My youngest turned 5 last week, a fact that catapulted me into a tailspin of existential angst. How is she so big? Where did this time go? Where is the little girl I carried? etc etc.
At the same time, 5 has always been my favorite age. It’s such a great stage, where kids are still cute and curious and cuddly, but also emerging with reason and logic and thoughtfulness. Last year, Karis’s birthday fell in the midst of a family trip, and really just involved cupcakes and some Minnie Mouse plates with the family. So this year, I wanted to really do a party for her.
Planning a party with a 4-almost-5-year-old is a tenuous negotiation of fantasy and reality. Karis had some wild ideas. She wanted a frozen-themed party, but she also wanted each child to wear a specific costume she had chosen for them, including a pirate, some Star Wars characters, and a few princesses. There may have been scripts and storyboards involved. I had to gently explain that having a birthday party doesn’t mean telling all of your guests what to wear/do/say . . . and finally we settled on sticking to Frozen.
Birthday Express supplied our party décor, and we went with one of their themed “party packs” that includes everything you need for a party. I loved getting everything in one box and not having to think about it, and the décor was really cute. I have a feeling I’ll be ordering these for birthdays now on.
The girls were out-of-their-minds excited about the décor, and decorated all by themselves.
I think it turned out really cute.
The one big request for her birthday is that she wanted a birthday cake. “I’ve never had a birthday cake,” she said to me wistfully, and I reminded her that we’ve had cupcakes every year. “That’s NOT cake!” So funny, the things we miss. She felt slighted by the cupcakes. I just thought they were cake that was easier to serve. So . . . we set out to find a cake and BOY DID WE EVER. Sweet E’s Bake Shop in Los Angeles made her a Frozen cake and when they sent the sketch over, I could not believe how amazing it looked. I set it on the table while she was otherwise occupied and then we walked her in for the big reveal . . .
Her reaction was priceless! It was like Christmas morning. She was so excited. Here’s a close-up:
I am still in awe of this thing. You can see it in more detail on Sweet E’s instagram page. We will never top this cake. Ever. And it tasted soooooo good. Blue velvet with cream cheese frosting. Even Olaf was delicious. (Sorry buddy.)
A clothing boutique called My Little Jules sent the girls outfits for the day. They were from the brand Persnickety, and they looked like little Anthroplogie outfits. They loved them. In fact, India made me get photos of her by herself, too. The “looking off to the side” was her idea.
My friend Michele just started a business planning adorable birthday parties for little girls called Pretend and Play Productions. It’s a mobile party concept, and they do princess parties, cooking classes, crafts, and tea parties. She brought over a bevy of princess and fairy costumes for the kids to wear.
They also got to have their makeup done (very subtle! thank you Michele!) and their hair glittered.
After they were all dressed up, they had a tea party. (The tea was lemonade and they felt very fancy with their beautiful tea sets/)
After their tea, they decorated flip-flops (the official footwear of California princesses, of course.)
It was a fun craft and served as our party favors as well. I was so thankful for Michelle’s creativity because I would never have thought of this. (Michele also provided all the tea sets, the table and chairs, etc. I’ve mentioned it before, but this is the kind of birthday party I like to throw . . . where someone else does all the work. If you are local and interested in a party like this, you can email Michele here.)
They also had a little fashion show and a dance party.
Another funny request from Karis – she wanted every one of her friends’ brothers to come, AND a few of the boys’ friends that don’t even have sisters and are several years older than her. She was really clear on this point. So I explained to the parents that yes, it’s a very girly party and yes, their presence is requested. And then I had them play on the trampoline during the tea party. (Which they were happy to do.)
(The boys were welcomed to partake in the tea party and dress-up, too. We did not have any takers.)
And finally! It was time to dive into that cake . . . which all the kids were very keen to do.
That face! Love that girl. Loved celebrating her.
A huge thanks to Sweet E’s bakery for providing the cake, to My Little Jules for the adorable outfits, to Birthday Express for the décor, and Pretend and Play Productions.for making it such a fun day!