It was all about Princess Tiana at our house this weekend past.
I’m talking bejeweled tiaras.
Sparkly, feathery masks.
Lots of great, New Orleans-style music.
Green and lavender balloons, napkins, and goodie bags filled to the brim with all manner of princess stuff.
Even “frog” cupcakes.
Oh yeah, Disney’s The Princess and the Frog was in FULL effect—please believe it! Mari and Lila hosted eight of their best girlfriends at a super raucous, super cutie sleepover to celebrate the opening weekend of the animated film featuring Disney’s first African-American princess, and I have to tell you, we were all downright giddy to fete Princess Tiana as we anxiously await her debut on the big screen on Friday. Here, a blow-by-blow of our Princess Tiana Rocks Party…
Of course, the key to a great party is a great theme, and Mari and Lila put in overtime to make sure their party celebrated Princess Tiana in every way. While we pumped up the volume our digital download of The Princess and the Frog soundtrack—Princess Tiana’s “Almost There,” performed by actress Anika Noni Rose, gets them moving every time—Mari whipped up some vanilla cupcakes while Lila assembled the eyes for the “Frogs in the Water” cupcake recipe we cribbed from "The Princess and the Frog: Tiana's Cookbook." Then we poured some Sun Chips and Tostitos in our fancy bowls, set out some gummy worms and gum drops, and decorated and filled up the goodie bags with loads of neat stuff—The Princess and the Frog buttons, mini posters, and word searches, plus Mardi Gras bead necklaces (in homage to New Orleans, Princess Tiana’s hometown), recipe cards for the cupcakes, songbook lyrics for the soundtrack, and candy (of course). In short, Mari and Lila laid it out!
The feathers were flying when Mari and Lila kicked off the festivities with a Mardi Gras mask-making crafts session—in honor of the fancy masks Princess Tiana and her friends sport in the movie. The girls had quite a time bedazzling their already colorful masks with lots of little sparkly things, and seeing whose was fanciest. Then Nick set off the action when he sent the girls on a wild Tiara Scavenger Hunt; lots of little giggly girls, split into groups of two, were running all through the house in a mad dash for clues that lead them to pretty purple and hot pink tiaras stashed in practically every nook and cranny from the bedrooms to the basement. Of course, there was a tiara for every princess!
Of course, all that tiara hunting worked up a serious thirst! Good thing we had Tiana’s Swamp Water Smoothies—blended frozen mangoes, strawberries, blueberries and bananas, yogurt and OJ—on hand for the parched princesses. And of course, even drinks with the word “swamp” in the title taste delicious served up in fancy glasses fit for a princess. While they sipped, the girls politely took turns playing The Princess and the Frog Wii game (the animation is amazing and the games definitely kept them interested and giggling, especially the one where they had to run from the kissing frog!) and bonding with the balloons (they never tire of balloons, do they?). Soon enough, they sat down to a feast fit for princesses: Spaghetti with roasted tomato and basil sauce and home made meatballs, mixed salad, and garlic bread. They topped off dinner with some sweet frogs—frog cupcakes, that is!
There’s no party like a Princess Tiana party because a Princess Tiana party won’t stop! That’s right—a core group of the girls jumped into their jammies and kept the party going into the wee hours of the morning. They made crystal ornaments (boiling water, Borax, and pipe cleaners make for some pretty neat Christmas tree decorations). They played tag. They played video games. They tickled and smothered each other in the playroom. They told each other crazy stories and watched The Disney Channel and enjoyed each other tremendously. And then (finally!) they drifted off to sleep some time around 2 a.m., only to get back up at around 8 a.m. for more!
The next morning, while they waited for their pancake, bacon, and strawberry breakfast, the super crafty and fashionable Princess Simone encouraged the girls to use leftover tissue paper to make themselves a bouquet of colorful tissue paper flowers. The masks and tiaras made another appearance too, because, well, what princess rises in the morning without the tiara? It was, for sure, a great way to end a fantastic princess slumber party!
Each and every one of the girls left Mari and Lila’s Princess Tiana Rocks Party totally in love with Princess Tiana. I don’t know if they realize the significance of her debut—how her march onto the screen this Friday marks a significant place in history when little girls—little brown girls, in particular—will, for the first time, sit in movie theaters across this nation and celebrate the intelligence and strength of a beautiful princess—a beautiful princess who looks just like them.
To ensure my Mari and Lila get a front row seat to this piece of history, I’m buying our tickets today on FANDANGO.COM. I encourage each of you to do the same, as we need to make a STRONG showing at the theaters this weekend to show our support for the first animated movie made specifically with little brown girls in mind.
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