Circus First Birthday Party

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I kind of dug myself into a hole by throwing such a big first birthday for Evelyn. Remember that one? It took weeks and weeks of prep to get it just right. And I couldn’t stand the thought of my kids, as teens, going through photos and noticing that Evelyn got an incredible first birthday and Remi’s was a cake and some balloons.

I thought I was doing a little less DIY with this party but man, it took the whole freaking day to set up. And the party was at 2! Whatevs. It still turned out exactly as I had envisioned. Maybe even better.

Circus seemed like such a fitting theme for a first birthday party! It’s the ultimate birthday experience. You get all those kooky games one plays at typical birthday parties, with a theme that draws guests in! Now granted, most of our guests were a little on the young side so some of the games were kind of lost on them. But I think a party like this is still appropriate for a first birthday if you have older kids coming. Or if you take the games up a notch, they could be more geared towards the adults. A party is a party…no matter the size of the guest.

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The thing I regret the most about the decor is probably that I wasn’t able to make a circus tent happen. I did make one. It was a red and white striped table cloth draped over a hula hoop. It was going to hang over Remi’s high chair. But once we hung it up and the wind started blowing, it sort of a resembled a bag of trash. Sad.

I tried to create a small form of grand entrance at the entry to the backyard with tablecloths but it didn’t really translate. And at that point, I was running out of time. The good news it, guests only saw it for a fraction of the party. The good stuff is on the inside.

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See those signs? I could have made them myself but I opted to buy them. Yes, I know it says ‘Carnival’ and not ‘Circus.’ Who care? The thing the least amount of people took part in was the face painting station. Understandable I suppose. My sister-in-law was in charge and ended up just painting Remi out of boredom. But it was pretty cute.

The station was equipped with regular face paint and face paint crayons. But also some temporary tattoos and glitter heart stickers.

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What’s a circus without games?! Okay, yeah, that’s probably more of a carnival. It was a circus/carnival theme okay?

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You like those mad artistic skills? That’s right, I painted that ha. We nailed my artwork to an Ikea wooden stool (you know the one, it’s amazeballs) and grabbed some hula hoops from the dollar store and BAM! Ring toss!

I should mention that 94% of the stuff for this party came from the dollar store. Seriously. Food included.

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I kept calling this game Ball-In-Hole which doesn’t so much roll off the tongue but do you have a better name? It’s just four pool noodles (dollar store) and some packing tape. Lots of packing tape. Then I added some spunk with bows and points signs.

We already had the balls, because children. But I got the cute orange serving bowl at…you guessed it, the dollar store.

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My acrobats were probably my favorite part of everything! Aren’t they so cute! I just attached Evelyn’s Barbies to some hula hoops and Chris hung them from the trees. How circus is that?!

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Vintage Tea Party Photo Shoot

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A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to be part of a gorgeous stylized Mother’s Day photo shoot collaboration. My good friend Megan of Wild Rose House set up the whole shoot, found all the contributors and styled the whole thing! She does amazing work as a florist and styling photo shoots. I am still so impressed with how it turned out!

 

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Megan asked me to do nails for the shoot and I was more than happy to oblige. Then, as it turns out, she asked Evelyn and I to model in the shoot too! It was such a blast and I got some beautiful photos of my sweet daughter and I that I will treasure forever.

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Janessa, of JMarie Photography and Design, was so good with the girls. I was so impressed by Janessa’s skill in getting the girl’s attention and engaging them so they had fun and smiled pretty for the camera. I mean, have you ever seen so many little girls cooperating all at once?!

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All the models in the shoot are good friends of mine. We met several years ago doing a play group and have stayed close ever since. It was so fun to get to do the shoot with them. We got some momma pampering by Bree and McKenzie, a much-needed gift for moms who are always on the go to keep up with kids. We even got to shop for our dresses together at the Dress Collective. It was a little throw back to getting ready for prom with all my girls! Nothing brings you closer together faster than sharing a teeny dressing room with three other girls.

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The tea party set up was something straight out of a romantic fairytale. Megan definitely has the artistic eye. She was able to find contributors for each of the tiny details. Everything from the china to place card calligraphy was provided by a skilled vendor. Each place setting was carefully completed with a stack of china plates, a linen napkin and a teacup on top framed by gorgeous gold utensils.

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As we sat down, we couldn’t help but feel like we had been transported into a storybook land where dining rooms are nestled in the shade of the forest and tables are always decorated with decadent flower cakes. Every where you glance on the table reveals a new bright color of flowers tucked into teacups.

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We all laughed as we played pretend with these cute little girls who were elated to be at a real tea party. We clinked tea cups and spoke in silly British accents. We asked, “How’s the crop?” and “Have you been to any good cricket tournaments?” It was a jolly good time and a great opportunity to play with our sweet daughters.

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We couldn’t keep the girls away from the cupcakes for too long and they were ecstatic to inhale every last crumb. And immediately afterward proceeded to run off and chase each other in a fit of giggles, leaving us moms to make our own hilarity.

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It was a beautiful tea party, thanks to everyone involved and such a blast to be part of. I can highly recommend any of the vendors. See below for a full list and enjoy the photos!

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Jamberry Bridal party

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^^She’s wearing gold sparkle with chantilly over the top on the ring finger and thumb.

When Chris’ brother got married, I decided to give the bride an early wedding present and offer to do her nails for the big day. She was so excited to have Jamberry nails for her wedding and took advantage of a super classy design.

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^^They’re wearing boysenberry with gold sparkle accent and the bridesmaid is gold sparkle with boysenberry accent.

Her bridal party decided to get in on the action and have matching nails for the big day! The pictures looked so great, especially the close ups of their bouquets. All those matching nails..I can’t even handle it! Since each sheet of wraps comes with enough for two manis and two pedis, all the bridesmaids could share and it was only about $6 each.

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^^Everyone had their own bag with everything they needed to get the perfect Jamberry application.

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^^Everyone gets their wraps, application tools, and a catalog

I did a party the day before the wedding to help all the girls get their jams on. The party was so fun! I had a great time getting to know all the bridesmaids. Give me a good girls night any day! It was a great chance for them all to have a relaxing afternoon together the day before the wedding. Sometimes weddings can be a big ol’ ball of stress for everyone who is working to make it perfect and a little spa party in the middle of it all is a nice pampering distraction.

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^^boysenberry and gold sparkle

The bride’s nails were perfect for all those close up ring shots that will be framed on her wall and in photo albums for the rest of forever.

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^^Gold Sparkle and Chantilly

Are you planning a wedding or event where to you want to have matching nails without breaking the bank? Jamberry has so many options to choose from and the best news is, I’ll come help you get a perfect application. These can be great for a girls night in, spa night, right before a vacation, you name it. Gorgeous nails are appropriate for every occasion.

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^^Boysenberry and ombre lotus accent

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^^Sisters of the Groom wearing boysenberry and ombre lotus

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^^Groom’s sister rocking plum lotus from the Jamberry junior collection

You can view all the nail wrap designs online here. Email me to place your joint order and book a party.

Celebrating Evelyn’s Birthday

So you guys might not remember this..but I just had a baby. Shocker I know. But I haven’t really felt like I had the energy to make a big birthday celebration happen for Evelyn this year, not like last year for sure.

So this year was just kind of chill and as a 2 year old, Evelyn still loved it. It was a two part birthday.

Part one was the Museum of Natural Curiosity on Tuesday. Evelyn was insistent on inviting her friend Zaydree (or dree dree as Evelyn says). They both had a blast! Evelyn was a little overwhelmed by all the people at first but when she warmed up to it she had so much fun!

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Her actual birthday was pretty chaotic. I had all these grand plans of how I would make the day special for Evelyn but then Remi decided to be the snottiest, whiniest baby ever and wouldn’t let me put him down. It was causing me an excessive amount of stress and disappointment and Evelyn didn’t know what having a birthday meant and was happy to sit and play while I glared at my crying baby (Don’t worry, we’ve since made up).

My knight in shining armor (Chris..duh) came and took Remi to work with him for the rest of the day and gave me a chance to give Evelyn some one on one time. We had a ton of fun at the splash pad, then picked up her cake and her dad and brother and headed back home for a little family celebrating.

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She loved each one of her presents and wanted to play with them as she opened them. I think next year one present will suffice. But her favorite thing was those silly little characters on top of the cake. She takes them everywhere! But she also loves her bike from Grammy and PeePaw too. She just needs to grow a couple inches so she can ride it.

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^^Everyone had to wear a party hat. Even Pooh!

All in all the day turned out well in the end. And I don’t have to plan another party until Remi’s 1st next June. Whew.

Snow White First Birthday Party

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Last Saturday was Evelyn’s Snow White first birthday party. It was so much fun and we had a great turnout. I am the first to admit that I may have gone a tad overboard for a one year old’s birthday party but I just had so much fun with it. I made all the decorations myself and I’m so pleased that it turned out exactly how I had envisioned…maybe even better.

I mixed and matched a lot of ideas from pinterest to create the final project. But you don’t want to hear about it, just take a look at the pictures.

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Fourth of July Festivities

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Yesterday was so perfect. We spent the first part of the day chilling out and getting ready for our evening cookout. In my book, it was the way a fourth of July should be. Chris has really perfected our yard with a great pathway, fire pit, tree swings, and even a little pond for the ducks. Yes…we have ducks. We had a few friends over and ate yummy food and just enjoyed each other’s company. And the evening ended the way all summer evenings should: with s’mores.

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“Oh the Places You’ll Go” Graduation Party

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After a little Pinterest searching I came up with this cute theme for my little sister’s graduation party. It ended up taking longer than I expected to put together but it came out exactly as I had envisioned it in my head. I love it when that happens.

You’ll have to excuse my horrid photography skills. Maybe someday I’ll be able to take good photos for my blog so it’s not so miserable to look at. (In fact, my SIL is doing an awesome series on her blog for beginning photogs that I will absolutely be taking advantage of. Check it out here.)

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^^Guests were greeted with a map that let them predict the course that Maddie’s life would take. They could make her path across the United States and label any big life events like college, jobs, marriage and other silly, random things

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^^My parents house is split level and so guests arrived to a view of the stairs. Pictures along the staircase served as a timeline of Maddie’s life, starting with her infancy and ending in her senior pictures.

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About to Pop Baby Shower

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{Pregnancy} Week 36 & Baby Showers

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How far along?  36 Weeks

Total weight gain? 40lbs (I know right?!)

Maternity clothes? Yeah, although the belly is starting to hang out of some of my shirts…

Stretch Marks? No, and I’ve made it this far..

Best moment this week? Baby Showers!!

Miss anything? Walking normally, sleeping through the night, not having hip pain or heartburn, not feeling constantly uncomfortable. I better questions would be what don’t I miss and to that I say, nothing.

Movement? Yes! I love that I can feel it from the inside and outside and watch it happen.

Food Cravings: None really.

Anything making you sick or queasy? Bad smells

Worst symptom: Everything is uncomfortable.

Labor signs: Nope.

Belly button in or out? Out.

Wedding rings on or off? Off.

Happy or Moody most of the time? So much Moody!

Looking forward to: Meeting my baby!!!

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How to NOT throw a surprise party

**In case you don’t want to read the very detailed version of my 21st birthday and surprise party gone wrong, I’m going to lay out a few basic steps for you up front**

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How to NOT throw a surprise party

001 When you throw a surprise party make sure the birthday girl doesn’t see you sneaking around.

002 Don’t ignore her or neglect her birthday fun because you’re too busy planning a party and making shady calls.

003 Don’t make the birthday girl think that you are going out to a fancy dinner and might miss the reservations (that you never actually made)

004 Don’t do everything at a glacier pace so that the birthday girl gets annoyed and thinks her perfect night will be ruined.

005 Don’t laugh when she gets angry that she doesn’t know what’s going on. (Also, try and keep her from getting angry).

Now, if you want to see how ignoring the aforementioned advice will play out, keep reading.

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