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Zelda’s 4th Birthday: Christmas in July

I love a big birthday party and anybody who knows me knows that. I always go way over the top and create something extremely elaborate every year for Zelda, and this year was no different.

 

After doing a Coachella theme last year, I decided on a ‘Christmas in July’ vibe for big number 4 this year. It’s a theme I’ve had in mind for a while because I love playing with color, but wanted to wait until Santa really played a more significant role in Zelda’s life. Plus she was born almost exactly six months before Christmas, so it’s just a fun spin on dates, too.

Zelda of Glitter and Bubbles enters her birthday party at the Swissotel in Chicago.Zelda and Corri McFadden enter Zelda's 4th Birthday Party at the Swissotel. Christmas decor at Zelda's birthday party.

I have a lot of pride in all the parties I’ve planned for Zelda, but this one really was something special. Our venue was, once again, the Swissôtel and I have to say, they pulled out all the stops for us. They just remodeled their Presidential Suite and you could tell it was brand new. Everything was so gorgeous and I can’t recommend it enough if you’re looking for a venue!

A colorful book wall with balloons.A unicorn cake for a little girl's 4th birthday party at the Swissotel in Chicago.

Swissôtel also handled all the catering and absolutely went above and beyond. Man, do they know how to cater an event! Zelda had a very specific cake request that they just knocked out of the park. She wanted a unicorn cake along with her favorite fruits—blueberries, strawberries and raspberries, which isn’t exactly the easiest design. But you can see from the photos that they completely delivered, and then some. And let’s not forget the rest of the magical food lineup. Right when you walked in the door you were greeted with an insane sweets bar. I mean, a donut wall, does it get any more delicious? Zelda was completely in love.

Zelda's unicorn birthday cake on Glitter and Bubbles.Zelda looks at her birthday cake at the Swissotel on Glitter and Bubbles.Unicorn birthday cakes for Zelda on her birthday.Zelda's unicorn birthday cake on Glitter and Bubbles.Happy Birthday Zelda donut wall.

If the Christmas tree on the invite above looked familiar, that’s because it’s by one of our favorite artists, Chris Uphues! His work can be seen throughout Chicago, and he was kind enough to let us use some of his work on the invitation and other graphics seen around the Presidential Suite. 

A stack of donuts at the Swissotel for a little girl's 4th birthday party on Glitter and Bubbles.A donut wall at Zelda's birthday party on Glitter and Bubbles.Santa eats a cake pop at the Swissotel in Chicago.

And as if the beautiful donut wall and cake pops weren’t enough, the amazing team at Swissôtel created the cookie decorating station of our dreams!

A sprinkle tower for cookie decorating.A cookie decorating station at the Swissotel for a girls birthday party.Two children decorate cookies with a giant sprinkle tower.A cookie decorating table at Zelda's birthday party at the Swissotel on Glitter and Bubbles.Zelda decorates cookies at her birthday party.A pile of sprinkles sits on a table at Zelda's birthday party at the Swissotel on Glitter and Bubbles.A table for cookie decorating with sprinkle towers.Two little girls decorate cookies at Zelda of Glitter and Bubbles' birthday party.Kids decorate cookies at the Swissotel.Christmas themed decor for a birthday party at the Swissotel.

You’ll also notice that Santa was there decked out in full tropical gear. It was tough to get him to take a break from his vacation in Florida, but he made the trip! We had such a beautiful set up with his chair and faux glittery Christmas trees topped with flamingos. Huge shoutout to Revel Decor for creating such an awesome centerpiece for photos and the kids to sit on Santa’s lap.

Zelda of Glitter and Bubbles sits on Santa's lap at the Swissotel.Zelda of Glitter and Bubbles wears a red dress at her Christmas in July themed birthday party at the Swissotel. Zelda hangs out with Santa on his chair.

…as you can see the setup was so good the adults couldn’t resist getting in on the fun too!

A group of women sit with Santa at the Swissotel.Spiro and Seth sit in Santa's chair at Zelda's birthday party.

And speaking of decor, we also had my dear friend Elaine from Luft Balloons do all the balloon installations using Anagram Foil Balloons and she absolutely nailed it. When you walked into the suite, it was like a balloon explosion of holiday goodness. It seriously could not have been more perfect and Zelda and I loved everything.

Christmas balloons at Zelda's birthday party.Lola and the boys stands by Christmas balloons.A guest looks out the window at Zelda's birthday party.

Activities throughout the afternoon included ornament making with Make to Celebrate and flower crowns with a holiday twist by Crowning Event. Kids could also get their face painted by the very talented Star from Monkee Paint. I’ve honestly never seen someone paint faces so well and do it as fast as she does. And finally, we had our favorite DJ, Matt Roan, spinning all our favorite holiday tunes.

Make to Celebrate at Zelda of Glitter and Bubbles birthday party. The Make to Celebrate team at the Swissotel.Zelda of Glitter and Bubbles plays with Make to Celebrate at the Swissotel. Make to Celebrate has glitter on the table. The Make to Celebrate Table at the Swissotel for Zelda's Birthday Party.Christmas in July DIY ornament table.Zelda's birthday party Christmas decor.Crowning Event makes flower crowns for Zelda's birthday party.Zelda gets her flower crown from a Crowning Event.Zelda gets her face painted at her 4th birthday party.Zelda gets a butterfly painted on her face at the Swissotel.A little boy gets his face painted at Zelda's birthday party on Glitter and Bubbles.Zelda has her face painted as Minnie Mouse.Zelda and Corri after the birthday is ending.DJ Matt Roan plays music at Zelda's 4th Birthday Party at the Swissotel. Children dancing at Zelda's birthday party at the Swissotel.Kids play on the dance floor at the Swissotel.Zelda steps onto the dance floor with DJ Matt Roan. Zelda stands with her friends.

When planning the party, there’s never a limit on the number of guests and we always try to keep it very inclusive. As she gets older and starts school, we’ll also make a point to invite everyone from her class so they can join in on all the fun as well. The way I see it, the more the merrier (get it?!), and I love teaching Zelda to be inclusive with her parties and the people she lets into her life. Giving back is also something we do every year for Zelda’s birthday. Teaching her things like inclusivity and the meaning of giving back is so important to Spiro and I, so it’s a birthday tradition of sorts. (Read this post to see how we gave back this year.)

Amanda of BloHaute gets her baby a flower crown from A Crowning Event.Corri McFadden wears a flower crown at Zelda's birthday party. Party guests wear flower crowns at Zelda's 4th birthday. Corri McFadden poses with party guests at the Swissotel.Corri McFadden poses with her friend Jessica at the Swissotel.Children look at Zelda's unicorn birthday cake. Leah Nolan and Zelda stand in the cookie room at her birthday party. Birthday party guests sit in Santa's chair. Party guests hold a giant candy cane balloon. A family sits in Santa's chair at the Swissotel. Two women hold their newborns at Zelda's birthday party at the Swissotel. Leah Nolan and her mother attend Zelda's birthday party at the Swissotel. Party guests pose at Zelda's birthday. The Chicago Life blog poses with her son. Blohaute poses with friend's at Zelda of Glitter and Bubbles' birthday party. Zelda and Corri hug on the floor. Corri McFadden poses with her assistant Abi at Zelda's birthday party at the Swissotel. Zelda wears a princess dress.Zelda's nanny Mia gives her a hug at her birthday party at the Swissotel. Zelda's birthday gifts sit on a table.

We ended the day with dinner and a small pizza party in the room and then had a pancake breakfast in the morning. So it truly was a full birthday weekend and we’re so thankful to Swissôtel for hosting us. Needless to say, we couldn’t have asked for a more perfect final hoorah in the city before our big move to Aspen. We have loved every minute in Chicago and all of the people we’ve met here, so having such an incredible party before leaving felt very fitting.

Candy canes for pancake toppings. A delicious stack of Rice Krispies treats.

Thank you SO much to all of these people for making Zelda’s party the best yet. I highly, highly recommend all of them for any of your birthday/event needs!

Location and Catering: Swissôtel Chicago

Decorations: Revel Decor

Balloon Artistry: Luft Balloons

Balloons: Anagram

Audio and Visuals: PSAV

Photographer: Hallie Duesenberg

Artwork: Chris Uphues

Invitations: Paperless Post

DIY Christmas Ornaments: Make to Celebrate

Flower Crowns: Crowning Event

Face Painting; Monkee Paint

DJ: Matt Roan

Corri McFadden and family throw their daughter a birthday party at the Swissotel with a Christmas in July theme.

Thank you again to our vendors who made this whole day possible and to our friends and family for taking the time to celebrate with us—we love you! I hope this can serve as some birthday party inspiration so you can plan a great bash as well!

 

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