fab kids

Ever since becoming a new NYC parent, I’ve enjoyed checking out the biggest baby show in NYC, the New York Baby Show hosted by New York Family.

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Here are 3 reasons why you should go:

  1. It’s a one-stop shop where you can taste-test, try-out, and even test-drive all the best and latest baby, family, and parenting products!  You’ll get to browse, ask questions and compare without the high-pressure sales tactics. Discover the latest trends, learn about new technologies, and learn from other parents who have tried the products out!
  2. You can tell your husband that you’re headed to an EVENT, (not just shopping)!  This is one shopping experience that my hubby can’t say no to.  He actually enjoys tagging along, and hunting down the latest finds for our family.  The interactive nature of the event escalates the shopping experience into a fun-filled time for the whole family.  Think raffles, mommy meetups, celebrity speakers, face-painting, and other free activities for the kids!
  3. You know the fun of shopping your local grocery store when they have samples?  It’s kind of the same thing here.  Every aisle that you turn into offers snacks for you and your kids, beverages to quench your thirst, stickers and promotional toys to keep your kids occupied.  And c’mon!  Who doesn’t like free stuff!

Enter to win free tickets for you and your family!

The 1st 10 win to click through here WIN!  Don’t fret if you click through and those are gone.  You can click to purchase single or family pack tickets for half off here.  Hope to see you there!

NYBS2017-Ticket Giveaway-Blog-700x500[2]

For tips on getting there click this link.

For exhibitor, seminar and programming info click here.

This is a sponsored post. #mtbloggerlounge

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I naively thought that I could dreamily plan out my daughter’s birthday parties for at least the first 5 years of her life. Anyone who knows me knows I love planning parties and knows that I find any random excuse to celebrate.  Kids’ White party to celebrate the end of summer, anyone??  So here I am with carefully thought-through party ideas for her 1st through 5th birthday parties..not kidding check out my Pinterest page…and then my precocious, soon-to-be 4 year old daughter throws a wrench in my plans and independently comes up with her own ideas.  Princess Party!girls birthday party, pink party, pink party decor, happy birthday bannerAnd boy was she specific!

  • “princess theme with pink”
  • “I want it to be a tea party”
  • “I want to sit in a queen’s chair!”
  • “I want a princess cake like Olivia’s (referencing a Barbie cake)”
  • “lots of CANDY!”
  • only 4 guests” (tells me exactly who to invite and that this year it has to be a small party)
  • “I want to set the table!”

OK OK!  I get it. You want to be a princess!  So back to the drawing board I went and through our collaborative research/discussion and approval phase, we came up with a non-Disney-specific, princess tea party with pink, white and metallic colors running throughout.  Here’s how I transformed our NY apartment into a picture-perfect party palace and here are tips on how you can design yours on a budget too:

Backdrop 

We have a large white, blank wall currently devoid of art, or frames which not only gives our living room, a clean minimalistic feel but also allows me to easily transform the space each holiday or for any celebration.  I turned this wall into a beautiful photo backdrop with my 1 splurge piece, this beautifully printed banner from Iconica Design.  The large scale immediately brightened up the room and carried the colors throughout the space.  What do you think?

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Since I’m all about the photo opp, I imagined getting a group shot with the girls all jumping on my couch with balloons in the air, waving them around like they just didn’t care…  and I loved when my vision came to life!

Balloons

Balloon garlands and installations if professionally done are super pricey.  But you can go the DIY route if you have a lot of patience and can spare some time (and by “some” I mean double the time you think it takes).  To stay within budget, I blew all these balloons up myself (bought wholesale), taped them to my mirror with packing tape, prayed they would stay on but still had to repeat this process 10x cuz so many popped or wouldn’t stay up, then added mirrored Christmas garland, and finally inserted silk flowers in between for a unique, girly look.  It was well worth the effort in the end, I think, don’t you?

princess party, diy balloons, balloon garland danny tableballoon It perfectly echoed the banner across the way and was a major conversation piece that night!balloons

I also did a balloon makeover on an enormous balloon that I brought home one day from the Live Clean blogger brunch.  By adding my own coordinating pom pom string, tulle and paper garland, it became a one-of-a-kind photo prop!

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Her feather crown can be purchased wholesale here.

Desserts

She mentioned she wanted sweets.  So I made and formed rice krispy stars, added frosting, gold glitter and a gold straw to create magic wands!

DSC_7592Pink rock candy sticks, jellybeans, and mini cupcakes also contributed to the sugar high.  And pink, gold and silver Hershey kisses hid in crown favor boxes while candy awaited our guests in the form of pretty pink purses.

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Happy Birthday sign is actually a cake topper that I bought wholesale here.

Crown favor boxes can be bought wholesale here

Pink purse favor boxes found wholesale here

The most royal of desserts however, was the princess cake!  Straight out of our dreams, was this glorious Barbie cake, dress, hat and present designed to match our party decor, from Baked by Tal.  AMAZING!

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Besides giving the sweets the royal treatment, I picked out the prettiest princess-y paper goods that I could find while perfectly matching her color theme.  By printing, cutting and assembling on my own, I was able to cut costs as well.  The banner, cupcake toppers, invite, thank you card and other event signs and notes can be found here.

how to plan a princess party, barbie princess cake, baked by tal

Tea party menu included: crown shaped PB&J princess sandwiches, 2 kinds of salad, pasta, chicken and rice, asparagus, fruit and of course, tea which I added pink edible rosebuds to.  Here’s a shot of the sandwiches that I cut using crown-shaped cookie cutters.

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Gold glitter wall

If you want a picture -perfect party, you MUST think about pretty backdrops!  These princesses were expert posers and I knew I had to have a special spot for them to pick a prop and pose.  Here, I re-used my fold-up backdrop holder and created a shimmery backdrop with a friend’s borrowed gold linen, some pom pom, xmas trim and some leftover plastic tablecloth previously used at a past party.  Everything was simply taped on with packing tape on the back and cost me nothing ‘cuz I just used what I had.  It’s amazing what you can find for your party at the local dollar store!  The shredded pink tablecloth turned garland here was a dollar each and I hand-cut it.  The gold circle confetti was also from the dollar store and I filled my wholesale balloons at the dollar store with helium!

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Tablescape

For a sophisticated kids’ tablescape I mixed in paper plates with real plates, bought coordinating teacups on sale on ebay, and found the perfect pink, white and gold paper goods at wholesale prices! 

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I really wanted a luxe linen but couldn’t afford the rental prices from my favorite linen supplier, Wildflower Linen so I made my own by buying wholesale, 1 yard of glittery mesh fabric from NY’s garment district and adding my own white ruffle trim.  I then sprinkled some diamond confetti pieces (found at Target) all over the table as shown here – majorly upgraded look from the usual child’s plastic table cover, right? how to set a kids party table, tablescape, design kids party, kids party stylistOf course, Juliet got to have her throne.  I found that Exceptional Party Rentals had some of the best throne selections with delivery to/from NYC.

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Activities

For this princess tea party, our (hired) princess (and Juliet’s babysitter) gave individualized mini-makeovers giving each guest a turn on the throne.  The girls also got to design their own glass slipper, a craft involving stickers and these wholesale favor shoes.

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And they enjoyed the shimmer and shine styling station and a “game of thrones” that I made up and had our resident princess lead.  (think musical chairs but with princess music, thrones, and princesses wearing tiaras)

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In the end, everyone had such a blast that they overstayed by 2 more hours!  Nobody wanted the party to end, including me.  See my Instagram and Twitter for more details and videos!

Juliet is already talking about her next birthday party plans… she says it will be a Frozen themed party with 5 friends when she turns 5!

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brooklyn art, herve tullet author, press play, this isn't trash, invisible dog art

When children’s book author, Herve Tullet’s team invited us to Brooklyn to see his latest art exhibit, we trekked over the Brooklyn Bridge!  These two minifashionistas had to see “This Isn’t Trash,” (the title to this imaginative artist’s graphic installation) and us mommy bloggers obliged!

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featured here are GothamLove and DowntownChicMoms

The Invisible Dog Art Center where this was held was packed that night with art-lovers looking to get up close and personal with the both the author and his work.  Up-close viewings revealed torn paper, shreds, tape and pieces on the floor left to look a little like trash.

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above photo: Courtesy The Invisible Dog- Simon Courchel

There was even a cardboard box sitting in the middle of the room, there for people to discover, with the label this isn’t trash filled with scrap, torn pieces of his art.  Of course, this was a big hit with the kids!

invisible dog art center, modern art, art for kids, arts n crafts DSC_8004

For more on this exhibit, check out my article on Mommy Nearest!DSC_7990  herve tullet, herve tullet book, herve tullet art

And check out these two playing ring around the rosie right outside the exhibit! (Thanks GothamLove for the video!)

 

 

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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.

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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??

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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 submitted Juliet’s pictures on a whim to the Lil Jewels Boutique model search on Instagram despite the model call asking for kids 6 and over.  So much to my surprise, at 4 years old, and even with 4000 entries, Juliet was chosen as the youngest model to get to walk the New York Fashion Week runway for her couture kids collection.  I told Juliet she was chosen because she was a good listener and so well behaved 🙂 and she was psyched!

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We’ve enjoyed watching kids fashion shows and women’s shows during NYFW ever since she was a baby, and always from the sidelines.  I couldn’t believe my very own baby would be ON the runway this time!  And what a runway it was!!  Here is Juliet posing pre-show.

This tremendously long runway was unlike the last runway Juliet crawled (at 10 months old) for Old Navy and so I was a little concerned with how she would do especially given the girls weren’t given the opportunity to rehearse together.

Backstage, I was able to cover as media and watch all the adorable shenanigans.  It was like a pastel tutu explosion in there!

society fashion week, kids couture, kids fashion shows, nyfw kids, pastel dresses DSC_7181

Juliet made lots of friends while waiting for her 15 minutes of fame.

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Juliet said she felt like she was in a princess story and that it looked like everyone was getting dressed for the ball.

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She enjoyed getting all glammed up with hair and makeup and like a superstar, waited patiently in a cramped and crowded room.  Yana, the designer was terrific with all the girls, engaging them by playing a round of Q&A talking about favorite colors and princesses.  You could tell that she genuinely loved little girls.  It’s no wonder she dresses them so gorgeously!

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When the time came to line up and wait for our turn on the catwalk, Juliet held my hand and told me (unprompted), “Mommy, I’m gonna be brave like (princess Merida)”

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She was visibly excited to take her turn down the catwalk.

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By the way, aren’t the dresses to die for?? So sophisticated yet adorable at the same time!  I was in love! Here’s the runway finale!

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Above photo from Eva Kapanadze

After the show, Juliet explained to me how it was time to return her beautiful dress, just like Cinderella did after the ball. I found it hilarious that she in her head was re-enacting Cinderella’s post-midnight story as she slipped back into her “regular clothes.”  Here she is in those regular clothes..

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Gotham Hall, a downtown venue that I’ve previously frequented for galas, benefits and other fashion shows will have new meaning and fond memories for me now.

society fashion week

Thanks Yana and the Lil Jewels Boutique team for selecting Juliet!  It was an honor to represent your brand and a dream come true to walk NYFW!

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I surprised Juliet at school pick-up with the announcement that we were seeing a couple NYFW shows and she screamed in delight.  haha only a true minifashionista at age 4 would be so excited.  So off we went in our matching Mommy and me outfit (tees by Ba Ba Bling Kids for which Juliet is a brand rep, black chokers, and red plaid).

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We were psyched to score front row seats for Dennis Basso!

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The fashions were fur-ocious!  Here is a sampling from the runway.

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I’m loving the caramel, fur, and glittery details!  So glam, as always!

Post-show, we explored the NYFW lounge and took some fun mommy and me snapshots to commemorate our day.

nyfw fashionistas, eonline photo booth

Next up was the Carmen Marc Valvo fashion presentation at Pier 59 where we ran into Alec Baldwin, his wife and their daughter who was visibly excited to see another minifashionista around her age.  The scene was packed so we had to be quick.  Here’s Juliet admiring the fashion models.

carmen marc valvo fw2017, carmen marc valvo model, carmen marc valvo nyfw

The bright orange accordian pleated dress reminded me of a similar dress that I own in green except mine comes with a belt.  I think this orange dress needs a belt too, what do you think? IMG_1052 I’m finding a lot of orange on the runway so far..maybe that will be next new color.  Time will tell!  We’re only half way through with NYFW.  Anyways, I hope you had a wonderful Valentine’s and I hope that you were able to share it with someone as cute as my little date.  Thanks for reading!  ‘Til next time!

 

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Dressing up is every girly girl’s favorite thing.  And Juliet has accumulated more than her fair share of accessories, and fashions through brands we’ve worked with, family and friends and heck who am I kidding, ME the fashion-obsessed mom.  With New York Fashion Week (NYFW) coming upon us, I thought it would be fun to host a NYFW-inspired posh play date, a dress-up party of sorts.  I know..by now you either think I’m crazy or the coolest mom EVA..I hope it’s the latter.

 

With many fashionable moms in my little black book, I knew I’d easily find fab moms who were more than game for the idea.  Turns out they were just as excited about the idea as I was 🙂 So we gathered one winter-y Friday evening, sipped our wine and marveled at our minifashionistas as they excitedly scanned the room filled with accessory stations ranging from hats, to tiaras, to headbands, to purses, to necklaces and to bracelets.

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They were so preoccupied accessorizing themselves, that we got to enjoy some awesome mommy time! Did I mention the wine??  ha

Thank you Imperial Toy for sending us these cute Honua bracelets to add to our collection!

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I was surprised to find how they created so many different looks and even had fun helping to style one another!

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Above photos from fellow blogging mom, Mary from Downtown Chic Moms

It was the cutest and sweetest thing ever.  I just love that I am a mommy of a girl and get to share such fun times doing such such girly things.  (have no clue WHAT I would have done with a boy!)

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There’s the Honua bracelets again – this time on Brinkley (far right) who creatively accessorized her buns!

I did also lay out fashion and dress-up themed puzzles, games, stickers and more available for the girls to play with but the actual accessories seemed to be the real thrill.

fashionistas, minifashionistas, dress up party

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To finish up the party, we held a runway finale where the girls surprised us with their NYFW – inspired catwalks.  How adorable were they?  And how hot was our momma model trainer?? RIGHT?!

To see more fun, fashionable posh play dates, click here and join us in the future at a Fab Kids ticketed special event simply by letting me know you want to be added to the list!  (name, email, age of child, name of child, your area in NYC).

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Thanks for reading!  We hope you are enjoying NYFW in your own special way!

 

 

 

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With a curious title like, ‘Dinousaurs Living in My Hair,” behind the book launch party at Dylan’s Candy Bar, we were excited to attend and see what it was all about!  I can pretty much lure Juliet with candy for anything but it didn’t take much convincing, given there was so much fun awaiting us!

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As one of the first attendees to this adorable party space, we had the pleasure of spending some quality time with the award-winning author, Jayne M. Rose-Vallee who very visibly, loved children.  She was genuinely interested in getting to know each little one and spent time getting know Juliet, asking all about her big upcoming 4th birthday plans.IMG_0915   IMG_0918

As you can see, at each table, were cute dino cookies, ready to be decorated.  Juliet loved the frosting and candy toppings.

dinosaurs, dinosaur party, dinosaur party ideas, dylans candy bar, nyc party venues for kids IMG_0930

She also enjoyed coloring the illustrations from the book and even happily showed the author her masterpiece when she finished.IMG_0931

Media were treated to a wonderful breakfast spread, mimosas, juices and coffee. Juliet gobbled up the fruit and admired the candy decor.

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The highlight of course though was the special book reading led by the author herself!  Kids gathered around to listen to the sweet story of a little girl with messy tangled hair.  (Turns out this is a book Juliet could really relate to!)  Juliet wakes up each day with near-dreadlocks and a Medussa – inspired do!

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The enchanting book inspires imagination and awe and practically sings with its musical, rhyming text.  I was also impressed with how it aptly spoke to both boys (who all love dinosaurs) as well as girls who have all awoken with tangled hair at one time or another.

“Sabrina has curly hair and a problem. Tangles and knots make her mornings difficult. Try as she might . . . To make her hair “cool,” . . . . The curls make it tricky . . . To comb out for school. At the top of her head . . . Where it’s simply a mess . . . Do creatures hide out there? . . . The answer is YES!”dinosaurs living in my hair, kids party, dylan's candy bar party

We were so thankful to have walked away with a goody bag filled with a signed copy of the book, Dinosaurs Living in my Hair along with product from Shea Moisture (including a great detangler) and colorful miniature dinosaurs.  Thank you for the invite and for the fun mommy and me experience!  IMG_0953

We will look back fondly at these memories each and every time we enjoy bedtime readings of “Dinosaurs Living in My Hair.”  The book is available on Amazon for $17.99 and has an average 5 star rating!

children's book, children's book author, dinosaur book

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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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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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