April marks the beginning of “birthday” season in our home. Both girls were born in April and their Dad celebrates his own birthday just a few weeks later in May. With L turning four this year – we’ve been talking about her birthday for months… and trying to come up with an original way to celebrate. I don’t know about you, but I actually remember my fourth birthday quite vividly – the strawberry shortcake theme, the little english muffin pizzas, and of course – the boy who tried to help me blow out my candles. I’m still not quite sure where the idea for a “Ballerina tea party” came from, but once it was vocalised, there was no changing L’s mind…
Once the idea for a ballerina tea party was established – L had her mind set on a dressing up like a ballerina, and holding a very “exclusive” affair – with only 2 special guests, Nadine (her BFF since birth) and Margo (one of her other little girl friends who just recently changed daycares) – and her sister of course (!) I tried a few times to get her to invite more people, but like I said – there was no changing her mind. So on Saturday morning I found myself with a house decked out in pink and four little ballerinas giggling and drinking “tea” (apple juice) around my kitchen table.
Setting the scene…
I spent Friday evening “pinkifying” my home. I found some decorations at the local “party store” including fluffy pink tissue paper “balls” hanging in the front hall and over the kitchen table, pink streamers and tulle, a shimmering pink table-cloth, and pink balloons.
I made sure that we had classic ballerina music playing when Layla’s guests arrived, and the girls were invited to “dress up for the party” – which only added to the fun and magic (and ambiance) of the event. Both of my girls were wearing little pink tutus that I found on sale at Old Navy.
What to serve?
This was probably the easiest birthday party I’ve prepped for in four years. The number of guests certainly helped to simplify the menu – but so did the tea party theme. Miniature cucumber sandwiches, peanut-butter and jelly rolls, and the biggest hit, miniature ham and cheese sandwiches – all made within a bout 20 minutes that very same morning. I added a couple of pre-prepared trays of vegetables and fruit… and super simple, but very pretty, cupcakes!
When I googled “ballerina cake”, I was really discouraged to find nothing but meticulously and seemingly professional cakes using fondant icing (something I have yet to try – and no – I didn’t think this would be a good option for my April “Ten30” experience).
B told me to K.I.S.S. and so when I headed to the baking store, I was looking for a little ballerina figurine that I could simply (or stupidly) place on top of a plain old cake.
What I found was a perfect little silicone tea-cup set that I used to make the four main cupcakes (to hold four candles and to serve to the four little girls). Way less work than decorating a full cake. I made the cupcakes the evening before and then iced them just before people arrived for the party.
Entertaining three 4-year olds and an almost 2-year old…
The girls were so easy to keep busy and entertained. When they arrived, I started with some face-painting (a skill I learned while fundraising for “Summit for Wishes”).
Then we moved right into a cute little craft that I picked up at the local arts and crafts store. A mosaic “crown” that none of the girls actually completed, but that all of them were wearing within about 15 minutes as they sipped their apple-juice/tea.
Of course – in a home with pets like ours, I should not have been surprised when the party made its way down to the basement for a little “show and tell”. It’s quite something to watch four little girls squeal about snakes, frogs, a tortoise…
B took the time to show them some of his collection – even letting them touch a couple of snakes and the tortoise.
A ballerina/tea-party/reptile theme? New concept?!
The very BEST part…
Layla was happy with the whole thing. Decorations, Dressing up, her fancy “cupcakes”.
Two days later, she’s still making little comments – “Mom?”, “yes Layla?”, “I had a really fun party, eh?”, “yes sweetie, you liked it, did you?”, “yes mom…Mom?”, “yes Layla?”, “thank you for my party”…
You are soooo welcome my dear.