July 23, 2020

Elle's Frozen Themed 3rd Birthday Party

simple, yet stylish; chic, not cheesy

Elle is 3 Years Old!

Cue the tears for this mama! It’s hard to believe, but my baby is now three years old!

I don’t know how we arrived here, but here we are… my baby Elle is gone, and she has given way to big girl Elle, as she likes to call herself. Before I get too sentimental (I’ll save that for another post), suffice it to say that we found a way to celebrate her birthday – albeit in a relatively low-key way.

In case you’re new here, or in case you are up for a little walk down memory lane, you can join me in reminiscing by clicking on a few of these links…

Elle’s birth story

My monthly letters to Elle during her first year

Elle’s rainbow-themed first birthday party

Elle’s golf-themed second birthday party

This year’s small celebration was a Frozen-themed party, as that’s her favorite thing in the world right now.

“Do you want to build a snowman?”

If you know, you know. 😉

Birthday Parties During a Pandemic

Before we get to the details of Elle’s party, let me preface this by discussing the elephant in the room… Celebrating birthdays during this current health crisis is hard, difficult, awkward, different from usual, etc. We all must do what we think is safe and appropriate for our families at any given time.

In Texas, we were under lockdown during March and April. In May, those restrictions started to lift. And through all those months, the number of COVID cases in Houston was relatively low. Nevertheless, I knew we weren’t living in normal times. So, a full-fledged, over-the-top party was out of the question. Yet, a drive-by type of party didn’t really work for us logistically. We are currently living in an apartment, so we didn’t really have a good set up for that.

So, I started pondering our options. Eventually, I landed on the option of simply inviting a few of our very close friends to join us for swimming at our club’s pool – and then having cake and cookies and balloons and such. Actually, our club still is not officially hosting parties. But we were able to book a family-size reservation at an off time and have the pool to ourselves.

This option worked for us. It was something we were comfortable with, and it turned out wonderfully.

Celebrating loved ones on special occasions is not canceled. Celebrations solidify the feeling of community and belonging. So, think it through and come up with a solution that is safe for you and yours.

Okay, off my soapbox… 

Character-Themed Parties

Mom to mom, can I confess something to you? I honestly hate the character-themed products and such that come in the toddler phase of life. I actually tried my hardest to keep them from invading our life. But let’s be honest – she loves certain branded products and shows right now. From Mickey Mouse to Daniel Tiger and lots of stuff in between, characters have become a big part of her life.

At the top of that list: Frozen. She is all about anything and everything Frozen. She likes to pretend that she’s Elsa, I’m Anna, and Daddy Mah is Kristoff (or Olaf, depending on her mood).

So, while I kept her first and second birthday parties clear of branded characters (rainbow-themed and golf-themed), I knew that was going to be impossible for this birthday. For months, she kept reiterating that she wanted a Frozen-themed birthday party.

Who am I to squelch those dreams? 

So, I gave in and started planning a Frozen-themed birthday party. But here is the phrase I kept repeating to myself and to my vendors…

“Chic, Not Cheesy, Frozen Birthday Party”

Elements of a Simple, Chic Frozen-themed Birthday Party

Another mom-to-mom confession: I really appreciated the “permission”, if you will, to keep the party simple this year. Can we carry that idea forward well beyond the quarantine and pandemic? This party was so much less stressful and onerous in terms of preparations. I think we need to reassess the extensive planning we’ve done in the past!

In the spirit of keeping it simple, I stuck with three main items:

(1) balloons, (2) cake, and (3) cookies.

Obviously, in my world, it still needed to be cute and delicious! Ha.

1 – Frozen-themed Balloons

For the balloons, I certainly didn’t go with any sort of literal translation of a Frozen theme. Rather, I decided on a color palette, and then I ran in that direction.

Is this color palette from Frozen the original or Frozen 2? Eh, neither really. I went with a combination that was bright and happy and colorful but still alluded to the theme.

Once the color theme was set and the location was set (a little grassy treed area near the pool), I let Kelsey from That Balloon Girl run with it! I knew I wanted a number three balloon mosaic and a backdrop of sorts in the trees. That’s really all the direction I gave – and it turned out wonderfully!

2 – Frozen-themed Birthday Cake

When it came to the birthday cake (even though we have a Houston birthday cake guide), I wanted to try a new vendor I had seen several friends use recently – Lady Bird. Elizabeth of Lady Bird is known for her sleek, modern, chic aesthetic. I knew her style would work remarkably well with my simple, modern, chic (not cheesy!) vision for the party. And then the acrylic cake topper was just the perfect finishing touch!

3 – Frozen-themed Cookies

As for the cookies, well, I let a little fun and whimsy creep in here! And for the cookies, I turned to my longtime friend Shannon Tidwell of Cookies in Color. Shannon also did the cookies for Elle’s first birthday party (and many other celebrations of mine). She’s the type of talented friend you just love having in your corner, as she has great taste and needs very little creative direction.

The only thing Elle had specified is that she wanted Olaf cookies and princess cookies – ha. So, I passed that directive on to Shannon, shared my color palette, and let her take it from there!

Side note: her cookies are so delicious! They taste as good – or even better – than they look!

Party Planning Lessons

As I wrap up this post, I’m struck by two party planning lessons:

1 – The importance of a color palette

Choose a color palette, communicate it with your vendors, carry it throughout the party, and everything will tie together beautifully!

2 – The importance of talented, trustworthy vendors

Find yourselves some vendors whom you like stylistically, provide some general and color guidance, and then trust them! Let them run with it and do their things!

In Closing

I personally learned a big lesson in all of this… Elle was just as happy with this simplified celebration as she was with more elaborate parties. Plus, I was less stressed and more relaxed. I really enjoyed these memories we made on this day. I’ll definitely be carrying this lesson of simplifying forward.


Balloons by That Balloon Girl

Cake by Lady Bird

Cake topper by Aalvo

Cookies by Cookies in Color

Elle’s dress by cuteheads

Location Royal Oaks Country Club

My dress from Frock Shop

Photos by Kate Robinson Photography


  1. Erin says:

    Beautiful bday party! And I learned years ago, kids enjoy a few friends and less fuss just as much as the elaborate, big parties! In fact I read an article which said whatever the child’s age is how many friends they should invite! So a 3 year old would be more than happy with 3 party guests and so on.❄️⛄️🥶

    1. See – you always have so much mama wisdom to share with me! 🙂

  2. Elizabeth says:

    Thank you so much for having me! I love, love, love the modern simplicity of it all. And on top of it everyone seem to have a wonderful fun time. 💙💙💙

    1. You are awesome! Thanks so much, Elizabeth.

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