Daniel’s 30th Birthday Party

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I really might have outdone myself this time.

I know I say this about every party…(and I’ll probably never stop saying it)…but seriously, this was one of my all-time favs. I had so much fun planning it, and I did my very best to make it a party that DANIEL would like, not just a party that I wanted him to like. I owe a HUMONGOUS thank you to Les and Dara Wesberry, who graciously let me use their backyard/kitchen and went above and beyond to help me get everything ready – y’all, I could not have done this without you! I love you both! ♥

 

My inspiration for this party was Daniel’s favorite things: soft pretzels, backyard games, a bunch of his best bros, a cigar bar, and a scotch tasting.

I borrowed tables and chairs from our church, tablecloths and burlap runners (and the tree trimmings) from Dara, and started each place setting with a beer flight placemat from Target and a mini bottle of Jack tied to a bottle of Coke. I got to re-purpose my donut wall from Brianna’s baby shower for the soft pretzel bar, and desserts included chocolate cake in a jar and homemade cupcakes (chocolate whiskey and peanut butter cup).

 

My favorite part was the cigar and scotch bar. The vintage matchbooks were a unique touch, and the scotch was a Scottish Highlands brand that was new to most of the guys, but a huge hit nonetheless!

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I even managed to snag a picture with the birthday boy. ;)

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But before you start thinking that this party was perfect…let me assure you that one thing went terribly, terribly wrong. And that was the beer cheese. I had found a recipe on Pinterest that looked super easy, and it was super NOT. I don’t know exactly where I went wrong, but this was a MASSIVE party fail. Just goes to show that you never know what happens behind the scenes!

If you need help planning a party, let ya girl know – I’d love to get ice cream or coffee with you sometime and talk about your vision!

Life Update: The Park + The Coffee Shop + The Woods + The Desert = The Memories

One of my favorite things to do, weirdly, is go back through all of my pictures on my phone. I always come across random things I documented that I forgot to post on social media, or funny screenshots of texts from family members, or ideas for parties that I wanted to save on Pinterest. I especially love getting to relive good memories, and this last photo purge was FULL of them!

#1: The Park. What a blessing it was to spend time with my dear friend Brittany and her cuties earlier this summer. She actually has another boy now, too – I think an east Texas road trip is in order to go meet him!

#2: The Coffee Shop. A new coffee shop opened in Durant this year, and even though I’ve only been a few times, since I’m not a coffee drinker, every visit has been spent with good friends. I love the atmosphere of the place, and I’ll definitely use it for a shower or two in the future.

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#3. The Woods. Boy, have the Love County woods been good to us. I absolutely love going to see Daniel’s family and adventuring on their land! It’s my favorite place to take Fitz because he can run around like a maniac, we take four-wheeler rides on the trails, and we get to revisit the spot where we married 6 years ago.

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And also I get to snuggle my nephews (one of which has too much energy to actually snuggle or take pictures with me), which is always a good time. :) Also, this picture is already so out of date – Luke is HUGE now!

#4. The Desert. I had the privilege of traveling for work earlier this year – Merrill Lynch hosted us at their annual client conference in Scottsdale, Arizona. And HOLY. MOLY. I felt like a queen! The resort was beautiful, my suite was huge, and there was so much attention to detail: chocolates on the pillows, mini jars of honey for your tea, and my toiletries were even organized for me by the housekeeping staff.

One of the best parts of the trip? The “field trips” they took us on: dinner, dancing, and hot air balloon rides in the desert, and an evening at the Musical Instrument Museum.

We were so spoiled for days with delicious food, musical performances, and guest speakers, including Barbara Corcoran from Shark Tank!

One of the best things that happened all summer was Mother’s Day weekend with my bestest best and her little family. After YEARS of hard work, Jennifer graduated from med school and is officially a doctor!! I am so crazy proud of her.

Few things are sweeter than getting to hold your person’s little person. ♥

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Finally, here’s a sneak peek at the EPIC 30th birthday party I threw for Daniel! A separate post is coming soon, don’t you worry. ;)

Thanks for reading!

A Baby Shower for Dara + Baby Berry

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Last Sunday, I had the great privilege of throwing a baby shower for my sweet friend Dara, and it was the cutest thing, if I do say so myself! Dara and her husband Les are in my community group from church, and we were just over the moon for them when they told us she was pregnant. I knew instantly that I had to throw her a party – that was the easy part. The hard part came when it was time to pick a theme, because the Wesberrys decided to wait until the birth to find out if “Baby Berry” is a he or a she!

Soon after they told us the news, our group quickly started referring to the baby as “Baby Berry,” so I decided to carry the berry motif into the baby shower too. At first, I worried that it might be too girly, if Baby Berry is a boy, but then I thought…who cares?? The shower is kiiiiiind of for the baby, but mostly for Mama, and I definitely want a shower that the mom likes. Dara is super girly and always looks so cute, so I knew this theme would be right up her alley.

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The menu included mini berry cheesecakes (thanks Mistie!), mini strawberry shortcakes, and “pop”corn chicken (since, ya know, she’s about to POP). Two of my favorite touches, however, were the strawberry mason jars and the balloon garland. I loved the triple-layer detail of the drinking glasses – doily, strawberry, tied with twine. And that balloon garland….whoo, y’all. Labor of love, right there! I blew all of those balloons up with my own hot air, and tied each one individually to a long piece of twine. It took hours, but it was worth it!! (I have since been told about something magical called balloon decorating strip on Amazon, which I will 100% use next time. lol)

We played a couple of games, including a hilarious round of Baby Pictionary, but my favorite activity was making a birth day banner for Dara. I bought a blank pennant banner and gave each person a piece of it to write out an encouraging note or prayer to Dara. After I strung all the pieces back together, I gave it to her to put in her “go bag” so she can hang it up at the hospital for encouragement while she’s in labor! I absolutely adore this idea, and I hope to replicate it at every baby shower I host from now on.

On the way out, guests grabbed favor baskets – berry baskets filled with a bottled drink, a ring pop, and a note encouraging them to “Pop It When She Pops” and enjoy a toast on whatever day Dara has the baby.

Cute little mama with her mama. :) I swear, I have the prettiest friends, and I know she’ll have the prettiest baby – boy or girl! Can’t wait to cuddle that little one!! ♥

If you need help planning a party, let ya girl know – I’d love to get ice cream or coffee with you sometime and talk about your vision!

Parties I’m Dreaming About Throwing

Hi friends! If you’ve been following my blog for awhile, you know that I absolutely lovvvvve planning parties. I’m always on the hunt for a new theme, and my favorite ideas always involve unique, memorable details and themes that haven’t been ‘overdone.’ In my spare time over the last few months, I’ve been daydreaming about some of the events coming up this year, so in honor of those sweet dreams – here’s a list of a few parties I can’t wait to host!

The Great Gatsby inspired 30th birthday cakevia

1. Daniel’s 30th birthday party

As much as I would have loved to keep this one a surprise… (1) Daniel is hard to surprise, and (2) He’s not the biggest fan of surprises anyway. So he knows there’s a party, but he doesn’t know the theme. And I intend to keep it that way. ;)

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2. Gender-neutral baby shower

My sweet friend Dara is finally getting the cutest baby bump ever. She’s due in September, but they aren’t finding out if Baby Berry is a he or a she until birth!! I don’t know if I could wait that long myself, but I also don’t know if any surprise could be better than that one. Since we won’t know whether to plan for a boy or girl, I’ve been exploring lots of neutral themes, and I especially want to pick a theme that Mama D genuinely likes. (Sidebar – am I the only one who thinks a lot of baby shower themes are more cheesy than cute??)

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3. A backyard dinner party

I can’t understate how long I’ve been desiring to make this one happen. There’s something so cozy-feeling about combining your best friends, good food, a fire pit, music, a summer night sky, twinkly globe lights, and eating family style in the comfort and familiarity of your own backyard. Ooh, and s’mores!

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4. A “Favorite Things” exchange

I heard about these on Pinterest several years ago, and I thought it sounded like so much fun! You invite a bunch of girlfriends, put out some yummy snacks, and everyone brings and leaves with a bag full of handpicked goodies – candles, bath products, candy bars, kitchen tools, etc. Each person brings five duplicates of her favorite thing for others to try, and she gets to go home with five of her friends’ favorite things!

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5. Literally any party, ever

I honestly don’t even care when or where or why…I just want a reason to make a cake that looks this gorgeous and delicious.

If you had an unlimited amount of money to throw a party…what would you do? Where would it be hosted? What kind of food? What kind of entertainment?

Ahoy, It’s a Boy!

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I had so much fun throwing this sweet beach-themed baby shower for my sister-in-law, Hannah! I can’t take credit for the theme idea (that was all Baily), but I CAN take credit for the more-time-consuming-than-I-expected crepe paper wall. ;)

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The decorations were honestly pretty easy, aside from the time it took to tape up the crepe paper. I used several blue fabric tablecloths and a gauzy sheer curtain, made some balloon bubbles, and topped the table with driftwood, coral, a DIY treasure chest, and some shells. I also repurposed some decorations I already had, including my blue mason jars, letter board, and branches. (Pro tip: if you host a lot of parties, or want to in the future, start stockpiling pieces that you know you’ll use over and over again!)

As far as food goes, this was the most low-maintenance party food ever – next to no food prep! All we had to do was slice up the cucumbers and tie the Twizzlers into knots. The complete menu consisted of:

Life Preservers (donuts)
Flying Fish (goldfish crackers)
Sea Cucumbers
Crab Legs (carrot sticks)
Pirate Knots (Twizzlers)

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I loved watching the kids get in on the snack action too! Lots of sticky fingers and happy frosting mouths. :)

Sweet mama Hannah and some of her sisters. ♥ It was so funny – after I took this picture and looked at it to make sure everyone was smiling, I said, “Hannah, you barely even look pregnant in this picture!” Most pregnant women probably would have been happy to hear that, but Hannah’s face fell and she said, “Oh no, let me turn sideways!!” It made us laugh!

To everyone’s surprise, baby Luke decided to come a few weeks early! Thankfully, he has been a super healthy, super chill baby, which is exactly what Hannah needed. He looks so much like his brother to me, and I’m already obsessed with him. Being an aunt is pretty great!

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If you need help planning a party, let ya girl know – I’d love to get ice cream or coffee with you sometime and talk about your vision!

Stranger Things Surprise Birthday Party

Seriously – could anything possibly top a Stranger Things birthday party?? Only one thing could, and it’s a SURPRISE Stranger Things birthday party, on the very day that the new season was released on Netflix. *angels singing*

Our dear friend Sheridan wanted to throw this party to celebrate her husband, Jeremy, and asked if I would mind helping/hosting, to which I immediately responded “YAAAASSSSSSSSS.” With the help of a few friends, she was able to bring her amazing vision to life, and I am still so impressed with how this party came together!

In keeping with the Stranger Things theme, she tacked up “Missing” posters of Barb, Will, and Jeremy all over the house. She also set up display on the stairs featuring Dungeons and Dragons, a record player, a baseball bat, and a bicycle! I painted the Castle Byers sign for her, which they used in the living room. String lights were everywhere, of course, and the living room was transformed into one giant blanket fort.

The dining room was the pièce de résistance, though – we couldn’t have a Stranger Things party without the infamous alphabet wall!

Even though Brandon almost ruined it….lol…thankfully Jeremy was COMPLETELY surprised when they came inside! We had so much fun hanging out, listening to the Stranger Things soundtrack, and snacking.

For the food, we set up an Eggo waffle bar with loads of toppings (including fried chicken strips!), chips and salsa, birthday cake, and “Demagorgan Blood” punch.

We had asked guests to come dressed in 80’s costumes or like a character from the show, so I dressed up as Barb! After we all took some pictures together, we settled in to watch the first episode of the newest season together, and ended up watching four or five more episodes before the night was over.

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Are you as ready for Season 3 as we are??

If you need help planning a party on a budget, picking a theme, or figuring out a menu or decorating scheme…let me know! I’d love to schedule a consultation with you (“consultation” can be defined as “let’s go get ice cream and hang out”). 

13 Going on 30 Surprise Party

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My beautiful friend Courtnie turned 30 recently, and I had the honor of helping plan her surprise birthday party! Her husband Andy planned the event and invited a bunch of us via Facebook, and when I reached out to him to see if he needed any help, he immediately took me up on my offer. I asked what he had planned, and his response was, “Umm I was thinking like cake, maybe some balloons and a happy birthday sign?”I chuckled to myself. Oh, I can do better than that. I probably should have warned Andy – when I plan a party? I don’t just do cake. I needed a theme, and 13 Going on 30 was absolutely perfect. And Courtnie is the very definition of 30, flirty, and thriving! :)

Easily my favorite decorations from the party. I made faux Sparkle and Poise magazine covers as a nod to the movie and printed them off to put in the frames.

Once I decided on the theme, the decorating was easy. I opted for a “sleepover” decor scheme, incorporating slumber party necessities like junk food and beauty supplies. I bought the gold “30” balloons, some teen magazines, and scrunchies, and borrowed a few things from my own stash, including the big white chalkboard. All of the serving dishes and table decor are things I’ve picked up over the years, and I’m glad to have such a big inventory to draw from.

I also owe a big thank you to Paige Scott for letting me borrow her daughter’s dollhouse!! It was the perfect movie tie-in and statement piece, and it got lots of compliments.

For the food, I decided to do an 80’s themed candy bar with fruit roll-ups, gummy bears, Ring Pops, Sour Patch kids, and – of course, Razzles. We also had bottles of Coke, popcorn, and cherry chip cake, Courtnie’s favorite!

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That cake though – I am super proud of that cake. You don’t even know. It’s the first time I’ve ever tried to make a cake with flat layers, and thanks to some tips from my mom, I did it! AND I even frosted it as a semi-naked cake without messing it up. SO. PROUD.

This party was so fun, and I can’t wait to plan more birthday parties in the future!

 If you need help planning a party on a budget, picking a theme, or figuring out a menu or decorating scheme…let me know! I’d love to schedule a consultation with you (“consultation” can be defined as “let’s go get ice cream and hang out”). 

“Sprinkled With Love” Baby Shower

This baby shower actually took place last September – MAJOR blogger fail. *facepalm* But I still had to post about it, even if it’s a few months late! This party was just too cute not to share.

You guys, I have to confess something. I am OBSESSED with the donut wall trend! I absolutely love it, and I knew I had to make one for Brianna and Dillon’s baby shower, especially since they were having a girl. The best part of hosting this shower was that I didn’t do it alone – I had SEVEN co-hosts! Community is such a good thing, y’all. ♥ We had the best time *sprinkling* the Perry family and helping them get ready to welcome sweet baby Mallorie into the world!

My inspiration for this party came from two things: sprinkles and a “mom-osa” bar! It was super easy to plan around a donut theme, and nearly everything was DIY, including the donut wall itself. I got a big piece of pegboard at Lowe’s and had it cut to the size I wanted, covered it with a few coats of spray paint (only needed one can!), and stuck some pegboard hooks through the holes to hang the donuts on. So simple!

For the games, we played Baby Names A-Z and had a “create a headband” station. The Baby Names game was a race, and whoever could list off baby girl names for every letter of the alphabet the fastest won. At the headband station, guests could choose from a few pre-made baby headbands and decorate them however they wanted – beads, flowers, lace, etc.

At one point during the party, I looked over and it was all husbands making headbands! :)

Before leaving the party, guests were encouraged to grab a paper cone of donut holes to take with them! I found the cones on Amazon and got the stickers personalized from The Party Penguin shop on Etsy.

Aren’t these two so beautiful?? Congratulations again, Brianna and Dillon! ♥

 If you need help planning a party on a budget, picking a theme, or figuring out a menu or decorating scheme…let me know! I’d love to schedule a consultation (a fancy word for “let’s get ice cream and chat”). Have a lovely week!

Playing Catch Up

It does NOT feel possible that tomorrow is the first day of November. October went by in a FLASH, and boy was it full! I’ve got lots of content planned, but here’s a little preview/life update in the meantime!

This wasn’t technically in October, but I hosted a sprinkles-themed baby shower for my friend Brianna and her baby girl Mallorie, and it was so perfect!! I’ll share more pictures soon. I can’t wait to meet Mallorie in a few short weeks!

Daniel and I got to take a trip to Las Vegas at the beginning of the month, because I EARNED IT. Still doesn’t feel real to say that, even though I’ve got the pictures and everything to prove it. I met some goals in my MONAT business this year and earned this trip, for free. We stayed at the Planet Hollywood resort, and it did not disappoint!

Fitz continued to be adorable, like always.

Speaking of adorable – I got to welcome the most perfect human into the world last week, and my heart still explodes every time I look at this picture. Say hello to my “nephew”/self-appointed secondary child by proxy, Cole Alan! ♥♥♥

I also got to check something off of my 30 By 30 list – throwing someone a surprise party! And what an EPIC surprise party it was. My friend Sheridan wanted to throw one for her husband, Jeremy, and asked me to help. It was incredibly nerve-wracking keeping the secret and hoping it didn’t get ruined, but we pulled it off! Jeremy was very surprised, and we had a blast celebrating with everyone. And it’ll be really hard to top a Stranger Things theme.

What a lovely month it was! Stay tuned for more detailed posts and lots more photos of our October adventures :) 

Jen’s “In the Woods” Baby Shower

I don’t know if I can explain how much I loved this baby shower. I know I say this about every party I host, but seriously – this is my favorite shower I’ve ever thrown. And while the theme was *amazing*, it’s my favorite because it was for my cousin’s / best friend’s / essentially second sister’s baby boy. Baby Cole makes his grand entrance THIS MONTH, and I am positively giddy!

When Jennifer told me she was pregnant, I knew I was going to throw her a shower. There wasn’t any question about it. I only had one problem: what theme? I had plenty of my own ideas, but none of them were quite right. Jennifer didn’t have strong feelings about a special theme, but she finally decided on Dr. Seuss, and I started planning. But while Pinterest-ing one night, I came across this:

ARE. YOU. KIDDING. ME.

I took one look at that gorgeous mountain shelf and it was love at first sight. I couldn’t bring myself to do a Dr. Seuss shower after finding such a perfect theme for an outdoorsy, mountain-loving couple, and I texted Jennifer just that. I spent the next hour lost on the Internet and found a wealth of adorable ideas. But none as special as that mountain shelf. So I called my brother-in-law, Sam, who immediately agreed to make me one of my own, and it turned out SO great! Just look at it!! ⇓⇓

I can’t wait to use this thing again – thank you so much, Sam!

I also owe HUGE thanks to my mom for all of her help and advice, and to Vicki Branstetter for opening her home and letting me host the shower there. It was the perfect place to celebrate with the Briggs’ families and friends, and I’m so happy with how everything came together!

The apple bar was a personal request of Jennifer’s, and easily my favorite part of the menu! For the dips, we melted chocolate, white chocolate, caramels, and peanut butter chips in mason jars and kept them warm in the crock pot.

*Tip: soak your apples in 7-Up right after slicing to keep them from turning brown!

As far as the decorations, my favorite pieces (besides the mountain shelf) were the “Crown Yourself” chalkboard and the Mama Bear balloons. The woodsy theme was very easy to find decorations for, and a lot of the things I used came out of my own home!

Jennifer isn’t the kind of person who enjoys being the center of attention, so I kept the games very low-key and fun. We played “Who Knows Mom Best” and Baby Shower Bingo as she opened gifts. At any point during the shower, guests could write a message on a diaper for Jennifer to read during late-night diaper changes. I also picked out a baby book for guests to sign as the guest book, and the shower invitations encouraged guests to bring a book instead of a card to help build up the Briggs library!

Guests also wrote their addresses on envelopes to make sending thank-you notes easier for Jennifer, and as they left the party, they took home mini s’mores kits to “fuel their future adventures.”

What an amazing afternoon! The only thing that would have made this party better would be if people had eaten more food so we didn’t have as much to clean up. Haha!

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Grandma’s girls. :)

I’m so thankful that we got to shower my new nephew (and my oldest friend) with so many cute and useful gifts. I can’t wait to meet him, and I can’t wait to watch my best friend become a mom.

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Seriously, how perfect are they. ♥

The next time I talk about Baby Cole…….he’ll be in my arms! Eeek!! I hope you’ll join me in praying for a healthy mama, a healthy baby, and a calm daddy.  And if you need help planning a party on a budget, picking a theme, or figuring out a menu or decorating scheme…let me know! I’d love to schedule a consultation (a fancy word for “let’s go get ice cream and hang out”).