We had a great weekend full of family and friends and celebrating. We hosted Liv’s birthday on our back deck on Saturday afternoon, and while it was a little prickly and cold outside, the outdoor fireplace and heater helped to warm things up.
I’ll try to get to more of the details of the party in future posts (like the easy little favor pouches a friend helped me throw together last minute and some of the ribbon/tissue paper details we’re keeping around to reuse in Liv’s future big girl room), but here’s a little wrap up of the event:
We served heavy appetizers, berry lemonade, and an overstacked strawberry shortcake for dessert. My favorites included my mom’s delicious potato and corn chowder soup in our white coffee mugs, cheesy homemade macaroni for the kiddies, BBQed teriyaki chicken & pineapple skewers, toasted ricotta and chive bites (with pomegranate seeds to look like little flowers), and roasted tomato, cream cheese & poppyseed bruschetta. All served atop pretty floral fabric that I found here.
I found adorable plastic milk bottles online for the kids to enjoy their berry lemonade (easy and almost spill proof). The invites and sweet little signs for the event were by this Etsy artist (I loved working with Katrina, I highly recommend). Oh and I cannot forget – this is my favorite source for paper lanterns! At roughly $1.30 a pop it’s impossible not to cover a room in a dozen of them (which it’s hard to see from the photos, but the outside patio is).
I snapped a few photos as everyone was arriving and before it got too crazy…
We purposefully scheduled the party for post-naptime for Liv and all of her little friends… but guess who didn’t nap all day? Good thing all of the excitement kept her busy!
One of Liv’s presents from mommy and daddy was a finished sand box! More details on this to come but we actually built it right into the deck. The kids loved it.
I opted for an easy dessert this year since we were hosting the party at our house and I knew there would be so much to do (thanks mom and dad for all of your help! We owe you). But the strawberry shortcake fit in great with the rest of the decor and it was a tasty treat for kids and parents alike. We even used these little cups and wooden spoons to serve up the cake in a manageable size for the little ones.
An awkward photo of my but a cute instagram pic of Liv getting ready to blow out her candles (and her little cupcake hat ).
Liv thought that the strawberries and whipped cream were most delicious (and amazingly, since it was so chilly, the entire dessert stayed assembled with no melting whatsoever).
By the time we opened presents, the sun had finally crawled out of sight and all children were decently tired out. But what a fun day!!
Tags: Decorating, Desserts, DIY, Kids Party, Parties & Entertaining, Pink
Posted in Crafty Solutions, DIY, Family & Friends, Olivia, Parties & Entertaining | 3 Comments »
We recently sent out Liv’s birthday invitations and I must say, I’m pretty smitten with how they turned out. They are both pretty and super simple, and that is what I love most!
After falling in love with these wedding invitations (which I also pinned here), I sought to recreate that beautiful ombre effect on my own. But after much deliberation on how to make my own hand-dipped paper or some sort of watercolor background image to print out, I began perusing Etsy and was lucky enough to discover this talented artist. In the end, I was so excited to have partnered with Katrina on this little party detail, and the nominal fee of $12 for several proofs and the pdf to print out the invites myself was well worth it.
I cropped a favorite photo of Liv, applied a slight sepia effect to it and printed out a dozen or so as well. Love, love a thick white border around b&w or sepia photos!
Tags: Crafty Solutions, Decorating, DIY, Invitations, Kids Party, Paper Goods, Pink
Posted in Crafty Solutions, DIY, Family & Friends, Olivia, Parties & Entertaining | 4 Comments »
I haven’t had much time to blog about the different types of handmade gifts I’ve been working on, but just in case you’re scrambling for a certain someone on your list, here are four more semi-DIY gift ideas that ended up under our tree for family and friends.
I put this kit together for three special toddler-aged boys and I hope that it’s something that will inspire fun living room camping (a favorite past time of mine!). All of the above was placed in a muslin bag and labeled with ‘Fort Kit’ in stamped letters (similar to the Felt Town Kit below).
This was so easy to assemble and while I relied on Amazon (my best Christmas friend) for many of the above components, you could find most of these goodies around the house, at the Dollar Store or local home improvement center. My kit included: a flannel blanket to build the ‘fort’, rope and little suction cups to keep it assembled, a camping book to snuggle up with, a mini lantern to read and play by, glow-in-the-dark stars for star gazing, glow bracelets for fun and a chalkboard sign to post outside. You could also include: clothespins, zip ties, rubber bands, twine and a flashlight or head lamp (instead of a lantern).
Cocktail Kit (French 75)
This little semi-DIY project could really be for any favorite cocktail. It’s all about assembling each piece of the chosen drink (including garnishments and maybe even tools or glasses) in one sweet presentation so that the giftee might even be able to enjoy their drink when opening. Perfect for a hard-to-shop-for guy in the family, for the novice bartender or as a hostess gift. I created a Bloody Mary Kit one year for Kevin (complete with unique pickled oddities that are only for the true connoisseur) and discovered that a Cocktail Kit can be pretty easy and fun to assemble and create – even last minute.
A girlfriend and I attended a cooking class together where we learned how to make a delicious lemon, rosemary and gin French 75. To remember the night, I assembled a ‘French 75 Kit’ and went ahead and premade some of the more intricate ingredients for her. This included lemon-infused gin (I used a bottle from this project and added lemon rind directly to gin from our own bar) and rosemary-infused simple syrup (same style of bottle, but to make the simple syrup boil 1 part sugar and 1 part water with your herbs, voila). Extra ingredients like sugar for the rim (used an extra jar from this project) and lemons for garnish were thrown in for fun. The final ingredient? Champagne.
The label on the front of the box offered the recipe and a list of the contents inside.
Personable and unique!
Here is an easy kit that involves assembly only. I have an Aunt who is an avid letter writer with a recently engaged daughter, and I thought that a self-inking address stamp and cute stationary would be the perfect combo for her to stay on top of pre-wedding notes, invites and thank you cards. The stationary is from Paperie and the address label from this Etsy seller (love the cute little bag they provide, too).
I dressed it up in a brown box and twine! My favorite wrapping combo this Christmas.
Felt Car Kit
Liv pulled her buddy Isaac’s name for our annual gift exchange amongst friends. We made him a little felt town and car kit – complete with what I hope looks like a firehouse, Church and pond – for him to play with while on the go (running errands, doctor’s office, appointments, etc).
The only permanent pieces are the below road sections:
The houses, big sun, fishies, trees and other decor are all movable to build different ‘towns’, though the small little pieces that make up each of the buildings are glued together as well. Bonus part? Felt has become a staple in our household (since this felt Christmas tree project) and most of the materials needed were already on hand.
Melissa & Doug wooden cars help bring the town to life:
and a muslin bag makes carrying around and storing the felt car kit easy.
There you have it! Four more ideas that will hopefully make last-minute gift giving fun and easy this year. You can also check out the Cupcake Kit, Rosemary-Infused Olive Oil and Lavender & Lemon Sea Salt projects that we tackled in early December for a few more ideas.
Tags: Christmas, DIY, Kids Party, Parties & Entertaining, Recipes, Tutorial
Posted in Crafty Solutions, DIY, Gift Guides, Handmade Gifts, Holidays, Parties & Entertaining | 5 Comments »