Sunday 15 August 2010

Throwing A Princess Birthday Party

One of our daughter's just turned five, and she requested a princess party.

We bought some of the usual sweets and treats for the party bags, but I wanted something especially princess-themed to give to the party-goers. I bought some wooden frames and painted some of them bright pink, some of the dark blue and some of them yellow. I also bought stencils made to fit the frames. The stencil I bought said "Princess" across the top and had stars and crowns on it.

For the yellow frames I tried a peach colored paint for the stenciling on one and a metalic blue for the stenciling on the other one. The blue looked better than the peach color, in my opinion.

Princess Frame Yellow & Gold

Princess Frame Yellow & Blue

For the pink frames, I chose a metallic purple for the stenciling. I liked the way they turned out.

Princess Frame Pink & Purple

For the blue frames, I didn't stencil the whole word, "Princess." I stopped when it only spelled "Prince," and I used a metallic aqua color for the stenciling. I really liked the way that they turned out.

Prince Frame

We took photos of each child as they arrived at the party. (They were wearing costumes.) We then added the photos to the frames as gifts for them to take home with them. We also took some photos of our daughter with her friends as an extra photo for each of them to take home with them to remember the party.

Bella & Caroline at her 5th Birthday party

Bella & Oliver at her 5th birthday party

The kids played the usual games such as Pass-the-Parcel and Musical statues.

Bella PasstheParcel at her 5th Birthday Party

Gabby PasstheParcel at Bellas 5th Birthday party

Connor PasstheParcel at Bellas 5th Birthday Party

I also wanted some princess-themed crafts for the kids to do. First, they made "royal chalices." I bought some inexpensive plastic wine glasses and a variety of stickers. Because my daughter had invited both boys and girls to her party, I bought some stickers of cars, trucks and emergency vehicles as well as stickers of flowers, butterflies, Disney princesses, hearts and stars. (I would have bought stickers of dragons and knights, but I couldn't find any.) The kids then got to decorate their "royal chalices" with the stickers.

Gabby chalice craft at Bellas 5th Birthday Party

Connor chalice craft at Bellas 5th Birthday Party

Gabby chalice craft at Bellas 5th Birthday Party1

Bella chalice craft at her 5th Birthday Party

Next, we had some crowns I had bought at the craft store for the kids to decorate with stickers too.

Bella crown craft her 5th Birthday party

Connor crown craft Bellas 5th Birthday party

Gabby crown craft Bellas 5th Birthday party

Then we progressed to the food. I wanted to keep it simple, so I had some sausage rolls and pizza that I stuck in the oven and baked beforehand to serve to the kids, and they all seemed to like them.

Last, we moved on to serving the cake and singing "Happy Birthday."

Bellas 5th Birthday Party Princess Castle Cake6

Robert made a simple two-layer round cake and frosted it. He rolled out ready-to-roll icing and wrapped it around some cake rolls which he then cut in two pieces each for the towers. One of the pieces was 2/3 of the cake rolls and the other was 1/3 of the rolls. We used more vanilla frosting to attach the larger halves of the towers to four sides of the round cake and we put three of the smaller ones on top of the cake. He frosted the tops of the towers and added mini marshmallows around the edges of them. He used food coloring to color the left-over ready-to-roll icing, and then rolled it out and cut out windows and doors, using thinly spread frosting to stick them to the "castle."

Bellas 5th Birthday Party Princess Castle Cake

Bellas 5th Birthday Party Princess Castle Cake4

The cake was a big hit!

Bellas 5th Birthday Party Princess Castle Cake7

Tuesday 3 August 2010

Wonderful Women

"What others think of us would be of little moment did it not, when known, so deeply tinge what we think of ourselves." ~Paul Valery

The way we are treated or talked about, the way people see us, has an effect on us even when we don't want it to. Don't you think the world would be a completely different place if women were all confident and felt good about themselves?

I propose we all do something this month to help make that a reality. This month, at least one time every day, tell a woman or a girl in your life a compliment. Make sure it is sincere and that it is empowering. Compliment her looks or compliment her sense of humor. Compliment her skill or compliment her intelligence. Compliment her talent or compliment her kindness. There is always something wonderful to be found in every girl or woman.

Your compliments don't have to all be face to face. You can compliment someone you admire on-line too, or let your mom or sister know how great she is while on the phone with her. The point is that you somehow tell someone how great you think they are.

You can start today by telling me in the comments about a woman or girl that you think is terrific and why you think so.

I must admit, I have so many wonderful girls and women in my life that I could do this every day for the whole year!

Saturday 31 July 2010

Prince Charming?

Prince Charming

Being a grown woman with a failed marriage behind me and in a healthy marriage now, with children of my own, I am at a point in my life where I know exactly what traits Prince Charming should have in order to be MY Prince Charming. I'm happy to admit that my husband fulfills my Prince Charming requirements.

But what about my daughters? What have they learned from me about Prince Charming and what they should look for in him? And what have they learned about him from their peers and the media? Have I raised my teenage girls to be the confident and capable women that I hope they will be? Am I raising my younger daughters in a way that will teach them what to look for?

And just as importantly, what have my sons learned from me about what it takes to BE someone's Prince Charming? Will my lessons to them stick despite other outside negative influences?

Here's what I hope they have learned from me, and I hope they have learned it well enough to ignore some of the conflicting lessons that their peers and the modern media might try and teach them.

1 - Prince Charming always treats his princess with respect.
2 - Prince Charming NEVER calls names or physically hurts his princess.
3 - Prince Charming is kind-hearted and empathetic towards others.
4 - Prince Charming values education and intellect in both himself and his princess.
5 - Prince Charming always sees his princess as beautiful, no matter what her weight is or whether or not she is having a bad hair day.
6 - Prince Charming is not afraid to show his emotions.
7 - Prince Charming is willing to do some of the cooking and cleaning in the house and does not expect his princess to do it all on her own, whether she works outside of the home or not.
8 - Prince Charming can be patient with his princess when needed.
9 - Prince Charming is good with children.
10 - Prince Charming is not afraid of a little hard work.
11 - Prince Charming knows how to behave romantically.
12 - Prince Charming understnads that "no" always means "no," and he will never pressure his princess into doing something she doesn't want to do.
13 - Prince Charming is faithful to his princess.
14 - Prince Charming does not ogle or otherwise lust after any women other than his princess.
15 - Prince Charming understands and is proud of the fact that his princess is strong and capable and can do anything she sets her mind to do.
16 - Prince Charming never belittles his princess's dreams and instead will do whatever he can to encourage and aid her in achieving her dreams.
17 - Prince Charming does not raise his voice or shout when he is angry but instead discusses differences calmly and without accusation.

I could add to the list, but basically, it all boils down to #1 - RESPECT. I want my sons to learn to respect the women in their lives and I want my daughters to feel respected and to know that they deserve to be respected.

Sometimes, with all of the outside influences and pressures that I know they face as they grow up, I know it can be an uphill battle, but if everyone teaches their children about respect, then maybe those outside influences will instead be influenced by the rest of us.

What do you hope your children, your little princesses and future Prince Charmings learn from you about how to treat one another?

Wednesday 9 June 2010

"You've Lost Your Muchness"

"You used to be much more..."muchier." You've lost your muchness." ~The Mad Hatter (to Alice), "Alice In Wonderland" movie, 2010

This quote struck a note with me as I watched the new "Alice In Wonderland" movie last weekend. I think back to my own childhood, and I can't help but remember how confident and adventurous I was as a child. I don't know where along the way I lost those parts of myself, but somewhere along this journey of life, some of that confidence and my sense of adventure seeped away.

And as a mother of daughters, I feel a responsibilty to analyze where my "muchness" went and what caused me to lose so much of it. I can't help but want my daughters to keep all of their confidence, all of their sense of adventure, all of their belief in themselves, and not to let anyone or anything in this world take any of it away from them.

I grew up eager to please. I wanted to be liked. My parents taught me to be nice to others. I was expected to behave and be a good girl. I was taught, probably unintentionally, to subjugate my desires and my needs in order to fit in and to please others. I was a talkative, bubbly, confident child who believed in herself and had no doubts that I could change the world. But I was taught from the world around me, from my elders and my peers, that I talked too much, that I had many flaws and that no one person could change the world.

It took me many years to mature enough to finally start gaining back what I lost of myself over the years. I do not want that to happen to my daughters, and I don't want it to happen to anyone else's daughters either. We do our daughters a disservice when we expect them to conform to society, to be nice, to be "good girls" at the cost of being themselves.

My favorite quote from the movie "A Little Princess" is when the character Sarah Crew says,

"I am a princess. All girls are. Even if they dress in rags, even if they aren't pretty, or smart or young. They're still princesses. All of us."

I like this quote because I want every girl in the world to believe it. If a girl can believe she is a princess, then she can believe that she has value.

I want girls to maintain the same confidence and belief in themselves and their abilities throughout their lives that they have when they are two years old. How many two year olds do you know that don't say what they think? Tell a two year old that she is pretty, and she will, more often than not, answer you with, "I know," rather than the conformist "Thank you," or worse, the confidence-sapping "No, I'm not!" that I hear so often when I compliment any female.

Why do we lose our "muchness?" Why is it that we feel we must be something other than who we really are in order to be liked and loved and accepted? And what will it take for us (and our mothers, aunts, nieces, sisters and daughters) to truly BELIEVE in our own awesomeness?

So I have a challenge for you. This week, do something that you have been putting off out of fear. Speak to someone new, even if you are feeling shy. Try out some rock climbing, even if you don't believe you are strong enough. Send out the manuscript you wrote to a publisher, even if you are afraid of rejection. There are millions of things you can do to fulfill this challenge, from small, seemingly insignifcant things (like making a point to smile at the cute mailman who delivers your mail) to much bigger things (like singing on stage on front of a crowd). It's up to you to decide what to do. But do something brave.

And it'd be really great if you came back here and let us know in the comments what it was.

Friday 16 April 2010

Win A Princess Magnet!


Princess Parade is on Facebook! Come become a fan of us there!

With the idea that being a princess is about girls being strong and believing in themselves, understanding that there is power in their femininity and that they deserve good things in life, including being treated well...

What 3 rules would you come up with for being a princess?

Answer this question on the Princess Parade's discussion boards on Facebook, and get a chance to win a free princess magnet. One random commenter who answers the question on the discussion boards will be selected using a random number generator.

Saturday 13 March 2010

Fairy Magic Photos Opportunity! (possible freebie!)

Fairy Magic Photos

Fairy Magic Photos is giving a few people an opportunity that can't be beat! If you'd like a Fairy Magic Photo of your own, now is your chance as they are looking for 10 models for advertising. Please go to the discussion board at Fairy Magic Photos' Facebook page and let them know if you would like to be considered. Remember moms these pictures could be of your children. Or you could have a fairy photo created of you!

My husband is the artist that creates these photos, and when he decided to offer this chance, I had to share it with my readers, because these pictures are a $75 to $150 value! There are some conditions, but it's still a really great chance for a Fairy Magic photo of your own!

This is perfect for the little princess in your life!

Friday 12 March 2010

The Little Princess Trust

I recently lost a lot of weight, and I promised myself that when I got myself down to my goal weight, I would celebrate by getting my hair cut and styled. I haven't had my hair cut in over 8 years, so it is really, really long.

I always intended to send my hair, once it was cut, to somewhere like Locks of Love, a charity that provides wigs for children who have lost their hair due to alopecia and cancer, but that is based in the US and I am in the UK. Fortunately, there is a UK counterpart to them called Little Princess Trust.

I've decided to send my hair to them. And I believe that it is a really worthy cause, so I am also running a short fundraiser to raise enough money for the full amount of creating a wig from the hair. I was told it would cost $455 (£300) to create one wig. Please help with this worthwhile charity! Once we reach the target amount, I will be videoing myself getting my hair chopped off (probably to just below my shoulders, and I'll post that video here.

Every little girl deserves to feel like a princess and to feel pretty. The amount of suffering a lack of a positive self-image causes in girls can have lasting effects. Just a little bit of help from all of us, and we can help prevent some of that suffering from happening and brighten a little girl's day.

You can donate below.


EDIT: The ChipIn widget is working in that it is taking donations and sending them to the Trust, but it is not working properly in that it is not showing the donation amounts. To date, $30 has been donated. I will update this edit to add any future donations to the total (until I can figure out how to get the widget to work properly.

Edit: The ChipIn Widget is working now! Hurry and contribute!

Sunday 7 February 2010

Why Little Girls Are Always Daddy’s Little Princesses


There is something about the innocence of youth that charms even the most hard-hearted soul.

A father has a difficult time when the innocence of youth is coupled with his protective instincts towards his daughter. Men are designed by nature (most of them, anyway) to want to protect females. And dads are programmed to feel protective towards their families. Daughters have the double whammy of being both female and family to their daddies, and when these two traits are combined with the charm of their youthful innocence and absolute dependence on their parents when they are young, daddies have no chance of escaping before they are wrapped securely around their little girls’ fingers.

It is easy to see how this happens as I watch my four year old daughter skillfully bat her eyelashes at her daddy after asking for something and softly intone, “Pleeeeeeeaase, Daddy?” when she is trying to wheedle him into buying her something new or taking her out to the park. I don’t know where she learned to bat her eyelashes, but she has done it since before she was walking.

Not all girls are naturally skilled in batting their eyelashes and pleading while exuding charm and sweetness. Some girls are defiant and challenge their dads at every turn. But even in this, a father’s built-in inability to resist his daughter kicks in; he exudes pride in how strong and independent his daughter is becoming. And because of this pride, he gives in to her requests as surely as if she had batted her eyelashes at him and used her cuteness to get what she wanted.

Most girls, though not all, go through stages. A girl begins by batting her eyelashes and saying truly adorable things, and her innocence and child-like charm begins the process of wrapping her daddy around her little finger. Then, as she matures, she develops into a headstrong, independent young girl, and daddy is already securely wrapped around her little finger, so this is when he begins the stage of being proud of her strong will and independence.

Not everyone fits the mould, but you’ll find that most daughters really can be called “Daddy’s Little Princess.” And daddies, for their part, don’t seem to mind any of it. When they first hold that sweet newborn baby girl in their arms, they’ve already begun the wrapping process.

Wednesday 27 January 2010

Why Would You Want To Be A Princess?

I have it on direct authority (meaning my 4 year old daughter informed me) that being a princess is a really wonderful thing. And apparently, the main reasons it is a wonderful thing is because, as a princess, you get to wear pretty dresses that twirl and you are automatically beautiful.

As my four year old told me this, she motioned with her hands and a bit of a twist of her body to show how a dress would twirl, and then she batted her eyes at me in that way that only pretty little girls know instinctively to do when she spoke about being beautiful.

Connor3 14 June 2009

Unfortunately for my 3 year old son, being a prince is apparently not as wonderful as one would hope. As far as he can tell, it consists mostly of being bossed around by the princess.

Saturday 2 January 2010

Princess Isabella

My 4 year old Isabella is fascinated with everything having to do with princesses. A little bit before Christmas, we were on our way to see Santa Claus and I asked her what she was going to ask Santa for. She told me, "A pretty dress, so I can be a princess! I want a dress that twirls."

And Santa gave her what she wanted.

(Yes, her hair was still a mess as she had only recently woken up, but it was important to her to put the dress on and show it off as quickly as possible.)

(That's her 3 year old brother Connor in the photo with her. He often is forced to stand in as "Prince Charming" when his sisters Gabby and Bella play "pretend princesses." The background is a mess too, because they had all been opening their Christmas presents and everything was just strewn about the room.)