Because the important moments in life just don’t fit in a status update! I started this blog when I was training for my first ½ Ironman, (70.3 miles) to record what I hoped would be growth and progress but ended up being a huge learning experience. Although fitness is one of the key ingredients to a happy life, it certainly isn't the only ingredient. My blog has evolved to document growth, progress and setbacks in other areas too. From my surprise proposal in Rome and wedding in the fall of 2013, to Mom's devastating stage IV cancer diagnosis and death 2 weeks after I found out I was pregnant. Who knows what shape it will take, but thanks for being along for the ride.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

My Party Planning Obesession

I have a confession to make. I can't stop thinking about the girl's birthday parties. I already have a theme picked out for the first birthday of my baby that isn't due until June, and already have a theme for their combination 2nd/4th birthday party...which isn't until 2019. I seem to have developed S.O.P.P. syndrome. Or, sudden obsession with party planning syndrome. 

Last year, I planned a big party for Baby-A's first birthday, and had so much fun doing it. Previously, I viewed coordinating an event like this that involved vendors as a chore. Something to be avoided when possible, or to just get through, when necessary. I felt sorry for people who felt the pressure to organize something like this. To my surprise, I enjoyed every part of it, and didn't find it stressful at all. 

Usually a procrastinator, I found myself organizing and planning things starting when she was only a few months old. I went a little over-board, much to my husband's dismay. But it's her 1st, I reasoned, and that's how it's supposed to be. At least here in Orange County. "I won't have a party for her second" I assured him. 


Shortly after the big day last May, having no party turned into just a small one, and I started searching for themes. Picking the puppy paw-ty theme, I became excited about the planning all over again. Right about the time I discovered that you can rent puppies (and yes, they are already reserved), I knew I didn't stand a chance. Before I knew it, I was back in full party-planning mode. This time, I took it a step further and hired a party-planner. For a kid's party. Yes, there is such a thing, thanks to people like me.


My SOPP syndrome manifests itself in many ways. Most recently, I have found my thoughts occupied with picking the perfect outfit for her. Her classic hand-smocked dress with a Peter Pan collar arrived yesterday and I couldn't be happier:



My inspiration? Princess Charlotte, of course, who was seen wearing something very similar for her first appearance on the iconic balcony of Buckingham Palace. She is frequently seen in classic hand-smocked dresses like this with the Peter Pan collar. 

How would I know this? Well, while in Venice and Milan, I had a bit of free-time on my hands while baby and Daddy were napping for 2-3 hours every day. Not able to sleep myself, and not at home to tackle any chores, I found a blog devoted to What Kate's Kids Wore. 

How excited I was to discover someone had done the leg-work and chronicled every article of clothing she has made an appearance in and, more importantly; where to buy it? This was right up my alley. 



But as luck would have it, this particular dress was what the blogger calls an unidentified fashion object. And another dress that she wore for the birthday party in Canada that I loved was out of stock. I emailed the company, and they would not be restocking any more. 

And so, I started searching. I'm not sure what exactly is involved in hand-smocking, but it must be time consuming because all the dresses I found cost at least a hundred bucks, plus shipping, which is a lot when they're sending it all the way from France. I was so excited and surprised to the perfect dress at Amazon! 


If you're interested in the same dress or something similar, click here.

My husband loves a good deal, and the fact that I found the dress for less, with free shipping, was my negotiation power for ordering her shoes from Spain.


While I couldn't find the exact dress, I was able to order the brand of shoes Princess Charlotte wears frequently. They are made by Dona Carmen, and ordering them proved to be a bit of a challenge, but they're on their way! (Read about why Kate favors Spanish brands here). 


On their website, they do not have an option to ship to the United States. But I emailed them and they said they would be happy to send them our way for 50. Of course they would! I responded explaining that I couldn't justify spending that on shipping, since the shoes themselves only cost 29€ (very reasonable!). To my surprise, they said they would ship them for 20 and so I also ordered a pair of baby booties for Baby J. 
can-tour-charlotte-blue-shoes-arrival-saturday-september-24-dona-carmen-mercedita-suela 

There is a bit more to me ordering these than just trying to dress my daughter like a princess. As you probably know, my Mom is from England. Her whole life, she has kept up on the Queen and her appearances, as any good subject of the Royal Crown does. Mom followed Princess Diana, and was also following the Duchess of Cambridge. If there was a special televised event, she would wake up early to watch it. I know she would be (hopefully, is) thrilled that I am choosing this for Baby A to wear. It is one very small way that I am able to pay homage to her.

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