Monday, January 30, 2012

Flower Party

This year for Chloe's birthday party, I went a little simple. Not by choice but mainly because I've been a bit under the weather (or like my husband likes to say the weather's been on top of me) so I originally had a huge over the top party planned, but I think this one still turned out really cute.

The colors I chose were yellow, pink and white. I did a combination of fabric and paper flowers for decorations. I only spent about two days on the party too so it really wasn't time consuming at all. I also kept changing my mind and tried to simplify what I wanted to do. Everyone seemed to like the party and Chloe had a blast and in the end that's all that mattered.

For the invitations I made fabric flowers in yellow, white and pink and wrote the party info on leaves.
Sorry this is such a horrible picture these did turned out really cute though.

For decorations I made flower pom poms. I know I use these at a lot of my parties, but this time I tried to make them look more like flowers. You can grab the tutorial for them on {this earlier post}. The only thing I did different was for the centers I used a napkin that was smaller than the tissue paper so they looked more like stamens. I put these up over the dessert table. I also strung them up with paper lanterns I had from Chloe's party last year.


For the dessert table I decided to do a small 6 inch cake along with cupcakes. I know this is just my obsessive compulsion but I wanted the food to match the color scheme too.

 I made a white cake filled with lemon curd, strawberry cream cheese and fresh strawberries and I frosted the cake with white chocolate whipped cream. I added a pink fondant flower mainly because my husband made a comment to me the night before how my flowers were really simple for the party favors. I wasn't sure how I wanted to decorate the cake and I did the desserts the morning of, so I just threw it together last minute. To get the tutorial for the ruffle look go to {this link} and you can watch {this video} for the fondant flower. Since I did the flower the morning of the party, I shaped the petals in an empty egg carton and covered them and let them set up in the fridge so they could harden.

I made cupcakes just in case some of the kids didn't like lemon curd so I just filled theirs with fresh strawberries instead. I made five sets of fabric and paper flowers in the three different colors for the cupcake toppers. Also, I was planning on adding leaves and I think it would've looked a little bit better, but I was simplifying.

For the backdrop of the food table, I made wall flowers out of napkins using the same technique as the pom poms but you can check out {this tutorial} from Made. I combined the wall flowers with a few paper pinwheels (get the tutorial from my {robot party} link) and a couple of fabric flowers.

For the food, I kept it really simple and served brunch this time. My father in law made cinnamon rolls and I made a few quiches. My family came into town for Chloe's party and they helped prep yogurt berry parfaits  (topped with corn flakes which is the Japanese way) and fruit kebabs for me.

I had my mom cut out different melons and pineapple in different flower shapes and attached grapes to look like leaves. For the containers for the fruit, I recycled a few large soup cans and wrapped them in fabric and attached a flower onto them.

I served lemonade for drinks. I bought some really cute pint size canning jars from Walmart and printed out some labels. I also bought pink striped paper straws from Little Yume on Etsy to go with the drinks. My husband was really against me getting the jars and straws since they cost a little extra, but they were a huge hit, and after the party he admitted that it was a good idea (plus I can reuse the jars as gifts or to actually can with later). The grandparents were nostalgic over the paper straws and everyone loved the cute jars.

I did take pictures of the rest of the party decor and party favors but I think they got erased because I can't find them anymore. Oh well. For the rest of the decorations I just hung balloons upside down along with the left over paper lanterns. For party favors, I made lemon ricotta cookies (my family's favorite) and added a small pink fondant flower.

You can check out these different link for different flowers I used for the party.
Organza Flowers by Little Birdie Secret
Lace Flower by See It Again Saturday
T Shirt Flower by A Bit Of Sunshine
Star Flower by The Letter 4
Peony by Ruffles and Stuff
Fabric Flower by Simply Vintagegirl

This was a fun party and it was great to spend time with family to celebrate Chloe turning two.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Achieving Your Goals

Hi, I’m Hillary, a stay-at-home mom of two, soon to be three boys. Thanks Joyce for the opportunity to be a guest blogger! Joyce suggested I talk a little about goals, which I’m passionate about. This is the perfect time to do so, since we’re all starting fresh with a whole new year before us!

If you’ve already broken your New Year’s resolutions, don’t worry, you can still start over! 

First, pick one realistic goal. Most people have an easy time coming up with things they want to achieve, the hard part is being realistic and having the gumption to keep trying after a failure. If you’re new to goal setting, and especially if you’re new to goal keeping, I suggest you start out with one goal. We all have plenty of areas to work on, but we can’t work on everything. Once you get the knack of truly accomplishing one goal, you can add more.

Second, WRITE IT DOWN! A goal really isn’t a goal if you just keep it in your head. And it must be specific enough that you can measure it and set a date to accomplish it by.

Example:    I want to lose weight. Not specific!
                   Lose 5 pounds. Still not specific enough!
                   Lose 5 pounds by February 14th. Ah, now 
                   there is a specific goal.

Third, write down the ways you plan to accomplish your goal.

                           Lose 5 pounds by February 14th by:
1.       Cutting out all drinks except low-fat milk and water
2.       Running three times a week
3.       Having a piece of fruit or a vegetable before eating any dessert

And Fourth, you need to find a way to remind yourself regularly throughout the time allotted for the goal. You can do this by:

  • Finding a friend or family member to check in with once a week
  • Writing about it on your blog
  • Taping it to your fridge with a check mark system (who doesn’t like checking things off?)
Just some way that keeps you thinking about it throughout the time so you don't forget and then feel discouraged. 

Remember to be realistic! I think that is one of the most important parts of setting goals. I think we all know whether we are truly ready to commit to a goal or not. Otherwise you’ll give up on the goal, and we don’t want that!

And at the end of the goal, find a way to celebrate. I believe the best reward is to share it with someone and say, “I did it!” and let them celebrate with you. Have a dance party with your kids, watch your favorite movie, or take half an hour to relax. You’ve earned it!

I love this quote from President Monson: "Courage is required to make an initial thrust toward one’s coveted goal, but even greater courage is called for when one stumbles and must make a second effort to achieve."

Now what are you waiting for? Start a new goal today!