With Charlotte’s 3rd birthday coming up just a week after my scheduled c-section with baby #2 I knew I needed to get her party in before baby’s arrival. We talked about what kind of party she wanted a couple months ago. At first she wanted a “Minnie party” like last year (which would have been super easy, since I could have reused all my decorations :)) but changed her mind and decided to go for a Pinkalicious party instead. Pinkalicious is one of C’s favorite book series…if you are unfamiliar with the story I’ll give you a quick synopsis. The little girl in the story eats too many pink cupcakes and she turns pink. At first she loves being her favorite color, but eventually she realizes she wants to look like herself again so she treats her condition with green food (the only antidote to “Pinkititus”) and changes back to normal. It’s a very cute story and made for a super easy theme, since all I had to do was get tons of pink decorations!
I also knew I wouldn’t be up for hosting a dozen or more preschoolers at our house so near the end of my pregnancy, so I looked into party locations. My number one choice was a play place called Little Giggles.
It’s like a combination indoor playground and playroom, with a jungle gym, play house, grocery store, bounce house, books, puzzles, blocks, trains, cars, dress up clothes, baby dolls…all open-ended, non-electronic toys.
It’s C’s favorite indoor destination. Unfortunately their weekend party prices were way out of my price range, but I was hopeful that they would cut me a deal if I had the party during the week. Sure enough, the cost to have the party during open play (instead of renting the whole space for a private party) and reserve their upstairs party room was just a fraction of the weekend party price. Sold!
I tried to keep the decorations easy and simple.
I used fake pink flowers (1/2 price at HL) and pinwheels with pink Easter grass in mason jars that I already had for the centerpieces.
Layered plastic tablecloths looked pretty and elegant on the food and gift tables.
I made the birthday banner using this free letter template printed on different patterned pink scrapbook paper, glued on paper doilies (the lacy doily pattern is seen all throughout the Pinkalicious book).
I added some big pink tissue paper flowers and pink rosettes (given to me by a friend after her daughter’s party…thanks Misti!) and tossed some pink balloons around the floor, and that’s it! So simple but still festive.
The most important part of the food was, of course, the cupcakes.
I knew I wanted them to look just like the ones from the story, so I decided to make them myself. My first “test batch” didn’t turn out very pretty (I couldn’t get the pink color right for the frosting), but I found some pink food coloring paste in WM’s cake decorating section (near the party stuff, not the baking aisle) and that worked much better than red liquid food coloring.
For the icing I used a buttercream recipe I found on Pinterest. It was delicious! After watching a few youtube videos I felt confident that I could pipe the icing myself…though it definitely took some practice and they still have a decided “homemade” look (which is just fine, I wasn’t going for perfection). I added some white sprinkles and a maraschino cherry on top, and voila! Pinkalicious cupcakes!
I displayed them on cardboard “cupcake tower” and white cake plate. Simple.
For the rest of the food I just went with anything I could find that was pink.
Strawberry wafer cookies, “special reds” jelly beans, strawberry and pink marshmallow skewers, and pink punch (Sprite, raspberry sherbet, and frozen raspberries) to drink.
This was the easiest party ever. The kids arrived, dropped off their gifts and then headed to the play floor.
After about an hour of free play they trouped upstairs and took their seats at the kid sized tables.
We sang Happy Birthday and C blew out her candle,
then passed out cupcakes for everyone.
While the kids ate I read Pinkalicious to them.
Then we opened presents, and finished with another round of free play (hundreds of toy options, and I didn’t have to clean up any of them!)
I’m pretty sure a grand time was had by all. My parents gave me the ultimate gift by cleaning up the party room and packing up all the decorations and food while I chatted with my mom friends downstairs and watched the kiddos play.
The most stressful part of the whole party was setting up (the place opened at 9:30 and the party started at 10) but thanks to my parents and my dear friend Mysti we managed to decorate the whole room just in time.
A quick note on C’s outfit. It needed to be pink (naturally) but also easy to move, climb, and slide in (so a frilly pink party dress wasn’t a good option). I found a pink shirt with a floral lace detail and appliqued a cupcake onto it. Paired with the double layer pink skirt I had already made her using this tutorial and some pink capri leggings, it made for a pretty cute “pinkalicious” ensemble.
I’m so happy and thankful for how the party turned out. Now that it’s over I feel much more ready for baby sister to make her arrival. Eight days and counting!