Princess & The Blog

4Sep2014

What’s For Dinner? (Breaded Chicken Breast)

By |September 4th, 2014|General|0 Comments

weekday menu
As a working mother, I am all about structure and staying organized because without those two things I am a total mess. And it is no fun for anyone in my family when I get stressed out.  So with my kids now back in school for a full week and my working full-time, their academic/activity schedules are all recorded down on the kitchen wipe board.  One of things that I found has helped me tremendously in keeping up with everyone’s busy schedule, is having a weekly menu planned out.  It’s not something that has to be written in stone, but by having a general idea of what you plan on serving on certain nights will really help you to become more efficient.  So on those days when there’s a lot going on, dinner is real quick and easy.  
divider scroll
One of my all-time favorite chicken recipes is stuffed Chicken Breast.  Here’s the recipe and I hope you enjoy it.  It is so quick and easy you will love it!
chickendinnerplate
Pound out chicken breast and make a slit in it.  Slide in one piece of provolone cheese and two slices of prochuitto. You can also add spinach if you like. Dip chicken in an egg and bread with crumbs.  Add olive oil to a skillet and sear meat 4-5 mins per side.  Bake on 350 for 25 minutes.  Serve with rice or risotto and vegetable.  This is absolutely delicious and so easy to do!
Written by Terri / Published by Jennifer
 
29Aug2014

A Camping We Will Go

By |August 29th, 2014|Organization|0 Comments

With the Labor Day holiday nearing, I thought that I would share my very thorough camping list with everyone.  Growing up on the east coast, my family never camped.  It wasn’t until I was married and had kids here in California, that I went camping for the first time.  Having never done it before, I wasn’t really eager to go.  I actually had a lot of anxiety about it, but I persevered and made it through.  Many years later, I am now very dialed in so I hope that this list can help many.

KNOTS Cartoon Kitchen Sink Camping

Terri’s Everything but the Kitchen Sink Camping List

Kitchen:
1.  Table cloths
2.  Vinyl overlay
3.  Napkins
4.  Paper Towels
5.  Hand Towels/Pot holders
6.  Dustpan and broom; tall broom for tent
7.  Utensils/Plates/bowls(we don’t bring disposables)
8.  Tea cups
9.  S& P
10. Dish Soap
11.  3 Washing bins (soapy water, clean and dry dishes)
12.  A large heavy, hot water pot for sink area
13.  Water dispenser for sink
14.  Misc items:  spatula, can opener, lighters, which, skewers, knives, cutting boards, measuring cups
15.  2 tall pots (rice, pasta)
16. 2 skillets
17.  Tupperware
18.  Baggies
19.  Garbage bags
20.  Small platters
21.  Ice chest
22.  Coffee pot with filters
23.  Knives and cutting boards
24.  wine opener
25.  plastic cups/glasses
26.  paper plates for the last day.
27.  3 stoves/grill
28.  scissors
29.  mixing bowls
30.  Propane tanks
31.  Utensil holder
32.  Citronella candles
33.  Meyers cleaning spray
Bathroom:
1,  Hand soap
2.  Purell
3.  Toiletries
4.  Towels
5.  Bug Spray
6.  Lotion
7.  First Aid Kit
8.  Allergy
Tent:
1.  Cots or airmattress
2.  pump
3.  sleeping bags
4.  blanets
5.  comforters
6.  pillows
7.  lanterns
8.  flashlights
9. lighter
10.  Throws
11.  chairs
12. camera
13.  Hammer or mallet
14.  Welcome mat
Clothes:  (depending on time of year)
1. Sweaters
2.  Tee shirts
3.  Long Johns
4.  Boots
5.  Flip flops
6.  Jackets
7.  Socks (extra)
8.  Jeans
9.  PJ’s (extra)
10.  Hats
Written by Terri / Published by Jennifer
27Aug2014

Plan B: The Emergency Backup Party Plan

By |August 27th, 2014|Birthday Party Ideas and Tips|1 Comment

PlanB

This past week the Napa Valley experienced a 6.1 earthquake. In the 11 years that I have lived in Napa, this was my family’s first real quake. After the ground stopped shaking and the lights went out, we all kicked into emergency mode. Thankfully for us it only meant pulling out our flashlights, camping lanterns and cell phones, but with all that we went through I could not help but thinking about emergency plans– everything from quakes to children’s birthday parties. Whether you are hiring a company to host your child’s event or planning your own party, it is extremely important to have an emergency backup plan for your event. When hiring an event planner or character company, please do your research on the company before booking with them. icon_yelpJust because a company comes up in the search engine first and has a good looking website, doesn’t mean they are the company for you. I am not a proponent of Yelp, but they are one of the more reliable public review systems around. Check out any potential companies to see what people are saying about them first. Get referrals from friends and coworkers as recommendations are always wise.

imagesCI8PHKMRAs consumers, we all know that life happens and people get sick and unexpected situations occur like inclement weather.If something unexpected happens, don’t panic. I always say that things happen for a reason and there are times when you just have to go with the flow. I can’t tell you how many calls I get each week hearing that companies have had to cancel for one reason or another on a booking. We are only human after all, and this is a reality with any business. What defines the caliber of a company though, is how they deal with those unexpected moments when they occur. If you find yourself in a situation where a company cancels on you at the last minute, the first thing to do is hold that company responsible by having them help you find a replacement. It always upsets me when I get the frantic calls from clients, because the company that backed down on them gave them a list of places to call– that is not cool in my book. As far as I am concerned, they should be contacting other companies on your behalf because it is the least they can do for canceling the event. If an alternate business is unavailable, you can choose to use a different type of entertainer or company. Bounce house companies usually have a lot of availability or you may try contacting a face painter, balloon twister or puppeteer. If none of those are an option for you, you may have to fly solo.

If you have no other entertainment scheduled, you can do simple things depending on the theme. Remember though, early planning is the key. I also advise to keep parties to a inimum with 2-3hours max.

  • Crafts: Children love to make things. Depending on the age group, your craft idea can be something as simple as decorating a frame, magic mirror, treasure chest or making anMain-Party-Crafts ocean in a bottle. These items are all inexpensive things to do and materials can be easily found at places like Michaels, Walmart, Holly Lobby and Joann Fabrics. FYI, Melissa & Doug offers great princess mirrors to decorate and pirate chests. They can also serve as a take-home favor if they are too pricey.
  • Activities: Decorating cupcakes or cookies can go with almost any theme and is also very inexpensive to do.
  • Dress up: For princess parties gather up any costumes that you might have around the house. These can be dance costumes from past recitals, Halloween costumes, etc. Ask your friends to borrow some of their kid’s things for the party. If you’re having a princess party, purchase some cheap nail polish and simple makeup from Target. You can also buy small little plastic clips and elastics to do hair twists or french braids. Call in a babysitter or two to help out at the party or an older sibling or friend.
  • Theme activities & games: Keep in mind your theme. For example, if having a Faerie party you can have the children pot pretty flowers for them to water and take home. Lead them on a faerie hunt around the garden. Print out theme related coloring pages that they can color in with crayons or colored pencils. For boys, pull out the sporting equipment–soccer and basket balls, badminton nets, ring toss etc. Play simple games: sack races, Simon says, tug of war, musical chairs, duck duck goose. Use whatever you have. Put together a scavenger hunt. Go to the party store and get some inexpensive prizes. Kids love prizes and goody bags!
  • Tattoos: Temporary or glitter. Oriental Trading (purchase in advance) you can find them in bulk or find them at a local party store.
  • Lunch: Serve snacks or lunch; get a piñata.

The idea is to keep these things in the back of your brain because they can really help save you if a company backs down on you at the last minute. With all these things up your sleeve, 2 hours will fly by for you and everyone will have a fun time!

Written by Terri / Published by Jennifer

25Aug2014

Food for Thought on Planning Your Child’s Birthday

By |August 25th, 2014|Birthday Party Ideas and Tips|0 Comments

 

birthday

I am a planner by nature; it’s just part of my DNA. And in the 10 years that I have been working in this industry, I have interacted with different types of clients:

* The laid back client who gives you full reign to do whatever you think best.

* The involved client who is also a planner and plans on participating in their child’s party.

* The nervous client who is overwhelmed at the idea of having to entertain their child and his or her friends and needs much guidance is the planning process.

As an event planner, the greatest advice I can give for planning your child’s party is to have a game plan and to be well organized. Please plan ahead and don’t procrastinate. One of the first thing you will need to decide is on a theme.   This can be easy or not if your child is indecisive. Next will be to choose a location and date. If your children have winter birthdays like mine, it’s safe to say that you will most likely be indoors depending upon geographic location of course. As for dates, remember to check school activity schedules as well as holidays. I can’t tell you how many times I have to remind parents of certain holidays or a party needs to be rescheduled because of a soccer game.

castle1When planning a birthday party, there are different types of parties.

1. The Venue Party: This is one of the most easiest birthdays you can go throw your child. This takes place at a specific theme location and is designed to make things easy for you. Ex. Jump house locations, bowling alleys, ice rinks, etc. All you really need to do is show up and write a check.

2. Event planner party: This type of party can require a little bit of effort on your part. Depending on the company’s package and pricing, you can hire someone to do as much or as little as needed. A full service event planner can do everything from printing out invitations, making favors, bringing costumes, tables, chairs, crafts, provide catering ,you name it.

mary poppins_snow white3. Hiring a costume performer: This is what The Cinderella Co and similar companies do. Hiring a performer is a very simple, economical and creative way of having a party for your child without a large expense. It’s designed to alleviate a parent’s stress of not having to come up with planned activities to host their child’s friends.

4. Throw your own party: This is for the client who loves to plan and involves the most effort; it can be the least affordable as well as the most affordable depending on the level the parent takes it to.

No matter what route you take, early planning is the best. After selecting a theme and location, figure out how large or small you want the party to be. As both a parent and event planner, my ideal guest count is 12 or less. The reason being is that you and your children will get so much more out of a smaller party. A lot of times parents feel obligated in having to invite their child’s entire class. I am here to say that you do not have to and no one should make you feel like you need to. With class sizes today, that’s at least 20 kids and often times does not include neighbors or relatives. I don’t know about you, but that is a lot of children to have to entertain. One of the politically correct ways around this, is by having a gender party.

Photos: I had to learn the hard way with this one. When my oldest was four, I had invited her class of 25 and although I had lots of friends to help me the day of, I was still running around making sure that everyone was happy that I really had no time to enjoy watching her. Don’t miss out on your child’s party because you’re worrying about guests and their parents.   Depending on what your budget is, you can either hire a photographer or have a friend take photos for you. Just don’t miss out on the moment.

Time limit: This is dependent on what type of party you are having. For family parties, time limits usually run longer. When inviting friends, my advice is to stick with a 2-3 hour max.

Back up Plan: Unless you are hosting a party at theme location, it’s wise to have an emergency back up plan. The reason being is because life happens and we are thrown unexpected curve balls all the time. For ex. outdoor parties and weather. Here in California, parents need to be aware of the heat index and sun exposure during the summer. During winter, parents are faced with cold temperature and rain. There is nothing worse than planning an outdoor party for 20 plus children, to learn that it’s going to rain the day of or be really hot out. This is why I always recommend keeping numbers to a manageable amount. If hiring a character company, be aware that performers do get sick or unexpected events can occur. If this happens, a back up plan will save you (next week’s blog).

Lunch: It is important to figure out if you want to serve lunch or not. If you are, keep in mind that young children don’t eat a whole lot, and it’s best to keep things simple by offering kid friendly foods. You also need to figure out if you plan on serving the parents as well. Most parents will stay for younger aged kids.

Siblings: Can you accommodate the siblings of your party guests.

Invitations, Products & Decor: I buy almost everything online. One of my favorite invitation companies is Itty Bitty. With favors, you can purchase some fabulous hand-made items off of Etsy and for decor ideas there is Pinterest.

I hope that this will help your party planning a bit more stress free. Just remember to keep a checklist and stay organized.

Written by Terri / Published by Jennifer

17Aug2014

Back to School

By |August 17th, 2014|Organization|Comments Off on Back to School

back-to-school-jarsWow, I can hardly believe that school will start this week for many of our kids.  We hope that everyone had a wonderful summer.  As a working parent, we all know the importance of being organized.  As my kids get older and we move onto a different stage, being organized and efficient is extremely important to us and definitely for my own sanity. My daughters and I did a massive purging and redesigning of their rooms about a week ago.  A Target run for school supplies soon followed, several trips to the local malls for needed things, and of course my reconnecting with school tutors was a must!  I then had to work on and purge my own office space which is the control center in our house.  It’s amazing how disastrous drawers and cupboards can become by the end of the school year.  With a clean eraser board, I have started writing in everyone’s activities and have begun thinking about our Fall dinner schedule.  This may seem extreme to many, but when you’re a full-time working parent it really helps keep your home life peaceful.   My need for structure came about 6.5 years ago when I started running The Cinderella Co.  Working 5 days a week from 8:30-5 left me little time to get things done.  I found that as a parent, I was dropping the ball by forgetting to get certain things done.  I also found that I had little patience by the end of the work day because I was exhausted and our family meals were less than par.  And then there were the stressful mornings when someone couldn’t locate a needed item and that set off a chain reaction of everyone starting the day off in a bad mood which so not fun and counter productive.
 
So here are some of the things that have helped me.
 
*  Try to utilize space as best as possible.  I have a small house so this is very important for us.  
*  Label things:  My kids have plastic drawers and containers in their closets which are all labeled.
*  Draw dividers:  Separate things out.  Ex. Socks and underwear, tanks, scarves, etc
*  Maintain!  You need to purge the junk out.  Only keep what is important and get rid of the rest.  I know we tend to want to hold onto our kid’s work when they are young, but by the end of the year if you don’t sort through it you will have piles of this stuff on your hands.  Keep the important stuff.
*  Plan ahead.  When my girls were younger, I had them set their school clothes out the night before.
*  Laundry Day:  During the school year, I designate one day if not two for laundry and ironing so everything was ready to go by Monday.  If your kids go to a private school, no one wants a wrinkled uniform.
*  Lunch:  My kids always want to know what they’re having for lunch so we have a lunch schedule as well.
*  School Supplies:  My kids keep their schools supplies in their rooms and I have a backup in my office.  You can never have too many erasers, pencils or highlighters.
* School Binder.  Every year we get inundated with school papers and it drives me crazy because they just pile up and get lost. I find keeping a school binder in my office really helps by dividing things out.
* Plan your meals!  This is one of the greatest things that has helped my family.  You don’t have to follow it to the letter, but having a general idea of what you are going to serve on certain days will save you so much time and alleviate so much stress.  Ex.  On the days that kids have major activities, planning something quick and easy is the way to go.  Everyone in my house appreciates this because they know what to expect.  I also love using the crockpot in the fall and winter.
Office Calendar:  Not only do I highlight and record certain events on my desk calendar, but for certain events, I record it a month or two earlier.  Ex.  Birthdays, xmas photos, etc.  Time just creeps up on us and then we’re scrambling to get things done.
 
These are just some of the things to think about as we enter into the fall season.  Hope this helps.
 
Terri
7Aug2014

How to Throw the Most Awesome Superhero Party

By |August 7th, 2014|Birthday Party Ideas and Tips|Comments Off on How to Throw the Most Awesome Superhero Party

 

images-3

Do not be deceived by our company name!!!  The Cinderella Company does not only specialize in little girl parties, but we host boy parties too.  So here are some tips on having the most awesome Superhero party.

 

BatmanPartyCharacter2

 

1.  If throwing a Superhero theme, you need a Superhero of course.  You can only imagine how cool it would be to have Spiderman come in and do some cool moves or flips for your child and his guests.  (Please make sure that your character company can accommodate with this request).  If not Spidey, Batman teaching your kid’s some special Superhero training techniques.

 

29f94c8fc9715af336229a62d0a9d3cfd500d53d5ef309d152e47147a395d50e

 

2.  Costumes & Capes:  Just like little girls, you can assume that most little boys will own a costume or cape–especially due to Halloween.  My recommendation is to have them come dressed as their favorite hero.  Many of our clients will make their own non sewable capes and masks for their party guests to wear and take home with them.

 


cebd8bfbda9c6b943345eeba8a666d89enhanced-buzz-31248-1367292715-9-2a6379561d94dcefb54076b1810bb3728

 

3.  Craft Items:  Boys and girls love making crafts.  Depending on how crafty you are and what theme you are hosting, you can have the kids make simple masks or superhero cuffs.  Even little girls will get into making these.

 

enhanced-buzz-1190-1367292578-13

enhanced-buzz-32423-1367292375-6

4.  Activities & Games:  Superhero training is an all-time must.  Set up an obstacle course and pull out some athletic equipment to use.  The internet is full of game ideas and activities to choose from.  Test your web-shooting skills (I personally recommend doing this outside).

 

5.  Venue: Do not attempt to host this type of of party indoors.  Little boys need leg room so an outdoor party is my number one choice.  If that is not possible, I suggest choosing a venue such as a gymnastics studio, community center or church hall.

 

80f05a9c6656803dc54412191e9468d7-1

6.  Party decorations:  Pinterest!!!!

 

1-superhero-birthday-party-ideas-3-year-old-061

enhanced-buzz-19924-1367293868-7

enhanced-buzz-20037-1367293974-4

 

7.  Lunch/Snacks/Treats:  Presentation, presentation, presentation.

 

Unknown-5

8.  Piñata:  Little boys are very active and love batting at pinatas.  If you’re like me and try to limit the sugar, you can fill it with inexpensive items from Oriental Trading or a novelty company.

 

f953ecbb1c195ec94a4c99c58712cb1e

 

9.  Cupcakes:  I actually prefer serving cupcakes because they are so much easier to deal with and you have more selections available.

 

bd74c54e5ef3fdc4b698aeba67c034d9

 

10.  Favor Bags:  With this theme you can make your own theme related bags.  Again, search Pinterest for fun ideas.

1Aug2014

The Best of the Best

By |August 1st, 2014|General, Performer News & Events|Comments Off on The Best of the Best

bay-area-parent-best-of-the-best2-300x85

We did it!!!!! We are so excited to announce that The Cinderella Company has been voted the Best of the Best for the 5th year in a row. We have once again been voted as Best Party Entertainer and Best Party Entertainment Company through Bay Area Parent magazine. Thank you to everyone who has supported us through the last 6.5 years. It has been an amazing journey for us and we are truly grateful to all of you who have taken the time out to vote for us. Here is our medal breakdown. 4 Gold Medals, 2 Silver & 1 Bronze!
East Bay: Gold for Party Entertainer
East Bay: Bronze for Jumper House
San Francisco: Gold for Jumper House
San Francisco: Silver for Party Entertainer
Peninsula: Gold for Party Entertainer
Peninsula: Silver for Party Jumper
Silicon Valley: Gold for party entertainer

Again, this could not be possible without your support. We all love what we do and strive to bring you the highest quality in party entertainment!

3May2014

Welcome Message

By |May 3rd, 2014|General|Comments Off on Welcome Message

welcome-300x173-1
Welcome to Princess & the Blog! We are so glad that you are here.  I must admit it has been a very  long time since we have blogged, but we are very eager to start writing again. The Cinderella Company has been an almost 7 year heart-felt journey for us, and during that time we have grown and experienced so much.   We now want to start sharing some of those magical moments with each of you.  None of us here at The Cinderella Company would be where we are today without the inspiration of Walt Disney.  We may have not have been born during his lifetime, but his life and legacy inspire all of us on a daily basis to dream big and to give with all of our hearts.   We love all things Disney and everything we do is a testimony for our respect and admiration for the Disney Corporation.   Every effort put forth is a complete labor of love because the idea of bringing magic and happiness into people’s lives far outweighs everything else for us.  Our blog though, will be a mixture of party related experiences and suggestions, as well as practical life tips that we feel are important to share as working moms and small business owners.  Jennifer and I are very passionate about what we do, so we hope that will come through as you read our entries.  We hope you will enjoy!