Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Fancy Finds and Fabulous Fun

Darling, you know I'm eager to let you in on all the treasures that made our recent Fancy Nancy party fabulous.

Sources (clockwise from top left corner): Green boa, Dollar Tree; glittery butterflies, Michael's; scrapbook papers and stickers, Hobby Lobby; Gerber daisies, Fresh Market, Montgomery, Ala.; cupcake and ice cream cone ornaments, Caffco Floral Outlet, Montgomery, Ala.; ribbon, Michael's; Raney's fairy wings and boa, Dollar Tree; silver platter and goblet, Dollar Tree; ribbon, Michael's; butterfly sucker, Oriental Trading Company; napkins, Wal-Mart; favor boxes, K&Company, AC Moore; candy necklaces and lip gloss rings inside favor boxes (not shown), Dollar Tree; pink tissue pom-pom, Martha Stewart craft kit

Fancy Nancy inspired a festive afternoon for celebrating Mary Ashley's 5th birthday. Since Fancy Nancy is "little girl fancy" and not "mommy fancy," our fun began when I let Emma and Mary Ashley choose their own party outfits. I wanted them to feel completely confident and beautiful at the party, and they were certainly fancy! Mary Ashley's ensemble included her spring recital costume, a pink cape with fur collar, lots of bracelets and a tiara. Emma preferred the layered look, choosing a Kentucky cheerleader top, purple Barbie dress-up shirt, sequined dress-up skirt, sheer black ballet skirt and tiara. I even played along, choosing sparkly earrings and a favorite pink cardigan with a ruffled collar.

When the little girls arrived, they were all giggles and glee as they took the stairs to explore Mary Ashley's room. They played in her room for a while, and many of the girls donned costumes from her toybox.

After free play, I gathered the children into the family room to read Fancy Nancy. I have never done story time during a birthday party before and wasn't sure the girls would sit long enough to enjoy it, but they all gathered around and listened with rapt attention. This was a great way to get the girls excited about our theme, as well as introduce Fancy Nancy to any who might not have read her books before.

After story time, I told the little girls they all looked beautiful for the party, but we were going to get even more fancy. I had Mary Ashley stand up and told the other girls to line up behind her. "Darlings," I announced, "we are going to visit Mary Ashley's Boutique, where you can each choose a boa and fairy wings to complete your ensemble." I had a friend stationed in our sitting room so she could help the little shoppers make their selections. It was so sweet to watch the girls light up as they chose their favorite colors.

When the girls were ready to model their wings and boas, Mary Ashley led a "fancy parade" through the hall and back to the family room, met with applause from all the mommies along the way.

Once they were all dressed up, they needed someplace to go, so we were off to the dining room to sing "Happy Birthday" and cut the cake. The guests found little surprises at each place to look at while the mothers helped me serve the cake. Since a Fancy Nancy can never have too many accessories, the girls discovered candy necklaces and lip gloss rings in their favor boxes. Brothers at the party discovered candy, sunglasses and glow sticks in their bags. The girls were perfect little ladies taking their seats at the table, and they looked so cute dressed up with boas and wings.

After cake, Mary Ashley opened presents and the girls played for the rest of the afternoon. It was a fun, fancy day -- one I hope the girls will never forget. And I think it reminded all of us girls --mothers and daughters alike -- that it is fun to be fancy!

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