party planning

I used to plan 150 events a year for Saks Fifth Avenue (along with handling all their marketing and PR needs).  So my brain is used to being filled with a zillion party planning ideas and it’s no wonder I’m always in search of my next reason to throw another fashionable party (even though I no longer work there).  Anyone who knows me knows I can use anything as an excuse to plan another party… (how does my hubby put up with me..I know…).  Emoji party anyone??

emoji party ideas and inspiration

This time, inspiration came from all the emojis happily smiling at me wherever I went.  #trending??  They were everywhere on every article of clothing, fashion accessory, kids’ backpacks, lunch boxes and now did you hear?  There’s even an emoji MOVIE coming out!

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Little J loves emojis! She happily sends texts with her chubby 4 year old fingers to all her friends and family filled with her carefully-chosen emojis.  And she loves imitating all the silly faces with her own.  So I decided it was time Fab Kids threw an emoji-themed party where finally, everyone had the perfect reason to show off their happy, silly, and cool emoji style.

emoji invitation, kids emoji party, how to plan an emoji party

I partnered with NY Kids Club and aptly titled the event, Mommy and Me HAPPY Hour.  It was a happy hour unlike anything you’ve ever SEEN! Imagine wine for the moms…pizza and play space for the kids.  I mean with this padded play area, you could literally, leave your child in there and sip away knowing they were having a blast!  Easy peasey.  And cheers to THAT!

ny kids club tribeca, ny kids club party, indoor play gyms in ny

Besides having wine nearby, we couldn’t help but smile ear to ear while being surrounded by all the bright, sunny yellow-not to mention all the smiling faces!  emoji party ideas, emoji party entertainment, emoji party decor, happy hour, nyc moms event

Plus did I mention the PIZZA?  Ehem, I could live on this stuff!DSC_1994To really envelop ourselves with the emoji theme, guests were challenged to come wearing their best emoji style.  What better way is there to express yourself than through fashion anyways??  Of course, Fab kids brought it!

emoji party ideas, emoji kids party, emoji style, emoji movie, emoji fashion

The moms didn’t disappoint either!

how to throw an emoji party

Any mom that can get into a theme is a fab mom to me btw!  Besides the super cute dress code, I made sure smiles surrounded the party people.  Everything from the walls, to the railings, to the bathroom doors were emoji-fied!   5.20-001

NY Kids Club gets 2 thumbs up for brilliantly decorating their trampoline with chalk emoji drawings too! (Insert clapping hands emoji here.)

kids indoor playground nyc, ny indoor playground, ny indoor play spaces

The dessert and snack station featured a wall of linen that waterfall-ed into the table.  (Can you believe this was fabric from my college days…it used to be a curtain that I DIY-ed for my dorm).  From here, I simply taped up smiley face emoji plates which you can find here.

emoji party ideas, how to plan an emoji party, emoji themed party, emoji dessert bar

Budgeting tip!  Instead of splurging on emoji lollipops, I bought simple yellow ones and stuck emoji stickers on them.  I found this pack of emoji stickers at the dollar store).  Score!  The suckers stand perfectly in the gift-wrap covered styrofoam and add needed height to the table.  DSC_1936

Coordinated cupcake holders were filled with crunchy, organic, kid crackers.  Pretzel poo was made simply by sticking free poo printables onto mini pretzel packs. DSC_1937

The emoji cookies were from Dylan’s Candy bar, and the sprinkle cupcakes were simply topped with DIY emoji toppers and cupcake liners to complete the look.

Every kids’ party needs a fun activity.  For this emoji party, I wanted an emotional craft that was fairly quick and easy to do for kids of all ages. This emoji photo booth prop was the perfect thing!  Kids were able to customize their own face by choosing from features like sunglasses, heart eyes, smiles, and winking eyes to create a photo prop personalized to their #currentmood!  Little J was very proud of hers!DSC_2002

NY Kids Club staff were sooo awesome at helping to prepare all the pieces by cutting out everything beforehand so the kids could simply select, glue, and GO!  It was so fun that kids often could not stop at just making one.

emoji kids party, emoji themed party, how to throw an emoji party, emoji crafts, emoji diy

Once emotions were let out through this crafting activity, kids were invited to do their happy dance (all to a great playlist customized by me making sure moms could enjoy the latest happy tunes).  And GR8 games included a fun emoji ball toss, as well as a game of pass the emoji (think hot potato game and all set to the lively tune of “don’t worry be happy”.)  I had so much fun brainstorming all these details!

emoji party, emoji kids party, emoji party inspiration, ny kids club tribeca, ny kids club event

Thanks to Little Spoon who helped make the night possible through their taste-testing sponsorship of the event and beverage bar!

little spoon, emoji dish, emoji decor, emoji party planning

Their delicious, organic baby food gets delivered to your door with free shipping (and also tastes great mixed into prosecco with pomegranate seeds, I learned!!)  These products are so hot, there’s a wait list so get on it, Mommas!!

organic baby food, baby food delivery

And thanks to Lulu Fete who supplied all the emoji balloons and decorated /executed my silly selfie station area!  This was such a blast!!

photo booth, emoji photo booth, emoji props, selfie station, how to make emoji props

In the end, style awards and raffles were given away and guests left with goody bags and emoji balloons.  We all left smiling ear to ear! The party ended too soon for us.  We wanted to keep dancing and playing all night long.  But alas, that’s what the next party is for….

 

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SAVE THE DATE!  June 24th, we’re hosting another party at the NY Kids Club and YOU’RE INVITED!

THEME:  Geek chic Graduation party (come wearing bowties, nerd glasses, argyle, suspenders etc.)  We’re celebrating the fact that school’s out and that summer is IN!  Those 5 and under have all graduated from something and this I think calls for a congratulations in party form!

LIKE facebook.com/fabkidsnyc  and follow @fab_kids on IG for all the details coming soon!

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BIG THANK YOU to the NY Kids Club Tribeca for making this event seamless and all-around super.  I couldn’t have asked for a better team!

To see how the yellow chair covers (featured in the crafting room) were last used at little J’s bunny-themed 3rd birthday, hop on over HERE for more party planning tips!

 

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I admit it.  I’ve become that crazy mom who is constantly planning lavish parties for her little one.  You would have thought I was planning a wedding with as much thought, time and energy I invested into my daughter’s first birthday.  See for yourself here.  I was dead set on making it the best birthday she’d never remember.  And on a budget.  And all by myself.

And now that her next birthday isn’t for another 7months, guess what… I’m already on it.  I have the theme, venue, Pinterest board, invites, decor and even the paper plates ready to go.   Don’t believe me? Much to my husband’s dismay, all the paper products are stacked and in my hallway closet.  The party’s theme is animal themed if you must know.  Guests will get to initially take pictures with Leo the lion (Juliet dressed in costume).  There will be animal mask photo props for the photo booth area, the singing troupe will be leading singalongs only with songs with animals in the lyrics, and themed foods will include hot dogs, animal crackers, and critter cupcakes – all designed with a strict vintage colored decor theme.  Juliet’s party animal friends are going to roar with delight.

And as if that weren’t crazy enough, I’ve been dreaming of other party themes that I could have Juliet host during the inbetween months now until her birthday. Because you know, you can never have enough parties.

Already I’ve got Juliet hosting a back to school party this September with my FB page “Fab Kids”(check it out now and give it some love).  Yes, she’s only 1.5 years old but yes she’s going to school this fall semester so why not celebrate?!  We’re requiring all the guests (babies and toddlers that is) to dress as nerdy as possible.  Think glasses, suspenders, bowties and pocket protectors.   It’s all about the fashion after all!  AND I already have Juliet’s outfit planned.

Those of you who follow me on Instagram already know that we’ve already hosted a (toddler) white party – P Diddy style where all guests showed up in white.

white party

White for a picnic playdate you say?  Deal with it.  Fashion is impractical.  It’s best kids learn that lesson early on.

Here is Juliet greeting her guests

host

Look at our little ones breaking bread and communing with one another (while wearing Chanel)….

toddlers and babies wonder where P Diddy is

 “Wherever did you get those shoes!  I Die.”IMG_9619

You’ve gotta look fab while you’re having fun!

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The kids had a load of fun playing with the park’s toys and enjoying story time and singalongs.  And I think a few passerbys and gawkers couldn’t help but vicariously enjoy the fun too.

All we needed was for P.Diddy to show up.  Ah well, there’s always next year.

Stop by Facebook to vote on details for our next NYC mommy and me meetup.  Nerds Rule!

And follow us on Instagram @Fab_Kids for outfit inspiration for your minifashionista!

While you do that, I’ll be planning my next, next party.  I’m thinking Haute Halloween… fashionable halloween anyone??

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sunglasses

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

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

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

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

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

orange chevron party

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

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

diaper cake

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

 

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

cupcake topper

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

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

quiche  IMG_8309 fruit kabob orange party

trail mix

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

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

new york fashionista PicMonkey Collageeorange baby shower

diy photo booth

photo booth

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

diy photo boothphoto booth propsProps included:

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

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

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

baby shower

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

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

nyc baby

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

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

one year old birthday dress

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

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

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

Mudpie birthday dress

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 water bottle

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

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

party hats

party planning

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

party diy

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

guestbook

party guestbook

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

weekly growth

Other interactive elements that I incorporated into the party included:

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

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

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

welcome

baby convertible

easel

one year old

1st birthday party

first birthday party

one year old birthday

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

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

Let me know what you think!

 

 

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