A Blessing Way : Encouragement, Pregnancy & Henna

A Blessing Way : derived from a Native America tradition, those closest to our dear friends gathered together to share words of encouragement and blessings before the births of their babies. An evening of relaxation, laughter, good food and a beautiful henna to grace the womb through the final stages of pregnancy. _MG_5262
_MG_5265

_MG_5273

_MG_5261

Each lady was encouraged to create their own variation of bath salts, using muslin bags, himalayan and sea salt, and a variety of soothing and fragrant herbs and flowers.
_MG_5278

 

_MG_5281

_MG_5284

Words of encouragement and blessings were written on a chalkboard, and each guest was given the chance to share the meaning behind their chosen word.

_MG_5300

Henna tattoos for each of the ladies._MG_5393

Belly Henna for the honored mothers._MG_5312

 

_MG_5328

_MG_5308
_MG_5413

The evening was a beautiful celebration of motherhood and sisterhood, and the expectant mothers were left feeling encouraged and pampered and prepared for the much anticipated births and joys of welcoming their babies that lay ahead.


Evening Birthday Dinner

A simple, sophisticated evening of celebration, laughter and great food. I have to say this is one of my favorite events to date. Mindy knew exactly what she wanted and solicited my help to bring her dream into reality. Now I’ll let the photos speak for themselves… dreamy.

Josh's 30th-1

Josh's 30th-2
Josh's 30th-3

 

IMG_3190

Guests signed up for toasts; having a physical sign up sheet helped the evening flow more smoothly. A basket full of blankets kept guests warm as the night drew on and became a little chilly.

Josh's 30th-6

Josh's 30th-5

Josh's 30th-13

Josh's 30th-15

Josh's 30th-14

Food ordered from The Parlor made for easy prep and clean up, not to mention how delicious it all was!
Josh's 30th-10

 

IMG_3228

Josh's 30th-31

Josh's 30th-32

My favorite place to be: behind the scenes making sure everything runs beautifully. Josh's 30th-11

I had phenomenal help by the talented Taylor, as she free-hand wrote much of the chalkboard calligraphy throughout the party. And not only that but she and her fiancee helped manage the entire event; they definitely made the evening run perfectly! Check out her Instagram @impressionprints

IMG_3229IMG_3213

 

Photo Credit Sarah Withers: dwellrichlyphotography.com


Book and Story-Themed Bridal Shower

Beauty doesn’t have to be complicated. And this book and story-themed bridal shower was simple, yet absolutely exquisite–by far the most lovely, relaxing, and enjoyable shower I’ve ever been to.

Hello, my name is Ariana. I’m beyond blessed to be the matron of honor for our bride-to-be, Abby.
As a long time friend of Tearah’s and a major in creative writing, she asked me to share my experience of this shower with you all. Enjoy!

IMG_3047

Five tables with five genres of literature sat in a lush side courtyard filled with greenery and flowers. The guests inside, after getting light appetizers and coffee, were drawn into the fairytale-esque courtyard to peruse the beautifully detailed tables.

IMG_8026 (2)

An icebreaker game of sticking the names of different book characters on people’s backs led to much laughter and animated discussion on which Shakespeare play started with O, or which red-haired twin in Harry Potter was George Weasley’s brother.

We wrote advice for the bride-to-be on cards that said, “The key to a happy marriage is…” Tearah’s sister Haven found delightful little keys that we attached to the advice cards. Now Abby can hang this “advice branch” in her home where she’ll have an aesthetically-pleasing place to find marriage advice!

IMG_8057 (2) IMG_6280.JPG

Then we all watched a sweet video of the groom-to-be, Josh, answering silly and serious questions about Abby. The information in the video came in handy when we meandered back out to the courtyard for our next game: writing short stories about Josh and Abby. Depending on which table a guest sat at, they’d write a fairytale, a mystery story (Tearah’s team wrote a play!), a romantic story, a fantasy story, or a poem.

Then Abby judged which stories she liked best, and the winners got scented candles and chocolate. But we all felt like we won something, because every story we listened to was unique and entertaining.

IMG_8019 (2)

I sat at the fantasy table, partly because I love fantasy and am writing a fantasy novel, and partly because the decorations were so accurate to the genre. Beautifully-bound Harry Potter books adorned the table, surrounded by greenery and dragon eggs and adorable little animals.

IMG_8079 (2)IMG_3046 IMG_3050 IMG_3053

But the mystery table won the prize for the most epic. My brother’s copy of a Kurt Vonnegut book he didn’t like was slathered with melted candle wax, then stabbed into with his ornate dagger. The treasure chest, magnifying glass, and Sherlock Holmes books on a burgundy tablecloth completed the scene.IMG_3039IMG_3038 IMG_3040 IMG_3041

The fairytale table had all the things a little princess needs with plenty of flower crowns for the fairytale fans, a white unicorn, a swan, and of course the Grimm Brothers’ talented works.IMG_3032 IMG_3036 IMG_3037

The bride-to-be’s favorite table, poetry, was graced with some of the most classic poems ever written, with faded books and roses to add to the aura.IMG_3043IMG_8039 (2)IMG_8080 (2)IMG_3045IMG_3042

And the romance table was just…romantic. Something about the rose petals and candles made me sigh when I saw it.IMG_8078 (2)IMG_3057IMG_3055IMG_8089 (2) IMG_3056

Many thanks to Tearah, Haven and Kellyn for attending to every last detail! It is so wonderful to have friends whose talents lie in the areas of decoration and organization to make a party perfect.:)

IMG_8070 (2)IMG_8069 (2)Abby's shower laughing

 


Thanksgiving Dinner Party

Crisp Autumn air, warm and richly colored fall decor, friends, family and Thanksgiving. What’s not to love about November?
This year I hosted an intimate gathering of close friends to share our thanksgivings over a warm meal and sparkling drinks.Fall Dinner Party-3

Natural branches and sparkling colors to greet guests at the door. Hosting an event always inspires me to break out the festive pieces I’ve created over the years.
Fall Dinner Party-1

And yes, tis’ mid-November and the afternoons are still warm enough to leave the front door open for a while…

Trust me, I would very much love to be lighting a fire and dawning layers of scarves, but alas – this is Phoenix.

Fall Dinner Party-2

Grapevine wreaths make for a simple seasonal decor, and we just added a touch of felt acorns and bronze colored “berries.” I think I’ll just add some boughs of holly in a day or two, and my Christmas decor will be well underway!

Fall Dinner Party-5

As always, vines make for great additions to any season.

Fall Dinner Party-7

Cocktail garnish and Pinterest recipes to follow. Fall Dinner Party-10

Autumn-themed appetizers and dinner menu made for a particularly delightful dinner.Fall Dinner Party-8

Fresh-baked homemade bread.Fall Dinner Party-12

And a delicious apple pumpkin bunt cake for dessert.Fall Dinner Party-20

The simple yet elegant table spread featured our favorite linen tablecloth and my grandma’s vintage silverware.

Fall Dinner Party-15

Fall Dinner Party-19

Fall Dinner Party-18

A fresh Persimmon atop each plate added the rich orange glow that we are so fond of this time of year.Fall Dinner Party-16

The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with Joy. Psalm 126:3


A Children’s Culinary Institute Un-Birthday

Have you heard of CCI?
It’s an amazing program where kids can learn about cooking, nutrition, math, & science all through a weekly hands on experience in the kitchen. My kids have participated in the preschool classes and loooove it. Awesome parent perks? They now beg to help me fix dinner, and they can do much more to help than I ever thought they could. They grate, chop, measure, dump, & stir. I love that they’ve become more adventurous in tasting food when they’ve helped prepare it. I love the healthy relationship they are developing with food. I love how much fun they have cooking!
CCI is the best:)
Oh!
And they also do parties.
And since that’s our thiiiing at here at To Entertain, you’re about to see one fabulously fun food themed party. Hold on to your chef hats and get ready for a children’s birthday party–Children’s Culinary Institute style.
12235551_939268516120246_167237703_oBrilliant food is often the focus of a good party, but at this event, the miniature guests not only enjoyed it by tasting, but also helped prep, cook, and decorate it. What a blast! Each little chef had their own cooking tools, apron, & tiny toque. Each contributed to each aspect of the meal…entree, side & beverage. Each left with huge smiles on their faces and happy bellies.
12211161_939268529453578_410865342_o
The theme was “Mad Hatter Tea Party”.
First up on the menu? “Painting the Roses Red Rolls”.
12214418_939269859453445_1205552836_o

These were made by slicing strips of dough, then rolling them right up & baking them. Eager eyes (& bellies!) watched as the rolls “blossomed” in the oven. Then the kids got to paint them with red food paint. What fun!
12236418_939269939453437_1754058615_o
12235720_939269869453444_378714576_o
Later those rolls were sliced and transformed into cucumber sandwiches.
12235304_939269529453478_609592066_o
12228054_939269502786814_1514777240_o
12226611_939267396120358_1980199187_n
The cucumbers were sliced, spread applied, and assembled, all by the kiddos. They beautifully plated their little morsels accompanied by “Cheshire Smiles”, & “Smash Berry Juice” in tiny tea cups. The little guests practiced their manners as they poured each other juice from “Mad Hatter” tea pots.

12235461_939269626120135_2088897753_o
The little ones each got a closed baggy full of berries that they smushed and mushed for punch perfection. Each one got a turn mixing their berries into the punch.
12214412_939269629453468_1816798169_o
12226837_939265729453858_1967226557_n
12218249_939268536120244_530857963_o12214297_939268496120248_1570435856_o
12235551_939268516120246_167237703_o
Simple super cute decorations helped create the Wonderland atmosphere with touches from the famous story.
12218351_939267392787025_1213436852_o
12218949_939270006120097_1984922040_o
12236759_939270056120092_1206399667_o
12214329_939269999453431_1230740365_o

A playing card banner, pictures of characters, “A Very Merry Un-Birthday” sign, bright fun colors, a White Rabbit’s clock, personalized chef hats & playing card place settings…the kids had SO much fun! In fact, at a typical birthday party, feeding miniature guests usually “eats up” a small portion of the party time, but these kid were entertained every minute as they learned, cooked, chopped, & ate at their deliciously Mad Tea Party!
12214056_939268532786911_970520237_o

More of those parent perks?
The CCI instructor that coordinated the party, set it up, ran the party in a completely organized and kid-friendly fashion, aaaaaand cleaned the whole thing up. Hallelujah!! That’s my kind of party:) The birthday participants left the party with goody bags full of simple little kitchen tools (provided by the birthday Momma), happy tummies, & instilled with new skills and confidence. What a great way to celebrate!

If you are interested in hosting a Children’s Culinary Institute Birthday Party of your own, click here to find an instructor who does birthday parties, or to find a location near you for class enrollment! If you can’t find a location near you…start one! CCI is accepting instructors who are passionate about teaching little ones to cook! If you’re interested in turning your kitchen into a fun-loving learning environment, visit Childrensculinaryinstitute.com

For more information on birthday parties & play dates, click here!  


Sunshine and Sprinkles BaBy-Q

We bid the summer adieu with a Sunshine and Sprinkles BaBy-Q!
Yes, it’s still hot and summery here in Phoenix, even in the middle of October–and trust me, we’d all appreciate some “fall” weather! But for this occasion, the bright yellow sun followed by a fiery red sunset was the perfect backdrop.

And for the perfect invitation? We turned to VintageLeeCrafted where Amanda personalized her beautiful yellow-and-grey invitation to meet our request. I particularly love her wine labels – what a great idea for making announcements or a personal request. With the winter holidays fast approaching, check out my favorite label.
IMG_7421

 

Guests were greeted at the door with this sweet and simple request. I love the idea of using a classic children’s book for the guest book! It’ll be read throughout the years and always remind him of everyone’s love.

IMG_7472

Prizes for the diaper raffle were sent to us from Sendabox.

What a brilliant idea this is–sending a “box of sunshine” as a gift, a get-well present, to welcome a baby, or just because. For this occasion I split the contents of the original box into two prize boxes for the winners.  Jen is currently working on opening her own business website, I will post the link when it is launched, for now you can send your requests directly to her at: 2jenhansen@gmail.com

IMG_7475IMG_7474IMG_7567IMG_8571IMG_8572IMG_8574

 

A bite to eat while dinner was being grilled…
IMG_7467

And refreshments served in mason jars with paper straws.
IMG_7468
IMG_7506

The littl’ns played in the grass… then moved on to our playful photo booth!IMG_7489P1050366IMG_7557

Dinner was preluded with a chalkboard menu and BBQ sauce party favors!

IMG_7461

These adorable little bottles and custom labels were created by SouthernStickers. I’ve had my eye on these for some time now, and was thrilled to be able to feature them before the summer’s end. IMG_7440 IMG_7458

Our Sunshine and Sprinkles theme came to its height at the buffet table, with tissue paper pompoms as the sun, sky and clouds. I added some raindrops from my previous sprinkle shower.

IMG_7436IMG_7432

Welcome Baby Jude! IMG_7613You are much loved. IMG_8519


Halloween: Flying Bats

October, and time to break out the bats again! Though the weather forecast calls for upper 90’s all next week, these past few days have been our first true taste of fall, with the slight chill in the air and beautiful Phoenix rain.

I spread out the bats a bit more this time around, since I have plans to add more black bats to the “cloud” this year, but I kind of like the simplicity of the colony I have now, so we’ll see:)

IMG_7345

I’m still totally in love with this chalkboard pumpkin which was contributed for last year’s holiday card. Check out the past post here: Chalkboard pumpkinIMG_7347 IMG_7350

Aren’t they pretty?!?! Below is the original post and full tutorial, including a printable link!IMG_7351 IMG_7352 IMG_7354 IMG_7355 IMG_7358

(Fall 2015)

It’s official. I’ve fallen in love with shimmery golden bats this year.

With my love for fun decor and affinity for elegance, I simply couldn’t help myself!

I was inspired by the many “bat walls” I’d seen on Pinterest this Halloween season, but I wanted something slightly more chic: a smatter of beauty added to the cuteness of bats – yes, I think they’re simply adorable.

So I hunted down some bat-making tutorials. I copied,  pasted, flipped, rotated, printed, cut, traced, and repeated until I’d created my very own colony of gold and black bats.

I started by printing my edited bat page onto regular paper, and then copied it onto a thick piece of cardboard. This allowed me to save it for future bat creations. I then traced as many bats as I could onto 4 sheets of card stock and cut them out.

IMG_3801 IMG_3806 IMG_3805 IMG_3804 IMG_3802

To achieve 4 sizes of bats (I’m sure you could as many sizes as you want) I just cut the smallest bat both inside the sharpie lines and outside.

Here is my PDF of the pattern: bat’s printable

Frightful Fact: a group of bats is called a Colony.

And here is the original link from Martha Stewart to print a half bat: Half Bat Print out


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 52 other followers