Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Noelle's "Snow White" woodland themed party

Heigh-ho, Heigh ho. It's off to FOUR she goes!

Noelle has had the theme for her fourth birthday planned since she was 2. She insisted on an Ariel party for her third birthday and has been waiting for a Snow White party for a couple of years. All of the Snow White books I read to Noelle (every night) has the woods and animals involved so I decided to use that as inspiration with a yellow, blue and gingham color scheme. 

We took Noelle to Disneyland for her birthday last month so this party was very low-key and inexpensive. We planned it for 6:30pm and served dessert - brownies, cookies, cupcakes, caramel apples with toppings, blueberries and cake.

The bottom crate has a small bowl inside filled with dry ice and hot water. It gave off a spooky effect for the "Poisoned Apples" display.

I always get asked where I get ideas for parties - the answer - I use whatever is cheap and available and make it work. Fabric is inexpensive and makes a huge impact. 

The refinished desk from Noelle's room was used to serve the beverages on. Of course there had to be a mirror involved in the party. 

Drinks included Dew Drops, Magic Potion (lemonade) and Poison Antidote (raspberry sherbet).


You may have spied something else on the table. I wrote Noelle her very own Snow White tale as a birthday gift. She loves it and has already memorized every line. I wrote Noah his own children's book for his Red Wagon Party.

The tables were decorated with a simple mason jar filled with sunflowers. The gingham print from the dessert table was carried over to the table cloths and jars.

Three signs led guests to the front door.

I displayed all four of Noelle's party invitations in front of the gazebo. I teared up when I was digging them out of the photo box. My baby is so beautiful and has grown up to be an incredible little girl.

For the kids I set out crayons, stickers and gems for them to decorate either a crown or a sword. There were also wands for the little girls to take home because I wasn't sure how the paper crowns would hold up.

The kids played "Wishing Well." They were each given 4 gold coins and had a chance to toss the coins into the well. Then they were rewarded with a sucker. I'm telling you, I sugared these kids up like no other!

Noelle's nana made another fantastic cake! She stacked three layers of cake to create it.

My sweet girl is growing up! I'm so proud of her and incredibly thankful to have been chosen to be her mommy. Daddy and I love you SO much, sweet Noelle!


Sunday, June 3, 2012

That time we woke up and decided to go to Disneyland

My husband is a busy guy. Especially in May when he is wrapping up the school year and finishing the swim season, all the while planning for summer water polo and countless other things. Needless to say, I don't expect anything for Mother's Day. A steak on the grill and a bottle of Riesling has been the tradition.

So this Mother's Day started out like the previous three, waking up and getting ready for church. Then Aaron said, "Let's go to Disneyland today!" Uh, yah right. I plan things. Make lists about making lists. A trip to Disneyland would require several weeks of advanced notice. So asking me to pack up the kids and drive to Southern California that same day was absurd. 

Yet, for some reason I agreed. 

I know people who pack for Disneyland as if they are preparing to survive in the wilderness. Canteens, a backpack dedicated to snacks, several changes of cloths, a first-aid kit. I went for the essentials: sunscreen, water, socks and hats. And after a quick trip to Fresh and Easy, we were on our way.

We didn't tell Noelle where we were going until she woke up from her nap, saw the Goofy parking lot signs and said, "This isn't the beach! It's DISNEYLAND!" Aaron and I talked about taking her for her upcoming 4th birthday so this was it.
And she loved every second.

Noah also had a great time. He pointed at everything saying, "dah dah dah" which means "I want to touch that NOW and if I can't I'm going to scream." 


Their first ride (ever) was It's a Small World. 

I can remember going to Disneyland as a child and watching Noelle's excitement was like experiencing those memories all over, but better. 


The highlight of our 2 days at Disneyland for Noelle was meeting the princesses. She was vibrant and chatty while we waited in line and when it was her turn to shake hands with them and ask for their autographs she shyly twirled her pigtails and answered their questions with short whispered sentences.

Rapunzel was her favorite. It took an hour and 38 minutes in the sun to reach the front of the line but worth it for her prized autograph. 

Our tickets were 2-day park hoppers so we visited California Adventure a couple of times. Not enough to get the layout of the park down, but we found a few places the kids enjoyed - A Bug's Life and The Little Mermaid ride were big hits.
"Ariel's House" as Noelle called it, was where one of my favorite moments happened. I held my sleeping Noah while we swirled around in the clam shells. 

He also napped through Pirates of the Caribbean. 

Day 2 we found an empty area and sat down to watch the parade, not knowing that it was the very end of the parade and the floats/performers would come inches from us.

It was a blast. So much more than I expected from our spontaneous road trip. Sometimes I let my frugality get the best of me which takes away from certain experiences. Let's just say, lesson learned.