isla’s first birthday

I love birthdays. It’s the only day you get to celebrate the pure existence of a person. This birthday was especially significant since it was my little Isla’s first. It also marks the anniversary of our little family becoming three.

So without further ado, here are tons of photos and details of the celebration I put together for our little lady.

I went with a glitter/sparkle theme and used the colors mint, pale pink, peach and gold to pull it off. I made most of the decorations myself and baked (with the help of my mom) all of the tasty treats.

Here is a link to my Pinterest board that I made to collect inspiration.

The invitations had sparkly bows on the front and fun, playful sparkly polka dots on back. I made each of the bows, but I promise, I didn’t individually sparkle the polka dots, I bought that paper and cut it to fit the back of the invites.

I served a dessert buffet, mostly full of cake, but there were also glitter almond sandwich cookies, peppermint patties and vanilla meringues. The large mint colored cake and the small peach cake was Smitten Kitchen’s Golden Butter Cake. The medium sized peach cake was Champagne Glitter Cake inspired by Appolinas.

I decorated the cakes with buttercream frosting, sanding sugars and disco dust. Unfortunately these photos don’t really do the cakes justice, they really did sparkle.

I found this sparkler candle from a little shop in Ballard way back in November and knew it would be perfect for this little fete.

Guests sipped on pink lemonade, a sparkling cocktail made with champagne, grapefruit juice and grenadine and small cartons of organic milk. And there were also paper straws in complimentary party colors.

I covered our kitchen table (BJ finished it just in time) in white butcher paper and lined homemade party hats down the center. I had crayons on hand for guests to draw while they were hanging out.

Inspired by Confetti System, I made tassel garland from crepe paper, mylar and rope trim. I hand cut confetti from the scraps left over from the tassel garland which I scattered down the table and around the desserts. All of the desserts were displayed on my jadeite cake stands which sat on top of a pink striped tablecloth.

I also made a Fancy Frill Balloon using crepe paper, tinsel and a gigantic 36″ round balloon. If huge balloons don’t make you happy, I’m not sure what will.

We had so much fun celebrating our little girl. The weather was perfect and we had a full house of people who we’re so thankful to call our friends. Isla rocked the celebration despite the fact that she only had one nap.

Believe it or not, this is the best group photo we got of (most of) the kiddos.

PS: thanks to my parents for all of their help. There’s no way, I could have pulled off all of this without their help. And to my husband, because, obviously. Thanks, also, to dear Megan who came all the way up from Seattle just to celebrate little I. She was also our official photographer. 🙂

PPS: Isla’s little dress was custom made by my talented mother. I don’t have a great photo of the whole thing, but it has the cutest cap sleeves and bubble hem. Thanks, Mom!


DIY: fabric coasters

My friend Jessica pinned these adorable coasters a few months ago. I had kept them in mind as a cute stocking stuffer or hostess gift for the holidays. As I was packing, finishing Christmas present purchases and generally running around like a mad woman, crafting these coasters got cut from my To Do list.

I finally got myself together last weekend and made a set of them for a friend as a little thank you gift. They don’t take too long to make, especially if you have a rotary cutter and mat. (One of my favorite craft purchases ever.)


  • fabric and matching thread- I used a scrap piece of cotton, how many coasters you make will depend on how much fabric you need. You will need 2-5″ squares for each coaster.
  • alphabet stencil
  • rotary cutter and mat (not necessary but definitely helpful)
  • ruler and/or straight edge
  • fabric paint
  • small paintbrush
  • marking pencil or disappearing ink marker
  • sewing machine
Step 1: Measure and cut 2-5″ squares per coaster.

Step 2: Take one of your squares and measure where you will put your text. The letters on my stencil were 1″ in height but varied in diameter. I placed my letters 2″ from the bottom and 1″ from the right and left sides. Mark where you will put your letters. If you use pencil make sure you trace your lines lightly, it is not easy to get pencil off of fabric.

Step 3: Place your stencil on your fabric using the guide lines you just drew. Using the small paintbrush, paint in the lines of the stencil being careful not to move your stencil. If you happen to  make a mistake it is easy to fix with your brush. Make sure you give each of the letters time to dry before painting the next one. Side note: please don’t paint on your mat, I was just using this as a background for my pictures.

Step 4: Once the paint has dried, take both pieces of fabric (one will have SIP on it and will be blank) and pin them right sides together. Sew around the edge of the fabric using a 1/2″ seam allowance. Be sure to leave about a 1-1/2″ opening on one side of the fabric so you are able to turn the coaster right sides out.

Step 5: Turn the coaster right sides out. Use a scissor or other pointy object to make sure the corners are turned out fully. If needed, trim the corners to they lay better. Iron flat. At this point, you can erase any marks remaining from your guidelines.

Step 6: Top stitch around all sides of the coaster. I lined my presser foot with the edge of the coaster and sewed around the edges, turning at every corner.

Step 7: Repeat for each coaster. Package up and send to a friend. 🙂

I could see doing these little coasters in all different variations- mix and match fabrics, different words and/or phrases, etc. This project is really versatile. As always, let me know if you have any questions or if one of the steps isn’t clear.

Anthropologie inspired Christmas decor

When my friend Angeli was in town a few weeks ago we saw these adorable Mason Jar Snow Globe holiday decorations at Anthropologie. We both looked at each other and said “you could totally make that,” and definitely for less than $38. It took a total of 5 minutes to make them. And here’s how they turned out…

Here are the supplies you need:

Mason jars, salt shakers, etc. of different sizes

Bag of fake snow

Bottle brush trees (we got ours from JoAnns) they are typically used for Christmas villages or train sets

Glitter, optional

The super easy steps: Clean out your jars. Spoon fake snow in the bottom of your jar. I suppose it would be cleanest to do it with a funnel, but I just used a spoon. Stick your tree or other cute minatures in the bottom. Sprinkle with a little glitter. Screw on the top. Voila! Cute Christmas decor Anthropologie style.

We didn’t use any glue or anything, although I’m sure you could if you want it to be a bit more permanent.

I looked for tiny animals (like deer) to stick in them for some variety, but I couldn’t find anything. If you do, I’d love to see how they turn out!

They look super cute in bulk. Here’s my final shelf decor. (it’s the closest thing I have to a mantel) Happy Christmas decorating!


Steppin’ Out Saturday: Fun with BFFs

It was such a busy weekend around our house. My best friend since 8th grade came to visit us from San Francisco. We had lots of fun crafting, shopping in Seattle, hanging out with friends at a Thanksgiving dinner, Glee karaoke-ing and lots of wine drinking. Here are a few photos from our weekend.

After a day of shopping in Seattle we came home and made margherita pizza and played Glee Karaoke on the Wii.


BJ and I during one of our Glee Karaoke “Defying Gravity” battles.

Angeli and I met in Home Ec when we were in 8th grade, so it was only fitting that we channeled our 8th grade selves and did a bit of sewing.

We made Angeli 12 napkins. They turned out super cute.
We also made friendship bracelets using this tutorial.

We had lunch at Zayda Buddy’s, a Minnesota pizza restaurant in Ballard, for lunch on Angeli’s way out of town. I’m not totally sure what Minnesota pizza is but I do know it is cut in squares instead of pie shaped pieces. Zayda Buddy’s has lots of Minnesota memorabilia and Midwest favorite foods including Tater Tot hot dish.

I have one more craft to share with you from this weekend, but I plan on doing a full DIY on it soon.

I am so lucky to have friends that will come and visit me and my crazy little family. I know Isla was able to serve as some good birth control, so consider that mission accomplished. 🙂

Thanks for hanging out Angeli, it was so fun to spend some time together!


Steppin’ Out Saturday: I don’t know if we’ll have time

We’re a little late with Steppin’ Out Saturday this week, but yesterday I had THE crabbiest kid living at my house, which meant there wasn’t any time for blogging. I did, however, clean out my fridge. Did you know how much more appetizing your food looks when it’s sitting in a clean fridge? It’s a miracle, I tell you!

Anyway…back to Steppin’ Out Saturday…I’m not going to lie, we didn’t do anything fancy Saturday night, but we did go to Home Depot (hence, the Old School reference as the title) as we’re planning a mini kitchen remodel that will take place hopefully sometime early next year. We got an estimate for new counters which is super exciting! I can’t wait to share the progress on that project with you guys.

Earlier in the day we took a walk downtown where we ran into BJ’s parents and had them take a couple Christmas card photos of us. Don’t worry, I didn’t spoil your Christmas card from us, this was one of the options I didn’t go with.

I also managed to Skype in on a wreath making party my best friends in Minnesota were having. I know, I’m a nerd.

Here’s my wreath, I might add a few more items later, but the baby was hungry, so duty called. I used Emily over at Jones Design Company’s tutorial to make the ruffle flowers.

Other than that, we just hung out at home and played with our girl. She just started doing this tip over back arch thing. I guess it’s really fun to see the world upside down.

In a totally unrelated note, it’s Election Day, which is extra important to our family this year. BJ’s dad, Jack, is running for Whatcom County Executive. Having a family member running for office has made me think a lot more about how important it is to vote. So for all of you who haven’t voted, get out there. For the 7 of you that read my blog and actually live in Whatcom County, please turn in your ballots and make sure to vote for Jack! If you’re interested, here’s Jack’s website.

Hope everyone is having a great start to your week! Happy 2nd week of November! 🙂

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