Saturday, January 21, 2017

A Garden Party First Birthday

In September my little nugget turned one (WHERE THE HECK DOES THE TIME GO?!?!), and coming up with a theme was a monstrous task for me. I started planning when she was about 4 months old and by the time the party was within sight, my little "Parisian cafe" theme had morphed into recreating an entire streetscape in Paris complete with working cafe, flower shop and bakery. NUTSO, I know. Having a custom street facade built, sourcing out glass display cases for the bakery, and trying to find multiple kids-sized wrought iron and marble bistro sets was literally the end of me. I just quit. I told my husband that I couldn't do it. Quinn didn't need a birthday party, did she? I mean, she's one. She has no clue what's going on. And that's true. But as he reminded me, this party was for me. This was also a celebration of my first year as a mother, and he was right.

A few weeks passed where I legitimately didn't want to do anything. If I couldn't recreate Paris, I didn't want to have a party at all. And then I felt bad; after months of pouring energy into creating parties for our Party Society blog, and for friends, and for friends' friends, I didn't want to look back and say that I used all of my party planning energy for others and then didn't have anything left for my own daughter. That just felt awful to me. But I had also reached burn out level and the idea of doing everything I would normally do was overwhelming.

So I did what I could to create a memorable party without going overboard. I scratched many, many things off my list during the planning process, and despite knowing that I could have done so much more, I'm glad that I didn't. Because, sometimes taking a new direction and trying to make a party "low key" can actually turn out pretty fabulous. And thankfully for me, I have some really talented friends who made it all possible.

 I'm happy with how everything turned out, but above all - that we had such an amazing day with our closest family and friends celebrating the most loving and wonderful little girl that I get to call mine.

More details on the party at the end of the post. Enjoy my mostly non-edited, poorly lit photos - because if we wait for me to edit them, well, I'll never post them :)

I definitely couldn't have pulled this party together without the flower wall backdrop from Flowerwall Vancouver (my friend and other blog partner's company). It really did help me decide on the final direction I wanted to go in, and set the scene for the day.

My good friend Janet at Pete's Sister Creative gifts did the cakes (well, the main cake was a bit of a DIY project for another post) and the always amazing macarons. We actually had two parties (one for friends and one for family) since the guest list was so large, hence why we needed so many cakes.

And, two awesome friends of mine from my mommy group contributed their skills/wares - the restored vintage highchair and the birthday crown (if interested, message me for their details!).

FLOWERS: Thrifty's Flower Shop
"ONE" BALLOON Cheers & Co
CAKE STANDS: Homesense

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Watercolor Floral First Birthday Party

I honestly cannot believe I have a 9 month old... and that means her first birthday is just mere months away. Time is flying by so incredibly fast but I'm loving every moment of it. I plan on doing a really special party for Quinn's birthday - but as my husband says - it's more for me than it is for her. Let's be honest, she has no clue what's going on. But me? Well, I think I deserve a pretty fantastic party for surviving 9+ months of pregnancy and 12 months of motherhood - wouldn't you agree?

While I plan and brainstorm I've been designing some pretty things along the way. This recent collection was used for a styled shoot for my creative party planning blog The Party Society (with my friend Kristin) and I thought this would be a great addition to my etsy shop for those looking for a gorgeous, unique, and not so "little kiddy" birthday party.

This set can be used for a first birthday, or any birthday, party, or celebration if you omit the "one" banner.

Included items are:
Thank you tags
8 by 10 "Welcome" sign
5 by 7 "Sweets" sign
3 printable "cake toppers" - "one", "happy birthday" and "celebrate"
Banner - Includes letters "O, N, E" and use floral paper to cut out additional flags
Floral patterned paper that you can use for so many things, included but not limited to: straw flags, banner flags, envelope liners, wrapping paper, and more

If you're interested, you can buy the printable party right here!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Lots of updates and news!

Sooo this blogging thing - it's hard work with a baby and going at it alone (props to you who do it!). I'm not abandoning this blog, but as you've probably already noticed, posts are/will be sporadic. Even though I can't seem to blog here consistently, my friend and I have joined forces and have started a party/events blog that we are sharing so maybe together we will be better? Who knows - but give us a follow! Since I'm spending much of my time doing things for the Party Society, I thought I'd compile a bunch of updates for this blog into one post for those of you asking!

We've moved!

We are back home in Vancouver BC and could not be happier. Winnipeg was a great experience but was never a long term thing for us - and especially with a new baby, being home with family and friends is AMAZING!


Somehow our sweet Quinn Isla is almost 8 months old. Where does time go??? I will say, the last few months have been great. She's a super happy, easy going baby. She sleeps so well (I might even write post on how we got there because it wasn't all sunshine and rainbows) and I'm enjoying this stage so much more than those first few tortuous, sleepless months!

The new place

I never got to really finish blogging about our house build and subsequent decorating before we moved, but we are in a new home, again - so I hope to get some photos up soon! We've already done some light renos (carpets, counters, cabinets) and it's feeling so much more like home now.

Label update

I get a lot of questions about how my labels and pantry org have held up. Since I didn't spray all of my labels (see this post about the protectant) there are definitely some smudges on some. And they're made of paper, so yes, they aren't perfect. But considering how long I've had them for, they've held up really well. I would say, if you want them to stay really really nice, either redo your labels every year or so, or get printed on weatherproof mailing labels (a suggestion I always make but have yet to do - and I know I should!).

The Party Society

One last plug for the new blog, because I'm still swooning over this gorge Cinco de Mayo tablescape we did. Find this and many more over at The Party Society.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Pantry Makeover! Getting rid of those wire shelves with an Ikeahack

I've always loathed wire shelving in all it's forms... but I do understand why they are used. Lightweight, easy to install, and cost effective - they seem to be the shelving of choice for builders du jour. If you're stuck with unsightly wire shelving - I have the solution for you!

After trying to figure out a way to do built-ins on our own and without custom cabinetry, I turned to the trusted and faithful BILLY from Ikea. Billy comes in two depths (12 and 15 inches I believe), and by choosing the shallower of the two, I not only gave myself some extra space in our walk through pantry, but I avoided the "black hole" - where food items get lost and never used because they are way in the back. You'd never know these are budget bookcases - they look like they were designed to be in a pantry.

 This set up allows for two rows of jars or a bin which makes everything incredibly easy to locate and things don't get lost in Neverneverland. We trimmed out the bottom and the centre (where the two bookcases meet) with some simple baseboard trim to make it look like a single unit. Had we had more time in this house (oh, did I mention we are moving! Another post :) - I would have gone much further like some of the Billy built-ins I found on Pinterest and put crown on the top to really give it that built-in look. I also might have wallpapered or stenciled the back, but I was far too indecisive to settle on anything.

Before our pantry overhaul, my pantry sadly looked like this (can't believe I'm sharing this!).

Granted, I knew we were ripping it all out so I didn't invest any time in making it pretty - seriously, how big of a transformation is that?

Taking out the wire shelving, patching and painting was a bit of a task (the wire shelves were anchored with some pretty serious drywall screws) - but my husband and father-in law tackled it like pros.

I customized my shelf heights to the heights of my jars and was so happy how it all worked out - another big plus about this project is how easy it is to adjust shelf height to accommodate different sized items - something you can't do with wire shelves.

Despite the depth being absolutely perfect for this project, the width did not line up perfectly. I toyed with the idea of building in an extension so the pantry fit the entire width of the space - but instead opted for a chalkboard diy wine shelf (upcoming post!). The little gap (just less than a foot) was good for putting large Costco acquisitions before I had a chance to properly put away, but could also have used it to store a broom or a small foot stool.

While the pantry doesn't always look as clutter-free as these images, the reality is pretty darn close. I've found it really easy to maintain when you have a home for everything. I wanted to redo my labels prior to this post, but with the move ahead just didn't have the time. These labels are going on 2.5 years and still kicking - although some have definitely seen better days. I'm still amazed at how long they've held up though!

Have you ever used a Billy in a non-bookcase way? Do you have wire shelves you hate as much as I do?

Friday, November 13, 2015

Birth Announcements from Tiny Prints

Sure, by now family and friends are well aware that we welcomed Quinn into the world almost 7 weeks ago. But you can't save a phone call or a social media post - which is why I was wanting to send out physical birth announcements. It's a traditional thing to do (and I'm all about traditions!) and provides a great keepsake for family and friends.

Enter Tiny Prints which has an amazing selection of designer birth announcements, not to mention letterpress and foil (not just gold foil!). I opted for a rose gold foil and I absolutely love how they turned out! Shipping was fast (Canadians, expect to pay duty/brokerage/taxes) and the return addressed envelopes make mailing easier.

I love the design we chose which has a slight infographic feel to it!

Thanks to Tiny Prints for these amazing announcements! While they did provide these to me, I'm forever a fan and repeat customer.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

She's here! Introducing Quinn Isla

It's been a month since our lives changed forever in the best way possible. This little love came into the world on September 26 after a short 3 hour 46 minute labour. 7 lbs, 11 ounces and 19 inches long. It's been an adjustment, that's for sure, but we are loving every minute of having her around :)

Nursery pics and birth story to come as well as our birth announcements!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Nursery Decor and Labels for Baby Girl

While I remain stumped on how to finish up the nursery decor, one thing I have not delayed on is getting some printables up! I figured the easiest way to jump start the nursery was to create some name wall art (I will share the actual photos of the name art once baby is here and the name is announced!) as well as some clothing labels and tags.

Baby girl's nursery has gone all-out girly and is as feminine and frilly as I could hope for. While I love the many mod nursery designs out there, I just had to indulge my girly side while I can (while I'm the one calling the decor shots and not a 3 year old into Frozen).

Using Photoshop, I've incorporated a watercolor effect on some of my favourite fonts as well as used some hand painted watercolor floral elements and am loving the look.

Looking for some affordable nursery art? I've just listed the clothing tags in the shop for $5 and the custom name art for $12. I'll be adding other labels for baby necessities like swaddles, receviing blankets, etc, very soon. See links below!

Baby Girl Clothing Labels 

Custom Watercolor Name Art

I haven't listed this gold monogram yet - but what do you think?