Party Details

celebrating Reese!

August 6th, 2013

Paul and I had such a wonderful weekend celebrating the sweet Reese’s birthday. We also never realized how exhausting a 2 year old birthday partying weekend could be. Paul and I felt like we sat outside for most of our time there enjoying Bryan & Laura’s patio and backyard {with the company of a running munchkin and a perfectly content 5 month old}. A nice change for us, for sure.  And the best part is, I think Reese really enjoyed her birthday party!

The girls have grown up so much since Memorial Day {seriously, kids grow fast} … we have some new vocab and word stringing by Reese and Hannah is just an overall smiley goon that loves to sit up in her car seat. A couple of awesome girls Bryan & Laura have.

Naturally the cupcake she is donning was made by Nana {my mom} … but if you look closely you will see Papaw’s {my dad} contribution to the project. The night before my mom was heading off to Boston she realized she didn’t have the little #2 to put on the front pocket of the dress so she asked my dad to stop and grab one on his way home from football practice. He grabbed an athletic number. Men. {Insert my mom and I giggling here as my dad rolls his eyes and mentions how I’m just like my mom giving him a hard time … ha!}

Instead of this yapping I’m going to post some photos of some of the Bubble Guppies projects you’ve seen posted previously {but this time in real time partying action} and some you haven’t seen. And some {okay, a lot} photos of Reese on the day of the big celebration.

HBD Reese Garland

I'm Two Banner


Reese with Cake

Reese CakeWhen Laura cut into the cake and Reese saw the colors she muttered one of her newest {adorable} phrases … “OH BOY!”.MollyThis series of photos just kills me! She’s been watching her mama put Baby Hannah in her carrier a time or two.Reese Carrier 1


Reese Carrier 2


Reese Carrier 3


Reese Carrier 4


Reese Carrier 5

End of Party

If her little face didn’t put a smile on yours I’m not so sure what will!

I’m back tomorrow with a fun {and yum!} project for you. Until then … enjoy your day!


XX Leigh-Taylor

diy party hat {junior edition}.

July 31st, 2013

Who doesn’t love a party hat? I love party hats. And while I look silly in them I find that I don’t care because they seem to bring about the essence of celebration. I like that kind of essence. We’ll be celebrating Miss Reese’s 2nd birthday this weekend and while I know she’s going to have a cutie pie outfit & bow in I made her a hat for giggles. In tandem with the theme et al. Here’s how to do it yourself.

Step 1: Take this cone shape & print it out. Or, by all means, draw it by hand! {I just can’t eye it evenly! I’d be drawing and erasing for an hour.}

Step 2: Find a piece of scrapbook paper that you’d like to make your hat out of. Sticking with Reese’s birthday theme I had a piece of paper with multi-colored fish galore. Party hat perfection. But, it wasn’t quite thick enough to hold it’s shape or to withstand the insanity of a 2 year old. You can use most anything you have around your house: a cereal box, a thin shoe box, or even an old manila folder {which is what I used}. Trace the cone shape onto both the “backbone” of the hat and the scrapbook paper and cut out. Of course, if your paper is thick enough to endure the party there is no need for the secondary cut out.

Step 3: Glue your paper onto your thicker secondary cut out.

Step 4: Hot glue the cone shape together to create the hat! There is a dotted line on the trace that will help guide where you should glue.

Step 5: Cover up the currently uncovered seams! The bottom of the hat & the back seam where the sides are glued together. I used scraps of what I had sitting around! Twine for the bottom of the hat {I just looped it about 6 or 7 times and simply used my trusty old Scotch roll dot adhesive}. For the back I used some ric-rac I had … kind of perfect for the little munch.

Birthday Hat Ric Rac

Step 6: I wanted to slap the age front and center for Miss Reese. Of course, there are endless options as to what you could put in the middle. But whatever it is … stencil is the best option! seriously. As I mentioned in my previous post I like pairing a pattern with a solid just for the “poppiness” of it.

Step 7: Finally, my favorite part! Most folks like those cute mini pom pom balls on the tops of the hats. Especially for the kiddleywinks. But Reese-y is a little lady and if she wears this and covers up her birthday bow … I want there to be another bow right on top! It is a super simple DIY that I will post about next week. Promise! {And if you just need to know how to make one before then shoot me an email! I’ll give you the lowdown.}

Party Hat Twine Bow

And, voila! How cute is the little munchkin going to look with this perched on top of her pretty little head? I can’t even handle the thought of it.

DIY Birthday Hat 2

Okay, off to wrap up loose ends on a couple of other tiny touches and onto the cake tomorrow. I did a practice round yesterday on some aluminum foil but I’m still a little nervous. More excited than nervous. But still nervous.

Happy hump day friends! I hope it’s been a great one.


XX Leigh-Taylor

she’s going to be two. two!

July 30th, 2013

My niece Reese {pictured in the about and a multitude of other places on the blog} is turning 2 in just one week. I will never forget the early morning text from my mom {who actually beat my brother Bryan & sister-in-law Laura back to Boston from VIRGINIA as they drove back from a dear friend’s wedding} announcing that little Miss Reese-y pie was going to shortly be making her debut in this world. I remember being really tired when I got it because I hadn’t slept much the night before. Because, well, Paul had proposed to me the day before. A big weekend in the Smith family! Little Miss Reese has brought so much  joy to our family.

Every night Reese winds down for bed with some milk and an episode of Dora or Bubble Guppies. She’s been really into the Bubble Guppies recently. You haven’t heard of them you say? Here’s a delightful musical treat for you {it’s their theme song}. Laura asked if I would like to help do some decorations for the shin dig this coming weekend and I was so happy! I wanted to help but didn’t want to step on any toes … because Laura is super, super creative.

The general party theme is ocean. Creatures and all.  But if we’re going to get specific we’re going with Bubble Guppies! We know how much I love party garlands for all sorts of occasions. And, unlike Paul & myself, Bryan and Laura have a house with plenty of garland hanging spots! The first one I made is the “Happy Birthday Reese!” doozy. Because I am trying to merge the two themes {and the Bubble Guppies are multi-colored themselves … purple hair, pink mermaid outfits …} I went with a multi-colored polka dot paper that reminded me of bubbles. Especially bubbles coming out of Bubble Guppies land {also known as Bubbletucky, and no, I can’t make that up}. The paper is pretty busy so I decided to root it with a solid and cut out the letters in a solid. I used my Cricut but if you don’t have that large clunky piece of machinery use a straight edge and simply draw the top of a triangle at the bottom of your square. Just remember you will need to adjust it to two different sizes!

Then, of course, cut out your letters from a preferred stencil. I rooted the sides of the words with, you guessed it, Bubble Guppies! I simply printed each guppy off of the Nick Jr website. And yes, I know, funny that I’m 27 and cruising the Nick Jr. website. I originally had sparkly silver smily octopi on the flags, but Reese will be into this variation a little more, I think.

I used small and medium foam squares to attach each layer of the garland to give it a 3D look.

3d foam Squares

Flag Up Close

Here’s the final product! I’m thinking it would look great on their fireplace mantle! There sure is plenty of it.

Bubble Guppies Garland

I’m off to make her a party hat and finish up a little sea creature garland. This is way too much fun.


XX Leigh-Taylor

4th of July garland.

June 27th, 2013

Has this week seemed long to anyone else? It’s been a good one … but it has felt really long to me! It may be because I am really looking forward to our highly anticipated annual trip to Chicago & Michigan for the 4th. I always have such a great time with Paul’s side of the family and this long standing tradition of heading to Lake Michigan for the 4th isn’t a bad one to be a part of. Grandma rules the roost in Michigan and she always has such cute touches around the house. Everything from red, white, & blue star light up necklaces to flag paper cups. I mean. But this year I want to take some things with me to add even more! Is that too aggressive? I hope not. I think they will add another reminder around the house to be grateful for those that serve, our forefathers, our liberty and justice {equality!}.

I mentioned in my popsicle garland post that I make my own stencils out of leftover food boxes {crackers, etc}. I just trace images found on the ‘net like the ones below. Remember you are able to skew the images either in Photoshop … or even Microsoft Word! If you want your flag banner to be larger as well as elongate the image {or either or!} you can do so in either of these applications.



I ran to Paper Presentation {oy! that place gets me every time} and grabbed 3 pieces of double-sided theme-y paper. The double-sided {different pattern on either side} paper is the best because it maximizes your possibilities! I placed the shapes 3.5in apart and eyeball-ed the where I taped them but made sure it was consistent so it wasn’t a total zig-zag.

Washi and Double Sided copy

4th Garland Close Up

Here she is!

Final 4th Garland 8

{I haven’t trimmed the twine sides yet because I’m not sure where we’ll be stringin’ it up when we get to Lake Michigan. So, better safe than sorry it is!}

I have been working on another project today that I am so excited about. I can’t wait to share it with you tomorrow!


XX Leigh-Taylor