Planning A French Baby Shower

May
28

Well, things have sure changed since my last blog post. Ryan accepted a job so we went ahead and relocated our little Oregon grown family to the Los Angeles area. It took courage and a leap of faith to leave behind extended family, our brand new dream home, and a neighborhood full of friends but so far we have been loving California (thankfully). All that said, even with all this new distance I am still planning a baby shower for my sister in law in Portland this October. Fall in Oregon is the best so I think I will be ready to go back for a few days! Anyway, here are all the details.

We decided to go with a French inspired Black and White look with pops of vibrant florals. I typically pick out the invites and stationary first and then build the design of the event around that. This time around I went with some amazing Minted.com items. 

I love the rosette tablecloth and use of a backdrop in the photo above. I ordered THIS fabric and plan to hot glue or stitch it around a basic white tablecloth.

I love the rosette tablecloth and use of a backdrop in the photo above. I ordered THIS fabric and plan to hot glue or stitch it around a basic white tablecloth.

Balloons are fun, pretty and very Parisian. I order all my jumbo balloons HERE! THIS black Tulle will look amazing draped around them.

Balloons are fun, pretty and very Parisian. I order all my jumbo balloons HERE! THIS black Tulle will look amazing draped around them.

The backdrops from DropitModern.com are so unique. I ordered THIS ONE pictured above to go behind the dessert table. It will really set the scene which will allow us to go super simple with the table itself. This purchase requires the use of a photo backdrop stand and I found an inexpensive one HERE.

The backdrops from DropitModern.com are so unique. I ordered THIS ONE pictured above to go behind the dessert table. It will really set the scene which will allow us to go super simple with the table itself. This purchase requires the use of a photo backdrop stand and I found an inexpensive one HERE.

I love the idea of mini champagne bottles for the guests. CostPlus World Market has a great selection. 

I love the idea of mini champagne bottles for the guests. CostPlus World Market has a great selection. 

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We also plan to set up a Mimosa Bar as well.

I am entertaining the idea of making these floral ice buckets. They look fairly simple in this Online Tutorial.

I am entertaining the idea of making these floral ice buckets. They look fairly simple in this Online Tutorial.

Aren't these wrapped baguette sandwiches adorable?

I am going to attempt to replicate this cheese board as well.

The dessert table will include a small to medium sized macaroon tower from La Provence .

A rustic naked cake topped with fruit or flowers will look great.

THESE napkins and THESE runners will be perfect for the small round guest tables we've ordered for seating. The black and white stripes fit the over all look of the event and I love supporting independent artists through Minted.com

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I found THESE beautiful candy dishes that are large enough to store Parisian inspired stacked cookies. This will save us money in the end since bulk candy can get very expensive.

If you've seen the Kardashians then you have probably guessed that I found my cookie stacking inspiration HERE

If you've seen the Kardashians then you have probably guessed that I found my cookie stacking inspiration HERE

This Mint Green Cake Stand will look great with our Rustic Cake.

This Mint Green Cake Stand will look great with our Rustic Cake.

THIS line of stickers, gift tags and invitations inspired the overall design of the shower. I absolutely love Minted.com stationary and all the party supplies they have to offer. I have been a fan for years. 

THIS line of stickers, gift tags and invitations inspired the overall design of the shower. I absolutely love Minted.com stationary and all the party supplies they have to offer. I have been a fan for years. 

We will have a second backdrop at the event set up as a photo booth. This will be a fun way for guests to remember the day. I modified THIS blackboard style drop to fit our upscale French Theme.

We will have a second backdrop at the event set up as a photo booth. This will be a fun way for guests to remember the day. I modified THIS blackboard style drop to fit our upscale French Theme.

 THESE adorable photo booth props will add a little fun to the gathering.

 THESE adorable photo booth props will add a little fun to the gathering.

Well there you have it. All the basics you need for a French Inspired Shower. I can't wait to put it all together for you! Stay tuned for Allie's Unicorn Birthday Party in July. It will take place in our new SoCal backyard. Can't wait to show you all!

Southern California

March
19

We booked a family vacation to California way back in January. We had been snowed in our neighborhood for a couple weeks and decided it was time to crack open the laptop and plan a much needed sunny getaway. While I personally wanted to get up and go that minute (chains on car and all) we planned it for March to make sure that the weather would be ideal. Going from a 50 degree rainy morning to a 90 degree sunny afternoon after a mere 2 hours in the air was pretty incredible for the kids. I think they forgot what sunshine was like! We all wore Winter Jackets to the airport with Summer clothes on underneath then promptly crumpled them into our luggage upon arrival. Kind of hilarious really! Here are a few highlights and some family friendly destination recommendations.

We stayed at the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs and I could not recommend it more. It was Paradise really. If you are there with kids I would suggest swimming a ton, eating a ton, checking out the Cabazon Dinosaurs, doing a little shopping on the downtown strip, driving through the amazing mid-century neighborhoods (Elvis' Honeymoon House is there), and taking a hike through Joshua Tree National Park.

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Man it was nice to be warm again.

Man it was nice to be warm again.

Ryan and the kids walking along the shallow steps of the pool.

Ryan and the kids walking along the shallow steps of the pool.

Th Ace Hotel has amazing food at reasonable prices.

Th Ace Hotel has amazing food at reasonable prices.

I love these pink flowers. There was a really aggressive hummingbird that actually ended up chasing us away though. It must of had eggs nearby. I had never been chased by a hummingbird. It was literally after us!

We drove by Elvis' Honeymoon House. You can take a scheduled tour if you want to.

We drove by Elvis' Honeymoon House. You can take a scheduled tour if you want to.

The architecture in Palm Springs is so amazing.

The architecture in Palm Springs is so amazing.

We also spent 3 nights in Santa Monica. It was nice to be next to the beach and pier with the kids. We could easily walk to the Promenade and do some shopping, grab some dinner or just play at the beach.

When you travel with kids there is a limit to the number of things you can do per day without everyone getting too tired. We planned about 3 activities a day which was perfect. They force you to relax and have a little more downtime which is probably a good thing to have on vacation anyway. 

One of the major highlights of the trip was having tea service at the Huntington Library Tea room and then letting the kids run around the gardens. The Gardens there are huge and breathtaking. We met up with some East Coast cousins who just moved to the LA area. It was a great day.

First time meeting but these cousins were instant friends.

First time meeting but these cousins were instant friends.

We never leave LA without paying a visit to Canters Deli. It's just a classic place that makes you feel like you are walking into the 1950's. It's a great place for late night people watching (celebs tend to visit too).

The last leg of the trip included a day at Venice Beach. 

Here was my running list of family friendly things I wanted to do on this vacation. We only made it through a portion of this list though. Hopefully you can get through more! It's also important to note that this was the first trip to LA that we did not spot a celebrity! In the past we have seen a random mix. The mom from Everybody Loves Raymond shopping at the Grove, Nicholas Cage at LAX, The lead singer of Counting Crows on Sunset, and David Arquette at a Jenny Lewis concert.. haha. It's never who you'd really expect. What are your favorite things to do in LA? Have you ever seen a random celebrity?

The Grove

Getty Center

Griffith Observatory

Santa Monica Pier

Sunset Blvd

Olvera Streeet

Los Angeles Zoo

Runyun Canyon

Robertson BLVD

Melrose Ave

Venice Beach

Silver Lake

Huntington Gardens: Afternoon Tea/Kid friendly 

Canters

Lawry's

Grand Central Market

Pacific Hwy Roadside Seafood

Mulholland Drive

Stroll Malibu Pier and Eat Here

Pasadena Flea Market 

Classroom Gifting: Shopping Guide

Feb
01

Are you ready for Valentine's Day? If not, then make sure to take advantage of a few great sales that will have your kids covered at this year's classroom party. Right now, Tinyprints.com is offering up to 30% off select Valentine's Day cards with code: 30FEBVDAY. If you are looking for a few extra gifting ideas to add to your cards then visit the OrientalTradingCompany.com. They are offering up to 60% off their Valentine's Day must-haves! I've put together a list of all my favorites below. Enjoy, and have a great Valentine's Day.

I love these adorable fans!

I love these adorable fans!

These desktop plaques make the sweetest gifts

These desktop plaques make the sweetest gifts

We spent an hour stuffing little goodie bags for School and Pre School. Phew. The kids loved every second though!

We spent an hour stuffing little goodie bags for School and Pre School. Phew. The kids loved every second though!

Shop Classroom Gifts:

Shop Paper and Stationery Favorites:

A Pokémon Party

Jan
31

Clark turned 7 over the weekend and we decided to celebrate the day with a Pokémon inspired birthday! Planning a party in January can be a challenge since the weather limits us a bit. I never hesitate to have Allie's birthday at home since it's in July and we always have the backyard to double our space for guests (See Here). Luckily, after weeks of January snow we actually landed on a dry sunny day so guests were able to run around outside a bit (good thing too since Clark invited his entire class ). Here is a snapshot of all the party details in case you are looking for a few ideas of your own!

Pokemon Birthday

Since the kids love all the individual card characters I thought it would be cute to turn a variety of them into cupcakes. I uploaded this stock photo to customize this wrapping paper, these trays, and the majority of the tableware. Propping the trays on empty wrapped boxes made for perfect little cake stands.
The "Catch it!" art I used on these plates can be found HERE. Shutterfly plates are the best. They are light weight, easy to clean and fun for kids to customize.

If you're like me and wondering how to entertain 28+ kids without hiring a magician or clown then I would highly recommend this cotton candy machine. The cotton candy is so good but making it is the best part! 

I found this super easy Pokémon Candied Apple Tutorial HERE

We were excited to add this popcorn cart to our Nostalgia Electrics party collection. Just as fun as our Cotton Candy Machine and Chocolate Fountain. The kids loved having fresh movie theater style popcorn right in the living room. It made the whole house smell amazing and was the first snack guests grabbed when they arrived.

These personalized canvas goodie bags were the biggest hit of all. The kids absolutely loved finding their names on their own Pokemon Bag. Everything inside the bag matched the party since it was customized with the same stock art I used on the table. I felt really good about gifting items that the kids will use for years. The bags are so durable and the blankets are amazing! Shutterfly carries so many fun items for kids (SEE MORE HERE).

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I hope you enjoyed this little party snapshot. Feel free to leave any Pokémon Party links or ideas in the comments below for future readers!

SOURCES:

Tableware and Pokemon Bags: Shutterfly
Cotton Candy and Popcorn Machine: Nostalgia Electrics
Cake and Cupcakes: Papa Haydn 
Table, Chairs and Linens: West Coast Event Productions

Christmas Around the Corner

Dec
08

Well it's that time of year again and our house is all set. We spent last weekend cutting down our tree and getting most of our decorations out. I can't believe it's already December. On a personal level, we had a pretty great year.  Moving into a new house and starting the kid's at new schools brought about a good amount of change that kept things interesting. I am always happiest when I am busy and feeling inspired or creative in some way. Lucky for me, this was a busy year.
I hope everyone is enjoying their December. Here is a round up of a few Holiday Favorites.

Right now Shutterfly is offering up to 50% off orders of their personalized gifts. Our tree is full of these Pewter Gallery Ornaments this year and we love them!

Tinyprints.com is my go to for all our gift wrap. There are so many beautiful customizable designs to choose from and they all look great together! 

Right now Tinyprints is offering amazing deals off their personal gift wrap. Check it out HERE.

SHOP OUR FAVORITE CHRISTMAS ALBUMS:

SHOP MUSIC ACCESSORY FAVORITES:

Allie is loving her Frozen Blanket via Shutterfly. It makes the perfect Christmas Gift. We customized this Elsa blanket with a picture from her FROZEN party seen HERE. If you are looking for more gift ideas then check out even more favorites below. Happy Holidays!

SHOP MY KIDS GIFT IDEAS:

P.S. The Land of Nod is offering up to 50% off their Christmas Decor HERE: