Addy’s Under the Sea Birthday Party | Parties and Pretty Things

Addy’s Under the Sea Birthday Party | Parties and Pretty Things

Addy’s “Mermaid Theme” Birthday

mermaid under the sea birthday party

When it comes to birthdays I often go a little overboard. And when it comes to balloons, the same thing happens. So with balloons and birthdays….it ends up being a LOT of birthday and a LOT of balloons. This birthday though, was by far the most balloons. Addy’s third birthday when we did a balloon drop had a lot as well….but we blew those all up the old fashioned way. This time we got an AIR balloon blower from GLOW, which was an upgrade from even the hand pump I had purchased a few months ago! Basically I am balloon obsessed. Alex says that there is a rubber tree crying somewhere…even though I am not sure where latex comes from, I may have to check that out once I have internet again!

ANYWAY let’s get to how the whole thing came to be. Addy LOVES the water. She’s a fish (just like her mama, brother and Aunt Sally!) and I loved some water themed birthday pins that I had found on Pinterest. So it was done. I did the facebook invite for Addy’s party and mentioned it would be mermaid themed. I was wrong. In the end other than that mermaids theoretically live in the ocean, there was nothing really mermaid related…. but it was fun!

I worked with GLOW the Event Store to create a focal feature for the party. Once again I opted for a dessert table; they are my favorite to do, and they offer so many options for display and colour!

I TRIED to make an ombre ruffle mermaid cake (ah yes, this was the mermaid detail I added last minute by painting a tail and sticking it into the cake!) At the suggestion of my friend Jenn at Layers, I got a turntable for the cake and a ruffle piping tip. I watched three or four tutorials on you tube and went to work. But well, apparently watching a video doesn’t make you a pro. I kind of got the hang of it but by the time I did, the icing in the bag was too warm and got all droopy. SO I just smoothed the ombre all the way around. I still think it was pretty cute, though the icing got REALLY dark overnight. Is that normal with the Wilton icings? Anywhooo no one would have probably ever known that this wasn’t the cake I intended, but I’m all about being honest, and letting you know that not everything goes perfectly in planning these parties, but I am getting a bit better at letting it go and going with the flow.

Oh and I also forgot to put icing between the layers of the cake!

When I was pinning ideas for the party (you can see what I pinned here) I kept coming across this balloon tunnel, and I just had to figure out how to do it, or something like it. The balloon artists at the Event Store were able to give lots of guidance and direction on what type of balloons, how I could connect them, how what I saw was likely put together etc. If I had given them the right measurements it would have been pretty much perfect the first night, but since I made a boo boo I had to get another fifty or so balloons the next morning. (NOTE: doing this the night before the party was a great idea, but the dollar store masking tape did NOT do the trick, so when we woke up the next morning ALL the balloons were on the floor! EEEK!!!! Dollarama is fun for a lot of things, but I do not recommend their tape!)

I needed to go to the Event Store to pick up the helium balloons (aren’t the balloon octopuses amazing!!!) so grabbing another bunch of balloons wasn’t a problem!

I also picked up a few more props to fill the treasure chest, and Finn was very excited to have a new sword out of the deal!) We rounded out the treasure chest with toy pearls, some curtains to look like sand and a scarf to look like seaweed, candle holders, costume jewelry and favours including the little candy fishbowls and gold chocolate coins.

I tried to do all themed food and drinks with fun seaworthy names, like carrot crabs legs and grapes on a stick as seaweed. Bulk barn was a great spot to get themed candies and the mix to make our ocean punch. I froze Sweedish Fish into ice cubes so they would float and made some little labels to match the theme.

I made hot dog octopuses which were a huge hit. I cut them all the night before and then boiled them at the party so they were fresh (does having a fresh hot dog really matter?) and papa made some amazing mac and cheese but with shell pasta. Not a spoonful was left!

My biggest #fail was the attempt at creating a giant jellyfish out of iridescent beads/fabric and an umbrella. I actually injured myself twice and it still didn’t look great! I thought that it would bring the theme into the living room, and though it was understood to be a jellyfish by many, it certainly did’t have the wow factor I had hoped for. If I hadn’t decided to make a balloon tunnel then I would have worked on it some more, but I had to let that one slide as well! (you win some you lose some right!!!??)

The blue fabric and iridescent backdrop was simple to put up and had a huge impact, and the pop of the gold balloon was a huge win! It was Addy’s favorite, partially because it was pretty but mostly I think because she was SO excited to be turning five!

(though I did almost have an anxiety attack the other day because I couldn’t flatten pizza dough. I do not say that lightly, I have been battling anxiety the last few years and for real, panic set in on this…)

The dessert table was completed with cupcakes decorated as turtles and simple “sand” and icing. Little oyster shells with pearl candies, sand dollar cookies (I think these were my favorite)

I don’t know where she gets it, but my Addy girl loves to play hostess. It was her birthday but she wanted to pass out plates to everyone,  made sure everyone got some supper, made sure every grown up got to come to her room and see everyone play in the balloon pile after the balloon wall was demolished. She wanted to put her own candles on the cake and then pass cake out to everyone who wanted it before she had any cake of her own!

I want to say its just because she is so darn sweet, but I know that she also loves to be in control!

And what is a party without the people? We are so happy that so many people we love could come out to celebrate with us!

 

Thank you to Glow the Party Store for helping out with the tunnel balloons, octopus balloon characters, giant “5” gold helium balloon, draping iridescent gems, treasure chest, pipe and drape, blue curtain backdrop and iridescent overlay, blue tablecloth runners and netting, treasure chest, sword and pirate “shooter” (so far we don’t use the word gun in our house!) and matching plates, napkins and cups (they have a huge array of colours!!!)

Michaels : seafoam glass cake plate

Papa: awesome shells and cheese

Dollarama : White square plates, “fishbowl” favour jars

Bulk Barn : theme coloured candies

Pinterest : Inspiration

New Years Party Time

New Years Party Time

I know New Years Eve is TOMORROW (yikes!) But I promise you that you can put together a fun little table set up in 5 simple sets.

  1. Pick up the new Year’s Eve “must haves” like party hats, noisemakers and poppers. I got all of my goods at Glow, and they had really fun Kits that had enough for 5-10 people all in one box for $20 (there were a bunch of options!) One of my favorite things to decorate with were the container full of gold, black, silver and white “mardi gras” style beads. They were great on the backs of the chairs, on the table, hanging from goblets and filling a vase for a centrepiece.
  2. Rent/Buy/Use a tablecloth and some chair covers, placemats or charger plates. If you don’t know why I think renting a few things is great you can check out the post here! Pick a simple centrepiece (I used a feather ball on top of a vase filled with beads!)
  3. Repurpose things that you have in your house! I used vases and crystal goblets & champagne flutes that I already had, as well as photo booth props (not shown) and candles. I love candles!
  4. Get inspiration from blogs, Pinterest etc but then make it your own! What I love about party decor is it’s not as precise as some things so you can have a lot of fun with it!
  5. Make a statement wall/piece that can second as a photo area later on!  You can use Christmas lights, balloons, fun fringe like me, a banner…whatever you’re feeling.

Layer it all together and VOILA! I am a big fan of a full table.

Quick Tip: There are so many Christmas decorations on sale right now that are black and gold, like 70% off on sale at Michaels!

Fun Fact : Paper plates still look fancy if you use a charger plate, and then you don’t have to wash dishes after the party. And it’s New Year’s Eve, let’s be real, you don’t want to clean when everyone leaves!

I truly hope that you have an AMAZING night tomorrow and that your 2017 if full of all the good things you want it to be!

I can’t wait to eat Chinese with friends and celebrate!!!

Winter Wonderland – A Simple White Table

Winter Wonderland – A Simple White Table

I don’t know about you, but I have been loving simplicity lately. I have enjoyed weekends at home with my family (although I have to admit that I go a little bit batty when I’ve been home for more than a day at a time), a tidy home, a calmer schedule and a paired down wardrobe. Simple is just nice for me right now.

As I watch the snow floating (blowing) by our windows I thought it would be a perfect time to post this beautifully simple table. There is something that just calms the world when it is covered in a white blanket of freshly fallen snow. I am always amazed by what a quality tablecloth and chair covers can do. I love the simple cleanness of the look.

I wanted to show how you could take many of the same main elements as in our rustic look (simple wreathes and garlands) to see what an impact adding the white tablecloth and chair covers made. I loved that simple table but I wanted to take it up another notch by adding some glittery elements! A little crystal on the garland, in martini glasses, and the charger plates made the white go glam! And I stand by the hand lettered place cards! They make everyone feel so special! I actually went to a party the other night and they had signs and bar menus made by Amy, and it added such an amazing element to the evening! Top Notch ladies!!

Now that the kiddos are getting bigger it’s more difficult to fit them at the adult table, and well…white linen just seems like a bad idea when it comes to littles so I thought they would appreciate a cute little set up all of their own! Most people have a coffee table that is a good height for children, and glow has little ottomans with lots if covers available that were just about the perfect size. I used snowflake decorations as the charger plate and then two colored plates stacked (another cute little touch that added another visual element) and then used a little silver pine-cone to finish the look.

Credits

Photography by : This is Photography

Super cute hand lettered place cards : Calligraphy by Amy

All greenery : Twig & Twine Floristry

Glow for White Tables :

Crystal Garland

White Swag Chair Covers

White Poly Tablecloth

White Matte Satin Napkins

Silver Rhinestone Charger Plates

Glow for the Children’s Table :

Red Ottomans

Silver Snowflake Decoration

White & Red Plastic Plates from our Solids Collection

Red Plastic Cutlery from our Solids Collection

Red/White Paper Straws

Silver Pine-cones

Table : Wicker Emporium

Chairs: Ikea

Gilmore Girls Revival Party

Gilmore Girls Revival Party

I am a huge Gilmore Girls fan. I don’t know if it was the struggles of Lorelai and Rory’s love stories, the relationship between mother and daughter or the love for all the food…but it was always a fun show with humor and lightness and all of the beautiful appreciation and small time charm.

I wasn’t a huge fan of how the series ended, but c’est la vie right? But when I heard about the Netlflix revival I was SO excited. I mean sadly excited. Maybe embarrassingly excited. I put out a little poll on “the Facebook” as my dad calls it, to see if anyone else might be interested in a viewing party. I think we can tell by now, hosting people is something I love, and that comes very honestly to me. I grew up in a hospitality home, cooking for people, entertaining, owning restaurants and always having something in the works. And I have learned that this type of creative outlet serves me really well.

SO people were in, and my mom, my beautiful Loralei (with the poise of Emily) offered to host the party at her house. I was determined to “keep things simple” so that I could really enjoy the evening. But then the ideas kind of got away with me.

A wedding planner years ago was sharing thoughts with a bride on a budget and mentioned that if you’re on a budget a good way to use your resources is to pick one or two things to invest in that will really create a “Wow”. It’s part of the reason I almost always create one vignette at a party that I host, and has always stuck with me. I decided that for this party the “wow” would be in the welcome. A hollywood style red carpet viewing arrival (where I knew that we would take pictures as well!)

The red carpet, drapes, and red ropes/stanchions and beautiful balloons all came from GLOW. The easel and mirror I borrowed from home and the prints were from Staples. (If you haven’t heard of this before you can get really big prints for a really good price by ordering engineering prints. I have used them for Finley’s birthday party background, my to do list smiley face trackers, the calendar I posted from Hand Lettering and both the Gilmore Girls Now Playing sign and Team Jess/Logan/Dean posters. They are a great option for something quick and are only available in black and white (so I wouldn’t recommend them for getting your wedding photos printed).

Oh and it can’t be a Gilmore Girls Party without all of the food! I opened it up and made some suggestions on what people could bring that Rory and Lorelei consumed on a regular basis. We had taquitos, french fries (the devil’s starchy fingers), pop tarts (I forgot how much I liked these), pizza, Chinese, donuts, “Mallomars” and “red vines” (Viva Puffs and Twizzlers…because we’re Canadian eh?) To drink we had Founder’s Day punch without the Punch, The Rory, and of course coffee coffee coffee.

Myself and a few of the girls has custom shirts made from KoolT’s in Halifax, and I have to say that they can do almost anything and whipped these up for us in just a couple of days. Having shirts we all liked a lot means we can wear them again. I am wanting to be more “In Omnia Paratus” (ready for anything) so it’s a great fit for me (both literally and figuratively) and we got photos taken with our “teams”. Poor Dean. It’s not I don’t like him, just not as Rory’s love interest. BUT I have to say, at the end of the four new episodes I am not sure I would still be team Logan or Team Rory. Actually not very happy with those two at the moment. The end of the last episode had me frantically googling if Gilmore Girls was going to have a re-revival on Netflix. I didn’t find an answer, but if they do, you can expect a re-revival viewing party from me, because it was just so fun! Even if it wasn’t the best TV I have ever seen. Or hey, maybe a Gilmore Girls party just as an excuse to get together and have all the tasty treats!

Thanks to all the ladies who came, shared food, laughed and yelled at the TV with me (*ahem love you Stephanie**) and to Glow for hooking us up with such a cool Red Carpet welcome!

Create a Stunning + Stylish Holiday Table

Create a Stunning + Stylish Holiday Table

I love all the pretty things. I often avoid Pinterest because I get pulled into the pretty. Instagram is the same way. There are so many beautiful things out there! So I thought I would throw my hat in the ring and show you my take on some simple (but awesome) Holiday tablescapes.

I like for my house to be beautiful but I am also wanting it to be more SIMPLE.  I am working on it for 2017, for my house to be clean and uncluttered. I have BIG goals in this arena, and the best part is that I can SEE it in my mind, I believe it’s actually going to happen. I know I am going to need to get my butt into gear (and I’ve already been talking to a life coach and a home design/organizer/stager, because this poop is gonna get done!) All that said,  I wanted to create pretty things for Christmas. I wanted to have pretty tables, and create pretty pictures without thinking I had to have ALL THE THINGS. You see, there are places that already have all the things. I am sure your city or town has them, and here in Halifax I have found GLOW. Yes. They have the things. And you can RENT them.

Yup, back in the day (***ahem*** last year***) I wouldn’t have rented. I would have said something along the lines of, well I could just BUY it for a little bit more (well usually two or three times more…) and then I HAVE it. Some things this legitimately works for, like the Christmas decorations I have up in my home for about 8 weeks, cake plates that I use at every single event I host. But those things you use for one fancy dinner? The extra large linens? I have come to learn, is that if you buy things so that you have them…then you HAVE them. Yup. I know, its rocket science! When you HAVE them, you HAVE them…in your home…taking up space… Maybe that’s not an issue for me, I didn’t realize it was for me until I started doing this learning on what it means for me to be well. I realized I wanted things more simple.

I’m trying to get rid of all the things ; to declutter, simplify, clean and organize. But when I have totes full of things that I “might use again someday” it kind of goes against that end goal. Definitely there are things worth investing in but if you don’t need to HAVE all the things, maybe you can rent some of the things and get the same look (or even better!) This is growth for me people.

For this little styled table I partnered with GLOW, Twig & Twine Floristry and Calligraphy by Amy. I was actually supposed to have friends over for dinner to show off this pretty set up, but fall sickness kicked that plan in the butt!

If you have never tried building a beautiful tablescape, I think you should give it a try. It’s another great way to let those creative juices flow. This table had the beautiful greenery as the base. I liked it plain with just the greenery, but it’s fun to keep building on it. Danielle (Twig and Twine) had hooked us up with some more spruce sprigs and magnolia (cool leaves!) to layer with the main garland table runner and then we layered on top and around that. We added candles of different styles (gold, tall tapers and wooden candleholders). And then we added the personalized hand lettered placecards for the finishing touch. I LOVE place cards. (and Amy is doing a Holiday special for up to 8 hand lettered place cards for just $20. I would recommend this for making the table extra special!) You can for sure put a place card right on a napkin, but the slicing into a pinecone or using the mini wreath added a little extra depth to the look! There are a million ways to place place cards, but I think these ones worked best for this look! 

I hope you like what we put together and that it inspires you to give holiday table styling a try! Stay tuned for turning this greenery into glam later this week! 

On a side note I would love to see your table stylings this Holiday season! Please comment with a link or tag us in a post so we can see what you’re up to!

Sources

GLOW

Wood Slabs

Wood Lanterns

Silver & Gold Candle Holders

Crossback Chairs

Vintage Wood Boxes

Twig & Twine

Wreaths

Mini Wreaths

Greenery/Magnolias/Garland Table Runner

Calligraphy by Amy – Hand Lettered Place Cards

Tapered Candle Holders – Value Village

Table & Bench – Wicker Emporium

Wooden Tealight Holders – Gift from my Dad – Unknown Source

Linen Napkins – Homesense

Holiday Hot Chocolate Bar – A Fun Simple Set – Up

Holiday Hot Chocolate Bar – A Fun Simple Set – Up

I really enjoy Hot Chocolate, and now that I have found the very dangerous salted-caramel-white-hot-chocolate, watch out winter! I’ll be going sledding and playing outside just to get cold enough to have the excuse for hot chocolate!

I LOVE hosting people all the time, but ESPECIALLY at Christmas. The entire Holiday season is a big celebration for me and I like to always have something “at the ready” so there can be something festive and fun if people come by! Not that we get a tonne of drop-ins but life is busy, and often we invite people over on the fly, so its nice to have cookies in the freezer (hello Cookie exchange!) and this fun Hot Chocolate Bar that can now be set up in less than 5 Minutes.

Almost everything I had on hand, but presenting it in a fun way is what makes it feel so special! I hand lettered the “Baby its Cold Outside sign.” and grabbed a few of the decorative Christmas trees we had around the house. I made a tree tower of cups  and then got out the good stuff. I chose to use mason jars for the tasty treats so I could seal them back up and put them in the cupboard, and the next time I set up, its just taking the lids off! Caramel and chocolate sauce went into little plastic squeeze bottles I picked up at Bulk Barn. (I have seen them at Michael’s as well) Labels were Christmas tags I picked up at Dollarama and I just covered the can of whipped cream in scrapbook paper so it would look a little fancier.

Marshmallows, whipped cream, sprinkles, crushed candy cane, sea salt and mini chocolate chips make a nice variety of options. I got white hot chocolate mix at Bulk Barn as well (I did have trouble finding it in the grocery store) and then went for classic milk chocolate a second base. I was going to make dark chocolate as well, but since there were only six of us, I thought it might be a bit of overkill.

Of course the salted-caramel-white-hot-chocolate was my favorites, but peppermint-marshmallow-milk-chocolate or triple-chocolate-chocolate-chip are great options as well! You can add as many toppings or mix in’s as you like but this makes it super simple with some great flavor options!

A simple set up, easy to replicate and do over and over, and who doesn’t love hot chocolate!

Happy hot chocolate creating! (and enjoying!)