gender reveal party

Saturday night we hosted a fun little reveal party for our family and friends to announce the gender of our little Hudson Michael.  I had so much fun putting everything together and I think it turned out pretty cute.  I decided to DIY a lot of the decorations to keep costs down.  I didn’t do full tutorials or anything but I’ll try to link to similar ones or explain what I did in case you want to replicate.

The first thing I had to do was decide on a theme.  Our last name (which I haven’t yet shared on here…in case of creepers, ya know?) is royal-ish so I decided to do a play on words and go with a “prince or princess?” theme.  I looked at lots of invitations online and none were exactly what I wanted.  I contacted some Etsy sellers to see about getting custom ones made, but they never contacted me back, so finally I just busted out Word and made my own.  (this tutorial was very helpful and this pin was my invitation inspiration)  I was very proud of how they turned out.

gender reveal invitationedited version of what we sent out

After deciding on the prince or princess theme, I sort of forgot to actually use that in the decorations (ahem…facepalm), but I did carry over the gray, blue, and pink from the invitation into the decorations.

gender reveal tulle wreathI made a wreath for the front door to greet the guests.  It was so easy!  I just cut strips of tulle and tied them around a wreath form, then made a little bunting banner out of paper.

gender reveal party foodWe served BBQ and sides (I just couldn’t pull off handmade decorations and an elaborate homemade meal…so I decided to make the decorations and buy most of the food.  I don’t think anyone minded).

fabric scrap bunting

This fabric scrap bunting is probably my favorite thing that I made for the party.  I modeled it after this tutorial, but didn’t use quite as many fabric options.  I only used three fabrics: pink and gray chevron, blue and gray chevron, and gray polka dot (all bought at Hancock’s).  I also didn’t cut out each strip individually (the original poster used pinking shears to cut hers); instead I sniped into the fabric about a half inch and then ripped.  It gave the strips the shabby chic rough edges that I like.  I did 20 strips of each color, about 1.5 inches wide and 22 inches long (each strip was half of a width of my yardage, which I assume was a standard 44 inches).  I love this and think I might make another one in the appropriate colors of our bedroom.  Or Hudson’s room.  Or Christmas decorations.  Or all of the above.

poms and garlandThe other big things I made were tissue paper pom poms and circle garlands.

light decorationsThe pom poms were made using this tutorial, and I made six total – three for each chandelier.  Each pom was made from one pack of tissue paper from Hobby Lobby (I think each pack had ten sheets).  They were a little bigger than I expected, and I probably should have cut the tissue paper down some, but I still think they turned out cute.

gender reveal garlandsewn circle garlandI also made a lot of these circle garlands to hang everywhere.  They are cheap and easy to make, so I love them!  I used my Cricut to cut out a bajillion circles of different shapes (ranging from 1 1/4 inches to 2 inches) from a bunch of different pink, blue, and gray baby-themed papers from Hobby Lobby.  Once I had my circles cut out I ran them through my sewing machine to make the garland.  Easy peasy.

pom poms

gender reveal poms and garlandThe leftover pink and gray chevron fabric became a table runner of sorts.  I totally meant to do centerpieces but ran out of time, so I just slapped this fabric on the table (it’s folded under, the edges aren’t even hemmed or anything) and hoped that the dramatic stuff hanging from the light fixture made up for a nearly naked table.

balloons and confettiballoonsWe had one folding table set up that didn’t have a light fixture above it.  I covered it with a gray tablecloth (from Hobby Lobby), scattered some of my cut out circles on the table like confetti, and tied some pink and blue balloons to a mason jar for a centerpiece.

tablescapeThere was a table right inside the door for when people first walked in.  The leftover blue and gray chevron became the tablecloth for this table (raw edges and all…that’s just how I roll in a time crunch).  Some of the extra blue tulle from the wreath got added to a dish full of yummy Reese’s.  The lights are white Christmas lights with strips of white tulle tied to the cord in between the lights.  I made this last year at Christmas and it has come in handy for some many different things.  It’s great to have on hand and pull out to jazz up a space quickly.

old wives tales chalkboardI used chalkboard markers (Hobby Lobby) to fill out a chalkboard with the results of some old wives tales.

gender reveal clothespinsI also painted clothespins for people to wear indicating if they were team girl or team boy.

gender reveal scratch off ticketThe way we chose to reveal was with scratch off tickets.  I made the tickets in Word using the same fonts, colors, background, etc. as the invitations.

scratch off ticketHere’s what it looked like before I printed them and covered the “answers”.

The scratch off stuff was pretty easy to make – I followed this tutorial.  All you need is contact paper, silver craft paint, and dish soap (don’t be like me and paint on the wrong side of the contact paper, let it dry over night, wake up ready to finish, and realize you have to paint all over again because you didn’t use the right side…oops).

gender reveal scratch offReady to reveal our big news!!

ticketstickets 1tickets 2The sad thing was that they didn’t work quite as well as I thought they would.  When I did my trial run, the scratch off stuff scratched off perfectly.  However, when everyone started scratching they could hardly get it to scratch off!  Most people ended up just peeling off the contact paper to see the results.

At first I thought I had made them too far in advance (I only did them about 9 hours in advance!) but now I think it’s because I didn’t use enough dish soap.  I think that is the key to keeping it soft enough to scratch off.  See, the tutorial said use two or three parts paint to one part dish soap.  That made the paint really, really thin, so I used way less dish soap.  I didn’t realize I needed to make it thinner and then paint more than one coat.  I was trying to keep it thick enough to only do one coat and I think that was my downfall.  I think the paint hardened too much because there wasn’t enough soap.  So now I know in case we ever do this again!

And that was our little gender reveal party!  It was a fun way to share our exciting news!

You are My Sunshine party – Levi turns one!

It’s hard to believe that this little guy

baby Leviis now ONE!

balloons 2And probably the happiest child I’ve ever met in my life.  The theme of his party, You are My Sunshine, was totally, 100% fitting for his sweet personality.

Tiffany had a bunch of sunshine-themed party ideas pinned on Pinterest, so I looked at her board and picked a cake that I thought I could replicate (or at least make one that was similar).  I ended up using this one as my inspiration.

sunshine cake 2

sunshine cake 1

It was totally by coincidence that my cake matched perfectly with Tiffany’s decorations!  Great minds think alike :).

you are my sunshine party

sunshine party

Of course the cake and decorations were greatly eclipsed by the star of the show, Mr. Levi himself.

balloons 4

balloons 3

balloons 1

He loved playing with those balloons.

balloons 5And laughing with Michael.

But you know what he loved even more?  Cake!  I have never seen a kid devour a smash cake the way Levi did.

smash cake 1Starting off with a tentative taste of the icing from his cake topper.

smash cake 2Then diving in to the good stuff.

smash cake 3Oh yeah, that’s what I’m talking about…how have you people been hiding this deliciousness from me for a year???

sharingHappy to share some cake.

crown

crown 2

messy boyYum yum yum!

carAnd of course we can’t leave out Josiah!

birthday candlehelping light brother’s candle…he didn’t quite realize that this was Levi’s birthday, not his own

happy birthday Leviready to blow out the candles!

us with Levi“Misser Michael” and “Missy” Caitlin (Josiah’s names for us) with our little man

Happy birthday, Levi!  We love you!

a Dr. Seuss birthday party

Dr. Seuss birthday 1

Last weekend Mr. Noah turned one and to celebrate Erin (and family) put together a fantastic Dr. Seuss-themed bash.

Dr. Seuss cakeErin asked me to make the cake (based on this cake) and I was more than happy to do so.  Other than the layers settling and bulging a little bit during the car ride to Lexington, I think it turned out pretty great!

Dr. Seuss birthday 3check out all these fantastic decorations!

Dr. Seuss birthday 4Dr. Seuss birthday 5Dr. Seuss birthday 6Dr. Seuss birthday 7Dr. Seuss birthday 8precious smash cake pictures – love that long tie!

Dr. Seuss birthday 9Dr. Seuss birthday 11Dr. Seuss birthday 12love the table settings with Dr. Seuss books, balloons, and Mason jars

Dr. Seuss birthday 10the food table…sans food

Dr. Seuss birthday 24and now loaded up with goodies :)

Dr. Seuss birthday 13table at the entrance – pictures of Noah’s first year and his one year stats

Dr. Seuss birthday 14“guest book” – sign the inside of a Dr. Seuss book (Happy Birthday to You)

Dr. Seuss birthday 15Dr. Seuss birthday 16party favors

There were also tons of fun activities for the little ones.

Dr. Seuss birthday 17paint table

Dr. Seuss birthday 18Dr. Seuss birthday 21Dr. Seuss birthday 23fishing

Dr. Seuss birthday 19for taking pictures of the kids

Dr. Seuss birthday 22Nora giving it a test

Dr. Seuss birthday 20

Dr. Seuss birthday 26time for some cake!

Dr. Seuss birthday 2Look at all that loot!  Noah is going to be one busy boy!

Dr. Seuss birthday 25new toys

Dr. Seuss birthday 27Dr. Seuss birthday 28Nora and Noah testing out Noah’s new trike

 We had a wonderful time celebrating Noah’s birthday and visiting with our friends!  Oh, and today Noah also became a big brother…Adelyn was born this morning!  So much excitement!

a vintage baby shower

Last Saturday I went to Lexington to attend the baby shower of a friend.  Remember Erin’s jungle themed shower from when she was pregnant with Noah?  Well this time around she’s having a girl so we got together to shower Miss Adelyn with some girly gifts :).  I’m not sure if the girls who organized the shower specifically had a theme, but I’ve dubbed it a “vintage” theme since that’s what it looked like to me.

vintage baby showerThey decorated with tons of old books, which I loved of course :)

vintage baby shower 3beautiful centerpieces!

vintage baby shower 2I failed to get a picture of the cake before it was cut and part of the topper had been removed…oops!  You’ll just have to trust me that it was really cute with a banner across the top that said “Adelyn”.
vintage baby shower 4Yummy, fancy, girl food like scones and punch

Adelyn's baby shower 21hairbow making station – getting Adelyn all fixed up with a bunch of pretties for her hair

vintage baby shower 5presents for Adelyn

The shower was lovely, but the real stars of the show were all the kids.  A year and a half ago we were anticipating the birth of baby Nora…the first baby among our young adult group.  Now there are a passel of kids running (or crawling) around :)  So yeah, we had fun looking at Adelyn’s new stuff but I think we had more fun watching all the kids.

Adelyn's baby shower 3Adelyn's baby shower 5big brother Noah inspecting the chairs

Adelyn's baby showerchatting with Nora

Adelyn's baby shower 4Nora is ready to hit the town with Jonie’s purse…and her Bink Bink of course

Adelyn's baby shower 6The kids LOVED the tissue paper

Adelyn's baby shower 7It kept them occupied for a good long time

Adelyn's baby shower 19forget the toys…I know what all these kids want for Christmas

Adelyn's baby shower 9Erin had a difficult time opening the gifts – the kids were trying to take the bags, paper, and gifts away from her faster than she could unwrap.  Check out Noah diving in for the present and Gabriella trying to pull the bag away!

Adelyn's baby shower 12“here Mom, let me carry Adelyn’s new clothes”

Adelyn's baby shower 13“I’ll even put them back into the bag for you!”

Adelyn's baby shower 18Adelyn's baby shower 20I think Nora is a born shopper – she’s got the bag-and-clothes-carry down pat

Adelyn's baby shower 16Abby surveys the chaos around her

Adelyn's baby shower 15Ethan enjoyed the tissue paper, too…and loved laughing at the other silly kiddos

Adelyn's baby shower 11And occasionally put his mad crawling skills to use…his crawl is hilarious – he hardly uses his legs and mostly just uses his arms like he’s doing the breaststroke!

Adelyn's baby shower 14

Adelyn's baby shower 17The mess at the end…a good time was had by all

The shower was a blast – beautiful decorations, delicious food, sweet gifts, visiting with friends, and silly kiddos.  It was good to see everyone again – it’d been way too long since I’d been back to Lexington.  Now I can’t wait for little miss Adelyn to get here so I can meet her!

A Monsters, Inc. birthday party

You remember our friends the Gaines’?  The ones we’ve adopted as our Bowling Green family?  The ones who are moving to Africa in October (*sniff*)?  Well they recently had a fun Monster’s Inc. party for Abby’s 11th and Josiah’s 2nd birthdays.monsters inc birthday 3Tiffany had decorated super cute with all this purple, green, and teal.  I have to confess that it has been many, many years since I’ve actually watched Monsters, Inc. but I vaguely remember something about doors…or maybe I’m just gathering that tidbit from all the doors Tiffany used for decorations.

monsters inc birthday 10I was excited to contribute the cake…Sully on the bottom layer and Mike on the top (copied from here).  Compared to Nora’s Wizard of Oz cake, this one was a breeze!  It turned out cute (at least, I think so).

monsters inc birthday 4I just hope it didn’t hurt Mike’s eyeball when they stuck those candles in there…

monsters inc birthday 15The birthday girl approved

monsters inc birthday 16And so did the birthday boy

monsters inc birthday 12And Levi just tried to grab everyone else’s food…I think he was jealous

monsters inc birthday 13I love this sweet boy

monsters inc birthday 14Even when he eats my Monsters, Inc. security badge

monsters inc birthday 11Jojo-bear

monsters inc birthday 1Little monster…this is one hilarious kid

monsters inc birthday 7He got this car racer thing and played with it forever.

monsters inc birthday 5Clearly I’m way out of touch with pre-teens and Disney channel – Abby got tickets to R5 and she was super excited (apparently R5 is a band from the Disney show Austin & Ally…yeah, I didn’t know that either – don’t feel bad).

monsters inc birthday 6Levi was clearly unimpressed by the present-opening

monsters inc birthday 9So he took a little nap :)  Presh.

monsters inc birthday 17Abby wanted us to play a little family game of basketball

monsters inc birthday 2But I’m pretty much the most un-athletic person on the planet so I chose to stay on the sidelines.

Observation #1 about that picture: Look at the four of us with our arms crossed…we look so judge-y.

Observation #2:  I promise I am working on my New Years goal of improving my posture…but clearly this moment was not one of those times

Michael and meI adore this picture that Tiffany took.  I didn’t even realize she was taking it but it’s now one of my favorite pictures of us.

In other news…who’s thankful for Facebook and multiple cameras?  There were no less than 5 cameras snapping away at the party and then we could just snatch each others pictures from Facebook.  Yay technology and yay for way better angles and shots than I would have ever had to show you :).

 

 

Wizard of Oz cakes

Nora's first birthday smash cakeThis lil’ cutie turned one last week (hold the phone…how is that even possible?  I’m pretty sure I attended her baby shower just yesterday…but I digress)

Her momma took a major leap of faith and asked me if I would be interested in making her cakes so I could practice using my newly acquired cake decorating skills.  Outside of the cakes I made and decorated in class I’ve only made two other cakes – both which were very simple.  So being asked to make the party cake and the smash cake for Nora’s party made me feel incredibly honored but also quite nervous!

The party had a Wizard of Oz theme (I can’t wait to share more pictures of the rest of the party later…Julie did an AH-MAZING job with all the decor and food!).  Julie found some cake ideas she liked and we bounced around some ideas until we settled on one like this (although this one was absolutely incredible…no way could I recreate that but it was certainly fantastic to look at…go ahead, click over and check it out, you won’t be sorry).

Not only was this my first cake for someone else but it was also my first tiered cake.  As I started looking at cake pans to figure out the size of the cake, I realized that in order to have room on the tiers for the little figurines to stand that I was going to have to have some pretty big layers!  The bottom layer ended up being a 14″ round that took 15 cups of batter and was almost too much for me to remove from the oven myself!  It turned out quite a bit larger than I expected but the overall finished look was totally worth it!

Michael and I were also nervous about transporting a cake of that size and weight but fortunately it arrived unharmed.  We put a bunch of dowels in it for support and that seemed to work really well.

3 tiered Wizard of Oz cakeHere it is – my first tiered cake!  I had a really hard time getting a picture because of the window behind the cake so I’m hoping the photographer got a better one I can use later.

The bottom layer was chocolate, the middle layer was white, and the top layer was white with chocolate filling.  The green icing was buttercream, the yellow brick road was made out of fondant, and the poppies are made with royal icing.  Julie made the Emerald City for the top.  The little ruby slippers were American Girl doll shoes.

I was really pleased with how it turned out!

Wizard of Oz smash cakeI also made Nora’s smash cake – a simple, 1 layer chocolate cake with buttercream icing, buttercream clouds, and a fondant rainbow.

Let’s zoom out and check out that high chair, shall we?
Adorbs.  I love the high chair’s decorations!

I also love this little munchkin and am so glad I got to be a part of her birthday!

2012 goals and bucket list update – May

I know this is a bit late…I had this post written to go up at the end of May but some stuff came up and then I was at camp, so here I am, halfway through June, finally posting my update for May.

(old updates: JanuaryFebruaryMarch, and April)

2012 goals:

  • read through the entire Bible – New Testament: check.  Old Testament: chugging through Deuteronomy right now.
  • get my healthy lifestyle back, specifically to lose the 20-25 pounds I’ve gained since getting married. – All progress that had been made has now been reversed and I’m back to square one.  I have big plans to tackle that once I get back from church camp, though.

2012 bucket list:

  • make an apple pie from scratch
  • take cake decorating classes – I took the Wilton Cake Decorating Course 1 classes in March (see hereherehere, and here) and took Course 2 in April (hereherehere, and here).
  • learn how to make Mom’s homemade Christmas cookies
  • make 72 hour emergency kits for our home and cars
  • make my own laundry detergent
  • bake a loaf of homemade bread – Done!  I made some Amish friendship bread this month.
  • make a quilt – Working on it!  See JanuaryFebruaryMarchApril, and May
  • grow something – Well, our little container garden has been planted.  Hopefully something will actually grow!
  • can pickles
  • take some sort of vacation – Chicago!
  • get at least one scrapbook done for my in-law’s
  • ???start an Etsy shop???

Other notable things:

  • We sold our house!!!  We closed on it right before we left for Chicago.  What a relief!  We’re now starting the house-hunting process…much more exciting the house-selling process.
  • I graduated with my masters in library media education.  And we had a graduation party.
  • We went to Gatlinburg for work (for Michael) and Chicago for fun.
  • I finished working as a graduate assistant at Western and started the job application process for next year.
  • My women’s Bible study wrapped up for the year.
  • We celebrated three wonderful years of marriage.

our wedding

Three years ago today (can it really have already been three years?)…

this girl

and this guy

got hitched!

In honor of our anniversary here’s a look into our big day (note: these are mostly pictures of the stuff, not the people, because I know many people are not comfortable having their pictures posted all over the place…so I’m trying to keep that to a minimum).

I really wanted to get married in front of a lake, but there weren’t really any good places within driving distance and we decided we’d rather have more people get to come and not get married at a lake than to have our ideal location but lots of people have to miss because of the distance.  But we were able to find somewhere with a nice creek behind us.  We got married at The Rawlings in Joelton, TN and it was truly the perfect day.  The weather was beautiful, it wasn’t too hot, and the rained held off until everyone had left.  It was casual and fun (at least for me, I sure hope it was for everyone else!).

here comes the bride

Michael had to win a game of paper, rock, scissors in order for Kelly to marry usI sure am glad he won!

The flowers that the flower girls dropped were dried petals from every rose Michael ever gave me.   Many years ago my mom suggested that I always keep the flowers given to me by a boyfriend and then someday if we got married I could use them in the wedding.  So I saved all those roses and it was so special on our wedding day that the rose petals came from years of bouquets.

these sweet little girls did a magnificent job dropping those special petals

Miller decided she didn’t want to walk back out, so K.C. had to carry her

Speaking of Miller…

I can’t believe how little she is in these pictures!  She sure has changed a lot in three years!

Brendan and Riley, along with some of the other kids at church who are near to my heart, sang as the parents and grandparents were seated

After the wedding we posed in the creek

 Instead of a traditional guestbook, I made scrapbook pages using our wedding colors with lined paper for guests to sign.  Then later when I scrapbooked our wedding, I mixed the signed scrapbook pages in among the pictures of the reception.  Now our “guestbook” and pictures are all in once place.

yummy cake

a display of pictures of us through the years

I decided to use one of my favorite flowers rather than wear a veil

I was over the moon with my flowers.  A friend from high school did them and they were gorgeous!

We covered candy with personalized labels for favors.

our ringsI have no idea what was going on here…true wedding goofiness, I suppose

Happy three year anniversary to my best friend!

book themed party {Works for Me Wednesday}

Way back when I started working on my master’s, I knew I was going to have a graduation party once I was finished.  And I knew it was going to be book themed…to go along with my master’s in library media education.  So after I graduated Friday night, we had my graduation party the next day at my parents.  Since we were in Gatlinburg until just a few hours before graduation, we really only had Friday night after graduation and Saturday morning to prepare; so it wasn’t anything elaborate, but I love how it turned out.

Obviously this theme works well for a graduation party for someone graduation with a library media degree, but it could also work for a birthday party or a baby shower (have the guests bring children’s books as their gifts).

Let’s start with the invitations.  I wanted the invitations to be in the form of an old library card:

(FYI, this is not the exact invite that I sent out…I changed some of the more personal info for the one I wanted to post on here…gotta watch out for those creepers, ya know?)

This is the template that I used for the library card.  It was a Word document so I just edited it so that it had my party info on it and used the fonts I liked.  Then I printed the cards onto white card stock and cut them out (four to a piece of card stock).

Here’s one that you could use if you have Photoshop (I don’t, so I couldn’t use it, but I thought it was cute)

Also, another oneanother one, and another one

I found the card pocket template here

I traced the template onto those yellow file folders, cut them out, folded them, and stamped them with a stamp that we have that says “From the *OUR NAME* Family Library”

Then I just put them in small, card-sized envelopes and mailed them off.

Once that was done, it was on to the party details.  I really wanted the food to go along with books but it also needed to be really simple since we didn’t have much time to spend cooking.  I searched online and asked for ideas from my Facebook friends (I got tons of super creative ones!).  This is what I came up with:

1. Green Eggs and Ham………………………..deviled eggs and ham sandwiches (the filling for the deviled eggs was supposed to be tinted green but I completely forgot to do that!)

2. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs……………………..meatballs

3. The Three Little Pigs…………………………………pigs in blankets

4. The Very Hungry Caterpillar……………………fruit salad

5. Peter Rabbit………………………….veggies and dip (from Mr. MacGregor’s garden)

6a. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory………………………chocolate cupcakes

6b. James and the Gian Peach…………………….peach cobbler

The decorations were also very simple – mostly we just displayed some of my favorite books

1. basket of favorite books and books on the table (some Baby Sitter’s Club, Baby Sitter’s Little Sister, and The Silver Slippers)

2. favorite young adult books (Harry Potter, Twilight, and Hunger Games)

3. more favorites on the end table: Deputy Dan Gets His Man, Amelia Bedelia, and Junie B. Jones

4. centerpiece on the table: stack of Little House on the Prairie books, jar full of chunky/baby books, Beach Day, and my all time favorite book – Brown Bear, Brown Bear

we also invited the guests to write some of their favorite books on the chalkboard wall in the kitchen

So there you have it: very simple, quick, and easy, but also very fun.  I was pleased with how it turned out!

Linking up to Works for Me Wednesday

P.S. We’re headed to Chicago this weekend (yay!).  Neither of us have been before…so feel free to leave suggestions of where to eat/what to do/where to go/things to visit (or places/things to avoid)

Erin’s baby shower

This weekend we went back to Lexington for Erin’s baby shower.  Chris and Erin are expecting a baby boy, Noah Ray, in July.  Jonie and Julie threw a beautiful jungle-themed shower that went along with Noah’s nursery.

food table

monkeys hanging in the trees

Jonie made these animal picture frames to use as centerpieces for the tables then gave them to Erin to use in the nursery.  I loved them! Such a cute idea!

I made the cupcakes for the shower – strawberry with cream cheese icing and white with chocolate buttercream icing.  I wish I could, but I can’t take the credit for the super cute cupcake toppers; Julie ordered the fondant toppers (from Etsy, I think) and we placed them on the frosted cupcakes.

how adorable are those jungle animals?!?!

opening gifts

that mesh netting thing has been so handy – Erin used it first for Julie’s shower, and it has been used for several other showers since then; it’s easy to decorate to match the colors/theme of the shower!

little tiny baby sunglasses that look just like Chris’ (the daddy-to-be) glasses!

And, well, because what would a trip to Lexington be without picture of my favorite girl…here’s little miss Nora all ready for the Kentucky Derby in her Derby hat:

seriously, could she be any cuter????

beautiful eyes

Now it’s time to sit back and wait for Noah to make his appearance – so excited to meet him!