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{Once Upon A Birthday} Storybook Soiree (31 photos)

 
 

Charlotte's Storybook Soiree! Play stations for the little lords and ladies, the cutests cupcakes in the kingdom, and a visit from a princess to read the classics!

 
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We decided on hosting an early afternoon Storybook Soiree after I was inspired by the Storybook invitations created by Desiree from Papercandee.  You know when you’re watching a classic Disney film and they flip the first few pages of the storybook??? Yeah, her invitations are just like that. Perfection!  The location was the gardens at San Marcos Resort, a turn-of the century hotel (that’s OLD for Arizona) that keeps an impressive list of guests; Fred Astaire, Joan Crawford, Bing Crosby, Clark Gable, and now our little princess; Charlotte.  With shade from a towering tree and two bubbling fountains, it was not hard to be inspired!

The décor: I stopped at IKEA just for the basics and walked out with a white media bench, a large plastic tub, an outdoor insect netting tent, 6 frog prince chair cushions, lanterns, candles, vases, straws, buckets, and so much more!  The large plastic tub turned into a holding bin for a dozen pink, plastic balls.  Pink pennant garland was added and a chalkboard sign declared it the “Royal Ball”. Get it?  The insect netting tent became a whimsical castle with coordinating pennants and sheltered a pink fleece blanket, two plaid pillows, four Disney princess dolls (if your daughter doesn’t have them… go get them from the Disney Store) and classic Disney storybooks.  An antique-like vanity was adorned with painted-metal buckets filled with goodies for the little ladies, tiaras, wands, pearl bracelets and necklaces; swords, and crowns for the lords. The low media bench was placed on a pink fleece blanket and surrounded by the frog prince pillows.  Set daintily on the top was the most adorable tea set purchased at the Disney Store. 

The paper goods: Desiree from Papercandee accessorized every aspect of the party with coordinating signs, favor tags, labels, coloring book covers, cupcake toppers and of course, the banner “Charlotte’s Storybook Soiree”.  She played up the “Be Royal and…” theme and had lots of fun with the thematic beverages (Snow White Cider Company, Mystical Spring Water). 

The treats:  Brittany from Edible Details created simply divine 3D fondant cupcake toppers incorporating all the small iconic details of the classic stories, glass slippers, roses, frogs, castles, wands, and mini storybooks.  Apothecary jars held Strawberries and Cream caramel corn, frog princess fruit snacks, pink yogurt covered pretzels, and pink marshmallows.  Cotton candy was intended to be slowly picked at by guests… but disappeared quickly into hungry little hands… YUM!

The activities:  The party was intended for Charlotte and her friends.  Everything was at kid level and nothing was off limits.  You want five wands, a crown, two swords, and a dozen cupcakes? Sure!  Kids traveled from the “Make Believe” tea party to the “Dress Up” vanity to the “Story Time” castle and “Royal Ball” play area.  Some of the more refined (older) ladies chose to pick one of the hand-made storybook favors and crayons and start their own “Once Upon A Time.”  When the clock struck eleven, a real princess arrived, sat on the edge of the fountain, and read princess stories to dozens of awed eyes and ears. 

The reason:  Charlotte’s birthdays are very important to us; no doubt a reason to celebrate.  On the day that Charlotte was born, we saw her little cleft lip and palate for the first time.  Two surgeries and countless doctor’s appoints in the first year had us saying, “If only we survive the first year!”  As the first birthday approached, we decided to thank the team of doctors at Barrow’s Cleft and Craniofacial Center at Saint Joseph’s Hospital each and every year.  Guests were asked to bring a donation to the center in lieu of presents for the birthday girl.  After the party, Charlotte makes her annual trip to the hospital to share the joy and grace that we get to see each and every day.  I know Daddy thinks Mommy goes outrageously overboard, but if you saw her sweet smile as she entered the party you’d agree.  It’s worth more than the money spent; she’s got a million dollar smile!



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