My heart cannot handle that my baby girl is five years old, a whole handful! This time last year we were in hard lockdown, we weren’t even able to go on a walk in our neighbourhood and so Aria had a very low key (but really lovely) birthday with just the 4 of us. This year we said to her that she could invite two friends and we would have a little birthday party to celebrate turning 5. The theme she chose should come as no suprise: a pink princess party!
As with most of the parties that we have had for our girls we kept things pretty low key, budget friendly, using what we had at home where we could and very much DIY. Parties really don’t have to cost a bomb and you can still have a gorgeous celebration without almost bankrupting yourself. I will admit that I did go a little OTT with the party favours but my argument was that there were only two friends and so I could go a little bit more wild that I normally would.
I really wanted to do a lovely take home for Aria’s two friends that kept with the pink princess theme and so when I saw some beautiful pink tutu’s on sale at Mr Price a few months ago, I snapped some up. Other items that went into the bag:
- a Petite Sailor Bow from My Harlow Bow
- a princess themed book
- a personalised felt crown from A Girl and Her Boo
- a jewel crown activity from Busy Bean (currently out of stock)
- a wand
Two days before the little party I decided that Aria’s friends would need something to carry it all home in so I enlisted my mom’s help and using some of her scrap material, we sewed a personalised little drawstring bag for each of the girls. It took us next to no time at all and they came out perfectly!
Decor wise we kept it super simple. We set the party up in the girls play area (our grass was still all wet and muddy from all the rain) and as you know, that part of the house is super fun and colourful so we really didn’t need to add much. Dan hung up some pink tissue paper pom poms which the girls just loved (and have yet to be taken down), we set up two tables with a tablecloth for all the food to go on, and then set down a wooden palette with a table cloth for the girls to sit around when they wanted to eat or do the crown activity. I popped my lightbox letterboard onto the table and added two foil balloons that I bought from Westpack and hey presto, that was it!
The most important part of any celebration is the food, of course… I ordered a buttercream cake from The Purple Whisk and as usual, it did not disappoint. The cakes that Michelle makes are just amazing – they taste incredible and they always turn out exactly how I ask her to decorate them. Other food that we served:
- pink and purple candyfloss
- princess crown sugar biscuits
- pink, white and purple marshmallows
- pink and white meringues
- fruit juice
- strawberry wafer sticks
- rainbow biscuits
I also bought a whole whack of strawberry and marshmallow flavoured Steri-Stumpies, took off the labels and stuck on some watercolour princess pictures that I downloaded and printed onto sticky paper. It was such a quick and easy DIY that made a massive difference, definitely something I’m going to do with all our parties from now on.
While I was planning and putting Aria’s party together this year I realised how rigid my ideas of throwing a party for my child were. I wanted everything to be a suprise, I wanted to call the shots and make the decisions and I wanted to put it all together, my way. It dawned on me that as much as I wanted it all to be a suprise for Aria, that didn’t work well for her personality. Like me, she likes to be involved, to have her ideas heard and to see the whole process unfold. I had to let go of how I wanted things to go and learn to let Aria have her input as well.
Did this that there were a few things that I didn’t die for? Absolutely. Did it mean trying to compromise with a 4 year old a few times? Yup. Did it test my patience? A thousand times yes.
But, as much as it tested me (letting go is not something that I do well), it was so wonderful to see Aria get involved in some of the processes like helping me choose some designs, even if it was just which group of princesses to put on her school party packs. I forgot how important it is for her to feel heard and that her ideas hold value and that there is space for her to voice her opinion on things that matter to her.
In theory a big Pinterest party with lots of suprises is wonderful, but in reality, it’s not what works best for our family and I think I’ve finally learnt to be okay with that.