Category Archives: events

Our summer party 2013

For those who are new to my blog, I am excited to introduce you to our tradition of season parties! Almost 5 years ago, my husband and I decided to start throwing a party every season for our friends. We started with fall and dreamt up a cozy party filled with autumnal colors, spiced apple cider and a trick or treating bar with jars full of candy. The idea instantly was a hit with our friends and it has been something we look forward to year after year, season after season. You can see past season parties here and here.

 

We love to celebrate our favorite things about each quarter of the year- ignoring the fact that our weather here in Southern California doesn’t really qualify as 4 distinct seasons. The music, food and decor are all chosen around our traditions and favorite memories of that time of year.

 

Last weekend, we had our summer party. Since it was two days after the 4th of July, I decided to embrace patriotism and go all red, white and blue, with a bit of a nautical twist. I was up past midnight the night before prepping homemade ice cream and my husband was up at 6:30 am to get the pork in the smoker for our pulled pork sandwiches. And it was glorious. Throwing parties together is one of the things we love to do best- we are a pretty good team. He’s a great cook and usually handles the main course and, of course, spends a ton of time selecting the perfect playlist. Decor is my arena and desserts and appetizers are something I love to dream up as well.

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Here is a look into our summer celebration:

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Oh how I love bunting.

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My dear friend Holly was SO helpful with this party! A couple years back, she threw her son a nautical birthday party and kept all of the adorable decor she made, which she let me borrow for this party. How cute is this wreath?

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Stripes, polka dots, navy lanterns from Target, simple arrangements with ruffled crepe paper, lighthouses painted by Holly’s boys and a couple of knot balls adorned the tables:

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For drinks, we served a yummy watermelon lime cooler, our favorite mango iced tea and a coconut, pineapple and lime spritzer.

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I nearly danced in the aisles of Target when I found these cute plates:

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Holly made the fun utensil holders :)

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For dinner, we served pulled pork on hawaiian buns with my husband’s homemade BBQ sauce (SO good!!) and my favorite summer salad (grilled corn, avocado and tomato) and our guests brought appetizers, salads, fruit and side dishes. We always end up with way too much food and it’s the most wonderful problem to have at a party.

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For dessert, we had gluten free brownies and these adorable cookies that my friend Elizabeth of Sunshine and Sugar Sweets made:

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And I made two kinds of homemade ice cream: peach, brown sugar and bourbon and mint chip (recipe from this month’s Real Simple). They both turned out so well- definitely not something I would make often because it took a lot of work, but they were delicious.

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I’m not going to lie, this was the craziest of all of the season parties we have had because all of the kiddos were invited. We had over 20 kids in our small townhouse and our little front yard so it was a bit nuts. Everyone had a great time though and I just embraced the crazy. Thankfully, our neighbors did too :)

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We sent the kiddos home with glow sticks for favors. The cute printable was from WhipperBerry.

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It was a perfect summer day: we ate, swam, watched the kids run around and enjoyed the company of friends as we celebrated the season. Maybe next time I will actually use my good camera and will remember to take photos of people as well :)

Bre’s Berry themed bridal shower

My dear friend Bre, who is now the owner of Joyful Weddings & Events (the wedding planning company I started), got married last year. Remember that absolutely stunning wedding at her parent’s home on a lake?

 

Before that happened, Danae, who works with Bre at Joyful Weddings, and I threw Bre a bridal shower! It was featured last week on Hostess with the Mostess, so I can finally share all of the details. The timing is super funny because Bre is actually pregnant now (yay!) and we just threw her baby shower yesterday- ha! :)


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Bre’s middle name is Bari, so we decided to play off of that and have the shower be berry themed. Perfect for spring, we incorporated berry colors: pink, a rosy red and natural touches of greens.

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It was held at a private residence overlooking Sunset Cliffs in San Diego and was a beautiful and sweet day. Danae made invitations out of real wood paper, which we also incorporated into the decor on the day of the shower for signage and with a little heart to tie together the silverware. All vintage furniture, flatware, china, chairs and wood farmtables were provided by Forever Vintage Rentals.

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Hannah from Modern Bouquet made the gorgeous flower arrangements using a mix of berry baskets, wooden boxes and vintage vases and cups. Danae made the seersucker table runners.

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For lunch we served sandwiches from Bre’s favorite sandwich shop, Con Pane, along with an assortment of berry inspired side dishes that we made: berry and spinach salad, berry kebobs and strawberry, basil & goat cheese crostini. We also had a variety of cheeses available (of course we had to include Brie cheese for Bre!). The love banner was made by me (of course!) :)

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Dessert was centered around an adorable cart which served as a make-your-own strawberry shortcake bar. Homemade whipped cream and a variety of berries were available for guests to make their shortcake just the way they liked it. We also served cookies from Con Pane and cheesecake stuffed strawberries.

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Guests took home adorable umbrellas from Anthropologie – to prepare for April showers :) Bre is a tad bit competitive and loves minute-to-win-it style games, we so included some fun interactive games for the guests. No toilet paper wedding dresses at this shower!

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As guests arrived, we had them take part in gift for the couple: a date night berry basket! We had guests write down date ideas on three different colored cards: one for free dates, one for casual dates and one for nice dates. Bre & Kyle can use this to spice up their date plans :)

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VENDOR CREDITS:

– Styling & Design: Courtney of Joyful Joyful DesignsDanae of Joyful Weddings & Events
– Photography: Harmony Loves Photography
– Berry Baskets: Confetti Sunshine
– Floral Arrangements: Modern Bouquet

The biggest instafriday post ever.

Get ready. This blog slacker is about to make up for two weeks of missed instafridays. That’s right- three instafriday posts full of pictures in one. Everything since we got back from Italy. I know, I know. I still haven’t posted any pictures from the trip. That will have one day soon. In this crazy season, blogging has been on the back burner.

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Linking up with Jeannett at Life Rearranged- sharing the big and small moments of my week, captured on my phone. You can follow me on instagram- I’m courttoney.

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The day after we got home from Italy, we jumped right back into our routine of saturday morning farmers market and a train ride at our local park.

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I met & passed my goal of reading 12 books this year while in Italy. These two below were #12 & #13. I loved them both!

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I’m learning to let go more and to let my boys be messy. To make memories even though it means making the kitchen a disaster. Cookie making with these two meant lots and lots of flour. Everywhere. So worth it.

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Date #16 out of 50 was a really special at home date. We made brownies together from scratch (so delicious!), read the bible together in our backyard under the patio lights and we listen to old Foo Fighters on vinyl, which made us reminisce about our early dating days.

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I got to meet one of my oldest & dearest friend’s little man: henry. He’s such a sweet little guy! So happy for you Chelles!

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Last month, my oncologist’s physican assistant sent me this message: (Lennie is my amazing oncologist)

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What an incredible reminder- right before mother’s day- of what a precious gift they are to me. Praise the Lord!

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Mother’s Day was wonderful- mellow and filled with quality time with my hubby and the boys who made me a mama. I didn’t take any pictures all day, except for this sweet moment during bath time. My miracles:

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The hubs and I started a competition to encourage ourselves to get in shape. Whoever reaches their goal first during the month gets a free day to do whatever they want and $100. I *hate* running. I’d rather do most anything else. But these shoes are hitting the pavement. Because I am going to win :)

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One of the hardest things for me about exercise is finding the time to fit it in. We don’t belong to a gym, so whatever I do, I have to either do early in the morning before my husband leaves for work (courtney=not an early riser) or I have to do with my kids. One solution has been to run Isaiah to school in the morning. This works out really well, as long as we get ourselves out of the house in time. After we drop him off, Hudson and I run back home. Isn’t he the cutest running buddy ever?

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Date #17 out of 50 was a movie date to see The Great Gatsby. We only get to one or two movies a year, so this was an exciting deal! We loved it! Of course, I had to wear my gold sparkly shoes :)

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year: peony time at Trader Joes. Best deal ever on my favorite flowers. These beauties were my co-pilot on my drive out to Palm Springs for my sister’s bachelorette party. More on the later…but not too much more :)

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One of my husband’s best friends is getting married next month. His fiance is moving out here after the wedding, so we threw them a little “welcome to CA” co-ed shower. I made table runners by taking pages out of my dad’s old thomas guides (he still loves those things!) and taping them down with washi tape.

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My friend Elizabeth made adorable CA cookies (with a heart right over San Diego of course!) and Holly made the couple this cute framed map of their relationship.

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Our church is moving buildings in the middle of the summer. We got to tour the progress being done on the new building- so exciting! This is what will be the sanctuary and below that is my husband and our head pastor in front of the beginning of the stage- where they will log many an hour.

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Another tooth bites the dust!

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My niece Taylor wins for best text message ever.

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May was a big month: my sister got married! The past 3 weeks have been full of celebrations and wedding prep. First up was her bridal shower:

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Then, the next weekend we headed out to the desert for her bachelorette party. Such a fun, relaxing weekend with the girls.

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Some of my beautiful sisters and nieces:

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Then the wedding!! We started with a trip to one of my favorite places in the world: the flower mart!

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Then to Orange County to make the flowers arrangements, have the rehearsal and decorate the church:

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Then the big day came! Our beautiful bride:

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Check out that bouquet!

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My boys were in the wedding and they were so cute! Hudson didn’t make it down the aisle because he couldn’t see my mom (who he was supposed to walk to) and got confused, so I had to walk him down. Isaiah & my nephew Silas were “flag bearers” as Isaiah termed it.

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flags available in my shop. Ties by my sis-in-law, The Pleated Poppy

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One of my favorite moments of the wedding was when the first dance became a family dance. Another favorite was at the ceremony when their kids joined them for prayer after they took communion. I couldn’t look at that moment too much because I got choked up- which wouldn’t have been a big problem, except that I was singing :)

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We had so much fun at the reception- my boys were dancing machines! Moving so fast, you can’t even see his arms:

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After the wedding, we stayed up in Orange County to spend some time with my family. Lindsey & I took on the adventure of helping my mom clean out & organize her kitchen cabinets and some of her closets. We found many *many* treasures, one of the best being this painting. My dad made it of my mom soon after they were married. And-yes- her hair really looked like that.

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We went straight from Orange County to a BBQ with our homegroup. I am so thankful for these families- I love doing life with them. We ate, had s’mores and watched old cartoons in the backyard.

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On memorial day, I hiked a local mountain with some friends. It was fun to look around in all directions to see the communities we live in.

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We spent the rest of our day relaxing, unpacking and swimming. Definitely need some family time at home after the craziness of the week before.

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A little early morning painting:

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During Isaiah’s baseball game, Hudson stole some of his gear and tried to get in on the action:

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Phew! We made it!

The Queen Bee Market in Carlsbad- this weekend!

SoCal friends: The Queen Bee Market is this friday & saturday in Carlsbad!! It’s going to be the best one yet: over 70 amazing vendors, make & takes, a photo booth and they are even giving away Cricut machines & an iPad mini!

 

Check out more information here. I will be there with tons of holiday banners, mini banner stands, flags, party hats & tags :)  There may also be a free giveaway of a song off of our upcoming Christmas album…   (more on that to come!!)

The Queen Bee Market in Aliso Viejo & Carlsbad

I will have a booth at the Queen Bee Market again this, but it is even better this time around: there are two markets! The first will be in Aliso Viejo so all you OC lades can come shop! Yay! It is on Saturday, October 27th. The second will be in Carlsbad on November 16th & 17th. More details below:

 

 

Hope to see you there!

 

**Because of this coming up, turn around time will be longer for custom items purchased for our etsy shop. Starting tomorrow, all made-to-order items will have a turn around time of one month plus shipping time**

Our Summer Party

Every season, my husband and I throw a party to celebrate what we love about that time of year. We started our tradition 4 years ago and you can see past parties here, here and here.

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When the time came for this year’s summer party, we had just moved two weeks prior. I still had not found my tablecloths (in a box somewhere in the garage), had no idea where our good camera was, and had not touched my boxes of vases and decor. We wanted to still have the party, just in a more low-key way with minimal pressure on myself to make it creative and cute :)

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It turned out being super fun and relaxing. We decided to make it a housewarming party as well and had friends over for a BBQ at our new place. I didn’t take many pictures, but grabbed a couple with my phone.

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We had a hamburger bar, with caramelized onions, an amazing avocado and goat cheese spread my husband makes, heirloom tomatoes, along with the normal fixings. I made my family’s famous cheesy potatoes (my favorite side dish) and our friends brought some amazing side dishes and salads- all with a summery theme. We made frozen margaritas, mango sun tea and a refreshing watermelon cucumber cooler. I didn’t want to water the watermelon drink down, so I had the idea to freeze cubes of watermelon to put in. It worked great!

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For dessert, our friends brought mini fruit tarts, frozen chocolate coffee cheesecake bars and I made vanilla and pina colada sorbe (using this recipe). It was all delicious!

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This is a tradition my husband and I hope to continue for decades. It is such a highlight of every season for us. We already cannot wait for our fall party!

InstaFriday!

Linking up with Jeannett for InstaFriday again!

 

Memorial Day was great! Packing during the day, then pool, picnic and park with good friends. Isaiah and his two best buddies played pirates for a good hour:

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Hudson loved playing in the pool. Post pool curls in the sun (complete with berry and watermelon stains):

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Since it is our last week living in Old Escondido, we are trying to take advantage of it. On Tuesday, we hit up the farmers market with our neighbors and then got some  pizza and gelato. Definitely one of my favorite things to do in Escondido.

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Tonight, we will be headed back downtown for Cruisin Grand. The boys will love the cars!

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My first neon flag order. I bet there will be lots more throughout the summer. Neon is not my favorite, but it is growing on me. Especially paired with neutrals.

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Mazel Tov! (another custom order):

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My hubby & one of my best friends gave me flowers in the same day. Score! Giving me a bit of beauty in the midst of crazy moving mess.

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A little bit of summer for a photh shoot banner:

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What my life will consist of for the next week:

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Ugh.

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Have a good weekend everyone! If you are in San Diego or Orange County, be sure to check out The Queen Bee Market today and tomorrow! I do not have a booth there this time (due to the move), but am hoping to sneak out and shop a bit tonight.

Music Baby Shower

It’s baby shower time again! This one was for my sweet friend Christina of Simply Modern Weddings.

 

Inspiration came pretty easily for the shower. We knew that, no matter what decor scheme we went with, we would need to incorporate turquoise because that is Christina’s color. From her business branding to the walls in the baby’s nursery, everything is painted in turquoise :)

 

Christina’s husband is a pianist in a jazz band, so we decided to go with a fun, modern music theme. We threw in yellow to pop against the turquoise and incorporated chevron stripes and hip music graphics. Baby James was given the family name, so he is James the 5th- which his parents have nicknamed “J5″. To highlight this, we used “J5″ on guitar picks throughout the shower.

 

Lori of Paper & Thread did an amazing job with the invitations and paper goods. She and her team even created a concert-style poster of a bear with a one-man band. It was so cute! Carissa of JL Designs used bright, springy yellow blooms in clean modern white vases, some adorned with ric rac. We also brought some musical items, such as headphones, harmonicas and tamborines into the decor. I spray painted old records to use for banners and also spray painted some guitar picks to toss around.

 

For food, we wanted to serve upscale bar food, as if our guests were attending one of James’ concerts. We made sliders- both beef and turkey- with a variety of tasty toppings, including grilled onions, avocado and gourmet spreads. Garlic fries and sweet potato fries were served alongside the burgers in chevron paper cones. We decided we needed to have something healthy there- ha!- so we had a salad as well. Guests also munched on nuts and coconut oil popcorn.

 

The desserts, made by Sweet & Saucy shop, where definitely a highlight. Guests could choose from guitar pick sugar cookies, macarons, lemon raspberry mini cupcakes, passion fruit panna cotta, white chocolate covered rice krispy treats and candy bar cake. So incredibly tasty and cute!

 

We had guests fill out cards with their wishes for the little guy- a sweet keepsake for Christina. We played name that tune- which was super fun! We split all of the guests into two teams and then had them guess the title and artist of snippets of songs that we played. All of the songs had the word “baby” in the title. Keeping with the music theme, guests took home a CD of modern lullabies that we put together, which Lori of Paper & Thread put into the most adorable stitched CD sleeves.

 

It was fun but simple and such a sweet time of celebrating J5′s arrival- and just in time! He made his appearance early; only a few days after the shower!

 

 


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Photographer: Carlie of Gabriel Ryan Photographers

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Cake & Desserts: Sweet and Saucy Shop

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Flowers & Decor: JL Designs

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Decor and Design: Joyful Joyful Designs

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Invitations & Stationery: Paper and Thread
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And a big thank you to Be Inspired PR for featuring the shower on their blog!


InstaFriday!

It has been a busy week! Here are the big moments and little moments too- captured on my phone. I love linking up with Jeannett for Instafriday!

life rearranged
Last weekend, I helped plan and design a shower for my friend Bre of Joyful Weddings & Events (the new owner of my wedding planning company). I cannot wait to share all of the professional photos soon- it turned out amazing! It was a berry theme, completely with shortcake, 24 pounds of strawberries and adorable pink seersucker.

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It is definitely getting into wedding season again. I have a few friends getting married this Spring and Summer, so between bridal showers, bachelorette parties and weddings, the next few months are going to be fun and busy! My sweet friend from high school, Clarissa, is getting married in a couple of weeks and her bachelorette party was last weekend. Me & the bride to be:

 

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We were told to wear something animal print. I have not worn anything animal print since high school, so I had to go to my source for trendy clothes: my mom. Of course hot grandma had some options for me :)

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While I was at the bridal shower on Sunday, my husband got adventurous and took the boys up to see the snow on Palomar Mountain with friends. Isaiah had a blast sledding for hours. Hudson was not so sure about his first encounter with snow:

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I just cannot get enough stripes these days:

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I do not really like fast food, but I am a fan of Chick-Fil-A. Not only is their honey roasted BBQ sauce super tasty, but they plan fun family events. This week, they had a Mother-Son date Knight :)  It was so cute! They decorated the restaurant, took our orders while we sat at fun tables and brought the food to us. I went with two of my close friends and all together we have 8 boys- all dressed up in knight attire. It was so cute!

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Hudson discovered that the highchair had wheels and he ended up pushing it around the restaurant, making laps around tables, for 20 minutes. He was so stoked :)

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Isaiah’s preschool had a little petting zoo yesterday. Now, I am not normally much of an animal person, but one look at these 4 week-old baby goats and I was dying inside. I had to grab my camera and I considered stealing one.

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Some gold glittery “love sweet love” goodness going to a friend who is getting married next weekend:

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We were playing on the back porch yesterday when someone came to the door. When I got back outside, I found Isaiah like this:

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He looked at me and said, “I’m really impressed with myself”. Ha! Never a dull moment with this kid- he keeps us entertained daily. In fact, within 30 minutes of that humble statement, I also heard him say, “I’m the man!” and “I’m the bravest ever” to himself while playing.

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Don’t forget to enter our giveaway!

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Have a happy weekend everyone! I am super excited: we have our church women’s retreat and then it is off to Central & Northern CA for my husband’s mini tour and a little vaca time!

Robot and Space Invaders Baby Shower

Over the past year, a ton of my friends have had babies. Not only does this mean I have been able to snuggle lots of sweet little babes, but it also has meant lots of baby showers!!!

 

This baby shower was for my friend Carissa of JL Designs. Her little dude, Decker, joined us in the fall and is so stinkin cute!   His nursery has space invaders and robots, so that was the perfect decor scheme for her baby shower.

 

It was planned and designed by the lovely Leila of Be Inspired PR and it was amazing! Here are some photos by Carlie of Gabriel Ryan Photographers:


 

Amazing desserts by Sweet & Saucy Shop. My absolute favorite!

 

I got to make some food and these fun robot party hats:

After we played a group game, the loosing team had to wear them for the rest of the party :)

 

My party hats are not listed in the etsy shop yet, but I do have a large selection of them available. I have about 10 of these robot party hats- if you are interested in ordering them, please contact me. I also have some super cute girly ones with ruffles. Here is a glimpse:

 

Please contact me if you are interested. We can also make them custom.

 

Here is the rest of the incredible vendor list for the baby shower:

Host, Planning, & Design: Leila from Be Inspired PR
Florals & Design: JL Designs
Photography: Carlie from Gabriel Ryan
Backdrop Design: Jesi Haack Design
Stationery: Cherish Paperie
Desserts: Sweet & Saucy Shop
Linens: La Tavola
Champagne: Nicholas Feuillatte
Party Hats: Joyful Joyful
Totes: Wedding Chicks Shop
Rentals: Signature Party Rentals