the perks after all!

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Even daddy got in on the action.

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Juliet loved opening all her presents and especially loved her new ride-on, an electronic white/black motorcycle – notice how its colors match the party decor?  Nice job, daddy!

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Other entertainment included Mickey / Minnie Mouse toys like the ones below.  “If fun and fashion are what you seek,” these toys would totally satisfy!

mickey and minnie mouse toys

What a joy it was planning this party!  Thanks for taking a peek inside our Mickey clubhouse!  Please leave a comment with what you liked most!  And special thanks to BSM Media & Disney for sending us the sponsored #disneyside party supplies seen here (Mickey pin the smile game, Mickey clubhouse character straw attachments for instance).

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Stay tuned for birthday party #2 with all her school friends!

 

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If you’re looking for a fun Valentine’s party or wanting to make your next play date a little more special, think about getting wild with an animal-theme!

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I wasn’t ready to tear down my wild for you decor from my pancakes and pajamas play date and decided to host another Wild For You Valentine making play date with 2 more of our favorite Valentines.

IMG_1120The kids wore matching bear-eared heart jumpsuits for some adorable photos and enjoyed crafting their own Valentine hearts and decorating heart-shaped cookies.

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Here are some close-ups! The beverage bottles were simply unstickered Starbucks coffee cups decorated with items from Target’s $1 bin.

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Pigs in a blanket were a fun animal-themed toddler snack.

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Strawberry applesauce and fruits in festive dotted cups, animal crackers, organic cow shaped grahams, and panda sweets were also available for the kids.IMG_1072 IMG_1086 wild for you valentine making Be sure to continue the wild theme with animal prints (here seen on the duvet cover-turned linen), animal puzzles toys and books, and stuffed animals.

wild for you heart fashion

Each child brought home this favor bag stuffed with their Valentine’s creations and each mom went home with a heart-shaped box of Godiva Valentine’s chocolates.

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animal valentine theme

To see the 2nd birthday party where all these DIY decorated animal figurines originally came from, click here. 

And to see my 6 tips for hosting a pajamas and pancakes play date like this for under $10 click here. 

valentine kids event How are you and your kids celebrating with your Valentine’s this year?

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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)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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