Garden Dinner Party

Who thought it would be a good idea to have a dinner party the day before leaving for vacation and for the summer? I guess I did! It actually went really well and we were still able to clean, pack and head out on time the next day! This was mainly because I had a party planning partner, Nicole. Plus big help from Kayti and Lindsay!
We came up with a garden dinner party theme to help welcome in spring and summer, despite the weather we were having. I thought little pots with chalkboard paint would be perfect to assign seating. Nicole and I saw a chandelier from Yan's ballet shoot that we loved. We decided to do something similar. We bought a hula hoop from the dollar store and ripped strips of fabric to attach around the hoop. Lindsay brought the flowers and rest of the table accessories were things on hand. I had the straws from Rilo's party and Nicole made the chalkboard sign from the wood and paint she had. I didn't take a picture of the invites but they were similar to the menus.
For food we decided to do gourmet burgers, which were burgers with various cheeses and toppings, karpouzi salad (recipe to come tomorrow), sweet potato fries + sauce and sweet coconut bread with sherbet for dessert. And now for the photos...







{Images by Nicole & by me }

For more pictures of all the cute people who attended, including all 7 boys plus Rilo, check out Nicole's blog. Can't wait until Nicole and I are back for the fall. Many more parties to come!


50’s Themed Bridal Shower

So I had some issues getting these photos from my family's computer in PA back home. It's all worked out now, so I can finally share this shower. Oops on the no post yesterday!
I can't really take much credit for this party, except for some initial brainstorming and the invitations. My dear friend Brittany did a fabulous job coordinating the event. It turned out darling!

The invitations asked that everyone fill out a recipe card and bring it to the shower.








Brittany made casserole dishes to serve for dinner. Clever!




Guests took home wooden spoons as party favors! Shh...I took two. You know just in case I want to try something crazy like the spoons in this post!


Sneak Peek: 50s Themed Bridal Shower

You'll have to forgive this quick post this morning. We're flying back home today! While I was in PA, I was able to be a part of a bridal shower for my friend Alicia. It was a 50s housewife shower and it turned out just perfectly. Pictures to follow tomorrow!


The flight out here was a breeze with Rilo. Let's just hope she does just as well today!


Rilo’s Library Party

We'll start back up with the Collections Series next Friday, but I had to share pictures from Rilo's 1st birthday party. Thanks to Jessica for shooting these for me so I could enjoy the party!

There was so much more I wanted to do, but of course, I ended up running out of time. Isn't that how it always goes? At least for me anyway! But I think it still turned out great. So glad we could celebrate little Rilo! We love her so much!

I know this is picture overload, but most of our friends and family are out of state so I wanted them to be a part of the party. Here is a link to her invites, in case you missed them.
[callout]So glad we could celebrate little Rilo! We love her so much![/callout]


{all images from Jessica, except the book cart, signs and gift bags}

I pulled the color scheme from that cute book fabric. I was disappointed when I ordered because the website didn't have the brown listed, only one with a cream background. I specified in the notes that I would prefer the brown if they had it, and much to my surprise, when I opened the package there was the brown. I only wish I would've ordered more to cover that wall better!

I had Adam build the book cart the night before the party. Thanks Adam! The guests placed their books to donate on the cart. I had been researching buying one just for fun but they are SO expensive. Imagine my surprise when a few days later, Ana White posts a simple and cheap tutorial on building your own. I plan on using this somewhere in the house. I'm thinking maybe for our shoes by the back door? Or maybe in the office somewhere? It just needs another coat of paint!

Wasn't the cake just perfect? I sent Darcie, from Pink Peach Cakes, a picture of the fabric and then we emailed a bit about the design. She pulled inspiration from a fashion photoshoot...how cool is that? The cake coordinated with the party perfectly and the best part was that is was SO SO good. So moist and even the fondant (which I'm not a huge fan of) was delicious. We've been enjoying leftover cake the last few days! Thanks Darcie!

As for the rest of the food, I tried to stick with some of Rilo's favorite foods: pretzels, Annie's Cheddar Bunnies, fruits/veggies, and crackers and cheese. Of course, I had to throw in some desserts as well though. I made Cookie Dough Cupcakes from this recipe... A bite of cookie dough on the inside and a frosting that tastes like dough. Rich and so tasty! I had planned on making little call system cards for the food, with book titles relating to the dishes. You remember looking up books on those cards right? I was going to make up a little number, put the title and then a description of the dish where they would normally have a description of the book. In case you ever throw a library party, here were my ideas. For appetizer meatballs, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie Dough Cupcake for the cupcakes, and A Very Hungry Caterpillar Leaf Salad for a salad dish.

At the "check out", I had party favors for the kids in attendance. I picked up some sour gummy worms for "book worms". (Please note that Adam helped me put the labels on those...yikes!).  I went to the dollar store to pick up some semi-library related items, in addition to the "book worms": a bookmark, some pencils, a magnifying glass (you know, to read small text) and some lollipops.

The photobooth was set up in Rilo's room.  Of course, the weather was rather dreary and the lighting was poor but we still got some fun shots!  Somehow Adam and I missed out on taking a family photobooth shot.  Boo!

Party Sources:
Book fabric from Fabricworm
Book wreath tutorial from Living with Lindsay
Delicious and darling cake from Pink Peach Cakes
Straws from The Sugar Diva
Cookie Dough Cupcake recipe from Kevin and Amanda (seriously, SO good)
Book Cart tutorial from Ana White

If you have any other questions, feel free to ask in the comments. Hope you have a happy weekend!

P.S. Sorry about the strange formatting of the photos and the paragraphs...we're still working through some coding kinks!


Inspiration Board: Rilo’s 1st Birthday Party

I've been working hard, getting ready for Rilo's big day.  Invitations should be out on Tuesday and I'm excited to share the invite set once they have been received.  I think they turned out perfect for this party!  Here is an inspiration board to give you an idea where I'm headed:


1. Book Fabric 2. Book Mobile 3. Straws 4. Book Cart 5. Stack of Books 6. Cake 7. Garland

8. Glasses 9. Library Card Pockets


Magic Milk Straws

I'm kind of in love with these milk straws and I have never even tried them.  As you sip through the magic straw, it turns your milk into one of 4 flavors: chocolate, strawberry, cookies and cream or vanilla.  Adam and I happen to LOVE milk.  I'm thinking these might make a fun little gift for his upcoming birthday.  And I'm even thinking about using these for Rilo's first birthday party!

{found/image via Oh Joy}

Last night while putting Rilo to bed, I came with my final ideas for Rilo's first birthday party theme.  As the date gets closer, I'm sure I'll share more.  In addition to the milk straws, I was also thinking about getting some of these biodegradable straws.   I haven't quite figured out the color scheme just yet, but I think the red might be a good fit. 

Well, wish us luck this weekend.  By Monday I should have a whole new kitchen!!  We didn't have a chance to paint yet, but that will be a quick night project maybe for Monday or Tuesday.  Can't wait to share some progress pictures and hopefully a full reveal next week!


Outdoor Party

I have just about given up on Blogger's scheduled post feature.  Last week and now today it has completely failed me.  Is anyone else having issues or success with it?

Well, I had a few of my old roommates over for the outdoor party I had been hoping to host.  If there is a time you shouldn't have a party, it's when your husband surprises you by driving 22 hours straight through and then unloads 2 car loads of stuff all over your house and your lawn is dead and your baby does not want to be put down all day and you burnt the chocolate cake.  This party was pretty much nothing like I was hoping for, but it was still nice to see everyone and catch up.

This is the serving tray Adam got me for my birthday.  It has a little candle underneath to keep your food warm.  I love it.

We ate butternut squash soup, asparagus, salad, french bread and then some cheesecake that Adam was nice enough to run out and get after I ruined the chocolate cake.  A very vegetable-y fall meal!


Blonde Designs: Halloween

I can't believe it is October!  We normally come home the end of August so I feel a bit thrown off that we are in Halloween season.  I think that's my reason for all of these Halloween related posts.  This party from Blonde Designs is the perfect children's Halloween party.  So clever!

You can see more creative party ideas here.

So happy to be home!  I love having overhead lighting...can you believe the apartments we were in didn't have lights in the living room or bedrooms.  All we had was light from our lamps.  I love my washer and dryer...they are so much better to wash cloth diapers in.  I love rediscovering clothes and shoes.  It's like Christmas!  I like having more than 4 plates and cups and having gadgets galore.  I really love seeing friends and learning that I have fun new neighbors!  Now I all I need is for Adam to get here....just a few more days!


Garden Dinner Party

Early this summer I dreamed up the idea of a birthday dinner party in my backyard.  I had come up with several ideas but we decided to stay out in Chicago for a few more weeks, so we'll celebrate my birthday out here.  Here is what I was imagining:

I am considering doing it when we get back in October, but we have a lot of plans that I want to get done when we get back (like redoing our kitchen!).  I don't want to give up on the ideas I had though.  I'm thinking maybe I'll wait until Spring!