plus if you live in Manhattan, also win 2 free skate passes for South Street Seaport’s skating rink! AND if you like, you can also take home with you the remaining, unused, Sophia the First party items shown below
Just leave a comment here with your name and state, and another comment in any of my previous posts.
And check out JandG Handmade for adorable, girly hair accessories! Get 20%off anything with code, “princess” at checkout!
I was selected as a host by Mom Select for Disney Side Celebrations and received a kit with decorations, party favors and other supplies to inspire me to plan an at home celebration. I was asked to plan and execute party details on my own . No monetary compensation was provided and the views and opinions are my own.
This is all I could think when faced with the challenge of planning a princess party on minimal budget within 2 weeks for 8-10 2 year olds at my apartment. I don’t have a nanny so all I could do was devote 30minutes each day to researching, planning, purchasing and setting up as soon as my #disneyside 20lb box of decor, and party favors arrived care of Disney and Mom Select Media. (See earlier post about being a chosen blogger to host an at home celebration). Somehow my prince charming of a husband put up with me and all the pink and purple that took over our house 2 weeks leading up to the celebration. I swear you’d have thought Sophia The First’s castle had exploded in our living room… For that somewhat pressured (and I say pressured because I’m a perfectionist) period, my head spun as I designed the kids dining area, brainstormed ways to create varied elevation at the snack station, and played with various activity ideas for the kids.
Because I like to stay strictly within a party theme, I opted to exclude using the Mickey decor and baking items received in my package. I’ll save those for another festive moment in my 2 year old’s life. And there were several items I chose to break apart and give away in the goody bags like the big box of Disney Princess chapsticks/glosses and box of Disney Princess stickers. Here is what I ended up giving away as party favors. Additionally, each guest is still waiting to receive the Princess in Training tee shirts gifted from my one of my event sponsors too since they did not arrive in time.
And here was the final bag. I topped off each white bag (bought at the dollar store where a 70 year old man hit on me) with one of the Sophia the First tiaras because I knew my guests were all arriving with their own sparkly head pieces.
In addition to preparing goody bags for each guest, a very special, overstuffed bag was created as a prize package for the best dressed mommy and me duo to encourage guests to dress up and show off their princess style. Here were the contents (some from Disney, some from me and my other sponsors).
Though honestly, my fashionista mommy friends always seem to be up for a kitschy theme (gotta love that) and are girly enough to enjoy dressing-up so it didn’t take much persuasion power on my end. I was so thrilled that they took the dressing up as seriously as I did because it really added to the party and made for fun conversation starters. What a way to kick-off NY Fashion Week, huh?
As you can imagine, their outfits made it extremely easy for my doorman to recognize who my guests were-see invite here. Who else would dress this way in NYC on a normal day??
Just my fab friends… Aren’t they SO cute?? Winner was selected by popular vote and it was a tough call because all the duos were dazzling in their own way. But in the end this is who took home the prize! Totally deserving.
A Sophia the First coloring sheet (from my Disney package) that featured the Royal Academy and said “welcome” greeted guests at the front door as did a coat check. Upon entering, guests heard music from Pandora’s “everyday princess” soundtrack in the background as they passed the hall of mirrors into the kids royal dining area.
Drinks were served and the princesses in training played politely, sharing the princess toys as we waited for all the guests to arrive. Sophia the First’s movie played silently on the TV.
I didn’t have Disney princess toys to go along with the theme so had a friend share some of her Disney princess dolls and other collectible toys at the party.
And I created an accessory station in my bedroom using some old costume jewelry and Juliet’s necklaces and tiaras. That was a big hit! I presented the jewels along a chaise that was the perfect height for them to gaze into a mirror and try on sparkly jewelry.
It was like shopping without the pressure to buy! What girl doesn’t enjoy THAT?
I also brought out Juliet’s purses because you know, princesses all have a weakness for purses!
My sweet daughter was so good about sharing all her fashions, accessories and toys. Mommy was proud.
In addition, primping was encouraged. My vanity featured a princess mani station. Who can resist a chubby toddler hand made even cuter with bows??
And one of the bathroom mirrors had a princess message written on it, “mirror mirror on the wall who’s the fairest of them all?”
Once everyone had arrived, we tried (I emphasize TRIED) to take a group shot of all our princesses in training but that proved to be a bit of a challenge with squirmy 2 year olds…
So we had fun hamming it up for other shots..
After pictures (it’s always important to get the shots in before the kids start eating and ruining their outfits lol), the girls dined and sat on big girl thrones (kids chairs that I covered in white tees and tutus). Surprisingly, the 2 year olds had no major mishaps. They ate their tiara sandwiches, savory snacks and crown cupcakes in peace. These princesses were on their BEST behavior!
Here you can see that I didn’t just lay the free Sophia the First plastic table cover down. I first covered the table legs with a couple, never-used shower curtains that I keep for decorative event purposes like this (see the 1st birthday party that I threw), then I steamed, yes STEAMED the plastic tablecloth that Disney gave me because I’m anal like that, then I laid a ruffly, runner on top for my centerpiece desserts. The layered additions gave the Sophia the First plastic cover a more elegant touch and elevated the look all together.
The mini-cupcakes were the perfect size for toddler hands (and appetites) and were simply bought at Whole Foods (along with the heart cookeis). I was estatic to find the perfect pre-made shade of pink frosting and knew that all I had to do was add my fondant pre-made tiaras that I bought at Michaels for a customized, more couture look.
My baby is an animal when it comes to devouring her cupcakes. She was so good at obeying my orders to not touch the cupcakes until all her guests arrived that when it came time to eat, I let her have the requested 2 but then she just HAD to have the last one too….
You don’t have to spend a lot on a kids party. Just use what you have and get crafty with dollar store finds. The overhead garland above the dining table is actually just made up of 3 plastic tablecloths that I bought at the dollar store and then hand cut fringe on for instance.
And the white lace hearts were leftover craft items I already had and I strung them on ribbons leftover from my wedding.
The Princess in Training sign is just foam core board that I cut and wrote on and the two Sophia the First framed photos that sit beside it are pictures I found in a free poster album book that I picked up at Little Swappiesfor free. I just made sure to find and cut pictures within the same pale pink and purple color theme.
Because I was simultaneously planning my daughter’s 2nd birthday (which was planned to be held 1 month after this party), I really really wanted to stick to a tight budget here. So I got creative.
I used pages out of that free Sophia the First poster book and created a backdrop by simply taping pages with coordinating colors on the wall. I bought the posterboard that hangs in the middle on sale at Michaels for $5 then covered it in fabric and velcro taped the Princess tasks for certification list so it became the centerpiece of our Princess in Training snack station.
I chose to stick the stand alone decorative items that Disney gave me (the 2 small pieces below the foam core board) as wall decor instead of as table decor and placed their snack bowls right beside them on a riser that I created from scratch.
The center riser is just a diaper box covered in dollar store plastic tablecloth, tissue paper that I cut for my daughter’s first birthday, saved and re-used and extra pom pom trim -also leftover. And the long narrow, riser in front is a bunch of Kleenex boxes glue-gunned together and wrapped. You’d never know, right? Both worked so well I think I’ll re-use them next month at my daughter’s 2nd birthday -just have to re-cover them in a different fabric for her color theme.
The “pretty in pink rice crackers” and “flower petals” are from my sponsor Happy Family, an organic food line, and the “princess pretzels”, well they are a toddler crowd pleaser.
Savory snacks for the adults included truffled mac ‘n cheese bites, figs, nuts, veggie reduced fat chips, Stacy’s pita chips, purple/pink corn chips (yes I like my food to match the color theme!) and fruit, not shown here.
My friend couldn’t get over the cuteness of the miniature appetizer plates and forks.
Mozerella cheese sticks for kids and kids at heart!I bought the purple glitter paper all on sale and used them to accent these cute cake risers (cut into a circle and saran wrapped here). They were also used as a sparkly counter runner just to bring a little more color into the mix. So the money I did spend was mainly on snacks and foods. I got creative with decor and re-used things I had around the house and I think it turned out all right for being on a tight budget, don’t you?
The snacks which you can’t see up close also included:
healthy yogurt granola bars cut into halves and presented in cupcake liners
kids mini-sized yogurts perfectly coordinating in purple
prince charming cookies (with a prince emblazoned on each cookie)
Here is the before picture of my Drink jars.
Frustratingly, this project cost me the most time. Ever get inspired by Pinterest and then totally regret trying out that crazy idea? Well, after I had downed a couple cases of this Starbucks mocha frappuccino stuff there really was no turning back. Even if it did take me over a half an hour to scrub each of the bottle’s stickers off and even if I did lose layers of skin during the process, I was dead set on finishing my Pinterest project!
While the little princesses were occupied and happily eating in their own royal dining area, I thought it would be fun for the grownups to get to know one another a little better with a little princess activity for ourselves. So I dreamt up a little game of Princess truth or dare-only without the dares. Here are some sample questions, (each mom pulled a question randomly and had to answer honestly).
This game and all the questions were made up by me so don’t laugh:
Princesses sometimes have to kiss a lot of frogs before finding their prince. How many did you kiss (multiple choice with different number ranges were given)
Princesses own more than just one glass slipper. How many shoes do you own?
Hi Beauty, Have you dated a beast Why and tell us about it.
If you had a magical princess power what would it be and why?
Kids are not the only ones who can play games at princess parties!
The party went overtime, a sure sign that the guests were having a good time and I was thrilled to see all the smiling faces and laughter. In the end the clock struck past people’s dinner times and princesses had to rush off in their stroller carriages after receiving their official princess certificate which annointed them as an official princess. I printed these from a free online printable. See my Pinterest board for more ideas and links to other free princess printables!
Here’s a couple shots of post-party Cinderella clean-up, dresses, tiaras and all.
TIPS on making a kid’s party look more sophisticated:
Don’t rely on just the kiddie paper products. Mix in elegant serverware, cake platters and risers.
Layer in real linens with the plastic tablecloths and napkins.
Feature unique hanging decor like garlands, tassel balls, coordinating ribbons, fringe..Balloons are popular with the kids but also expected.
Stick to your color theme and coordinate down to the very last detail.
Feature fresh florals – ooh fancy!
And that’s IT! Read on to the next post where I show you how I transformed this decor into a Valentine’s backdrop and for a chance to win a supersized goody bag from this party!
Onto NY Fashion Week and then to furiously finish planning my daughter’s 2nd birthday!
Special thanks goes out to Disney and their associated sponsors, All, Wisk, Beyond Meat