April 26th, 2016 |


INVITATION IMAGEDo you all remember a while back when Daniel turned one and I just couldn’t believe how quickly that first year went?!  We celebrated with his preppy Apple of Our Eye party and I cried for a week.  Well, his second year went just as fast!  We celebrated his 2nd birthday back in October and it’s taken me….gulp…..6 months to get this post up on the blog!  Since today is his half-birthday, I figured it was finally time to share!

Daniel is obsessed with all things that go.  Cars, trains, airplanes, buses, and trucks. Definitely trucks.  He’s a preppy little mama’s boy, and that is just fine by me (at least for now!).  I tossed around a few different theme ideas for his birthday party, but just couldn’t narrow it down to one mode of transportation….so we included them all! His “Things That Go!” party was full of preppy stripes, gingham checks, monograms and silhouettes of his favorite vehicles.

I will be adding this new collection of party goods to the shop, but here are a few decoration ideas to look out for while you scroll thru the photos:

  • The invitation included a custom pattern featuring all of the different modes of transportation and I just love how it turned out in the preppy navy blue, green, yellow and light blue color palette.
  • Guests were greeted at the party to colorful balloons and a coordinating welcome sign.
  • We hosted the party at my parents house and they have a big staircase in their foyer.  I wanted to make a festive statement when guests first walked in, but it’s a big space and people wouldn’t be in there for very long. To decorate it, without spending a fortune, I used navy blue stripe banners from Target and added big yellow bows in between.
  • The family room held a festive kids table, the bar and the dessert table – so I had to make it all work together! The kids table was set with a navy blue and white stripe table runner, white pots held grass plants and monogrammed centerpiece sticks, with 36″ yellow balloons coming out of them. My favorite detail were the gingham melamine plates (coming soon to the shop!). Each child had a personalized plate at their spot, and it served as both the placecard and a party favor!
  • I set up the bar on my parent’s buffet, and kept it really simple: lemonade in a drink dispenser, water bottles with coordinating labels and green river bottles tied up with striped ribbons and our foil-stamped straw flags.
  • I wanted to get a little playful with the food, so we served truck and car shaped cheese + crackers, car shaped turkey sandwiches for the kids, and sliders for the adults. Fruit kabobs looked party-ready on our foil-stamped wood stir sticks (they featured the helicopter), and I got a little cheesy with the signage, such as the “choo! chew!” sign next to the napkin rolls.
  • One of my favorite custom decor items was the decoupaged letters I did for the food buffet, spelling out his name. Each one featured a different pattern, edged in a wide grosgrain ribbon.  And then I added greenery, gerber daisies and berries around the base.
  • To keep the little ones entertained, I had a bucket of paper airplanes ready to construct. With a charming “Come Fly with Me” sign, of course.
  • The dessert table was fairly simple and included a tiered cake featuring the different vehicles and an oversized acrylic monogram topper from Scrappinplus on Etsy, the most adorable sugar cookies from Sweet Nelson’s Bakery in both his monogram and all of the vehicles, stoplight brownies that I made using m&m’s, and mini cupcakes with gummy airplanes on them.  The backdrop was really fun to create: I ordered fringe garlands in my color palette from ALittleMerriment on Etsy and draped them across the large window the table sat in front of for the party.
  • The kids all brought home their melamine plates and a popcorn box full of transportation-themed small toys and treats.  Mini race cars, paper airplanes, a train lollipop, etc.  Daniel was in car heaven!


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March 29th, 2016 |


entry - invitationCustom parties are our favorites over here.  1) it’s always fun to create something new and 2) when they turn out THIS cute, they also tend to turn into our best-selling/most-pinned/most-cherished-parties.  I’ve been holding this one in the hopper for quite a few months now.  Not because I couldn’t wait to share it with you, but because I was hoping to share it once the new (and improved) shop was up and running and we could link to all of the paper goods.  But, alas, perfection takes time.  We’re counting down the days until that new shop launches, but for now…..for now, we are going to wow you with the details from this stunning Mermaid Under the Sea party!

I worked with one of my favorite little clients and her Mama to create the ultimate Mermaid party for her 6th birthday.  You may remember her Monkey 1st Birthday, her Girly Elmo 2nd Birthday, her Hello Kitty 3rd Birthday, her Princess 4th Birthday or her Fashion Show 5th Birthday.  It’s always a treat to work with these ladies and this party is so full of sparkling gorgeous details, I’m mostly going to let the photos do the talking.

A few details to look out for:

  • The invitation was a folded invitation with an oversized foil-stamped mermaid on it.  It was packaged in a clear box with crinkle paper and a mermaid sugar cookie, and tied up with a bow and personalized name tag.  DARLING!
  • The front yard featured lots of “bubbles” floating in the yard (balloons in shades of aqua and blue) along with two oversized mermaid cut outs on the front door.  Note that these mermaids were decked out with a “statement necklace” of ribbons and shells.
  • The entry way and hallways boasted green streamers and fish cut-outs on the walls to look like you were walking thru the sea, and it lead you into the family room where the kids table and bar was set up.
  • The kids table was festive with a sequin tablecloth, custom fabric runner made from our Under the Sea pattern, and unique centerpieces in shell vases. Each placesetting held one of our bubble tins, and had a chair plaque featuring different shells.  Jumbo balloons soared above the table like bubbles!
  • The “bubbles bar” was set up on the kitchen island and featured fun drinks like “octopus punch” and “strawberry mermade”. We spray-painted shell photo holders a bright pink to hold our drink signage. “Sea Water” was served in bottles with matching labels, and all of the cups were dressed up with mermaid stickers and striped straws with our foil-stamped straw flags.
  • The buffet was set up with gorgeous florals and hanging “bubbles” from the chandelier with roses in them. Napkin ties, food tent cards and wood stir sticks used for fruit kabobs helped to brand the table, and A Fare Extraordinaire created sea-worthy bites, such as crab croissants, starfish pizzas and more.
  • Guests mingled outside in their outdoor living space, and we jazzed it up with throw pillows, florals, and created a focal point around the fireplace with colored lanterns, banners and themed posters. The show-stopper was the giant balloon arch leading out into the backyard!
  • Kids enjoyed a bounce house, face painting, creating sand art, and more in the yard. My favorite activity was the dolphin ring toss game.  This little (inexpensive) gem was dressed up with a floral wreath around the base to embellish it.  I just LOVE how it turned out!
  • The dessert table was a stunner!  White cake stands popped on an aqua sequin tablecloth, and our fabulous mermaid backdrop sat center stage.  Themed desserts included cupcakes with mermaid tails, starfish parfaits, sugar cookies, macarons with pearls, polka dot chocolate-covered oreos, bags of jelly “bubbles” and lots of purple candy.
  • The tiered fondant birthday cake by Cakes by Gina was gorgeous with so much intricate detail!
  • For party favors, Alexandra gifted her friends rhinestone swim goggles and a starfish wand.  They were wrapped up with ribbon and a foil-stamped gift tag.

Stunning photos from Goodlight Photography.

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December 9th, 2015 |


invitationCreating a little Christmas magic for the little ones in my life is always a goal for the holiday season.  This year, I want to host a “Breakfast with Santa” party – complete with our darling Santa party invitation, festive tablesetting, a donut breakfast bar, and Santa mug party favor.

A classic red and green color palette looks fresh against a crisp white backdrop.   Here are a couple of my favorite details to look for in the photos:

  • Our “Santa” party invitation is one of my all-time favorites.  It could be used for a variety of Christmas events, and I love the simplicity of it and the preppy stripes on the back.  You will see we play off the stripes in a few different places, like on the kids plates, and on the banner hanging above the donut bar.
  • Our tablesetting contained a couple of festive elements: a personalized melamine plate that also served as a party favor, and a white napkin tied up with a red bow and big red jingle bell.
  • The theme dictated a breakfast menu, so a donut bar was in order!  I used my white cake stands to serve up different types of donuts, many of which were basic store-bought donuts I embellished myself with a little frosting and sprinkles!
  • I used a red and white stripe banner from Target as the backdrop for the donut bar, and used 2″ silver foil letter stickers to spell out “believe” on the pennants.
  • My favorite item on the donut bar were the cello bags full of powder sugar donuts with our santa sticker labeling them “snowballs.”
  • We sent guests home with a charming Santa mug from the Martha Stewart Collection at Macy’s, tied up with cellophane and our big “special delivery” foil-stamped gift tags.

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October 28th, 2015 |


4B8B1818One of the challenges we face when planning custom birthday parties is the location, and what they will allow in terms of decorations.  If your planning a party at home, the sky’s the limit when it comes to decorations.  But at a restaurant, play place, farm, museum, etc. that’s not always the case.

One of our favorite clients asked us to help plan her son’s Under the Sea/Finding Nemo birthday party this past spring.  The catch was, he wanted to have it at the Houston Aquarium.  There was a restaurant, where they could decorate a table, but they could only get in 30 minutes prior!  So….we had to plan smart, and come up with a few key details that would make the space look festive, yet that could be set up quickly!

A few fun details to take note of:

  • The colorful tablesetting for the kids – we dressed up basic linens with a table runner made from our custom fish patterned fabric, and then popped it with paper plates, napkins, cups, and bubbles.
  • We used turquoise foil accents throughout all of the paper goods, from the invitations, to the straw flags, to the party favor gift tags. It added to the look of bubbles!
  • The adult guests were served a themed cocktail….blue, of course!
  • The tiered cake by Cakes by Gina was spectacular!
  • After the kids went on a fabulous tour around the aquarium, they took home a sand pail full of goodies, including a stuffed Nemo, and tied with a foil-stamped gift tag.


October 14th, 2015 |


placesettingIt’s no secret that we love a good theme party around here.  And when it comes to baby showers, more often than not, we’re working with a gender neutral color palette.  A rubber ducky theme is classic, and one of my all-time favorites.  It also works beautifully for a 1st birthday party (I know a certain little man in my house that LOVES rubber duckies!).

Our new rubber ducky party invitation is just darling, if I do say so myself!  The front features a turquoise bubble background along with our charming ducky, and the back features an all-over ducky pattern.

Sometimes you need just a few details to make a party special.  If you are hosting a party at a restaurant or club, you may only be able to decorate the tablesetting. I suggest lining the table with a polka dot patterned table runner, and creating graphic, festive centerpieces by lining up mini rubber duckies from Party City on white cake stands.

Surprise your guests with one coordinating dessert, such as a theme appropriate sugar cookie.  Sweet Nelsons made these darling ducky cookies for us, and they were as delicious as they were adorable.  I love gifting my guests with edible party favors, and think you can have a lot of fun trying to coordinate your candy to your theme.  For this party, we used blue round candy from Candywarehouse.com to look like bubbles.  And to dress up a basic cellophane bag – a little ribbon and our matching rubber ducky gift sticker go a long way!

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October 12th, 2015 |


trick or treat introHalloween is such a fun holiday, especially for kids! With the holiday falling on a Saturday this year, it offers up the opportunity to host a little party.  One of my favorite ways to entertain for Halloween is to invite neighbors over for sweets before trick-or-treating. Our pumpkin stripe party invitation is the perfect way to invite your guests – full of stripes, pumpkins and candy corn.

Halloween can give Mamas a to-do list a mile long, between costumes, school parties, candy for trick-or-treaters, etc. The idea of baking sweets for a party may be daunting enough for you to pull the plug on the idea.  Don’t let it!  Here are a couple tips for creating a clean, stylized presentation of store-bought goodies:

  • Create a clean look by using all white, black and orange sweets
  • Display all of your goodies on white cake stands and serving pieces, dress up one or two of them with an orange bow
  • Embellish store-bought vanilla cupcakes with a candy corn pumpkin, brownies with candy corn, and make sure you pick up some of the Halloween Oreo cookies!
  • Fill up little candy cups or baking cups with candy corn for little hands to grab
  • Use foam letter stickers (available at your local craft store) to embellish milk bottles or glasses with “boo” or the kids’ names.

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September 24th, 2015 |


planterOne of my favorite parts of my job is designing custom parties for clients.  One of my repeat clients recently asked us to create a preppy football party for her son.  I’m thrilled to show you the darling details she pulled together – great attention to detail, preppy stripes, and masculine enough for the boys!  I hope you can pull some inspiration for your next tailgating get-together or “boy” birthday party!

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June 22nd, 2015 |


gingham check first communionWorking with my custom party planning clients is truly one of my favorite parts of my job.  My clients invite me into their families, to help them plan a memorable event – a baptism, birthday party, bridal or baby shower, and in this case a First Holy Communion.  Held in Florida, we wanted to give the event a crisp, sunny color palette, and use classic haberdashery patterns for a masculine look.  A gingham check invitation design was born, and set the tone for the rest of the party.  (PS – our gingham check invitation is available in the shop in 8 different color ways!)


The event had a very classic feel to it, and there are some steal-worthy ideas that would be perfect to incorporate into a summer party.  Some of my favorite details include:

  • Guests were welcomed to the event with a sweet placecard display. Lollipops (with the guests’ names and table no. were placed on stickers) stood at attention in pots full of green moss.
  • During the cocktail hour, guests sipped on sweet tea in cups personalized with stickers and our foil-stamped straw flags. Cocktail napkins, stamped with a custom message added a personalized touch.
  • Our custom fabric, in a coordinating blue and white gingham check, was made into table toppers for the round tables and featured a yellow pom pom trim. The tables featured two different centerpieces from Flowerama: a gorgeous white lantern from Pottery Barn, wrapped in a white hydrangea wreath and a yellow vase full of “happy” daisies and yellow billy balls.
  • The kids had their own special table, also dressed in a gingham check runner, with big yellow balloons soaring above it.  We hung a “God Bless Marco” chair sign at the head of the table, for the man of the hour.
  • The dessert table carried out the sunny blue, yellow and white color palette with a yellow striped custom fabric backdrop, yellow candy including small bags of jelly beans accessorized with gift stickers, a gorgeous cake incorporating the gingham check pattern by Cakes by Pink, cake pops from Sweet Lauren Cakes, gingham check chocolate-covered oreo cookies from Sweeties by Kim, and a pennant banner that hung across the front.
  • As a keepsake for the communicant, we created a custom guest book, including photos of the young man and his family, along with pages for guests to write him a special note.


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June 16th, 2015 |


DSC_0623One of life’s greatest joys is welcoming a new baby into a family.  So when my sister announced that she was expecting a baby, we were thrilled.  She and I are both blessed with charming (and active, rambunctious, and sassy) little boys, so when they found out they were having a little girl….well, let’s just say we were all tickled pink!  We come from a family of strong ladies – hard-working, entrepreneurs, caring, fashionable, and feisty – and it’s been 25 years since we welcomed a little girl into the family.  So, a party was an absolute must!

The ladies of the family threw a “Flamingo Sips & Dips” this past weekend to celebrate the upcoming arrival of my new niece, and we had a blast with this theme.  Since this is her second baby, we didn’t want to throw a full-blown baby shower, but more of a celebration and a reason to drink pink punch with the ladies!  I hope you enjoy the peek below of the party – it was such a blast!  We have a few more weeks before we meet the baby….we can’t wait!

Here are a few details to look for in terms of decor ideas:

  • We used our brand new Pink Flamingo party invitation to invite guests. This is one of my favorite designs, and it comes in 8 different color ways.  Perfect for a summer pool party, bridal or baby shower, birthday party or summer dinner party!
  • We welcomed guests to the party with a festive entrance, complete with pink flamingos accessorized with green striped bows, balloons and a boxwood wreath on the front door that held a onesie that I decorated with our pink flamingo image.
  • We set up one food buffet table to hold our appetizers and desserts.  The table was dressed with a palm print tablecloth, and held two centerpieces that may be my absolute favorite ones that I have EVER done.  We used basketweave vases from Target, and combined an assortment of hydrangeas, peonies, gladiolas and tulips in varying shades of pink and orange to create them, and topped them off with pink flamingos.
  • The food was all served on baskets full of greenery, and instead of using standard food tent cards, we used Kate Aspen brushed gold, mini picture frames in a fretwork design from Party City to hold the food names.  I loved the chic pop they gave the table.
  • Frog Prince Cake & Cookie Design created the most darling pink flamingo cookies for us as a little sweet option.
  • We set up a self-serve bar, making it simple for guests to help themselves, and to keep us hosts from running around filling up drinks!  Two drink dispensers held pink lemonade and citrus-infused water.  We embellished them with signage, gingham ribbon and pink tassels.  Lilly Pulitzer flamingo cups were the perfect addition, and looked darling accessorized with our green striped straws with foil-stamped straw flags.
  • We wanted a little nod to the ladies of our “flock”, so we displayed a baby photo of each of us girls on a lattice screen.  Guests had a blast looking at them!
  • To add a fun little “game” to the party, we asked guests to guess what the baby’s name will be.


April 28th, 2015 |


fiesta party invitation horizontalCinco de Mayo is a colorful, festive celebration that typically is more geared towards adults.  I have a couple fun ideas for you, from my book Stylish Kids’ Parties, on how to throw your littles a colorful fiesta.  These ideas would also work smashingly well for a Fiesta birthday party!

Whether you are hosting a Cinco de Mayo party or a Fiesta birthday party, send your guests a colorful invitation to set the tone for the event!  We have two new designs in the shop that would be perfect: the fiesta and the confetti invitations.  (see images at the bottom of the post)  If you want to get crafty, you can add a glassine envelope of colorful confetti to it!


pom pom trimDress up your basic party platters or cake stands with colorful pom pom trim from your local craft store.  One of my favorite ways to serve up lemonade is in mini mason jars with flower lids and striped straws. Looking to add a playful punch to your party?  Fill up a bowl with sprinkles and place your mason jar drinks in them for easy grab-n-go.

drink bottles verticalDecorate your tablesetting with a fringe centerpiece.  Using a wood number (age) or letter (initial), wrap it with a paper fringe garland and stick it into a pot of wheat grass.  The full DIY instructions are in my book, Stylish Kids’ Parties, along with a couple free printables.

centerpiecewrap fringe around the numberSend your little guests home with paper cone party favors full of candy.  I used pink and orange striped lollipops from Candywarehouse.com.  Throw in a couple of tacos and chocolate-covered churros, and you’ve got yourself a fabulous family-friendly Cinco de Mayo party!  Here are the two new invitations in the shop that would be PERFECT for a Fiesta party:

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