Our little girl turned four on Friday. I can hardly believe the past four years have gone so quickly, but I've enjoyed every stage and loved every minute. Jillian is my sweet little helper and my constant companion. I hope and pray we're always close.
My mom made Jillian this precious Cinderella dress specifically for her party. I can't even tell you how excited she was to wear it for the first time!
This year Jillian insisted on a princess party and I admit I was a little reluctant simply because I didn't want it to look like it had come out of a Disney book. Then I realized it didn't have to... I could still incorporate princess colors like blue and pink but I could give it a bit of a shabby-farmhouse feel. I was particularly inspired by this beautiful shabby chic princess party.
My mom and I love planning parties. We've thrown several parties during the past years, between showers, lunches and now birthday parties. And we're a pretty good team... I try to take the brunt of the work when it comes to birthday parties but I don't know what I would do without her help and her creativity.
My mom designed and made the invitations and I simply love them. I went to Hobby Lobby and picked out four different papers, which to me sets the entire tone for the party.
After Jillian and I made pinwheels recently I realized how easy, fun and pretty they were. I could make four pinwheels per sheet of paper. I literally made all of the pinwheels for the party in just an hour one evening.
The party was planned for outside. We've had absolutely gorgeous weather for the past month and this week in April has always been beautiful for as long as I can remember. But this year was the exception... we set up tents, tables, chairs, decorated the porch, hung pinwheels from the tents, and tried to pretend our fingers weren't frozen.
But an hour before the party we finally admitted it was absolutely freezing and there just wasn't any way we could expect people to stay outside. So we scrambled to move the party inside... which wouldn't have been a problem, except we don't exactly have a large house and we were expecting around 40 people!
Once everyone arrived we were crowded and cozy, but I don't think anybody minded because we were also warm. And I've always tried to have a flexible attitude when it comes to parties, because let's face it, they never seem to go completely as planned. (I had to adopt this attitude on my wedding day when my husband had food poisoning and barely made it to our wedding!)
I placed the pinwheels in jars and put them on the tables as centerpieces along with some fresh flowers. I hung some of my favorite pictures of Jillian from this past year on an old window frame with twine.
I had some leftover paper and I've been wanting to try a tutorial I saw for paper flowers. This paper bouquet was a blast to make and so pretty!
I wish you could see how pretty Jillian's birthday banner was. However, the wind was whipping and I only managed a couple shots. My mom made it and she said it didn't take her any time with her Cricut machine.
We also hung tissue pom-poms from the porch ceiling. (My original plan was to have the drinks, gifts, etc. on the porch.)
A few more pictures of birthday decor (you can see the banner a little better here).
Since we were expecting a crowd I made a sheet cake. I used my very favorite Strawberry Shortcake Cake recipe from Pioneer Woman, but I doubled the recipe and made a sheet cake instead of a round cake. Delicious!
I kept the menu very simple and I prepared almost everything the day before.
Cheese Ring with Strawberry Preserves and Crackers
Fruit Skewers with Dip
Fried Chicken Bites with Honey Mustard Dip
For drinks we had water and cherry limeades. We used canning jars as drinking glasses.
Favors for the adults consisted of sugar cookies shaped like princess dresses and I raided the Easter clearance aisle at Target for the kids. (The adorable felt baskets were on clearance for 30 cents!)
Even though we had to party indoors, we still had a wonderful time and Jillian loved every minute.
I love planning parties and this was no exception, but I did breathe a huge sigh of relief yesterday evening. (smile)