Saturday, September 24, 2011

Mary Harper's 1st Birthday - We Had a Ball!

Still can't believe how quickly this first year has flown by!  Seems just like yesterday we were bringing our sweet baby home from the hospital.  And yet we just celebrated her 1st birthday!  Since I knew I was going to be pretty pregnant at her 1st birthday party, I started planning about 3 months in advance so I could pace myself.  I started searching for cute ideas online and found this wonderful blog detailing a "Classic Red Ball" party and knew that was going to be my theme!  Note: the funny thing is that I always thought it was silly to throw first birthday parties since the child won't remember it.  But after a surviving a year of parenthood (and Mary Harper surviving us), I wanted to celebrate!!
I knew I needed help to even come close to duplicating the party I saw online so went directly to the source and had party planner Jessica help me with a few items.  Jessica has a fabulous Etsy site (Pen and Paper Flowers) and she helped me with items like water bottle and food labels.  (If you click on the smaller collages, the picture gets bigger).

I had my sister design the invitation based off of Jessica's cute design and then was referred to another great Etsy site (LePoppyDesign) from a friend who did my banners, napkin bundles, favor tags and other cute paper decorations.

On the water labels we just used one sticker that had her name on it and another that said: Turning ONE is a BALL!  The favors were red M&M's and big red gumballs with a tag that read: I hope you had a BALL! Love, Mary Harper.  The napkin bundles had an assortment of tags (Mary Harper, the number 1, Happy Birthday Mary Harper, etc...).
I ordered the M&M's (really knock off M&M's), cherry gumballs, lollipops and chocolate covered sunflowers seeds all in red from Candy Warehouse.
Brooke O'Dell of Ice This Cakes not only did our cute smash cake, but she also made delicious (and perfectly themed) Red Velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and a sour cherry ball on top!
She also made mini cheese truffles in goat cheese with parsley and cheddar jack with pecans, marinated mini caprese bites on a skewer and yummy mini stuffed red potatoes with bacon and chives.  If you can't tell, all of the food had either a red or ball theme! :)
In addition to cupcakes and our other sweets, I HAD to order cookies from one of my favorite vendors, Phoebe's Cookies! Her cookies are not only ADORABLE but are DELICIOUS!  Seriously, how cute are these?!
In the front yard, in addition to red balloons, I place one huge red ball (exercise ball) at the mailbox and two smaller red balls near the front door.
In the back yard, I purchased lots of red beach balls from Oriental Trading to place in the pool.  I also placed three more large red balls in the landscaping near the pool, had three round tables with red tablecloths, red tubs to hold beverages and other red accents.
For Mary Harper's outfit, I went to my friend Melia of Cherry Tree 123 who makes lots of her custom outfits.  She did such a great job capturing the theme in a really cute outfit!  Mary Harper wasn't a big fan of the hat so I had to work to get that photo!
For her 1st birthday gift from her mommy and daddy, we got her a wooden red piano that she LOVES! Guests brought unwrapped toys for a local charity.
One of my favorite pictures of the day is the one below.  That picture just screams pure joy...and what better emotion can you wish for your child!  She really had such a fun day at her party which made me very happy (even though I know she won't even remember it)!  I know it was a lot of work for a 1st birthday party but I enjoy planning events and this one was extra special.  
And of course we had to have an outfit change after the cake!
The party took a lot of planning and lots of work but all in all, I think it was a successful first birthday.  Mary Harper truly had a BALL and I hope our guests did as well!  

Happy first birthday to our sweet baby girl!
We love you! 
Mom & Dad

Monday, September 19, 2011

11 month post...before her FIRST birthday this Thursday!!!!

Late once again to post Mary Harper's 11 month update!  No stats this month since we haven't had her 12 month checkup yet but this month Mary Harper got her 2 top teeth so she has 4 now. She still eats baby food, loves her organic "puffs" and still has about 3 bottles of formula a day but she is eating more "people" food too.

Always on the go!
She LOVES to walk although we try to keep her from walking much anywhere downstairs due to the hardwood floors - she never seems to fall on the carpet but anytime we let her loose downstairs she seems to fall...on her face!  She LOVES bending down and picking up different things to hold while she walks.  For some reason she likes to have something in both of her hands when she walks around.  She is really good at keeping her balance when she bends over to pick up something off the floor.

One of the cutest things she does now is ANYTIME my phone makes a noise, she says "hello"!  Except it sounds much cuter than "hello" comes out more like "heyyo" (y sound instead of l). Adorable and hilarious.  She still loves Dora and Yo Gabba Gabba and some music band group that plays a lot before those shows. She gets so excited when they come on...maybe the Fresh Beat Band??  Thanks to Dora, "backpack" is now another word in her vocabulary and she likes to see pictures of herself and she'll say "baby".

She is starting to get a bit more attached to "mom" - sometimes she'll call me momma...other times she is too cool for momma and just calls me "mom". ha!  She still sleeps 7 to 7 and is still pretty good at her 2 naps each day.  One is usually shorter than the other though.

Still can't believe how fast this past year has gone by...I really think the days go by faster once you become a parent.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

One of my favorite things!

Oprah does it so why can't I? Want to know one of my favorite things? Caspari acrylic stemware!

I know summer is almost over but I have been meaning to share this AWESOME item and just forgot.  But if you or someone you know enjoys wine, these acrylic wine "glasses" are PERFECT for the patio and just great for entertaining period. In fact, we use them a lot inside too when we have large groups over or sometimes when it's just the two of us and we don't want to mess up the "nice" glasses.  They really are the nicest plastic wine stemware I've bought and they are VERY reasonably priced. 

They actually look like real wine glasses and are dishwasher safe so very easy to wash up!  Even my wine connoisseur husband who has an ENTIRE cabinet full of Riedel stemware will use these from time to time.  

Anyway, I finally came across the website where you can purchase these directly from the company instead of in a retail store so had to share with others!  They really are the perfect addition to your kitchen and a great gift idea!

Red Wine Glass - $7.50
Large Wine/Water Glass - $7.50
White Wine Glass - $6.00
(NOTE: In my experience, these don't wash in the dishwasher as well as the others. Not sure if it's because of the smaller size or what but mine have gotten a few lines that form in them after putting them in the dishwasher...but not enough where I wouldn't recommend).
Champagne Flute - $6.00
Just wanted to share in case you could use something like these in your home!