Party: Glitter Kitty Birthday by Kate Brightbill



What a good, strong number. Five is an age where a child is no longer a tiny, dependent preschooler. Five is the age of learning to tie shoes on their own, reading and writing without mama's help, and ... planning your own birthday parties (if you're Maggie, that's what you do).

Maggie knows her own mind and has her own vision of how things should be done. She is amiable, but is definitely not afraid to speak her mind. She requested a glitter kitty birthday party. She created her guest list (longer than I technically allowed, but we made exceptions, because five is a big number). She also had the following ideas for the flow of things:



  • Serve pizza

  • Serve a kitty cake

  • Have kitty ears for everyone

  • Have a pinata for sure (she wanted a kitty, but it just could not be found or made by me with the time constraints... a unicorn was the approved replacement).

  • Play pin the tail on the glitter kitty (this I did have to DIY, and it was not as simple as it sounds, haha)

  • Let all the girls play dress up and have a ball. A literal ball.




A couple things were REALLY simple: ordering pizza is soooo much better than me making food. Buying a cake at whole foods was wayyyy easier than making or paying out crazy cash for a bakery cake. All I really had to do was a little decorating, and a little furniture re-arranging. 

I bought a couple rolls of inexpensive pink streamers, thinking I'd string them across walls or whatever, but when I pulled them out and looked at the walls, I liked the idea of those streamers making more of a statement, so I taped them in stripes. Double stick tape, perfectly imperfect stripes-- it was a quick process but looked more bold than it would have strung around the ceilings. Our wall is pretty long, so I went and grabbed a third roll to finish it off. 


I did one super-crafty thing, and it was making these little glitter sticks to label the cupcakes. It was a little tedious to cut the whiskers and tiny noses and stick them, so I only did two to label the two types of cupcakes, rather than having one stick in each cupcake. Simple is best more me right now, friends. If you're more of a perfectionist and would want to do like 10 of them for a party, I'd estimate they'd take about 5 minutes each, so close to an hour. I do love them. 

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-side note: I read a post online about 30 questions to ask your kids rather than "how was your day," and one I loved was "when were you most proud of yourself today?" I think in our efforts to teach our children humility and to be modest, we sometimes overlook the fact that we need to also be teaching them to have confidence in ourselves and our efforts, and that it's okay to feel proud of something we did well! That confidence and pride in abilities will allow children to dream bigger and give them a sense of achievement. //ANYWAY this came to mind because... my proud moments in party decor were these kitties. HA! May this give me confidence to go forth and make more kitties like this in my future? ;)

kitty cake

I didn't photograph the pizza- because- obviously, or the favors, or really even the food setup at all. My 2012 self would have been very disappointed in this, but my 2016 self is like, whatever. It tasted good, I didn't make it (thankfully!) and the kids liked the goodie bags. I did, however, photograph the cake, which received glitter kitty ears and some whiskers made of twisty ties. Simplicity wins. ;)


Brian was a good sport about being surrounded by tutus and squealing girls. He was the deejay, the food orderer, furniture mover (you can't have a couch taking up real estate in the ballroom, obviously), the Jack-holder, and helped with the entertainment factor. That's love.


Maggie at age 5:

  • Favorite Color: PINK

  • Favorite Stuffy: Pink Monster (Maggie's lovie is the great neon pink Octopus that almost said her last farewell at the Oakland Airport this year, were it not for an extra 40 minute drive, and an airport employee who cares enough about a sweet four-year-old with tears in her big blue eyes trying to hold it together- to search a plane and an entire gate thoroughly and against all odds FIND THE MONSTER and become my child's hero).

  • Favorite Ice Cream: STRAWBERRY because it's pink. (it has to be because it's pink, because strawberry ice cream is not that good, let's be honest here).

  • Favorite Princess: SLEEPING BEAUTY because she wears pink

  • Favorite Sports Team: WARRIORS. She can identify players' voices when they come on the radio even. And she thinks we should probably go to Steph Curry's house because he has two sweeties and the girls should probably all get together to play soon.

  • Favorite Thing to Play: Tea Party.

  • Favorite Sport to Play: Soccer.

There you have it. A very similar list of favorites and a birthday party for a happy and bubbly little sunshine girl. A chef, an artist, and a dancer. Can't wait to see what this next year brings for her. xoxo


Past birthday parties around here:


SOPHIE'S 5TH (wishing I was blogging birthdays when she was tinier!)

F O U R by Kate Brightbill


Ohhh my Maggie girl. This one is for you. 

You went to sleep the night before your birthday with a huge beaming smile. "Tomorrow is my BIRTHDAY!!!," you squealed as we kissed you goodnight. You woke and said "Mommy! Is I'm three?" even though you KNOW you turned four while you slept. ;)

Three was epic. I cannot imagine a more compliant, joyous, vibrant three-year-old in the whole world. You made my days so full of sweet and sparkle. You talk from the moment you wake to the moment you are sleeping-- no words spared. On the bus, you sing, you ask questions, you notice what everyone is wearing, and you sometimes tell them that you really like it. You see pets and want to know if it's a girl or a boy, and you want to see if their collar is pink. 

You asked me before almost every one of my ten ultrasounds if maybe this doctor will tell you that our baby is a girl. You also made wishes with coins into water fountains that you would have a baby sister. You eventually came to grips with your big sister being your only sister, and you have reminded me with a glint in your eye about how when Sophie knew she was getting a baby sister, she was so excited to meet her, and "then- mommy- then it was ME! Her baby sister was baby Maggie!" You've embraced that, and you've embraced that you're getting a baby brother, and you are thrilled-- you just adore babies.

You love the book Green Eggs and Ham. Your sister has learned to read it to you and you cuddle together and listen while she tells the funny story about the cranky guy who did not like the green eggs and ham because "he never even tried it." You "read" it on your own as well, and it's one of the best things ever to hear in your voice. Your other favorite book is a kitty puppet book, and you can meow all the words.

Sophie got stocked with school supplies for her new year, and you know with all your heart what you will want a year from now: kitty backpack, kitty lunchbox, kitty water bottle... future cat lady, we call you. One day, we had the ipad on origami tutorials, and somehow you found cat videos on youTube. HA! Resourceful 3-year-old. 

You have a flair for acting. You love dressing up. You love sparkle, and your new word is "dazzle." Your little pony is named Rainbow Dazzle Sparkle, or maybe I've transposed the words. Almost all your other stuffies are named Shilah or Rosie, which I'd imagine may get confusing, but you think those are the two most beautiful names of all. 

For your family birthday party, we had pasta- your favorite, and you and daddy collaborated to create a "how well do you know Maggie" questionnaire. Sophie and I won! I'm logging them below for your future reference:

  1. What is Maggie's favorite color? Pink!
  2. What is Maggie's favorite stuffy? Monster! (she's had this neon pink octopus fondly named Monster since she was about 6m old, and never sleeps without her!)
  3. What is Maggie's favorite ice cream? Strawberry. Because it's pink.
  4. Who is Maggie's favorite princess? Sleeping Beauty.
  5. What is Maggie's favorite sports team? WARRIORS (Steph!)
  6. What is Maggie's favorite thing to play? Legos! (duplos, if we're being technical here)
  7. What is Maggie afraid of? Monsters (ironically, since her best stuffy is called Monster, ha!)

ALL of these answers change weekly- except maybe your favorite sports team, so it was basically who talked to you most recently about your favorites. ;) 

We lovvvvvve you, our big kid! Our lives are SO bright with you and that smile of yours! 

Maggie's other birthdays: ONE || TWO || THREE

(one of the best things about blogging is having all of these in one place! :)

FIVE by Kate Brightbill

Wide ribbons were wrapped around their glasses so the warm hot chocolate didn't burn little hands.  

Wide ribbons were wrapped around their glasses so the warm hot chocolate didn't burn little hands. 

Sooo this whole FIVE thing came and went, and now I have a kid who is starting to act like a school kid, and hold real conversations. We transitioned Maggie to a toddler bed the same week, and I've been mourning the sudden realization that my babies are not babies. 

Sophie is a big girl now. She adores girly-ness, tutus, rainbows, sparkles, and wands. All this considered, I decided to throw Sophie a sparkly, fancy hot chocolate party. I used sparkly wrapping paper as a table runner {wrapping paper is the BEST bang for your buck, ps}, got AMAZING sweets from The Sugar Studio {my go-to for birthdays!! Hilary is incredible... lucky me that I have such talented friends!}, added cake stands, macaron erasers in tiny envelopes with tiny cupcake stickers, and I made wands that I was sweetly told don't really look like wands, exactly, but they're nice anyway {five-year-olds are incredibly quoteable}. 

In spite of the fact that I texted friends to invite them {I had the best of intentions to send paper invites this time, but never did!}, and it was the end of a holiday weekend, and Maggie was in the ER getting staples on her head from running into the dresser the night before, it was basically a successful party to celebrate this sweet girl.

The best part of it? Children are beyond entertaining. I went ultra fancy and put cranberries in the pink lemonade... and they got spit out into napkins! I can't stop laughing about it still! "Mommy these cherries taste very bad!" I didn't explain, just emptied the tartness from glasses, and continued serving food with a smile... Egg sandwiches girls? Oh no, not at all, but the hard boiled eggs were spotted, they wanted their own... also: 

"I only want the cucumber sandwiches!"

"May I have anything BUT cucumber sandwiches!"

"Can you take the apples out of my salad?"

"Oh no, this cheese isn't good!" {brie}

I was dying laughing inside at the realization that this fancy party was thrown for the wrong target market. The good news is that they loved the hot chocolate and the fresh marshmallows and every sweet. The other good news is that little girls don't eat much, so there were plenty of leftovers and I didn't have to cook on Monday. ;) 

After they ate, I threw on Mariah Carey Christmas, removed the coffee table, and let the girls twirl and dance with their whole little hearts. 

Prettiest candle EVER! Sparkler five!

Prettiest candle EVER! Sparkler five!

Sophie at five: has imagination and creates something from nothing. She steals my bathrobe strings and creates leashes for stuffed animals, or ties them to baskets to pull her sister around in a "boat." She can basically teach ballet at this point, and we have "class" regularly where she insists that my friends and I stretch with her, and fly like fairies together, regularly putting grown-ups in comedic scenarios. She has a heart that cares how people feel; I couldn't have asked for a sweeter big sister for Maggie. She is becoming very careful with her treasured items, tucking her new shiny necklace away every night, and setting her nutcracker on her shelf while she sleeps. She will climb anything higher than she should, and has learned {thanks to her daddy} how to climb down just as proficiently. She is loving and affectionate and melts with joy in our arms when we tell her how much we love her. Her eyes shine with life and excitement and we adore her with our whole hearts. Happy birthday dear girl. We're praying for you every single day. 


All the best photos were taken by our great friend Manus Chau. :)

All sweets made by the fabulous Hilary at The Sugar Studio

Ps. Remember this? Maggie's 2nd Birthday.


Birthdays are the best by Kate Brightbill


Gorgeous sweets all created with love by my dear friend Hilary //  The Sugar Studio .

Gorgeous sweets all created with love by my dear friend Hilary // The Sugar Studio.

 (The Happy Birthday song was a bit unnerving for both of my girls at their 2nd birthday). ;)

 (The Happy Birthday song was a bit unnerving for both of my girls at their 2nd birthday). ;)


Maggie at 2:

Loves puppets & Mickey Mouse and friends. Says "okay" to everything (!!). Adores her sister, calls her "Vivi" and copies her dance moves. Requested at her 2nd bday party to eat her cupcake with a spoon and took 30 minutes to do so. Likes to eat anything we've ever given her, except zucchini. Can read books by herself on the bed for a looong time (15 minutes is ages in toddler time). Colors until every inch of a picture is filled. Spins and says "whoooaaaa" until she's dizzy enough to fall down, for kicks, daily. Takes paper bags or boxes, puts them on her head and runs full speed around the house (thoroughly terrifying her mama). Sings one note as loud as she can for as long as she can hold it. Clutches a neon pink stuffed octopus every time she falls asleep... or else falls asleep in a fit of tears. Takes off her diaper any chance she gets. Brings her dishes to the sink and tosses them in after most meals... also tossing food wherever she goes. ;). Wants to wear jackets every moment of every day. Takes shoes on and off as much as possible. Squeals and jumps up and down when her daddy comes home. Watches the garbage trucks out the window every week in awe (both girls do). She is sunshine on any cloudy day. xo.


Can't wait to celebrate your every year with you, little Maggie girl.  

Ps. (The Sugar Studio is amazing. Take classes with Hilary & buy all her sweets (they'll change your life... or at least your pallet... with their fresh deliciousness).

Sweets // Puppet Theatre // Temporary Tattoos // Puppets (tutorial soon!) // Striped Paper Cups  // Candles // also, thanks to Manus for photo help. :) 


Celebration Inspiration by Kate Brightbill

Photo of Maggie by  Modern Kids  for  OhHappyDay!  

Photo of Maggie by Modern Kids for OhHappyDay! 

Maggie's 2nd birthday is coming wayyy too quickly, and I just started getting my party-planning in gear! Because it's a 2nd birthday, it'll be a small party, thankfully, but I want to make it very "Maggie." She's a big fan of puppets: finger puppets, hand puppets, puppet fans... they all make her laugh, so I used my winnings from the Land of Nod to get a surprise puppet stand for her. We have plenty of garland to hang, and goodie bags and party hats are a total requirement, according to her big sister.

Here's are some other things I love for celebrating my little Maggie-girl: