Pink Princess Party (on a budget)

I’m a boy’s girl. Probably because I have two older brothers and, on my Mom’s side, I’m the only female cousin. Being the only gal in a group of guys is normal and comfortable to me.

It was easy having a son first. I felt like I’d be a great Mom to a boy. I could be rough and tough and would have my boys around like I was used to.

But there was something deep inside me that yearned for a baby girl.

Maybe I secretly longed for the companionship of a sister growing up and wanted a girl around. Or maybe I was more comfortable around guys but wanted to have someone that I could relate to in all of my girly ways.

When I was pregnant with my son, I had a dream that a baby girl kissed me on the cheek. I could actually feel her tiny lips on my face. It was so real, I just knew I’d have a girl one day.

On March 11, 2016, Sloan was born.

A year later, I was planning a pink party. Something the boyish side of me thought I’d never do. Be excited about pink? Hell no! (Shhh, don’t tell…I was super excited.)

I searched for inspiration on Pinterest and pinned tons of ideas. (Check out my pins here.) Unfortunately, most of what I found looked so pricey. I wanted a posh pink party but didn’t want to spend tons of money on a birthday my girl most likely wouldn’t even remember.

So I put my event planner hat on and decided on a Pink Princess Party, on a budget.

If you’re thinking of planning a pink princess party, read on. It’s a long post but there’s lots of info that will help you.

The first impression is most important — the invite and the outfit.

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If you aren’t up on etsy.com, get with it already. It’s where creative people sell their stuff so it’s a way to get unique items while supporting small businesses. I purchased the inviteoutfit and moccasins on etsy. Unfortunately the moccasins were too big so I made a trip to Old Navy. They have great baby shoes and moccasins for under $10. The rest of the outfit is where my hubby and I splurged a bit. But we wanted her to be the star of the party and feel beautiful!

Outfit

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Up next — the decorations.

Since my daughter would be wearing a tutu, I wanted a tutu skirt for the table and highchair. You can find several that are made and shipped to you for between $35 and up.

Luckily, my Mom is my creative equal and has been making amazing things for me my entire life. Like this outfit I wore to the afterparty of my wedding. Isn’t it hot? Yep, she made that. She’s awesome.

I digress.

My Mom picked up a variety of material and made both the tutu table and highchair skirts. Score. Now that we see how they are made. If you made it at home, you’ll want to get lots of fabric so that it can be layered to create more of a tute effect. If you have to buy a pre-made one, just know that it’s worth it because of the amount of material they had to purchase to make it.

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Between me and my Mom, we got a few inexpensive décor items. Jo-Ann’s Fabric (fabric, decor items), Target (rose colored glass vases, pink penant banner ), Dollar Tree (plates, faux flowers, crown and wand), and Party City (faux jewels, crown, bowls, napkins, forks, cups, gold tindrels). The pink rug is my daughter’s rug from her room

Speaking of Target, have you browsed the $3 and $5 section at Target that’s right up front when you walk in? If you haven’t, check it out next time you’re in there. You can thank me later.

Stay on budget tip #1:

The trick to staying on budget is to have a plan. I wrote a shopping list and stuck to it. Don’t be tempted to get things you don’t need. (Of course after you buy the outfit. That’s the most important.)

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Here’s the finished product. (The gold tindrels – plastic gold decor pieces – were hung from the ceiling around the opening of the pink room.) A simple set up can be beautiful.

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And finally – the menu.

Let’s be real. 1st birthday parties are pretty much for us adults so you have to have a layout that appeals to people who eat real food.

I decided on pink treats and hearty apps.

The pink treats were:
Pink Chocolate Covered Pretzels
Pink Popcorn
Pink Velvet Cookies
Pink Punch
and the Pink Princess Cake

Here are some take-aways from the recipes I followed…

The pretezles – are a cinch to make. Get a quality melting white chocolate (I purchased Godiva melting chips from Kroger) and take your time melting the chocolate. A few seconds at a time in the microwave. Also remember that when adding your food coloring, the gel works best and you dont need much. Add a drop at a time to get the chocolate the color pink you desire.

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The popcorn – was ridiculously sweet. It looks pretty but only the kids ate it and then they were bouncing off the walls so crazily from the sugar rush that we had to hide it. Reduce the amount of sugar by half or try pink chocolate drizzled popcorn.

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The cookies – didn’t turn out as we expected. With the name “velvelt” in the title, I expected them to be soft and velvety and the perfect pink color. Maybe we did something wrong while preparing them. They have a hint of almond flavor which I liked but overall, I’d have to try this recipe again or be safe and go with the strawberry chocolate chip cookies next time.

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The punch – did not turn out pink becuase the strawberry or mixed berry sherbert I needed was not sold at the store I went to so I purchased pineapple sherbert instead. The punch was more of a yellow color. It was tasty so my tip here is, if you can’t find what you need, don’t sweat it and still make the punch. People loved it and the pink cups kept it within theme.

The cake – was bea-u-tiful if I must say so myself. I didn’t follow a recipe. Just used the image I found on Pinterest as inspiration. I made 1/2 yellow cake cupcakes and 1/2 chocolate cupcakes from a box. And made cream cheese icing from scratch and added a couple of drops of red food coloring to make the icing pink. Here’s a recipe for perfect cream cheese frosting.

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This menu was a hit. All the food was gone and our guests left happy. Even my little one, who is transitioning into table food, enjoyed some of the items.

I made and served:
BBQ Meatballs
Spinach and Artichoke Dip w/ Bread
Seafood Pasta Salad
Rotel Dip

Take-aways from these recipes…

The Meatballs – My husband turned his nose up at the idea of me using frozen meatballs so I made them from scratch the night before. Ground turkey, Italian bread crumbs, an egg, 1 onion – chopped, fresh garlic, parmesan cheese, and seasonings – garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. If you make your own, make sure your hands are moist – almost wet – when rolling the meat into balls. It’s essential for making a perfect meatball shape. I then dumped them righ in the crockpot with all the sauces and they were perfect.Much better than frozen.

The dip – is so easy to make and quite tasty. It’s a fool-proof recipe. Don’t skimp on the cheese. Just make this last. Stick it in the overn 30 mins before your party so it’s steaming hot.

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The seafood salad – was made to the recipe but I only used imitation crab and shrimp. And I used sour cream. It was filling and packed with flavor.

Rotel dip – is made with the type of cheese I vow to never use but it makes one good dip that is a crowd pleaser. We always use ground turkey instead of beef or sausage.

Another “stay on budget” tip:

You’ve got to give yourself time to do things yourself. My Mom made the table tutus, I put the decorations together myself, and with the help of my nephew, made all of the food from scratch. 

It took us several hours to finish cooking and decorating but it was well worth it.

Our princess baby had a blast, and my son was such a loving and supportive big brother.

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One girly party down, like way too many to go. Whew. Good luck with the Princess in your life! I hope your party is all you worked so hard to make it!

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