Lost Boys of Neverland, Peter Pan, Birthday

“Lost doesn’t mean alone.” A Lost Boys from Neverland theme, with other hints of themes from Peter Pan. We celebrated my nephew Remington’s first birthday with a backyard dinner and treasure hunt.

img_141814462992_10105285582716762_3407006806311512573_nFamilies ventured around the backyard, following clues to a treasure chest full of goodies for the kids to play with.
treasurehuntimg_1549Peter Pan, pirates, fairies and deer all showed up to the party.
img_1591 img_1682Along with Lost boys of course!img_1654Lost boy on the run!img_1560“To live would be an awfully big adventure”

Felt feather garlands dressed up an A-frame tent as well as…img_1416img_1538…the “cake-smashing” highchair.img_1419Lost boy’s rulez! I was surprised to find it so difficult to write inconsistently…img_1432… so what’s the best way to get a child’s handwriting? Have a child write it! A wooden directions sign was specially created by Remington’s Grandpa and 5yr old cousin for the occasion.img_1424 img_1429
This stellar cake was specially made for the birthday boy, with lost boy silhouettes surrounding a leafy lantern design. The kids all requested to eat the leaves which I found to be quite fitting for the occasion.😉
img_1661With Tootles, Slightly,img_1663Chubby, the Twins,
img_1666and Nibs.
14484670_10105285582791612_2828212169272927463_nHappy Birthday Remington!

Gender Reveal Balloon Pop!

Every time I heard of a friend thinking about doing a gender reveal I would suggest popping a giant black balloon… I probably suggested it more than once, since I was absolutely tickled at the idea of a shower of confetti raining down as the looks of surprise and joy spread across everyone’s face… You might say I was tickled pink😉_mg_1701

So when the surprise of welcoming a third baby into our home came to us this summer I jumped at the idea of our own gender reveal balloon and photo shoot! It felt like such a long way off till we could find out the gender and start the planning. The hardest part was keeping the conviction of our four year old, that our baby would be a girl, under control:  “we don’t know yet, but we’ll be happy with whichever we’re blessed with” riiiight!?! _mg_1694

Finally the day came. We ordered the balloons and confetti, had them filled before naps, and then the long wait began till papa came home. Thankfully our photographer is not only a close friend but also a close neighbor so we all agreed to meet outside after dinner. The kids loved to play with the giant balloons as we prepared for the great reveal!


Now I must say, I had some weird pregnancy dreams leading up to this day. Dreaming that the confetti would fall flat and I would be desperately attempting to throw it into the air; trying with all my might and make it sprinkle down over us as I’d always wanted. I am so pleased to say that nothing of the sort happened and in fact the confetti worked more perfectly than I had even imagined🙂


Are you ready? It’s a…_mg_1741


GIRL!!! _mg_1743 _mg_1745Not only did it shower down, it flew up into the air!_mg_1747Dresden was a bit taken back by the fact we popped a balloon, but Cozette and I had a grand ol’ time tossing the confetti and sharing in our excitement of a baby sister_mg_1759 _mg_1774

Now, when I began looking for the confetti I had one qualification:  it needed to be biodegradable. Since we would be celebrating in our community’s common area I wanted to be sure that after a day or so it wouldn’t be noticeable. I found what I was looking for at DyanisMemoryBox and am pleased to say it almost completely disappeared in just a few days! _mg_1803 _mg_1834

Happy, happy Cozette will be welcoming her baby sister in February!

Lumber Jack First Birthday

My dear cousin thought of the most awesome party theme for her little lumberjack’s first birthday. With everything from plaid tablecloths, chili lunch to toys, and games for the kids, to a burnt log birthday cake, this party was truly phenomenal.

It was such a pleasure to be a part of the planning and coordinating of her vision for her son’s first birthday. Happy first, nephew Cooper!

View More: http://nicddkphoto.pass.us/coopers-1st

Is this not the most perfect picture? Silly little wild thing :) The entire event was beautifully captured by Nic Dudek Photo. Her images are absolutely amazing and having her at the party was so much fun; she captured every little moment with ease. The children and adults alike thoroughly enjoyed her company.

On to the festivities!

Guests were greeted at the door with a cute chalkboard sign and a basket of lumberjack axes,

lumberjack-partyfollowed by a trail mix bar (with gift boxes to take some home),View More: http://nicddkphoto.pass.us/coopers-1stand a pop-up log cabin with coloring pages and wooden pencils for the kids!

The guests were then encouraged to find a seat and help themselves to a delicious chili bar!
View More: http://nicddkphoto.pass.us/coopers-1st View More: http://nicddkphoto.pass.us/coopers-1stView More: http://nicddkphoto.pass.us/coopers-1st-2lumberjack-3View More: http://nicddkphoto.pass.us/coopers-1stJust don’t feed the bears! Lol.


The handsome little mountain man took pictures with everyone and played the entire time, while all eagerly awaited…lumberjack-4

…Cake time! View More: http://nicddkphoto.pass.us/coopers-1st

Look at these phenomenal cakes!

A banana “pancake” cake for Cooper to dig into after a quick chorus of “Happy Birthday.”View More: http://nicddkphoto.pass.us/coopers-1st lumberjack-5And a fabulous burnt log cake for the rest of us to enjoy!
View More: http://nicddkphoto.pass.us/coopers-1st

Check out that plaid! View More: http://nicddkphoto.pass.us/coopers-1st-2

We tasted both cakes and they were nothing short of delicious.
View More: http://nicddkphoto.pass.us/coopers-1st-2

At the party’s end, after Cooper opened all his gifts and was wished the happiest of birthdays, we all agreed that the party was a big success.View More: http://nicddkphoto.pass.us/coopers-1st

Happy birthday sweet boy!View More: http://nicddkphoto.pass.us/coopers-1st

Tiny Tea Party

In an attempt to keep my daughter’s birthday low-key this year, Cozette got to invite three friends to a tiny tea party brunch. I created a soft backdrop with light food and let them focus on being the girly, silly little four-year-olds that they are.😉

img_9971Brother got to attend but had to hang back during tea time and try to play calm and gentle games with the girls. He’ll learn…🙂img_9984My favorite double-stuffed balloons from luftballoons are always a hit with the kids, making a great addition to any children’s party or any gathering really!  The ribbons weighted them down a bit, but the height you see them at is the exact hight they were floating too and I used glue dots to keep them all together in a nice tiered shape.


My extra long “window scarf” or valance curtains have come in handy with so many parties! A couple of thumb tacks, some draping, and voila! I created the vines from “bushes” bought at Hobby Lobby, I attached dozens of branches together by cutting with wire cutters and securing with floral wire to make one very long vine.

The adorable ChiqueDesign cake topper we used at Cozette’s Bubbles and Tiffany 3rd birthday party was the perfect addition to this celebration too. Although it’s paper I can easily keep it, stored flat, for years. I love cake toppers that can be used multiple times and this one is just perfect. img_0077

Happy Birthday my dear!


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.




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.




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.


Each of the ladies getting beautiful henna tattoos. _MG_5393

The honored mothers were graced with belly henna._MG_5312




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 Gathering for a 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



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!


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.🙂

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