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Planning & Advice

The Apple of Our Eye Turns Two!

By | DIY, Inspiration, Planning & Advice, Social Events | No Comments

Our Heidi is turning three next week and I am busily planning her little birthday party.  I feel like I’m so behind this year but it is tough to plan a party in the middle of wedding season!  Thankfully she is forgiving and will be happy with just about anything as long as she has a pink cake!  This year she has decided on a unicorn theme which works out nicely for me since I designed and planned a unicorn themed birthday party for a client earlier this year so it is fresh on my mind.  Although unicorns are anything but unique nowadays, I think they are popular for very good reason.  Who can resist pastel rainbow colors, sparkles, and magical mythical creatures?!  I’m having so much fun with this theme and am excited to share details and photos with you all!

As I’m in the middle of planning this year’s party, I am realizing that I never shared photos from her party last year.  Since September is in full swing and the kiddos have all just started to school, it is the perfect time to share her apple themed 2nd birthday party.  As you probably can imagine, when I plan a party for a family member or friend, it is always quite different than when I plan an event for a client.  I have to work with a smaller budget so I end up DIYing most of the decor and even baking most of the desserts myself (which I love doing).  For Heidi’s apple party we kept things pretty simple but it was still super cute and she had a blast!

Heidi’s invitations read “Sweet as Pie, the Apple of Our Eye” and set the tone for the party.  The color palette included various shades of greens and reds with a bit of pink mixed in and there was apple decor everywhere!  We scheduled the party for late morning and served brunch style food – yogurt parfaits, doughnut holes, pumpkin bread, fruit, and breakfast burritos as well as juices and coffee.  We had apples of all colors and varieties all over the place and the kids noshed on them throughout the party.  We even set up an apple peeling station where kids could use a really cool contraption to peel and spiralize their apples.  I made cinnamon play dough and put little pie pans and cinnamon sticks out for the kids to “bake” apple pies.  I also had a build your own candy necklace station where the kids could string their own necklaces of rainbow cereal, yogurt covered pretzels, and gummy apple Os.  For dessert I made caramel dipped apples and cinnamon vanilla cupcakes topped with super cute fondant apples.  We also served a selection of pies and sugar cookies decorated like apples.  Our little guests received apple shaped apple cinnamon play dough as a favor when they left.  All in all it was a really fun day and our little Heidi definitely enjoyed being guest of honor (and having free reign of the dessert and juice bars ;).

I SO enjoy planning parties for my littles!  Can’t wait for the next one in a couple of weeks!

Vendor Credits

Cookies and Cupcake Toppers – Kirsten’s Danish Bakery

Design and Planning – Star Hansen Events

Invitations – Pristine Print Co.

Photography – A Pocket of Time

Unconventional Wedding and Shower Gifts

By | Planning & Advice, Trends & Great Finds, Weddings | No Comments

Shopping for the perfect gift for an engaged couple is often the hardest thing about being a guest (aside from picking out the perfect outfit, of course!). That being said, I’m going to reveal some of my favorite hidden treasures that every happy couple didn’t realize they needed. I, myself, cannot live without many of these items, which is why I feel confident in suggesting them to you! While I would always recommend shopping from the couple’s registry, there are some instances in which you will not be provided with one and in these cases, creativity is left in the palm of your hands. So, ladies and gents, grab your piggy banks and let’s go shopping!

Cover images by Loved and Found

  1. Royal Copenhagen Fluted Contrast Mug  –  Royal Copenhagen makes the most gorgeous pieces. I am part Danish and grew up with Royal Copenhagen treasures around my home. I’ll always love their classic china but I love that they continue to evolve with the times and are constantly coming up wth new styles. These Fluted Contrast Mugs represent the ‘perfect blend of the aesthetic and the functional.’ These mugs can be used for anything – coffee, plants, toothbrushes, pens, etc. – the complete multitasker for the new couple! My husband and I love these mugs and have a set of 12 in a variety of colors.
  1. Personalized Address Stamp  –  Not only could this personalized stamp be used for return addresses on thank you cards post-wedding, but the couple could even utilize it for their wedding invitations too~ Shower gift? Check!  
  1. Baking Set  –  This baking set includes every size dish that any baking extraordinaire could potentially need to create a masterpiece! They are unique and beautiful yet completely functional.  Move out of the way Easy Bake Oven!  I don’t have this set but it is definitely on my wish list!
  1. One-Line-A-Day notebook  –  Each page in this handy notebook features a month and a day, along with 5 different places to record the year and the current day’s events. How fun to track what happens daily for couples in the first 5 years of their marriage!  I’ve been writing in one of these books for the past six years and it is so fun to look back at what our lives were like in the early days of our marriage.  Life was very different 😉
  1. Pucket  –  One of my favorite games ever! We’ve given this game as a gift over and over and everyone loves it.  Trust me when I tell you that nearly anyone will get a kick out of this – maybe even challenge the couple to a game in the future!  
  1. Ring Holders  –  This is one of those trinkets that follows me in every room of my house! From my kitchen to the bathroom sinks, and of course my bedside – my ring holders are a nifty way to keep my most prized possession safe and sound!  I see them as a necessity for both men and women.

March Monthly Mood Board | Featuring Greenery, the Pantone Color of the Year!

By | Inspiration, Mood Boards, Planning & Advice, Trends & Great Finds, Weddings | 3 Comments

Its official…the Pantone Color of the Year is having quite the moment. Now, if you’re not familiar with Pantone – they are a world renowned provider of color systems. They forecast color trends and inspire a multitude of industries world wide including, fashion, interior design, and special events. Many designers and planners, myself included, use Pantone colors as inspiration for their weddings and events. Every year, Pantone shares a “Color of the Year”- representing a color snapshot of what is expected to be used globally for the upcoming year. For 2017, Pantone announced – Greenery.

Greenery has been highly talked about, because of its bold “trans-seasonal” color while also having a “fresh and zesty yellow-green shade”.  Honestly, I was a bit unsure whether I liked the color when it was first announced; however, it is definitely growing on me.  We’ve had a lot of rain in So Cal this winter and Pantone’s Greenery is literally popping up everywhere!  On grassy hillsides, on sprouting leaves, even in moss that grows between the pavers in my backyard!  I have come to really appreciate this shade of green which symbolizes growth and a fresh start and I think it is so perfect for spring!  What I love most, is how Pantone described the shade as the pursuit of passions and vitality. Because a wedding is so personal, it can be quite easy to include this Greenery shade into your special day, combining the passions of both the bride and groom.

Although Greenery is named the color of the year, I recommend using it somewhat cautiously – I prefer it as an accent color. Whether you plan to use it in stationery, tableware, or florals, knowing how to carefully include the color is key. Greenery was my inspiration for March’s Monthly Mood Board. I hope you enjoy seeing how versatile this color, and all shades of green can be!

Credits

Greenery down the steps via Damaris Mia Photography | Upper right bouquet via Deer Pearl Flowers | Bottom middle bouquet via 100 Layer Cake | Vibiana Bar Set up via Krista Mason Photography | Bottom Menu and Table Scape via Krista Mason Photography Published on Strictly Weddings  | Green Gown with Bouquet via Star Hansen Events | Green Goblets via Krista Mason Photography

Need an Immunity Boost?! Homemade Elderberry Syrup to the Rescue!

By | DIY, Planning & Advice, Trends & Great Finds | No Comments

Photo courtesy of The Kitchen McCabe

I woke up this morning feeling a little under the weather… not sick, just a little off.  My throat was scratchy and I felt a little more tired than usual.  I know its cold and flu season but I wanted to nip whatever might be coming on as quickly as possible!  My kids and I take elderberry syrup almost daily this time of year but I ran out a few days ago.  Waking up with this feeling, I knew I had to make up a new batch right away – not only to help me fight this sickness off but also to hopefully protect my kids from getting anything.  Elderberry syrup is an excellent immunity booster and it tastes great (which is a plus when you are trying to get your kids to take it!).  In addition to boosting your immunity, it is also said to shorten the duration of colds and the flu.  I do lots of natural remedies to keep my family as healthy as possible – especially this time of year – and I do think that elderberry syrup really helps!  We typically take a teaspoon each on a daily basis and we up it to a teaspoon two or three times a day if someone in the house is sick.  Upping the amount helps the person who is sick to recover more quickly and helps those who aren’t sick to stay healthy.

I’ve had many people ask me for my elderberry syrup recipe so I figured I’d share it here.  I use Mommypotamus‘ recipe which is listed on her website.  Check it out her site for more detailed information about the benefits of elderberries as well as lots of other wonderful natural remedies.  I typically double the recipe because between the three of us, we go through it pretty quickly and it keeps well in the fridge for a few months.  It really does taste great – my kids would drink a whole glassful if I’d let them!  I encourage you to give it a try.  It really is super easy and is a great thing to have on had when you feel something coming on!

Elderberry Syrup Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup dried elderberries (find them here) or 1 cup fresh elderberries
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup honey (I recommend using local honey)
  • 1 cinnamon stick (optional)

Instructions

1. Add water, elderberries and cinnamon sticks (if using them) to a pot and bring to a boil.

2. Reduce heat and simmer until liquid is reduced by half. This should take around 45 minutes.

3. Strain to remove berries. Allow liquid to cool to room temperature, then stir in honey.  Makes about 2 cups.  Store in the refrigerator – keeps for a few months.  NOTE: Because this recipe contains honey, it should not be used in children under the age of one.

Gorgeous Wedding Chair Decor Ideas

By | Inspiration, Planning & Advice, Weddings | One Comment

Photo courtesy of Maui’s Angels Weddings

There are so many gorgeous chair options for weddings and special events.  From cozy upholstered armchairs, to ghost chairs, to wooden vineyard chairs, to classic chivari chairs – there is something for every style and budget.  Lately, I have been so inspired by chair embellishments.  Chairs are a necessity at weddings, so why not spruce them up a bit?!  Chair decor is a trend that has been going strong for quite some time, and its easy to see why.  This unexpected design element can truly transform a simple chair into something magnificent.  Not every chair in the venue needs to be decorated, depending on your style and budget, you may prefer to embellish only the Bride and Groom’s chairs.  Whether you choose to embellish a few key chairs or all guest chairs, you can’t go wrong with a bit of chair swag!  The possibilities for chair decor are endless, below are a few of my favorites!

Adding signage is a playful way to make the couple’s chairs stand out at a wedding.

Left side: Top image from Glamour & Grace, middle image from Nouba, bottom image from Etsy shop Letters to You.
Right side: Top image from Swooned Magazine, bottom image from Ruffled.

I love the whimsical feel that is added when a chair is adorned with beautiful blooms!

Left image from Style Me Pretty.  Middle image from Ruffled.  Right image from Style Me Pretty.

Fabric draped chairs ooze glamour and romance!

Left image from Style Me Pretty.  Middle image from Mod Wedding.  Right image from Wedding Chicks.

And when you want to add a little bling, one of these chair embellishments might be just the thing!

Left image from Story Board Wedding.  Middle image from Style Me Pretty.  Right image from Wedding Chicks.