My girl is four. Four sounds so officially “little girl” to me. I have watched my daughter grow from an infant to a toddler to a preschooler, and now when we cuddle up together, I can barely believe she was ever the tiny babe I study in photographs. As the years have gone by, her birthday has been something I’ve tried to make really special and specific because it comes right on the heels of Christmas. I never want her special day to get lost in the blur of the holidays.
This year, we started talking about what kind of party she would like to have back in the fall. Everly’s very favorite bedtime story is The Princess and the Pea. We have read it together so many times that both of us can recite the words with our eyes closed. When she told me she wanted a princess party, I wasn’t surprised. The princess phase has been a long one in this house. ”I want princesses like in the pea book and a tea party!” She told me. So off I went to figure out just what that might look like.
Everly had been in a state of anticipation since we took down on our Christmas tree. She knew her birthday was next on the list and she could not wait to celebrate.
This year, we nixed the monster sized party we usually host for a small get together with a few of her little friends. Five girls and their mothers came over last Saturday morning to celebrate.
We hosted it upstairs in our playroom and I pulled out all of the random, mix-matched china that I’ve collected over the years.
I was able to reuse a ton of stuff from last year, including some of the big tissue paper flowers and the Happy Birthday banner. The tissue paper centerpiece, tulle banners and all of the fun costume jewelry came from BirthdayExpress.com. For her party, I bought some different clearance section fabrics at my local fabric store and wrapped books up to look like a stack of mattresses. I made a little pillow, blanket and ladder to complete the look. I also used the remaining fabric scraps to make the fabric banner over the window.
Everly requested “pink lemonade cupcakes”. I’m not much of a baker and had no idea how to make them, so I decided to use yellow cake mix and add strawberries to it. I made homemade lemon curd buttercream on top and decorated them with little gummy “mattresses” (from trader joes) and “peas” (green chocolate sixlet candies) and paper cutout princesses from Meri Meri.
I had two crafts set up for the girls. The first was a decorate your own crown with rhinestone stickers and the second was stringing “pea” beads onto a bracelet. The girls loved the crowns but they weren’t really interested in making the bracelets.
I kept the menu to kid friendly foods - turkey, ham or chicken salad sandwiches, orzo and pea pasta salad, fruit wands, kettle korn, and carrots with dip. We served sparkling pink punch to drink (pomegranate juice & sparkling pink lemonade). It was so nice having the moms there because each could make a plate for her little girl and help supervise the meal. The girls had so much fun toasting one another while they ate.
For the grown ups, I served champagne and strawberries and we ate while the girls finished up their meals. We also had Taylor Swift and Carly Rae Jepsen tunes blasting the whole time.
Each little friend came over wearing her favorite princess look. It was so adorable to see them all, gathered around the table together in sparkles and tiaras. Everly’s beautiful princess dress is available here. (She has worn it nearly every day since)
We sang happy birthday to Everly and then gathered around for story time. The Princess and The Pea book version that Everly and I usually read is really short and to the point, but while searching around on Amazon, I found a Princess and the Pea story that had awesome reviews and gorgeous photos (here). I bought it, thinking it would be great to read at her party. Turns out it was WAY to wordy for the group and one by one, the girls wandered off to play during the story.
About four pages in, I was cracking up that there was only one little girl and all of the moms paying attention, so I paraphrased the rest of the book as quickly as possible. They all cheered loudly as I said, “THE END!!”
My friend Amaree is a beautiful violinist. She is the reason that Everly has become smitten with the instrument. Amaree graciously agreed to play a few “royal ball” songs for the group and that had Everly scurring off to get her own violin so that she could play along. It was the cutest thing to have Am playing these beautiful classical songs while Everly’s little violin was scratching along next to her. At the end of the performance, both girls took a bow.
One group picture before the fun ended. I think the moms had as much fun as the girls! We sent each little princess home with a goody bag full of jewels, a tiara pen, and a scented lip smackers chapstick.
We continued the party later that evening, with a big pot of chili and tea party leftovers with family.
The next morning Everly draped herself across my legs and looked up at me. “Mama,” she said, “yesterday was the best day of my life.”
While all the princess party decor was fun, I know the real reason for her joy was being surrounded by so many people that love her. What a wonderful day to celebrate our sweet girl.
Happy Birthday Everly Veda!