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Dancing Sugar Plums! It's a Nutcracker-Inspired Birthday Party for Stella

Dancing Sugar Plums! It's a Nutcracker-Inspired Birthday Party for Stella

Rebecca Cohen of LoveShackFancy whipped up a sweet soiree for her 2-year-old daughter, Stella. A dose of whimsy, lots of glitter, and one dreamy doll-sized hideaway made for a magical afternoon. 

Once Upon A Time

As a New York native, Cohen says she grew up watching "The Nutcracker" on stage for as long as she can remember. "The costume, the dancing, the music — it's all so magical!," she says.

As soon as her daughters, 2-year-old Stella and 4-year-old Scarlet, were old enough, she couldn't wait to take them to the show. "They love it. We go and watch it twice a year. The minute it's Thanksgiving Day, we're already playing the music and watching it in the car." As part-dreamy inspiration for Cohen's fashion line and part-lifelong love, a Nutcracker-inspired birthday only seemed next in order. 

 

A Magical Makeover

To transform her showroom into an whimsical wonderland, Cohen adorned the space with floral garlands and bouquets by Missi Flowers peppered with pinks, whites, and lucious greens. Star-shapped balloons in pink and gold grazed the ceiling while a few special balloons honoring the little guest of honor marked a grand entrance. 

A Twinkling Table

For an extra regal feel, Cohen set up a low, long table in the center of the room for the tots' main seating, with two special armchairs at the head of the table just for her and little Stella. Special touches included a party cracker at each place setting and a sparkly crown or a Nutcracker hat on every seat. Scattered mini ballet slipper ornamets and angel wings sprinkled in pops of glitter and shine. 

Treats and Sweets

From cookie lollipops and mini doughnuts to Stella's birthday cake, all desserts were inspired by one sugary scene from the ballet story. "There's a part where Clara goes to the Land of Sweets," says Cohen. "They ride on a little carridge, meet the Sugar Plum Fairy, and everything is pastel colored."

  • Fruit Hearts on a Stick
    Fruit Hearts on a Stick
  • A Pretty-in-Pink Cake
    A Pretty-in-Pink Cake
  • Tea Sandwiches
    Tea Sandwiches
  • Winged Angel Treats
    Winged Angel Treats

Hide and Seek

Under a makeshift tent of twinkling lights, party guests could escape to a dreamland — something Cohen said her daughters loved to do. "They love finding little nooks. They can find a party and make their own fun wherever they go!" 

Darling Dress-Up

Of all the story's magical memories, one of Cohen's favorite parts of "The Nutcracker" is the costume design. "The little girl in the story, Clara, has so many different dresses. One that she wears is a Victorian nightgown — which my line is inspired by! — and it just makes you want to dance in falling snow. It's so romantic."

To bring this idea to life at the party, Cohen set up a boudoir-like area complete with plush pillows and lots of room for twirling. A special photo wall also displayed precious mommy-daughter memories and doubled decor accents. Plus, Cohen says, "The girls love seeing photos of themselves on the wall!"

Extra tip: If your party has a theme, invite your guests to dress the part. "We asked ours to come dressed inspired by 'The Nutcracker' so the boys wore velvet jackets and the girls wore tutus. This not only adds to the scene but is a fun way for everyone to take part in the theme — and makes for great pictures." 

Fun and Games

To keep little hands entertained, the dining table was turned into a crafts station for watercolors and stenciling projects. "My daughters love crafts," says Cohen. "Plus, I love those simple old-fashioned party activities like arts, puppet shows, and scavenger hunts. I'm often inspired by their whimsical nostalgia." For the grand finale, guests were visited by none other than a real ballerina who showed even the tiniest toes how to perfect a plie. 

Credits

Showroom: LoveShackFancy | @loveshackfancy
Photography: Aletiza Photo 
Flowers:  Missi Flowers | @missiflowers
Party supplies and styling: Clafoutis | @clafoutis
Face paint: Face Art by Melissa 
Balloons: Brooklyn Balloon Company | @brooklynballooncompany
Chairs: Petite Seats | @petiteseats
Ballerina: SHIEN Artists & Event Creative | @shienartists
Dessert: Mayra's Cakepops, Bakes by Marie & The Meringue Bakeshop
Cake: CakeHeroNYC