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pucker up

30 Jul

I was driving home the other day and saw sweet young girls selling lemonade on the corner. It brought me back to my childhood when my sisters and I would set-up a makeshift lemonade stand in front of our house in hopes cars would stop and we could add $10 to our piggy banks. For me, lemonade stands represent happiness, youth, optimism and summertime.

Take time to make yourself a glass of lemonade today…or stop by your corner lemonade stand and reminisce on your childhood summers.

Vintage Lemonade Stand by Reverie and photography by Work of Heart Photography

Lil Luna Yellow Vintage Lemonade Stand
{full DIY tutorial by Lil Luna found here}

Even weddings are not excluded from lemonade stands…how adorable is this wood lemonade stand featured on Wedding Chicks

We LOVE wine barrels {and have some serious wine barrel love when we feature Jodi’s wedding}, so we swooned when we saw a lemonade stand made with wine barrels on Ruffled Blog

So, now that you have lemonade stand inspiration and a DIY tutorial, you might as well spread the lemonade love and throw a lemonade themed party…here are some party tips for you.

DRINK
Obviously, I would serve lemonade…both pink and regular. Make both and serve in a large pitcher like this one from Pottery Barn.
Next to the pitcher, line up mason jars set with pink and yellow striped paper party straws.
For the adults, serve their mason jars with lemonade cocktails spiked with vodka

DÉCOR
Lemons in containers of all kinds – glass jars, hurricanes and galvanized buckets.
A lemonade burlap banner
Glass jars or mason jars filled with change and labeled with a vintage .25 cents sign
Lemons hanging from the ceiling or trees outside; hung with yellow and white twine, of course.
Lemonade and Vodka framed sign on the bar for adults
Single bud vases with a pink peony or yellow daisy, or canned good cans wrapped in a festive yellow and white or yellow and pink decorative paper and ribbon filled with a single {or several} flower buds.
Pink and yellow pinwheels
Signs bought at etsy or diy on wood like Poppies at Play

DESSERT
Lemon, blueberry yogurt loaf by sweet pea’s kitchen {this is yummy, I’ve made it}
Pink lemonade cupcakes using this recipe by real mom kitchen
Pink and yellow striped lemonade flavored hard candy sticks

FOOD
Picnic style food served in individual packages

FAVORS
Mason jar filled with ingredients for lemonade or lemonade cookies
Bottles filled with pink lemonade and a custom label from I Do It Yourself on Etsy
For the adults, make a lemon gift bag with a recipe and ingredients for a lemon, lavender martini like these from A Subtle Revelry

And, last but not least, you can’t have a party without the perfect invite. So, Jenna at Fleur de Lis, a paperie, has created this adorable invite for you. Click here to order from our etsy shop for $15.

 {images via Reverie photographed by Work of Heart Photography, Lil Luna photographed by Jacquilyn Avery Photography, Wedding Chicks, Ruffled Blog and Tutto Bella}

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surf’s up, dude

23 Jul

Looking at this Tiki Surfer party makes me wish I in Hawaii, or at least a guest at the tropical paradise Sheena {talented party planning mom} created in her backyard for her son’s 1st birthday!

Sheena and her husband went above and beyond to make their son’s birthday memorable and fun! And, a bonus for them, they get to keep the Tiki bar! Keshia of Photos by Keshia captures all the lei’s and tiki’s in action.

With great enthusiasm, Sheena shares more of the party details below…

Sheena used her husband’s handy skills {she said he can build or make just about anything…you lucky lady} for party props. He made the realistic life-size surfboards {10 of them} they placed around the party, 2 tiki totem poles that greeted guests on both sides of the driveway, and he built the fantastic Tiki Bar.


I had 2 signature cocktails that I had served from the Tiki Bar in plastic tiki cocktail glasses that I found at the dollar store. For the kids I had them drinking out of plastic coconut cups.

We found an antique wood highchair and painted it to match the party so we would have an awesome cake smash setting!

For a more tropical setting, we bought many fake tropical flowers and placed them in existing greenery and plants. I made a dress-up station located at the entrance where party goers could pick various items to complete their luau look! There were beachcomber hats, tiki masks, flower hair clips, sunglasses, flower anklets/bracelets, and of course grass skirts for the girls.

I found tiki head pots and used them for my centerpieces with tropical flowers placed in them. I hot glued more of the flowers around the tabletop tiki torches to add more color. Different color tablecloths on all the tables really brightened everything up too. For the chairs I simply put a lei on the back of each and told the guests as they got there to make sure they picked one to put on.

As far as food, no luau would be complete without a pig with hat and sunglasses! We simply ordered that from a local town. We also had chicken and shrimp kabobs with pineapple, small ears of corn, coconut rice, and lots of veggies. For dessert, I put blue jello in individual cups with spoon and a gummy shark in it and called it shark infested water. Those were a big hit. I made cake balls to look like a pina colada drink in coconuts. I also made pretzel totem poles by using icing to glue tiki head sugar dec-ons to a pretzel rods and standing  them in crushed graham crackers. I had made surfboard cookies also, but that was the one thing I forgot unfortunately. I had the cake and cupcakes done by a local baker but I did design them all.

As far as activities, in the pool I got shark and surfboard inflatables and the kids absolutely loved them. I had music from the beach boys and any other surfer songs playing throughout the party. And, we had a limbo set that the kids had a lot of fun playing.

You thought of everything adorable for this party Sheena. And, from the looks of it…you had one happy boy!

We can’t wait to see what you come up with when Ryker turns 2!

VENDOR LOVE
Cupcakes and Cake: Cakes by Cathy Weems and Lacy Leonard
Photography: Photos by Keshia

{images via Photos by Keshia}

our blog is growing

16 Jul

something special brewing

12 Jul

When I first saw these I love you more than coffee favors, I had to see more of the Etsy shop where they were created. And, the more I got to know Jennie-Mae, owner of Apropos Roasters, the more I wanted to drink her coffee and support her Etsy shop. I love her rustic, eco-friendly packaging, and of course what’s inside…coffee {or depending on your personal preference, tea or hot chocolate}.

I love a good cup of coffee, and I really love a good story…especially when people turn their passion into a successful business. And, that’s just what Jennie-Mae did.

In Jennie-Mae’s words: When I started Apropos, I didn’t have a lot of extra money, it all going into growing the business, so I started trading and gifting with coffee.  I traded coffee for hair cuts and produce at farmer’s markets. I gave the coffee as gifts during the holidays and when I traveled, I always left coffee at the house of whoever let me stay with them.
Anyway, some friends of mine were getting married and I wanted to do something for them so I came up with smaller coffee packs they could use as their favors, as a way of contributing to their wedding. Two years later and I’m in the wedding business selling more coffee favors than I can count. I never would have guessed!
Now I’m in the process of opening a “brick and mortar” shop in downtown Richmond because I need more space. That’s pretty exciting for me, as well. I’m also planning a trip for next year to a coffee farm so I can see first hand where some of my favorite beans are coming from.

We wish you continued success with your new shop, Jennie-Mae!

Here’s some of my other personal faves from her cute shop you need to check out.

Coffee Wedding Favors in Vintage Red and White

Airmail Wedding Favors

Coffee of the Month {or Week} Club
{great gift for coffee lovers…each month the recipient will receive 12 oz. of beans in his/her mailbox along with a “coffee card” to read information about the variety of the month}


Something is Brewing Baby Shower Favors

Good news for all you Tutto Bella readers because Jennie-Mae is offering you a 10% discount {good until November 1, 2012}.
Just enter TUTTOBELLA into the discount box at checkout.

Visit Apropos Roasters today to get something delicious brewing in your life…or coffee pot…today! If you don’t see exactly what you’re looking for, contact Jennie-Mae and she will help you create it!

{images via Apropos Roasters}

here comes the bride

9 Jul

I love ring bearers and flower girls in grown-up suits and dresses made for their pint-sized bodies…and I love them even more when they have accessories for their outfits, and handmade signs.

My son has been a ring bearer in three weddings, and I’d say we’re 2 for 3. For Jenna’s wedding, he refused to walk down the aisle with anyone but me, and with a binky in his mouth. Not his finest moment. But, for Jodi’s wedding, he was absolutely perfect pulling his sister, the flower girl, in an antique wood wagon down the aisle with a sweet smile on his face. And for our friends 2012 winter wedding, he looked like a big boy walking down the aisle with a priceless, shy {yet proud} smile on his face, and did exactly what he was told to do…all with his pants falling down {they were HUGE, and the non-planning mom that I am didn’t put the pants on until the day of the wedding, and being that we were late, we had to improvise and attempt to use paper clips to hold them up}.

I LOVED the antique wagon my son pulled my daughter in at Jodi’s wedding. My mom found the wagon at an antique fair, we nailed a piece of wood to the back, and with paint and a brush, free-handed: here comes the bride. So adorable…and a great décor piece in your home once the I do’s have been said.

Need more inspiration and just overall cuteness? Here you go…

{images via Jenna Walker Photography, Style Me Pretty, Green Wedding Shoes, Joyful Joyful Designs via Etsy and Preston Bailey}

name blocks

2 Jul

First, we fell in love with Jessica at Blue Bird Heaven’s printer drawers {remember this post} turned into antique and chic jewelry displays. Well, she has expanded her shop…and now it’s time to happily shop again!

Among her many selections my personal new faves are Jessica’s rolling pin hook racks , garden faucet hook racks, banister spindle bracelet display, wedding accessories and my new favorite shop section, block and key racks.

When Jenna and Will asked my hubby and me to be their son’s godparents, we were honored and joyfully accepted. My only dilemma for the new {and precious} little man…the perfect gift.

Combine everything I was looking for: Vintage + Custom + Keepsake + Unique = Custom Baby Block Rack by Blue Bird Heaven.

Dante’s nursery is grey, black and white, so per my request, Jessica used a distressed white board and painted the vintage baby blocks black. I loved the final product.

Not only are her products beautifully made, but her customer service is outstanding. She answers e-mails and orders promptly and makes sure you get your order in time.

I couldn’t be happier with my purchase for my sweet little nephew and godson…and I know his mommy and daddy like it too!

Hope you shop Blue Bird Heaven today! There’s a gift for everyone…even yourself!

happy father’s day, dad

17 Jun

here’s to…

the first man we ever loved.

the one who taught us to always try our best and always have high expectations {to never settle}.

the one who makes our heart melt and eyes tear up just thinking about how much he means to us.

the calm presence and logical mind we needed in a house full of emotional {and fun} women.

happy father’s day, dad. we will always be daddy’s little girls. we love you.

xoxo
your girls

happy father’s day to all the men out there who work hard to provide for, protect and guide their children. and for those of you who lost your fathers – may their love and wisdom be with you today and always.