Monday, March 18, 2013

"Brave" Birthday Party

My daughter recently had a birthday and months ago she decided she wanted a Brave party. This was her first official party where she got to invite friends and, honestly, I was a tad nervous. I shouldn't have been, but I wondered how I could incorporate food and fun games into the theme she had chosen AND how to keep a handful of preschoolers entertained. 

A few weeks before her birthday, K decided that she wanted a Minnie Mouse birthday and then she decided on an Ariel birthday and then it was back to Brave. I could have taken the 2 former themes and had a handful of easy and festive ideas, but I'm glad she chose Brave because it was a fun and challenging to plan and it became a creative outlet for me. This also gave me the perfect excuse to attempt my first decorative cake. I was so excited to do something that would create memories for our daughter.

She LOVES anything princessy and I wanted to make sure to incorporated a bunch of her favorite things into the party: makeup, nail polish, sparkles, rainbows, pizza and cupcakes. Thanks to Pinterest and talking through some ideas with friends, we created this event for our daughter.

This is an overview of the party and I'll post specific recipes in another post. I also wanted to give a special thanks to Tarren Jessop who came as Princess Merida. This was her first birthday party and she was AWESOME! She was so great with the kids and her Scottish accent totally rocked. The girls couldn't believe that Princess Merida had come all the way to attend the party. They were all pretty stoked! If any of my Northern Utah readers/followers need and awesome Princess to come to your daughter's party, let me know and I'll give you her contact info. She was so great!

I also wanted to give thanks Alisha and Steve from Embre Photography for capturing the night for us. It seems like when you put an event together you don't have enough hands to accomplish everything, especially taking pictures, so I'm so grateful for them. I loved how the pictures turned out. This will definitely be a fun memory and I'm glad they captured it for us. Embre Photography also has a Facebook page, so check them out.

Here's the party in a Reader's Digest version:

The decor: Was really simple and I tried to tie the forest into the decorations since the movie takes place in the Scottish Highlands. We cut up some logs and covered them in parchment paper and served the food on them. I also gathered sticks from our backyard and arranged them in a glass vase and used it as a center piece. I also took blue tissue paper and made "wisps" for the table. The main decor was less than $1. I saw the idea here. I also bought the Disney Deluxe Figurine Pack so that I could use Merida on the birthday cake and I used the rest of the figurines on the food table.

The food: We served Target Practice pizza, Bullseye cakes, Arrow cupcakes, and Bear claws. I totally loved how easy it was to make the cupcake toppers. That site is so cute and filled with lots of ideas. I also made a Brave-themed cake. I used these cute food tags from the site, Printabelle, that was part of the free (and super cute) printable Brave party pack. Check out that site because there are lots of themed (and free) printables for birthdays, holidays and other celebrations. I also wanted to serve Scottish Sweet buns seen here and here, but I just didn't have time. They would have made the party extra festive, especially since the triplets in the movie LOVED sweet buns.

The activity: We had a girl come dressed as Princess Merida to the party. She read the girls a book, played games outside with them, did a Princess Makeover on each girl and played at the party with each of the girls. I couldn't believe how much the girls loved it! And anything that involves sparkles and makeup is sure to please little girls. Other ideas that could have been fun that I toyed with was: pin-the-tail-on Angus, a pinata in the shape of a horse or arrow, and outdoor games. There are so many avenues you could take with this theme.

The party favor: I went to Zurchers and got the Brave party bags. I filled them with a candy necklace, a Ring Pop, a party noise maker and Brave Stickers (also from Zurchers).

The "Thank You": Each Princess that attended the party will receive a card with a picture of them with Merida. What little girl doesn't want to remember meeting a REAL princess? :)

Now here is the extended party version with lots of fun pictures. I can't believe how well this all came together. I hoped it would be a magical time for the girls.

We had all the girls come in Princess dresses.

Princess Merida came to meet all of the princesses. They were so happy and excited!

She read them a story. K's cousin even made sure she was paying attention.

We did Princess makeup and hair sparkles.

We painted fingernails.

And toenails.

 Princess Merida even let K paint her nails. K loved that!

 All of the Princesses got their pictures taken with Merida after their Princess makeovers.

The Princesses couldn't resist playing in the leaves with Merida.

We had yummy food and decided to do dinner since we were having the party in the evening. We also wanted to have desserts along with the cake.

Target Practice pizza.

Bear Claws.

Bulls-eye cakes.

Arrow cupcakes.

And her birthday cake. This was my first decorative cake. I did a vanilla bean sponge cake with Swiss Buttercream frosting and dark chocolate ganache. It was tasty!

The kids were SO excited when we cut the cake. K loves rainbows, so this was another little surprise for her and I wanted to incorporate it into the party. Note to self: If you do a rainbow cake for a kid's party, either make 2 of them or make rainbow cupcakes. The arrow cupcakes were SO not cool after we cut into the cake. :)

The Birthday girl couldn't wait to open presents. She got spoiled rotten! She got a bunch of new dolls and "animally friends" (aka stuffed animals), a new outfit and a ton of princess toys and makeup. She was so happy that Merida helped her open gifts. She loved celebrating with her friends and family.

She couldn't stop hugging her new stuffed friends.

We sang "Happy Birthday" and she couldn't even wait until the song ended to blow out candles.

We gave out little party bags for each of the Princesses that had little favors in them: noise maker, candy ring and necklace and Brave stickers. 

Princess Belle having some fun outside.

K's little Sis holding down the fort inside.

Cinderella even had a chance to take a ride on Angus. :)

We had so much fun seeing the joy and fun that the kids experienced it made all of the hard work worth it. I can't wait to plan her next birthday. I have to give a HUGE thanks to my amazing husband who was my right-hand man for the whole shindig. He is the most awesome person in the world and I'm glad we get to party together. He is so supportive in all of my baking and party adventures. And the most willing taste-tester. Gosh, I love him! My parents were also so great to come a few hours before the party to help organize and set up everything. They are always there to help and my Mama always says, "Many hands make light work." My good friend, Missy, was also great to come over and help me with the cake. I needed some serious moral support to pull that off. She always has fantastic, creative ideas. Party planning is SO much easier with awesome people to help me. I definitely could not have pulled this off solo. :)

I'm so glad I came from a family that enjoys celebrating, making memories and creating traditions. Life is so good. I hope this inspires you to find the joy in celebration and finding little ways to become more festive in creating memories with your loved ones. 


  1. So cute Juli! What a sweet mom you are! I'm sure Kynli will remember this forever:)

    1. Thanks Amy! You are so sweet. I hope she remebers and if not, the pictures will serve as a reminder. Thanks for the nice comment. :)

  2. What a fantastic party!!! You did a great job and had lots of cute details.

  3. What a sweet party! Great job and cute details.

    1. Thanks a bunch! Thanks for following along! :)

  4. Love it!!! Do you mind if I link to this post from my Blog? I need to blog about the party and you did it way better than I could! LOL!

    1. Yep! That's great! Thanks for following along! :)