1st birthday

some bunny’s turning 1

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seeing as how easter is this weekend and bunnies are on the brain, i thought i would share a sweet custom invitation i did for a client in charlotte earlier this year.  her sweet girl turned 1 and she threw a pastel rabbit-themed soiree for her little gal.  so precious.

i am IN LOVE with this new wildflower liner pattern that is brand new for 2014.  so many fun colors to use!

spring first birthday invitation


available for purchase here.bunny 1st birthday partybunnies are so sweet for little girls.  rinne is on her 3rd “bunny” after unfortunate losses of “pink bunny” and “white bunny” so we love them here too.

some bunny's birthdayand look at what a cute spring party it was!




image2i mean, if she isn’t the cutest thing.  happy 1st birthday everett!!!

happy easter y’all!





welcome to banks’ farm

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my friend shannon is a lot of things…she is my beautiful, always fashionable friend (you may recall when we both were the same amount overdressed at an indigo girls concert; her in gold lame pants and i in my fur coat), a tireless charity volunteer, the perfect hostess (ask her to make you a vodka tonic if you’re feeling brave), and the brains behind charmed jewelry.  last october, she got to add a title none of us can anticipate: a NICU mom.  her little boy banks was born with intestinal issues which required surgery after surgery and a 4 month stay in the NICU.  thankfully, banks came out on top and is now a healthy and happy ONE year old!  yea!!  clearly a big celebration was in order after a challenging but blessed year for their family.

starting with a farm theme, i whipped up an invite

farm invite

farm top

…and shannon took it from there.  let’s not forget this is the same girl who just makes pom pom fringe awnings APPEAR in her house.  behold.





IMG_9130this party was one of the best 1st birthday parties i have ever attended – so many things for the older kids to do!  between the bouncehouse, petting zoo, pony rides, arts & craft tables and snack food, my two were in heaven.  although rush took a liking to a ride-on jeep and promptly put it in turbo speed (who knew those things have a speed faster than “crawl?”) and nearly took out a cochin chicken, but that’s neither here nor there…


rinne loved the bunny.




i think he enjoyed his first taste of sugar!



IMG_9309happy 1st birthday sweet banks!  we love you and are so proud of you!!


p.s. some photos courtesy of the talented kerie cleveland photography!

up up and away

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i just love a 1st birthday party.  babies are so sweet at that age, and it’s such fun to see what they do with their first taste of cake.  plus, it’s a children’s birthday party where you can actually catch up with your friends, which doesn’t so much happen once they get bigger and the parties transition to being all about the children instead of the adults (what the hey!?).  this was not my friend shannon’s first visit at the rodeo, who at the time of this 1st birthday party, also had a 2 year old and a 3 year old!!  shannon seems to have an inexhaustible party brain – all of her children’s soirees are done to a T and so original – and super fun too!

she went with a balloon theme and used a palette of light blue, navy blue and grey…

1st birthday invitation - balloon

in the etsy shop here.

balloon party invitationthe party was nothing short of perfection.  shannon always, always blows my expectations out of the water. oh, did i not mention in addition to her three kids in three years thing she’s got goin’ on, she’s also a big deal in the local mortgage world?  yeeeeah. and why do i have trouble making it to the grocery store again?

birthday monogram wreath

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balloon party food table 1
balloon party food - donuts


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here are carlton, sweet birthday boy knox and shannon!  love this family.


omg. so cute.

birthday boy

i think all of the partygoers enjoyed themselves (and there i am in the magenta gingham shirt, with my back wisely to the camera as i clearly did not wash my hair this day due to the evident bun situation).

partygoers chowing down

….rinne especially had a great time, you can see, as the last child standing at the food table.  girlfriend likes her grub.

photo-184 copyfavors were balloon shaped cookies – and a real balloon!

photo-184 copy 3it was a fantastic celebration for a sweet little guy.  happy birthday KNOX!


winter ONEderland

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when your little one has a winter birthday, there are all sorts of fun themes you can do.   hot chocolate parties, ice skating, gingerbread house making, cookie decorating…hmm, those would all make fun parties, perhaps i should jockey for a winter baby next instead of these blazing hot summer ones!  at the top of my list for a first birthday falling in the cold months is a little winter ONEderland.  how sweet and perfect!  lots of cute snowflakes and you’re good.  i have a new invitation design for this, actually, it just so happens…

winter onederland invitation

winter onederland invitation 2

winter onederland 1st birthday

available in the etsy shop here.

we also fashioned a happy birthday sign – did you know that we did those?  i love them.  so festive and a great way to tie it all together!

p.s. check out that drop dead wallpaper.

happy birthday sign

the party was fun, festive and appropriately wintry-themed…

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favors were (scrumptious) cookies in the shape of snowflakes.

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during the party, rush found more than a few pretty girls to hang out with…including these two beauties.

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the birthday girl was precious (but she always is!).

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Screen Shot 2013-01-06 at 1.31.46 PM cute, cute family.  happy 1st birthday anna lovett!!


happy halloween birthday

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HAPPY HALLOWEEN to you!  i’m going to be a zookeeper (uh, dressed in plainclothes) tonight – i’ll have a monkey (rush) and a giraffe (rinne).  and i have a feeling i will be feeding the animals…nothing but sugar for dinner.   one night a year won’t kill ’em!

i am so excited to post this very timely halloween 1st birthday party!  i mean, what a great idea for a late october baby?!  i had a ball working with my client sarah – she suggested a greek key border for the invitation and i was most happy to oblige.  come on, who doesn’t love a little greek key action.

oh, and please excuse my “lazy blogger’s camera” = instagram.  and i am going to be so sad to take down my candy corn garland from the bookshelves…it’s so fun to look at and makes me think about eating candy, which i enjoy.

calliespondence also suited her up with some pumpkin bag tags (the favor!) and a birthday banner sign.

this was no chicken finger and mac & cheese party – sarah served cider braised pork shoulder, roasted purple potatoes with sage, and roasted green beans with lemons and shallots.  perfect fall party fare!

treats were hidden for the kids to find on a “pumpkin hunt”…

looks like the birthday boy found some loot!

halloween-themed cupcakes from atlanta cupcake factory provided a sweet treat…

and the birthday boy sealed the deal with a cupcake of his own…

happy birthday jack jr.!!  and thanks to sarah for sharing your sweet boy’s party.

hope all of you have a terrific halloween!  i’m already looking forward to my facebook news feed filled with adorable costumes on the littles.


party for two

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billie, who you met the other day, was really supposed to be at least a month older than rinne.  but as luck would have it, billie was tardy for the party and rinne was a scheduled c-section kind of a gal, making her entrance a tad early at 39 weeks, so their birthdays are exactly two weeks apart.  how about that!  it’s not very often that your very close friend who is married to your husband’s very close friend has a same gender baby within two weeks of your own.  right?  these two are destined to be bffs, clearly.

here they are in their first month of life.  rinne had a great tan! (i.e. touch of jaundice)

brin said this double stroller ride was a flash forward 16 years.  billie’s in the driver’s seat, because she is a little bit older you know.

as the girls approached their 1st birthday, brin and i tossed around the idea of throwing a little party with just our mutual friends and immediate family to celebrate the twins, er, friends.  this was a good thing for me because i am a person that needs party parameters. my nature is to invite everybody – old friends, new friends, distant neighbors, people i run into at the grocery store.  so keeping it to folks who knew both billie and rinne worked well and kept it somewhat small – plus i had someone to bear the burden of the party planning with.  that’s another thing – i get real into things being a detail oriented person, and before you know it, i’m rewrapping bubble containers with coordinating colored paper and losing sleep because i can’t find the perfect cocktail napkins.  it is truly best for me to throw tiny, family-only parties for the kids…the stress level is kept way, way down and i don’t drive myself crazy.  so this may be the last birthday party you see of mine for a good long while :)

so!  we ended up hosting a pool party at brin’s clubhouse on a sunny august day, and i believe a good time was had by all.  we chose a lavender and red color palette…  i loved that it was kinda sorta girly, but not totally in your face.  plus i hadn’t seen it done all that much, which is always a selling point for me.  we really had the colors be the theme, which made it super easy when choosing all of the party accouterments…

i know this great little place to get invitations.

available in the etsy shop here.

don’t forget about the stamps!  you’ll never catch me using a liberty bell.  well, maybe if i throw an old school independence day party in shades of brown.

we fashioned simple matching thank you notes in the same palette.

now, the party!  it’s kind of a long story but… through a trade organization that her dad is a part of, brin can score free items from certain local companies who accept trades.  through her dad’s generous offer to let us use his account (bad idea tom! i think he’s trade bankrupt now), we were able to score some pretty awesome, but also pretty random gratis items…

exhibit a: an enormous 30 foot balloon arch with red and purple balloons.

the best part was the drive-by ballooning of the set-up people.  they stormed in with this ridiculous tower of balloons and set it up in less than 60 seconds, dropped a couple of balloon bouquets by the door and then peaced out.  craziest thing.  it sat over the dessert table, which featured cupcakes and ruffle smash cakes courtesy of sweet peeps.  the coke crates were leftover from brin’s wedding in 2009 – those things come in handy, i tell you!

here’s another reason why i can’t throw a party again anytime soon – i got totally spoiled by having a caterer.  the food was procured through the trade organization, and it was waaaaay too easy.  the gentlemen blew in, set up the food, lit some bunsen burners and were out.  i am a little concerned with their business model however, because they gave us enough food to feed hundreds.  omg.  i can’t even tell you how many honey bbq meatballs the burnettes polished off that next week.

we offered a range of drinks…juice boxes and water bottles located on the floor for little hands’ easy reach, and up top, spiked strawberry-basil punch, mango tea and a variety of brews.  i grabbed some books from my red shelf to prop the punch dispenser on.  if i had been really on my game, i would have grabbed from the purple shelf – alas.

there were bubbles for the kids, i know they appreciated the red polka dot wrap instead of the garish one that comes on the bottle.

and the favors.  btw, aren’t these little vases with a clip for a card so cute?  they are vintage, courtesy of brin.

i whipped up a little notepad – grey chevron for the gents, lavender chevron for the ladies – for the kids in attendance that said “from the playroom of {child’s name}.”  we tied them to “1” cookies from cookie creations with red and white baker’s twine.

i’m thinking about offering these in the etsy shop.  hmm.  stay tuned for that, they really do make great gifts and favors!

what i love is that there was a child there named will smith, whose favor happened to be on top…  my friend brooke said she thought it was all famous people names so she poked around hoping to find lady gaga :)

the cake smash event was sort of…anti-climactic. not much cake eating?!  more wary finger pokes than anything else.

it was such a great day to celebrate our girls…

can’t wait to watch these two grow up together!

p.s. speaking of lovely ladies having birthdays – happy birthday to my mom, catherine shockley, who rinne is named after!!!

it’s a jungle out there

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the first year of life is a quite wild time, so how fitting is a fun jungle theme for a one year old’s birthday soiree?!  my friend betsey’s little gal eleanor recently turned 1, and she asked me to drum up a pink and green invitation featuring animals found in the wilderness.  done and done!

isn’t that font so wild and crazy?!  i mean, if a font could be such.

i whipped up matching thank you cards as a gift.  y’all know i pretty much only give practical gifts, right?  things you need.  can’t live without.  think pajamas.  stamps.  calendars.  underwear.  ok, not really but i have received this as a gift from a girlfriend and sincerely appreciated it.  actually, i think some of rush’s friends would really enjoy some lightning mcqueen big boy underpants…hmm.  wonder if that would be weird.  anyhow.  thank you notes – gotta have ’em!

the party was too much fun!  animal print balloons greeted us.

helen (eleanor’s big sister) was kind enough to show me the hot spots around the party.  first, we have the food table, which is always a big hit.

next we have the games and entertainment table, whereupon i was coerced into putting on a monkey mask.

last stop, the outdoor ball pit!

and really, how cute is this little birthday girl…

she and rinne are big buds.

we loved celebrating sweet eleanor!
now all together:
in the jungle, the miiiiighty jungle…

giraffes and cupcakes – a 1st birthday party

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remember this little cupcake?  well, that cutie turned 1 recently.  her mama loves cupcakes (before they were cool, she has said – which i believe) and the baby loves sophie.  sophie…you know, the french giraffe that is essentially a well-packaged dog toy that has swept the baby nation by storm.  so what else to do but throw a giraffe cupcake soiree for the little miss!!!  i love it.

invites were fashioned with a large giraffe and a pink cupcake on his nose…

mint green envelopes were lined in snow and graham’s cupcake pattern…

and did you notice my photo prop of a….wire fruit basket?

not just any wire fruit basket.  one that merrell gave me for christmas when we lived in san diego. we had gone shopping up in solana beach and i had longlingly gazed at it, but did not purchase it for some no-good reason.  well, merrell bought it and saved it for weeks to give me as a christmas gift.  don’t you just love good friends like that?  i have used it in every house since and i just adore it.  thanks merle!

anyway – back to the matter at hand, besides the fact that i am now turning to eccentric items around my house on which to stage photographs.  emily’s PARTY!  i wish i could have gone to see this fete with my own eyes, as i know it was so special…but was instead on vacay at piedmont hospital welcoming rinne.  man…i’d love to phone in a piedmont salad with honey mustard dressing right now.

check out this cute spread with sophie hanging out in the background.  isn’t everything prettier under a glass cloche?

how awesome are these giraffe cupcakes??

and the best sight of all – the adorable birthday girl!!!  and y’all, she is really one happy baby.  and the outfit – don’t even get me started.

and because i want you to see her little hair adornment up close…here is the big one-year-old and her beautiful mama.

so happy for this sweet family of three!  happy birthday emily!!!