Baby Shower :: Ugly Dolls & Zolos Baby Boy Shower

Well, well, well. Today I am going to share my baby shower with you that took place about 3 years ago! Now, please forgive the photo quality in these. I did not yet know I would ever start a party blog where photos (or I!) needed to look decent, and I certainly didn’t have the “baby camera” yet. (You know? You have a baby, then a big fat DSLR comes out right after? It always happens that way!) Anyway, if you can look beyond the quality, you might just take a few brilliant ideas away. So let’s go back in time, shall we?My mom and my sister put together a shower that was beyond perfect for me. I have to admit I was in a bit of a state of shock for the entire 9 months I was pregnant with my first son. I was so excited about the baby… I just didn’t really understand all the gear that came with one. I had a mini-breakdown while registering, so all I registered for were Ugly Dolls. True story. I did NOT want a shower or presents at all, but my wise mom & sis decided otherwise on my behalf. Lucky for me, because this shower was so un-baby-ish and totally cool and super fun. It felt like a… well… a party! And a party I wanted to be at. It was perfect!As a young girl, I absolutely LOVED Zolos. Did anyone else have this incredible toy? They make plastic ones now but I had (and still have!) the original wood set. I was totally thrilled to walk in and be surprised by Zolos and Ugly Dolls all over the tables. They are so colorful yet funky so they made the most fun centerpieces. Using wheat grass, gerber daisies, and making flower balls out of floral oasis’, the created the most hip tables. The only bummer was that it ended up being a 90 degree day – which never happens by the beach – so all the grass and flowers were pretty wilted by the time the guests arrived and these photos were snapped. You can still get the idea though. Just pretend the wheat grass is standing up! It really was darling.How fun are those daisy balls? (Did I really just write that sentence?)This was the place setting. Too dang cute right? That’s a real diaper cloth and pin used for the napkin and a cookie favor tucked inside to take home. I love these funky cafeteria trays too. They just added to the fun vibe.Speaking of cookies, I could NOT get over the ones my mom made for this shower. She made some look like Zolos with sticks coming out of them, some bottles, some baby carriages……but look at that baby head! Love it!They also had a candy counter filled with orange, green, black, blue, and white candies.Cute, cute, cute.The drink station was equally fun. I love that fabric they used. I think it was from Ikea. (Don’t they have the best fabrics?)That black little Ugly Doll up there had a sign around him that said “Get your drink on.” I love funny details like that.They hung a clothesline outside with baby boy clothes. I ended up snapping a photo of my son on that blanket every single week for the first year of his life. I didn’t know then how special it would be to me now.They hung lanterns from the kitchen and one of my favorite things was that my sister came up with “10 reasons Meatball will be oh so lucky!” and framed it on the wall. (PS: We nicknamed him Meatball while he was in my tummy. I assure you we came up with a better name for him than that.) What a really sweet detail.The guests had a great time, I was in Heaven and it was really such a cute and funky day. And I love how the hostesses dressed in the colors of the shower. I always think that’s so fun!I think the biggest take-away from this shower is to go with what you know the guest-of-honor will love… no matter how bizarre. The strangest ideas can be the best ones! Thanks for time-traveling with me! Have a great Wednesday!


Baby Shower :: Orange, Blue & White Baby Boy Shower

Happy Monday and get ready for some serious cute hitting your eyeballs! Today I am featuring a baby shower for my friend Stephanie that I was lucky enough to attend (but had absolutely no role in) and let me tell you, it was a true feast for the eyes!I could comb over this shower’s darling details for days, but let’s hit some highlights! First I looooooove how they put some of the pom poms on the ground! What a way to move the eye around and highlight the fun vintage cases. It really made the whole display super cohesive.One of Steph’s best friends was one of the hostesses and is also, very conveniently, a very talented floral designer. Aly of The Vine’s Leaf was responsible for all of the floral beauty. One of the cutest touches was the each vase was a mason jar because guess what Stephanie named her son? Yep, Mason! How cute is that!? Her mother-in-law even tracked down beautiful vintage mason jars for his nursery (which is just as darling!)Favors were mini mason jars filled with blue jelly beans. Just perfect! I really love how they used burlap to make the whole shower a little more rustic chic. It was such a beautiful balance of manly yet sweet for a baby boy. I didn’t stray far from the desert table. Not only was everything delicious but also so pretty to look at. It almost felt criminal to eat those cute giraffes!A bakery out of Long Beach called Sweet And Saucy Shop made all the beautiful desserts. I might just go broke in gas bills driving to the LBC for these delicious and gorgeous treats.And those sticks in those oranges? Such a great idea!They rented all the vintage furniture and props at a place called Found Vintage Rentals and it really made such an impact! The problem with this though, is that you have to give all this incredible furniture back! That would break my heart!Look at that awesome cart where all the presents ended up living! So truly fabulous! Don’t you just want to put your feet up and sip on some lemonade?Oh and let’s not forget the incredible lunch they served! They used Anything But Ordinary Catering and not only was everything to-die-for-delish, it was also so beautifully arranged. Again, too pretty to eat! It was one of the most stunning showers I have ever been too. Every detail was thought of, everyone had a smile on their face, and the mom-to-be was just as gorgeous as the shower itself! Speaking of Steph, she is talented photographer behind all of this pictures. One day soon we are going to force her to just admit to being a professional photographer and start up a business! She’s fantastic!

Baby Shower :: Pink & Green Baby Animals

Well hello and thanks for coming back this week! I’m thrilled to share the details of my beautiful sister-in-law Kari’s shower that my mother-in-law Sally and I threw. Let’s get this party started! Come on in……and take a load off!Kari made it really easy on us when it came to themes! She wanted pink & green giraffes & elephants with a little brown thrown in for fun, but no animal print. Wish granted! What a fun idea we got to work with… and we didn’t even have to use our brains! Hooray! I designed the invite with her name strung between a pink giraffe and a green elephant, then used and abused the graphic in all the party decor. Oh and hey! Notice something familiar? Yep! Told you I’d steal that circle backdrop idea for some photo ops. Just 8″ paper circles strung together. It turned out darling and we got some great shots of all the guests holding little animals. How pretty does Ms. Kari look?The three tables were explosions of pinks and greens. I filled pink wood boxes from Target with scotch moss (but would also look darling with wheat grass) and added the animals on dowels to keep with the theme. Tablecloths were made from fabric from a discount fabric store nearby, bud vases were either mine or stolen from my mom, and to keep things fresh, we stuck with one color tulip (pink of course!) from good old Trader Joe’s.Sally found those sweet napkins at Sur La Table and I added the “Wishes for Baby” game on each place setting. The guests filled them out during lunch and I think this was the best way this game has worked… everyone actually filled one out. What a cute keepsake for the mom-to-be. (Oh, those pencils? Just golf pencils wrapped in wrapping paper and taped. We just couldn’t let ‘ugly’ into the house.)Each table had different tablecloths and plates yet it all tied in color-wise. I think it’s nice to mix it up a bit and not have things so matchy matchy as long as it still reads like the same party.
And though I am kicking myself for not making the poms hanging over head (I got them on etsy), they sure made the party look adorable.Stay tuned this week because I will show you how to make these things. It’s sickeningly easy! I think my 2 year old could make them.Okay, back to the party…I had to re-wrap that water bottle, of course…Sally found the cutest girly outfits for the clothesline……and as the guests arrived, more gifts appeared…Let the fun begin!I loved throwing this party with Sally because she took care of all the food – which is why it was delicious! She also had these bright pink cupcakes made. Super fun.
And again, I repeated the invite design again as a cupcake topper…The backdrop on the cake table was just a tablecloth I had laying around.While gifts were being opened, guests doodled on diapers for Kari and ate those yummy cupcakes.As favors, Sally came up with the idea of giving each lady a primrose. What a functional favor! I loved that idea. I wrapped the pots (again, no ugly allowed here!), and added a skewer with each guest’s name on it along with it’s meaning. (Yep. My name still meant “Frickin Awesome.” Puzzling, huh?) It was a day filled with insane amounts of love for our Kari! Her friends were all so sweet and she is a glowing mommy-to-be.I hope that this party shows that even if you don’t have – or can’t go out and buy – decorations, or in this case, have a theme that would be challenging to buy decor for, you can still create a very cool and cohesive shindig. Using paper animals over and over again kept this party consistent, cute, and very DIY-able. It may take a little longer to put something like this together but as long as you’re patient with the scissors, you can recreate something like this very easily. And you’ll be able to pull it off  with any possible theme you dream up.
Thanks again for following along! Have a wonderful Monday!

Baby Shower :: Baseball Theme

Let’s go out to the ballgame, shall we? My brother, Jeff, was obsessed with baseball as a boy. When Jeff and my sister-in-law Kelly found out that they were going to have a son, my mom came up with the idea of throwing them a baseball themed baby shower. She came up with the adorable invite above (you’re looking at three different photos of it) which was worded:
Come celebrate Kelly’s little slugger-to-be
Saturday May 22nd • eleven am
GUESTS please come 2 the HOME of the (last name) (address)
Kelly would love to get her mitts on her stroller
(it was a group gift and everyone contributed money.)
Thrown with love by (names & RSVP info)I have to say, though technically I was a hostess at this shower, my mom did just about everything herself. She’s a party genius. For tablecloths, she went to the hardware store and bought a bunch of astroturf. She’s repurposed this as well for garden-themed parties and I am sure she’ll be able to come up with other uses for it as time marches on. The tables were decorated with baseball mitts that we collectively owned, baseballs, peanuts, cracker jacks, and bright read potted geraniums and gerber daisies. The pennants and a few other decorations were bought on sale at Pottery Barn Kids. Each table setting had a red plastic food basket found from a local restaurant supply company, tissue paper lining, potato salad, and burger accoutrements with an American flag toothpick ready to go.My mom turned a white skirt into a baseball dress for the guest of honor to wear. How cute is Kelly? My mom, sister Ellie, and I all donned Dodger or Angel gear and we had my brother, my dad and Kelly’s dad grill up hot dogs and hamburgers for the ladies. It was a family affair.How good is baseball food? Yum!I think at one point that styrofoam baseball was supposed to hold the fruit skewers. Early on we figured out that wouldn’t work but it still looked cute!After lunch and before dessert, my mom and sister lead the crowd in a “7th inning stretch!” It was hysterical! Here are all the ladies singing and stretching…We all sang “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” before heading to the dessert bar.Hot fudge sundae time! My mom found these baseball helmets online from somewhere like this and we turned them upside down to create ballpark sundaes. And who doesn’t like a candy bar? For games, we wrote notes to their baby (as we did at the Birds & Bees shower) and ‘Diaper Doodled’ – which I mentioned before, we do a lot around here. Using permanent pens, leave a station out with newborn diapers and let the guests draw or write on them. You’re left with a series of funny diapers for the new parents. This sign said “Let’s hope Jeff & Kelly aren’t diaper Dodgers!” Ha!The mantle was decorated with a photo of my brother from his little league days along with a clothesline full of baseball inspired baby clothes.Throw a popcorn machine into the mix for fun……and some other details from the party… (Batter Up game also from Pottery Barn Kids.)… and then we sent the guests home with a Janned out cookie trio (FYI: my mom’s name is Jan and her insanity with the cookie decorating is on display again.) The cookie tag said “Thanks for making Kelly’s shower a Home Run.”  This was quite a day at the ballpark and a fun way to personalize a baby shower but can you also see this as a boy’s birthday party? Throw in a baseball game or two and it’d be perfect for a baseball loving little boy!
Hope you all had a great weekend and are excited for another week of party love! I am!

Baby Shower :: Birds & Bees Tea

Last March I got to meet my adorable niece but before her big debut, we got to celebrate her mom-to-be. My sister has the family nickname of “Bee” so a “Birds & Bees Tea” was a given when it came to choosing a theme.Us hosts (my mom, my sister-in-law Kelly, and I) knew we wanted to decorate with tons of birds, bees, and pennant flags so I incorporated all of those elements into the design of the invite.We wanted it to feel like you walked into Gramercy Tavern in New York (they always have the most amazing flowers) from the moment you walked through the door. The whole walkway (not pictured) up to the door was littered with potted tulips, azaleas, ranunculus, and other spring flowers. This was one of the biggest costs of the party but the great thing about buying potted plants as opposed to cut flowers is that you can plant them in your garden as soon as the party is over. Win win!We sewed birds & bees out of felt, whip-stitched them, put wire in their wings and hung them from fishing line both outside and throughout the house. The wreath was on sale after Easter years ago but it suited the theme perfect with those blue robin’s eggs. We set up the bar in the entry way and served blueberry, orange, and pomegranate mimosas, wine, lemonade, iced tea, and sparkling water. You can’t really tell but we put sheet moss all over the table so it looked like you were picking your drinks up from a grassy field. We hung more birds, bees, and pennant flags that my mom made with scraps of fabric throughout the house.The Bee (my sister Ellie) walked through the door and my mom threw a nest on her head. She owned it! Could she look any cuter? I do not think so!We hung more pennant flags throughout the house……and decorated every nook of the house with eggs, beehives, nests, birdhouses, and more flowers and moss.You may be thinking, “where the heck did they find all these things?” Well… first of all, whenever you can, repurpose things you already have. My mom had a ton of these decorations from her Easter displays over the years. She found the bee skeps at Tuesday Morning randomly but she had collected the birdhouses and Easter egg things over the years. Pretty much everything you’ll see on this blog is either from Home Goods, Tuesday Morning, or Marshalls and sometimes Cost Plus, Michael’s and JoAnn’s (but only if we have a coupon.) Also, borrow, borrow, borrow! Everyone likes to help a friend out so if you know someone who loves birdhouses, ask if you can borrow a few.The swirly branches on the mantle is just an unwound wreath from Michael’s. (This is also a great trick for a wine-tasting party. Just add fake grapes and you have a grape-vine.) The font used on the banner was purchased for $2.99 from TwoPeasInABucket. They have lots of cutesy fonts… pretty perfect when it comes to girly showers.My grandma was cleaning out her house and had two really old beat up brown bird cages that she didn’t want. We’ll take them! We spray-painted one green and one pink and put flowers inside. Easy.More from the shower…We played two ‘games’ that weren’t really games. (You’ll see recreations of these two games at just about every baby shower we throw.) The first one was an idea from the girls at lilSugar. I used to work for Sugar Inc. and the lil girls had me design PDFs for baby showers. I loved this idea of theirs so much that I keep recreating it. It’s a “Wishes for Baby” sheet and gives you prompts like “I hope you love ________.” and “I hope you learn__________.” Everyone fills one out for the baby-to-be and afterwards we bind it into a book for the mom to keep. It’s so sweet to see what the guests come up with and becomes a keepsake long after the shower is over.We also “diaper doodled” where you write messages on newborn diapers so that the mom will have something to laugh at at 2am when she’s changing diapers. I’ll post an example of this at a later date.
As far as food went, well this time we totally lucked out because my sister-in-law is pretty much a gourmet chef! She handled all of it and not only was everything delish, it was also so cute!It was an afternoon shower so the fare was light but totally yummy! Grape & goat cheese crostinis, deviled eggs, endive, blue cheese and walnut appetizers… plus loads of sweet things as well.I loved these bird nest cupcakes with jelly bean eggs and gum ball bird heads. I can take NO credit for anything on this table. It was adorable.And my mom, the cookie queen strikes again…She’s insane.A look out to the patio, clothesline strung & bird cage in place!Vintage tea cups that my mom has collected over the years were our vessels of choice. You can recreate this by borrowing mismatched tea cups from friends or scouring thrift shops. (I’ll say though, that the mimosa bar got a little more play than these pretty cups did!) As favors, we made white chocolate covered pretzels with colorful sprinkles and put them into cellophane bags.We capped the bags with the names of the guest. Underneath their name, we wrote what their name meant. I never knew my name meant “Frickin’ Awesome” so that was a nice surprise for me. (I kid. I kid.)More details…It was a beautiful shower for a beautiful girl. And as a quick aside, THANK YOU to all of you lovely, lovely people who are already following this blog. I am so excited about it and I am even more excited to have such insane support and love right out of the gates. This is going to be a fun ride and that’s thanks to you! More tomorrow!