You’ve Got To Be Kitten Me! { First Birthday }

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Well, somehow it happened. She turned one. That little baby girl we were bringing home from the hospital just a year ago celebrated her first birthday recently!

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It feels like it was only last month we were constantly changing diapers, feeding every two hours, checking on her every five seconds while she slept, and were up at all hours of the night. Oh wait, I take that back. As far as the sleeping goes that was last month. What was life like before an uninterrupted 4 hours of sleep? I can’t quite remember, but I will totally take the life I have now with this independent, full of energy, super happy, and often quite stubborn one year old. She’s amazing and fully worth it!

We wanted to give her a birthday party she would be able to enjoy, or as much as they really can at this age. So coming up with the theme was easy. Cats. Olivia loves cats. I’m not surprised. I love cats. We have three cats. It’s in her genes.

I wanted it to be bright, colorful, and girly. The colors we chose were pink and teal. I have to admit I did a lot of the designs last-minute, but there was a ton of inspiration on Pinterest to help me out.

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There were a few details I really loved. I found a paw print hole punch at Michael’s, and used this on her birthday banner to run the baker’s twine through. I also used it to tie the ribbon onto the favor bags. The small details that may not be totally noticeable immediately are always a fun touch.

Chalk paw prints were drawn on the sidewalk leading to the front door, and I made a cat face wreath to hang on the door.

I found a picture of a cat balloon online, and recreated it. I think this was Olivia’s favorite thing from the whole party. For three days afterwards, every time she saw it, she pointed and laughed. I kinda now want to make a cat balloon on a weekly basis. She loved it that much (who am I kidding – I loved it that much too)!

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Her cat themed desserts also turned out adorable, and delicious!

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The smash cake was another story. Super happy before the cake, but tears, lots of tears, after. She wouldn’t touch it. But that’s ok, because there were plenty of kids around that wanted to do the smashing and eating for her! We even tried the next day when it was just my husband and I at home. Same result. How is this my child? I love sweets!

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Regardless, she still had a great time with all her friends and family and we were so happy everyone could celebrate such a special day with us. I loved how the party turned out, not just because it was adorable, but seeing Olivia take it all in – pointing, smiling, and laughing at all the cats everywhere made my heart melt. It was a day we will definitely never forget! Happy 1st birthday sweet girl!

Cat Cake by A Piece of Cake
Cookies by Kylie’s Cookies
Smash Cake by Tom Thumb Bakery

Wild One First Birthday Party

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I just got back from Dallas as we celebrated my sweet niece’s first birthday (kitten themed – can’t wait to share the pics!), and it reminded me how I never shared my son’s first birthday party – so here we are!

Nine months ago my son turned one – how do I freeze time?!?! – and I threw him a small and simple birthday party. Those poor second children – Emmie got a huge party with over 30 people and Easton got a small dinner with family :) I think you realize with the second just how little time you have to do these things – and I throw parties for a living! Plus, the last thing we needed was more presents and toys in the house! Still, it was an important celebration so I still wanted to mark the occasion with a cute theme and decor.

Once Easton learned to crawl and move, he has never slowed down! This kid requires constant attention as he is a climber, jumper and has no fear. He is my “wild one”, so the theme seemed perfect! I took some cues from the adorable “Where the wild things are” book and decorated with gold crowns and arrows. For some masculine colors I love the combo of navy and teal, and to add a punch of color I used coral and gold. Balloons, banners, place cards, a cake topper and coordinating straws helped tie the whole look together. For a simple and stylish party, I think we delivered :) He won’t remember it, but I will remember his smiles!

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Frozen Fever Birthday Party!

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Disney’s marketing geniuses knew what they were doing when they created a 7 minute clip that would generate a whole new love for Frozen, along with a whole new set of merchandise! And my daughter was one of those little girls who gobbled up all things Frozen Fever, so alas, we had a Frozen Fever birthday party when she turned five. I have to admit, I actually LOVE the way this party turned out – lots of fun, bright colors, cute little snowgies (mini snowmen), flowers upon flowers and flowers, and the best part… it was actually very easy to organize!

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The Breakdown:

Colors: Yellow, White, Teal, Green and Pink

Décor: To set the royal table up, I used one of our yellow and white striped tablecloths, silver candelabras with sunflower balls, and place cards with the guest’s names on them. For placemats, I bought teal scrapbook paper which is an inexpensive and easily solution (just throw away when done!). They also got to use Frozen Fever plates and teal water goblets to drink their fancy lemonade out of. Even though it was a ‘tea’ party, I knew pink lemonade would be a much bigger hit!

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I also had our entryway table wrapped in tulle with a sunflower garland which was a big wow factor. The cake was displayed front and center for everyone to see! My favorite décor item was the sunflower garland that draped our staircase – it made such an impact and helped set the scene for Frozen Fever!

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Food: Tiara shaped peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and fruit parfaits in a fancy cup were the highlight of this royal tea party. A must – the replica of the Frozen Fever cake!! Definitely the highlight for my daughter that her cake looked like the one from the movie! A big thanks to The Chocolate Box of Chattanooga for creating that masterpiece.

 Activities:

  1. Tea Cups: Being a tea party, we had a paint your own tea cup section, which was created easily by buying two paint your own pottery sets from the store. I had the girls do this first so we could bake the tea cups while they did the other activities allowing them to be ready for use during the tea party. Tip: Put tea cups straight into cold water once they come out so they cool faster.
  2. Nails: I bought a set of Frozen nail polish and had our babysitter paint the girls fingers J Each princesses got to pick one color to put in her bag and take home.
  3. Make Up: My mom stepped up as makeup artist for the day and put glitter, blush and lip gloss on the girls. I bought mini Frozen body glitter from party city and ordered Frozen lip gloss off Amazon. Again, each girl got to pick one to use and take home with her.
  4. Tiaras: I bought the make your own crown kits from the party store. No set up, super easy and the girls loved it!
  5. Frozen Fever movie: To calm the girls down before lunch, I played the Frozen Fever clip from YouTube. Free entertainment!
  6. Hair clips: I made the Elsa hair clip from the movie using a clear jewel, purple flower and hot glue. These were clipped onto the teal goblets on the table creating a cute accent!

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Party Favors: Each princess got a bag with her name on it to put their swag in from the makeup/nail polish station. We also had sunflower cookies (yum!) and a cute little snowgies! Hopefully whenever they squeeze their snowgie they will remember how much fun they had!

This party turned out to be beautiful, easy on the wallet, even easier to put together and one my daughter will always remember (or at least I hope so!)

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Royal Princess Party

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Can someone please tell me where has the time gone? I cannot believe summer has come to an end and school has started. And for us, it was a BIG step as my first born started kindergarten (cue the tears). Its hard to believe she is old enough (and I am old enough) to have a full time kindergartner. In reminiscing over the past week, I realized I never shared her last TWO birthday parties (I know, I have been slacking!). So, this will be a two part post – showing pictures and details from her 4th and 5th birthday. Let’s start with the first…

Like many four year old girls who just absolutely love anything princess, my daughter seems to attend a Royal Ball several times a day. I was thrilled when she asked for a Princes Birthday Party because I couldn’t wait style one for her in a unique way. The challenge was to make it fun and appealing for both boys and girls. For the theme, I decided to focus on princess silhouettes to get more of a sophisticated feel. Pink and blue were used as the main colors, which was a great way to include both the little princes and princesses.

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Our royal guests were welcomed at the front door which displayed hanging Cinderella and Prince Charming cut outs. I love having the theme right there immediately when your guests walk up to your door!

 

 

 

 

 

The main dessert table was designed to mimic Cinderella’s dress with linens. It was draped with a soft pale pink and accented with blue bows. The Chocolate Box created a beautiful castle cake, and this was to be the focal point of the dessert table. To highlight the cake, it was placed in the center of the table with framed by soft white ruffle drapes (the drapes were repurposed from my daughter’s bedroom). The three piece silhouette backdrop over the table is one of my favorite decorations! Accented with a candelabra, pink roses, vintage books, and delicious desserts, it definitely created the luxe royal look I was going for! I extended the princess theme into the desserts as well. Various princess cookies, “Frozen” themed donut balls, and Belle’s red cake pop roses were served. The Beauty and the Beast themed cake pops ended up being one of the most talked about desserts. They looked incredible and tasted amazing!

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undercover hostess cinderella down the table2JPEGThe idea was to have all the guests dine at a royal table, so one long table was created to achieve the look. Crisp white linens were used as the base, styled with silver candles and pink roses as a centerpiece.  A pink chandelier hung from the ceiling tied it all together. One of my favorite pieces on the table were actually the custom princess silhouette paper plates, they helped bring the entire theme together.

 

 

 

 

For games, we had a large inflatable princess carriage for a bounce house, a “Seven Dwarfs” mining station where the kids shifted sand to find gemstones, a dress up area which consisted of princess clothes for the girls and swords and crowns for the boys, face painting, and a “Brave” station where the children threw water balloons at a target. I am lucky enough to have a handy husband and he constructed the mining trough, while the dress up station was brought down from her room (nothing like cheap décor!)

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The party turned out beautiful and the kids had a blast playing games and eating delicious desserts. When my daughter walked outside and saw the tables set up for her party, her facial expression made all the planning worth it for just that!

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Time to Party! The Bachelorette Ombre Obsession Kit is here!

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After months of silence (due to the year of the babies – we each had one!) we are finally back and more excited than ever to announce our newest kit – Bachelorette Ombre Obsession. And it’s perfect timing too, as I am sure post V-Day there is some new bling on a few ring fingers! I am OBSESSED with this kit; the glam, the ombre style and the FUN it brings to a bachelorette party.. I kinda want to do mine all over again now!

You can throw this party two ways – (1) With just the hostess kit (adorable plates, napkins, cups, menu cards, etc.) if you already have your decorations, or (2) add on the rental kit, which includes the backdrop boas, the ombre tassels and the glitter picture frame. Everything for the perfect bachelorette party is here, just add food and drinks, let’s not forget those ;) The bride-to-be will adore it!

Being lucky enough to have been a MOH twice, I know how stressful it can be trying to organize decorations and materials for that perfect bachelorette party. It gets even more difficult when friends meet up from out of town for a destination (Vegas Baby!) As much fun as that is, how the heck do you travel without having to bring a ton of bags to pack everything for the exciting night out? That’s where we come in – and this Kit – to make the weekend as fun and stress free as possible! I actually used this Kit for a bachelorette party I hosted in a hotel suite and it was amazing! With a little bit of tape, I was able to hang the boas in front of the window, and with the city lights as part of the backdrop and the cute tableware in front, it was oh so chic and stylish! Best part – I had the box shipped directly to the hotel and when I was done, shipped the linens back so it was once less thing I had to make room for in my carry on (seriously, we need room for dresses in our luggage not linens!)

This Hostess Kit is definitely up there as one of my favorites. It just makes me want to put on some heals, sip champagne, and dance!

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Happy Hosting! – Erin

 

Valentine’s Day Balloon Surprise

 

In today’s busy world, I just can’t realistically be that perfect “Pinterest mom” who crafts every day with her little ones (as much as I would love to!) When a holiday rolls around, I do try and set time aside to create something special for my children – it’s no surprise that I am big on celebrating special events and love creating memories for my kids! Valentine’s Day was a lot of fun this year (especially because it was cheap, easy to do, and of course cute), and it really surprised my daughter. It was perfect!

The holiday is about all things love after all, so I wanted her to wake up and immediately feel it surrounding her! What better surprise than a room full of balloons? Balloons are always fun.. but I added a little twist to make a game out of it. Hanging from each balloon string was a paper heart: on the front side was a letter, and the back side was a number. I scattered the balloons randomly throughout the room. She had to put them in numerical order from 1-20 to decode the secret Valentine’s message “We Love Emmie and Easton!” She loved searching the room for each number and grabbing the balloon. I loved the educational aspect of it. My favorite part was after she woke and saw her ceiling covered in balloons, she ran into my room and said “Mom, it is so pretty!” and gave me the biggest hug. I knew she really appreciated it!
To make this happen, it was really very simple. I used 20 balloons (a mixture of pink and teal, her favorite colors), string (which I grabbed from extra gift wrapping supplies), paper hearts (cut from construction paper), a hole punch, a marker and a helium tank. The helium tank was bought at Walmart for $23. The night before Valentine’s Day, I cut out the hearts, punched the holes, and wrote the message on the hearts. I also pre-threaded the string into each heart (about 5ft-6ft length) so it was once less step I had to do in the morning. I waited to blow up the balloons until the morning, otherwise they would have been on the ground by morning, which doesn’t really have that same wow factor :) I woke up at 5:30 am, blew up the balloons, and tied them to the string. I quietly tiptoed into her room to scatter the balloons around so she would find them by the time she woke up, two hours later. I was done by 6:00 am and was able to hop back into bed. This special surprise cost me about $30 and an hours worth of time. Not bad!
I would absolutely recommend doing a surprise like this for any birthday or holiday in the coming year –  worth it just for the smiles :) Happy Valentine’s Day!

Spook-tacular Halloween Tablescape

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Its that spooky time of year again – Halloween! I absolutely adore this holiday, always have, but now that I have kiddos of my own it makes it that much more spook-tacular!

I LOVE throwing parties – and that is an understatement. But sometimes it is fun just to decorate for my family, and that’s what I did here with this adorable Halloween set up. I plan on using this for our Halloween dinner before we go out and go trick or tricking. I am a firm believer in making the moments extra special for my kids – so what a fun way to add to the magic of Halloween. The best part – it takes little time and can be done on a budget! This entire set up cost less than $75 for 8 people!!! With items from the shop (www.undercoverhostess.com), some DIY from the store and a tiny bit of time you can create the same look – whether or be for a Halloween party or just a scary dinner with your family!

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I am not sure what tableware I love more – the cat and skeleton plates, the polka dot baking cups or the spider cups! They are all so cute it is hard to pick a favorite – but I think the impact the spider cups make put it over the edge! Great for throwing some popcorn in or adding a straw to drink your favorite Halloween beverage, they really add to the fun of Halloween! To pull this entire look together, I bought the banners, napkins, cups, straws, plates and balloons from the shop. To save time and money, I used $0.25 black cardstock paper for the placements, I blew up the balloons myself and scattered them on the floor rather than using helium (which I think the kids preferred anyways as they threw them at each other), and I painted some branches black with spray paint to hang the oh-so adorable ghosts from. By using a clear vase I had from home and printing black polka dots onto white paper from the computer, I was able to create a unique vase without any cost – got to love those ideas!

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Holidays spent with my kids are the best and I am looking forward to all the fun and adventure this Halloween will bring! Stop on by the shop to stock up on some décor to get you and your family in the ghostly mood!

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4th of July Party Kit Giveaway

Untitled-1It’s less than a month away, have you decided how you are going to spend your Fourth of July? If you need a little help, we got you covered. We are giving away a Red, White, and Blue themed Party Kit! One lucky winner will receive this patriotic mini Kit to celebrate the holiday!

One lucky winner will receive:

  • 12 Red Stripe Paper Plates
  • 8 Silver Star Dessert Plates
  • 16 Silver Star Napkins
  • 25 Red Stripe Baking Cups
  • 1 Large 36″ Blue Star Balloon
  • 25 Star Party Picks
  • 25 Paper Straws (Mix of Red Stripe, Silver Stripe, and Multi Colored Stars)
  • 1 Star Garland

Visit www.undercoverhostess.com to enter! 

Open to US residents only. Giveaway ends 6/21.

7 Baby Shower Games That You Will Actually Want to Play!

Let’s be honest. Sometimes the least fun part of a baby shower can be the awkward games. Smelling “dirty” chocolate smeared diapers to guess the melted candy isn’t all that appealing, especially when you know you are going to be dealing with the real thing pretty soon. And there are some baby foods I don’t want to taste, not for fun. No wonder babies make those awful faces, who can blame them?

To help you plan your next baby shower, we’ve put together a few baby shower games your guests will actually want to participate in – and have a ton of fun!

1. Baby Shower Price Is Right.Unique Baby Shower Games, Price is Right Baby Shower Game, PRINTABLE for Boy, Dark and Light Skin, INSTANT DOWNLOADA hilarious game especially for the first time mom-to-be! She has no idea how much these items go for since she’s never had to purchase them (I fall into this category, I’m horrible at this game). Your guests will love it too – prices fluctuate all the time, so maybe what Aunt Suzie thought a box of diapers sold for isn’t the case anymore. Will definitely make for an entertaining comparison of answers. I found these cards for purchase on Etsy.

2. Baby Shower Photo BoothRustic Boho themed baby shower via Kara's Party Ideas KarasPartyIdeas.com Cakes, decor, printables, invitation, cupcakes, desserts, favors, and more! #rusticbabbyshower #bohoparty #bohobabyshower (32)A fun memory to take home for guests, and for you to keep in a scrapbook! Throw in some baby themed props, and this will keep everyone busy for hours! (Source.)

3. Wishes for Baby.Dear Baby Printable Baby Shower Game - Wishes For Baby Game - Baby Shower Game - Instant Download - Gold Confetti - White Gold, Baby ShowerHave your guests write down their sweet wishes for your newest addition! This was done for me at my bridal shower and I still love taking them out and reading them! These lovely gold printable wishes were found on Etsy.

4. Guesstimate the Bump.Twinkle Twinkle Little Star baby shower | 100 Layer CakeletPulling out the measuring tape and taking down numbers of mom’s bump size to see who was the closest doesn’t seem all that cute. But dress it up like these adorable stars tied with gold twine, and that’s a different story. (Source.)

5. Create a Keepsake.Keep guests entertained with a little arts and crafts project. Perfect for a memory book, or even in a frame for the nursery. For purchase on Etsy.

6. Don’t Say Baby.Rules are on the sign. You really have to be on your toes for this one. But I couldn’t resist how cute the decor was in this party. (Source.)

7. Have a DIY Bar.coffee baby shower-59Set up a themed bar where your guests can make their own desserts, ice cream, drinks, cravings – anything. DIY bars keep guests busy and let them have fun! This adorable party from Frog Prince Paperie set up a coffee + cravings bar.. love it!

 

Five for Friday :: My 5 Party Favorites

What makes a party so fabulous? Well, everyone having a great time of course! But from the design point of view, to get a party to look fantastic and put a smile on everyone’s face, these are a few of my favorite things that I feel every party should incorporate!

ONE :: First Impressions

Creating a warm, welcoming, and coordinated entry is key to a well styled party. It is your guest’s first impression of what the theme will be. You want to create a look that is begging them to open that door so they can see more! A bare door does nothing to get your party goer excited to walk in, so I love styling the front door or outside entry! Below are some of my favorite creative entries!

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Shabby Chic Pony themed birthday party via Kara's Party Ideas KarasPartyIdeas.com Cake, banners, signs, favors, desserts, tutorials, and more! #shabbychic #ponyparty #shabbychicpartyideas #cowgirlparty (29)(Source)

TWO :: Printables

Printables are so important to providing a cohesive and unique look to your party. From the invitation to the thank you notes and everything in between, they are able to tie all the details together. Adorable printables are a must because not only do they provide personalization for a party – which makes the guest of honor feel oh so special while making the host look like they went the extra mile – but the theme is carried throughout when using them with different items, like food, favors and games.

THREE :: Statement Desserts

Dessert is everyone’s favorite part of a party, so it is important that you make yours stand out! Whether you have a custom cake, unique cake pops, or cupcakes with adorable printables, it is a great idea to tie in your dessert. Everyone has different taste, so I always love the idea of providing two or three desserts for people to choose from. Plus, this gives you lots of room to be creative with cute desserts! Farm 1st Birthday Party   Part 2 {The Dessert Table} 

We love the display of different desserts on this table: they compliment the farm theme and give guests adorable sweet options! (Source)

FOUR :: It is all about the linens

If I have to splurge on one item it’s a nice table linen! Sure, a plastic solid color tablecloth is easy for cleanup and there is no worrying about spills, but a statement linen adds so much more. Lovely tableware and adorable decorations need to be highlighted against a gorgeous setting! One of my favorite tablecloths in our packages in the tutu table linen, because it makes a statement and ties in the decor. Who doesn’t love a frilly, girly, tutu table?
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FIVE :: Personalization for your guests

Personalizing the party for the birthday boy or girl makes them feel so special, as they should, but what about your guests? If possible, when throwing a smaller party, I love the idea of customizing favors. Most kids I know get so excited when they see their name on anything! One of my favorite favor ideas was a Superhero themed party we helped design. The mother made all of the children a personalized superhero cape. Talk about impressive! My daughter was lucky enough to receive one and still wears it! She will always have memory of the party when she puts on that cape.

Emily's mother made each personalized cape for a party favor!
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