May 1, 2012

For her 6th birthday, she made a request to stay at a hotel. This idea of hers was inspired by her favorite book character Eloise, who is 6, and lives at the Plaza Hotel. We also asked her if she wanted a party and she said, “Yes, just the six of us.” Other requests she had were swimming, watching My Little Pony in the room, and a vegetable cake. You shake up all the little requests she had in a box and this is what we came up with. 
I did show her a picture of the hotel once and she was quickly smitten with it. When it finally came time to figure out her birthday plans, I knew The Saguaro was a must, especially a room with pink. We started the adventure off with a stop for lunch and pick up some date shakes at Hadley Nut Farm (thanks to Heather’s recommendation) and then we were off to the hotel. 

her hotel birthday adventure

Once there, we gave her the suitcase, which pretty much contained all her birthday goodies, but we slowly revealed each item to her through the course of two days. That first afternoon there, they relaxed in the room watching My Little Pony, then we went to dinner at Tinto, which was pretty good. We had never tried tapas before and we like it, though I don’t think it is something we will crave. After that, the girls went for a night swim and then that was that for the first day.
her hotel birthday adventure
her hotel birthday adventure
her hotel birthday adventure
her hotel birthday adventure
her hotel birthday adventure
her hotel birthday adventure
her hotel birthday adventure
her hotel birthday adventureher hotel birthday adventure
her hotel birthday adventureher hotel birthday adventureher hotel birthday adventure

The second day, was her actual birthday and because it is tradition, she got her breakfast in bed (don’t worry the other girls got breakfast too) and they spent the rest of the morning swimming. I hung out with them for a bit, but most of the morning, I was in the room getting her own little private party set up. Armed with all the goodies in the suitcase, I set out to prep her mini party. 

her hotel birthday adventureher hotel birthday adventure
her hotel birthday adventure
her hotel birthday adventureher hotel birthday adventure

I knew a rainbow cake would be perfect the celebration, and I thought she would like that more than her request for a vegetable cake (what’s that?). I baked the cake the night before we left home, using this recipe (this for the frosting) and wrapped each layer in saran wrap separately and froze it all. Then, when it was time to put it together it was easy peasy. This was all a surprise to her, so you should have seen her face when she came back to the room. My heart swelled knowing that her little heart was full of joy for her birthday surprises. She was so excited for everything! 

her hotel birthday adventureher hotel birthday adventure
her hotel birthday adventure
her hotel birthday adventureher hotel birthday adventureher hotel birthday adventureher hotel birthday adventureher hotel birthday adventureher hotel birthday adventureher hotel birthday adventure
her hotel birthday adventure
k02Zm7 on Make A Gif, Animated Gifs

After the party, we wrapped up and checked out and then had a late lunch at El Jefe (yum!), stopped by Ace for some photo booth action, and then headed home. As soon as we got home, True started crying because she missed the hotel so much. It was real sweet. I’m thinking now her next request will be two nights at the hotel for her 7th birthday! 
I can hardly believe we have a 6 year old, but we were so happy to be able to oblige some of this sweet girl’s wishes. Now, if she starts asking for us to buy a hotel, well, that just ain’t gonna happen. Just to be clear. This little girl of ours has Ben’s mischief, it’s in the eyes, and my bossiness. She is also hilariously funny and a good big sister, when she isn’t manipulating Brave. We love her so much and I think I forget she is still a baby, though she is also becoming a big girl. By golly, time just goes too fast. We love you True! 
See True’s past birthdays… 5, 4, 3, and 2.

p.s. cause you’re probably wondering… yes, i taped crepe paper streamers up to the wall for her mini party and tore it all down before we checked out and her birthday dress is from misha lulu.


  • Happy Birthday True! That hotel looks like it was built just for this purpose… what a perfect, colourful place for a little girls birthday. You're such a good mummy xx

  • Anonymous says:

    <3 Elle est vraiment trop belle !

  • Anonymous says:

    omgosh! it is super!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! you are so creative and True is a lucky girl!
    Happy Birthday!


  • Chris.Azur says:


  • KatieO says:

    Most.awesome.birthday.ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My freaking word!!!

  • How wonderful! And what a memorable couple days for True ! You did a beautiful job with the cake and streamers and that hotel is just perfect. I'm so excited for her. Haha.

    Also, You're photography is quite lovely. Always is!

  • Amazing all of it! What a special birthday….amazing place, fabulous cake, darlingness the whole kit and kaboodle! Oh and did I mention the fabulousity of your girls??

  • bekkah says:

    so cute!! what fun memories :]

  • You are creating such priceless, warm & fuzzy memories for your little lady!

    How special!

  • jorjiapeach says:

    you're the coolest mom ever. and that's probably the coolest hotel i've ever seen. and that cake's pretty cool too.

  • jasmine says:

    She is such a cutie!! I love the rainbow wall photos at the end. This looks like such a fun birthday party. I had a couple hotel birthday parties when I was a girl (at 11 and 12). They were SO much fun, and I still think back on them fondly! I'm sure True will too. 🙂

  • Corrie Anne says:

    YAY!!!!!!!!!!! So beautiful!!! How fun!!

  • Wow! Seriously, that is the most awesome 6th birthday party I've ever heard of! Makes me want to be a kid again 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  • Starr says:

    What an awesome birthday! Love the cake, the hotel, and all of the fun details. Hooray for hotel parties!

    • Uh oh, you’ve got a problem: you can’t boycott Gristedes and still use Jefferson Market. (Unless it’s a Belgray-style non-boycott boycott.) Because JM is Gristedes.I had a feeling they were more expensive there. Just a gut feeling, because I don’t really compare prices.I wish I had the motivation to trek to Trader Joe’s. I couldn’t believe how cheap it was when I went w. my sister in LA.

  • Emy Augustus says:

    so well planned! That cake is the best thing ever.

  • Ana says:

    What an amazing and beautiful birthday!! Happy Birthday to True!

  • Anna says:

    Maybe she meant a carrot cake. But cute everything! You need to win the award for best internet mom!

  • What an incredible birthday for True!! I'm sure she absolutely adored all of the surprises. Heck, I'm jealous! I want to stay at the Saguaro 🙂 And that cake!! So cool!

  • francine says:

    i took a break from studying for a MAJOR (like pass or fail grad school) exam and read this blog entry… it was perfect for my stress! i literally was laughing out loud when you wrote “I thought she would like that more than her request for a vegetable cake (what's that?)” because when you mentioned vegetable cake earlier in the post, i was so confused and couldn't wait to see what that could mean… i thought it was maybe some secret family recipe 🙂

  • lidia says:

    what a sweet birthday!
    true is getting so big!

  • moxiemandie says:

    This is amazing! I want you to throw my 30th! K? 🙂

  • you are SUCH an amazing mama!! all the details and the time it must have taken to put together this creative party is just inspiring!!!

  • kristin says:

    SO cute, my little pink-loving girl would LOVE to stay in a place like that for her birthday! Wish we lived close to Palm Springs…

  • { L } says:

    This is perfect in every way! I just love how unique it is and the photography is beautiful.

  • lori marie says:

    best birthday ever!

  • Happy Birthday True!!! What a fun little birthday away, and super cute, thoughtful, and special, as always. Your family is so much fun! 🙂

  • Linda Park says:

    With every picture, John and I were saying “look how big true is!” SHE'S SO BIG NOW!!!!!!<3 her to pieces!

  • Jillian says:

    you just celebrate so well Rubyellen. I am in awe of your skills. 🙂

  • Jamie says:

    I LOVE this! Super cute. I would be so happy with your 6-year-old's party and I'm 25. 😉

  • HannasHörna says:


    It looks like you had a lovely time together. The hotel seems fantastic and your daughter looks so happy.

    Hugs from Sweden

  • Laura says:

    You are certainly the best mom ever! Lucky birthday girls in your family! I am left however craving vegetable cake! I have to figure out how to make that…it sounds oddly yummy to me!

  • Vanessa says:

    You are my birthday throwing Mama Idol… I LOVE LOVE LOVE everything you did for your little girl right there and I hope I can recreate something similar one day for my lil miss. Awesome hotel and fabulous ideas. I bet your True has memories indelibly marked in her heart and mind now from a special special occasion.

  • lauren says:

    So adorable!! You can see how excited she is in every picture!!

  • Miss K says:

    Gorgeous! She is going to treasure these photos forever.

  • astr!d says:

    what an awesome birthday party! you guys are so good about making each child feel special! good job momma!!!

  • lacey says:

    all of her celebrations are so beautiful! i love the “make your own bear” from her third birthday! did you use a pattern for that or do you have a diy for it posted? i'd love to make one for my baby boy 🙂

  • Sallytangle says:

    Just came across you through A Beautiful Mess and oh so so so sweet, you have a new follower xxxx

  • Those birthday wishes are too cute/funny! Looked like she thoroughly enjoyed the day! I LOVE Hadleys! It's a family tradition to stop there every time we drive past it! Love me some date shakes! 😀

  • Melissa says:

    O. MY. LORD. I think I've read through this same post seven times today. So colorful and happy. Thanks for sharing!

  • Jodi Ann says:

    That is the very best birthday ever! She is a girl after my own heart…color, relaxing in bed and swimming. 🙂 I can't wait until my little boys are into birthday parties.

  • Great party! And there's nothing wrong with owning a little hotel, I've got one ( and it's quite a bit of fun (most of the time, that is…). Maybe the little one is on to something! 🙂 Great work on the party…

  • That hotel is AMAZING!! 🙂 Happy Birthday True!! 🙂 x

  • K. Davis says:

    absolutely precious… and that hotel looks like a PERFECT photoshoot location 🙂

  • what a fun birthday! i love how special you made it!

  • meig says:

    I don't know how, but you guys come up with the BEST birthday celebrations for your family. I love every sweet detail you put into it. I hope that I can be even half as creative as you are. So lovely.

  • karlacola says:

    Yep you ROCK! Happy Birthday to your baby girl… my oldest turned 7 last month… it feels like its gone far too fast
    This hotel is too cool! Have you always known about the existance of it or did you stumble across it for the bday plans?

  • Melanie Lea says:

    I kind of want to cry tears of cute and happy and fun and joy from seeing these photos! Its so evident how much you all love each other from these pictures. Such a beautiful family! Thanks for sharing this lovely occasion with us : )

    PS-I found you from Elsie's blog! Congratulations on being a contributor there! Love your tutorials!

    Melanie from My Billie

  • ringmaster says:

    i love this girl!!! it looks like the best birthday ever!!!

    • Rubyellen says:

      yeah, but you know how shy she is otherwise! i wish she was this goofy at the shoots!!! we didn't have time for pioneertown, but we will take a day trip!

  • this is the cutest thing i have ever seen! you look like the best mom to the sweetest family! i love the blog and am hooked 🙂 so i'm here to stay

  • Amanda says:

    Oh I love this oh so very much. You two are such great parents!

  • Vang says:

    Adorable! I love it all! What a special birthday for a 6-year old. The suitcase is so pretty, and packing up all her birthday items in it–great idea!

    Vang 🙂

  • Nicole says:

    you are quite possibly the coolest mama in the world. and your adorable girls make even my husband swoon. which reminds me that we should be on the baby bandwagon soon. . .


  • Rosalind says:

    Happy Birthday True! I loved this idea, how very cool

  • audree says:

    what a wonderfully themed birthday! i love that it was inspired by a book (Eloise), because it also reminds me of another book: Because of Winn-Dixie. Sweetie Pie invites Opal to her sixth birthday party and says, “The theme is pink!”

  • Kelli Diane says:

    oh my goodness this place is awesome!!!!! We always had that tradition as well, breakfast in bed on our birthday : )

  • amazing! Looks like a dream birthday!!! you are the coolest!

  • This may have been just about the cutest thing ever… what an amazing mom you are.


  • Becky says:

    really cute. My littlest one just told me she wanted a rainbow party for her 4th birthday “because she like all the colors” wish we could do something like this, but she wants a party at home

  • melody says:

    Ruby, thanks for your message! 🙂
    aaaaaaaaaaah, you have no idea how long I've been waiting to comment on your posts, but Taylor wouldn't let me because he didn't want anyone to know about the blog until he “released” it on sexytay. hahah he's such a dork.

    anyway, never got a chance to tell you in person, but wow. wow. wow! so amazing! i love this!!!!

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  • Amy says:

    I love that GIF of True and this is the most adorable hotel I’ve ever seen. I want to stay here!

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