Sunday, April 22, 2012

A Princess Party

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
Chicken-Tortellini Salad
Mango Salad
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)


  1. What an adorable party! That little girl will have a memory of a life time.

  2. It was a very sweet party and I LOVED it; and the switcheroo from outside to inside was JUST FINE! xoxo ~ Mom ~

  3. I'm sure the party was just as awesome as last years! (we had katie's party yesterday as well. it was cool, windy and rained here too) but still fun, indoors.

  4. Having raised two daughters, I can tell you four is the PERFECT age! You and your mom did such a great job on the party! ~ Maureen

  5. oh so cute, I love the non disney feel, how clever!

  6. YOu did a great job on the party. I love birthday parties. We had our granddaugter's DIL can really throw a party.
    Your little princess is adorable.
    Love the pinwheels and the flowers.....the cake looks so cute. I don't think you kept it simple at all esp. with all those people. Glad you didn't make your guests freeze.

  7. What a sweet party and you daughter is beautiful!
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY Jillian :)

  8. Hi! I just found your blog and instanly fell in love. We have very similar taste, and likes:) Your little girls party was so sweet!

  9. What a sweet, sweet party. Love the pinwheels..and the precious little princess!

  10. Precious! I love every bit of it! The colors of the paper, pinwheels, paper flowers,the menu, all of it was put together perfectly. I know your daughter was so happy. How blessed she is to have you as her mother.


  11. IMHO, your little angel will not forget this superb party! Thanks for sharing. She is very lucky to have you. I love how everything seems to meld together seamlessly. :)

  12. She's beautiful and what a sweet party! Love the party details. Sounds like she had a day full of family, friends and great memories!

  13. A lovely party, and I just want to say that 4 is the best! There are things I've loved about every age my children have been, but I remember 4 with especially fond memories. We started reading chapter books aloud, and having real conversations, and playing in whole new ways. Everything was exciting and new--a million and three questions were asked the year my babies turned 4. Enjoy!

  14. What a wonderful, wonderful idea! I can remember when the twins were four and we had a barbie party! *sigh*! It's wonderful!


  15. What a beautiful princess you have there. I think your ideas are really great.

  16. Andrea, you make it look so easy! My favorite thing about that party has to be the cake, precut with a little decoration for each guest! So much better and personal than one large decoration. I will definitely use that idea!

  17. Looks spectacular! Your daughter will always remember this special day :)

  18. What a fun party! You definitely captured that country homemade feel-- I LOVE it!

    xo Jessica

  19. Hi Andrea....what a sweet the pinwheels and the flowers made out if paper... Everything looked great and specially your beautiful princess.... Thank you for bringing me to your sweet blog. Looking forward to getting to know you...xo

  20. i just love all the decorations--esp, the pompoms on the porch! what an adorable party! wonderful childhood memories for your daughter:)

  21. Everything you did turned out wonderful. Crafty and fabulous. Your family is devine

  22. I thought I commented here, but this is so gorgeous!!

  23. Whata wonderful celebration. You know how to party! Hugs

  24. Thanks for sharing this great content, I really enjoyed the insign you bring to the topic, awesome stuff!


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