Party Details

Xander’s First Birthday Invitation

April 10th, 2015

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It’s been a little sparse in the post department the last couple of weeks. And let me tell you why. We moved! Within NYC. But we did move. And it feels like we moved across the world. We migrated from the Lower East Side (I’ve been downtown for 7 years!) to the Upper West Side which is basically like moving abroad. From the land of hipsters to stroller-ville. I’m really excited to start exploring once winter decides it is inappropriate to snow in APRIL. April snow showers do not bring May flowers.

The week after we moved my BABY turned ONE! How is it possible that it has been one whole year since Xander burst onto the scene? I can’t explain. But I do know that it takes a village. We are grateful for ours! And we are grateful that they made the effort to be here & celebrate with us! My brother + sister-in-law even trekked with their 2 little girls under 3 from Boston. Brave. And so appreciated! (My mom + sister-in-law also made a long journey to join us!)

I want to post a few party details! Reason 3 why it got a little sparse? Our nanny went into labor a bit early so Xander and I are doing our thing. I’m waking up at the butt crack of dawn to go workout and then I’m pulling out the working stops while he gets some zz’s. Otherwise, we’re partying. And spending a lot of time in the new playroom that features a space ship. Xander is obsessed. Part alien, probably.

So, what I’m trying to say is, I was able to shoot one party detail yesterday! A step in the proper direction, people.

I had so much fun doing his invitations. I’m not a huge fan of spending a lot of money on invitations. Mostly because they see the interior of a trash can on an average of 10 minutes after they are opened. The details & dates are penned in a planner and womp, womp. One way to avoid the $$ is to design & print them yourself (duh?). After doing some intense Pinterest shenanigans I found enough inspiration and decided on limited text & a balloon to do the talking. You can get printed balloons for under $1. And I just got the paper from Paper Source in bulk packaging.

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In order to see the party details the guests had to blow up the balloon! Otherwise the font was too small. Even for the grandparents donning their spectacles.

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PS: Since we moved, the address is incorrect. So none of those messages saying weirdos are going to be at my door soon.

XX Leigh-Taylor

Wintry Chic Baby Shower

December 16th, 2014

I am so excited to be able to share this fun project with you! Karilyn Sanders, the ultimate baby whisperer // photographer who did Xander’s newborn photos & also did a fun piece on Craft Box in August, reached out to me early this fall wondering if I would be in for creating a couple of DIY Baby Shower Boxes. I was sold! And then she threw in that it was a Winter Chic, White & Gold pallette, Hamptons Baby Shower for a little girl on the way. I was thrilled! How fun?

I whipped up three boxes for the ladies to work on while socializing. The first was box of elastics & velvet ribbon to make some adorable headbands for Baby Shay. The second included 4 pre-painted (white) blocks that the ladies could stencil Shay’s name on in light pink (keeping up with her nursery tones!). Perfect for helping Shay learn how to spell her name just a little bit down the road. They’ll be the perfect teething toys for just a bit! And the final box included the supplies to make and string a garland that said, Hush Little Baby, in white & pink.

The baby shower was just posted on 100 Layer Cakelet. Stunning! Right?

Here are a couple of images of the boxes:

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Hamptons Baby Shower 3

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Karilyn captured this shower so beautifully. Here is Karilyn’s post, including several photos not posted on 100 Layer Cakelet. Gorgeous!

Thank you, Karilyn!

XX Leigh-Taylor

An Engagement Celebration

September 17th, 2014

I’m going to write about Matt & Carlie one more time. Okay, I lied. Two more times. Today & just after their wedding in January. I can’t help it. They’re getting married!

Paul & I were so excited to be able to host an engagement celebration for this sweet couple. I was a bit nervous as this was, technically, the first adult celebration I have been in charge of executing. So here’s how I did it.

I started mid-July with a Paperless Post Save the Date. I hadn’t committed to the invitation design just yet but I wanted to make sure people had this party on their radar. And by on their radar that they had it sharpie-d into their calendars. It gave me a little bit of wiggle room to spend a little bit of time on their invitation. I’m not a graphic designer but I sure do like the ability to design my own paper goods. Even if it does take be about 8 years to get it just right. So that’s what I did! I went through several variations but I finally landed on this {Okay, it was white! And I just made up that address. So don’t come try to get me.}:

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It just seemed so”them”. Much more so than the others I had in the assembly line.

This next part my OCD comrades will totally understand. I can’t handle an uncoordinated color scheme & lack of cohesion in aesthetics. I don’t feel this way when other people throw a party but when I am I can’t look at it over and over unless it feels like it fits. I’m not sure if anyone else does this but I kind of just collect things from Michael’s. I see ’em, I like ’em, I get ’em. I realized I had no idea where to begin. So where did I begin? The straws! I had picked up a couple packs of gray and coral straws from Michael’s several months ago and used them as a bit of a home base for the rest of the decorations. I had just recently grabbed the below floral paper because I couldn’t get over how awesome it was.

As for the beverages we kept it simple! We had over 25 people coming to our NYC apartment. And while we don’t live in a total cave, we’re not in a mansion. In an effort to keep traffic moving at the bar we had a drink for the bride: rose syrup + champagne, and a drink for the groom: gin + tonic. We had a couple bottles of red wine and a bottle of Bourbon as a shoutout to Matt’s second favorite liquor. I’ve always heard people will have what you serve. It was true! There was not a drop of liquor left. Not. A. Drop. There was a bottle of Tonic left and a swig of coke. If you missed my recipe for rose syrup take a peek here! It was a really lovely addition to the champagne.

Here’s a few pictures of the decorations and the party!

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Throughout the party guests filled out “Wed Libs”, instead of Mad Libs. We had so much fun reading them aloud at the end of the night. 

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Told you they were funny. 

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I used left over paper from the garland to cover a block of styrofoam & used some extra hearts to deck out our meatball toothpicks. 

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I stamped our white napkins with “Carlie & Matt” and “Mr. & Mrs.”

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We went to the roof for a few minutes. That’s me on the right playing party host and pouring some traveling champers. 

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Cheers to Matt & Carlie! We just can’t wait for January!

XX Leigh-Taylor

red lips & movie popcorn. it’s the Oscars!

February 28th, 2014

It’s Friday! Like you didn’t know that already. I don’t take any of the days of the week for granted but I sure do like it when Friday rolls around. I think I’m going to wear red lipstick today, maybe even to Soul Cycle, just to pump the day up. Paul hates red lipstick. He’s pretty passive when it comes to fashion but the red lipstick is about 8 steps too far for him. I’ve really pushed the envelope by getting this deep red lipstick from MAC, Diva.

MAC-Diva

But, here’s the thing, all of my clothes for the last 4 months have been made mostly of spandex and I’ve been knee high in snow for the better part of those 4 months. So red lipstick it is! My mom wears false eyelashes daily & wakes up with a full face on so she’s probably wondering why I’m even explaining why I bought this. BUT ONE MORE THING! It is the Oscars this weekend! How can you NOT wear red lips?

Speaking of the Oscars, are you having a party? I’m not but I wish I was. As fun as it would be it just may not be good timing, that whole having a baby anytime now thing. But that doesn’t mean I’m not going to try and add some fun & interest to our Sunday night tube watching. One of my favorite parts of going to the movies is eating popcorn. I’m always a little over-zealous and get the big size with my eyes on the free-refill prize. I never get that far but I think it is a noble goal. I’m confident I’m not alone in the movie popcorn addiction and the natural extension of this movie + popcorn combination is a popcorn bar! Such a great easy & inexpensive treat to have set up for an Oscar party. I’m a huge fan of stove-popped popcorn {you can get bags at Trader Joe’s, any chain grocery store obviously, and also from the bulk foods section of Whole Foods!} and just grab some salt & pepper shakers from the local dollar store & load them up with different flavors with a little tag to indicate what the guests are getting themselves into! Set out some brown paper lunch bags to house their kernels.  If you have time you could even give the shakers & little metallic gold spray paint treatment. You know, kick it up a notch!

Here are some links to what looks like really, really good flavoring:

White Cheddar Popcorn

Ranch Popcorn

Cinnamon Toast Popcorn 

If you want to make the popcorn before folks come over {and not just use shakers} here is the Chicago Mix tri-ad.

And here are some weird ones mixed in with some normals. 50 of ’em.

** I just got side tracked on Pinterest looking at recipes for a good 32 minutes. My favorite new pin is the Salted Caramel Cheesecake Cupcakes. Who am I?

Of course champagne is a must, or some sparkling apple cider in my case. Keep ’em fancy with a champagne glass and maybe a blackberry or something.

Oh! Don’t forget to print out the Oscar ballot. Here is a pretty {and free!} one from Minted {link is to the website download}.

Minted-Oscar-Ballot

Party or not it is fun to pretend you know who is going to win. Who even really picks this stuff anyhow? People campaign for votes? What is this, the presidential election? Kidding, I know who picks.

Good luck, have fun, and enjoy! Have a great, great weekend!

XX Leigh-Taylor