She wanted it to be fancy and she wanted flowers and didn't want ANY boys there. We were lacking time and the budget to do all that I really wanted, but I feel good about what we pulled off in pretty much 24 hours and Lucy said more than once, "This is the best day of my life,"so I think we can call it a success.
In fact, it was so fun that I didn't even have time to bawl my eyes out at the fact that my baby girl is now five. She was such a sweet hostess and clearly wanted to prove to everyone that she was indeed a year older. She gave hugs and dramatic thank you's after opening each gift and straightened her dress and smoothed her hair more than once that day. I am so proud of her and her beautiful, creative spirit and all that she is becoming. Although I must admit, I hope the "becoming" part comes a little more slowly from here on out.
To save money and time, I emailed the invitation, which I made with some clipart I purchased a while ago from my favorite clipart shop Ink Nest.
Jared and I emptied out our office he'd just renovated next to our house and it proved to be the perfect party room. Jared also made the table and benches at the last minute from cheap lumber at Lowe's (costing a total of $90 for all three pieces), which worked perfectly and will be nice to have for future events.
I spent $20 on tissue paper, and only used half of it, and then used it to make a simplified version of Oh Happy Day's party hat and Design Sponge's giant flowers tutorial, of course inspired by Brittany Jepsen's paper flowers. I wanted to have them crawling up the walls on paper vines, but, again, there was no time so I made them into one garland with tire wire.
My favorite last-minute project was using some gold spray paint I had around to paint the hideous, orange Home Depot bucket we had to hold the flowers five minutes before our guests arrived.
I then found a local flower mart and spent $50 on the most colorful, fancy flowers I could find (I must admit I saved the ranunculus for myself). We bought a 12 pack of large mason jars for vases. We used the flower arrangements as party favors for the girls to bring home so I wouldn't have to make a separate goody bag.
Our little barn room was full of the sweet sounds of the laughter of little girls along with flowers and fancy dresses flying with sunlight reflecting everywhere.
It was maybe the prettiest thing I've ever seen.
For food, I kept it simple, pb&j triangles, fruit skewers, and we had a local donut shop make us a dozen pink sprinkle donuts. All of the other snacks I purchased at Costco and made sure they were things that wouldn't go bad quickly so we could keep them as snacks after the party. Glad I did since these little girls were too excited to really eat.
My dear friend Eleanor even showed up in a fancy dress and she was my right hand gal along with my girl Andrea for the whole party. So lucky to have so many great girlfriends and an amazing 12 year-old niece who is always so helpful and sweet.
I made a white cake from Joy of Baking with a bundt pan to make it look like a flower with buttercream frosting, pearl sprinkles and decorated with some of our flowers for arranging. I'll be honest, upside down cake is not as good. I learned that there is a reason that the frosting is usually spread on the top, soft part of a cake. Luckily, 5-year olds don't really notice those details.
The only thing I had absolutely no time for was getting my large and in charge, pregnant-self ready.