kids party

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.

princess party, dessert bar, pink candy bar

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!

baked by tal, pink party, pink party for toddler, princess cake

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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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)!

     

     

     

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    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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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.

minifashionistas, fashion party, girls fashion,

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!)

nyc girls, nyc fashion, nyc kids, fashion kids, fab kids

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).

fashion party, nyfw kids show, nyfw child models, nyfw party

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!

nyc candy shop, dylans candy bar, upper east side shopping, best candy shop

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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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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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’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!

wild valentine

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.

kids valentines party

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valentines party

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.

valentines party

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.

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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fab kids halloween

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

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

 

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

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It really brought out the superhero in everyone! soaring

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

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

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

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Sometimes you just have to jump right in!

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We don’t blame you!

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

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

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

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

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

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

I found these free black and white Boo printables here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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veronica and j

 

 

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I’m so grateful to have found moms to hang out with, share parenting stories with and just help pass the time. As any new mom can attest to, finding one that you genuinely like, and has kids that are similar in age that play well together AND that lives close by feels like finding a unicorn riding a bike. It’s easier finding your soul mate on match.com (see prior post here).

I like to be social so while being a stay at home mom, I stay active and in touch partly by planning play dates for my little one.  My most recent one was planned with one day in advance and themed around the new Play Doh set that my daughter just received. So I was psyched to have 4 moms and their toddlers over and happy to get creative with my dollar store gift wrap which matched perfectly with the Play Doh colors and toys.

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Plus the floral pattern and colors were just so fun and summer-y that I knew I wouldn’t mind having them up for a while.  My place is very neutral otherwise and this just adds a burst of color.  Using gift wrap for your dessert table backdrops and/or blank walls is such a fun, cheap way to change things up!  See my instagram account for pictures on this area decorated for fourth of July!

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Thanks to my hoarding ways when it comes to my party decor, I was able to re-use the Oh Joy for Target pieces that I first used during my new year’s party and toddler tea party. See hubby, I DO end up using all this stuff!

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And I had enough gift wrap and an extra Oh Joy for Target banner to cover the cake stands and even J’s playhouse door!

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It was so nice to catch up with the AC on, and have the kids play together without worry that they’d fall off some playground ledge or hurt themselves tumbling down some slide.   And luckily J was gracious with sharing her toys.

cFollow me @fabgabblog on Instagram for more!

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