back-story: Ellie is totally and completely into Ariel right now. Ariel dolls, nightgowns, squinkies, books, movies, dress-ups, coloring books...it's all about Ariel and how she's the bestest princess. i think it's because of her beautiful red hair- and red has ALWAYS been Ellie's favorite color (which i love about her. RED! not pink, not purple, RED. it just says so much about her). anyway. she's been loving Ariel for several months now, and so a few months ago we decided a Mermaid party would be the way to go.
now i think it gets too hard to do a specific movie character or theme- so we (i) decided to broaden it to be a "mermaid party-" and i'm glad i did. so much easier to do whatever you want and somehow make it apply (without worrying about "was this in the movie?").
the party turned out darling! everything came together just as i had planned it out in my mind (i mean, how often does THAT happen!?). my one (HUGE) regret is that i majorly dropped the ball on taking good pictures (dangit! hate when that happens! hate Hate HATE!). i'm not in a single picture, M is not in a single picture, Alice is hardly in any, and grandma and grandpa aren't in any....AND!, the kicker!, i don't have even ONE of all the little girls together! what was i thinking!? i obviously wasn't thinking about my camera. honestly i was just too busy in one place or the other- mostly enjoying how much the girls were enjoying themselves (which i think is even more important than really great pictures- because i have a really great memory of it). luckily i do have some snapshots...and so some will just have to do...this time.
i was pretty dang simple with the decor for this party.
-paper bunting: i made a simple paper bunting (using this tutorial) with paper i already had from previous parties (and that i had already used for the birthday week sign- so it all coordinated. sa-weet). i put the bunting in a few little places- the gift table, the kitchen door-way, and the front door (where i also added the letters from Ellie's name).
-instagram garlands: i hung several garlands of instagrams of Ellie's life through the last year on the bookshelves and piano. super easy- i even printed the instagrams at home.
-painted frames: i painted a few frames to match treasure-chest favors- and wrote "Birthday Girl" on one, and "Happy Birthday, Ellie!" on the other- and of course, put a picture of Ellie each one
-glass stars filled with shells and pearls: in random little spots through the house, there were glass stars filled with seashells and pearls to tie it all in (next to the frames and garlands and bunting). some glass stars even had some sweet treats in them.
-balloons and streamers: i added some pink streamers and pink/white balloons, and voila!, it looked like a party.
the food (because that's my favorite part):
-"shells and cheese" (velveeta macaroni shells- a Mermaid's favorite food is DEFINITELY shells and cheese) (plated in a picture below)
-"water"-melon (because Mermaids love ANYTHING with water involved)
-"seaweed" (Grapes) (also pictured and plated below)
-"Sparkling Sand Covered Cupcakes" (ok, this one was stretching it- the best white cupcakes in the world with white sugar sprinkles)
-Starfish Wands (star-shaped sugar cookies on a stick)
& my favorite detail of the whole party:
-"Mermaid's Sparkling Cider" (little mini-sized Martinelli's- yet with the "Mermaid's" replacing "Martinelli's"-- an idea that came to me at 1 am the night before the party...and it was just too good to not use. isn't it so silly the things we get excited about?) (oh, and they wouldn't have been complete without stripey straws, of course)
the party favors:
-Treasure Chests: as i mentioned a few posts ago, Ellie helped me paint some little treasure chests to be used as party favors. we painted them with coral acrylic paint, and then a sparkly mint blue/green overlay- Ellie insisted that sparkly teal color made them look "just like they came out of the ocean." i then wrote each of the little girls' names on them with a Gold Paint Pen. i thought they turned out so cute- especially since Ellie helped me paint each and every one.
-treats in the Treasure Chests: inside the treasure chests were human type things that Ariel might have found in a sunken ship, including a sparkly necklace, a bracelet (candy bracelet) and two rings (a ring pop and an Ariel Squinkie Ring). let me just say: these treasure chests were such a hit! they would not let go of their treasure chests for the rest of the party.
-White Loot Bag: i wrote each of the girls' names ("Mermaid Ellie," "Mermaid Alice," etc) on these white bags with the same Gold Paint Pen. they were able to use these white bags to put their Mirrors, Forks, Mermaids (things they made during the art station) and Treasure Chests in. they also got to pick a seashell to take home (well, i ended up picking them- but in theory they should have picked out their own), and a starfish wand.
-Free play as the girls arrived
-Art station: which included the Mirror Decorating (mermaids are a little narcissistic, right? they just love admiring themselves in the mirror! and especially one that is bedazzled with jewels and sparkles), Fork Decorating (duh! Mermaids LOVE to brush their hair with forks!), and coloring little cardstock Mermaids i found at a craft store
-Fancy Shmancy Princess Mermaid lunch (with aforementioned food)
-Treasure hunt- where they each found their little treasure box with their name on it hidden in the yard
-story time: reading 3 Ariel stories
-Presents (Ellie has reminded me at least 1,000 times that this was her favorite part of the party...who doesn't love getting presents!?)
-Water Activities- including kiddie pools, slip 'n slide, sprinkler, and bubbles
-Cake and Singing
-the end (this is what party-crashing looks like. thanks, Alice)
thanks to everyone who came and helped celebrate Ellie with us! all of the little girls seriously smiled and giggled the whole time.... i'm not even kidding! there was only one set of tears, and it was due to falling off of a chair- not hurt feelings or anything like that. Ellie had so much fun- and felt so loved and celebrated...i mean look at this face!:
she honestly had the time of her life! and that makes throwing any birthday party worth every hour of lost sleep and penny spent. thank you to all for making it such a special, FUN day!