A couple of weeks before her birthday, Abbey started thinking about her party. Last summer she bought this book at the American Girl store.
I ixnayed her slumber party dreams because y'all...I just can't handle sleepovers with multiple kids hyped up on cake and ice cream (such the mean mom--ha!). Most of the ideas in the book can be adapted to afternoon parties though so I told her I could totally roll with the spa theme. IF you have girls, this book is really worth the money! Abbey flipped through it choosing ideas and activities and in about five minutes we had her party planned.
The AG book even has suggestions for cute, themed invitations. Abbey and I tried making ours like the pedicure flip flops they suggested but honestly they were a big FLOP. Instead she helped me make a cute one in PhotoshopElements with cupcakes and polka dots.
We also used this book that Sarah got for Christmas--it's wonderful as well--especially for tweens. Sarah is always mixing up scrubs and masks and soaks and I usually always have the ingredients called for in the recipes since it's all natural stuff. Again, totally worth the price tag and makes a great gift!
Sarah helped me make a list of every ingredient we needed for our "concoctions" and then we went shopping for the girls' treat bags. They all got stretchy headbands to pull their hair away from their face for our mask, fun nail files, nail polish, toe separaters (for their pedicures) and lip gloss. I don't know about you but my girls have a million bajillion bottles of lotion (in every scent imaginable and I betcha they'll never be able to use it all before they leave for college).
Then Sarah helped me make "signs" for each spa station the girls would be visiting.
Handy-Mani for manicures. One girl looked up at the sign and said: "Does that sign really say Handy Mani?" At which I cracked up laughing. Why yes, yes it does and Sarah and I thought it was terribly clever.
Best Foot Forward for pedicure.
Hairapy for the hair station. (In hindsight, this wasn't a great idea. Sarah got a really bad curling iron burn and even though Sarah's friend was also here helping us, there just wasn't enough time do this and do it well.)
and the Facial Mask.
Abbey invited four friends to join her. She wanted her party to be on her actual birthday which was kinda tricky since it fell during spring break. Thankfully all of the invited guests were in town this week and able to come! After they arrived we played a couple of spa-themed games--one was a version of "Go Fish" using spa-themed items hidden in a bag (it was straight from that AG book and the girls LOVED it). I let them keep some of the items too--mini-soaps, hair bands, bath scrubbies, sleep masks, etc. FUN!
Then we had them rotate to each spa station.
Here's the manicure station where they soaked their hands in warm buttermilk to soften them. Buttermilk also whitens your nails. Did you know that? Afterwards they rubbed their cuticles with olive oil and then Sarah and her friend painted their nails. Oh, and I bought some of those nail stickers for them to put on after their polish dried. It was cute.
(Sarah and her friend "decorated" the table with a beach towel that just happened to match perfectly with my bowls. See? Tween helpers are THE BEST!)
And here's the facial mask station, before I mixed things up. You simply take 1/2 avacado and 1 wedge of lemon. (I doubled that!) Squeeze the lemon into the avacado and mix. Ours was kinda chunky. Directions say to spread it over face and leave for 10-15 minutes. I think the girls left it on for about two-three minutes. Ha! No worries. They all thought their faces were super soft after we washed it off.
You should also put a towel underneath your neck and protect your clothes. I kinda learned that the hard way!
For the pedicure station, the girls soaked their feet in warm water, Epsom salt, and a few drops of lavender essential oil. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm...smelled so good and their feet were so soft!
We sang Happy Birthday to Abbey and her daddy, opened gifts, and then the girls jumped on the trampoline for a little while until their parents came. It was a really fun afternoon. Abbey woke up the next morning and said, "Only 364 days until my next birthday!" Guess I better start workin' on that. Grin.