The problem of a Princess

Let me just say flat out....I really HATE (Oh wait. We don't say that word at our house) ...Try again...Disney Princesses are NOT MY FAVORITE.

I have a problem though. I have a princess of a daughter. Do I love it? YES! Do I love that she prances around the house with that dreamy look in her eyes when she hears romantic music, YES! Do I love the way she sings as if she is in the middle of a staged opera, YES! Do I love that dress-ups magically turn her into royalty, YES! Do I love that ANY store I go into we can't get out of without her begging for that DISNEY princess book display in the front entry, NO!!!!!!!

Why can't you be a princess anymore without trying to be Belle, or Ariel, or Jasmine or Cinderella? Why???? Why can't girls just be their OWN kind of princess, instead of being someone with a 16 in waistline with perfectly curled blond hair? (I could keep going, but I won't). I really love the movies...I mean, Cinderella really is the only cartoon character I know of who can get away with saying "Oh! Killjoy!" upon rising too early. It's all the merchandise I get annoyed with.

I wasn't that 'girly' of a girl. I pretended "princess" but I also pretended "school" and "mommy". Addie's first choice of pretend is Princess. She was BORN with it! And I LOVE LOVE LOVE IT! I just don't love that most tools that you need to have princess play are dominated by "Disney's BIG 6"

SO: Addie's third birthday is on Saturday, and I am trying to come up with a fun party theme that she will just love. As a mother, I just want to give her a princess party. As Sarah, I want to give her a tea party with dolls, or a Dress up party...the good old standards. But, being a good mommy, we are having a PRINCESS party. No Aurora plastic cups, No Belle table cloths...none of that. Just good "kiss the frog" "dance with wands" princess party.

I came up with these invitations in like 5 minutes tonight. I think that I might want to start doing Children's invites. So much in the kid's industry right now is dominated by mass marketing...Disney being the front runner. To me, once you get a mass market like that, it just takes all the imagination out of the pretend play. This invite is really simple. But I want to really learn more about Graphic design and layout.

Anyone know how to make a scalloped edge or dotted lines in Photoshop/Illustrator?

So, with that said, I have to share some AWESOME trades that I did for my kid's Christmas presents. I am telling you...the internet (ETSY being my FAVORITE) is really my answer to keeping my children from narrowing their imaginations to what Disney has to offer. My kid's FAVORITE toys are the good handmade wooden toys and handmade dolls.

Take a look at what I traded this Christmas with GEMMIE LOU HANDMADE:

Aren't these so sweet? Addie and Ian play with these for HOURS!!! Handpainted wooden pegs (and BEAUTIFULLY painted nonetheless). I also grabbed these clips too. Can't get enough of them.

And from Rachel at DARLY BIRD, I traded a few prints for these BLA BLA dolls that I have been eying for a year now.

On Christmas morning, Addie's eyes grew SO big when she saw "Sheesha" (her Addie-given name). Sheesha hasn't left her side yet. They are SO soft, handmade in peru...but the simple pattern and colors are my favorite.

Horray for handmade and handcrafted toys! Word from a mother: keep your kids away from the BLING BLING of the kids industry, and let them imagine again. Keep it handmade. Keep it simple. Keep them children.

Any of you mom's have any fun (non-disney) Princess activities you have tried with your 3 year old princesses? Do share.