Sunday, May 12, 2013

Fancy Nancy Soiree*

*first of all, I know that a "soiree" really means an evening party.  But Fancy Nancy "fete" just doesn't sound all that fancy.  

Yesterday, almost a full month after CAM's sixth birthday, was her Fancy Nancy Soiree.  Originally it was going to be three things:

  1. A girls-only,
  2. Merida (from the Disney movie Brave)-themed,
  3. outdoor party.

But then CAM had been invited to only one birthday party all year, and it was a boy's party, so I felt really badly not inviting boys. 

And then we got into the idea of a Fancy Nancy party and changed from Merida.

And thank goodness we did -- because Merida's activities would have been archery, but we had thunderstorms all day yesterday, so the party was moved inside.

After last year's Strawberry Shortcake tea party (for which I went a little crazy because it was fun, because I could, because I love all the crafting and detail stuff, and because at that point we really knew it was our last "hurrah" in Georgia), I wasn't sure what I would do this year.  Stick with the relatively extravagant party throwing?  Or tone it waaaaay back down?  We've been to exactly one party in Maine and it was distinctly different from the Pinterest-esque Georgia affairs we'd been to.  (It was still wonderful and the kids had a ball, which is all that matters!)

You can guess what I did.  :)

Here are the photos.

The food spread.

The cake.  CAM requested the same as last year, which is to say a strawberry cake.  It had vanilla buttercream filling and the bottom tier was very dense because I also soaked it with/in strawberry puree.  And I mean, pureeeeeee, not a ganache or layers of strawberries.  The cake, it was a heavy beast.  It was all homemade except the fondant, which I bought plain white.

another view of the food.  The tablecloth is actually four yards of fabric and it's sparkly!

It's really hard to see here, but the bunting says "Ooh-La-La"

Totally a Pinterest idea:  I made fancy veggie cups.  About 2/3 had ranch dressing on the bottom, and the rest were plain -- because you never know when kids will hate "dip."

I bought plain wooden frames at Goodwill, painted them, and used them to make table signs.

Even the Rice Krispy treats are Fancy -- they have little nonpariels on them. 

Lesson:  don't paint the bumpy side of a Rice Krispy Treat with chocolate.  You will never get it as smooth as you'd like!

I have no idea why I took this many photos of the food table.

The living room, minus the couches ... tables set for ten kids, which was EXACTLY as many as we had -- phew!  :)  (We invited all of CAM's class and did not get many r.s.v.p.s, so I had to guess.)  One of the tablecloths is Fancy Nancy fabric, and the other two are ... well, leftover from last year because I meant to sew two additional tablecloths and decided we didn't need to.  I will use that fabric on something else.

The table settings.  CAM did them herself.  She did a great job, didn't she?!

The dress-up station.  I had tons of hats and accessories, including four or five clip-on neckties and three sport coats for the boys.  They loved them!

Le Chic Boutique.  (I don't know if "boutique" is masculine, but I liked it here.  OKay, okay: I was too lazy to check.)

3-foot-tall Eiffel Tower courtesy of my dad, who made two of them within 12 hours of my request.  Anything for his first grandchild!  Hey Dad -- I'm still waiting for my ballet bar ... what if CAM requests it instead??!

Another Cricut-ed banner.  I have gotten much better at these this year!

tissue paper poufs.  Just the right balance to the banner and easy-peasy!

It's hard to see here, but the sign says "Frame Fancification Station."  I bought 20 of the $1 wooden frames at Michael's, painted them in various colors (including blue for the boys) and filled them with a little thank-you for coming.  Then we had literally thousands of various stickers for the kids to decorate with, including princess stuff, stick-on "rhinestones," sports stuff, dinosaur stuff ... you name it!  

The sign says, "Merci beaucoup for coming to my party.  I hope you had a Fantastique time!"

After the frame decorating and snacks, we had a Spectacular Sundaes bar.  I used one of our storage cubes, because it was just the right height for the kids to reach without having to climb or lean.    

All the frames say what's in the little jars -- cherries and hot fudge not on the table for kids yet, though.  (Moms ended up dispensing those for me ... thank you, Moms!)

Check out the bedazzled spoons.  There was a sign that said "Sparkly spoons," but I decided the table was too crowded.

That sign says "Praline -- that's a fancy word for cookie -- crumbles."

Frame fancy-fying

I put this sign at the end table where we piled all the gifts.  I wasn't sure if it was pretentious ... but I was hoping it was just a nice touch.

All fancied up!

You know, because sometimes a stole is meant to go on your head!

I painted three different frames like this.  They didn't get as much use as I had hoped, but I did get at least a few photos.

These two guys LOVED the dress-up station.  Phew!

It hurts my heart that this is blurry, because I love this photo.

CAM's dress was made by Jody at My Kids Drawers.  I adore Jody, and her work is second-to-none.  Check her out on Facebook and Etsy

The clip-on ties were a hit even with the girls!

I have no idea what Mick is saying to me, but I promise he was smiling, not yelling!  

Sometimes, little brothers need a break.

Fancy Nancy?  More like Silly Nancy!

Hip Hop Mogul?

At one point, WHM was the subject of a tickle attack.

Snacks and ice cream sundaes.  I forgot the whipped cream!  Even as I type this, it is there in our fridge, all labeled with its Fancy Nancy glory ... unused.  Mick said he will remedy that. 

Another view of the cake. You can see it glistening in the humidity -- the bow sagging and all.  Oh well.

If only Mick's arm weren't in this. I love the look on CAM's face here.

Might have wanted to switch to shutter speed mode on this one!  Fast kiddos!

Action shot!  Again -- hello, shutter-speed mode?  I'm a dummy.

Blowing out the candles with Gram.  I think this was attempt number 5.

I didn't take a lot of photos of gifts because I was also recording them AND trying to keep a parent-less kid OUT of them.  

In the end, I have three things I wish had happened better.

1.  I wish I'd remembered the darn whipped cream.

2.  I wish I'd done a better job on the cake -- and taken a photo that showed the GOOD bow!

3.  I wish I'd known to not allow kids to attend without their parents.

Also, I wish I'd known that black food coloring, while it washes off one's hands pretty easily, will never, ever come out from under one's nails. I need a manicure just to hide it!  :)

What do you think?  CAM loved it!



  1. You are a rockin' Mom, Jennifer! Excellent job. And Happy Birthday CAM!

  2. This is awesome! I love being fancy!

    1. Thank you! It was so much fun to put together and I was tickled PINK that even the boys liked the fancy dress-up stuff.

  3. This turned out to be a great party. You did an amazing job.

  4. Replies
    1. Thanks! It went so well, thunderstorms and all. What a relief!