This post should have been written days ago but we had some family matters come up unexpectedly. Better late than never, I guess.
On Saturday, November 20, we celebrated Abigail's third birthday with a Fancy Nancy Soiree (that's fancy for birthday party). Abigail's Aunt Mellissa introduced us to the world of Fancy Nancy last Christmas. We had been shopping at the Town Center in Jacksonville and while in Barnes and Noble, Mellissa showed us the Fancy Nancy book. My parent's actually got her the original FN book for Christmas. After that, she received the paperback holiday versions throughout the year along with some of the other paperbacks as well. Nancy's world revolves around dressing up and being fancy all the time. Is there a better birthday party theme for little girls? I think not.
I've always loved event/party planning so when it comes to Abigail's birthday's, I have to pace myself. With this theme, I had the very real opportunity of going overboard. In a previous post, I told about our recent financial bumps and how I had been learning to be resourceful and make the most of what I had. So, I applied this knowledge to the FN birthday party as well.
I love custom invitations and I would rather not use the pre-made fill-in-the-blanks invites, unless I have to. For Abigail's first birthday party, I had custom invitations made at http://www.vistaprint.com/ and only paid a few dollars for them because they always have great deals. For Abigail's second birthday party, she had a Dora the Explorer theme and I ended up using the generic ones that came with the party supplies. I had searched high and low for the perfect custom invites for this FN soiree. The ones that I had originally decided on were a little over a dollar a piece. In the end, I just couldn't justify spending the money on something that would end up in the trash anway so I decided to put my limited photography skills to the test. I did splurge a bit on Abigail's birthday party outfit. However, I did shop around a lot, and thanks to my sister-in-law, Hannah, I found a tutu and FN shirt combo for $25 with free shipping, the cheapest around. Some tutu's go for $25 by themselves. So I dressed her up in her birthday outfit, complete with fancy accessories. I grabbed some pink and purple sidewalk chalk from her pack and headed outdoors. I snapped about 30 pictures or so and then edited them on my computer. In the end I picked the photo above. I uploaded it to Walgreens.com and found out they were having a photo deal and 4x6's were $.10 a piece. I was able to get all of her invites for about dollar. I looked up some fancy wording online and then handwrote the info on the back of the picture. Now, I had a great custom invite for a great price and most likely instead of being thrown in the trash, it will be displayed on a fridge or in a photo album or frame.
While looking online for party planning and decorating ideas, I came across some very lavish parties. While I would have loved to be able to put that kind of time and money into a party, it just wasn't necessary, plus I was still trying to be a good steward of what God had given me to work with. So borrowing from some other frugal mom's ideas, I headed to The Dollar Tree! I was able to get plates, cups, doilies, bowls, spoons, decorations, party favors, etc. I made two different trips to The Dollar Tree but in the end I only spent about $20 total. I had to get a few things from Walmart like the hot pink tablecloth and napkins since I couldn't find that particular color at The Dollar Tree. I also bought all the items for the cupcakes, parfaits (that's fancy for ice cream sundae), and drinks. My mom contributed to the party buy purchasing the FN balloon, placemats, and stickers for the goody bags, from birthdayexpress.com. Overall, we had a very fancy party without the huge expense. Here are a few pics of the party.
I made 36 pink and purple cupcakes for the party. They were sprinkled with pink sugar crystals and several of them had FN rings on them. I got those for a steal on ebay. We made parfaits, complete with chocolate syrup, sprinkles, M&M's, and whipped cream. I found really cute parfait cups from Hobby Lobby at the end of the summer on clearance and I found the parfait spoons at Dollar General on clearance as well. For the fancy drinks, I found ice cube trays shaped like flowers at The Dollar Tree. I poured Hawain Punch in those the night before. We poured Sierra Mist into small clear cups and placed one or two hp ice cubes in each glass. The kids enjoyed watching the ice cubes fizz and turn their drinks pink.The goody bags consisted of a boa, a bracelet, sunglasses, a ring pop, and pixie sticks. They each were able to take home their parfait cup and spoon, the FN placemat, and the tiny buckets with their names on them (we put the M&M's in those) as well. I got most of the items at the dollar store or Wal-Mart for cheap. They also colored FN coloring sheets and I read them the original story at the beginning of the party.
Abigail had the best time even if she wasn't feeling well (see previous post for the not so fancy stuff). After the kids were hyped up on cupcakes and ice cream, Abigail opened her gifts and then they spent the rest of the time running around in the backyard. All in all, I think Nancy would have been proud.