Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Gwen's Fairy Birthday Party

I am mere inches from surrendering my entire blog to three solid weeks of Christmas festivities, but before I do, I just wanted to share a little look at Gwen's birthday party with you. 

Gwen is kind of a chill little girl who doesn't love a lot of hoopla quite as much as her big brother (see his birthday parties here, here and here!) so I tried very, very, very hard to restrain myself and not go as overboard as I am wont to do with children's parties. We kept the guests to family and some very close friends, all people that we knew Gweny would be happy to spend time with. I maintain that your first birthday is not the time for meeting new people!

After I had put together a Pinterest board devoted to all things fairy party, I started where I usually start the parties I plan, by asking my lovely friend Kristen of Sage Digital Designs to design a fairy party invitation. I always feel like a good invitation helps set the scene for what you're trying to do, and gives me some more ideas for something for the party. I found some cute fairy clip art from Cloudstreet (side note: I specifically wanted fairies that looked like little girls, and it is surprisingly hard to find non-sexy fairies!) that Kristen was able to use for the invitations and that I used for party decorations. 

Cute, right?

I loved how the invitation managed to be very sweet and feminine with a very low goofy-factor  and without even a speck of pink! I think it's always fun to steer away a little from the obvious choice, and a fairy party could easily have gone very pink, sparkly and frilly. I was delighted to see that Kristen didn't go in that direction at all, and am so happy with how it came out. 

Fairies swinging from the chandelier.

I kept the decorations quite simple: balloons (you've gotta have balloons!), a banner and then a little hanging decoration I made from the fairy clipart. It was super simple: I slapped different colored clip art fairies onto different colored ovals in Pages, then printed two of each on card stock, cut then out and glued them onto different lengths of silver thread. Then I hung them from the lamp over the dining table. I liked that it acted as a sort of centerpiece that didn't get in the way of conversation or eating. 

Balloons: instant party!

I think I've waxed lyrical about why I love balloons at children's parties before. They're instantly festive, add a punch of color and get little kids giddy with excitement on sight. All for a very low price and minimal effort on your part. I also love to give balloons as party favors for the little guests to take home. They're fun for a few days, then they can be disposed of when they're done, and you're not left with a random selection of the typical little plastic toys when you're done. For the fairy party we chose a selection of flower and butterfly printed balloons, and tied them to the front of the dresser at various heights. 


Right up there with balloons on the front lines of instant party creation are garlands. I love a good garland for parties. And holidays. And birthdays. And anything else I can think of. Gwen currently has two in her room. This isn't the greatest picture of the fairy garland we got for Gwen's party, but it was hugely backlit against a bright window and pretty hard to photograph. But it was cute enough that we've moved it upstairs to Gwen's room, so you can have a closer look when I pick up the house tour again. Just let me get her shelf organized first, ok? 

Birthday muffins big and small. 

We've learned from past experience that no matter how adorable and delicious a birthday cake is, you're still stuck with a mountain of it after the party. But muffins and cupcakes, however, have a way of disappearing in front of your eyes. Especially mini muffins, because who's counting? And they're easier for little hands to handle. So instead of a birthday cake, we made a tower of double chocolate mini muffins topped with a dusting of powdered sugar and a few dancing fairies and no one complained - not even the birthday girl!

No complaints, just dedicatedly packing away her first muffin. 

All in all, it was a lovely little party. We timed it so Gwen would just have woken up in time for her party, so she was fresh as a daisy and ready to go. A good friend (who should really run her own catering business, but happens to prefer life as a Russian scholar) brought some really fancy-pantsed sandwiches, so I didn't have to stress out about anything beyond putting some fruit on a plate. We didn't have any activities planned, which allowed for plenty of time to really relax and spend time with each of our guests. Keeping it small felt really good and really right for our little Gwen, just as I am sure than a dozen shrieking four year-olds will feel like just the thing for Espen's birthday. 

Oh, and let's end this with my favorite birthday photo of little miss Foofyboots, shall we?

So very cute.

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