Posts Tagged ‘baby shower’

Surprise! Twins!! Baby Shower!!!

Tuesday, January 26th, 2016

Last week I helped throw a surprise twins baby shower. The party was a surprise I mean, not the twins. Well, the twins WERE a surprise, but they aren’t now. Now we all are very aware that my friend Steph is having identical twin girls sometime in the very near future. We are very, very excited for her.

One of my co-hosts found out from Steph she was really attached to the colors yellow and purple for the girls, so that was the theme we ran with. I hope she REALLY loves those colors because when you tell someone the theme is purple and yellow you end up with nothing but purple and yellow gifts. I’ve decided that to fit the theme she has to name them Violet and Marigold, but strangely Steph thinks she should “talk to her husband” and “let him help decide”. It makes no sense to me, but whatever. I’m fairly confident Vi and Mari will look beautiful in their purple and yellow outfits.

purple and yellow baby shower twins

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I filled in a few inexpensive bouquets from a local flower shop (McKenna’s, I highly recommend them!) with yellow pinwheels from Oriental Trading.

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Diaper cake made with love by my co-host’s 2nd grade daughter.

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Rainbow circle bum pants! Hanging up the baby clothes as part of the decor was a great idea I stole from Pinterest (like most of my great ideas).

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Lemonade and champagne, because what else could you possibly want at a baby shower??

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Yarn mobile I made (just like the ribbon mobile I made for Caroline’s nursery)

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Lemon buttermilk petit fours (adapted from this recipe)

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Popcorn balls (don’t they look like hydrangeas?) These were a really big hit with the big-sister-to-be.

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Juice for toddlers, because there were a LOT of toddlers.

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Cream cheese and bagels from Poppy & Rye here in town. That herb cream cheese might be my favorite food on the whole planet.

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Most of the food was guest provided which meant there wasn’t much for me to do at all (besides eat way too much sugar). New babies are always such a joy and since the youngest baby in our friend group just started walking – despite our best efforts – we could use some teeny tinies around here.



My Week(273) in iPhone Photos

Monday, January 25th, 2016

I don’t know, guys. My iPhone photos are getting worse and worse and I’m not sure this is even a thing worth posting anymore. I only do it because it seems like such a shame to quit now – I have every day of our lives since I was pregnant with CAROLINE documents in iPhone photos. But they’re not good photos. And I should really push myself to post actual content on the blog if I’m going to bother to blog at all, instead of just doing this once a week. I’m conflicted.







I am unable to stop myself from decorating for a party almost a week early



Aspirational spring dress purchasing


Snow angels! FINALLY!





I bought my mom fish like these at a craft fair this summer. These are at Target.




Important party shopping: sugar, flowers, lemons



Tiny reader


Nappy time


Caroline is being supportive of Daddy’s workout



It is still Christmas at the florist


They both thought this was hilarious


Making caramel for the popcorn balls



Linc and friends enjoyed the party food


We ate kind of a lot of baked goods


I TOTALLY forgot piano, but our teacher let us come late



Movies and house-trashing because…


…this was outside


She has given up on life because she can’t go out and build a snowman in a blizzard

We did not get the same giant storm that my parents did down in DC, but we got a few inches. The weather the rest of this week is supposed to be surprisingly warm, which means all that snow will melt and things will be boring and brown again. But it ALSO means we won’t have to sell any kidneys to afford oil to heat the house, so it’s a toss-up really. I’m still trying to find our floors after the combination of party-blizzard-snow day, because the kids seriously just destroyed EVERYTHING. It’s hard to find motivation when they’re just going to destroy stuff again.

I’ve already reached DESPONDENCE and it’s not even February. Send all the sunshine and salted caramel ice cream immediately.

Top 6 Websites For Party Planning

Friday, October 5th, 2012

top 6 websites for party planning

I kind of like parties. (“Kind of” is kind of an understatement.) I like planning them, I like hosting them, I like cooking and baking and decorating for them. I really like searching for the perfect details for months longer than is technically necessary but is a great way to make the fun last longer. I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect white balloons for weeks now to turn my dining room into an arctic wonderland at Caroline’s birthday and I’ve finally narrowed my search down. Here are my top 6 websites for party planning when I’m at home watching Glee:

1. Oriental Trading Company -I’ve ordered everything from rainbow lollipops to a 4 foot T-Rex from OTC and I’ve loved every purchase. It’s sort of a one-stop-shop, especially if you’re throwing a kid’s party. You can search by holiday or theme, and it includes everything from stickers and glow necklaces to wedding supplies. Sign up for their newsletter or catalog and you’ll get discount codes and free shipping fairly regularly.

2. Bake it Pretty – A fantastic site to make your dessert table gorgeous. I’m obsessed with their cupcake toppers and selection of sprinkles. They have food coloring to make any color frosting you can imagine (including a kit to make those awesome rainbow cakes that are all over Pinterest) and paper goods and chocolate molds too. Prices are reasonable and you can get discounts by signing up for their newsletter.

3. Etsy – Obviously. Need invitations? A Happy Birthday banner? One hundred tiny paper butterflies? A custom onesie? Your wish is pretty much their command. If you can’t find exactly what you want by searching (be specific or you’ll get WAY too many results) find a shop with a style you like and see if they take custom orders. I cannot wait to show you the cupcake toppers I ordered for Caroline’s 2nd birthday. Prices range from extremely affordable to WHOA WHO DOES THAT? but I love getting to know and supporting handmade.

4. Save-on-Crafts -I found Save-on through a Pinterest link that said “Like Oriental Trading for adults!” and it’s true. Very popular among the crazy enthusiastic bride sector, they have TONS of really over the top stuff mixed in with essentials like glass vases and glitter at discount prices. Their shipping isn’t cheap (it’s hard to get cheap shipping on 5 foot tall pre-lit birch trees) but it is fast. Invest in reusable pieces – apothecary jars are good for any type of party, chalkboard markers last a while – and save your extra dollars to pay someone to clean up afterward.

5. Amazon – Search for ANYTHING on Amazon and you’ll probably find it. I’ve bought balloons, costumes, gifts, favors, food, tablecloths and books for various parties at really great prices. I have an Amazon Prime account that gets me free 2-day shipping for last minute stuff (there is ALWAYS last minute stuff). p.s. It doesn’t hurt to double check Amazon against OTC prices. I’ve found identical items are sometimes MUCH cheaper on one of those sites compared to the other.

6. Shop Sweet Lulu – Adorable packaging and decorating supplies (paper straws, vintage-style popcorn boxes, milk bottles) in bright and pastel colors. Their blog is also a fantastic place for inspiration, as long as you don’t mind feeling slightly inferior to some REALLY amazing planners.

What am I missing? Tell me so I can go shop there immediately – only 2 months and 10 days until Caroline’s 2nd birthday!

Dinosaur Party Favors

Monday, March 12th, 2012

While I’m gone, I thought I’d repost some of my favorite stuff from the past few years. But an all-repeat post is kind of boring so here’s the details on the favor boxes I put together for Evan’s upcoming 3rd birthday party:

Boxes, twine and tag from In The Clear on Etsy

Dinosaur tattoos, stamp and toy from Oriental Trading Company

Dinosaur stamp from Melissa & Doug set I bought Evan

Custom “ROARRR! means I love you in Dinosaur” from Tickled Pink Paper + Ink on Etsy

Moss filler from the local dollar store

To be honest, I spent a long time thinking about these and putting them together and have do practically nothing else in preparation for the party. I figure I’ll toss around a bunch of moss and rocks and a few more toy dinosaurs and call it good. I’m even going to feed my guests store bought food and a cake I hired someone else to make. I figure with two toddlers of my own and a house full of guests I need to stop driving myself crazy doing EVERYTHING myself. Although I’m pretty sure I’ve said some version of that same sentence before every party I’ve thrown.

Here’s a trip down party memory lane:

Evan’s First Birthday: Circus (food, friends, decorations, photobooth)

Caroline’s Baby Shower: Nursery Rhymes

Evan’s Second Birthday: Bubbles, Balls & Balloons (decorations, food, friends)

Caroline’s First Birthday: Sparkle & Snow (party post, details)

Are you really, really hungry now? Sorry about that.

Nursery Rhyme Baby Shower

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

Since this was a second baby shower, I wanted it to be more like a kid-friendly tea party than a traditional guess-how-big-Mama’s-belly-is/gift bingo/grown up shower. I also wanted it to be girly but not princessy, cute but not over the top, and to involve lots and lots AND LOTS of food. I actually stumbled into a nursery rhyme theme after reading Little Evan his favorite Mother Goose book for the bazillionth time (he specifically requests the “this little piggy” and “one, two, buckle my shoe” pages because they involve being tickled at the end). “Boy,” I thought to myself, “there sure are a lot of baked goods in these nursery rhymes!”

And thus a theme was born.

I thought it would be super easy to just pick up some Mother Goose craft paper & fabric, grab a couple books from my shelf and be done with it but it turns out nursery rhymes are soooo 1900’s and not very popular anymore so I had to improvise. But it all ended up coming together really well and only involved three trips to the craft store and two to Target with a day of online shopping thrown in for fun.

(click on collages to see them bigger – I know a lot of stuff is kind of too small to read but trust me, it’s better than posting them all individually)


nursery rhyme baby shower invitation diaper cake

nursery rhyme baby shower books banner penant

nursery rhyme baby shower books as favors

nursery rhyme baby shower blessing tree

nursery rhyme baby shower decorations fabric

Adorable book-themed invites from Tiny Prints (free tip: ask around Twitter for discount codes – sometimes people give them to you and the invitations you thought were too expensive end up being just right.)

Baby Girl diaper cake done by the VERY talented Joanna of Raising Madison. She was a doll to work with and even made the cake fit my theme with the Farmer in the Dell animals.

Collection of geese (aka ducks I just called geese) on the mantle from Goodwill.

I found the adorable customizable pennants and gift tags in hedgehogstudio’s shop on Etsy for only $5. I used the pennants (printed in 2 different sizes) to make “Welcome!” banners and one over the mantle that says “Rock-a-bye Baby”. I used the gift tags as book marks for the nursery rhyme books I passed out as favors – an INCREDIBLY lucky find in the $1 bin at Target.

My original plan to just scan in pictures of each nursery rhyme from vintage books was cut short when I realized that probably broke about a zillion copyright laws and after a few minutes of trying to find public domain images I was ready to give up. Luckily, Etsy saved the day again with 20 2×2 vintage nursery rhyme illustrations for only $2.50. I cut them out & glued them to ribbon to hang behind the food table and attached the ones that matched the food to the food labels.

The tablecloths are all fabric ordered from

The sparkly butterflies were in the 80% off Halloween clearance at Michael’s.

Yarn wreath made by me: it’s yarn scraps wrapped around a styrofoam form. Easiest thing ever – but REALLY time consuming to wrap all that yarn.

The blessing tree was an idea I saw mentioned on Ohdeedoh a few weeks ago and stuck with me – I used the same small book of craft paper (called Nana’s Nursery, bought at Joann’s) for the hanging tags on the tree as for the food labels and the backing on the nursery rhymes I scattered around as decorations.

The books on the mantel are a combination of my own from when I was a kid, my mom’s from when SHE was a kid, a few I found at Goodwill and one special moving-picture book I bought especially for Baby Sandy.

The children loved the coloring book pages I found online and printed out, along with my box of 200 crayons. Many of them took their beautiful creations home as souvenirs.

And I just can’t go without pointing out the tea and the plates/napkins are in (a tisket a tasket) green and yellow baskets. MY THEME WAS SO COHESIVE.


nursery rhyme baby shower food humpty dumpty eggs

nursery rhyme baby shower food humpty thumb print cookies pumpkin muffins


Little Jack Horner Thumb Print Cookies (declared the most delicious thumb print cookies ever by all my guests & made by E so obviously not super hard – I think the secret was we used boysenberry jam because I couldn’t find plum – recipe here)

Little Boy Blueberry Muffins (recipe from Tasty Kitchen – also made by E & his dad and also DELICIOUS)

Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater Pumpkin Cookies (recipe from Amy @ A Good Life)

That’s What Little Girls Are Made of Sugar Cookies (bought the nursery rhyme cookie cutters on Ebay)

This Little Piggy Had Roast Beef Sandwiches

This Little Piggy Had None Cucumber Tea Sandwiches

Humpty Dumpty Deviled Eggs

Mary Mary Quite Contrary Garden Veggies

Jack and Jill Went Up The Hill To Fetch a Pail of Watermelon & Fruit

Peter Piper Pickled Peppers

Three Blind Mice Cheese and Crackers

Jack-a-dandy Sugar Candy (aka Smarties & Starlight mints)

Polly Put The Kettle On Tea

Punch and Judy Party Punch

And, because I am AWESOMELY AWESOME, I found a nursery rhyme that included wine: one of the middle verses of Old Mother Hubbard.

Erin (Wedding Erin for those who know what I mean) made this entire cake from scratch – the cake, the frosting, the fondant and the decorations. One layer was strawberry and the other was vanilla that she made with a no-crap actual vanilla bean. It was DELICIOUS. I’ve stuffed myself with cake every day since the shower and we STILL have some left over. I’m totally blaming Erin when my doctor announces I’ve gained 15 pounds at my next appointment.

Friends (really the very best friends anyone could ask for):

More than half the photos (and all the good ones) taken by Erin of Open Shutter Photography. She’s not only my BFF, she’s INCREDIBLY talented with both her camera and Photoshop and can make even a 35 week pregnant Sasquatch look pretty adorable. (You can like her on Facebook here)

Exhibit A:

Headband from TwentyFiveDesign, sweater is at Target RIGHT NOW (not even maternity)

Thank you again bunches and bunches and bunches to The Erins, my in-laws, and my friends who came. I hope you all had as much fun as I did. Oh and if you ever want to pay me gobs of money (or let me SPEND gobs of your money) to plan a party, just let me know. I’m available.

If you’ve read all the way to the end of this, you deserve a piece of cake. Come over and I will TOTALLY give you one right now.