Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Celebrating The Princess and the Frog: Princess Tiana Takes Center Stage at Our Weekend Slumber Party



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.

Finally.

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.

We HEART Princess Tiana!




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24 comments:

  1. looks like a fabulously fun time...makes me wish I was a little girl again!

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  2. I know those little girls had a great time,that was a well thought out theme.

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  3. OMG like my daughter would say... I am jealous! It looks like they had a fabulous time and cannot wait to see it with my little princess! :-)

    -Natasha

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  4. It looks like it a wonderful party...maybe I can get your girls to put together my next party! LOL

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  5. You are such an amazing mom, Denene. Your little princesses are so blessed. Looks like the ladies had a great time.

    The success of this movie will open up a ton of doors for African American animation; stories and characters. All thanks to the enormous push and support by parents, such as yourself.(and did I see a Wii game as well? Disney is doin' it!)

    Keep up the great work as an artist, but most definitely as the beautiful mom and wife that you already are.

    ddb

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  6. @Derrick: King, you are too kind! Thank you for the sweet words of encouragement; I'm blessed to be able to celebrate the simple things in life with my girls, and I'm happy to share it with other moms (and dads!) I know want to and are doing their very best to raise beautiful, smart, independent, strong, loving little princesses.

    And you're absolutely right: It's important that we support this movie for MANY reasons, including sending the message that MORE movies/TV shows/books/characters featuring brown children should be the rule, rather than the exception.

    Thanks for all that YOU do, Derrick. You're a rock star around these parts, too!

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  7. OMG!! That looks so fun! My little girls has a birthday coming up and I will use these same ideas for her's. WOW, you really did a great job ~ I can tell!

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  8. We absolutely love it! Now after reading this post and seeing the amazing photos and the fun your girls had, there's no way I can convince my youngest Tyanna to choose any other theme for her birthday next year in May.

    In fact since she's heard the news about our newest Princess, she's asked on several occasions could we just have a birthday redo before the year is out...yea! Many blessings my friend!

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  9. So creative and such fun! I wish I had been there! lol Great memories for a beautiful young lady! :)

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  10. You did that just right! That's a wonderful memory!

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  11. You sure know how to throw a party.....I'm wondering where was my invite! You give me so much to look forward to with Miss Maya......I loved the crafts. We plan to see the movie on Sunday and I have to make it super special.

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  12. LOVE this post, love the comments LOVE everything! You are an awesome mom and those little girls looked like they had a wonderful time! We are seeing the movie this weekend..even though we don't have a little princess yet our little prince loves princesses (and frogs) so I'm sure the movie will be a hit :)

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  13. Thanks for sharing your celebration with us. I am excited about seeing the movie this weekend. I will have to get the cookbook to see what yummy treats we can also make to celebrate the debut of Princess Tiana.

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  14. WOW, this sounds like so much fun!

    If I had a daughter, I'd be all over this.

    (son & i are still going to see the movie though!)

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  15. What an amazing celebration! And the cupcakes are just perfect! :-).

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  16. So fun! I love a good theme party -- the frog princess and mini-saurus would have been all over it!! : )

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  17. So fun! I love a good theme party. The Frog Princess and Mini-Saurus would have been ALL over it!!

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  18. DENENE!!!!!! I WASN'T INVITED?!?!?!?! OMG I wanted to CRY while I was reading this post! I made my husband read it too! I CAN'T WAIT to throw parties like this with my little girl!! OMG how fun fun fun!!

    We saw the movie last weekend (press screening) I CAN'T WAIT to hear what you think of it! The screening was PACKED and sooo many people couldn't get it. I PROMISE it'll be a hit!!!

    Oooh I wanna know what you think! And I wanna get that cookbook and seriously throw a party for some girls... I don't care who! haha.

    Great post!!

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  19. Oh this looks like SUCH fun! I want to be 9 years old again. I don't know who's more giddy about the debut of this film: me or my girls. I'm getting geeked all over again!

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  20. How fun. We're using the movie for my daughters 9th bday party this weekend. Can't wait. Thanks for sharing your celebration.

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  21. I love love love this! I'm 20 years old but I vividly remember my childhood and how me and my sisters were Disney freaks. Bed sheet, dolls, tiaras, Halloween costume...you name it, we had it. And I'm am so excited to see the movie this weekend with my sister so we can relive our childhood for a couple of hours! :-)

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  22. Hi Denise! Since I can't post on Parenting, I'd like to comment here on your parenting post. I thought it was lovely, and I am as white as white can be. :) Hearing the voice of other cultures and communities is always a beautiful thing and diversity, on any account, is always better than communism. That is what makes America the blessed and free land that it is. Thanks for taking the time to share on this movie!!! :) Even though I am still bah humbug on Disney, I applaud your efforts and celebrate with you on the first black princess d. movie!

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  23. i love this site! ;) what an awesome concept and full of empowerment.

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