Categorized | Family, Kids, Living, People

Three Times a Baby – The Perfect Children’s Birthday Party

By AML Publisher
Photos Courtesy of Belle Vie Photography

The perfect pony party!

The perfect pony party!

Like any busy mom, Linda H. was late getting started on the logistics of her daughter Lily’s third birthday party. So, in a time crunch, she went to the best source of inspiration: her child. “I asked Lily one afternoon what type of birthday party she would like and she did not hesitate for a second. She turned to me and said, ‘A pony party Mommy!’ Then of course that set the stage and that is really all I needed for my creative juices to start flowing,” recalled Linda. “I think she picked ponies because we are zoo addicts, and she loves to ride the ponies there. Lily picked the color too…I showed her three horses to choose from and she picked the brown pony. Alas, pink and brown became her colors for the day!”

Linda, a Penn Valley native and Notre Dame Academy grad, moved back to the area after over two years in Montana with husband Kevin-whom she met there. Lily was born in Big Sky, a gorgeous albeit less populated place Linda and Kevin, a Mississippi native, were accustomed too. “Montana was amazingly beautiful, but we had to drive baby Lily an hour each way just to go to the pediatrician…we knew it was time to come back to the east coast,” she explained.

Mama, don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys…

Mama, don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys…

Returning to her roots with her young family and reconnecting with friends and local family made Lily’s third birthday party into one kick butt country chic corral. A former creative director for a major publishing house, Linda sourced the internet for all of her party contacts, including finding AML photographer Heather Berkenstock of Belle Vie Photography. Berkenstock’s impressive online portfolio and blog sold Linda that this was the perfect photographer for the occasion. And, Berkenstock embraced the opportunity to showcase her creativity. “For Lily’s party I wanted to capture the events as they unfolded and put them together so the images could tell the story and feelings of the day. The detail shots help with the story. Lily’s mom also put so much time and effort into the ‘details’ that I wanted to capture her hard work! Afterwards, I created a fun custom coffee table album to put the whole story together for the family to treasure,” explained Berkenstock.

Mom’s Pony Party Details

Photography
Heather Berkenstock, Belle Vie Photography
www.belleviephotography.com
It all starts with Google. I Googled ‘photography + Philadelphia’ and then I just cruise, bookmarking pages that catch my eye. These days, everyone has a blog along with their portfolio, so you can also get a feel for someone’s personality, which is so important, especially with kids. Heather had a shot of her own daughter in a stable holding the reins of a horse, and I knew she was the one. I was so overwhelmed with the final photos that I actually cried watching the online slideshow and Heather got a teary voice message overflowing with gratitude!

Pony
Sandy Hill Farms; Cindy Cooper
610-275-7551
$335 for an hour (plus I tipped the young ‘guides’ who helped out with Cindy), and she usually brings a pony, bunnies and chickens. I opted out of the chickens to make things a bit less chaotic. Cindy makes things easy and even handles kids hogging the horse rides with ease. I also had a horse stamp and ink pad so that each child got a hand stamp with each ride, so we could see that things were fair. Kids love stamps!

A yummy yellow cake with chocolate butter cream icing, courtesy of Philly’s Whipped Bakeshop, was the perfect accent to the pony-themed party.

A yummy yellow cake with chocolate butter cream icing, courtesy of Philly’s Whipped Bakeshop, was the perfect accent to the pony-themed party.

Invitations
Gladwyne Pharmacy’s Invitation Shoppe
Lynn & Naomi; 610-642-2950

Cake
Whipped Bakeshop
Fishtown
www.whippedbakeshop.com
Click here to read our full article on Whipped Bakeshop on AML!

Food & Drink
Simple. Lily loves hummus and brie and crackers and cornichon with fruit and salami and cheese, so we had a little spread, and then hot dogs and hamburgers. Mostly local, organic foods. Drinks: Pink lemonade for the kids, and beer/wine for adults.

Activities
I purchased plain organic bandanas (www.bandanaman.com), and then had a lot of fun choosing a wide range of patches (www.laughinglizards.com). I already had a huge selection of fabric pens from the past shower I threw. Kids were able to create, decorate and then take home their own beautiful, personalized bandana. This all stems from the fact that Lily’s ‘lovey’ is a simple paisley bandana (she was born in Montana, what can I say?).

“For Lily's party I wanted to capture the events as they unfolded and put them together so the images could tell the story and feelings of the day. The detail shots help with the story,” explained photographer Heather Berkenstock of Belle Vie Photography.

“For Lily's party I wanted to capture the events as they unfolded and put them together so the images could tell the story and feelings of the day. The detail shots help with the story,” explained photographer Heather Berkenstock of Belle Vie Photography.

Details

Nametags: I found little wooden ponies at AC Moore, as well as pin backings. We wrote the children’s names on them.

Cups: Losing my drink is my party pet peeve. Wasting cups and beverages is frustrating, so I found little camping tin mugs, and we tied little nametags on them. We printed out little meal tickets as well to put in each cup so food was ‘cooked to order.’

Hats: Everyone got them upon arriving (adults, too!). These were the most expensive element to the party. But after seeing these, how could you NOT have them?

Flowers: Lily and I love Trillium in Gladwyne (www.trillium-flowers.com). We never have to spend a lot and we always walk away with something beautiful. Plus, everyone in there makes us smile. Pink peonies were perfect.

Favors
This is my favorite part of any and every event/party. I remember my mother giving away party bags at my childhood birthday events, and to me it’s really what it’s all about: “I’m happy I’m alive and celebrating another year, and I’m happy you’re here to share in celebrating.” We asked people not to bring gifts for Lily, and instead, we found pretty white pails, lined them with pink or brown bandanas, and filled them with:

  • Horse ‘toob’ (tube filled with a bunch of miniature horses
  • Horse stickers
  • Harmonica
  • Horse finger puppet
  • Horse bouncing ball
  • A coordinating little cupcake in its own cupcake saver (www.cupacake.com). I always want more cake after a party, don’t you?
  • The kids also took home their hats and bandanas, too.
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1 Comments For This Post

  1. Reena Carhart Says:

    Dang, that’s a great idea.Now, I know this is elementary, but what kind of spray adhesive do you use? I sew a lot but I have never used spray adhesive, let alone Fray Chek. But at least I have a bottle of it somewhere.

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