Category Archives: Parties

Isaiah’s Halloween Birthday Party

Today, I am sharing Isaiah’s 6th birthday party- a halloween party. Yes, I realize that tomorrow is Thanksgiving. At least I am getting it posted before it is Christmastime, right? :)

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Issaiah’s birthday is mid-October and this year he really wanted to have a costume party with his friends. We went with a non-spooky Halloween theme- lots of black and white stripes with orange accents. I found a ton of food ideas on pinterest- you can see the board I put together here.

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He was supposed to be Yoda, but at the last minute, pulled out the spiderman costume from our costume box. The spider man costume that is too small and has a big whole in the crotch. How could I say no when it was his party? :)

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Some details:

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Halloween food:

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I have a vivid memory of going to a friend’s halloween party when I was little and being blown away by the smoking punch. I had to get some dry ice to give my son the same memory, even if it meant calling 10 stores to find some.

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We did a couple of crafts, played pumpkin bowling, and then I took everyone’s least favorite bridal shower game and made it halloween themed for kids. “Make your friend a toilet paper mummy” was a big hit.

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Yes! High 5 to myself for getting this posted before Christmas (and even a few hours before thanksgiving!). Ha!

Isaiah & Samuel’s Star Wars Birthday Party

As I have been planning Isaiah’s 6th birthday party (coming up at the end of the month!), I realized that I never blogged his 5th birthday party. Oops! Yes, it’s almost been a year, but I want to still share it. Better late than never, right?

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Isaiah and one of his best buds, Samuel, both wanted Star Wars parties for their birthday. Rather than having two of the same themed party 3 weeks apart, my dear friend Holly (samuel’s mom) and I decided to combine forces and have a joint birthday party. It was so much fun planning a birthday party with a friend and we were thrilled with how it turned out.

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The birthday boys, all dressed and ready to party:

 

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Luke & Yoda:

 

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Hudson killed me in that Yoda costume (that his head was WAY to big for):

 

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A big focus of the party was having all of the food be Star Wars themed. We got lots of ideas from scouring Pinterest and then came up with a few of our own as well.

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Geoff, Samuel’s dad, made all of the fun labels. We got the free printable for the lightsaber napkins here.


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Boba Fruit:

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Leia buns:

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Vader Tators:

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Falcon Ship Dip:

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Pizza the Hut (instead of Jabba the Hut… I know, kind of a stretch, but just go with it):

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Ewok snacks:

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Yoda Soda: (recipe found here. We searched all over for the lemon lime Kool-Aid or Hawaiian Punch- I ended up finding it at Wal-Mart)

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Holly made the cute R2D2 cups (modeled by a cute little Luke), using a free printable we found here.

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The dessert table:

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I made the banner (The V means “Happy Birthday episode V) and it can be custom ordered through my shop.

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How stinkin adorable is the cake that Holly made?

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The little peg dolls are from Bubba’s Basics (who will be at The Queen Bee Market!!):

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We made marshmallow stormtroopers (so easy- found the idea here) & I found the big Yoda marshmallow pops at Michaels:

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To make them stand up, I got a cheap tray from the Target dollar section, put a piece of styrofoam inside and spray painted it all black. Then just stick in the pops and they are ready to go!

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Holly had the Williams Sonoma Star Wars cookie cutters, which are awesome, and Isaiah and I made the cookies together.

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I used my favorite sugar cookie recipe, which is great for things like this because the cookies don’t spread out while baking.

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We also had Han Solo Rolos. This one made us giggle.

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Geoff let us use all of his awesome childhood Star Wars toys as decor:

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Each guest got to pick a pool noodle light saber:

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They also got a Jedi Training certificate, which Geoff & Holly made personalized for each child:

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For favors, we put together little buckets for each child. Since it was around Halloween, I was able to find black buckets in the Target dollar section & I just spray painted over the jack-o-lantern faces. We filled them with big glow sticks that looked like light sabers (also from the Target dollar section), Star Wars pez (which we had to hunt down online), Star Wars fruit snacks (sold at Stater Bros), coloring sheets we printed from the web and little R2D2 crayons.

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We made the crayons using a silicone mold we found on Amazon. We chopped up old broken crayons and then baked them in the molds. It was tricky getting them popped out without breaking those little legs- Holly was way better at that than I was :)

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I loved Abby’s Leia costume:

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We did a couple of games. The first was attack Darth Vader (aka my husband) with the foam lightsabers. I think this was their favorite :)

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We also had a meteor shower. The adults threw crumpled up balls of foil at the kids and they had to deflect them with their lightsabers:

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For the last game, we tied a balloon on each kid’s leg. They had to try to stomp on the other balloons and pop them before someone else popped their own. We told the kids that their balloons were death stars and they had to try to get rid of all of the other death stars :)

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Geoff & Holly made a death star pinata by covering a soccer ball pinata that was on sale with foil.

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We forgot a blind fold, so we made the kids where a jedi robe backwards while trying to hit the pinata :)

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We had so much fun planning this party and the boys had a blast, which is the most important thing to us. On his 6th birthday last week, Samuel told his parents that the highlight of being 5 was his Star Wars party. And that, my friends, is why we do what we do. Yes, it is fun for us crafty moms to plan detailed birthday parties, but we do it for our kids. Because they remember those details. It’s all about creating memories for them. I still remember little things about the parties my mom threw for my childhood birthdays and I hope to create the same treasured memories of celebrating my boys.

winter party 2012

For those of you who may be new to my blog, I am excited to share with you about our seasonal parties! My husband and I host a party every season to celebrate the food, music & ambiance we love about that time of the year. You can see more here (including links to most of the seasonal parties over the past 5 years).

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Winter is always one of my favorites because we have a soup potluck. Our friends are pretty good cooks, so we always have a delicious array of soups to try, along with winter-inspired appetizers, salads, bread and dessert (which was all chocolate this year- apparently that is the most fitting winter dessert!)

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For decor this year, I wanted to spend as little money as possible, while still making the setting beautiful. My 5 year old and I had cut some paper snowflakes around Christmas time and they were still hanging on our sliding glass doors while I was gathering inspiration for the party. I decided to add in some doilies that I had in my crafting stash and, in 5 minutes, I had a pretty backdrop of delicate snowy-ness. I filled tables with tons of candles and other elements I grabbed from around my house and from my dwindled down wedding planner supply shelves in the garage. My husband grabbed some flowers at Trader Joe’s and that was that :) It looked dreamy while still being simple.

 

I threw some doilies on the wall and make a quick garland to hang on the fireplace. I made some quick tags so that everyone could label their soup- after the first year I learned that was necessary, as well as reminding everyone to bring their own ladle :)

 

I was having so much fun with my friends that I completely forgot to take any picture with my good camera. This happened at our fall party too. Oops. So all I have to share are the photos I posted to instagram, which is better than nothing, right?

 

Later this week, I’ll share my husband’s winter playlist. We like to send our guests home with a mix of songs that remind us of the season.

Hudson’s 1st Birthday Party: A colorful balloon party

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For my son Hudson’s first birthday party, I wanted to keep it simple, but fun. He is a fan of balloons, so we had a balloon party in colors of cherry red, tangerine, pool blue & a minty green.

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The invitations, which I handmade, had balloons on strings popping off of the card. I loved how they turned out!

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For lunch, we served balloon shaped sandwiches, balloon kabobs (grapes on a skewer), cherry tomato balloons (stuck onto pretzel sticks) and cheese balloons (circles of cheese stuck onto skewers), along with salad and fruit.

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For the dessert table, I made a mini cake for Hudson and had mini vanilla cupcakes, balloon shaped rice krispy treats and cookies, popcorn balls and white chocolate dipped jumbo marshmellows. I painted boxes that I found in the target dollar section and filled them with cotton balls to resemble clouds. I put styrofoam in the bottom of each box so that I could stand the treats in them. I also modge-podged a few jars to use as containers.

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A really special detail to  me is the high chair he ate his cake it. It was actually my childhood high chair- I did not even know that my parents still had it! My mom dug it out of the garage and had it painted to match the party. So sweet!

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 At first, he wasn’t so sure about the cake, but he eventually dug in and loved it :)

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I always like to have a couple activities for the kids, so I cut a bunch of balloons out of paper and the kiddos decorated them with glitter, stickers and markers and then chose a fun ribbon to tie on.

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We had the party next to a park, so we also had some balls/lawn games available to play. For the little guys, I put a bunch of balloons and bean bags inside of a play pen and let them go to town. Hudson loved it!

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My major DIY project was making balloon centerpieces out of fabric, paper-mache style.

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One big lesson I learned is that you can never have too much helium for a balloon party. We thought we had enough and ran out really early on when setting up for the party. My sweet husband had to run out just before the party started to get more. Another lesson learned: when you string a garland of balloons on an outside pergola and it’s a bit windy, chances are they will all pop at some point or another. :)

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Also, a heads up, mini balloons will not float for long- even when filled with helium. We learned this the hard way- ha! The mini balloons were so cute flying above the tables while tied down to little bean bags I made, however, within 10 minutes they were all down on the table.

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Ha!

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As favors, I painted clothespins and had the kids pick a balloon or two to take home with them. I love repurposing decor as favors!

 

I wanted to do something special along the lines of a guest book. I had guests guess what they think Hudson will be when he grows up. They wrote their answers on little balloon cutouts and I am going to keep them in his baby book :)

 

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We are so blessed by this sweet boy and I am such a proud mama. I love you Hudson!

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A huge thanks to Jackie Wonders for the gorgeous photos and Classic Party Rentals for the tables, linens & kids table & chairs. And a big thank you to our friends Geoff & Holly for letting us use their community clubhouse.

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All banners and similar custom party hats can be ordered through my shop. Just contact me :)

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This party was featured on On To Baby

InstaFriday!

Friday again- I didn’t forget this time :)
life rearranged

 

I got to help plan and design a shower for a sweet friend who is having a baby boy later this  month. We did a modern music theme, which was so fun! I turned these sweet thrift store records:

 

 

into these:

 

 

More decor and treats from the shower:

 

 

I came home from the shower to a 1-year old with a 103.5 degree fever :(  Turns out, he has roseola. We are now in the rash stage. He’s been a trooper through it all:

 

And he really really loves his daddy. It’s one of my favorite things in the world to see him light up and scurry across the floor when Daveed walks through the door.

 

Isaiah has a wooden sushi play set. It’s pretty awesome. He especially loved that he gets to cut things with a huge fake knife while playing sushi chef. He also enjoys reenacting the wasabi ice cream scene from Cars 2.

 

Due to the above mentioned roseola, we have been stuck at home all week. Add in a broken car and we literally have gone nowhere. This kept us from being involved in Jeannett’s insta-food drive. We definitely will take part next week though- such a great idea to use social media for good!

 

Have a great weekend everyone! We’ve got some gardening, concert-going and family timing ahead of us.

Going on a treasure hunt birthday party

My son loves maps. When we go to Disneyland or SeaWorld, he has to get a map right away and he looks at it the entire day. When we go to the mall, we have to stop at every map and find where we are. On vacations, he likes to be a backseat driver, map unfolded to be bigger than he is.

 

He really loves treasure maps. For a while this summer, he was asking me to draw him a treasure map every day and he would “follow” the map around our house, discovering treasures along the way.

 

When it came time to think of a theme for his 4th birthday party (which was last October), it was a no-brainer. The tricky part was that treasure maps are usually associated with pirates. Isaiah was not a fan of pirates (until recently- now he loves them. Of course!). So I had to weed through sheets of stickers, cutting out any with treasure or maps and leaving out mean pirate faces.

 

We had the party at a local park with his best buddies. My goal was to make a cute party on the cheap that would be super fun for the kiddos.

 

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I topped cupcakes with sprinkles and little “4″ toppers and made little trails out of sprinkles on others, leading to a big X. They all sat upon an old trunk I borrowed from a friend.

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I covered the picnic tables with old maps, taped on the bottom so that they did not fly away.

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I made a happy birthday banner out of an old Thomas Guide of Southern CA. (I realized that my kids will never know what that is! Ohh the memories of my dad flipping through the thomas guide anytime we were going anywhere!) I used maps from places we have lived, which was really special for me.

We hung inflatable globes (purchased from Oriental Trading Co) from the patio cover

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The kids decorated binoculars- two toilet paper rolls spray painted white and hot glued together. They got to choose a color of string for the strap and they definitely thought they were pretty cool :)

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They then used those binoculars to go on a treasure hunt around the park. I made a simple hand-drawn map of the area of the park we were exploring and added a few landmarks to help them along the way.

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It ended up being really funny because my husband and a friend started telling folklore about the park and the stops on the map. All made up on the fly. Including the story of the enchanted snake and the magical bridge. The kids were eating it up :)

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We made a stop at a cool/crazy mosaic maze thing that is out in the middle of nowhere at the park. Such a strange thing to decide to build in a community park, but it worked well for our treasure hunt!

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At the end, we found a treasure box with little muslin bags containing treasure for each explorer. As soon as they saw the treasure chest, the kids took off sprinting and cheering. It was so cute! Each bag contained an inflatable globe and gold chocolate coins.

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All guests took home my favorite sugar cookies, made in the shape of California and an X.

 

Winter Party 2012

Every season, my husband and I throw a party, celebrating what we love about that time of year. You can see past parties here and here.

 

We had our winter party last weekend and it was SO much fun! Winter is always one of my favorites because we have a soup potluck- every guest brings a different type of soup and we get to sample them all. Yum!!

 

Since Valentine’s day is just around the corner, I dreamt up a white and red party with lots of hearts. It took a lot of convincing to get my husband on board with that vision, but after assuring him it wouldn’t be pink and cheesy, he gave in :)

 

This year, I have started having a guestbook-of sorts, where I have our friends write down their favorite things of the season. For this party, I had a large heart on the wall and had guests write their favorite things about winter on small hearts that we taped on. Being in San Diego, most comments revolved around it being 75 degrees. So much for fires, hot chocolate and sweaters!

 

Found a $1.50 package of red heart doilies at the grocery store and turn them into a wreath and garland.

 

We set up tables on the porch, which I covered with white sheets (much cheaper than renting linens for a small party at home!). On the long tables, I hung a simple white paper & bakers twine garland from a wooden stand that a friend made me.

 

I cut placemats using my cricut and found these heart napkins at Target- aren’t they perfect? Each place setting had a paper soup bowl and mason jars for sangria with heart paper straws. I purchased the plain white bowls on etsy and then stamped them and added a bit of bakers twine.

 

We also had one round table, on which I had one of the mini banner stands that we sell- making sure everyone knew that “we heart winter”.

 

I covered our dining table with striped wrapping paper (that I found for $0.50 after Christmas!) and put on another stand with a mini banner, saying “we heart soup”.

 

Even though it was in the 70′s that day, we had a great time celebrating winter with soup, sangria, good music and games.

 

You can recreate all of this decor easily for Valentine’s Day too!

 

A big thank you to my friend Nikki for coming early to take these photos. I am so appreciative!

 

Sources:

Photos: Nikki Crockett Photography

Straws & Bowls: etsy shop InTheClear

 

I linked up this blog with Mique’s Pity Party

 

Superhero birthday party, part 2

A couple of weeks ago, I shared my son Isaiah’s third birthday party, which was inspired by the PBS show, SuperWhy. At every birthday party, I try to have a craft and a game or activity. At this party, the kids decorated their superhero masks during craft time. I thought we would not be able to do our activity, but the rain let up just in time for us to take the troops down to the backyard.

 

On the show SuperWhy, they always have a “super big problem”- some question they need to find the answer to. Throughout the show, they find hidden superletters which, when put together at the end, give them their “super story answer”. We happened to have a super big problem at the party- we didn’t know the best way to celebrate Isaiah’s birthday (cheesy, I know- but the kids loved it!). I had hidden letters all over the backyard and let the kids loose. They were told to each find one.

 

On the back of the letters, there was a number. Once all of the lettes had been found, we helped line everyone up with the letters in numerical order. We then had our super story answer: “sing & eat cake!”.

And sing and eat cake they did.

Superhero Birthday Party

For my son’s third birthday (yes… that was over a year ago. I know, I know), I wanted to keep his birthday party on the simple side while still making it cute and creative. Much to my dismay, he requested a “SuperWhy” party- he loved the PBS show and was always pretending that he was Wyatt. I try to stay as far away from character parties as I can, so I had to think of a way to make it work without cartoon faces all over the place.

 

I took the colors of SuperWhy’s logo & Wyatt’s super reader outfit- blue, lime green and yellow- and created a sweet and simple superhero party. Since he was only three, I didn’t want to it to be too superhero-y. Just cute :) Other than the colors, all my son requested was that he get to wear a cape :)

 

The part was supposed to be in our backyard but the weather did not agree with my planning and it started to rain that morning. We smooshed everything into our tiny cottage-style house and our covered back porch which made for a crowded- I mean cozy- party. Here is a look with photos by the wonderful Megan Ann Photography.

My mom and I made capes for all of the kids. Definitely took way longer than we expected, but worth it to see how cute all of the kiddos looked.

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For the tables, I brought in the reading element of SuperWhy by attaching large balloons to books. Some of the books I wrapped in fabric to match the boys’ capes and others I kept the vintage books exposed. I also made little wooden stands to display I’s for Isaiah and 3s. I managed to sneak a little glitter into the party with some fun glitter ribbon on the stands.

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I had a kids size table set up for Isaiah & his friends to decorate superhero masks. The masks were cute out of felt and we sewed on elastic.

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For the “super duper sweets” table, I made some simple cupcakes and then rolled the edges in blue shimmery sprinkles. I wanted to make Isaiah’s cupcake extra special, so I made a super sized cupcake topper. I threw in a couple of candies in the color scheme to give the table a little more pop.

No pictures of the food because- I just got pizza. Simplifying my planner self :)

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We also set up a simple little backdrop to take some photos of the kids in all of their super gear.

That baby bump there? He’s going to be 1 next month. What????

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Next week, I’ll share some more photos of the game we played.

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A big thank you to Megan for the beautiful photos & to Classic Party Rentals for the tables, chairs and linens.