Four. A Purple Princess Party.


As we started picking out fabrics and decorations for the party, Clementine chose purple. YES! Bye, bye pink...there's a new color in town.

 For the entrance to the back yard we used giant foam board to make a simple castle silhouette. 

Party Decor

One crazy chandelier. Our amazing neighbors let us use their yard again and to my surprise when I went to their yard sale the weekend before the party there was a giant chandelier hanging from the tree. I couldn't believe my eyes. It was SO perfect for the royal ball.  As it turned out, no one bought it and they kept it up for the party!  I made a fresh daisy flower chain and hung it along with pearls and ribbons from this chandelier. 15 yards of purple tulle draped from chandelier to ground to sort of set a space for the table. 

We rented a kid sized table with chairs, a silver candelabra (every castle has a candelabra!) that I used battery operated, orange flamed led candles in, and two pieces of black and white dance floor (what's a ball without a place to dance?)  

We found purple shimmery fabric for a tablecloth and more glittery tulle accents than I know what to do with (and will find glitter in our house forever). A magical, slightly cheesy (but not if you're 4) iridescent table cloth from party store cut in half served as a topper for the cake/make up table and the other half for "curtains" near the unicorn pinata. Latex helium balloons with one giant unicorn (princesses really like unicorns I heard and the little miss went crazy for this balloon in the store so I caved) and regular balloons hanging down from the tree branches with ribbon and streamers were fun blowing in the wind.


Clementine wore her new Rapaunzel dress that she received for her birthday from her grammy. She started off with a wig that was braided with flowers and ribbons but it kept falling off while moving about and one thing's for sure: a princess has to dance, so off came the wig.  

She told her dad he was Prince Charming.  

Our good friend, Danielle, has always captivated Clementine. She's convinced she's a princess and has called her Princess Danielle for as long as I can remember. She, with her long brown hair and dark eyes, dressed up as Jasmine for the party and was nice enough to sweetly make up the girls' faces. The girls loved her!

And me? Well, I was going to be a queen but then decided on a magical fairy godmother. I made a few "improvements" to an iridescent sparkly vintage dress, put too much glitter on my face, tied my hair up with a bunch of sparkly tulle, carried a magic wand and bibbidy bobbidy boo I could make your dreams come true, or at least pretend to. It was my slightly 80's Madonna-esque version of a fairy godmother.

The princesses came dressed in their favorite dress and I had made princess party hats for them out of sparkly purple paper with tulle and ribbon coming out of the top. They looked super cute with them on. I also found iridescent heart and star shaped wands in the dollar section of target in guess which color? Lavender! So, I had to get them, it was meant to be. They looked pretty sitting on the table, too.


Make-up and Face Paint- When the girls first got there they danced around a bit and then one by one went over to Princess Jasine who made them ready for the ball! Next to the table I hung up an ornate mirror with a sign over it that said 'Mirror, Mirror on the Wall' so the girls could get a look at themselves. It also made for some cute pictures.

Decorating Boxes- What princess party would be complete without gems? I painted heart shape balsam boxes sparkly purple and the girls decorated the tops with gems. This kept them busy so everyone could get their make up and face painted AND now they had something to put their pinata candy into to bring home. 

The Royal Ball-  What do you get when you mix a silver hamper from ikea decorated with tulle and labeled with a sign that said 'Royal Ball' with three lightweight playground balls? A few giggles at the pun and a fun time trying to toss the balls into the basket.

Poison Apple- Kind of like Snow White's version of hot potato. Pass the shiy red apple around the circle and when the music stops whichever princess held the apple could take a bite (or pretend to) and fall into a deep sleeping spell. Don't worry, the fairy godmother was there to sprinkle a little magic fairy dust on them to wake them up. (Clementine chose a kiss from Prince Charming)

Cinderella's Hidden Slipper- I hid one of Clementine's "glass slippers" and the girls looked for it. When one of them found it they took a turn in hiding it. This was ongoing throughout the party and it took me until the next day to find it after whoever hid it last!

Freeze Dance at the Royal Ball- The princesses hit the dance floor while the music played, when the music stopped I chimed in with my best impression of a clock striking twelve and they ran off the dance floor (a la Cinderella) and froze. Repeat. This was SO much fun and could've gone on for a very long time if it wasn't time for cake!

Pinata- Unicorn with pull strings. Always a hit. 

Snacks, Rice Krispie Wands, and a Castle Cake

The party was from 2-4 so I just had some simple snacks (veggies, cheese and crackers, nuts, popcorn, etc.) and lots of PURPLE FRUIT! I even found blueberry lemonade- purple drinks, too!

For the cake I bought the Wilton Castle Cake kit and just went for it although my cake decorating skills are nothing to write home about.  I made the cake and buttercream frosting from scratch but I did buy already made purple frosting. I needed a few shortcuts! Instead of frosting and sugaring the tower tops I just used the scraps of purple sparkly paper leftover from the hats. My first stacked cake! I was actually really proud of myself and Clementine loved it!

The day before the party I made a pan of Rice Krispie treats and cut them ino stars using a cookie cutter. I dipped one end of a Wilton long cookie treat stick into melted chocolate and pushed it into my star making it a wand, then I drizzled a little chocolate over the treat and added a few purple nonpareils. I wrapped them in cellophane bags and tied them off with a few pieces of that shiny metallic basket filler stuff you can get at craft stores. They were very fun and the girls each went home with one.

Surprise Balls

I have always loved surprise balls so I decided to make them as a party favor. I started with a small rubber ball and a little message that said, "We had a Royal Ball- Thanks for coming!" and wrapped it in a long strip of crepe paper. You keep wrapping and adding small treats until the end result of a small ball. Our surprises included unicorn stickers and tattoos, a purple wishing stone, star confetti, a jewel ring, and a sparkly gem. The real fun is in the unwrapping of the layers to find the little treats as the confetti spills out. Sadly, I have no pictures.

A tired princess poses from her window in the tower

We held up the little miss Rapunzel Clementine for a picture in her tower. I beamed when she told me it was the best day EVER. I guess that means we lived happily ever after. 


{Home made} Princess Party Invitation


It's been a while; a whirlwind summer of fun is upon us. The little miss turned four! It seemed the princess theme was simply unavoidable so I did what any mom would do: I dove head first into the royal pool of sparkly princess life. The invitations came first.

Clementine has told me many times that Clementine is merely her nickname and her real name is Rapunzel. Rapunzel Clementine July 31st to be exact, but I could just call her Rapunzel for short. Someone has seen Tangled a few times. I'm okay with that, it was a cute movie. As much as I chagrin walking down the Disney princess toy aisle at Target, the little miss lives for it. My mission for her party was not to alienate the characters and stories she's come to know and love (and reenact constantly) but to have a royal party that those characters might like to come to (read: no princess merchandise party decor please). Dress up as your favorite princess and come have a a royal ball with us!  Clementine was very excited to be Rapunzel, wig and all.

For the invitations I made a tower with the little miss tossing out her hair which was braided yarn (an idea I saw on Etsy), then I tied a small scroll to the bottom of the hair which read:


We wrapped each invite in sparkly tissue paper for a little protection, packed it into a large envelope and sent them off!

For a digital version for a few of the older princess friends I used the Beautiful Mess app and whipped this up: 



Now for the party! 

chocolate ice cream {& peanut butter} on a pretzel stick

Chocolate + Peanut Butter + Pretzel = Love

Chocolate Ice Cream + Peanut Butter + Pretzel Stick = Genius!

About four years ago I encountered this amazing concoction at a place caller Junior Ambassador's. I was pregnant with Clementine at the time and when this was handed to me by the very talented ice cream maker extraordinaire, Rudy Speerscheider, well, it kind of blew my mind.

Sadly, Junior Ambassador's sweet awesomeness closed up and all I had was a lovely memory that visited me from time to time in the form of chocolate cravings.

I happened to have a bag of pretzel sticks. They were a fine snack just as they were but their nakedness seemed to be beckoning me to become more; to reach their ultimate potential in deliciousness. It was time to make this dream a reality. Peanut butter? Check. Chocolate Ice cream? Check. Now it was time to assemble.

Sure, Rudy handed me a small masterpiece made with delightful, small-batch, hand made chocolate ice cream, but I think I did a good job with what I had. It's not easy to get that scoop of ice cream on that pretzel stick, but with a little finesse it all came together. 

Pure joy and yumminess.

Who needs cones or spoons when you have pretzels?!

{The GREAT news about all of this is when I was looking up Junior Ambassador's again I found out that Rudy has been making ice cream at Salt & Straw on Alberta Street! How did I miss that? Yay!}

raspberry pockets

My new favorite snack is to stuff bittersweet chocolate chips or almonds into a raspberry. Little pops of fruity sweetness. Perfect little treat! 

Just had to share.

handprint butterfly

For Mother's Day


I'm finding lately that Clementine isn't as interested in craft projects as she used to be. When I asked her if she wanted to make mother's day cards she replied, "No, maybe next week." This certainly wasn't the answer I was looking for! Pretend play is all she cares about: role playing, princesses, reenacting stories, singing songs putting on shows are all her priority. I needed to find a way to make this a fun project. Here's what happened:

She pretended to drive her imaginary car to a 'craft class' which she paid me one pretend dollar to attend. I, in turn, talked in a funny voice which somehow combined english nanny, old hollywood, and crazy lady into one. I introduced her to her imaginary friends that were seated in the chairs next to her. She giggled and covered her face when I told her Henry was in attendance. (That's a boy in her class that she likes because he's one of the only ones, according to her, that doesn't "go cwazy")

The "craft class" had to be broken into sessions in order to complete the project. We had 5 butterflies to make. The project is very simple.

  • Trace hands onto a sheet of paper which will serve as a pattern (a pattern is not necessary if you are making only one butterfly!)

  • Cut them out and label them.

  • Use your pattern and cut out hands from thicker paper.  We used watercolor paper. Card stock would also be fine.
  • Decorate your wings!  We used watercolors. Paint, marker, crayon, stickers, jewels, pompoms, glitter, collage or whatever else you can think of would also work.

  • Cut out the body of the butterfly.

  • Glue wings to body.

  • Punch small holes at the top and use a chenille stem for the antennae

  • Draw on eyes or use google eyes!

  • Add a mouth, or a nose, or whatever you like! 

Here she is happily painting butterfly wings. Between two "craft classes" she painted two sets of wings. It seemed too much to ask her to paint five sets so I went to the stack of art that she has made in preschool. I used the hand pattern to cut out three more sets of wings out of a watercolor painting that she had done last week. Perfect!

Once we had our wings taken care of and glued them onto the butterfly bodies we could add google eyes and antennae to all of them. Lastly, with a crayon in hand, Clementine added a mouth to each specially made butterfly; a big ol' smile. That definitely gave them some character! Our Mother's Day cards are finished!

a perfect day

  tulip festival 2013

tulip festival 2013

The sun has been shining down on us in Portland which makes us stop everything and play outside. The trees have gone from glorious blossom to full green leaves. The petals have fallen off the tulips and the baby ducks have hatched at school.

I wanted to share a note that came home attached to Clementine's school bag today. It pretty much sums it all up:

"What a glorious day to be a preschooler. Clementine is just so gentle and sweet when holding a baby chick! The little chick didn't even "peep" under her calm care.

Two containers of caterpillars arrived yesterday and we all are hoping to watch the process of butterflies hatching.  We will later release them in the garden.

We all had a lovely snack picnic sitting on the stumps in the backyard and Clementine was a big help watering all the seedlings in the driveway and she just loves riding on the green tree swing.  She's able to get on and off by herself.

Today was just a perfect preschool day!"