Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Color Purple

I used to put blooms throughout the house on an almost weekly basis...before Baby M that is. It was nice to use some of the Birthday Party budget to scatter some flowers around the house...and even nicer that they last past party cleanup.

Ahhhhhhh...can hardly wait for SPRING!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Powder Room

I realized I've never shared my Dr. Seuss-like powder room, so I thought I'd reveal this colorful little pocket of the downstairs.

The Powder Room is just off the foyer.
I don't have much space to work with, so I wanted something fun, colorful, and dramatic. I opted for the same Chantal Yellow used in the kitchen and the Peapod Green in the dining room, adjacent to the foyer {stoplight colors anyone?}.
Hello cultured marble...the 80s are calling you back.
I found some lovely but extraordinarily expensive fabrics that matched my colors {they were upwards of more than $45/yd each}. I bought small snippets and framed them on the wall above the toilet.
And then used 2 of the fabrics to create some decorative towels...
Not too bad for a water closet!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

It's The Little Things

Yes, it's indeed the little things that add that oomph to life!

I had a blast putting Baby M's "Little Man" Birthday Party together...what's even more hilarious is that I was still putting the finishing touches on little things, in my PAJAMAS, when the first 3 guests arrived. Oops!
And while I paid careful attention to the little details, it's a good thing that the big things also tend to work themselves out too.

Here's a brief photo tour of the event.

{note: I didn't personally take these photos as I resolved to enjoy the party after the preparation madness the few hours philosophy this go 'round is "first-hand memories trump prettier pictures" I don't regret it one bit!}

Dining Room: simple entry with "M" letter and pretty flowers {even though it was a MAN party} Originally I was going to place photos of Baby M for each month of his first year...ummm, that was definitely a little detail forgotten. Oops!
Living Room: tie banner decked across the mantel. I tied men's neckties together and draped them in banner form {using packing tape to secure to the mantel and safety pins to "pretty-up" and secure the tie tails} and then used clothespins to attach large "1"s.
Kitchen: buffet banner. This was the simple birthday banner {HERE} hung on a painted covered canvas. I had an old art canvas that I covered in craft paper and then painted "tie stripes" in the themed colors.
Delicious Necktie Cake: a delectably moist fondant vanilla cake. Baked and decorated by the same talented bakers who did my Baby Shower cake {HERE}
Dessert Table: The cake was front and center of course, but flanked by cheesecake samplers, brownie bites, and then I used 2 of the Mason jars on either side of the banner and inserted some of the candy neckties and moustaches {homemade} as decoration.
Food Table: This was the only photo I have of the food, but it was all delicious {if I may say so myself!}. I had many compliments and several recipe requests. I had assorted pinwheel sandwiches, chicken salad finger sandwiches {each with half dipped in mayo and then pecan crumbles...pretty!}, bruschetta, spinach dip {HERE} and blue corn chips, petite quiches, baked Brie {personal recipe will be shared}, cream puffs and cupcakes.
Cupcake Wrappers: And here's a close-up of the homemade wrappers put to use {I actually took this photo post-party while cleaning up}
Party Favors: Included in each bag was a necktie napkin {HERE}, homemade chocolate moustache-on-a-stick {candy molds HERE}, homemade ribbon bowtie, and chocolates.
I also included a Birthday Moustache Note with moustache cut-outs. I simply found some cool graphics and then created the personalized format in PowerPoint.
And a cute graphic print with famous moustaches. Both found {HERE}
Here's the ribbon bowtie favor modeled by a party guest.
Each of the younger guests received a necktie bib too. Baby Madi got a pink one with a pink bow sewn on the closure.
Here are the kiddos sporting their bibs.
I made Baby M a 3-tiered smash cake.
Here's his birthday hat and personalized plate.
It's the first children's party, so I learned a lot from the event:
  1. Hakuna Matata- No worries! The purpose of a party {especially a children's party} is to celebrate so don't let preparations stress you out or feel pressured to have things perfect.
  2. Hire a professional photographer- If you can afford it, I think it'd be great to capture the moments. Also, this way you don't make a family member or friend become your photog volunteer {because then they miss out on the celebration}.
  3. Check over your "TO DO" List a few times- I forgot some of the little things; albeit the party was still great in a big way. Some things I forgot: month-by-month photos for display in the dining room; put on the party music {I'd chosen a swanky Louis Armstrong music mix}; and fill up balloons before the party {thankfully Nanny C and her family were kind enough to tackle this task as soon as they arrive!}.

I'll have party recipes to come...I think I'm ready to throw another party soon!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Party Pooped

Saturday we had a house filled with family and friends, tons of food and laughter...
Joy filled this place!
I am always amazed at the many blessings that surround our lives. We feel very loved...
Thank You!
{and Get Well ASAP! for the 5 who had to cancel the day-of for the awful stomach bug and strep going around...nasty stuff}
While Mason's zooming off, you can check out his party post {HERE}. The post with final party planning details is coming soon.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

As Stacy Would Say


Yes, in honor of New York's Fashion Week, I would like to pass along, perhaps one of the greatest fashion discount finds EVER. Please allow me to introduce you to 15DOLLARSTORE.COM

EVERYTHING in the store is $15.

Yes, I purchased each of the below items...for $15 each. And I'm wearing one of the dresses {the purple with ruffle & zipper top dress} right this minute. They're junior sizes, and the items are non-returnable / non-refundable, so make sure you know your size. There's 1 dress that I question {the purple on the bottom row center} because it's way too short and shear, but I'll likely wear it as a tunic with a tank underneath. All the other purchases $$$ worthy!


It Must Be Fate

Yep. Some things are just meant to be. I'd been saving these glass's my goal in life to find some fantastic re-use for all the glass jars I've saved {yes, even the 100+ baby food jars in my pantry}.

To my delight, these particular jars have 2 words on them "ATLAS" at the top and "MASON" at the was fate!

I'll tie the brown and white polka dot ribbon around the jar so that MASON will be the only word shown. I haven't decided if they'll serve as silverware containers, or candle holders, or some other sort of decoration...but they're definitely going to be used for the party.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Dollars and SENSE

Who doesn't want to save $?

I've had a blast planning Mason's 1st Birthday Party, really enjoying the homemade details. It's helped me tremendously on the budget side and I've had a blast on the crafting side. Here are some of my inspiration photos and a sneak peek at the works in progress.

I mentioned the cupcake wrappers {HERE}. They're listed on Etsy for $6 for a dozen.
{Cost: $0.50 each}
I found an Online pattern and with scrapbook paper I've had on hand for years, I made my own.
{Cost: FREE}
And since Mason will be wearing a smocked birthday outfit {that's not too emasculating...I think}, I decided he needed a little man bib like this.
{Cost: $10}
So with scraps of fabric on hand, I bought a 10-pack of plain terry cloth bibs for $10 and made him one myself.
{Cost: $1 each}
And then of course I knew I just had to have chocolate moustaches just like the Mr. Man Party featured {HERE}. I found them on Etsy ranging from $1.33 to $4 each. But since I wanted at least 30, I wasn't about to spend $40-$120 just for a novelty item!
{Cost: $1.33 - $4 each... $40 - $120 total!!!}
Here's a glimpse of my newfound madness...chocolate candy molds! I bought 3 bags of chocolate wafers at $4 each {$12 total} and purchased 4 different molds at around $2-3 each {let's say $12 total} from Candyland Crafts. I decided to extend the madness and in addition to the chocolate moustaches, there's some neckties and bowties thrown in the mix since the process is super easy.
{Cost: $24 for 32 moustaches, 9 necktie lollipops, 27 bowtie chocolate candies!}

Oh and remember my lament that I didn't think I had time to tackle handmade bowties? Well I found them on Etsy {HERE}

{Cost: $7 each}

But then I discovered another great Online tutorial {HERE}; and although I've only made 14, it was under $8 for the ribbons and then I just used simple needle and thread. Depending on how this week goes, I may or may not try and tackle some more {I'm not exactly efficient at hand-stitching...even if it's easy peasey}
{Cost: about $0.50 each}
And then of course, there's the obligatory Birthday Hat!
{Cost: $10 and up}
But there's no reason I couldn't make my own. AND add the personal touches so it'd coordinate with the colors and "Little Man" theme. Here's my take on it with materials I already had on-hand minus the pompom, and trim that I purchased.
{Cost: less than $3}
And what about that Birthday Banner? Well to have one custom-made, they're all over Etsy from anywhere from $15-$40.
{Cost: $40}

{Cost: $40}

{Cost: $15}

AND, I even purchased a clearance pennant banner half a year ago with Mason's birthday in mind- it was only $5 & the fabric banner is super long too...originally designed for room decor.
But I decided that I might actually use the fabric banner for his room eventually and made a paper banner for his birthday in-case I decide to change the colors up each year {rather than have his birthday banner fixed}. So with the same paper used for the cupcake wrappers and birthday hat, I made a personalized banner for the party...and only purchased the stickers at $2.50 and raffia at $1.
{Cost: $3.50}

Thursday, February 11, 2010

You've Come A Long Way Baby

One year ago today, we welcomed sweet Mason Tinsley into the world. He's the love of my life, a daily joy, and I'm forever thankful that God has entrusted me with this precious being.
I'm still not ready to call him anything other than my "Baby." But I suppose that will never change!

His big Birthday party will be in a couple of a weekends {procrastinating Mommy & perhaps a Mommy in denial of her child growing up!}. But we still get this day to celebrate today too; it's his first birthday anyhow!

While I'd originally planned for him to wear this birthday shirt on the day, it just ain't gonna fit. My little guy is getting big {and well, Gerber onesies run a size small}. So here are some photos of the silly concoction I sewed, just for kicks:
Mr. Big Man
His Birthday Pennant Banner
Destruction of the Birthday Blocks
{topmost pic is the Before photo}
He's no longer an infant **sniff sniff**. He's progressing and developing so quickly-this year has flown by! And while it's a little tough for me to admit he's growing up, I know Mason's excited for this milestone day...because today he gets his first taste of SUGAR!