November 13th, 2009 |

Real Party: Airplanes for Aidan

airplane birthday party

Okay, ladies….do I have a party to share with you today!  This party was created by a woman named Christine for her son’s 1st birthday.  Christine’s words really give you a feel for the day and her planning process, so without further ado…..

“I wanted to give my Aidan the world for his first birthday. I knew for a long time that I wanted to do an airplane theme. With that decided, everything just came together. Before Aidan was born, I had been to several destination weddings and a couple things had stuck out in my mind.  I loved the idea of luggage tags as a favor, and knew I wanted to create a “suitcase” of goodies for our guests.

As a centerpiece. we had “EARTH” balloons, which were provided by Ron Alvarez, and each table had a runway, created by April Neubold.   My family and I bought wood airplane kits at a craft store and painted them, to add to the centerpieces. It was hard work, but all worth it for this special day! We wanted to make sure this party could really “TAKE OFF”!  Invitations, luggage tags, coloring books, passports, tote bags and table cards were created by etsy designer Barbara Neely designs.

We went all out when it came to dessert!  Aidan’s Auntie Joann and Uncle Jonny, of San Francisco’ best ice Cream Bi-Rite, provided a special ice cream cart. We had personalized wood spoons for the ice cream, that were made by Minhee Cho from papercupdesign.com.  A candy buffet was done by Jeri Martell from www.martellsweetstop.net. The cake was done by Sonya Hong from Butterfly Cakes; it was a 3 tiered cake of strawberry and chocolate, which was a big hit!

Gift boxes for each child, ID tags, and posters were designed by Zusy Zamora of Maziette Paperie. We had a box of goodies for each family to bring home as a party favor.  They were filled with snacks from around the world, and also our family favorite, Torani Syrup in different flavors.

As I mentioned above, I truly wanted to give Aidan the world for his party….”

Photography by Matt Murillo and DMG Photography

November 10th, 2009 |

Sneak Peak: The Frog Prince Party

Frog Prince Sneak Peak

Life has been pretty busy lately….work, website (lots of new stuff coming soon!), new house to decorate, and I am helping one of my best friends plan her son’s first birthday party.  Little Caleb was nicknamed “Frogger” from the start…so we thought it was only appropriate to have a Frog Prince theme party!

You’ll have to survive on just this little sneak peak for now….but let me tell you, this theme is coming together beautifully!  So many little details…I can’t wait to show them to you!  The party is this weekend – so stay tuned for more pictures and lots of great ideas next week!

Images property of The Party Dress

November 9th, 2009 |

Color Me Happy Art Party

 

If your child is a budding Picasso or Monet, throw an art-themed birthday party.  Invite your guests with this colorful invitation from Minted. This party is all about color and art activities….so make sure you ask your guests to bring an art smock (or an old shirt from Dad will do) to wear.

Infuse your party with color….especially the food.  Serve trays of veggies – bright red peppers, orange carrots, green broccoli.  Red Hawaiian punch served in a big punch bowl.  And a colorful dessert buffet that will make the children squeal with delight!  Bowls of colored M & M’s, rock candy, solid color lollipops.  For the birthday cake, buy (or bake) a large sheet cake with plain, white frosting.  You can have the kids decorate the cake using the M & M’s – challenge them to see how artistic they can make it!

There are so many options when it comes to activities….depending on the age of the children, and how messy you want your house to get!  I would pick up one of the  pipe-cleaner kits from Land of Nod.  The kids can make anything and everything with pipe-cleaners.  Glasses, hats, sculptures….sky’s the limit!  Another idea is to make a special wall in your child’s bedroom by wallpapering  it using a “empty frames” wallpaper.  Each child can draw a picture on the wall and your child will have her very own art gallery in her room!

 

art party crayons

LOVE.  LOVE.  LOVE this idea.  Ask the kids to all bring bags of their broken crayons….you know they all have them!…chop them up into small pieces, mix them up, and bake them into new crayons.  It’s a fun activity and you can bag them up for the kids to bring home as a party favor.

Directions: Heat the oven to 250 degrees.  Using a mini-muffin pan, fill each mold with assorted colors of crayon pieces (paper removed) and bake until the crayons melt, about 10 to 15 minutes. (Tip: Place a sheet pan under the crayons to catch any drips). Once they’re cool, remove the crayons from the pan and smooth any rough edges by rubbing them on a knife.

An art party is perfect for a creative child.  Have fun with it!

Images: crayons napkin (theknot.com), invitation (minted.com), colored pencil centerpiece (rachaelraymag.com), paper garland (magchuck.com), dessert buffet (makemerryevents.com), art supplies (queensmamas.com), pipe-cleaner kit (landofnod.com)

November 6th, 2009 |

Real Party: It’s a BOY! Baby Shower

 

I was sent these pictures from Heavenly Blooms, a floral design firm located in Orange County, California.  They put together a beautiful baby shower – the perfect combination of “baby-sweet” and “mama-sophisticated” that I love so much – and I hope you take away a few fun ideas for your next baby shower!  Here is a little description of the party from Jaclyne at Heavenly Blooms:

“We at Heavenly Blooms love baby showers! It’s the perfect occasion to be creative and have fun for a very special “little” reason.  Our theme for this shower was simply BABY. We incorporated everything baby, but with a boyish, preppy edge.  The shower luncheon was held at a private Southern California estate on a beautiful spring day, so we used a color palette of yellow, apple green, and shades of blue with lavender accents.

The place card table was adorned with black and white baby photos of the Mama & Daddy to be…as well as the baby’s first “picture” (an ultrasound image).  Place cards were printed on baby blue, green and cream harlequin patterned paper and placed in a silver frame. The table centerpieces consisted of three different styles – floral arrangements in material covered square vases, wheat grass clusters in silver mint julep cups, and floral paves in silver mint julep cups. Other table decor included hand painted wooden blocks, small rubber ducks and hand painted wooden trucks. We used custom-built, hand painted wooden boxes that looked like baby blocks that made quite an impression – they stood over 7 feet tall !!! They were placed all over the party area and were accented with stuffed animals. Floral pomanders were hung inside of the white umbrellas providing shade over the various buffet tables.”

I just love those hanging floral pomanders, don’t you?!  For more inspiration, check out the Heavenly Blooms gallery and blog.

November 6th, 2009 |

Floral Pomander Tutorial

Jaclyne from Heavenly Blooms was nice enough to share a tutorial with us on how to make these darling floral pomanders, so you can try making them at home for your next party!

BOY baby shower pomander guide

Step 1
Oasis (the spongey green floral foam) has come a long way and now is available in different size spheres. We used to have to shape the blocks into balls ourselves – but not anymore! So, start with a 4″ oasis sphere (already pre soaked in water), and tie the ribbon around it twice. Make sure the ribbon is secure enough and won’t unravel by knotting the top.  Add fern pins to the top of the ribbon to help secure it in place.
Step 2
For the rose pomanders, you will use about two dozen roses. The amount of roses needed will vary based on the rose variety used. Some roses have smaller heads… Cut the stems short, leaving about an inch of stem left. It is easier and faster to precut the roses in advance.
Step 3
Always start inserting the roses at the top, then work your way down and around.
** Be careful! Once you insert the stem, try not to remove it and reinsert it because the oasis will start to crumble**
**Sometimes it is easier to hang the pomander from a hook in your doorway or under a cabinet. You could even tie the ribbon to a curtain rod and hanger.**
Step 4
Voila – you’ve created your floral pomander. For stability, you can also use floralock spray adhesive to secure the stems in place.
Thank you so much, Jaclyne!  I can’t wait to try making these…perfect for my next baby shower or birthday party!

November 2nd, 2009 |

“Kids-Only” Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to get together with family and friends to give thanks for another wonderful year.  Take this opportunity to teach your kids to do the same – have them invite their friends over for a “kids-only” Thanksgiving dinner.  Invite your little guests with this traditional turkey invitation from Tiny Prints.

Thanksgiving InvitationSet the table with Fall colors and a simple centerpiece.  This “give thanks” centerpiece from Parent’s Magazine is simple to do, colorful and makes the event more child-like.  Serve up a few snacks when they first arrive – paper cones filled with chex mix, and “turkey” fruit kabobs – the perfect snacks to eat while doing some fun activities.  For dinner, go ahead and bypass the traditional turkey.  Instead, think about making turkey wrap sandwiches, serve with mashed potatoes (which we know all kids love!), and turkey cupcakes for dessert.

Kids Thanksgiving Dinner (PN)You should have a couple of activities to keep the kids busy during the party.  Have a craft table set up with different foam shapes cut out and some glue sticks.  They can make turkey napkin rings or hats to wear during the party.  I absolutely LOVE this next idea….Parent’s Magazine came up with this darling yarn-wrapped turkey.  Have the turkey prepared before the kids arrive, as well as a basket of pre-cut feathers (use colorful construction paper).  Have the kids write what they are thankful for on a feather and stick it into the turkey.  I’m sure you will get everything from “I’m thankful for my family” to “I’m thankful for candy!”  It’s cute, creative and will help to remind the kids what Thanksgiving is really about!

Thanksgiving ActivitySend the kids home with a cute, little party favor.  I found these at Chasing Fireflies, and you can order them here.  However, I think you could also put together a version of this yourself, too.  A glass jar, a personalized label, and some cute ribbon….candy corn never looked so cute!

Thanksgiving Party Favor

Images: invitation (tinyprints.com), turkey napkin ring and table setting (parents.com), snack cones (coutureparties.com), turkey hat (hostessblog.com), fruit kabobs (familyfun.com), cupcake (partycupcakeideas.com), turkey glasses (potterybarnkids.com), “I’m thankful” game (parents.com), turkey toes party favor (chasing-fireflies.com)

October 29th, 2009 |

A Modern Garden Kids Party

 

Now that the weather has definitely turned cooler, garden or flower-themed birthday parties get a little bit tricky.  Fear not – if your little girl is dying for a party full of flowers, and she just doesn’t understand the concept of “winter” – I have plenty of ideas for you today that will help you throw an indoor “modern garden party”.

Create a color palette of bold, bright colors such as fuchsia pink, tangerine orange, lime green and strong yellow.  This invitation from Tiny Prints fits the theme perfectly.  A traditional garden party uses nature as it’s decorations…..for this indoor garden party, you are going to have to get creative!  Try jazzing up your walls with these modern flower wall decals.  To add some color to your table, stack spools of different patterned ribbon, and top with a plate.  Here the plates are full of little desserts, which is darling.  But for our modern garden party, I think it would be cute to cut the head off a large flower and place it on the plate.  Can’t you just see this with a big, fuchsia gerber daisy on top?!  Add in these charming flower placecards and your table will be bright and cheery.

If you are looking for a great activity, try this paper flower-making kit from Land of Nod.  Great colors, simple project….perfect for the girls to bring home with them!  Instead of using a traditional paper or cellophane goodie bag, trying filling up one of these felt bags adorned with flowers.  I love the colors, and I love the fact that you don’t throw it out at the end of the party.  The girls can use it to store their art supplies or hair accessories once they get it home.  At only $2.00 a piece, it’s a small investment that will make a big impact.

If you are a whiz in the kitchen, try baking your own flower-shaped birthday cake.  This pan is perfect for our them – and you could decorate it so many different ways!  Between the decorations and the cake, you are sure to hear “ooh’s” and “ahh’s” from both the girls and their mothers!

Images: invitation (tinyprints.com), ribbon centerpiece (rachaelraymag.com), flower-making kit (landofnod.com), daisy cake pan (birthdayinabox.com), felt goodie bags (beau-coup.com), flower wall decal (mycurlycue.com), flower place cards (theknot.com)

 

Shop by Personality at The Land of Nod

October 23rd, 2009 |

REAL PARTY: A Birthday Party for a Modern Prince

I love today’s feature party.  Crafty-Mom Michelle sent me pictures of her son, Darrian’s 2nd birthday party – and I was hooked.  Not only is Darrian darling….but his Mom put together a party that still has her neighbors talking!

modern prince kids birthday party

Here are a few words from Michelle:

“I really wanted to do something modern and fun for his birthday -  something I was not seeing all over the web.   I decided to go with a modern spin on a prince and princess party. I knew I wanted a bounce house as entertainment since Darrian really loved those at other parties we had attended.  I picked out a castle bouncer I liked and then started to think about other things that could go with the theme.  I enlisted the help of a friend to help me make capes for all of the kids to wear, and serve as party favors.  I really wanted to include polka dots in the decorations, because they seem child-like.  I found a Michael Miller Fabric that I loved and used those colors to build the party theme.

Once we had a color palette, I  enlisted a bunch of sellers on etsy.com to help bring ideas together.  I found an image of  a cute dragon and thought that would be fun to add to the theme.  I found a esty seller who used the dragon as inspiration and  customized a cartoon-like version of to use on the invites, the centerpieces, favor tags, and to use on the banner and crowns.   I used everyone I could from etsy because I love that things can be customized to my ideas, and supporting small (often time woman owned) business.  I had a creative vision for the party, and I loved the way it all came together!”

Michelle was nice enough to share some links to the etsy.com vendors she used:

Darrian’s shirt and initial pendant (goldenshop), crown cupcake toppers and party favor boxes (bugandboo), castle pinata (pinataqueen), custom invitations and party favor tags (bndesigns), custom banner and crowns (polkadotsandpirates)

To see more of Darrian’s modern prince birthday party, check out Michelle’s blog.  Do you have a real party you want to share with us?!  Send an e-mail to hostess@thepartydress.net……make sure to include some pictures and a brief description of the party!

October 21st, 2009 |

Candy Corn Decor

candy corn decor

I am LOVING these candy corn topiary trees from Better Homes and Gardens.  So cute and playful (and easy to do!) – perfect for a kid’s Halloween party!  Click here for the instructions.

October 14th, 2009 |

Bumble Bee Baby Shower

 

I am always on the look-out for gender-neutral baby shower themes, and as you can tell, I love putting a sophisticated spin on them.  I think it’s important to remember that the shower may be celebrating the upcoming arrival of a baby, but it is also in honor of the mom-to-be…..so it’s important to make her feel that that party is for her too!  I like maintaining a healthy balance between baby sweet, and mama-sophisticated!

The bumble bee theme fits the bill perfectly!  Bees have been creating quite the buzz lately (sorry, I couldn’t help myself with that one!).  There is a ton of cute stationary out there to use as invitations, thank you notes and birth announcements.  These are my favorite from Minted:

Bee Stationary

Use white as your main color when decorating for the baby shower.  Add in pops of modern yellow in your place settings , and a few bold, black and white patterns accents.  Stripe or polka dot ribbon wrapped around vases, or tied around napkins is a great way to bring in that pattern accent.  Hanging a bumble bee mobile over a table can serve both as part decoration, and part gift for the baby.

Create a dessert buffet for your guests to enjoy while the mom-to-be is opening her gifts.  To create a sophisticated, colorful dessert buffet like the one pictured above, keep your candy and desserts centered around a specific color-scheme and use similar containers.  You can find vases, apothecary jars, pedestal candy dishes, footed bowls, and cake plates to display your desserts.  Insert a silver scoop into each vessel to serve the treats.   I found these darling candy bumble bees that would be the perfect decoration atop cupcakes or brownies.

Send your guests home with a miniature beehive full of honey….the perfect party favor for our bumble bee baby shower!

Bee MobileImages: table setting (theknot.com), candy bar and floral centerpiece (amorologyweddings.com), black and white candy (amyatlas.com), table with dishes (potterybarn.com), cupcakes (surlatable.com), bee thank you note and bee hive birth announcement (minted.com), bumble bee mobile ( pinkperch via etsy.com)

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