I call my Raleigh Jane the girliest tomboy I know. She can wrestle and hit a ball with the best of 'em. But. My little lady adores all things girly, which is exactly why I knew just what kind of party to throw her to celebrate turning the big 0-3:
The girliest party I could! :) Each of the five 3-year-old guests who were invited to the party received their own nail polish, which was attached to the sweet invitation my friend Amy of One Good Name created to match the pink/gold color scheme of the party.
The party was held at an adorable little salon called WeeSpa, and I was so excited about the planned festivities: the party would start with a little princess dress-up and runway show. Each guest would then receive her own manicure before the party concluded with a tea party of pink lemonade, pizza, and treats. I went to check out the venue several months ago and was so excited about the party. HOWEVER. If I'm being totally honest, I was really disappointed in the way the party was managed the day of the party. There was a problem with the heating system, which left many little girls shivering at times. The employees were nowhere to be found most of the party, and the "Elsa" who was there to surprise the girls was disappointing. It just felt a little disorganized and poorly run, and I was bummed about all that. BUT. I will say that, after getting over some initial 3-year-old shyness, the party girls really seemed to have a blast! And, as my sister pointed out, I was very happy with the bits of the party that I had planned and had a hand in creating. Most importantly, I think my birthday girl felt special, celebrated, and loved. And in the end, that is all that matters to this momma.
Without further adieu, I present Raleigh's 3rd birthday party:
First up, the guest of honor herself, wearing a special dress made by my amazing sister-in-law, Amanda, of Goat & Lulu. I had a specific vision for what I wanted Rals to wear, and Amanda totally made it come to life. It's no secret that we're big fans of Goat & Lulu around these parts, and I love that Raleigh got to wear something made especially for her by her Aunt Amanda. I also had the little crown hair clip made for the birthday girl by Mod Party, who were awesome to work with as well. Her sweet, pink and gold shoes are Twinkle Toes by Sketchers.
It was so strange to "farm out" the party to someone else, since I have always hosted my kiddos' parties at my own home (or at least, my own neighborhood), and thus been in charge of each detail. Although I was disappointed in the management of the party, it was nice to only be in charge of a few things and to not have to worry about general pre-party set-up and post-party clean-up. :) Here's a glimpse at the arrangement of the tea party table:
There were a few things I created for the party so that I could give it a personal touch for my Rals.
For one, the favors. I handmade each guest her own gold crown and party wand. For the crowns, I found some great tutorials on Pinterest (here's one) on creating crowns from lace. They were a little time-consuming, but also easy to make, requiring a little lace, fabric stiffener, spray paint, glitter, modge podge, and hot glue. It was really neat to see basic white lace transform into gold glitter crowns, and I loved how they turned out! I think the guests did, too. :)
How adorable does my sweet niece, G, look?!
The simple, ribbon wands were also a huge hit with the princess guests and very easy to make: my hub attached eye hooks to dowel rods, which I then covered with gold glitter washi tape I found at Hobby Lobby. I then tied on six pink/gold ribbons to each and voila! Instant princess wand!
I also wanted to create special treats for the girls, so I made vanilla cupcakes, topped with pink vanilla buttercream icing and sprinkled with edible gold flecks. I used teacups as sweet little cupcake holders for a final decorative touch. I also want to start dabbling in decorating cookies with royal icing and thought Raleigh's birthday would be a perfect excuse for my first attempt. So. I created crown cookies as well as monogrammed cookies for each guest:
Extra cupcakes for the mommas ;)
And that was it as far as my involvement! Easy, breezy, and so fun to put together. Here's a taste of the party itself:
First up, princess dress up and a runway show!
How precious is Miss E?!
Some (ahem, the birthday girl) were a little hesitant to walk the runway...
...while others, like Miss M, rocked it!
We were so excited to have two cousins join us for the party, including CK (who Raleigh accidentally gifted with a shiner the night before :0 )
Each guest picked out her own polish, which ranged from neon yellow to dark green, with a little pink in between :)
The sweet spa guests were invited to first soak their hands in a bowl of beads before having their nails painted
Beautiful Miss H loved getting all glammed up! No, really, she did! ;)
And it was so fun for the girlies to show their nails off to their mommas when they were done
The birthday girl was thrilled to have those nails painted bright yellow
After everyone's nails were dry, it was tea party time!
I loved the mix of fun patterns of the patchwork walls and damask table cloth (I take no credit for those!)
Princess tea in the form of pink lemonade
Finally, we opened gifts and chatted with our friends a bit more before it was time to wrap things up.
We absolutely loved having both Nana...
...and Bammy there for the party!
And Daddy wouldn't have missed his little girl's party for the world!
And so ends the special celebration of Raleigh's 3rd year. I thank God every day for choosing me to be her Momma, and I can't wait to see what the future holds as we inch our way toward the big 0-4. <3
Three cheers for Raleigh!