Whew! Part of why I haven't been blogging lately is Little Girl's 6th birthday this month! What seemed like an endless amount of celebrating finally climaxed earlier today in the big party. This year's theme was Princess and Ponies with lots and lots of pink.
This year instead of having the party at my house, we had it at a farm in the area that specializes in princess and pony parties. Kathy and her family are truly a special breed -- not only do they invite you into their own home to play with their horses and ponies, as well as their other animals including cats and dogs and even the most adorable softest bunny in the history of bunnies, but all of the proceeds of the party goes to feeding and caring for their horses whom they rescue. You can literally feel the love when you step foot on their beautiful farm, and their loves of horses and animals is infectious to adults and kids alike.
Of course the big draw of the whole day was the ponies themselves! Adorable sweet ponies and horses were so kind to let the kids ride them and care for them. First, the kids get an instruction on how to properly treat and care for the ponies. It was amazing to watch them pet and comb the ponies' hair, to really get to know them and love them. Then each kid took turns riding of course. The girls of course were decked out in their finest princess gown and party attire, while the boys enjoyed riding with country flare!
In terms of the rest of the party, I tried to personalize wherever I could. For simple and delicious confections, I took oreo cookies and dipped them in pink candy melts. Then using pearl candies wrote out "C" for Princess Cati!
Tip: Cupcake liners are more than for muffins and cupcakes! Try colorful combinations to house candies, cookies, and various confections for your next party!
After about an hour of riding and playing outside the party moved indoors into the party room. A large buffet table was adorned with food and drink for guests to help themselves. I wanted to go for a "country chic" theme here, so everything was a down-home country comfort served with princess glam.
I made the banner using simple gingham scrapbooking paper that I cut out into circles, then added hot pink glittered letters. I hung each letter with a simple satin pink bow, then clipped them to a ruffled pink ribbon by using miniature white clothespins. I loved the combination of fancy glitter with the casualness of the clothespins. The banner in total cost me about $10 to do myself.
Part of the "chic" came from the cake. I wanted something tall, pink, and classically princess. We settled on a two-tier chocolate-chocolate cake complete with fondant tiara from Morfey's Cakes in Seattle's Queen Ann.
The cake presented beautifully, added great height to the table, and tasted great! A huge thank you to Dan and the team for creating a perfect princess cake. It was moist and chocolaty and delicious, and the princess and guests loved it!
Additional confections included the oreos, strawberry-lemonade mini cupcakes, raspberry marshmallow pops, and homemade candied apples. The cupcakes were courtesy of PinkBella Cupcakes in Redmond Town Center, and the perfect toppers from Adore by Nat. Nat nailed the princess and ponies theme just perfectly with the carefully sculpted toppers. They were a huge hit, and some of the kids were taking them home as favors!! You can contact her via the link above or her Facebook page for your next party crafty needs!
I wanted the food to also be reminiscent of the country fair but more upscale. Instead of fried oreos I opted to make a prettier version befitting a princess. I simply dipped them in pink candy melts and then drizzled with raspberry candy melts or decorated with the pearl candies. Serving them in pink polka dotted cupcake liners made them fun and irresistible. This is a super easy and fun treat.
The marshmallow pop has been a huge hit for our parties, so when planning the menu for this one Little Girl insisted we include them once again. This time I opted for raspberry flavored candy melts and we went with pastel nonpareil candies on the top.
To make them country chic I simply ran a pretty ribbon around a mini wash bin, stuck a green floral foam square in the bottom and filled the top with hay then stuck the pops in. Not only did the foam keep the pops very securely in the container, the presentation was adorable and well received.
Working with the site that provided the background decorations and tablecloths, I added my spread and served it "buffet style" for guests to help themselves. A banner and some hot pink fan decorations focused the eye to the food table.
Now the food!!!
Again, going for country fair type food I chose to do pulled pork with homemade bbq sauce. Due to weather and a very sick husband with the flu (i.e., The Smoke Master was out of commission), I cooked the pork in the oven, braising it in onions and apple juice with my traditional rub. Fluffy slider buns and a simple but delicious cole slaw (recipe to follow) made a great slider. You can find the recipe for authentic and amazing bbq pulled pork and homemade bbq sauce in The Enchanted Spoon: The Cookbook! Check the link at the top of the page to order your copy or download your ebook today!
In addition I served carrots and apples -- horses' favorite foods, strawberries, and cornbread muffins as requested by the birthday girl. Drinks included juice boxes and pink lemonade along with water bottles.
For favors I gave out princess tiaras for the girls and cowboy hats for the boys that the kids were welcome to use during the party. To take home each got a goodie bag of horse and princess-themed items. I used simple brown lunch bags and doilies for the casual country look, then added the tags and ribbon I made to look like a prize ribbon one would find at the fair. A simple clothes pin added a cute and casual look.
Finally, each kid got to take home their very own candy apple! Surprisingly easy to make, these apples take very little effort and time to put together. Placing them in a plastic goodie bag and tying with a cute ribbon and tag not only presents well, but keep things from getting too messy at the party or in the car!