I have a confession to make. I did not put much effort into Harlow’s birthday party. Usually when I plan parties, I like to make them somewhat original and if not original, than pretty photogenic.

We did Harlow’s Pancake and Pajama party, Mazzy’s Milk and Cookies Party, Mazzy’s Disgusting Cooking Party, etc. Even when my themes were less than creative, I still put them together myself. Researching cakes, buying decor, putting thought into what went into the goodie bags, etc. To be fair, I also usually have Little Miss Party‘s help, but this year I knew she would be out of town.

To make matters more difficult, I had to start planning right after my book launch and while I was traveling for the tour and to be honest, I just could not deal. I needed something that would be super easy and hands off.

Someplace we could just show up.

Right about the time when I started looking, a play space called Apple Seeds in NYC bought a whole bunch of my books to send out to their loyal members. Here’s what they wrote in the letter that was sent out with my book:

“A little gift from us…to say thank you for being an apple seeds family. Our friend, Ilana Wiles, wrote this book “The Mommy Shorts Guide to Remarkably Average Parenting.” After we opened it up, it took all of 3.5 seconds to decide we needed to share it as widely as possible. It is one of the most honest, ridiculously funny, beautiful books on parenting we have ever read – and we have read a few… Keep it on your bedside table and pick it up every time you need a laugh, or a realistic check in, on the endless, hilarious, messy, tiring, amazing world of raising a child.”

Now I had never been to Apple Seeds but I had met the owners at a lunch arranged by a mutual friend and given them an advanced copy, so I was thrilled to hear they were throwing their support behind it.

I called them up and asked them if they threw birthday parties and what that entailed. They put me in touch with the guy in charge and he sent me a rundown of their party packages which included everything from decor to pizza to a “Songs for Seeds” guitarist. It even included a cake from Magnolia, which I don’t care how many bakeries open up in Manhattan, it is still hands down the best tasting birthday cake in NYC. Apple Seeds would also arrange for food platters from Whole Foods and whatever additional decor or entertainment you might want.

“Can I get some My Little Pony themed plates and stuff?”

“Of course!”

I booked the room. FYI, this is the second year in a row that Harlow has followed up her Halloween costume by asking for that to be the theme of her birthday party. I think the proximity of the dates must be confusing.

Leading up to the party, Mike kept asking me what we needed to do.

“Nothing,” I said. “It’s done.”

“What about goodie bags?”

“Goodie bags are included.”

“What are they putting in them?”

“I told them to put in some My Little Pony stuff.”

“They can do that?”

“I guess so.”

On the day, Harlow arrived ready to party. Which was a far cry from last year when she arrived cranky and wanting to go back to bed. First up, was playing in the gym where they had a bouncy castle set up and a trampoline. Harlow and her friends bounced until their hearts were content.

I do not have one photo where Harlow isn’t moving.


Then we moved to the party room, which was set up with purple balloons and My Little Pony tableware as requested.


They had paper unicorn horns set up on the tables with stickers to decorate them— something I had found online at Paper Source and given Apple Seeds the links to purchase.


There was also a table with paper over it for everyone to decorate a sign for Harlow.


After everyone was settled and had their unicorns decorated and fastened, the “Songs for Seeds” guitarist started her set.


It was a large room and the kids ran around, danced and played instruments. There was plenty of room for both the kids and the grown-ups.


Harlow kicked ass at freeze dance, like she always does.


Then it was time for pizza. I must say, it was a pleasure to see Harlow amongst all her preschool friends and she was clearly thrilled to have them all there. This is the first year that we invited her preschool class to her party and not just family and close family friends.


After pizza, the kids ran around some more, until it was time for cake. Magnolia was as good as always.


We didn’t have the best luck taking a picture as a family…


…but I did get a great shot of Harlow.


We also got a good photo, minus Mazzy. Thanks, Grandsammy!


Here’s another one!


Then people collected their goodie bags and went home. Mazzy actually brought our leftover lollipops from Halloween to add to each bag.


After everyone left, we decided to stay for awhile and play in the play space.


The kids got into the play taxi and told me to sit in the back.

“Where do you want to go, Mom?” Harlow asked me.


“To Harlow’s birthday party!!!”

“Harlow’s birthday is over, Mom,” Mazzy informed me.

Yeah, I guess it is.

Now I have to plan Mazzy’s for early December! Wish me luck.