Hooray for Hip Hip Hooray

Monday, February 28, 2011

Do you know the blog Hip Hip Hooray? I'm obsessed! Anytime I can find a blog with gorgeous eye candy that is all about parties, you can count me as a fan. Plus, some of my all-time favorite party people are the masterminds behind this gorgeous blog, including Amy Atlas and Jordan Ferney of Oh Happy Day.

Here are some photos from some of my fave posts of theirs (follow the link back to their original post):

 Rainbow post

(This also happens to be the 1st birthday party of the son of an old friend from high school who also happens to be the photographic genius behind Braedon Photography)

Push Cakes from Meringue Bake Shop These are genius!!!
Do you remember push-ups from childhood? They make me think of sweet & sticky summer days!

Do you have any new party blogs that you can't get enough of?

And we're off...

Friday, February 25, 2011

We are on our way to the mountains to visit Daddy, who we haven't seen in SEVEN weeks. Charley tried to get in the car yesterday to get started on our voyage, which just about broke my heart to tell her we had to wait one more day. Wish us a peaceful drive and antibiotics that kick in fast, both girls have sinus infections right now. See you next week!

Absolute Favorite Kid's Toy

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Meet Charley's (and Quinne's) kitchen. When I asked Charley if she liked her kitchen, she told me "it's so favorite." The kitchen entertains Charley for long periods of time and might be the best investment we my mom has ever made. If you are looking for a permanent part-time babysitter, this is the thing for you. Plus, at less than $150, it's just a no-brainer. I really wanted a white one and was lucky enough to spot it on zulily but the Kidcraft kitchen is also available at Costco in other colors. I'm a total sucker for all wooden toys so I love the pastel pink teapot and toaster that the girls also got for Christmas (also by Kidcraft)

Do you spy the "Keep Calm" poster from Charley's monkey party? It was too cute not to use somewhere in our house. Plus, the general state of our teeny tiny playroom is bananas, so it was perfect! The details on the kitchen are just darling. Charley loves to say "beep, beep" as she presses the microwave buttons and tells me to be careful as she pulls my "noodles" out of the oven. Hmmm, I'm noticing that her kitchen is cleaner than mine, rats!

You'll get to meet Miss Mermaid on our next trip to the playroom

Baby Sprinkle Invitation and Inspiration Board

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I'm gearing up for my dear friend Shannon's baby sprinkle next month. In typical Paige fashion, I mailed the invitations a little later than I had planned, better late than never, right? Shannon is having her second baby and is waiting until the big day to find out the baby's sex {I don't know how she has the patience}. I'm not much for yellow and green on their own so I had to throw in a little pink. And, since I'm currently obsessed with gray, I had to throw in a little bit of it too. Besides, since the shower is about Shannon too {and she is a girl afterall}, I figured the pink was justified.

The shower is going to be very low key, budget friendly and filled with handmade touches. Take a peak at the invitation and the inspiration board I created. I am going for a floral, striped, handmade, glam,simple & chic look. Can I pull off all of those things, we'll just have to see!

The sprinkle invitation I designed

Sources {from top to bottom, left to right}
1. Paiges of Style, photo by Sprout Photography
2. Event styled by Cynthia Martin via Style Me Pretty
3. The Loveliest Day via Kara's Party Ideas
4. Gorgeous sugar peony by Sweet Petal Bakery
5. Event styled by My Little Jedi via Kara's Party Ideas
6. Peonies via Decor8
7. Parasols via Martha Stewart
8. Jam favors found on Pinterest via Style Me Pretty

Bringing Wood Back to Life with Olive Oil

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I'm getting ready for a little photo shoot of my house and my plants needed some sprucing up. First off, I have a black thumb. And a black thumb combined with laziness about watering makes for very dead indoor plants. Plus, I've decided that it's more important to feed the babies than the plants, I think you'd all agree that is a smart choice.

So, I headed over to my favorite plant spot who does my clients plants and had all of my containers replanted with silk plants. Don't judge me, please! I would love to have the real thing but it's just not a reality right now. Plus, having dead plants in every room of your house is not a good look, trust me, I've tried it.

But, then I realized that my beautiful antique wooden container was looking a little sorry too. How amazing is that bowl? I snagged it a few months back at the Rose Bowl Flea Market for $50. Might sound like a lot but I had a few people tell me they had seen similar pieces selling for $500, I call that a steal. Plus, it's huge (18 inches diameter x 10 inches high) and is such a statement piece. It had been sitting outside in an attempt to bring the real succulents back to my life and the wood had gotten sun bleached.

 Before and during shots of the bowl 

All I did was pour a little olive oil onto a micro fiber cloth and rub it on. Can you believe the difference? My mom says just about any oil will work but she used to apply mineral oil to our salad bowl to keep it in good shape. 

 Don't you think my fake succulents look pretty legit?

And just so you don't think I can't keep anything alive, here is my new "real" arrangement for our outdoor coffee table. They told me to water them every 3 weeks, I think I can handle one "real" plant. Wish me luck!

Disclaimer: Please don't sue me if olive oil does something weird to your wood, it happened to work for me but I can't be held responsible if it doesn't work magic for you.

A Perfect Match to Charley's Monkey Party

Thursday, February 17, 2011

If Charley's monkey party {here} were translated to a room, I think it would look like this.  Could you just die to live in Windsor Smith's amazing LA home? The pink walls and the yellow chevron chair make it an obvious match. But it's the eclectic feel and the layered details that really hit the nail on the head for me. Somehow this room feels a little preppy to me. Leave it to Windsor Smith to make a room feel perfectly preppy and effortlessly eclectic at the same time.

I especially love the painted Indian coffee table and the crystal chandelier. 

Windsor cut up a piece of vintage Indian fabric to upholster this chair. 
And, how dreamy are those vinbrant pink peonies?

All images via House Beautiful

Curious Charley's Monkey Party

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I'm beyond excited to be sharing Charley's 2nd birthday party with y'all (that's my leftover drawl from living in the South for a couple years). I had such a blast putting this all together in honor of my monkey's 2nd birthday, where did the time go? It was such an honor to debut Charley's birthday party over on Hostess with the Mostess, I still can't get over that I had a party featured on Hostess. Ahhh, can you hear me jumping for joy?

Here are the collages that Jenn from Hostess put together for her writeup followed by what I wrote for her feature. Lots more DIY and specifics will be coming over the next couple weeks so stay tuned...

Enjoy the photos taken by Marla of Sprout Photography, take a peak at her incredible work here

Even before Charley was born, we have been calling her monkey (it happens to be my favorite animal since childhood). I had a piece of monkey art commissioned for her room that I actually brought to the party and her stuffed monkeys are just about taking over our house! Once I decided that the monkey theme was perfect for her 2nd birthday, I began thinking of ways to make this monkey party unique and chose the “swinging monkey from a barrel of monkeys” angle. Charley’s obsession with Curious George also helped to inspire both the yellow and the style of font that I used throughout the party.

I wanted to make the party feel girlie and modern at the same time so I incorporated varying stripes of pink and yellow throughout the party, including my all time favorite version, the chevron stripe. I have found that it is best to create or stick to a few patterns and use them throughout the party to help tie everything together.

When our guests came to the entrance of the park, they entered into the beautiful arbor and were met with a “Happy Birthday Charley” banner and 40 paper lanterns that matched the party colors perfectly. After scouring the internet, I found the best pricing at Paper Lantern Store.
I also made the kids party hats and custom wraps for the barrel of monkey favors (purchased on ebay). The custom wrap around labels said “thanks for monkeying around with me. love, charley“.

The show stopper of the whole party was the dessert table. To make the backdrop, I sewed a thin pocket at the top of the fabric, then we put a piece of thin PVC pipe through the pocket. The pipe stuck out a few inches from the fabric and my husband drilled holes into the pipe so we could thread our rope through it and then hung the rope from a tree branch. (Bring a level with you to ensure the fabric is hanging straight!) I’m sort of obsessed with Keep Calm posters so I knew I wanted to incorporate one into the party, I came up with “Keep Calm and Go Bananas“, had it printed on foam core and placed into a $2 yard sale frame that I spray painted glossy white.

I think a key element to dessert tables is to use symmetry and keep similar shapes. I always use all white cake stands, the ones used here are my absolute favorites from the Martha Stewart line at Macy’s. I also love HomeGoods and Ikea for their selection of white serving pieces. I try to invest in a couple of new ones for each party, it’s worth it to buy good pieces that can be reused over and over regardless of the theme of the party.

We hauled our old dining table over to the park and I sewed the custom ruffled tablecloth to fit perfectly and added the yellow pom pom trim to the front side of the table. This was my first dessert table so it was definitely a learning experience but I love the way it turned out!
I ordered a plain white cake from my local Albertsons. I worked with the bakery department to create this cake on a budget. It cost me $48 – BUT if I had selected the EXACT same one from their wedding catalog, it would have cost me $199! I found some yellow and white striped ribbon to add to the base of each layer of the cake to dress it up.

Anna of Sweet Petal Bakery custom created the adorable fondant monkey and the beautiful flowers for the cake. She was a dream to work with and even drove two hours to help me set up all of her goodies. Also, she created the edible image sugar cookies. I just emailed her the jpgs of the monkey, banana and the patterns I was using for the party and she created these gorgeous and delicious cookies. She also created the striped fondant cupcake toppers with the open banana for the banana cupcakes that I baked. This was such an easy and inexpensive way to have beautiful cupcakes.

The monkey cake pops were a blast to make. My husband gave me the one and only Bakerella’s cake pop book for Christmas and I was eager to test some out. This was the first time I had ever made a cake pop and they were so fun and easy, the toughest part was hunting down the supplies. Anna made the sweet little bows that I added to the cake pops.

One of my favorite things on the dessert table are the fabric flowers that I made for the cupcake toppers. They were so easy and they were so gorgeous, our friends were raving about them! Check out the DIY Tutorial right here.

I used white take out boxes to hold each child’s lunch which was a peanut butter and banana sandwich and Curious George fruit snacks. I decorated the table with simple flowers and a pennant banner in the patterns that were used throughout the party.

One of the biggest hits of the party for the kids were the bananas that decorated the kids table. One of the little girls picked up a banana, put it to her ear, said banana phone and the trend caught on. All of the kids in attendance played “banana phone” for the next twenty minutes or so! What this taught me is that you can never be too sure what it is that the kids will gravitate towards and that it can be the most simple games that keep the kids entertained. 

Another really fun unique aspect of the party was the outdoor “living room” that we set up. I brought over our living room chairs and the rug and art from Charley’s room. I also sewed custom pillow covers to match the backdrop of the dessert table. I collected all of Charley’s monkey books and placed them near the chairs so parents could steal away a quiet moment with their kids. The rug also turned out to be a great place for the 6-12 month old partygoers to hang out. This little setup cost me NOTHING and was so much fun. Your husband might think you are crazy when you tell him to pack up the furniture but it turned out to be so worth it! =) 

The drinks table was also really cute. I used a galvanized three tiered stand to display the mason jars with the yellow striped straws and wrapped the juice boxes and water bottles in custom labels.
Also, I had bananas just about everywhere. Make sure to buy them at the perfect time, I bought about 15 lbs of bananas at Costco 3 days prior to the party and they were still green the day of. Again, Albertson’s to the rescue! We gave away bananas the following day to just about everyone who stepped foot in our house.

I printed mini versions of the Keep Calm poster and threw them into Ikea frames to carry the “Keep Calm and Go Bananas” throughout the party, it really is all about consistency.
I saved money on flowers by arranging them myself. This was super fast, easy and looked great.

Last but not least, we HAD to coordinate our clothing to the party scheme. I purchased Charley’s smocked monkey dress from zulily and I happened to have the yellow striped Ralph Lauren dress. I also bought a yellow and white striped bow-tie for my husband from Amazon. I asked him if he was willing to dress up for the party and he thought I was asking him to be the man in the yellow hat from Curious George…. so when I told him I just wanted him to wear the bow-tie, he was relieved. What a good sport! (though he did still get some teasing from his friends!)

The monkey party printables are available in my shoppe here

Give back some love to two incredible women who helped make this party so special:
Marla of Sprout Photography, website here
Anna of Sweet Petal Bakery, her etsy shoppe here (created the fondant monkey cake topper and incredible flowers on the cake, the gorgeous edible image cookies and the striped banana cupcake toppers)

Things that make my heart swell

Monday, February 14, 2011

 (Can't remember source, please share if you know)
Happy Heart's Day!!!

I'm just popping in today to share a couple of things that make my heart swell.

Photos courtesy of Sprout Photography

Charley wearing Mama's pearls from our wedding day
 Photos courtesy of Sprout Photography

"Earn your stripes" Kate Spade bracelet available here

And last {but certainly not least}, I have to share a beautifully thoughtful gift that made my heart and eyes swell last week. Yes, I did shed a tear! My dear friend Sarah sent me this gorgeous  "earn your stripes" Kate Spade bracelet as a thank you for working so hard for her, I just about died when I saw a package from Kate Spade on my doorstep. Here's the lovely note she included. "Have loved working with you as we 'earn our stripes.' You are really going places sister and I am so proud of you! this is just a small thanks for all of your BIG help... i couldn't resist..." Did I mention that we have never even met? We "met" online and I soooo wish she didn't live across the country. We even have daughter's with the same name!

Sarah and I have worked together on a couple of fabulous parties over the last couple months. She is an insanely talented event designer that JUST started her very own children's party planning business named Lil Hoot with a darling blog to match. She is definitely one to watch out for as I am sure she is going to make it big. I can't wait to share her sure-to-be fabulous Fun-do Valentine's party that we've been hard at work on. {see the invitation here}

I'm off to go sing and dance and make silly faces with my girls. Making them smile and giggle makes my heart swell the most.

Now, go kiss your loves and tell them how much they mean to you!

XXOO Paige

You are the milk to my granola

Friday, February 11, 2011

Do you want to make your husband and kids think you are a domestic goddess? I thought so!

Homemade granola has become an absolute favorite in our house. And, it is so easy. Seriously, you don't have to have any culinary prowess to make delicious healthy granola. Here is my go-to recipe slightly adpated from Katie Did:

10 c old fashined rolled oats
2c whole wheat flour
2c wheat germ
2c coconut ( I used flaked unsweetened coconut)
2c dried cranberries
1.5- 2c chopped pecans and almonds (sometimes I use whole almonds)
         mix above ingredients in large bowl
       4T vanilla
       1/2c water
       2c honey
       1c oil
         mix wet ingredients in separate bowl, add to dry ingredients
         and combine well. spread in shallow pans. stir gently every
         15 minutes or so while baking. bake at 250 until deep golden
         and almost dry, approximatley 2 hours. remove, let cool.

And because Valentine's day is just around the corner, I created these cute "you are the milk to my granola" labels to adorn your mason jars full of granola.

Download the granola labels here

Now go make some granola! And PS, it's way more fun to eat your breakfast out of a footed milk glass bowl with vintage matte gold flatware. Just sayin'...

I love you berry, berry much

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Are you ready for the cutest, most unique and absolutely free valentines craft? The amazingly creative Kathleen of Twig and Thistle has come up with this "naturally sweet" craft project that even the most amateur crafter can conquer. I recently met and became friends with Kathleen at Alt Summit (which is a conference for design bloggers) and am so thankful that I did. She is a such a genuinely sweet and kind person and I am in serious awe of creative abilities.

Head on over to her post for instructions and to download the pdf of these darling fruit stickers. And please thank Kathleen for sharing with us!

DIY (sort of) Fabulous Painted Chair

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Last summer, I spotted the truck for a local charity making their monthly donation pickup at my neighbor's house. In an effort to get rid of some of my own junk, I ran out with some donations and spotted this "beauty" in my neighbor's donation pile. I asked if I could buy it but luckily they gave it to me in exchange for my donations. I knew this baby had potential. It looks perfect in my living room. Can't wait to share a tour of my house with y'all next month!

First, I took the cushion off the chair. Then I scavenged through my husband's project supplies for some medium to fine grit sand paper. I gave the entire chair a good sanding and got my spray paint out. I used  Valspar interior spray paint in gloss yellow available at Lowe's. Anytime you spray paint, make sure to apply thin coats until you reach the desired coverage. Otherwise, the paint will drip and you will have to break out that sand paper again.

Here is where the "sort of" part comes in. I initially recovered the cushion myself by wrapping my new fabric around the cushion and using my staple gun to secure it in place. But, it just wasn't polished and the wood was warped and the cushion was lumpy. So, I headed over to my favorite new upholsterer and he built me a new seat with a new cushion for $45. I happened to have a fabulous sample of the now famous Bengal Bazaar fabric by Kelly Wearstler. I've now got a fabulous new chair for about $50.

Enjoy my failed attempt at getting both girls in the chair together. Ahhh, two year olds! I even offered up a special treat. 

Valentine's Candy Cane Hearts

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Are you like me and are still looking to get rid of the extra Christmas junk around your house? Oh no, you've had all of yours put away since January 1st? Dangit, I guess I'm the only crazy disorganized Mom out there! Well lucky for me, these babies were still sitting around. And if you've been around my blog for even a second, you know that I love anything with a diagonal stripe.

Here is how I made them. Unwrap your candy canes (I used the big ones but I think the mini candy canes would have been easier). Then use a serrated knife to cut 2-3 inches off the straight part of the candy cane. Use the piece you just cut off as a guide for cutting the second candy cane. Lay these on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper in a heart shape with the two pieces touching. Bake in a 250 degree oven for about 10 minutes. Once they have been in there for about 8 minutes, watch them carefully as they melt into a puddle pretty darn quickly. Pull them out of the oven and very carefully squish together the candy canes at the two joints to ensure they are stuck together. Let them cool and enjoy!

I'm off to devour that chocolate cupcake, yum!