Summer Bridal Shower Inspiration #bridetobe

This coming weekend, I am throwing a beautiful backyard garden party bridal shower for my friend Rebecca, who is getting married this fall. From favors to desserts, signature drinks to infused water...everything is going to be girly, pretty, light and airy.


I've been planning this shower since February, moreso because I wanted to be prepared for it knowing that baby boy would be here about a month prior to the shower, but also because party planning is super fun for me.

Baby Shmizz has been busy designing the printed elements, and I'll reveal all of that next week, but for now...my favorite part of the party...


The flower arrangements will be in various jars, glasses and jugs. Fairly rustic and using flowers that you would typically find in your garden. Nothing fancy, but all lined up in rows down the tables and seating areas to make a statement.

Need some inspiration for your own Summer Garden Party Bridal shower? Check out my Pinterest board!
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BlogHer12 Recap: Parties

I have to admit, I was a little intimidated by the whole party aspect to BlogHer. From talking to past attendees, it can be crowded, people push, hot...people get cranky...and so on and so forth.

So aside from looking pretty awesomesauce, what did I think of the parties and events?

Well...I loved the Expo Hall and am really excited about the connections that I made with some incredible companies. While it was really crowded on the first floor on Thursday night, I really really really enjoyed the second floor and made my best connections up there.
Thursday: Expo Hall! From Dole Fruit to cleaning with Lysol, we looked stylin' {Kristine Cook Designs custom dress, Amber Bryce Luxe Bohemian druzy bracelet}

The People's Party was a great mixer and an opportunity to meet some ladies that I've been reading for years. Queerosphere was delightful and I had a BLAST at it! The music was divine and it felt like you were transported to another world. Loved it!
Thursday: People's Party and Queerosphere {Tina Dean Designs fused clutch and Amber Bryce Luxe Bohemian druzy bracelet}

Hasbro, while not an official BlogHer party, was an insane amount of fun and I had a blast at the NERF booth, and relived my childhood with the butterscotch haystacks. Meeting Optimus Prime may just be the highlight of my weekend! I sent the photo to my husband, and he even got excited. PIME, as he is affectionately called by my toddler, is kind of a big deal around here
Friday: Hasbro, naturally with Optimus Prime! {Kristine Cook Designs jacket, Tina Dean Designs clutch, Amber Bryce Luxe Bohemian druzy necklace}

Sparklecorn was hilarious, and busy, and hot and after an afternoon of walking Broadway and Times Square, my feet needed a break and it was nice to unwind at the hotel bar, where my tutu literally filled up the entire chair.
Friday: Sparklecorn in the prettiest tutu ever by Atutudes Handmade Tutu {Tina Dean Designs clutch, Amber Bruce Luxe Bohemian earrings and necklace}

The 6pm fashion show, followed later on my CheeseburgHer, was amazing. I'd never been to an event like that, but I felt SO at home in the environment that they created {well done, 6pm!!}. It was chic and modern, and so incredibly inspiring to me.
Saturday: 6pm fashion show {Kristine Cook Designs peplum dress, Amber Bryce Luxe Bohemian statement earrings, Ostlund Custom Works hammered cuff, Tina Dean Designs VHS wristlet}

All in all, amazing experiences and awesome parties. Sometimes a little overwhelming, and a wee bit loud music wise, but it was just nice to dress up, put on some heels and grab a glass of champagne with your girlfriends to make some real relationships blossom.

Food&Wine Friday: Wine Bottle Centrepiece

I was looking around where else...Pinterest...for some wine bottle inspiration and stumbled across this amazing centrepiece.



It would be absolutely gorgeous at an outdoor wedding reception, romantic anniversary dinner, or even as the perfect setting for a proposal!

I love the way candlelight flickers off the simple, beautiful shape of a wine bottle. Add in the dripping wax down the side and it just becomes magical!

In this example, the bottles are completely clear, the candles white. I think this is a beautiful decision, because it allows you to play with colour for the table cloth and allow that colour to dominate the table. They've used a gold, but I think a raspberry, lime, turquoise or eggplant would look absolutely stunning with the black plates and the clear glasses. The silverware gives it a nice flicker of metallic when the candlelight dances across it.

What does it inspire for me? Well...a romantic anniversary dinner on the patio this September with my husband perhaps, or maybe the centrepieces for a fantastic birthday party this fall {it's a biggie!!}

Party Tips Tuesday: Sunshine Sprinkle Baby Shower

When your best friend is pregnant and due with #2, what do you do?

You plan a sprinkle, clearly!

I'm so excited to be hosting a shower for my bff next month, and since she loves yellow, I thought that it would be appropriate to do a You Are My Sunshine theme!

The invitations? Oh so chic, with the perfect pops of golden yellow!



Stay tuned!! Over the month I'll reveal activities {we aren't big on games around here for baby showers!}, menu's and other printables!

Party Tips Tuesday: Favours

You've heard me blog about it before on Growing Up Geeky, here and talk about it Facebook.

Favours are sooooo important at a party {in my opinion}. It's your chance to say a great big thank you to your guests for taking time out of their busy schedule to come and celebrate with your kiddo.

I've been working on the favours for Owen's party since about January...but they are so awesome, I just love it!

They'll go into burlap rounds, tied with twine and a tag, with...

S'mores cookies
Bandaids
Whistles
and maybe a pencil if I can find some suitable for the party theme

And let's not forget the parents!!

The parents will be getting...

Drunken S'mores cookies {yes yes there will be alcohol added to the mix!}
Mini Bailey's bottles
and something else that I haven't figured out yet...maybe drink coozies?

I'm really happy with the tags that I've designed...perfectly coordinated in the plaids


Stay tuned next week...the party is this Saturday, so I'll be able to share the awesome photos and maybe inspire a campfire party of your own!

Party Tips Tuesday: Menu Planning

Part of party planning that I really really love is planning out the menu {anyone remember that elaborate spread from Easter?}

For Owen's party, I started brainstorming food early on. S'mores obviously were on top of the list, but I got thinking about traditional campfire foods...just like when I was a Girl Guide!

Chili
Corn bread
Banana boats
Veggies
BBQ Potatoes

Then a few new favourites...

Pizza cones
Hobo bread
Melon kabobs
Choco-apple slices (like a chocolate-caramel apple, but just slices! Thank you, Pinterest!)
Trail mix
Jiffy pop


And what's a party without coordinated buffet tent cards??


I'm particularly excited about how I'm incorporating S'mores into the menu. There will be S'mores Pops {marshmallows dipped in chocolate and rolled in crushed graham crackers} and S'mores Krispy Treats {a hint from my pal Shizz from Baby Shmizz}.

Stay tuned next week for the Favours!

Tuesday Tips: 2nd Birthday Planning

My son's 2nd birthday is in a few {short} weeks, so Tuesday's until then, and after then, will be all about party planning tips with an nontraditional theme.

I had this idea last July {only a few weeks after his 1st birthday party...} to do a campout theme. You know...

Bugs

Snails

Bedsheet tents from front the fences and trees

S'mores

A campfire circle

Plaids...

 Off to my MyMemories software I went to design his invitations. While I am one for being a great theme...I'm not one for having tacky graphics and icons all over the place. Last year, we had a Mickey mouse party but Mickey's mug was only on the plates. Everything was coordinated by the dominant colours: red, black, white and yellow.

This year will be coordinated by plaids

I'm getting really excited! Next week, the menu!!

BlogHer Sponsor Love: Atutudes Handmade Tutu's


What’s that? A new sponsor for my journey to BlogHer’12? You betcha!! Introducing the prettiest and most fashionable couture tutu’s around…made by none other than Kristal Lee of Atutudes Handmade Tutu’s



I started looking at the party schedule for BlogHer’12 and I must admit, I was a little overwhelmed looking at the timing of everything, all of the options, and all of the different themes. Burgers in bed {holla!}, multicultural-esque festivals…and then came the word I’d been dreaming about…
Sparklecorn


Have you heard about it? The glitter and the glowsticks? Well…I have and I must admit, I have no idea what to wear. It’s one thing to wrap your head around a fabulous peplum cocktail dress for a night out on the town in NYC, but a totally different thing to wrap your head around what you’ll need for a night of dancing…with glitter.

Kristal to the rescue!! I’ve been encouraging her for a long while now to create some couture adult tutu’s…tea length…big and full…lovely and dreamy. Well…now she’s creating me one, and I couldn’t be more thrilled!

Stay tuned as I reveal design specs and talk about the process to creating the perfect Sparklecorn look!

Talk-To-Me Tuesday: Minnie Mouse Party

Another party that I've had the pleasure working on this year is a Minnie Mouse themed party.


Super cute banner for Miss N. I especially love the orange polka dot ribbon!



Handcut Minnie garlands!


Now, obviously it's super fun for me to make all of the decorations....but what is even more fun is to talk to the Mama's during their party planning process and talk about all of the other elements going on with the party.

Set up
Activities
Food
Loot Bags

It all plays a part in making your party perfect.

In this case, I talked to Miss N's sweet Mama about the food. what goes with Minnie Mouse?

BOWS!

BOW-tie pasta
Polka Dot salad (everything cut in circles)
Pink Lemonade

Cute, right? I absolutely cannot wait to see how the party comes together!

Talk To Me Tuesday: Cupcakes and Sprinkles

I am so excited!

About a month ago, I finished up two banners and tonnes of hanging garlands for parties being held for the cute girlies of


C ha her party on March 3rd and I'm super excited to share with you the cute things I created for her Bakeshop themed party!


Rainbow banner with bright purple ribbon


Hand cut cupcakes on hanging garlands


This paper was absolutely PERFECT for C's party!

I cannot wait to share the links with you to Ms. C's party! Such an inspired theme, but something so incredibly delicious, yet simple.

A cupcake
A few sprinkles
One very lucky little girl!

Talk-To-Me Tuesday: Tea Party Tips

Some of the things that I'm inspired by most are the absolute most vintage and most simple...take a tea party for example...



Hang teacups from tree branches with pretty ribbon. They don't have to match, and I think it's the fact that they don't match that adds to the charm.



Simple sugar cookies made to look like teabags...dipped in chocolate. What an easy party favour! You could wrap them in parchment, and close them up with a very simple sticker or tag, with the string hanging outside. Perfectly simple and elegant



And what's a tea party without cake? If you can add ruffles in there somehow, have different plates (maybe even use the saucers from the teacups you just hung from the trees), and maybe a few sugar bowls with different jams, clotted creams and honey...you're so far ahead of the game it's not even funny!

For a tea party, my rule of 3 doesn't apply. Fill up that table...preferably a long table...with a mix mash of vintage cups, saucers, teapots, flowers in mason jars, cake stands even. Just keep it all in the centre, putting your highest items in the middle of the table and working down in height as you grow out toward the edges.

Happy Tea Party!

Sponsored Post: ASOS - discover fashion online

Looking for a party dress? Have a special occasion or event to attend? Look no further than the fantastic selection of dresses at ASOS!

I recently had the pleasure of looking through their selections online, and was so incredibly pleased with what I found. Since I’m off to BlogHer’12 in August (New York City…here I come!), I know that there are going to be cocktail events, parties, and even just dinners out with my favourite bloggers…and I will need a few smashing outfits!

The Tulip Dress with TieBack is absolutely adorable, and it would look amazing with a killer pair of heels…maybe even ones covered in glitter? So girly and fresh…perfect for the end of summer, and for a night out with the girls!

Link

ASOS has everything from bubble hems to maxi dresses, one shoulders to bias cuts and the selection of fabrics, colours and patterns is to die for. They seem to have a wide selection of Linkstyles, so no matter what inspires you, you will certainly find the perfect dress here.

For some vintage inspiration, the Love Jersey Floral Print Belted Skater Dress is so delightfully feminine and delicate. Pair it with a long antique brass chain, and soft flowy curls in your hair and you have a perfect outfit for strolling in Central Park!


And for us curvy girls, look no further than the Textured Midi Body-Conscious Dress with Scoop Back. It is chic and sexy, without giving away too much, and hugs your body in all the right places. Perfect for a date night with your special someone, a night out with the girls, and even dancing the night away!

Whatever the event, ASOS has you covered. Their selection of party dresses is like no other that I have seen. Great quality, impeccable style and super affordable! I definitely will be putting a few into my collection for BlogHer’12!

*this post was sponsored by Susanna Cha, on behalf of ASOS – discover fashion onlineLink

Mompreneur Monday: BellaGrey Designs

Happy Monday everyone! Do you know what's right around the corner?

Valentine's Day!!

What better timing to introduce you to this fantastic Mompreneur, Jennifer Kirlin from BellaGrey Designs! With super cute invitations, cupcake toppers, printable, tags...you name it and she's got it for you! There's even a free Valentine's printable at the end of the post!

What do you do?

I create custom party decor


Link

How do you maximize your time as a busy mom running a business?

I get up early to start my day, get the kids off to school and then work like crazy until I pick them up. I try to spend most of the late afternoon with them. Once they are down for the evening, I'm working again. I work when I can, for as long as I can.


What do you see as your greatest challenge being a MOMpreneur?

Drawing the line between time devoted to BellaGrey Designs and time with my family is really hard for me right now, because I'm constantly "working" in my head, thinking of new designs o
r colors I can use.



What advice do you have for other moms looking to start a business?

If you truly believe in yourself, then you have to believe all of your hard work will pay off. Sure some days you'd like to throw in the towel, but you just persevere. One day at a time.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Yes! I've created a beautiful Valentine's printable...free to download
here!




Talk-To-Me Tuesday: Unda The Sea...

Unda the sea...Each little snail here...Know how to wail here...That's why it's hotter...Unda the water...Ya we in luck here...Down in the muck here...Unda the sea

One of the awesome parties that I'm working on has an Under The Sea theme, and I couldn't be more excited about it! P's mama and I have been back and forth by email and twitter with ideas, and it's going to be one heck of a party!

While I won't out any of her personal ideas, or the items that will be coming from Sweet Stella's. I'll post some sneak peeks later, but trust me...super fun ideas!

Here are some really great ideas if you're going to be doing the Under The Sea theme this year!

An awesome invitation goes a very long way! This one happens to be amazing and hits on all of the graphic design points that I look for in an invitation.



Think about things in sets of 3...three colours, three design elements (font, graphic, pattern)

Compositionally, things look better when paired in uneven groupings. If you have a rectangular table, consider putting three of these together in a row on your table



Fishbowls full of blue jello and with a few sweedish fish floating in their little gooey home! So awesome, and incredibly easy!

Happy party planning!

Talk-To-Me Tuesday: Party Tips!

It seems as though I've been chatting with alot of you about pending parties for this year, so I thought that I would write out my top 5 party planning tips, as featured over on Growing Up Geeky a few months ago.

We all have our themes...bake shop...dump trucks...choo choo trains...under the sea...afternoon campout. They're all spectacular, and I'm super excited to work with alot of you on your parties to make them extra special, and hopefully take some of the stress out of the day for you so that you can relax and enjoy watching your children have fun with their friends and family.

Without further adieu...my top 5 Planning Tips...to help you stay sane!

1) Find inspiration in your theme.

A theme can come from anywhere...a colour, character, idea, holiday, flower, toy. Once you have your theme, your possibilities are endless...but you have to do with it with grace. Coordinate within the theme. For example, if you're planning a campout birthday party, think about the colours, textures, sounds and smells that you would find there. That will inspire the linens, venue, food, and music! Make a list, within your theme, of everything you can think of that pertains to it. It could be as simple as , to use the campout theme again, gingham patterns and s'mores, or as complicated as firefly lanterns and fishing poles. Once you have your list, pick out a few key things that you think you can pull off really well. It's always better to excel at a few things than slack on alot of things!


2) Divide and conquer!

I cannot stress this one enough...start EARLY and divide your list into things that need to be done now, things that can wait a few weeks (or months depending on how early you start), and things that cannot be done until the week of the party. From there, make some brainstorm charts of those three categories and decide how and when you will attack those tasks. Is there any food that you can make now and freeze, or does it all need to be done the night before? Make a visual, and check things off as you go.

3) Hire someone to do the cake

If you're hosting a birthday party, I do not recommend taking on the task of making the birthday cake, unless you are getting all of the other food catered by someone else and know for certain that you will have the time to bake, fill, frost and decorate your masterpiece. If you're doing cupcakes, make them the night before, and frost them the morning of your party so that they are super fresh or better yet, have a cupcake decoration station with different filled piping bags for the kids, sprinkles and decorations! Cakes take a lot of time and detail, and if you're the type of person who will stress the week of the party, this is not the task to be taking on.


4) Loot bags aren't just for kids!

Consider doing a fun favour for the parents at your child's party, or if you're hosting an adult event, do up some fun favours for your quests. For the summer, think of drink mixes, ice cube trays and a funky glass, tied with bright ribbon. A baby shower, maybe handmade chocolates from a local shop or cake pops from your favourite bakery. Using the campout birthday example, for the parents get some gourmet s'mores made by a local chocolatier, and have them packaged in clear cello bags so you can print off a "thank you" sticker and put it on the top. Little gifts of sweetness go a long way, and aren't just for kids anymore!

5) Consider activities other than games.

This is moreso for baby and bridal showers, but we've all been to them where you have to talk to people you either don't know or have to be centred out in a large group to yell BINGO! No one likes it, so why does everyone do those silly games? Consider doing something fun and interactive, yet simple like a DIY Bib or Onesie station - all you need are blank Onesies or bibs, and paint markers...then voila! Custom gear for the mama-to-be! For a bridal shower, consider doing an advice book for the bride where people can privately write notes of advice for her, in a lovely journal for her to keep special memories in.

Whatever the case, make your event your own and choose those few things to do really really well, coordinating everything with a dominant colour or pattern. Have fun with it, and please please please...hire someone to do the cake!!


As always, I'm only a tweet away to answer all of your party planning questions. I have crazy ideas for food, decorations, announcements, thank-you bags, and even just inspiration. If you need a hand with anything at all, I'm happy to help!

Happy planning!

What's Next Wednesday: Mardi Gras!

December is fast approaching, which means Mardi Gras balls and New Years Eve plans are getting into full swing!

I've been busy working on some Mardi Gras masks, and I want to share them with you all today! There's still time to order these beauties for your balls and even for your New Years Eve festivities!



All-over red glitter with a black glitter pattern, red and silver paillettes and black netting. Finished with green ribbons, and extra ribbon on one side for a fanciful effect



Arc en Ciel...a rainbow of paillettes on a glittery black background. Capped off with white netting that comes over the left eye and pink ribbons



My absolutely favourite! All over copper with chocolate brown ribbons. Gold, red and copper paillettes create a beautiful focal point, and a fanciful black netting fascinator tie it all together.

Be the belle of the ball this holiday season with a Sweet Stella's mask!

Mama Blogger Monday: The Stauffer Shenanigans

Happy Monday everyone! The sun is shining brightly and warmly here, summer definitely isn't over for us yet, and I have a way to make today even better!

I'd like to introduce you to a wonderful mama that I've met recently, Ashley. She's the blogger over at The Stauffer Shenanigans, and aside from her adorable babes, she is like me: party.planning.nut! We hit it off immediately when talking about her daughter's Puppy themed party, and maybe went a little overboard on the pooch-themed food...

Anyhow! She's guesting here today and tells her story of why she blogs!

Hey everyone! My name is Ashley, but for the past 3 years I've mainly gone by Momma. I don't mind the Jessie Spano reference because it sounds so darn cute when these girls say it. That's Emmy on my left & Brooklyn on my right---excuse our tea party attire.

I blog over at The Stauffer Shenanigans & would love for you to visit. What are you in for when you stop by? Well, here's the jist. I mainly brag talk about the girls & what kind of hijinks they're up to. You'll also find posts about my weight loss, thanks to Weight Watchers. And weekly fashion posts, or perhaps lack there of. Although I like to consider myself a Maxxinista. Throw in some rambles, grumbles, pictures galore, and perhaps an overshare {Hey, I'm a mom. All dignity was lost in the delivery room} and you have our Shenanigans.

Intruiged? Thank you...you should be :) I started blogging as a means to document what my oldest way doing day to day. And now? Well now it's the only way I remember what we did last week.

I'm really looking forward to seeing where my blog will take me. Hopefully to New York City in August 2012, we'll see! Sponsors? Bueller?

Thanks for reading my little ditty here. And thank you to Shannon for having us. Hope you stop by & visit us really soon! I serve a mean cup of air.




Be sure to check out Ashley and her awesome family on Facebook, Twitter and of course her crazy cute blog!