pink elephants on parade party

way back before vintage may started, Em turned four!  since her favorite thing is still the color pink (she’s obsessed with it, seriously), her party much resembles last year’s but with the added flair of elephants (her very favorite animal!).  it’s a pink elephants on parade party!

the living room got the full elephant treatment, with even her favorite stuffed elephants in attendance…

pink elephants on parade mantel

the art was painted by my talented friend Erin in Em’s nursery colors before she was born, inspired by one we saw at a local store.  she moved bedrooms so it normally hangs in O’s room now, though she has requested it be moved to hers soon.  the elephant statue is from west elm a while back.  i made the elephant garland out of felt using the same method as the elsie marley eye patch tutorial, which worked great though it was pretty much the most tedious sew ever.  i wanted to do it right rather than glue it or something so it could hang in her room later (which it now does).


dining room decorations were a bit more subtle – just a little pink garland and a couple elephant drawings by our resident elephant artist…

wall o' frames

elephant art

our house is pretty small but has a great floor plan – the living and dining room are open to each other and separated by an archway, so we can fit a lot more people in than we should based on the square footage.  and for parties, all i need to decorate are two rooms!  kind of nice.  we had the party in the morning again, which i love doing.  the kids got a pancake bar and the adults got biscuits and gravy from pine state – yummmm…



Em helped me color her cake to be…which colors? oh yeah, pink and purple!  i don’t care if this is all over blogland, pretty much no one at the party had seen it.  Em helped me with the sprinkles (i cut a 4 out of cardboard and she sprinkled…er…dumped them into the stencil).



it was well-received.



the birthday girl wore a new oliver + s ice cream dress, a pattern i first made for her second birthday. this one’s View B in a 3T and because she has a big head i cut the neck hole in a 4T, though i should have just followed this tutorial to lengthen the opening because it slips down off her shoulder a bit.  i omitted the v to copy gail.  Em didn’t like the morning dew on her feet.


it’s in four colors of shot cotton from bolt, and i let her pick either a sparkly pink button or an elephant button…guess which one she chose?

elephant button

i had originally planned to make the dress ombre but couldn’t find four pink shot cottons that worked, so i moved the colors around and added the purple.  then i saw this lovely ice cream dress and realized i should’ve just done the top in the light pink too!  gah!

ice cream dress

her favorite gift was the sarah jane necklace we got her (you’ll never guess what’s on it).

it’s pretty crazy to me that she’s four already!  she suddenly seems so grown up…

a wintry first birthday party

well, hello!  i hope everyone had a wonderful christmas.  both of our families live in town, so we were bouncing back and forth a lot from party to party.  luckily, we had a few days off of work this week, so there was plenty of relaxation too!

back at the beginning of the month, we celebrated O’s first birthday.  i cannot BELIEVE he is one already.  i feel like he was just born, and frankly am still trying to wrap my head around his amazing birth – it was a 5 hour, deliberately all-natural whirlwind that was the greatest experience of my life, and i’m so grateful to him for cooperating with my plans (i had an epidural with Em but was determined to go natural with him).  he was a little butterball, too – 8lb 13 oz!  i’ll share the full birth story someday, but i need to edit it down for public consumption.  for a short labor, it’s a very long story.  i wanted to remember every detail.  😉

this little guy never ceases to surprise me with how fast he’s growing up.  he still doesn’t quite walk yet (just a few steps), though i’m sure he could if he wanted to.  he IS trying to say lots of new words, signs “all done” and “more,” points to body parts (on command he finds his ears, head, nose), plays peekaboo, and throws a ball overhand.  he gives high fives, hugs, blows kisses, waves goodbye and says “daaaaah!” (which means “bye!”).  he likes to brush his hair and teeth, and to sweep the floor (a toy broom was his santa gift this year, and he loves it).  he likes most foods, all baths, and he adores his big sis.  he’s a super sweetie pie, and we love him a lot.

unfortunately, the poor guy was born in december.  being a mid-november baby myself, i know that the closer it gets to christmas, the harder it is for your birthday to feel separate.  this year, we did go get our tree and put up some of our christmas decorations before his party (which we probably won’t do once he’s old enough to realize it…unless he wants us to), but i also tried to stick with a more general “wintry” theme of aqua blue, white, and silver.  party ideas had been collected for months on my pinterest board.

i had the idea to hang snowball ornaments from our ceiling in the dining room with invisible thread.  the birthday boy giggled at them!

i made him a birthday banner, in blue and white wintry fabrics from my stash, and painted a letter O from hobby lobby with coordinating blue and silver.

for a couple birthday parties we’ve had, i’ve almost completely copped out on cooking and ordered pizza!  i’m the type that doesn’t want to stress out about food the day of a party.  i gladly accept offers to bring salad and chips with dip, i always bake a cake, but as for the main dish?  DELIVERY!  so worth it.  we held the party at lunchtime (translation: after morning nap and before afternoon nap).

i plotted months in advance to receive this bundt pan for my birthday after seeing it here.  it’s so pretty!  i made chocolate cake with cherry pie filling and mini chocolate chips mixed in, and topped each slice with whipped cream frosting.

the cake was well-received…

…as were some cupcakes topped with the perfect blue frosting that my sister-in-law made.  the bigger kids liked those, while O looked on (sorry buddy – i can’t resist feeding one year olds chocolate cake.  the mess is a must!).

we’re so happy to have this pleasant little fella in our lives.  he got to eat his first cake and received some pretty sweet toys and shoes (“shhzzzzzz”), so i think he had a great time too.  i especially feel good about avoiding “second kid syndrome,” because even though a lot of it was pulled together at the last minute (i appliqued his t-shirt at 11pm the night before), he ended up with a pret-ty coordinated-looking little party!  phew!  🙂

PS – did you see that the themes for this season of project run & play were posted the other day?  now you’re in the loop!  i am back to sketching and sewing furiously now that christmas is over.  so fun, and so nerve-wracking!  i’ll be glad when it all gets rolling next week, because right now it’s just all bottled up inside!  i can’t wait to share with you all.

a very pink third birthday party

despite my best efforts to dress her in neutral colors as a baby and avoid too much pink, my daughter claimed it as her most favorite as soon as she learned her colors.  she wants pretty much everything to be pink.  last year for her second birthday, i organized an “up party” since it was her favorite movie at the time (photos here and here and her dress here).  this year, i indulged her and just went with the pink.  a couple weeks before the party, i started a pinterest board and rounded up a bunch of great party ideas i remembered from around the web.  the post-it note big 3 above was a combination of this post-it note wall art and this giant number from oh happy day!  i also hung twisty streamers like i saw on aesthetic outburst, only i made them two-tone with lighter and darker pink.

my main “statement piece” was a flower piñata like i’d seen on inchmark  last year.  it took a long time to cut out and stick on all of the petals (my husband did most of the cutting out), but i love it.  i didn’t have the heart to break it.  i’m planning to hang it in her room once i’m ready to take it out of the living room, but i do love the pink pop against our walls for the time being.

the whole time i was working on it, i had “the high road” by the broken bells stuck in my head.

see the resemblance?

 (maybe james mercer and danger mouse are inchmark fans, too.)

we had a 9am breakfast party, since two of em’s cousins had a t-ball game later.  breakfast parties are great!  parents of young children (and grandparents) are up early anyway, and generally in a good mood as long as you have plenty of coffee around.  we had a fun cereal bar (a la cakies), fruit, huevos rancheros, sausage, and sticky rolls.  for her “cake,” my mom made breakfast muffins with strawberry cream cheese frosting and fresh strawberries on top.  i punched out a bunch of pink and gold confetti and sprinkled that around the table, and used my grandma’s vintage bauer pottery to display em’s special birthday muffin with three candles.

i made her skirt loosely based on this crewcuts version (also discovered on pinterest, seriously my favorite site on the internet).  it’s a layer of voile and a layer of batiste with the selvedges as the hems.  then i hand-tacked on a row of sequins.  she looooooved it.

her big gift from us was a dollhouse with lots of accessories from various family members.  she also got a real tambourine, a soccer ball, clothes, and coloring stuff.  but her most-used gift so far has been the buddha board (which i discovered via the artful parent, though i think i remember seeing them way back when i was younger).  she likes to practice her “smiley faces.”  pretty good, eh?

once she finishes each drawing, she plays “black out” and just paints the whole thing with water, then moves on to something else while it dries…then comes back and paints it out again.

she really loved her pink party, and i’m still trying to come to grips with the fact that my little girl is now THREE.  i love her so much!