eloise’s third birthday party!

Months ago I asked Eloise what she wanted to do for her birthday, and she told me she wanted to have a party with her friends and have a purple dinosaur cake. {She was very insistent on having a “purple dinosaur cake” and would say that’s what she wanted for her birthday if you asked her. I recently caught a part of a Daniel Tiger episode where there were make-believe dinosaurs, and one was purple, which is probably where she got the dinosaur idea from!}

I didn’t really put two + two together, but when I started mentioning “purple dinosaurs” to people, everyone immediately was like “Barney?” To which I wanted to stay as far away from Barney as possible! So I started looking on Etsy for a shop that could make a cute “purple dinosaur” invitation and I found this little shop that personalized the invite for Eloise!

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I love using Paperless Post because it has a great event tracker for keeping track of RSVPs, but in the past I had always used one of the invitation designs that was offered on the site. I discovered though that they offer an “upload your own” invitation that allows you to upload your own design (or one that you buy like I did) which was perfect!

Generally I take on way too much for parties (um, imagine that!) and then end up scrambling the few days leading up to the party which isn’t very fun (and is super stressful). And I also always end up with WAY too much food (you’d think I would learn after all of these years how much food we actually need). So this time, I made sure I kept things super simple (because, two children = no free time) on both the décor and the food. Food-wise, I didn’t make anything except for the cake and Rice Krispy treats (which are the easiest thing ever to make!) and it was all stuff I picked up and took out of a box or bag, and set out on the table. And décor-wise, I picked up (purple) flowers, a banner, and some balloons, but focused on one craft: party hats. I used my tried-and-true party hat (including mini ones this time since there are so many younger siblings in the mix now) and added purple “dinosaur scales” to them.

I did make Eloise’s purple cake. It was purple frosting with purple dinosaur candles. Sadly, there aren’t any close-ups of the dinosaur candles, but I spray painted plastic dinosaurs purple and candle holders gold (we are early indoctrinating this girl to be a UW fan!), had Aaron drill into the backs of them, and then put them together (like this) with purple candles as a finishing touch. I usually bake a cake for birthday parties, but this time it was a bit different because I did a “test cake” the week before to make sure the recipe was good (or that I could make it well). It was a buttermilk cake (I didn’t do the fruit compote or cream) with whipped frosting, and it was yummy!

And onto the pictures! {Thank you SO much JESS for taking these!}

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For those that have asked, the girls are both wearing one of our favorite brands June & January, Eloise in the play dress and Daphne in the play romper (both in violet).

And here are links to Eloise’s first and second birthdays!

Happy Third Birthday Eloise!

M

This post contains affiliate/referral links.

 

Baby Shower En Blanc for the Andersons

About a month ago, we were honored to throw the Andersons a baby shower for their little one Austin {who joined the world on just a few weeks ago}! I offered to throw Jess a shower last fall, not totally realizing how much more work it would be to host a party with a brand-new baby, but I did all of the planning before Daphne was born and it worked out pretty well!

Jess had requested an “En Blanc” party, so the theme was super easy: white. I pinned lots of different things, but wanted to keep things simple, both décor and food. Most of the décor I got from Etsy, but everything is linked below for those who have asked. There were tons of babies and it was so wonderful to see so many friends.

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{Popcorn favors}

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{Guess how many candies in the jar & the winner gets the entire thing!}

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{Wishes for Baby Austin}

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{The dessert bar!}

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{Thanks to Cale, the father-to-be, for helping get this donut cake together!}

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{Eloise, Daphne, and Jaz before the party!}

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{These two girls had the BEST time!}

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{All of the MAMAS! Such an amazing group of women.}

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{All of the “new” Papas!}

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{Oh brother, those papas…}

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{The Andersons!}

{photos by Jess // Ready to Pop favor stickers: Kaspi Party Etsy Shop // small white picture frames: Michael’s // white clipboard frame: Target // art: Soeurette, my mama // lidded glass vase: Michael’s // small flower bouquets: Michael’s // Oh Boy banner: Ur Invited Too Etsy Shop // LOVE sign: Target (old) // Wishes for Baby cards: DIY // white balloons: Display and Costume // tissue tassels: DIY // menu card: DIY // Oh Boy cake topper: Foiled Prints // mini cupcakes: Trophy (vanilla-vanilla)}

Congratulations Jess, Cale, and big sister Jazmyne!

M

project baby #2 {baby shower}

I was so, so honored to have a shower thrown in my honor by my amazing friend Amanda  this past weekend. As with most things related to a second (or third) baby, I didn’t want anything too crazy, including a big baby shower. We really don’t need much this time around in terms of baby stuff (although I say that and my to-buy list is surprisingly long!) and I just wanted a party where I could catch up and chat with my closest girlfriends. It was perfect.

I don’t have a ton of photos since I am so terrible about picking up my camera during a party, but Amanda took some of most of me and my guests so I wanted to share.

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{A cold January morning was perfect for a fire.}

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{Brunch an a hot chocolate bar! Plus, aren’t the trees absolutely amazing outside the dining room windows?}

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{Little tags for guests to write wishes for Baby Lower. This is so special and I can’t wait to compile them.}

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And onto some pictures with guests (and I am so sorry if you left before we could get a photo!). It means so much to me that each of these women came out to celebrate Baby Lower.

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{Me and Sara.}

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{Me and some of my PEPS mama friends – Leslie, Shannon, and Heather.}

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{Me and Kyrsten. Not pictured is her adorably squishy newborn daughter!}

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{Me, Jess, and our bumps. Jess is about 10 weeks behind me and we are so excited to be having these babies so close together!}

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{Me and my mama. The best Grammie ever!}

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{Me and Amanda, the best hostess.}

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{Chatting, or something.}

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{We were all a little obsessed with the littlest shower guest!}

 

Thank you Amanda for such a perfectly wonderful morning. I know Baby Lower is going to be so loved and supported by some of the best women around!

Amanda also threw me a shower the first time around which you can see here!

And for those that have inquired, my jumper is Hatch Collection (though no longer available but there are others here) and is so, so comfy; I am obsessed! And my pin is Chanel (see more here) that I picked up when Aaron and I were in Paris almost six (SIX!) years ago.

Happy Shower Baby Foot!

M

eloise’s second birthday party.

As I mentioned earlier in the week, Eloise’s second birthday party had a watermelon theme. It seemed like such a perfect (& easy) theme for an August birthday party, & Pinterest had many, many ideas. I limited myself to just a few & then let myself relax about the fact that any party theme or décor was entirely for me (& not for Eloise)!

I found these adorable watermelon cards on Paperless Post which were perfect & made me feel better about not designing one & mailing it out (although you know how much I LOVE snail mail!). Plus, Paperless Post is awesome because it tracks all the RSVPs for the event & you can send out reminders & message with guests – it’s awesome & a lot of the cards are free!

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This balloon garland was about the extent of the décor (minus one big helium watermelon balloon) which was based loosely on this picture from Pinterest. At the last minute I decided not to add the seeds on the pink balloons because I knew that the perfectionist in me would never be satisfied! But I really ended up liking the simple-ness of the garland in the end.

At sort of the last minute I decided to make Eloise a cake. I was originally going to just do a full watermelon & fruit cake with maybe a little yogurt frosting (like this) but it seemed a little too wedding for a toddler’s birthday party. So I made her a few sugar-free, butter-free, oil-free cupcakes using this recipe, but used frozen strawberries instead of blueberries for the frosting. And since I didn’t have any small cake pans, I just made one batch of 7 cupcakes & stacked two of them for E’s cake. Eloise seemed to enjoy her cake (which tasted like a muffin) & the frosting much more this year than last year.

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I made these impossibly cute watermelon rice krispy treats which were super easy & super yummy. I knew as soon as I made them that I should have made at least two more batches & I was right – everyone loved them!

And here are pictures of Eloise with her cake, blowing out the candles, & enjoying her birthday treat!

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Happy Second Birthday Eloise! And a HUGE thank you to Jess who grabbed the camera to take all of these pictures! M

eloise {first birthday party!}

eloise turned ONE & we had such a fun time at her party! we were surrounded by family & friends to celebrate the first year of our daughter, & it meant so much to us that everyone came over. surprisingly, I wasn’t as emotional at all about eloise turning one (even on her actual birthday!) & I really thought I would be a mess. lots & lots of people have been asking for party pictures, so here you go. {warning: there are a lot of photos!}

{we had lawn flamingoes & a dot garland to welcome guests (to our very dry lawn!). I meant to get the big flamingoes, but ended up ordering miniature ones instead (no longer available)!}


{this was a time capsule that I am doing for eloise’s first birthday. I asked each guest to fill out a card to include in the box. more details to come!}


{eloise’s smash cake & other birthday cake.}


{just brushing her teeth & playing with mama’s phone at her party.}


I didn’t take the words of advice to really limit the guest list because we wanted this to be a celebration that included all of the family & friends that are important in eloise’s life. however, I did want to keep things casual & not have a strict schedule of events, so we just did two things: a fortune telling & the cake smash.

in the Korean culture, first birthday parties are a very big deal – traditionally & in the modern day. one of the birthday traditions – the Dol – is that a child is set in front of objects & picks one. the object that is chosen is supposed to be representative of that child’s future. since eloise is half-korean, we thought it would be fun to do at her party. we also incorporated a voting portion & each guest put his or her name in a cup to vote on which object eloise would pick. once she had picked an object, I drew a name from that cup & had a little prize. I tried to stick to the traditional objects & keep the number minimal so she didn’t get overwhelmed. needless to say, she was overwhelmed & got upset at the beginning! (funny thing is that another kiddo who had a Dol at her party also cried when she had to pick!) at first eloise went for the thread/yarn, but after getting some reassurance from her papa, she ended up choosing the book. big surprise! so, eloise is going to be a scholar in her future!


{we had the objects set out so guests could see them & vote for which one eloise would pick! you can also see a shot of the slideshow we had going on the TV – all of eloise’s weekly & monthly pictures.}






{she set out for the thread first, but before she grabbed it she stopped, looked up at everyone, & started to cry. aaron gave her some snuggles & then sent her back on her way. she picked the book & was pretty happy with her choice in the end!}

after the Dol we decided it was time for some cake. I got a simple vanilla cake from Whole Foods for the guests to enjoy, but aaron & I didn’t want to introduce eloise to sugar, especially in that quantity, on this occasion. {sidenote: I realize that I won’t be able to keep eloise away from sugar forever, but I might as well while she has no idea what it is!} so I made a sugar-free banana & blueberry cake (it was similar to a banana bread) with a whipped coconut milk frosting. the recipe made two 9 inch cakes which was way too much & I ended up cutting two small circle cakes out of one of them & stacking them on top of each other (& I froze the other cake). in hindsight, I should have made a whipped cream cheese frosting instead since this was the first time eloise had coconut & she didn’t seem to be a fan. she wasn’t super interested in the cake (which was a huge surprise to us all) & I think it was because of the coconut. I gave her just the plain cake later & she gobbled it up!











{these smash cake pictures are like the many faces of eloise!}


{I am not sure which one of these family photos I like the best. & I love that eloise’s feet are blurry because she was wiggling!}

& a huge THANK YOU to our friend jess & my brother-in-law ben for taking pictures at the party! I made sure to leave our camera out (thanks for getting some snaps jess!) & asking ben to bring his camera to take photos so that I didn’t have to worry about taking the photos during the party. plus, it means that aaron & I are in them which is really special!

happy happy first birthday eloise!

M

my weekend in pictures.

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{we attended a fun celebration for both a birthday & an MBA completion for our friend sara – congratulations!}

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{hit pike place market early saturday morning to pick up last minute party goodies – fresh flowers & french macarons! the tulips are so gorgeous & I have filled my house with them.}

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{the dessert table set-up for my birthday bash.}

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{kicking my feet up after a long & fun night of entertaining. loving this fantastic anthro skirt {no longer available}!}

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{leftover cupcakes & donuts for breakfast? sure! don’t worry, we also had some blueberry muffins…}

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{aaron showing our little friend jaz how to snap a straw.}

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{car accident + rainy weather = major traffic issues.}

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{meet fred, my grandmother’s new roommate!}

we had the most amazing weekend celebrating february birthdays with our friends & family. seriously, it was the best! sleeping in, eating macarons, & catching up with friends is the very best way to spend the weekend. now I am in disbelief that we are in the last week of march already – where did february go?

how was your weekend?

M

wedding weekend in hood river {the wedding}

this last weekend we were in hood river, oregon to celebrate my cousin jesse’s wedding to his bride elise. the venue was at Bella Vista Orchards, a few miles inland of the columbia river. the ceremony took place amongst the pear trees {with views of mount hood} & the reception in a tent on the property. it was a fun venue & a perfect setting for the bride & groom to celebrate their new union!

there were two suggestions made by the bride & groom via their invitation: one – no stilettos and two – head adornments were greatly encouraged. well, i decided to take my chances with heels {they were thick heels that are easy for me to walk in, plus with the length of my dress heels were a must!} & did pretty well, though the i understand the warning against heels given the uneven dirt paths & roads all around the venue. when it came to head adornments, aaron & i were totally in. aaron decided on his fez {that his brother brought back from egypt a few years back}. i originally thought i would make or buy a fascinator {a la duchess kate} but then came across this diy floral crown on my pinterest board & decided that would be perfect. i even talked my mom & sister into wearing them as well. my dad was a little more conventional in a classic polo baseball hat.

needless to say, we had a wonderful time celebrating!

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congratulations jesse & elise!

M