Thursday, January 19, 2012

Ella's Fourth Birthday Party {Lesson in Listening - Part II}

We opted for a low-key birthday lunch for Ella's fourth birthday.  We were going to do a party on a Saturday and invite more of her friends, but she really wanted her party on her birthday (which was a Tuesday).  We had five of her preschool girlfriends over for a birthday party lunch right after preschool.  As usual, things ended up being a bit more elaborate than I had originally planned, but when it comes to party planning, I can't really help myself. 

Following last year's lesson, I asked for a list of requirements from Ella:
  • "a Hello Kitty wintery party with springtime flowers and butterflies" (tall order, right?)
  • a pink and purple cake with white roses and sparkles (she saw the rose cake on pinterest, and chose it over a Hello Kitty cake.  What can I say, she has sophisticated style).
  • peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
  • fizzy Christmas drink {sprite mixed with grenadine flavoring}
  • hot chocolate
  • balloons
  • candy
  • treat bags for her friends
  • dancing
  • coloring
 We checked everything off her little list, and I managed to keep the little gathering pretty low key.   Yes, low key.  I wasn't running around like a crazy person, and I even got to participate in most of the festivities.  I did as much as possible beforehand, and it turned out great.  The coloring activity consisted of each girl getting a Hello Kitty coloring book ($1 from Michael's), and then it got rolled up, tied with baker's twine, and added to their favor bags. Easiest craft ever!

The cake was the hardest part, as I tried a new frosting technique, and I used cream cheese frosting- big mistake. It tasted great, but it was a little sloppier than I would have liked because it clearly doesn't hold its shape as well as butter cream.  And sadly, you can't see it very well in the pictures, but we used edible glitter, and it made it so wintry and glittery.  Ella got to put all the sprinkles on the cupcakes for her classmates, and she was in heaven. She also picked out the golden cupcake liners for her classmates.

One of my favorite parts of the party was helping each of the girls pick out the candy for their favor bags.  They were so particular!  I think the highlights for the girls would have been drinking hot chocolate out of mini mugs, dancing, and eating cake. 

The color scheme was taken from the McDonald's Hello Kitty toys she's been obsessed with since before Christmas, but we brightened up the pastels a bit.  Can you believe she requested a party based on McDonald's toys, and I agreed to it?

Well, it was her birthday. Some of the elements didn't really complement the others, but she didn't even care because it's what she wanted.  She loved it.  And that's all that matters.








p.s.  the girls actually had two rounds of hot chocolate.  The first was Hello Kitty PINK hot chocolate, the second round was the traditional hot chocolate.  Brown.  The mini hot cocoa mugs were a smash hit!  And great because it meant not too much sugar :)


New York Nelsons said...

amazing. That is all I can say.

Christina G said...

I am always amazed at your party planning skills!! Your finishing touches always make a special day even better!

Kel said...

not a big fan of hello kitty..but as always you made it look entirely classy.

and that cake. gorgeous.

AlliSMiles said...

I'm sorry, lady, but that is anything but low key. If that's low key, I can't imagine what high-key is. Seriously.

It is beautiful and classy. Like all you do.

Morgan said...

beautiful!!! your low-key is my going all out! :)

Lesley said...

Thanks, you lovely ladies. Trust me when I say that this is definitely one of those cases when it looks better than it actually does. For better or worse, being a photographer helps me know which details to focus on, because I know which elements will photograph well. It really helps me keep things "simple."

And I totally get you, Kel, I am not a huge Hello Kitty fan either. I'm not a fan of theme-y birthday parties whatsoever, so I think the challenge is always translating what Ella wants into what fits my style. Is that bad? I sure hope not.

Amy said...

Wow. You are so talented. This is amazing! Even your "simple" is way beyond anything I would or could do! Will you please plan Ruby's party :-) ?

Amber Addams said...

You have such an amazing talent for capturing the beauty of the little things. And I definitely agree, you made Hello Kitty classy, which is definitely a feat!

Brooke said...

I love it. Everything about it. I don't believe you- low key. It still took so much time, I know it! The cake, oh the cake AND cupcakes! I need you close. I need to pick your brain every day about something new. AND could you just photograph our lives? Seriously. What is that tablecloth? And I love the little mugs! Great job, I'm sure Ella felt so special on her day.

Lesley said...

Amy, I'm excited to see Ruby's party- you need absolutely no help whatsoever, and that's for sure :)

And Brooke, yes, I'm not going to lie and say that it didn't take time, but as I said above, I put the time into the details that mattered most to me.

The tablecloth is a roll of table paper that I got from Ikea. They are INCREDIBLE. I don't have an Ikea near me so I don't see their regular stock, but I don't know if they sell them any more. They used to sell matching plates, cups, napkins, paper tablecloths, etc. for each season. It's such a pity if they've stopped making them.

Steve and Nicole said...

This is incredible. I bet your little girl was so so happy. She's lucky to have you for a mama

Stephanie Braithwaite said...

I'm just stunned. You make EVERYTHING you do look so effortless and beautiful! Don't think I could rival that in any way. :)