5 years ago, Allen and I named our newborn baby girl Clara. Since then, I have thought how fun it would be to throw her a Nutcracker themed birthday party. How perfect, then, when she came to love Christmas as much as I do! So for her 5th birthday celebration, we did just that.
I have tons and tons to say about this party, and lots of lessons learned I'd like to share. I'll do all that in future posts, but today I'll just show off a few (OK, maybe more than a few) pictures.
In my mind, I had pictured exactly what I wanted for the invites. Sadly, when I went to the craft store to locate the cardstock of my dreams, I came up short. So, I did what any enterprising girl would do – I called up my cousin Rhonda for help! I told her I was going for pink, sparkly, girly and beautiful. Approximately ten minutes later she was sending me scanned images of gorgeous pink cardstock she had embossed with snowflakes and bling, bling, bling!
I took that cardstock, added some vellum I printed with pretty pink party details and put it all together using simple brads (hidden by Rhonda's fabulous snowflakes). Gorgeous! I was thrilled with the results!
From the moment guests walked up, I wanted the theme to shine through. So, risking a trip to divorce court, I skipped Allen's favorite decorating season (Fall) and went straight to Christmas. I also took the ballerina hairbow holder concept from a couple of years ago and made a couple ballerinas. One to hang on the front door and one behind the Sweets table.
It also just happens that my favorite portrait of Clara is one from her 3rd birthday photo shoot. So gorgeous and perfectly fitting to include!
The tulle ball garland was a snap to make and so pretty!
I see this question a lot on the web - How do you hang pom poms from the ceiling? I use the tiny 3M Command strips and they work great. Other options are tape (if you don't care about the paint job) or thumb tacks (if you don't care about holes).
The smartest thing I did in the entire party? I hired two of the teenage instructor helpers from Clara's dance studio! They showed up in beautiful pink ballerina costumes and basically, did all the work! It was a dream! Props to you, Rebecca and Nikki! You are life savers!!
When the little girls first showed up, they made their way through the Land of Sweets into Clara's room, where Rebecca and Nikki made them up with glitter, eye shadow and lip gloss. They also got to put on the No Sew Tutus I had made for each of them as a party favor. Sadly, my "photographer" (Allen) got busy during this entire period and we didn't get one photo!
Here is Clara's room after the fact:
Once the girls were made even more gorgeous than when they walked in (as if that is even possible), we all gathered round and I read from Clara's favorite Nutcracker storybook, a pop up one. You will have to forgive the comical picture of me here. This is the only picture Allen snapped during story time!
Since this party was held in the "Land of Sweets", I didn't put too terribly much effort into the main course.
On the Menu:
Princess Crown shaped PB & Js
Veggies and Ranch Dip
Snack Mix (Annie's Bunnies, Pirate's Booty, Cheerios and Pretzels). (Served in little cups made from embossed cardstock that matched the invitations.)
The Dessert Table, on the other hand, had a little something for every sweet lover.
updated info on cake):
The Party Favors
I've mentioned some of these above, so just briefly, here's a run-down of the favors.
Each girl got a no-sew tutu (Which sadly I didn't get pictures of! Trust me, my sore little fingers made a dozen of them!)
They also got to take home a tulle ball wand. My sweet Mama agreed to make these when it became clear the table skirt was going to take a hundred years. Here's a picture of Clara with her wand.