Pinky Party!

Pink birthday party girl

For my sweet little girl’s 3-year-old birthday party we picked a very simple theme:
pink!  It’s perfect for this age while she is grasping the concept of birthdays and parties.

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THE HYPE
Leading up to the party, we hung a brand new pink party dress with pink leggings, a pink heart necklace and pink mini-tiara where she could see it (but not reach it) every day.  I explained to her that these things were for her pinky birthday party.  She knew what my response would be, but from time to time she would say, “I want to wear my crown.”  Then I would tell her, “Not until your pinky birthday party!”  She would smile and usually recite something back to me like, “And my pinky dress and my pinky necklace and my pinky pants for my pinky birthday party!” (Snuggles – I love this age)

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THE DECORATIONS
The night before the party, her older brother, dad, and I pitched in to blow up balloons in a variety of pink shades and hung them with curling ribbon to create a balloon curtain.  This was the main decoration, and the biggest fuss of the entire party prep.  The rest was fairly easy.  I laid out a mixture of pink shaded plates, cups, snack cups, napkins and cutlery that I had found at the party store onto a pink table cloth.  Some extra gem and confetti scatter added a sparkly touch.  The gems went to use after the party in a special sensory bin for my daughter.

GEMS: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005AH6VTW?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00

PLATES, CUPS, CUTLERY AND BALLOONS AT HOBBY LOBBY:  http://www.hobbylobby.com/

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THE PARTY FARE
At our house, get-togethers such as these accommodate my son’s ADHD diet restrictions.  Even though it’s not his party, he is an important party guest.  At 9 years old he is aware when he’s missing out on parts of the celebration.  So extra consideration goes into the menu to make sure he can partake with everyone else.

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THE CAKE – an exercise in under-complicating an over-complicated situation.  I make my cakes at home by modifying gluten-free box mix instructions to fit my sons diet.  Unfortunately I’m not a talented cake decorator, so anything more fancy than a flat 9″x13″ ends in disaster.  Still I wanted something a little more jazzy, especially since I’m trying to pull off pink ombre icing.  Instead of purchasing $30 worth of cake rounds, I ordered a cake pan that was shaped like a tiered cake for $20 online.

tiered cake pan
CAKE PAN – http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0046Y8WQK?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00

The pan comes with a reservoirs insert.  This helps in two ways – the cake batter goes farther and it cooks more evenly.  With some oil and flour coating it came out of the pan perfectly.  However I would recommend doing a test cake when using the pan since gluten-free cake boxes cook differently than traditional cake mixes.

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NATURAL PINK FOOD COLOR

Artificial food dyes are a dietary restriction for my son.  I’ve come across natural food coloring, but it is more expensive than regular food dye.  For that reason I used the natural food dye sparingly and let the decorations (and birthday girl outfit) carry the pink theme.

India Tree Natural Food Dye Color Kitchen Natural Food Dye

INDIA TREE FOOD COLORS:  http://www.indiatree.com/Category_Page.php?Category=NC

COLOR KITCHEN FOOD COLOR PACKETS:  http://www.colorkitchenfoods.com/products/

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PINK ICING – I made the icing from scratch to control the ingredients (recipe below) and separated it into three batches before adding dye to create an ombre gradation.  Then I poured the icing onto the cooled cake and let it drizzle over the edges, starting with the darkest pink and moving up the tiers to the lightest.

ICING RECIPE (the link below uses milk, but you can use a milk substitute or even juice):  http://www.tablespoon.com/recipes/powdered-sugar-icing/7b63e81d-a088-473a-8bca-74bb1641fc8d

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PINK LEMONADE FRUIT DIP – My own concoction!  Sweet, creamy and tangy.  Perfectly compliments berries, bananas, apples and pears.  The pink comes from several drops of food dye and has no bearing on the flavor, so feel free to omit for regular old LEMONADE FRUIT DIP.

Pink lemonade fruit dip

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup plain whole milk Greek yogurt
  • ¼ tsp vanilla
  • ¼ cup + 1 Tbsp powdered sugar
  • ½ lemon
  • Several drops of natural food coloring

DIRECTIONS:
Squeeze the lemon juice from the lemon into a small mixing bowl.  Remove seeds.  Add remaining ingredients and mix.

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PINK GUMMIES – The reservoirs in the cake was filled with another pink treat – homemade gemstone gummies.  The silicone mold went well with the gemstone table scatter.  When you make gummies at home you can control the additives.  In this case, I didn’t need pink food coloring because I used Simply Natural fruit punch.  It’s red in the container, but it looks pink when the gummies have set.  I discovered this through trial and error.  In my first attempt I used the Simply Naturals raspberry lemonade, which starts pink, but turns very light and slightly orange due to the gelatin.  A link to the gummy recipe I used is below…

GUMMY RECIPE:  http://www.studiodiy.com/2015/03/03/diy-homemade-gummy-bears/#more-20164

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THE SNACKS – A variety of berries and other sliced fruit were provided, as well as Veggie Puffs and some other chips that fit my son’s diet.

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THE DRINKS – Well, pink lemonade of course!  We used Simply Naturals raspberry lemonade, and also offered water.

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