Scarlett’s babydoll birthday party

My sister Kapri’s overachievingly gorgeous birthday parties for her children continue. This year, Scarlett is four, and she invited me to come to her house for a babydoll birthday.

Behold, the pink and blue parade, beginning with homemade vanilla cupcakes with cream cheese icing, and a fur-trimmed party hat on top.

Scarlett had the cutest pink and blue dress, with a matching homemade hair bow, just for the occasion. My sister made the doll clothes garland out of Scarlett’s newborn outfits. The child’s closet has always been insane.

My mother and sister turned the living room into a little girl’s heaven, with doll cradles and cribs and tea parties set up all over.


Scarlett showed off her necklace.

Scarlett is the trained daughter of a bona-fide beauty queen. (Kapri was Miss Arizona, 2001.) The kid can pose for a photo. Note the pink and blue treats in the candy jars. My sister can find anything on the internet. My reporter-stalking-skills  are equaled by her shopping-stalking-skills.

Party favors, of course:

My gift to Scarlett — whose pajamas even matched the event. Isn’t that burlap ribbon fantastic? I brought it home from a craft shop in Utah.

Sweet details:

Mini milkshakes — to be clear, we totally get these from the drive-through and pour them into tiny, pretty cups.

Scarlett’s baby Polly got a new outfit, too. Note Polly’s mini birthday cake handbag. I want one in my size.

Actually, I’d like to come back to earth as Scarlett — for the tutu collection alone.

Good photos by my sister. Questionable photos by me.


By |2012-08-03T08:21:44-07:00August 3rd, 2012|Parties|1 Comment

My Mother’s Christmas Tea

A few Decembers ago, my mom called with magic in her voice.

“I’m having a Christmas tea party,” she said. “Please come.”

My nieces and nephews gathered at a tiny table set near the tree. We sipped hot chocolate with our pinkies up, ate goldfish crackers and pretended to speak in British accents. It was hilarious fun and became one of our favorite traditions.

This year, long roads and pesky colds kept the tea party to a single guest: Miss Scarlett, and my mom fussed the tea party up in grand pink princess fashion.


Even the sugar was pink.

Our guest was charmed from her pink bow to her pink toes (and wanted to play with that sugar for days).


My mom set the table in miniature splendor.

This included mini napkins that she cut out and tied with bows, complete with mini sprigs of evergreen.

Mini boxes of chocolate were our party favors:

And the (Scarlett-approved) menu included mini Oreos, mini circus cookies (pink!), mini bites of cheese in the shape of Mickey Mouse, and the following: bread in gingerbread shapes. (Cookie cutters are a tea party’s best tool.)

That gorgeous Tammie Coe cookie.

And mini pizzas in the shape of candy canes.

There were even a few pink baubles brought in just for the occasion.

Pinkies up!

Scarlett opened her gift from Granni early:

Her own tea party supplies.

My sister reports that Scarlett was so enchanted that days later, she’s STILL playing tea party at home.

Dear Mom: You are the magic in all our Christmas memories. Thank you for creating joy.

By |2010-12-22T11:52:45-07:00December 22nd, 2010|Parties|0 Comments

Scarlett and the Ballerina Girl

One of the more glorious rites of being a girl, at least in my family, is seeing The Nutcracker onstage for the first time. My mom would give us a real Nutcracker doll of our own to encourage enchantment, dress us in ruffles when the night finally arrived and whisper when it was almost time for the dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy. I saw Ballet Arizona at Gammage when I was 8, and the wonder of that night still tingles.

Last night, it was Scarlett’s turn. Ballet Arizona invited me to read the story of the Nutcracker to little girls before the show, and my mom and sister bought tickets and came to join the fun.

The day began, most appropriately, with Scarlett’s ballet class. She’s 2 and she loves to twirl and twist like Angelina Ballerina. My sister encourages the tutu dreams.

When the curtain went up that night, revealing Clara dancing beneath a giant Christmas tree, Scarlett said, “Look at this!” and the magic took hold.

“Ballerina!” she whispered during The Waltz of the Snowflakes, which was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen on a stage:  shimmering costumes, tulle for days, and toe shoes making paths in the snow. (Scarlett wanted to get down and twirl in the aisle.)

The Sugar Plum Fairy that night was Paola Hartley, a ballerina from Chile whose arms seemed to fill the whole stage. I loved watching the joy on her face while she danced. When Scarlett saw her, she whispered, “I love you, princess.”

And after, in the lobby, Scarlett twirled around in her tutu, playing ballerina, the happiest little girl in the world.

(And then she took OFF her tutu and ran through the lobby in her underwear, squealing.)

Ballet Arizona’s Nutcracker plays through Dec. 26 at Symphony Hall in Phoenix.

By |2010-12-16T11:59:19-07:00December 16th, 2010|Stories|3 Comments


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