Princess Unicorn Birthday Party

K turned 5 this year (pause while I go cry out all my mommy hormones)!! When they tell you kids grow up fast, it's hard to grasp really how fast. As cliché as it sounds, it seems like only just yesterday I was cradling her in my arms and now she's a mini pre-teen. Thankfully she still likes holding my hands and giving me lots of hugs and kisses, I'll take them for as long as she'll give them to me. 

We don't do parties every year for K, we've been saving them for milestones. So I knew for her 5th birthday I wanted to throw her a special party. As I mentioned in her birthday outfit post she said she wanted a "Princess Unicorn" party. It's not a realm I'm familiar with being that I generally prefer neutrals, understated and not overly girl things but I was up for the challenge. Now was the time to think over-the-top, I mean could it be any other way for a Princess Unicorn? The other challenge I was facing was the popularity of unicorn parties. I wanted K's party to be unique to her and was determined to make it different. Thankfully I had Toni from Confetti and Bows help me with planning the party and she really elevated the "Princess" status in this unicorn party!

My cousin had just moved into her new condo and it had the coolest party room with black walls and gold designs. Knowing that unicorn parties are generally light and pretty, I loved how the black walls would give the theme some contrast and a bold element. From there I added pastel rainbow colours, iridescent elements and accents of mixed metals for some shine and sparkle. Overall I wanted it all to feel non-uniformed in design but cohesive linked together with all the elements. 

I knew that I wanted the sweet table to be the focal point of the party but again I wanted it to be different, so instead of putting the cake in the centre I opted to do an asymmetrical table. Unicorns are free-spirited similar to K and they don't always go by what's expected so I thought this would be a fun twist. I also wanted to incorporate the secondary theme of rainbows, clouds and stars. For the backdrop I made felt puffy clouds and Doris from Love Lettering created the laser-cut wood "Kali is Five" lettering and painted them in rose gold. Toni and I had a craft day and DIY'ed the rainbow table skirt from pastel streamers and iridescent cellophane. Added sparkly stars on top for some extra dimension.

On the sweet table was everything K dreams about eating even though most days she's pretty good at avoiding the sweets and having fruit instead. The main unicorn cake was her favourite strawberry vanilla. The mini cakes were Earl Grey flavoured, a treat for the adults. Along with the cakes, The Purple Cupcake created whimsical and fun donuts, cloud pavlovas, unicorn macarons and star, cloud and rainbow-shaped sugar cookies. Normally that would probably be enough but we also had delicious organic, all-natural cotton candy from Fancy Pufs. And to top that off, I also made confetti popcorn and unicorn bark because you know, it's a unicorn party! Toni's collection of cake stands was amazing, so many different colours, styles, heights and sizes! She had this acrylic riser that was perfect for showcasing the unicorn cake, a big sparkly disco ball and acrylic trays full of fun sprinkles to make our sweet table dreams come true.

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For these glass milk jars, I bedazzled them with jewels and pom pom stirrers to make them extra fancy for the kids. There really is no other way to drink your strawberry milk when you're a princess unicorn. I have a simple DIY tutorial for these jars coming in a future post.

Toni also put together the prettiest kids table with their very own pink sequins linen. She also DIY'ed the geometric table runner and pom-pom arrangements. The kids were suppose to eat at this table but they ended up decorating the plates instead and turned it into an art table which I loved. I probably would have done the same since the paper plates that Toni carries are so cute and fun!   

For the photo booth we wanted it to be kid friendly. Toni DIY'ed a large balloon backdrop and we kept it low to the ground so the kids could stand in front of it easily. Doris created a custom set of unicorn birthday themed Posecards for K and also came up with "MagiKali 5" which I loved! I ended up using that on the graphics for the water bottles and loot bags. The really cute unicorn graphic I customized from Creative Market. I love their creative assets so much I became an affiliate. Their assets are really easy to use and being able to customize them is perfect for little details that you want to create yourself.  I'll also be sharing a separate post later on for what was in the loot bags and how I (and my amazing family who were voluntold lol) made the unicorn headbands for each of K's friends.

They say it takes a village to raise a child, well it also takes a village to plan a princess unicorn party. I really do love styling and planning parties, lets me do something different creatively than what I normally do. And I know my friends and family tease me about how "crazy" they are, I can't plan a party and not care about the details. Maybe it's because I've been in the wedding industry for years and have been exposed to so much pretty and fun, I wanted to make sure I spoiled my little unicorn as much as I could (...within reason! G is probably shaking his head reading this lol) for her milestone 5th birthday.

FEATURED IN

Kara's Party Ideas
Inspired by This

UNICORN POOP DIY TUTORIAL

Confetti and Bows 

CREDITS

Styling | Heidi Lau Photography and Confetti and Bows
Cakes and Desserts | The Purple Cupcake 
Cotton Candy | Fancy Pufs 
Sequin Linens | Linen Closet 
Invitations | Tiny Prints
Party Supplies | Confetti and Bows
Lettering (Backdrop, invitation envelope and tags) | Love Lettering
Photobooth Balloon Backdrop | Confetti and Bows
Photobooth Props | Posecards
Birthday Girl's Hair | Puzzle Creations
Unicorn Graphic on Water Bottles and Loot Bags and Food Tented Cards | Creative Market (affiliated

#UptownMamapreneur

Finding the Elusive Work/Life Balance

For years this is how most of my weeks looked like, Monday to Thursday during the day answer emails, update social media, schedule meetings, run errands, cook meals, plan shoots, some days I would shoot on location somewhere, oh! and keep K alive. Once K went to bed then I would either go out for meetings, answer more emails or edit until about 2 or 3 in the morning, then go to bed and wake up at 7 to start it all over again. Fridays were a little different since I would have a wedding on Saturday, Friday during the days were pretty much the same as the other weekdays but in the evenings I would stay home to prep for the next day, print out the schedule, email the team any last minute updates, clean all my gear and plan out my routes on Waze or Google Maps. Saturday wedding. Sunday more meetings and engagement shoots.

And I'm sure this is pretty standard for most mamapreneurs juggling motherhood and business. Slowly I started realizing how little time I actually spent with my family, especially quality time. K was growing up and growing up fast and I felt like I was missing so much of it. Even so, I didn't really do anything to change how my life was, I felt like I needed to be busy and felt guilty when I wasn't "working". I struggled a lot with feeling like I was failing at being a good mom and also a successful business owner, I was constantly fighting to be better at both. It wasn't until last year when I finally accepted that I wasn't going to be good at either if I didn't make some serious changes. Work/Life balance is attainable but not without some effort and planning.

SET OFFICE HOURS
Ok so I used to answer emails at all hours of the day and night which meant I had no separation between work and personal life. It was all jumbled up into a big messy ball. Even if you don't have a physical office, setting hours not only sets the expectations of your clients, I also find it helps with productivity too. I know that during certain hours of the day I'm devoting my time to work, so I'm less likely to be distracted. 

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LEARNING TO SAY NO
How often do you say yes to something only because you didn't want to say no or felt guilty saying no? I still have a hard time saying no but definitely getting better at it. When you're doing too much, you're not going to be able to provide the kind of quality service and product to your clients you would want to be providing, so in the end no boy wins. Learning to limit what I take on has been a very valuable lesson for both my business and personal life. 

USE A PLANNER
I'm talking about a physical planner (like the one in the photo above). I used to only use my Google calendar and a single giant "To-Do" list to manage everything. It felt so daunting, like I always had so much to do! This year I bought myself a (pretty) planner that lets me also plan one week at a time. I leave this planner open on my desk and every Friday morning I look at what I completed that week and carry-over what I didn't to the next week. Then I plan out the next week and don't look at it again until Monday. I found this keeps me productive during the week knowing what to expect. It also let me enjoy my weekend more and not constantly worrying about what else needs to be done for work.  

SET ASIDE "ME" TIME
This is definitely the hardest thing to commit to and the easiest to push aside but I feel is so important in order to find balance. I know I speak for many entrepreneurs who feel burnt out and don't know how to avoid it. Setting aside time for ourselves heals our souls a little and in return makes us better to the people around us. Another mamapreneur introduced me to Lush fresh face masks. She actually bought me a whole care package for my recovery after my surgery and I can't thank her enough for it. I used to think who has time for masks? Now I'm addicted, it doesn't take long but it means I dedicate 15mins to just unwind, destress and have some quiet time, plus my face feels awesome afterwards. I think the next level will be to do a mask in a bath, I haven't gotten to that point yet but maybe in the near future.

It's my 8th year running my business and although it took me awhile to find a healthier balance between my work and personal life, I'm happy to finally be here. Running a successful business doesn't mean you have to give up your personal life, I actually strongly believe it's the other way around where your business is successful when you have more time to enjoy your personal life.  

Let me know what you do to keep your work/life balanced! #UptownMamapreneur

Princess Unicorn Birthday OOTD

Some of you might have read on my previous posts or seen on my insta-stories that we celebrated K's milestone 5th birthday 2 weeks ago. I've been mentally planning her birthday for months but really it all came together the last couple of weeks before the big day. I had every intention of getting everything ready sooner but I'm still working on the whole "balance" thing, I'll get there lol. It also didn't help that I got sick the week of her birthday, I was doing so well this winter too, it had to be that week of course. Thankfully I had a village of volunteers and some were voluntold but they all love K so they were happy to help. I'll be doing a full reveal of her party later on but in the meantime will share different parts of her party.

K knew that we were throwing her a party this year (we only have parties on milestone birthdays to keep them special) and since she doesn't remember her 1st one, her 5th was going to be a BIG surprise. She has been obsessed with unicorns this past year, her pretend character she calls herself is Princess Unicorn so I knew the party theme needed to be just that. For those that know me, know that I'm not very girly or over-the-top, I like simple and classic. And a Princess Unicorn theme was anything but simple and definitely girly and over-the-top, I really flexed my creative skills with this one. In the end, my inner secret girly girl had a lot of fun and really enjoyed having an excuse to buy all things sparkly! 

For K's birthday outfit I wanted it to be fun but practical. I got her things that she could wear all together for her birthday and then separately too when she's not in party mode. I found the dress at H&M over the holidays and it became the inspiration for the rest of the outfit. The dress had a lot of sparkle so I got her the fuzzy cream bomber to balance it out and to keep her warm. Added a little unicorn pin on it which made me think of the unicorn flying through fluffy clouds. My good friend Ming (Puzzle Creations) had offered to do K's hair as a gift for her birthday so I thought a big sparkly clip would go with her curls. To finish off her outfit I got her bunny tights (the only thing she loves more than unicorns is bunnies). And there you have it, my Princess Unicorn outfit.

SHOP THIS OUTFIT

1. Pink and rose gold sequin party dress : H&M kids (similar)
2. Pastel rainbow unicorn bow hair clip : Mimi and Mabel
3. Unicorn pin : Sparkle Collective
4. Cream faux fur bomber : H&M kids (similar)
5. White and grey bunny tights : Old Navy (on sale right now!)

#UptownMamapreneur