Tea & Toast to Motherhood

mothersday17_036The inspiration for this shoot was my grandmother’s breakfast. No, really… she’s been having tea and toast for breakfast for as far back as I can remember. When Jayme of Mint Studio asked me to style a Mother’s Day tea for an upcoming paper flower workshop, Tea & Toast was what came to mind. As I thought about working with this theme I was inspired to play off of the double meaning of toast. We served some beautiful crostini that was definitely not my grandmother’s toast. I loved this modern spin on the most basic of foods though. We also toasted motherhood with a delicious tea-based cocktail. We kept the color palette ultra feminine with shades ranging from pretty pink to a deep plum.

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Loren from Four Things Paper created the most beautiful stationery inviting our guests to parTEA. She covered all the details from the coordinating envelope liner to the gorgeous calligraphy addresses and matching vintage stamps. As with the invitation, there was also lots of pink watercolor texture in the other pieces she created for the event too. The recipe card signage for the Hibiscus Tea Margarita we served was one of my favorite pieces. It was the perfect nod to the moms and grandmas that keep a box of their treasured, hand-written, family recipes.

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Andrea of Not My Dish raided her collection of vintage teacups, saucers, and serving stands for pieces that were pink, purple, and floral. I love how the mismatched sets came together to build a beautiful tablescape. The pink and purple glassware she brought was perfect for our cocktails too. Each place setting also featured a hand-painted place card along with a tiny succulent.

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While talking about blooms and motherhood with Jenna of Craft Blooms she told me that she felt inspired to use succulents in her creations. Her thought was that succulents are enduring just like the strength and resiliency required for motherhood. We agreed that we’ve both been so fortunate to have shining examples of this from the amazing women role models in our lives.

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Tania is known for her giant paper flowers and for good reason! She can build such beautiful floral creations out of paper. We incorporated some of her smaller paper blooms into our balloon garland backdrop and I loved the results of this pairing.

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Pascal Lorange put together some of the most beautiful toast I’ve ever seen. The crostini that he prepared was wonderfully colorful and of course very tasty too. For desserts, we tried to go the more traditional tea service route. We had Pastel Bakery bake some of their old-school bakeshop goodies. The simple cake with fresh strawberries and whipped cream was a beautiful, and the cookies and fruit tarts were absolutely delicious.

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We took the opportunity to take generational portraits of our guests that they will hopefully value as precious family mementos. Even when we don’t necessarily feel like being photographed, I think it’s so important to document our families as we grow and age together.

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Cheers to all of the amazing moms out there!

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Concept and styling: a la Mo | Photography: Rachael Smith Photography | Event Location: Mint Studio | Paper Flowers: Tania Fischer Design | Calligraphy and Paper Goods: Four Things Paper | Event Rentals (Pink & Gold Chair + accessories): CC Vintage Rentals | Tablescape Rentals: Not My Dish | Cake and Sweets: Pastel Bakery | Flowers: Craft Blooms | Crostini: CRUDO by Pasal Lorange | Model: The Jessica Journey

 

365 Days on Earth: a First Birthday Party

I received some free or discounted product(s) in exchange for this post. I only share products that I love and all opinions are my own.

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Inspiration for parties, themes, and color palettes can come to me from anywhere. Sometimes I’ll get an idea in my head for a party and I won’t be satisfied until I make it a reality. That was the case with this 365 Days on Earth first birthday party. The idea first came to me while listening to Hullabaloo’s album, Shy Kid Blues, almost 3 years ago. Yes, that was long before my son was born, but I just knew I had to create a first birthday party theme based on Steve’s rollicking song about a year in the life entitled 365 Days on Earth (take a listen here for reference). Lucky for me, I did eventually get pregnant, give birth to a beautiful baby boy, and keep him alive for an entire year. Woohoo… party time!

Most babies probably don’t have their first birthday party theme picked out before they are born. Heck, most new parents probably aren’t thinking too far beyond the next feeding or sleepless night. I, on the other hand, could not wait to plan this party for Declan. I did wait until he was about 6 months old before I admitted to anyone else that I was already party planning though.

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I knew that I wanted the concept for this party to center around globes and to include lots of quotes directly from the song. I am fortunate to own a beautiful hand painted globe from Wild and Free Designs that fit perfectly with the theme and occasion. When I started pulling together a visual inspiration board, it became clear that I wanted to pair the globe with some modern black and white elements and maybe some hexagon patterning. I love how the blues, yellows, and greens of the globe came together with the black and white.

As with most of my events, I started off with the invitation design. Because of the unique theme, I knew I’d most likely need to design my own invitation. Luckily I discovered that Tiny Prints offers the option to upload your own invitation or card design. This discovery was great news for me! I loved being able to use my own printable design paired with all the fun options that they offer like different trims, papers, back side designs, envelope liners, pre-addressed envelopes, and personalized postage. While I was at it, I ordered some cute color-your-own kid’s Thank You cards so I was prepared after the party.

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When we first moved into our current home I was most excited about (1) the kitchen and (2) the built in shelves in the dining room. While the shelves usually house my cookbook collection and family mementos, I couldn’t help styling them especially for this party. I lined the back of the shelves with black and white striped paper before filling them with lots of fun decorations. My hand-painted globe was joined by a small collection of globes that I purchased at Cost Plus World Market. The trio of mini-globes is so cute! Photos of the birthday boy and coordinating party decor rounded out the shelf display.

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I used bold black and white stripes to set the backdrop of the dessert table. Layered on top of the stripes was a balloon garland to bring in some color. Every party needs a cake, and we had a stunning 2-tiered beauty. Jenny Wenny cakes managed to incorporate the stripes, world map, and a cool hexagon honeycomb pattern into one delicious cake. The crowning touch was a laser-cut acrylic topper boasting the theme of 365 Days on Earth. Incorporating custom cookies into my events has become a requirement for me. I’m always looking for unique ways to display the beautiful cookie creations, so this time I decided to hang them on an ornament stand. The idea was to make the Earth cookies look more like an actual globe and I love the results. NatSweets made so many fun cookie designs using my invitation design and the song lyrics. We also had some hand-painted globe gourmet apples. Roni’s Sugar Creations always takes care of the details and these apples were no exception. A little bit of glittery sparkle and pretty striped bows finished them off beautifully.

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Oversized engineering prints are one of my favorite ways to incorporate my printables into the party decor. This time I also used this product to create custom paper table runners for the guest tables. I’ve always loved the trend of the first birthday chalkboard statistics (height, weight, nickname, favorites, skills, words, etc.). I took this concept and turned all those fun facts into a unique table runner. I printed 2 on a 24″x36″ color engineering print and simply cut it down the middle to fit two tables. Blooms in yellow and white sat in the middle of both tables for the guests to enjoy.

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I love a good cake smash and I was really looking forward to seeing my son’s first taste of cake. The stage was set with some party streamers, a little ONE banner, and the same vintage wood highchair that we used for my daughter’s cake smash 5 years ago. Although I outsourced the other sweets for the party, I baked Declan’s little smash cake- banana cake with cream cheese frosting. He was pretty cautious when it came time to eat it. He seemed to like it, but I don’t think he was thrilled with all of the people watching him.

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Favors can sometimes be an afterthought for me, but this time I knew what I wanted to gift to our guests right away. It was important to me to send everyone home with some goodies from Hullabaloo since the band’s song inspired the party theme. Hullabaloo CD’s and Shy Kid Blues Coloring books were the perfect items to include from the band. I packaged them up in little black baskets from Oriental Trading and finished them off with crayons, globe punching bags, #1 balloon wands, and black and white lollipops.

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Concept, styling and stationery design: a la Mo | Photography: Stills by Hill Photography | Theme inspiration and favor coloring books and CDs: Hullabaloo Band | Invitations, thank you cards, custom napkins, photo decor: Tiny Prints | Favor packaging, tissue decorations, sunshine craft: Oriental Trading Company | Balloon Garland Kit: One Stylish Party | Declan and One Banners: Sweet Georgia Sweet | Cake Toppers and drink stirs: Jenn and Jules Designs | Cookies: NatSweets | Gourmet Apples: Roni’s Sugar Creations | Cake: Jenny Wenny Cakes | Flowers: Barney Design | The World is Yours Globe: Wild and Free Designs | Globe collection: Cost Plus World Market