I booked a shelter at a park for Daisy's fourth birthday party a couple of months in advance. It is an awesome park with a train and boat ride, a huge pond and a gorgeous carousel. There is so much to do and it's surrounded with trees and greenery. It would have been a fun and beautiful place to celebrate...had we not have been rained out the day of. I had been eying the weather the entire week and the rain report kept coming and going and the estimated chance of rain went from 20% early in the week to 90% on the Friday night before her party. I was SO bummed. Why you ask? Well, because I paid a decent amount of money for the shelter and it was non-refundable. Big ouch. Secondly, because the park was the party entertainment and I had NO back up location for the 70 guests (neighbors and church yup!) that had RSVP'd yes. Lastly, from a creative standpoint I was looking forward to an outdoor party this year as all of our parties have been inside and I'm a tad tired of indoor party activities and pictures to be honest. I was excited about the natural beauty of the outdoors and the fact that it would do most of the decorating on it's own. I am not one to panic but, I definitely felt my brain shutting down Friday night. lol. My husband's grandparents have a slightly larger space with which to accommodate a large group and they graciously allowed us to invade their home at the last minute. I was so thankful...still very bummed about the park situation but, so thankful for a plan B on such short notice. Thank you Grandparents for coming to our rescue!
My next dilemma was that I had to come up with activities on the fly with no budget and no time whatsoever. I felt a bit spread thin to say the least but, I managed to pull it off somehow. Thank you Jesus. What did I learn from this stressful party ordeal? Ummmm...I learned that it rains a lot in this state and I am probably better off not planning a park party unless I have a plan B cozily lined up to allow for a smoother transition from A to B. Lesson learned. LOL.
Daisy requested a Frozen theme party sometime in January. To add to the challenges I faced...there has been a Frozen party supply shortage since the movie came out last year. Every girl in the world wants a Frozen party this year. I checked the party store once a week for several weeks and just a few days before her birthday they got a shipment of Frozen party supplies. I was hopeful! When I arrived the salesman informed me that a lady had just come in and dumped the entire Frozen party section into her cart. She bought it all and they would not be getting any more stock in for a while. What the heck? lol Sooooo....I chose to improvise and decorated with aqua and white and added touches of snowflakes here and there to create a wintery/Frozen feel. It's a fun theme to decorate for if I do say so!
I always keep the fact that my daughter could care less about an extravagant party, close to mind. She could care less about a ton of decorations or a bunch of fancy food. All she wants is for me to be in a good mood and for me to be present. (God knows how big of a challenge that can actually be some years but, I certainly try my best! lol) She wants to play a game or two and hang out with her friends. She doesn't expect much and it doesn't take much to make the day special for her. It keeps me calm when I keep that truth in mind. Sure enough, she loved the simple decorations but, more importantly she had a great time with her friends. Based on the huge smile on my daughter's face, the party was a magical success. I was a happy Momma.
Ice cream sundaes were the main party dessert but, my friend Susan kindly made me some darling mini cupcakes for the folks who might not like ice cream (like me, lol). Well, let me clarify...I don't hate ice cream but, I don't ever crave it either. Cupcakes on the other hand are a weakness of mine. I think I ate at least six of these delicious morsels the day of Daisy's party. They were SO good. Thank you so much Susan!
I went back and forth on what to do for the main dessert. Daisy is actually not a big fan of cake (so clearly she and I are opposites there!). She loves frosting but, has never been all that interested in cookies, cakes or donuts. One thing she does love is ice cream so I decided to do simple ice cream sundaes for the kids. Ice cream works perfectly for a Frozen themed party because it is a frozen dessert. hehe I say win win. It was much less work for me than baking a fancy cake and she was absolutely thrilled to make her own sundae. I served crushed oreos, gummy bears, mini m&m's and several different types of sprinkles. Most of the kids were able to walk up with their bowls and sprinkle what they wanted on top. It was fun! We also served a few different types of ice cream which I think the adults enjoyed.
We kept the drinks low key; water bottles and Capri Suns. I found these cute and more importantly, free "melted snowman" labels online here (score!) and thanks to the help of family at the last minute, we were able to get all the bottles wrapped. It added a simple but, festive party touch to the snack table.
This was the first year that I didn't serve a full on meal to all the parents and kids. It was nice to simplify to be honest. I do love parties and I love feeding people but, I love simplifying things even more if possible. This year we held our party at 3:30 PM so it wasn't during a meal time. We served a veggie platter with yummy homemade ranch dressing dip and a bowl of salsa and chips. That was it but, it was a enough. I think that for the most part, adults are content, as long as there is a little something to snack on.
I found some free Frozen coloring pages online. Score again! Then I went through my 20 year old sticker stash and founds some fun Lisa Frank stickers for the kids to have fun with.
I was determined to be as thrifty as possible this year when it came to decor. I got the simple idea for the Frozen-esque center piece on Pinterest. I already had snowflakes in my Christmas stash in the attic. I painted a few of them blue (though it was hardly noticeable) and left the other half white. I spray painted the branches white which took a few coats and then I used some blue rocks that I had in the house from the 99 cent store to stabilize them. Simple and sweet.
A frozen themed party pretty much demands snowflakes. I have no idea how to create snowflakes. I think I was really good at creating them as a kid but, I had long since forgotten. I knew that I would have to hunker down and cut snowflakes for nights on end to have enough to decorate. I printed a few free templates that I found online and my husband and I spent a couple of nights cutting dozens of snowflakes. It's a tedious task but, I do think that it adds a nice touch and goes a long way to create a wintery mood. There are easy, medium and hard snowflake templates online. The hard level templates were definitely the coolest looking snowflakes but, I didn't have that kind of time so I chose easy or medium at best. They are average looking but, I was satisfied!
I got bubbles from WalMart at the last minute because I needed something else to occupy the kiddos after our awesome park location got rained out. I didn't even expect the kids to use them but, they ended up being a big hit and I was so glad that I had them. The kiddos took them out on the screened porch and played for quite a while. Can't go wrong with bubbles.
I found these snowflake tattoos at Oriental Trading company. I had originally planned on creating a little station for the kids to put on skin decals if they wanted to but, I ran out of time and they didn't end up being used at all. I think they would have been more successful if they weren't sitting up on a shelf without any explanation but, at least they added a cute decorative touch to the dining hutch.
Pin the Nose on Olaf was a huge hit. Another Pinterest idea of course and I did my best to draw him exactly as another creative Mom had done. It took me a good hour to draw him in pencil and then another half hour to go back over him with color. I cut a bunch of orange noses out of construction paper to look like carrots. When it was time for the kids to stick the nose on I simply stuck a piece of scotch tape on the back of the carrot before handing it to them. I spun them around gently once or twice and then guided them to the sign. The kids are all so little still and I wasn't trying to create any competition. There was no winner or prize but, it was a great activity to entertain a bunch of 3-4 year olds for about 20 minutes.
As we were scrambling to finish up the last minute details I noticed that Daisy had taken a carrot off of the veggie platter. Then she walked over to Olaf and held it up to his face. I started cracking up. Such a silly and smart birthday girl! :)
I found some really cute snowflake bracelets and party bags at Oriental Trading Company. I stuffed them with aqua tissue paper and filled them with some candies and wha-lah, the party bags were done. Check. The cute "Thank you snow much," printable was another freebie from the same site as the water bottle labels which can be found here.
In the movie Frozen, Elsa has an awesome braid. I never noticed but, my daughter did and ever since the first time she saw the movie she has requested a braid in her hair every single day. This has been going on for well over three months now. Well, the problem is that she has super fine, uneven length hair. I have never had much luck at getting french braids to hold up in her hair. I usually do a little side braid but, it's not what she wants and she is always frustrated with me in the morning. (I really do try kid!) My friend Susan offered to braid Daisy's hair right before her party started. I didn't think she would have much luck but, my oh my she knocked it out of the park and put me out of a job!! lol Daisy was THRILLED...to put it lightly. This braid stayed in her hair for nearly 3 days and she was not a happy camper when it finally had to come out. Sure looked cute didn't it! Thank you so much Susan!
I made a beautiful aqua and white tissue streamer backdrop with hanging snowflakes to use as a picture backdrop and it never even got captured fully in a picture. It took me over 6 hours to make. lol. That is the downside of being so busy with party setup. I didn't have any time to take pictures of the details and all the hard work. boo. Well, I am thankful that my hubby was able to snap some pictures of Daisy and her sweet friend Isobel in their darling outfits before the party started. Daisy's outfit was a gift from my friend Susan and her daughter Isobel. It was such a perfect gift and Daisy loved wearing it on her birthday!