“If I ever go looking for my heart's desire again, I won't look any further than my own back yard. Because if it isn't there, I never really lost it to begin with.”
-L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
(Please hit Play if you would like to hear music to accompany your read.)
Dorothy was right. There really is no place like home.
Although my kids and I love going to parties at gyms, playgrounds, and pools, I still enjoy having our birthday parties at our favorite place--our own home.
Nothing is better than filling its rooms with special people that make life BIG and GRAND and watching children with colored-frosted mouths running around with excitement. Then, after the party ends you can get together at the table and talk about all of the details that made it a memorable day.
And, if you're really lucky, you'll be left with sparkly, red glitter all over your floor as another reminder of the love that you were blessed enough to have filling your home.
Emerson's 1st "Pirates and Fairies" birthday party was a blast and this year was no exception.
This is the way birthday girl woke up....
until we reminded her it was her big day.
Fortunately, Dave understands that I need my littles out of the house to pull together the final preparations for parties. He kindly took the kids out for an adventurous day so Kathleen, Grammy and I could put the final touches on Emerson's special day.
In the midst of our party planning, I was able to sneak away and pick up my little brother from the airport. It was an exceptional time catching up with each other on the ride home and was one of the highlights of my day.
Once we arrived home, I put him hard to work after letting him squeeze in a quick nap. (I love you Joshie!)
Preparations had been underway a couple of weeks before the party and we were able to get it all wrapped up just before the first guest arrived.
(All of the adorable printables are from Kallie at Krown Kreations & Celebrations - the same talented lady who made my beautiful fascinator hat
for our NYC Tea Party.)
Guests were greeted with a sign that told them to "Follow the Yellow Brick Road." (Yellow craft paper purchased online, rolled out by one uber-cool brother and held down by rocks since it was a breezy day).
Our Munchkinland was represented by beautiful glittery covered lollipops made by Kathleen. (I fell so in love with these that I told her we had to find a way to display them somewhere else in our house after the party!)
(Inspiration for these awesome lollipops came from here.)
I was really happy with how our table and mantle decor turned out and it was definitely a team effort!
(Just when you thought Kathleen couldn't get any better, she busted out this chalk drawing of the Emerald City based on my thirty-second description of the overall window creative vision in my head. My mom thought to add the masking tape to give it the 3D effect which really brought it to life.)
(Growing up I had a huge fascination with the Wizard of Oz so all of the collectibles and beautiful keepsake music boxes are mine. Thanks Mom and Dad!)
We served homemade candy apples,
white-chocolate-drizzled, colorful-sprinkle covered popcorn, pink sugar-dusted Glinda Marshmallows,multicolored gumballs, Over the Rainbow Marshmallows, a variety of lollipops galore,
and, of course, cupcakes.
(The beautiful cupcake topper blocks are from January Hart on etsy. Pictured on the blocks is Emerson in her very first Halloween Dorothy costume created
by my sweet etsy friend Jen.)
and Auntie Em's Lemonade.
(Me and the hubs back in the day headed to a Halloween soiree in NYC.)
(The playbill from the first time Dave took me to see Wicked at
the Gershwin in NYC.)And what takes a party from fun to incredibly special is the friends and family that surround you.
(Me and my mom--a.k.a Grammy.)
(Kathleen-Have you ever seen a prettier Dorothy?)
(Our friends-slash-family that have remained by our side since pre-kids.)
The birthday girl arrives....
(I had my talented friend Jen from Sew Snazzy Stitches on etsy make this outfit for Emerson. Jen is also the talent behind E's first Dorothy costume which we featured on her cupcake toppers and her fun 50's Poodle Skirt costume.)
And the handsome big brother who, although claims its his birthday most every day of the week, generously gave up this special day to Sissy.
(The fedora is from our good friend Gaina and the vintage Wizard of Oz T
from babywit on Amazon.
My adorable hubs who puts up with my party planning obsession.
(Emerson's topper from Fairy Brats Creations.)
(My Poppy necklace is from Larisa on etsy.
She has such unique and beautiful things!)
First task at hand: Scarecrow Throwdown! The kids were divided into two teams to build a scarecrow using hay, pants, flannel shirts and hats.
Then, finally to the Emerald City where they all clicked their heels three times and repeated,
"There's No Place Like Home,
There's No Place Like Home,
There's No Place Like Home
And No Place Like Home with a side of Cupcakes!"
(Our Emerald City was one of my kids Cardboard Castles that they had been busy decorating for weeks. We spray painted it green then coated with Spray Adhesive and green glitter.)
(The green grass was left over from our Bear Hunt.)Activities for the kids included:
(During the party we found Hunter sitting down in the middle of a sea of people reading one of his favorite books, "Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus.")Scavenger hunts and activities completed we toasted the birthday girl with festive singing and cupcakes.
(Emerson's ruby red slipper necklace from my friend-slash-sister-slash-mentor-slash-the-bees-knees-slash-amazing friend Robin.)
(I adore this picture!)Emerson, you are our sweet, fiercely independent, deeply loving, #1 hugging, got-the-sickest-dance moves, most giving, sports-cars-building blocks-jewelery-hat-and-condiment obsessed, smiley girl who not only knows a great pair of shoes when she sees them but wins the hearts of all of those around her the minute she smiles.
You have always been my YES girl and you are going to continue to conquer the world. I love you!
“To please a child is a sweet and lovely thing that warms one's heart and
brings its own reward.”
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