If party success is determined by all participants making it out alive, then Mazzy’s 2nd birthday was a RAGING SUCCESS. I believe the only meltdown we had was a little girl who did not want to leave. The result of one too many juice boxes clouding her better judgement, I’m sure.

There were people, there were presents and most importantly there was CAKE.

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Plus, with a not-so-subtle Sesame Street theme done as tastefully as possible (thank you for all your suggestions), Mazzy had no choice but to have the time of her life.


Of course, no affair is completely hassle-free. Thankfully, with the exception of general hostessing stress, the hassles occurred mainly during “pre-party prep”.


Let’s start with my brilliant decision to buy all the party decor online, sight unseen.

I used Oriental Trading Company for favors because you can buy cheaply in bulk. I decided an excellent Sesame Street themed party favor would be a box of sidewalk chalk and a rubber ducky. Then I bought adorable homemade Sesame Street goodie bags from Jettabees on Etsy.

Party favors arrived in a box. Goodie bags arrived in a large envelope. In typical Ilana-like-fashion, nothing was opened until the day before the party.

This would be when I discovered that my favor was twice the size of my bag.


I then had to decide which was more important— the favors (the harder thing to replace) or the bags (my favorite piece of Sesame Street decor by far).

Do you know what happens when you try to discuss a conundrum such as this with my husband?

His head explodes and then he goes to a safe place where he can watch ESPN and read current events and pretend he never got married in the first place.

I ended up making a last minute trip to Party City, buying 99 cent bags and then in an inspired late night “make it work” moment, glued all the small Jettabees bags on top of the bigger Party City bags.

The result was something I am actually quite proud of:


Plus now I can claim partial credit. (I glued something for my daughter’s party! I’m a real mom after all!)

The other potential disaster was the party location— Poppy & Nonna’s apartment. You might remember Poppy and Nonna’s dangerous taste in home decor from “Grandpa’s Baby Deathtrap in the Hamptons”. Unfortunately, their apartment in NYC, if placed on the same scale of “Places With The Potential to Harm Small Children” does almost equally as well (slightly above Lindsey Lohan’s Hotel Room and slightly below Shark Infested Waters).

Don’t believe me? Here’s photo evidence.


Somehow, miracle of miracles, no children got hurt or spilled anything on a couch. Which brings me to…


In order to keep the kids contained in the safest portion of the apartment, I put tons of stickers on a low table with plain party hats to decorate (mess-free activity #1), scattered assorted toys around the area and erected an impenetratable fence otherwise known as BALLOONS.

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FACT: If you dangle all the balloons in one area, no child in their right mind will attempt to leave it.

And just in case, the kids were still at a loss for entertainment, I hired a musician from Music for Aardvarks to play for 30-40 minutes (mess-free activity #2). Check out satisfied guests, Charlie (Mazzy’s ex-boyfriend), Elsa and Ella (reformed bully).

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Which all got me safely to the most important part of the party…


Literally a mountain of delicious cupcakes were generously supplied by Crumbs Bakeshop. They even customized the Colossal with Elmo’s face and their signature-sized cupcakes with assorted Sesame Street characters. (Costumized cupcakes are a new offering from Crumbs and not yet publicized.) The cupcakes covered the table, along with a huge assortment of minis, in a magical mother-of-a-two-year-old’s fantasy come true.


That is, before we realized the mere sight of a sprinkled confection (let alone an M&M covered cupcake) would cause a toddler riot that rivaled Occupy Wall Street proportions and moved them to a secret secure location until cake-eating time.


Once everyone sung “Happy Birthday” to Mazzy, butter cream happiness was restored.


Although I must say, I was slightly disturbed by the smile on Mazzy’s face while inhaling the heads of some of her so-called “friends”.


But not nearly as disturbed as I was by a few of her presents.


In general Mazzy got some lovely gifts. But there are two gifts I really can’t imagine her taking out in public. They would be Abby Cadabby’s wand and Elmo’s vibrating “tickle me” hands.

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They just belong at another kind of party, is all I’m saying.