Monday, March 17, 2014

A Frozen Birthday Celebration!

This weekend we celebrated Bea's big birthday with a dream-come-true party. Because the winter of 2014 will ALWAYS conjure up memories of the girls dancing and singing to the Frozen soundtrack, acting out scenes from the movie and talking about Anna and Elsa as if they were neighborhood friends, it only seemed fitting to have a Frozen party. And, because the girls were early adopters of Frozen-Fever way back in December before it reached billion dollar megahit status, we were able to pull together quite a shebang without much fuss. It really helped matters that sweet Beatrice declared her Frozen party desires way back in Christmas season. It also helped that my best friend has a character party business that was just getting off the ground when we were planning for Bea's party. It took one trip to the after-Christmas 80% off shelves at Michael's to stock a whole shopping cart full of everything you could ever want for a Frozen-themed party and one phone call to my friend to tell her we were "in."  The Frozen party was on! We were ready to Let It Go!

Like I said, we stocked up on Christmas decor in the after-holiday sale, but we were also surprised by just how many other things we already had in our own private holiday stash translated. We did have to buy a few new things - including the fabric & materials for the backdrop of the "Anna & Elsa Meet and Greet." We set up the backdrop in the girls' bedroom so that each group of kids could get some special time with the girls of Arendelle. We also wanted to have a well-lit room for photos since each party guest would get to take home a photo with our special guest.  We started decorating for the party the week before, so we could have some fun around the house with the Frozen-theme ourselves first. Here are the girls clowning around, belting out Frozen tunes & testing light for mama during the set-up of the backdrop.

Bea joked that she was too tired for a party and wanted to take a nap instead. Silly goose.

She was back to dancing in moments!

Now, let's talk cake, shall we? We are super fortunate to have a really talented cake-baking & cake-designing friend in our posse. She whipped up this total gem of an Olaf cake. Isn't it gorgeous?! And I assure you it tasted just as good as it looks. Locals, please do check her out and support a mama-owned business in the process.

Beatrice was really smitten with the cake. In fact, we all were!!

Let's talk decorations. We decided to make our main room of the house totally, well, Frozen. Luckily the room is already largely blue & white, but we removed any decor from the room that stood out too much in the theme. We hung icicle lights around the perimeter of the room and hung sparkling ribbon from the doorways.

Little details, like scattering die-cut snowflakes on the floor, really transformed the room and made it really fun.

We used a combination of existing holiday decorations, craft store post-holiday booty and decor that bestie-party-planner shared with us to further transform the space.

A copy of the book was on hand for Anna & Elsa to autograph.

Josie and Bea each picked a coffee table to decorate. Snowflake ornaments and good ole' cotton balls from the hall closet did just the trick.

What would be a Frozen party without Frozen-themed snacks? I'm going to keep it real a second here folks and be totally honest. At 9pm the night before the party, I texted my bestie-party-planner-extraordinaire an "OMG, what the heck should we get for Frozen snacks" and Lou was off to the 24 hour grocery at 10pm.  It only took some quick brainstorming and a scan of Pinterest to get some inspiration.

Strawberries with vanilla quick-coat candy coating made great "Anna's Frozen Heart" snacks.

We used the same vanilla coating to dip pretzel rods for "Olaf's Icicles" (or Olaf arms, but the girls thought that was weird, ha.)

Lou had the great idea to add coconut for an extra snowy effect.

We made some others with blue sprinkles, because sprinkles are fun. 

The girls insisted on something Snowmonster-themed & they love that his official name is Marshmallow. We thought a simple bowl of blueberries made for great snowballs.

Big bowls of white cheddar popcorn worked great as Elsa's snowflakes.

And what would a Frozen party be without carrots for Sven?

 And ice blocks for Kristoff?


Everything was set up and ready to go. It was getting close to party time!

Beatrice was SUPER excited! (And had NO idea that Anna & Elsa were actually coming.)

And then the big moment came when there was a knock on the door and Anna & Elsa walked through it. And well, here's the video of the big moment, because really this video says it all.

As the video shows, Bea was so super duper surprised sweet when they walked through the door. She held this pose (that I've never seen her make until this special day) and just danced back and forth beaming the whole time. Oh our sweet sweet Beba.

One of my favorite moments was when Bea walked over to the couch and grabbed Josie's hand and said "Josie, Josie, Anna and Elsa came HERE. Let's go!"

While the original plan was to set up the party in 'rotations' between games and crafts and meeting Anna & Elsa, the super sunny day called kids outside and instead everyone just ended up moving through playing, snacking and other activities. Yay for fresh air and sunshine! While the kids took turns getting their photos taken upstairs, the others designed their picture frames in the dining room.

Anna & Elsa also led the kids through Frozen-themed games. "Don't Let Olaf Melt" is a take on "hot potato" that the kids played while we stopped and started the song "In Summer."

The "Let It Go" game gave the kids a chance to toss snowballs into buckets.

The "Arendelle Photo Booth" was really fun. The kids each got individual time chatting with the special guests and their conversations were hilarious!  

(Sweet Moments Parties does all the leg work here. They take the photos, print them out, load them into the frames and generally make the magic happen. Here's a behind the scenes photo.) 

How perfect are Anna & Elsa? Seriously.

I love a built-in party favor. These worked out great as a craft and parting gift.

Anna & Elsa signed the book we read on a daily basis - making the book even more special and leaving us with another great memory of this super fun birthday!

Then it was time to blow out candles and wish Bea a happy happy birthday!

She was pretty overwhelmed when everyone gathered in one room. Turns out, we had quite a crowd, ha.

The only way to stop the tears from flowing after Anna & Elsa headed back to Arendelle was to rip through the presents. We truly have the BEST friends and Bea was blessed with a wonderful combination of instant-favorite books, games, stickers, puzzles, toys and Frozen gear.


SPECIAL SPECIAL SPECIAL thanks to these two mamas - my mama who seriously had the house back to normal before we even realized what she was doing and to this girl, my dear sweet Kelly who has been around since the earliest days of Carri & Lou and who made this whole Frozen party possible!!!! (Even if I swore, up and down a million times that I would never have a Disney princess party. Never. Ever. Ever. Ha, add it to the list of nevers. Frozen changed things.)

Here are a few more photos from my phone that capture more of the fun.

All in all, it was the PERFECT birthday celebration to honor the end of little toddlerhood for sweet Beatrice as she transitions into the world of pre-school and playdates and everything else that we know is coming now that she's three.

Special thanks to everyone who helped make this such a magical day for all of us!