Ava Turned 4!

Ava Turned 4!

Birthdays are a big deal in our family. It’s the one day out of the entire year where we can focus on just the one child and make the day truly all about him/her. The rest of the year, we try our best to teach compassion and empathy for others, not being selfish with toys, and not being egocentric, which is a hard thing to do in our “me first” society. So, birthdays are celebrated big because I want my kids to know how important they are in our family and that it’s ok to think about yourself sometimes, too. Don’t get me wrong, we certainly give lots of love and praise throughout the year, but birthdays are special in their own way. Plus, I love throwing parties ~ the decorations, food, games, and being with friends and family.

So, the start of all birthday planning begins months before the big day when I ask Eli and Ava what they want their “theme” to be (Sam never fails to suggest the theme be “happy birthday” and forget the other stuff!) Ava LOVES princesses and dreams of meeting a “real life princess”, so naturally her theme was Disney Princess, and a Pinterest board was made 🙂 Thankfully, Disney is always a popular theme, so it was easy to find lots of cute decorations to make from Pinterest, and the Dollar Tree actually had napkins, plates, and random princess stuff. Always, always, always check your local dollar store before ordering anything off Amazon or going to a big party store!!

Ava was so excited to wake up this morning to check if the Birthday Fairy had left balloons on the mailbox (she sure did!) and to change into her special princess dress. A couple months ago, I found a store in China that makes Disney dresses for very inexpensive, so I ordered Cinderella, Snow White, and Anna to replace some of the dresses that no longer fit Ava. Well, she was super excited when they arrived and immediately said she wanted to wear Snow White for her birthday party. Fast forward to this week and Ava again confirmed she wanted to be Snow White. So, among all the other party stuff I was doing, I scrubbed furiously to get a stain off the dress, hot glued some gem stones that had fallen off, and fixed a couple loose fabric pieces. Fast forward a little more to this morning when I pull out the Snow White dress for Ava to change into and she suddenly declares she isn’t wearing it. Jesus take the wheel!! This is the last thing I need today!! Instead, Ava decides she is wearing the Sleeping Beauty dress that she wore LAST year for Halloween – the one that has a stain on the sleeve, sequins falling off, and is about 4″ too short! But, I took a deep breath, reminded myself it’s Ava’s day, asked her 20x if she was sure that was the dress she wanted, and then helped her become the most beautiful Sleeping Beauty 🙂 I have a feeling 4 is going to be an interesting year!

Thank goodness for my mom helping out with the sugar cookies! Check out my sugar cookie tutorial and recipes here
My Costco cake hack! For $18.99, you get a double layer half-sheet cake, filled with cheesecake vanilla mousse, and beautiful flower decorations. I topped it off with a few princess figurines I bought on Amazon (which Ava will love to play with after the party) and a crown from the dollar store. Voila! Sure beats the $44.99 single layer 1/4 sheet cake from the grocery store!
Paper princess dresses cut from my Silhouette Cameo machine
Every princess needs a castle! Super easy decoration with a big wow factor. I taped together pieces of FREE cardboard I got at Costco. Added some paper chains, and cut out a window for Rapunzel. Easy peazy!
Thank goodness it’s pumpkin season! I couldn’t resist turning it into a carriage 🙂
The biggest surprise of the party was Moana! Ava was in awe the entire time and couldn’t take her eyes off the “real princess that came to my party” 🙂

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