Christmas Party Games

Collected Christma Game Ideas-02


We hosted our first Christmas party this year and it was so much fun!  We have a group of work friends that get together for Christmas, Halloween and Valentine's Day.  It's such a fun group and we always play the best games.  We normally play a few minute-to-win-it games, some men vs. women games (or team games), and couple games (ending with a version of the Newlywed Game ).  It's always hilarious!  Here are the games we played this year:



Reindeer Ring Toss


Reindeer Ring Toss Inflatables

This one is easy.  Just buy the inflatable antlers on Amazon and see who scores the most points in a minute!


Snowman Stack


Mini Marshmallows

The object is to create as many "snowmen" as you can in 1 minute.  A "snowman" is 3 marshmallows stacked on top of each other.  Player or team with the most wins.


Rudolph's Nose


Cotton Balls



Red marker

Start with a bowl full of cotton balls and one empty bowl for each participant.  Color 1 (or as many as you like) of the cotton balls red. Players place a dab of vaseline on their noses.  Players must transfer as many cotton balls from the full bowl to the empty bowl in 1 minute.  3 bonus points are awarded if you transfer the red cotton ball.  Highest score wins!



5 Second Rule -Christmas Edition


Phone (for a timer)

List of Categories

This is a take on the game 5 Second Rule.  To play, you sit guy, girl, guy, girl, etc. in a line or circle.  The host will read the category to the first player.  For example, "Name 3 Male Movie Stars".  The player then has 5 seconds to answer (use your phone timer).  If the player is able to name 3, their team gets a point.  If they are unable to name 3 total, the play moves to the person next to them (of the opposite sex or team).  They then have 5 seconds to answer BUT they may not use any of the answers the previous person used AND they must name 3 total.  For example, the first player says "Tom Cruise and George Clooney" but can't think of the third in the 5 seconds.  The play quickly moves to the next person and they must come up with 3 new examples that fit and cannot use Tom Cruise or George Clooney.  It continues around until someone names all 3 (and doesn't repeat any answers) or until no one can answer.

I created a Christmas edition which you can download below.


Christmas Carol Pictionary




List of Christmas Carols (cut and in a bag or container)

Print out the list of Christmas carols and cut them into strips.  Divide into 2 teams.  A player from each team comes up and the host pulls out the name of a carol from the bag for each team. (We found it made more sense for each team to draw different carols so they don't cheat off each other).  The "artist" runs back and begins to draw their carol.  Once their team guesses the song correctly, the whole team must break out into song and sing their carol for 10 seconds.  The team to complete their 10 seconds first gets a point.



Newlywed Game-Christmas Edition




This is the classic Newlywed Game.  Couples split up and go into different rooms and each answer a set of 10 questions.  The goal is to have the same answer written down as your spouse/significant other.  The couples come back to the same room and the host asks the questions.  The couples go around the room and see if their answer matches their significant others answer.  The couple with the most correct answers win.

You can download these Christmas games below.



Going Electronics Free


Arden lost in her own little world

I mentioned last week that we've eliminated TV and the iPad for the kids for the last 5 months.  I had some questions from people that I thought I could answer.  I want to mention, like I did in my instastory, that I would've eye rolled me so hard in the past.  I don't want anyone to feel guilty about what they are doing...if something is working for you, then keep it up.  Or if you're in the trenches of life and you're just surviving, keep doing that too.  This is a judgement free zone!! BUT, if you've thought about getting rid of electronics, I just wanted to share that it's possible!

Adam and I found that the TV and the iPad were causing so many problems in our house. Constant fighting about whose turn it was to play on the iPad or pick a show to watch.  And then they just seemed so grumpy and zoned out when they were done with it.  It also seemed to consume their thoughts...they were always asking to watch a show (or 2 or 4) from morning until evening, even though they knew that wasn't a possibility.  So we decided to make a change!

Here are some answers to questions people have messaged me about:

How did you get rid of the TV/iPad?

Cold turkey!  I hid the iPad (truth be told, I don't actually know where I hid it...oops) and made a new rule that we wouldn't be watching the TV.  You may have to unplug the TV or hide the remotes if your kids need that!  Don't be afraid...just try it!  I know it seems like it's impossible...I remember that thinking a week without electronics just wouldn't be doable.  And there were probably times when it wouldn't have been something I could've started.  There are seasons for everything!  But it wasn't as hard as I thought and I only see the benefits now.

How long did it take for them to get used to it?

I'd say it probably took about 2 weeks for them to stop asking about electronics.  And now that it's been several months, it's extremely rare that they do ask.  Instead they just PLAY!  It's amazing.

Has it created more work for you? Are you constantly entertaining them?

No, it hasn't created any more work for me!  I'll of course read books or play games, but for the large majority of the time, it's all self-directed play.  If you feel like your kids can't do that, I've found the more they do it, the easier and more natural it becomes for them to play on their own.  You may have to ease them into it...create some loosely structured activities and then slowly pull yourself away.  I still enjoy watching them play, engaging with them or narrating what's happening, but I try to let their play, be their play, without any adult ideas or sanctions on it.  They are definitely to the point that I can fold laundry, or do the dishes or sneak in a little work if necessary and they know how to occupy themselves!

The toddler years can be tricky for independent play.  I love this article and this article from Janet Lansbury on how to encourage children to learn to play on their own.

So no TV ever?

We aren't 100% electronics free...we now do family movie nights!  About once a week, we sit down together and pick out a movie we want to watch.  It's turned the whole experience into a fun, bonding time. On some nights, I insist that they help fold laundry if they'd like to earn a movie night.  And they somehow happily comply.  So we all sit with a pile of laundry and fold...even my 3 year old!  We did watch a season of Master Chef Jr. this summer, but again, it was only when we all sat down together and folded laundry, so it was a family experience as opposed to mindless watching.

I can't say that by some miracle, all fighting in my house has ceased.  I wish!!  BUT, that particular stress and source of contention is GONE.  I feel happier and I like to think that they do too!  And the amount of play that happens without the TV/iPad as a crutch is amazing to watch. I can't say this is forever, but I do think we'll continue it as long as possible!


Our 70s Dream House

I have a lot of requests for more house stuff so I thought I could start posting a little about it! I'm giving a little backstory on how we got to this house, so if real estate/house hunting is uninteresting, scroll down to all the before photos!

We LOVED our last house...it still holds a special place in our hearts. There wasn't a day I didn't walk up the stairs in that house and think how incredibly lucky we were to live there. It was a great house but after 4 years we knew it wasn't our forever home.  (Side note: our dear friends bought it so we still get to see it.  And we bought it from a friend so I love that the friend tradition continues!)

We had a few things we were looking for in a long term home. We definitely wanted a garage! Our last two houses were both over 100 years old so neither had a garage. After 8 years without one, we thought it was time to stop scraping ice off of our cars every morning! We also really wanted a master bedroom/bathroom. In our last house, the kids' bathroom and 2 of the bedrooms were actually larger than the "master". We were hoping to upgrade to a king bed. And the main thing we really wanted was to get off of a busy street. Our last 2 homes were actually right across the street from each other, so they were on the same busy road. While our backyard made up for the busy street, we wanted to feel comfortable sending the kids out to ride bikes and visit friends.

Other considerations were a good sized backyard, since we were coming from a house with a larger yard, 4-5 bedrooms, room to entertain and something that spoke to us and had character like our last homes.

We started looking in February of 2016. There was a cool house with an indoor pool that we considered briefly and that jumpstarted the search more seriously. If you've been through the process you know it can be long and difficult...and this definitely was for us. I spent every day obsessively looking at the MLS listings and texting with our realtor, Aaron Oldham (@thehomescoop). I have to plug Aaron, not just because he is our good friend, because he really goes above and beyond for every client! He made the whole process so great and was instrumental in getting us our house. He also has an incredible eye for design/remodeling and has great ideas.

Living room from the first house we put an offer on

Living room from the first house we put an offer on

In August, I decided to look at a for sale by owner house that had been on the market for awhile. It had a good sized backyard and had some character. After taking Adam through it, we saw it's potential and made an offer. Unfortunately after stringing us along, we found out they had an offer put in weeks before ours, from someone who was trying to move by their mother. Can I plug having an agent? That whole experience was terribly annoying, all because they were not agents and definitely did NOT know what they were doing.

Vaulted living room from the second house

Vaulted living room from the second house we put an offer on

I spent the next 2 months thinking we would NEVER find anything else and that we had missed THE ONE. Ha, looking back I can't even imagine being in that house. In October, another one finally popped up that we were interested in. It had these amazing decks with an incredible view and a great living/entertaining space. We made an offer against several other offers and it was accepted! It was going to take some finagling to get it to work though. A side porch was going to need to be converted into a mudroom and office and then a storage room was going to be storage/guest room/exercise room. And then we got a bid for the yard...it was sloped down the mountainside. To level it out and make it useable, it was going to be at least 100k. Yikes!! And then the biggest blow came...it appraised for 100k LESS than our offer and their list price. We were also able to find out that this same thing had happened a few months prior and the deal had fallen through. The sellers were unwilling to budge and wanted us to still pay what we had originally offered.

In the midst of this ordeal, a house popped up on the market.  I looked at it on the MLS for a week, over and over again.  It was more than we were initially planning on spending and larger than we were looking to buy, but I kept going back to the photos.  It looked incredible!  So we went to look at it "for fun". Adam says this was just like when I wanted to go look at puppies "for fun" and we came home with a puppy.  Ha!  Of course, we both fell in love with the house.  Again, there were multiple offers and Aaron (@thehomescoop) was instrumental in getting us the house without overspending.  Our offer was accepted and the appraisal came back above our offer price!  Hallelujah!  It had everything we were looking for and more.  The yard is large and feels incredibly private, it's on a quiet street, has plenty of bedrooms and entertaining space and has so much character!

The original owners had built the house and lived there for 30+ years and then both passed away.  The house feels so special to us.  We are only the second family to have lived in it!  It has amazing bones and was well taken care of...it just needed a little updating!  It is definitely our 70s dream house and we keep pinching ourselves that it's ours.  I can't wait to share all the before/afters, hopefully in the next few weeks!



Formal Living Room/My Office




Kitchen looking into the family room.


Kitchen. Above the kitchen is a play loft



Master Bedroom and the coolest fireplace


"Japanese Spa" Master bath


Adam's Office


Laundry Room


Family Room



Posey’s Birth Story

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A little back story before I start this birth story.  With baby #4 we decided to have a surprise baby and not find out what we were having.  My original due date was Sept. 30 but as we all know by now I don't have my babies on time!

This birth story actually begins 2 weeks before Posey was born.  In a crazed nesting phase, I decided to have our carpets cleaned in preparation for the baby.  The carpet cleaner came and began working on the main floor.  We were upstairs getting ready to go to a little music class my friend hosts.  Arden cried for me to carry her downstairs...you can probably see where this is going.  I slung her on my hip and headed down. The stairs were wet from cleaning and when my wet foot hit the wood floor at the bottom of the stairs, my feet slipped out from under me and Arden and I landed hard on the floor.  Arden was fine and I was ok, albeit a little sore.  So a little stunned, I hobbled out to the car.  I buckled everyone in and sat down in the front seat.  Which was when I noticed a big wet spot on my pants.  I spent a few minutes figuring out what sort of liquid it was, as any woman who has been 38 weeks pregnant can likely relate to.

I realized I should probably go in to my midwives to be checked and have the baby checked.  When I got there they determined that it was indeed amniotic fluid but baby was doing fine.  My water never breaks until I'm pushing so this was a shocking turn of events.  We decided to try to naturally get my labor going. I was 38 weeks and was ok to have a baby any day.  I tried a few herbs and a balloon catheter overnight to see if we could get contractions going.  I went in the next morning with not a single contraction happening, but the catheter had dilated me to a 5.  So I spent the rest of the day trying to get labor started. After a day filled with a million different crazy attempts (I can't even begin to detail all of them), it seemed clear that my body was not ready to have a baby.  I went back in that evening to discuss our options.  At that point we realized that despite that first little bit of fluid, I had not leaked a single drop of fluid since then.  My bag was still intact and baby's heartbeat was strong.  It turns out there can be a small pocket of water in between the outer and inner bags of water and that was what most likely leaked after the fall. So with some monitoring of my temperature and the baby's heartbeat, we decided to let things happen on their own.

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I know and expect to go past my due date but I went from thinking I had to have a baby that day, back to waiting again.  And man was that rough.  I became so incredibly impatient, which is not normally my nature.  I spent my days walking and waiting to meet this surprise baby.  My due date came and went and I was still very pregnant.  By this time my Mom needed to buy a ticket to come out.  She had a week window that she could come help me with the new baby so she booked a ticket to arrive at lunch time on Oct. 5.  This put some added pressure on me because I obviously wanted to have a baby while she was visiting so that I'd have help that first week.  So the night of the 4th I decided to try to get labor going one more time.  I pumped a little bit and started having some contractions.  Nothing painful or consistent but this was progress!

I had a Non-Stress Test in the morning (since I was a week overdue) to make sure everything was ok with the baby.  Everything was great with the NST but my midwives did say that the baby was still posterior (meaning she was head down but facing my belly button), which isn't the ideal position.  After doing some research, I'm convinced she was posterior because of the fall.  She was in the right position all the way until I fell. I read that a fall can sometimes put a little kink and cause them to move.

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So with random contractions still happening but very inconsistently, they sent me home to try and get the baby to rotate.  Please imagine a 41 week pregnant lady with her knees on the sofa and her arms resting on the floor, inverted.  Yeah, I looked like a nut.  I spent a few hours hanging out in these weird positions.

My Mom arrived just as I started to have consistent contractions, around 1pm.  I was finally in labor!  But I could tell that I wasn't making progress.  My last 2 labors have been very quick (Collier was 4 hours and Arden was 2 hours) and so contractions have been very intense and purposeful.  These ones felt weak and I knew that the baby was not descending at all. I could still feel the baby up in my ribs.  I bounced on the exercise ball for a little, tried a few more positions to get the baby to rotate and then went on a walk with Adam around 5pm.

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At the beginning of the walk we were walking leisurely and chatting.  But about 10 minutes into the walk things started to intensify.  I was no longer able to talk or walk through the contractions.  I stopped every few feet to rest on Adam and breathe through the wave.  When we returned home we got our bags together, left my Mom with our kids and headed to the birth center.  I wasn't feeling like I was having a baby any time soon but I almost waited too long with Collier (I had him 10 minutes after walking into the birth center) so I always feel better about being there sooner rather than later.

We walked into the birth center around 6:20pm and said hi and laughed with the midwives.  By this time, we had a lot of running jokes about me almost having a baby, trying everything in the world, being dilated to a 7 and then having to wait 2 more weeks after all of that.  So everyone was so excited that this was finally happening!  We did a quick check and everything was great with the baby, minus the posterior position.  This was most likely why this labor was so much slower than my previous 2 labors.  They gave me a peanut shaped exercise ball to help the baby turn.  I laid on the bed and threw my right leg over the peanut.  Again, a funny position for a lady in labor but I was willing to try anything.  I focused on breathing through my contractions and relaxing my whole body, while laying on a bed in a strange position.  I normally like to labor standing up, with my hands resting on something, slightly hunched over.  This was a big departure from my comfortable labor zone.

The contractions were every 1-2 minutes and lasting almost a minute.  As each contraction passed, I had so many thoughts running in my head.  My first thought was that I felt bad that the midwives were just hanging out, waiting for me (which is funny because obviously that's what they're there for) but I'm used to coming to the birth center and quickly having a baby.  My second thought was that this was taking way longer than either of my last 2 labors and I certainly didn't want to spend all night, lying on a bed in a strange position, trying to keep my usual calm.  My body handles contractions really well but I was feeling like I was having to work extra hard to stay in my zone this time.

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When my midwife came in to check on me I asked what we could do to speed things up.  It had been almost an hour since I first came in.  She checked the baby's heartbeat and felt to see what position the baby was in.  She could tell the baby had turned and was anterior!  Hallelujah!  She was about to check to see how dilated I was when I decided I needed to pee.  So she walked with me into the bathroom with Adam following behind.  I sat down and started to pee when all of a sudden my water broke (more like exploded) and the baby started crowning.  Everything was happening so quickly I had NO idea what to do.  I sat there stunned.

"Can I get in the tub?" I asked.  (I had Collier and Arden in the jetted tub and loved it).

"There's no time for that!  Stand up RIGHT NOW!" my midwife exclaimed.

So I stood up quickly and if we are being honest, the baby fell out.  I know.  I KNOW!!  Guess that's baby #4 for you?! I thank all the heavens that my midwife obviously knew what was happening because I was NOT expecting that AT ALL.  She caught the baby and pulled her up to me and said "Here, hold your baby!".  At this point, Adam, who had been massaging my shoulders behind me, was totally confused.  All I did was stand up and now she's saying to hold a baby?!  He peered over my shoulder in complete shock!

"What is it?!  A boy or a girl?"

And after 9 months, we had a girl!  I honestly had been saying it was a girl all along.  Collier's pregnancy was much different than my girl pregnancies so I felt pretty confident I knew what we were having.  But to finally meet her?  It was such a fun surprise that I can't recommend enough!

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At this point I'm bleeding a ton, in part because I always bleed a lot and also likely because it happened so incredibly fast.  So I just sit down on the bathroom floor so they can asses the situation.  Meanwhile Adam and I are dying laughing.  Did I really just almost have a baby on the toilet?  Did she really just fall out?  I admit I was on my after birth high but man was it so funny.  And really, I giggle a little every time I think about it.  So my very first picture with Posey is me on the bathroom floor (pictured below), but not pictured in the background is what looks like some sort of crime scene.  Ha.  What a story!

Posey 1st Photo

My guess is that because I was laying down the whole time I couldn't really tell how intense things were getting because I wasn't feeling any pressure.  And then when I suddenly stood up, everything came together so quickly.

We moved to the bed and got to know our little baby girl.  We checked her out head to toe and laughed a lot more.  She nursed right away and wanted to nurse often.  She was happy and healthy and we were smitten.  After going back and forth on her name (this was the first time we went in with 2 name options), we finally settled on Posey Bea.  Bea after a few Beatrice and Beatrix members of Adam's family line.  We left a few hours later to go snuggle in our bed and to surprise the kids with their new baby sister in the morning!

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Posey Bea Webb
Oct. 5, 2015
8lbs. 8oz.
20.5 inches


The New Collected Website

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Hi! Hello! Welcome!  The new site is finally here.  I won't tell you how long I've been working on this (we're talking a few kids ago...eek!). My personal projects end up getting put on pause but I'm glad to have finally pushed through.  I really wanted a portfolio to show some of my recent work plus a little more info on my process and pricing.  I also wanted to keep this blog section because I find I often have more that I want to share than what can fit in a little square.  Check it out!

If you have a project you'd like to work on, send me an email: bri@collectedblog.com! xo


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Arden’s Garden Party

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Invites designed by me, styled by @sarahjlarsen

I thought long and hard about what theme to use for Arden's 1st birthday.  Since she's always been my happy, sunshine baby I originally thought of a yellow party.  And then the whole Arden's Garden idea popped in my head and well, I LOVE a good pun.  A big thanks to Tai Pan Trading for helping me pull this party off, since October isn't really the most prime time to throw a garden party.  They still had the perfect garden related options for me, as well as the best white dishes around!


I designed the invites and went from there in terms of color and style.  I wanted the party to be a little less rustic and a bit more mod, so I paired the graphic veggies with a modern typeface.  I included a tomato encouraging guests to bring canned foods to be donated, in lieu of gifts.

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I made the turnip garland from ornaments found at Tai Pan.  It's a toss up between the garland and the cake for what I think makes the whole table.  Or is it the cookies?  I love it all so much.  That amazing cake was made by Dolce Bella by Erin.  I wouldn't be exaggerating if I said it was the best cake I've ever had.  And those cookies?  Yes, those are The Alison Show's infamous sugar cookies and yes they taste even better than you're imagining.

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I picked up a few grocery store bouquets and some buckets from the dollar store.  Not bad for $15 worth of flowers right?

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I set up a little potting station for the kids to make a bean plant.  I love bean plants because they sprout so quickly.  I used this project as party favors for all the mini guests.  I love having an activity double as a favor!

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Inspired by Caravan Shoppe's table coverings, I created these large coloring pages to cover the kid tables.  I printed these at Staples...their engineer prints are large and super cheap.  I was so surprised how much Arden loved coloring!  She spent a lot of time at that table.


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We served mini sliders on pretzel buns, since Arden's favorite food is meat.  I also had other fruit and veggie options for everyone to snack on!

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As much as I LOVE decorating for parties, I love gathering with my friends even more. We were so lucky to have so many friends come celebrate Arden!

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Turnip Ornaments, Metal Buckets, Veggie Dishes, White Platters, Orange Pants: Tai Pan

Arden's Birthday Dress: Dream Catcher Baby

Cake: Dolce Bella by Erin

Cookies and Expert Party Suggestions: The Alison Show

Invitations and Printables: Collected (me)


Webb New Year’s Card

For months I had an idea brewing for our holiday card. We moved and had a baby in the same year so I thought it might be a great idea to combine everything into one. I decided to hand letter most of the card and then chose images from my Instagram account. And of course with the craziness of the holidays, I took forever to decide on where to print them. I really thought they needed to be letterpressed so I worked with Rowley Press again. I can never say enough good things about working with Leland! I'm really happy with these and was so happy that they (finally) made it to our friends' and families' homes!


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Rilo’s Gumball Party

One of my main goals when I plan parties for my kids is to make sure the party really fits their little personalities.  Rilo has recently become "obsessed with gum"...her words, not mine!  Sometimes I'm mortified because it's often the first thing she asks for upon seeing someone.  So the gumball idea worked!  I used the tubes of gum balls from Kara's Party Ideas as the color inspiration.  I liked the rainbow color theme because Rilo says that every color is her absolute favorite.  She can't pick just one to save her life!
I also used the gumball tubes as inspiration for the invitations.  I used the colorful dots all throughout the invites and party.  I cut out a little bit of honeycomb paper to make a popup "gumball" when you opened up the invite.  Then I put them in a bright pink envelope, sealed it with rainbow washi tape and then placed it in a small red box.  And just for added flair, I threw in a few gum balls in the box.  More tape, a tag and some string and they were finished!

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I'm not much of cake maker or decorator so I asked The Mighty Baker to make the cake and macarons for me.  The salted caramel buttercream filling was SO good.  I'm still eating that delicious cake...it's worth not losing that baby weight.  I wanted to keep this party pretty simple, so I ordered some 5" honeycombs, and filled a few glass jars with gum balls and called it good!

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I created a gum ball craft with dot paints and pom pom balls and a few of the kids played Pin the Gum on the Gumball Machine.


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For the food, I had circle shaped peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the kids, and a build your own sandwich bar for the adults.  Rainbow goldfish, veggie chips and a rainbow fruit and veggie platter rounded out the food.  We sang happy birthday and had cake and ice cream!

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Thanks to Kayti from @thebeyoutybureau for this cute photo of Rilo blowing our her candles!

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I sent the guests home with a gumball tube and a goodie bag with a mini colored pencil set, Hi chews and little smiley face stickers!


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I loved this little party and most importantly my Rilo Jane loved it too!  Here is my big 4 year old, in all her cheesy smile glory!


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Cake and macarons- The Mighty Baker

Plates, cups, straws, favor bags, confetti balloon- Shop Sweet Lulu

Gumball tubes, party hats and other party favors-Kara's Party Ideas

Honeycomb paper- Devra Party Corp

5" Honeycomb Tissue Circles- Factory Direct Party


Family Photos

We haven't had family photos since Yan took photos of us when Rilo was just over a year old.  I can't believe I let that much time go by!  Yan came to our house before Christmas, so we could capture Arden while she was still little.  I love every single one of these images.  They just feel like "us".  I told Yan, she better be planning on taking photos when she's old, because she's the only one for me.  She is magic!