A Blessing Way: Encouragement, Pregnancy & Henna

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

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Each lady was encouraged to create their own variation of bath salts, using muslin bags, Himalayan and sea salts, and a variety of soothing and fragrant herbs and flowers.
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Words of encouragement and blessings, such as “expectation” and “contentment,” were written on a chalkboard, and each guest was given the chance to share the meaning behind their chosen word.

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Each of the ladies getting beautiful henna tattoos. _MG_5393

The honored mothers were graced with belly henna._MG_5312

 

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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 as well as the joy 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.

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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.

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Food ordered from The Parlor made for easy prep and clean up, not to mention how delicious it all was!
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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

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.:)

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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.
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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.

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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!

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

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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.

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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


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.
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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.

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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

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A bite to eat while dinner was being grilled…
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And refreshments served in mason jars with paper straws.
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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!

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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.

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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:)

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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

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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.

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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


Tiffany’s & Bubbles Birthday Celebration

The second party to our weekend celebration featured the elegant Tiffany Blue theme and the fun Rising Bubbles theme.

Jessica, the owner of WeddingTreatsandMore, contributed this lovely cake pop creation! Blue chocolate-dipped doughnut holes, topped with roses and garnished with ribbons and jewels. She even sought out a mini-chandelier to complete the true “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” atmosphere.

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wedding-treats-and-more has just launched a new website with everything wedding related, check it out!

 

Cozette was ecstatic to have two sweet blue treats… Yum!
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The ombre blue backdrop and clear “Rising Bubbles” balloons are a feature of the PinkPoodlesofParis. A small tank* rented from a local shop filled about 100 balloons. I’m such a fan of balloons at a party–they’re a classic piece that makes a big impression. IMG_6744 IMG_6743 IMG_6724 IMG_6719 IMG_6714IMG_6798IMG_6795

We enjoyed the rare pleasure of an overcast sky and ushered in the first day of fall as we celebrated the joy of good friends and a great party.

If you haven’t already, be sure to take a peek at our “Bubbles and Tiffany’s” party post!

 

*The tank was about 50 cubic feet (that’s how they measure the helium). After calling around, I found the best price from a helium distributor as opposed to a party rental shop. They turned out to be the biggest distributor on this side of town, supplying helium for grocery stores, dollar stores, etc. I’m definitely going there again.


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