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Party Girl!

With a flair for throwing parties for the pint-sized set, Atlantan Kelli Hall shares her tips, tricks and touches.
 

Kelli Hall

Sometimes planning a child’s birthday party can catapult our chicest supermoms into a heaping mound of stress. Graphic designer Kelli Hall suggests keeping it modern but not complicated. “I think parents don’t want to feel like every possible Pinterest idea was added to the table,” she says. As an independent event stylist (and mother to 2-year-old Luke), she regularly contributes to one of our favorite blogs, Minted’s Julep, and suggests to focus on one area of the room. Recent trends include an emphasis on the great outdoors, “things like a camp theme with teepees or woodland fairies for girls,” she adds. “Also, electric colors, with details like number-shaped fringe piñatas.” She also draws a lot of inspiration from fashion. “I collect pieces with great color combinations and pattern-mixing to use as a starting point when I’m sketching out an event,” she says. “When color informs the style of a party, even an Elmo theme can be playfully chic.”

She loves Minted’s exquisite products, such as “a printed table runner, vintage-esque ribbon and favor packaging,” and her go-to for artful treats like Rosemary honey lemonade lollipops is an Etsy shop called Luxe Lollies. Of course, choosing the right activity, like bobbing for apples or Pin the Tail, is key. “When the kids have a fun time, it brings joy to the event,” she says, “and that, more than anything, defines the vibe of a party.”

Kitchen Confidential

Making something special with your child for their birthday is always a memorable tradition. Watershed on Peachtree chef extraordinaire Joe Truex admits that when you’re cooking with children, the easier, the better. “They will latch on to certain small things,” he says, “but if you don’t get it done within that small window of time, all is lost.” He suggests a breakfast pie for those with limited attention spans. Make the dough ahead of time (see recipe below), and then spread peanut butter—or go Euro with Nutella; add bananas; maybe some bacon; sprinkle some graham crackers or oatmeal for a crunch; pop on a few marshmallows; and bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.

Using a cloud party theme, Hall framed the table with large white balloons, punctuated by a single red balloon tied to the birthday boy’s chair. To continue the theme, drinking glasses have puffs of white cotton candy floating atop the rim, and mini bubblegum dispensers act as favors at each setting.

Sweet Dough Recipe
Ingredients:
¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
1 ¹/³ cups white sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
4 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
½ cup milk

Directions:
Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In a separate bowl, beat the butter; then add the sugar a little at a time. Add the vanilla. Beat the mixture until it’s nice and fluffy. Beat in the egg. Stir in the flour mixture alternately with the milk. Before you use this dough, be sure you chill it well—at least 2 hours or more.