A Birthday to “Lava”

Our little girl turned 3 last month. How time flies! One of her favorite movies is the Pixar animated short, Lava, about a Hawaiian volcano looking for love. It was the perfect theme for her birthday party.

As the guests arrived, Lele, the volcano’s love greeted them with a lei.   The paper umbrella wreath found a home on the front door with a pink ribbon.  The backyard was where most of the party would take place.

  Simple colored glass vases doubled as centerpiece as well as holding down colorful napkins on the picnic table.

  The same leis that greeted guests at the front door were strung together and hung under the pergola for some eye popping color. Fake, tropical leaves were stapled onto a rope and hung from the eaves of the house.  Paper lanterns and honeycombs were hung from the trees.  Both the tropical leaves, lanterns and honeycombs were from previous events I had planned.  Holding on to certain decorations can come in handy.
    For the kiddies, there was a plastic pool with balls and another splash pool with water.
  Uku’s Fishing Hole let them catch colorful fishes of their choice.   And a sandy treasure hunt let them dig for gold coins, jeweled rings and beaded necklaces. Any gummy fan would have loved the favors: gummy fruits and ribbon skewers!  One of the best parts of the party was six layer rainbow and M&M cake grandma made.  Our daughter had a blast as you can tell from this photo!

See her 2nd birthday party here!



GUEST PEACE: A Young In Love Bridal Shower

Group ShotKim, Chelsea, Amy, and Tracey are proud to highlight a bridal shower they threw for their very good friend, Megan. They all met in elementary school playing basketball and have remained close friends since then. Megan and her mother are very gifted and creative when it comes to DIY projects. The mother-of the-bride was hand-making most of the wedding flowers, decorations, etc. and because of this, they wanted to put the same DIY love into her bridal shower.

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TIP: Oil based paint pens are brighter and last longer. The water base paint pens are more likely to smear easier and are not as bright.

This piece was simple and cheap. The chalkboard sign was from Michael’s craft store with a simple tissue pompom for an accent. We spent countless hours on Pinterest grabbing ideas and finding inspiration for our signs and decorations. Amy was the creative genius behind all the custom made signs.

TIP: Oil based paint pens are brighter and last longer. The water base paint pens are more likely to smear easier and are not as bright.

Photo Aug 14, 4 02 03 PMWe basically bought out every single Michael’s within the Los Angeles area. Scouring the shelves for decorations, materials, chalkboards, and frames; anything that went with our rustic theme. We came across these letters and waited until they were on sale, then grabbed them up for only $2.50 each!

TIP: Gather as many coupons for Michael’s as you can and keep up-to-date with all the weekly sales.

Photo Aug 14, 4 19 51 PMLooking for a keepsake to give the bride-to-be after her celebration and wanting it to reflect who she is, we decided to do a twist on the traditional guest book. We came up with the idea of having a “guest ball” for all the girls to sign for our baller bride.

Photo Aug 14, 4 35 20 PMMegan is the Martha Stewart of desserts and bakes the most amazing cakes, cookies, cupcakes, breads; basically anything even considered a dessert. We wanted to do right by her and make the dessert table one of the highlights of the shower. Megan loves cookies and cream, so Chelsea made amazing bite size Oreo cheesecakes and the flower girl had about 10 of them within just a few minutes. There was also Devil’s Food Cake in a shot glass, strawberry jell-o with a pretzel crust and whipped cream filling, and delicious Bavarian Pear Tarts. We included jars filled with Megan’s favorite candies – Twix, Starburst Jellybeans, and Now & Laters and ordered mini mint ganache cupcakes from Lady Di’s Cookies and Sweets.

Photo Aug 14, 4 33 30 PMThe favors were candied apples also ordered from Lady Di’s. The mother-of-the-bride chose the White Chocolate Cheesecake apple and the Grandma’s Apple Pie apple. Tracey wanted to make the favors a little more personal by adding special gift tags to each one. These were made by first printing out the note on card stock, and then using a gift tag hole puncher to cut each one out.

Photo Aug 14, 3 49 08 PMOutside, multi-size tissue pompoms were arranged for a chandelier affect hanging from the center of the canopy. Amy made about twenty pompoms in total, which were mainly used for the faux chandelier and disbursed in various locations around the shower. The instructions for constructing the pompoms were found on our go-to site, Pinterest.

TIP: For larger pompoms – use more sheets of tissue paper for a fuller affect. For smaller pompoms, use less sheets to ease the construction of fluffing out the paper.

Photo Aug 14, 4 13 36 PM

Wanting to continue with our rustic theme, we chose to use mason jars for the drink ware. We tied small name tags around each jar and made it extra special by handwriting each guests’ name on a tag.

Photo Aug 14, 4 39 24 PM
Another highlight was the sangria bar! Who doesn’t love a refreshing sangria with a variety of freshly cut fruits on a hot summer afternoon? We used crates to elevate the jars and house the drink ware. We were fortunate enough that Chelsea had two original vintage 7-up crates, which made an amazing addition to our sangria bar. We made sure to also provide a non-alcoholic option of Megan’s favorite drink, the Shirley Temple. The sign for the sangria bar may look professional, but it is another custom-made sign made with love by Amy.

Photo Aug 14, 4 02 02 PMAs friends, we all have different skill sets and interests, which allowed us to collaborate cooperatively to create this awesome soiree. We had such a great time planning, creating, and celebrating and honoring the bride-to-be. We hope to spark an idea and inspire you with these insights and tidbits to Megan’s special day.

See more party ideas HERE!

Photo Aug 14, 4 22 24 PMMessage from the Bride:

I had the best bridesmaids ever who made it such a special day. I loved the homemade, artsy touches that they filled the day with. One of the best parts of the shower was eating all the yummy food and desserts. They also added fun personalized games about myself and my husband-to-be. I absolutely loved all the DIY decorations and was touched how everything was customized just for me. The day was filled with so much love and laughter thanks to my awesome bridesmaids.


Julie’s Baby Shower

I had the honor of helping to throw a baby shower for my sister-in-law, Julie, with a wonderful group of ladies.

Baby Shower

There wasn’t one theme to the party, but many recurring touches: florals, hearts and chalkboards in pinks, greys and golds.  My toddler generously donated the use of her easel for the welcome at the door.


You will soon learn that I have a thing for scrapbook paper.  I find the possibilities of its use endless.  These heart lanterns were made from 4 sheets of scrapbook paper and a couple sheets of tissue.


The longer I throw events, the more I understand the value of creating sustainable decor.  With the help of my mother-in-law, Vicki, we made fabric flags using various prints and patterns that Julie can hang in the nursery.  The paper heart cut-outs surrounding the invitation were the scraps from the heart lanterns.


From the fabric scraps, Vicki made these adorable stuffed elephants.


Using a random assortment of vases and a handful of flower bunches from the market, arrangements were scattered all around the house.  If you find arranging flowers a daunting task, use small and simple combinations with only a couple different types of flowers.


More scrapbook paper!  Attached to sticks, you can plop them into centerpieces, in food displays and even use them to cover the tables.  These three platters are some of my favorites as the height gives the buffet spread a little more dimension.


If there was one thing that was absolutely necessary, at this shower in particular, it was dessert!  Cari and Heather did a fantastic job with fruit skewers, dipped rice krispie treats and Oreo pops!


Heather put together the “Headband Bar” and it was a great way to let everyone put their touch on a little gift for the new baby.


This centerpiece is made with dollar store fake flowers and Honest Co. rolled diapers in their strawberry print.  Each of the planning ladies were asked to bring a onesie to make another element of decor that is adorable and functional. Go Dodgers!


Vicki created a diaper cake and this little diaper bassinet!


Incorporating the fonts and images from the original invitation, Cari took regular candles and made them into custom, elegant favors.


If you couldn’t tell by now, Julie and Lance will be welcoming a sweet baby girl in July and we are SO excited!

Thank you for all your help, Vicki, Cari, Mary, Erika, Heather and Marcy!  I don’t think the day could have been more perfect for Julie, someone we love very much.



Totoro Party

My daughter has been enamored by the Japanese animated film, Totoro, from the first time she saw it and we knew this would be the theme for her second birthday. Preparation started months before, not necessarily creating but brainstorming. This was not something I could run to the store and buy for, so I had to figure out how to create the best Totoro party from scratch.



More often than not, I start to create for parties without knowing exactly what I am going to do with them.  My motto is that you can always find a place for things as long as you are happy with the outcome.  The design of Totoro is so simplistic, it lends itself nicely to the imagination.  The soot sprites are a sort of dust bunny in the film.  What could be easier than googly eyes on a black poof ball!


I hardly ever throw anything out from a previous event.  These buckets were the centerpieces at my daughter’s first birthday and I was able to draw a quick Totoro face with black marker and a little felt and use them for favors.  Tags made of Japanese inspired scrapbook paper completed the look.


Creativity definitely runs in the family.  My mother and sisters made the birthday banner, my cousin made the soot sprite cupcakes and my brother in-law took the photos at the park.

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I still love sending mail and I think people still enjoy receiving mail!  I found a pack of Totoro playing cards online and thought they would be a great addition to create custom thank you cards.

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photo by cole-montgomery.com 

I could not have been happier with the way the decorations worked with the location and I am so incredibly thankful to everyone who made the day so special for our little girl!