Monday, November 28, 2011


True or False:
  • You have a family that likes to get out of the house and do fun things together.  
  • You have kids that like participate in activities like gymnastics or music. 
  • You really like shopping for your kids?
  • You like to create unique birthday parties for your kids? 

If any of these questions are answered with a True, then a PERKS card is a must for you!

Melody of is letting me give away TWO PERKS cards for Christmas!  Two lucky families will receive access to monthly and year-round discounts at many of West Michigans businesses.  There are discounts on local shopping, food, activities and services.  Princess Prettys and Parties is a PERKS partner, offering $50 off All-Inclusive Parties, $25 off DIY Decor packages, and $15 off Princess Character Appearances.  You also receive 20% off character dress ups and boutique items. 

  • Go to the Princess Prettys and Parties Facebook site and "LIKE" us, then come back here and let us know (if you are already a fan, post here that you are already a fan)
  • Share this contest on your wall and then come back and let us know
  • Post what PERKS deal you would use the most
Winners will be drawn on Friday, December 17th - enough time to be mailed to you to give as a holiday gift for your immediate family or extended family and friends.  Make sure to let everyone you think may enjoy this discount card know about this great giveaway!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Our Winner's Party!

A few weeks back, I had the privilege of hosting a 7th birthday party for David, the son of our contest winner.  A Detroit baseball fan, David requested a Detroit Tigers themed event.

We were lucky to have a nice Fall day, so we took advantage of that for our party games.  I created a Baseball Triathlon, with a pitching carnival game, a home run derby, and a dizzy bat race.  It was a lot of fun for boys to smash the baseball past our designated "Home Run" line.  It was even more fun to watch the boys spin around the bat 5 times and try to run the bases without falling down in the fastest time.

When we came in from outside, the boys made their own sports pennants with crayons, markers, and felt baseball and star stickers.  Some boys made Tigers pennants, others made U of M pennants, and a few made Boys Only - No Girls Allowed! pennants for their bedroom doors.

For the rest of the party, the guys had cupcakes, opened presents and played on the Wii that I brought - that was definitely a hit!  As each guest left, they received a package of Big League Chew and a wooden baseball bat pen packaged in a red and white striped stadium-style popcorn bag.

As a mother of two girls, I don't often get to hang around just boys, so it was refreshing to do some "boy stuff."  All the boys were fun, cool kids that were also very respectful and well-mannered.  I had a great time, and I hope that David did too.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

{Party Recap} Ooh La La Spa

It has been quite a while since this event occurred, but I wanted to finally share photos of the Ooh La La Spa party I hosted at Cannonsburg Elementary School this past Spring. 
A friend of mine from high school was an extraordinary 3rd grade teacher at the Rockford, MI elementary school.  I am sure that she is just as extraordinary at her new school in Wyoming :) .  Each year, the teachers at Cannonsburg go the extra mile and create "teacher experiences" to put up for auction for parents to bid on, with the money going towards the school.  Such experiences include: Principal for the Day, Lunch with a Teacher, etc.  I teamed up with Ms. Koster to auction off one of my spa parties.  The winning child got to invite a group of her friends for an after school event held in the Teacher's Lounge.

The girls were treated to manicures and facials by Ms. Koster and myself.  The girls relaxed on the couches and read tween magazines and enjoyed cupcakes and kiddie cocktails (sprite with maraschino cherries).  For a craft, the girls created their own shimmer lotions, choosing the color, scent, and shimmer.  In addition to the lotion, the girls took home goody bags filled with manicure kits and sleep masks. 

Thanks to Ms. Koster (or Erika, as I know her) for letting me be a part of this fun event to raise money for their school.  I had a great time getting to know all the girls!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Get Creative and Save $$ with DIY Pinatas!

Piñatas have always been a children’s birthday party staple. Children squeal in delight while holding their goodie bags, waiting for that one big whack of the bat to burst open the piñata and shower them with candy and prizes.

Party stores typically sell empty piñatas for around $18-20. Candy and prizes can cost about $10-12, turning a 10 minute activity into a $30 game. If you want to save some money and are up for a craft project, you can create your own piñata for a LOT less.
Pull-string piñatas are becoming more and more popular because they are easier for young children and can be used indoors. I like them better because no one accidentally gets whacked with a bat!

Each child takes turns pulling on a string. One string is attached to a trap door of sorts that opens and spills the goodies. All the other strings just pull out. Because the structure of the piñata does not break with the pull-string variety, you can just use standard cardboard boxes of different sizes to create a unique piñata base. No messy paper paste and newspaper strips needed! Anything from postal boxes, cereal boxes, oatmeal canisters and more can be used. Easy ideas that come to mind are: castles (a rectangle box to fill with candy and circular oatmeal or formula cans to create turrets), Sponge bob (a big rectangle), etc.

Paper mache boxes in different shapes and sizes can be found at craft stores (like Hobby Lobby) and decorated with tissue papers and other odds n’ ends to make a custom piñata for your little one.

Is your child having a licensed character-themed shindig? Decorate a circular piñata with color-coordinating crepe paper, then glue on a circular character paper plate to both sides for a character piñata at a fraction of the price!

I found a lot of instructions online on how to make your own piñatas, some good, some not so good. Take a look at some of them and consider doing it for your child’s next party:

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Jarrod's Train Party

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of hosting a Thomas the Train inspired birthday party for a little boy turning 4.  It was a beautiful summer day in Michigan, so we set up a canopy in the backyard and held the party outside. 
Each child received a train "ticket" to color and put their name on.  Once we chose goody bags towards the end of the party, those tickets went inside so that each child would know whose bag is whose.  They also colored Thomas the Train coloring pages.  I read the classic children's story The Little Engine that Could
We played "Pin the 1 on Thomas," Red Light, Green Light, and had a pinata.  Each child received a goody bag with a Thomas pocket watch, train whistle and a lollipop. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

When Life Hands You Lemons, Make Lemonade!

Anytime I see a a group of kids manning a lemonade stand, I have to go over and buy a cup.  Not because the lemonade is good, though.  I know that it is going to be pretty bad most of the time.  It is because it reminds me of my childhood.  My sister Brooke and friends Sunny, Cora and I were always up to something growing up on Jekyll Island, GA.  One of our most fun (and profitable!) adventures was selling lemonade near the beach.  We would load up our bikes with all our gear and set up at a popular intersection.  It was pretty amazing how many tourists would stop to buy a cup from the adorable little girls.  LOL 

My daughters have been asking to hold their own lemonade stand this summer, so I have been looking on the internet for some inspiration.  Take a look at these beautiful setups!

This simple but elegant setup from One Charming Party uses wooden crates ziptied together instead of a table.  Check out the other photos and tips to recreating this HERE

This beautiful lemonade stand play date is created by Paper & Cake and featured on Hostess with the Mostess.  Printables really add flair to the homemade baked goods.  Paper Pinwheels and paper chain garland decorate the simple black table.  Check out all the great photos HERE

Friday, June 24, 2011

Rapunzel Meets Kendall!

Last weekend I had the pleasure of accompanying Rapunzel as she appeared at Kendall's 3rd birthday party.  I took plenty of photographs of Rapunzel with all the children: reading stories, whacking a pinata, and singing Happy Birthday and eating cake and ice cream.

The party was set outside with a Princess theme.  The client rented an inflatable movie screen and after we left, they planned on showing the movie Tangled.  A popcorn machine was set up to provide snacks, and all the kids had small camp chairs to sit in.  I love this idea, even for me!

Though some of the older kids were skeptical, I was happy to hear one boy say to Rapunzel at the end of her stay "I believe in Maximus [the horse in the movie].  I think you are real too!" 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Ka-Chow! Cars Workshop at Giggles and Gumdrops

This past Wednesday, I hosted a small workshop at Lowell's area children's store, Giggles and Gumdrops.  This mini-party was set up in the back of the store before it opens.  It is great for the parents, because they get to shop before the store opens to the general public while we entertain their children!  I ended up getting a Groovy Girls case full of goodies for my daughter's birthday, two chapter books and a Disney Store denim princess dress.  And it was a pleasant surprise to find that everything in the store that day was 20% off!
When the children got to the workshop, we went straight to the craft.  The children donned aprons to cover their clothes, and got to pick out a ceramic bank to paint.  Most chose cars, of course :)  Each child got their own set of acrylic paints and went to town decorating.  Some were very detail-oriented, while others went for a colorful tie-dye technique.  I love doing craft activities that give the kids something to take home and keep to remember the party. 
 After the craft, the kids got their faces painted.  Those that were waiting got to play Mater Golf, a putting game that has the tow truck Mater as the hole.  I think the kids got a big kick out of how the ball pops out the back of the truck and goes back to you. 
 It was then time to sit down and eat cupcakes and drink from Lightning McQueen and Mater juice boxes.  I read two "Cars" themed stories to the kids while they inhaled their treats.  Once the party wrapped up, the kids took home brown Cars lunch bags filled with Cars popping candy (like Pop Rocks) and a small Cars metal box to fill with trinkets and treasures.  Ka-Chow!
The Cars theme is now available as a DIY Decor package or an All-Inclusive party.  Check out all the photos from the workshop at my website HERE.  Interested in booking any of our theme parties?  Click on the Contact Us link on our website.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

It's a Cars Celebration!

Do you have a little boy or girl that loves Cars the movie?  Are they anxiously anticipating the premiere of Cars 2?  We certainly are!  

Princess Prettys and Parties is hosting a "Cars Celebration" at local children's store Giggles and Gumdrops in Lowell, MI on Wednesday, June 22nd from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m.  We have lots of fun in store for your race fan - games, crafts and cupcakes!

Melissa of Giggles and Gumdrops and I are each giving away a FREE spot to this workshop.  Here is how you can enter to win one of the spots for your child:
1. Like Princess Prettys and Parties on Facebook HERE and come back and comment to let us know (or comment that you are already a fan)
2. Like Giggles and Gumdrops on Facebook HERE and come back and comment to let us know (or comment that you are already a fan)
3. Share this post on your FB wall (and comment on this blog post to let us know you have done so)
4. Suggest Princess Prettys and Parties to two or more friends (and comment on this blog post to let us know you have done so)
5. Suggest Giggles and Gumdrops to two or more friends (and comment on this blog post to let us know you have done so)

Each time you do on the things above you receive an entry, so you have up to 5 times to win!  The winner will be drawn this Saturday, so hurry and get your entries in.

If you would like to register for the Cars Celebration workshop, you can do so by using the RSVP to a Workshop link on or by signing up in-store at Giggles and Gumdrops.  The cost for the workshop is $15 and PERKS card members receive $5 off each workshop.  If you have any questions, contact Corey at 616-901-1625.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

{Preferred Vendor} Colorful Creations

Colorful Creations is a West Michigan company that creates themed crayons and sidewalk chalk.  I was introduced to Jeni McIntyre at the West Michigan Moms Sale at the Delta Plex in March of this year.  After taking home some samples of her crayons and seeing my daughter flip out about them, I knew that they would be a great favor option for all of my parties.  In fact, I ordered a dozen Pink Minnie Mouse crayons for my daughter's 5th birthday party set for June (yup, it is a Minnie Party).

Colorful Creations has a huge amount of options for any interest or character that your child likes.  Bugs, bees, princesses, Sesame Street characters, tractors, name it, she has it.  In addition to appealing to your child's interests, the crayons are easy for young hands to hold.  This is especially helpful for young ones that are just starting to scribble.

Another great thing about this company is that they package each order very carefully so that each order is safely delivered.  I was very impressed by how each crayon was carefully wrapped. 

Colorful Creations are now offered as favor options for any Princess Prettys All-Inclusive Party Package.  If you would like to order from their website, check it out at:

Friday, May 13, 2011

{Summer Parties} What Day is Best?

Does your child have a summer birthday?  I have one June baby and one August baby ("baby" meaning 4 and 7 years old).  While in some respects, summer birthday parties can be easier to manage than those scheduled in winter.  The ability to hold parties outdoors gives kids more room to run around, and activities are easier to plan.  Heck, running around could BE the activity!  That does not mean that it is all smooth-sailing when planning a summer party, though.

If you are like most families, summer weekends are jam-packed with vacations, family outings, and sports.  May and June are filled with graduation Open Houses, school events, and children's sports games.  The entire summer is booked with weddings, showers, summer camps, and more.  It is very difficult to get your child's best friends to all join together on a weekend to celebrate a birthday.  Popular party spots and banquet halls are normally booked up on Saturdays.  It is also hard to find an open weekend for your family to host a party when you are already obligated to attend others' events!

For the past two summers, we have held both girls' birthday parties on a Wednesday evening, usually from 6-8 p.m.  Nearly every invitee is able to come, as the middle of the week is normally free for most people.  The 6 pm start time allows parents to get home from work and collect themselves a bit before rushing off to the party.  Because of the long daylight hours in Michigan during the summer, we end up pushing bedtime back a half an hour to 8:30 pm.  The 8 pm end time doesn't really interfere with bedtime, as our girls are normally pooped by the end of the party.

Having weekday birthdays is the new tradition for our family - one that is most appreciated by all the guest's parents as well. 

When planning events for your summer babies, what day of the week do you choose?

Monday, April 18, 2011

Giggles & Gumdrops Turns 1!

Giggles & Gumdrops is having a birthday!  The charming consignment boutique located in Downtown Lowell, MI is celebrating it's first year of business on Saturday, April 23rd.  There will be a treats table designed by yours truly, along with games and prizes for the kids and surprise discounts for the shoppers.

Giggles first year has been one of growth.  Positive response in the Lowell community and great consignors has allowed owner Melissa Freeman to expand into the teen and women's market as well.  You can find excellent used condition brand name clothing, new and used  baby toys and equipment, as well as boutique items made by local vendors (Yup, you can find my hair bows there too).

Not to get too ahead of myself, but Melissa and I have been talking about having a series of monthly events throughout the summer hosted by Princess Prettys and Parties.  Parents can sign up their children for the one-hour events individually or in small groups.  Each event will have a theme, with craft projects, stories, games and snacks.  What do you think?  Would you like to see some events scheduled for the summer?  What themes (of the ones that Princess Prettys and Parties offer) would you like to participate in?

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Spring Soccer!

Back in high school (which is longer back than I care to recall), I used to be a center mid-fielder on my soccer team.  It was a lot of fun, and I ended up being the captain and got all-conference my Senior year.  I played in pick up games and some 3 on 3 tournaments for a few years, but I gradually stopped playing. 

Fast forward 12 years later (oops, I told you!), and I got asked by a fellow preschool mom if I happened to play.  She was on a local Rec team and wanted to know if I wanted to join.  Heck yeah!  I was in an exercise rut, and I was sick of not doing anything outside of work and family. 

I am so happy that she asked me (thanks Mandy!).  I played that summer, and then went on to play on a couple indoor teams, one of them a competitive women's league.  It is so much fun, and I have been able to get my husband and kids involved as well.  Last Fall my oldest played on a Rec team that I coached.  This Spring, both of my girls are old enough to be on a team.  My husband is coaching the 5-6 team with my youngest, and I am coaching the 7-8 team with my older daughter.  My husband is joining a co-ed league with me for the summer.

This coming Monday is the first day of practice, and I am already thinking ahead to the end of season party that I plan to throw.  LOL  To give me some inspiration, I have googled soccer parties to death.  These are some parties with awesome ideas and decor.  Enjoy!

Amy of Giggleberry Creations put together an awesome soccer themed party for her son's 2nd birthday.  I love the use of the ref's jersey throughout the entire party, and the scoreboard backdrop is so unique.  Check out her entire post(s) at her blog: Giggleberry Creations   .

This party was done by Julie Gallagher from In Good Company and was featured on Kara's Party Ideas.  I think that the netting backdrop is an awesome touch on a sophisicated looking take on the soccer theme.  Best part about this party?  Julie gave Kara's readers all the printables, from invites to placecards to cupcake wrappers FREE!  Click on the Kara's Party Ideas link above to go to the correct link to download.   

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Getting Ready to Roller Skate!

It is Spring Break week here in Michigan, and of course the weather is lovely.  Rain, dreary gray skies, cold times.  Having two girls bouncing off the walls at home is not going to cut it.  So tommorrow we are heading out to their first ever trip to the roller skating rink.  When I was growing up, there was at least one school or church sponsored outing to the skating rink a month.  It was the thing to do on the weekends.  While skating rinks aren't as popular anymore, I do think that they are making a comeback with moms and kids looking for some old-fashioned, low-tech fun.

For your viewing pleasure, I found some great party entries online.  This cool photo collage is from the blog One Haute Kid.  This blogger shows that you can turn the (normally tacky) roller rink into a cute themed party area.  Check out her post HERE. 

This little cutie has her very own roller skate shirt!  I love the personalized shirts trend that is going on in the party world.  The bloggers at Urban Daisies featured a roller skating party back in February.  April and Jenny put together a great party and shared the elements of the decor.  Check out their blog post HERE.  They have a cute blog with lots of creative finds and ideas.  I had to become a new follower. 

Wish me luck tommorrow - I will be strapping on my skates for the first time in 20 years!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Rent-a-Princess Packages

from Princess Prettys and Parties

Upgrade any Package - $50
Princess Appearance Only - $80

Princess Appearances Include:
  • A One Hour Appearance by the Princess
  • A Royal Birthday Declaration by the Princess
  • A Storytelling Session by the Princess or
    Have the Princess Join in on Birthday Activities
  • Photo Opportunities with each Party Guest
  • A Keepsake Frame for the Birthday Child
Princesses Available:
  • Cinderella
  • Sleeping Beauty
  • Yellow Beauty
  • Snow White
  • Rapunzel
  • More to Come Soon!
Interested in Having a Princess at Your Party?
Use the Contact Us Form on our Facebook Page
or visit to get more info or reserve a date.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Can You Say Slumber Party?

In February, my oldest daughter had her first "official" sleepover party.  She is a second grader and 7 years old.  While she had slept over at Grandma and Grandpa's house, she had not slept over at a friends.  She was a bit nervous, as was I, but we talked in advance about finding out where the bathroom was if she had to get up and go in the night, and to let the mom know if you needed anything.  It was a neighbor's house, so she did know that if she couldn't make it, we were literally around the corner from her.  She ended up doing just fine, and actually slept in longer than any of the other girls!   

I am curious to know when your children had their first sleepover, and did it go well?

Slumber parties are a girls' rite of passage.  At some time or another, your tween will ask to host a sleepover for a party.  Here are some ideas for you (And if you don't want to deal with it, know that Princess Prettys and Parties hosts a "Night Owl Pajama Party" package)!  Here are some of the crafts that we offer at our pajama parties.


1.  Decorate a Pillowcase - This is a great activity that doubles as a take-home favor.  Buy white or light-colored pillowcases and lots of fabric markers.  Yes, you could use paint, or iron-on transfers, but this is time consuming and messy.  Plus, the girls could not use them that night, and where is the fun in that?  After the girls are done, just throw the cases in the dryer on medium heat for 20 minutes to set the markers.  Then the girls can use them that night if they wish!  Princess Prettys uses blank pillowcases, but I have even seen pillowcases that have designs on them, ready to color in and decorate.  (Source) 

2. Create Your Own Journal - Girls this age are just starting to get into the journal thing.  Whether it is used as a diary, a place to doodle, or write stories or poetry, girls will get a kick out of decorating there own journal.  Buy blank journals, and then offer a variety of craft accents to decorate the front and back.  This can be as simple as markers only.  Princess Prettys offers everything from ribbons, flowers, markers, glitter pens, and more.  It is fun to see the girls get creative!

                                                                                 {Photo Source}

These craft activities are only a few of the options for our Night Owl Pajama Party.  If you would like to learn more, please visit or contact Corey at

Thursday, March 31, 2011

A Fun Twist on Balloon Bouquets

Ice cream is with birthday cake as peanut butter is with jelly.  That is why it is no surprise that many people choose "Ice Cream" theme birthdays.  If you are planning an ice cream social this summer, take a look at this clever idea from Martha Stewarts Crafting blog.

 Using brown kraft paper, they created cones that were attached to the bottom of the ballon and threaded the balloon's string through the bottom of the cone.  A super simple and inexpensive way to add creative flair to your next summer party.  {Source}

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Fabulous Photo Collage Inspiration

Leave it to Martha to come up with an incredible way to decorate for milestone events.  While browsing, I came across this cool photo.

This was for someone's 50th birthday, but I can't help but think about how I can use the idea for kid's parties.  How amazing would it be to create a huge number 1 with photos from baby's first year?  Put it behind a dessert or gift table to create instant WOW.  I cannot wait to put this idea into action for one lucky baby.  The best part is that by taking advantage of a photo processing website coupon, you can get prints for as little as 9 cents each.  Beautiful and budget-friendly!  To check out this photo on the website, head here .

Monday, March 21, 2011

{Black Damask Baby Shower} March 13, 2011

Web-ready images - may not be printed!

In March, I styled a couple's baby shower for Justine and Zach.  The hostess was Katrina, the mom-to-be's sister. (as well as a good friend of mine.)  I was so excited to create an elegant, classy shower that would be as fun for the men as the women. 

For personal business use and printing up to 8x12 only.

Justine had two requests: 1) to have a couple's shower in a downtown location (Grand Rapids, MI) and 2) Use yellow, as they are not finding out the baby's gender and wanted something gender-neutral.  

Having known Justine for a number of years, I was able to come up with something that I thought would suit her personality - vibrant and fun, but always classy.  I chose a sunshine yellow to contrast with the black and white damask.  Being mid-March in West Michigan, we really needed the sun!

Above is a sample invitation that I created that ended up being the theme throughout.  I created it using various digital elements from

We held the event in the upper level of J. Gardella's Tavern, a downtown tavern with exposed brick walls, hardwood floors and lots of windows.      
Web-ready images - may not be printed!

Guests were encouraged to mingle and use the photo booth that we set up in the corner with a damask print curtain (Source) and photo booth printables that I found for free online (Source).  I am putting together a memory book with the photo booth photos for Justine as a gift.  Photography for the photo booth and the event itself was done by West Michigan photographer Teri Genovese.  Find her online at  
Web-ready images - may not be printed!   
Web-ready images - may not be printed!

We also had chalkboard saying bubbles mounted to wooden sticks for guests to write messages to the parents-to-be (Source).  This was a lot of fun, and made for some great photo ops.

Web-ready images - may not be printed!

For personal business use and printing up to 8x12 only.

Guests dined on food catered by the facility, including Southwestern Chicken dip with tortilla chips, deli sandwiches, crudites and pita wedges with hummus and more.  For dessert, we set up a cupcake tower and served cream puffs with strawberries.

I designed the dessert table with this inspirational photo in mind.  I searched Goodwills and other shops high and low, hoping to find a candelabra to spray paint black, but kept coming up empty.  I finally found the *perfect* ones at a Burlington Coat Factory that I visited on a whim!  Instead of using fresh flowers, I created rosettes using crepe streamer paper from a local party store.  I found this tutorial online that gave me the idea to create it with floral rings to put at the base of the candelabra.  I think that it gives the same impression at a fraction of the cost. 
Web-ready images - may not be printed!

Web-ready images - may not be printed!

Web-ready images - may not be printed!

Web-ready images - may not be printed!

The shower had between 50-60 guests.  Because of the large size, games were more difficult to organize.  We decided to do a baby-themed version of Family Feud.  Guests were in teams based on the tables where they were sitting.  A PowerPoint version of the game was displayed on a television for all to see.  We even recreated the "Face Off" portion of the show by using buzzers from the game Taboo.  Team representatives came up to a small table and had to hit their buzzer first to win the choice to play or pass.  The guests really got into the spirit of it and were cheering each other on.  

Web-ready images - may not be printed!

Web-ready images - may not be printed! 

{Cupcake Tower} Handmade by Princess Prettys and Parties
{Wire Baby Carriage} TMarco
{Cake} Erin Dean, Custom Cakes