My Little Pony Birthday Party

my little pony party

Lucy is now a six year old, you guys! I can’t believe it. She had her first friends-only birthday party last weekend, which made me feel completely justified to go all out with decorations to make the day super special for Lucy and her little friends! And, who am I kidding— I’ve been dying to plan fun parties for my kiddos, every since I was a little girl myself!

I haven’t blogged the girls’ parties in a while because I’ve been pretty busy with home renovations and honestly haven’t done much besides themed sticker cups and grocery store cakes. Nothing wrong with that, but honestly I enjoy doing more! I put more effort into Juniper’s puppy party this summer, which you can see here at A Beautiful Mess.

Lucy requested a My Little Pony party this year, which was a little bit of a challenge for me personally, because of the style. The new version of the My Little Pony characters are pretty wild with bright colors and anime eyes, unlike the more pastel and cute versions of my own youth. Everything I could find in line with the My Little Pony theme felt sooo tacky to me. Lucy wouldn’t have cared a bit, but I wanted to see how much I could elevate the theme to something Martha Stewart might be inclined to publish her her magazine. :)

my little pony party

My Little Pony Paper Cups

I made my own version of My Little Pony paper cups by purchasing plain white paper cups and decorating them with simple My Little Pony character stickers. I had purchased a pack of stickers to use as party favors, so I didn’t end up needing to purchase anything extra here. It was also helpful for each girl to keep her cup separate without needing to write her name.

Rainbow Paper Plates

I found these rainbow cake plates at Target, and snatched them up immediately! They felt like they fit the mood of My Little Pony, without having characters on it, which would overdo the place setting in my opinion.

Simple Table Decor

I used a sequined tablecloth to create a magical base for the table and topped it with a crepe paper runner. Then I laid out some silver glitter stars I had made with a star punch and filled in around them with silver star confetti. For table decorations, the combo was simple, but effective!

my little pony party

Rainbow Streamer Wall

I made a rainbow backdrop for the party by taping up 5 colors of crepe streamers that matched the rainbow cake plates. I couldn’t find a muted orange or yellow from a party store, so I ended up ordering them online on Amazon instead. The colors ended up making the perfect muted rainbow wall! Here are links to the streamers I used: yellow; peach; baby pink; lavender; teal

My Little Pony Food Table

I purchased a very long sequined tablecloth from Amazon (which I plan to use for lots of future parties!) to add a magical feeling to the table. Across the table I arranged gift bags, popcorn, Lucy’s birthday cake, candy pretzels and pops that we made, and cups of Chex Mix. I also filled a three-tier plate with PB&J sandwiches and made a rainbow platter of fruits and vegetables. I ended up moving the food table to our kitchen island and used the sequin table for the girls. I had planned for them to eat on the patio, but it ended up being a bit too chilly for that.

The purple gift bags and snack cups were purchased at Target, and the paper popcorn containers were from a party store. I used a piece of floral arranging foam to display the pops, and added batting around them to look like clouds. I also added batting around the cake stand.

DIY hanging clouds

DIY Floating Clouds

Definitely the best part of the decorations were the floating clouds! They were so simple to make, though it did take a bit of time. I took it as a nice excuse to sit down and watch some television. :)

To make the floating clouds, I put together this set of paper globe lanterns in various sizes. Then I used a hot glue gun to attach lumps of batting. I didn’t focus too much on the shape of the batting, just making an effort to attach it to the paper lanterns.

Then I used fishing line to hang the clouds from the ceiling, attaching them into the plaster with white thumbtacks. I also took off the glass globes over my ceilings lights and slipped the paper globes in their place. Once all of the clouds were hung, I used a chopstick to tease out the batting and connect the various sizes of clouds together.

To make the clouds realistic, I grouped different sizes near each other and teased them together. Hanging them individually wouldn’t have looked as good, in my opinion.

my little pony cake

DIY My Little Pony Cake

So, I’m a pretty decent baker, but with everything else I had going on, I figured I should leave the birthday cake up to a professional bakery. However, I wanted to decorate it myself! So I ordered a plain white cake, picked it up early in the morning on the day of the party, and decorated it when I got home.

To decorate it, I did a white chocolate ganache drip-glaze. This was my first time attempting a drip glaze, and I thought it went pretty well! I used 4 parts melting chocolate (they were already this color) with 1 part heavy cream. I melted it slowly in the microwave (you can also use a double boiler), stirring in between 30-second increments. Then I let the ganache cool for a couple of minutes and poured about 1/3 of the ganache into an icing bottle with a medium size tip. The other 2/3 of the ganache I poured on the top of the chilled cake and smoothed it out towards the edges with an offset spatula. Once it neared the edges it began to drip down the sides. At this point. I added extra drips with the icing bottle. It sets up super fast, so this part has to be done quickly, or perhaps you may want to make your ganache a bit thinner than I made mine.

The buttercream icing held up well against the ganache because it had been chilled. Pouring the ganache on the chilled cake also aided the hardening of the ganache, so keep that in mind as well.

As soon as I poured the ganache, I began decorating the top of the cake, to take advantage of it as an adhesive element. I used macarons (from a bakery) , one lollipop, and sixlets and gumballs I had purchased from a party store. Around the edges I used some royal icing to glue the decorative candies, lest they fall off the side of the softened buttercream.

Decorating a grocery store cake was a lot of fun, and I plan to do it again for various themed parties!

my little pony party

My Little Pony Gift Bags

I didn’t feel the need to buy pony gift bags or craft any special gift bags, but I did keep the contents on theme. I filled the bags with My Little Pony stickers, My Little Pony rings, My Little Pony tattoos (from a party store for $.99), one 4″ My Little Pony doll (found at the checkout line at Target for less than $3 each!), and these clip-in fake hair clips that I also used to decorate the outside of each bag.

After Lucy opened her gifts, I had each of the little guests select a party bag and open them together. I think the girls really loved their gifts!

DIY hanging clouds

Here’s what the food table looked like when I was setting up, before I decided 64 degrees was probably too chilly for the girls to eat out on the patio dining table. Then I moved the food over to our kitchen island and set up this area for the girls to eat and craft.

my little pony party

After eating, I brought out ice cube trays full of beads for the girls to make their own necklaces. Then we served cake and sang to Lucy. After cake, we moved the party to the living room where we did presents and then the girls played a favorite school game, Four Corners.

my little pony party

my little pony party

It was honestly a lot of fun having the house overrun by girls! I suppose I am cut out for this parenting job after all. :) I’m sure the girls had a lot of fun, and I’m glad I survived and managed to have some fun as well!

Let me know if you have any questions about any elements of the party, and I’ll be happy to answer it in the comments below.

my little pony party

Four Tricks for Preschool Lunches

Easy Toddler Lunch Ideas

Before I had children, I figured getting them to eat healthy food was as easy as never giving them anything unhealthy. But as real life has happened, I’ve learned it’s not quite so easy. Not only can it be tricky to motivate your kiddos to eat, but finding time to prepare food and to look over their shoulders while they pick at their food for two hours, prodding, nagging, and pleading them to eat? Forget about it! This is not as easy as I thought.

I’ve picked up a few tricks along the way that make lunchtime with my kiddos much easier than it used to be, and I’ve teamed up with Horizon Organics to share my ideas with you! I hope you can find some inspiration and make lunchtime an enriching experience with your kiddos.

 This might seem like a no-brainer, but I used to think creating visually stimulating food meant I needed to spend a lot of time cutting out shapes or creating little characters by combining lots of random food elements. But in reality, pretty food is as easy as making a pattern with carrots and cheese sticks, cutting fruits and veggies into simple shapes (even rectangles will do), or sure— you can do something as artistic as cutting up and combining food creatively to create animals or characters. That will certainly grab the interest of a toddler who might rather be playing with her toys.

I don’t want to lead Lucy and Juniper to expect fun and exciting shapes in their lunches every day, but when I have a couple of extra minutes, the little effort it takes to make a creative lunch usually equals a more relaxing lunchtime for me— no nagging, prodding, or bargaining needed to get them to eat their food! And my favorite new item from Horizon Organics is their shaped cheddar cheese slices (see the white cheddar on the toast above). They already come in fun shapes, so I don’t have to take the time or create any waste with leftover cheese after cutting it into shapes. Victory!

Easy Preschool Lunch Ideas

This was a recent discovery of mine. If you give something a fun name, kids are pretty likely to want to give it a try. Peanut butter covered celery sticks topped with raisins? Boring. Ants on a log? Exciting! Ham and cheese toast? Meh. Sunrise sammies? Fun! See what I mean?

Easy Toddler Lunch Ideas

What is it about little things that capture our imaginations? My kids and I love dollhouses and miniatures, so it would only stand to reason that they’d enjoy tiny versions of food as well. Mini sandwiches made with small cookie cutters, mini crackers, small packs of fruit snacks, milk from a mini carton rather than poured from a big jug— these seemingly insignificant details are sometimes enough to excite my children about their lunches. And sometimes all it takes is putting normal-sized food (like grapes or grated cheese) into a tiny cup on a big plate and the kids think it’s pretty special.

The tiny trick is great when you’re short on time. I don’t usually give the children crackers for lunch, but if we’re on the go or if I’m having a hectic day, I certainly don’t feel bad about dumping some cheese sandwich crackers and munchable veggies onto a plate and calling it done.

Easy Preschool Lunch Ideas

I discovered this trick when we were at a grocery store where they were sampling lots of food that my children wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole at home. But at the store? In those tiny cups? With those tiny weapons (toothpicks) piercing the food? Oh yeah. They were all about it. Juniper had three different kinds of salmon that day, and even asked for more. It’s the toothpicks and the tiny cups, I tell ya!

The catch with this one is the skewers. Lucy couldn’t handle this all the time. She began to just play with the toothpicks and become too distracted to actually eat the food, and I found it stressful to make sure she wasn’t poking her eye out. Also, if you’re relying on the toothpick to hold the food together (like ham and cheese roll-ups sliced into sections), your kiddo might pull out all the toothpicks and refuse to eat the pile of unrolled food that’s left on the plate. (Been there. So frustrating.) But when you know your kid can probably handle it, this toothpick trick is a real winner!

Easy Toddler Lunch Ideas

I used to try to let Lucy sit in front of the television while eating a simple and not-too-messy lunch so I could grab some time to get work done. But when we were both distracted, she would sometimes drop food on the floor, or just not eat at all, and it really drew out what should’ve taken 30 minutes into a process that easily took over an hour to finish. This is exactly what I’m trying to avoid— two hour mealtimes! Yikes.

I also began to consider the patterns that eating in front of the TV was setting in her life— distracted eating, not paying attention to hunger cues, needing snacks while watching television or relaxing…. I just didn’t feel good about it. So we quit that mess and lunchtime is much more peaceful, and actually a great time for us to connect and talk about things that are fun or important.

Easy Preschool Lunch Ideas

Lunchtime doesn’t need to be fun or exciting, but I’ve found that thinking about ways to enrich this time with my kiddos has not only helped them eat their food, but it’s brought us closer together and made me grow as a mom!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Horizon Organic. The opinions and text are all mine.