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Introducing … presto! party

17 Jul

You guys, I opened an Etsy shop! As you may have noticed, since the only thing I get around to blogging about these days is parties, I love planning parties! I love the little hand-crafted details that make each one special. Once I get through one kid’s birthday party, I can’t wait to start thinking about the next one! However, I fully recognize that, with two kids and a full-time job, I can’t be planning parties all the time! So I started brainstorming ways that I could continue to satisfy that creative bug without too much of a time commitment. And that’s how presto! party was born.

 

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Super mad props to my sister for creating this logo.  Click the photo for a link to her Etsy shop :)

The idea behind presto! party is that people often want the look of DIY details to make their parties more memorable {and, let’s be honest, more Insta-worthy}, but don’t have the time or materials to actually pull it off.  When developing the items that are offered in my shop, I tried to focus on popular themes and color schemes so that they would work as collections or on an a la carte basis. I started out with some themes I wanted to work on and have had friends suggest others along the way! The Rubber Ducky items were made for a dear friend and I absolutely love the way they turned out, so I added them to my shop!

Here are some of the themes I’ve been working on so far:

Tropical / Let’s Flamingle

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Tropical Favor Bags

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Pineapple Menu / Place Cards

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Flamingo Straw Toppers

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Pineapple Cupcake Toppers

Rubber Ducky

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Rubber Ducky Favor Bags

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Rubber Ducky Menu/Place Cards

 

Ballerina

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Ballerina Party Collection

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Pink Tulle Banner {Available in other colors}

Princess

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Princess Cupcake Toppers

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Tiara Menu/Place Cards

I hope you’ll check out my shop and let me know what you think! You can also follow updates on Instagram: @prestopartybykelli

Party on :)

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Monster First Birthday Party

21 Apr

Even though our little guy has been toddling about for a couple of months now, we officially said goodbye to infant days when Levi turned one earlier this month {sniff sniff}. Adam and I both love that our kids were early walkers because it opens up so many new activities at the park, etc., but a little part of me was definitely sad to be done with the sweet baby phase! Here are my favorite things about Levi’s first birthday party.

  1. Theme/Invitation: I went with a monsters theme for this party after some Pinterest perusal. I was drawn to the bright colors and thought it would be easy enough to add googly eyes to everything in the house! I ordered a digital invitation from JCO Invitations and used Paperless Post for online tracking. I struggled to find an invitation that featured monsters that did not refer to the honoree as “our little monster.” For some reason, that seems like an extension of “boys will be boys” and just wasn’t the route I wanted to go.levifront2
  2. Decorations: I used the lime green, orange, and blue from the invitation as my general color palette {it really was just a happy coincidence that we had just painted an orange accent wall in our dining room}. Then I rounded up all of the monster toys we had around the house to use as table decorations and added googly eyes to anything that wasn’t moving :)20170408_160320.jpgimg_20170419_120339_723.jpgimg_20170419_121249_985.jpgimg_20170419_120645_615.jpg
  3. Fun for the kids: We were expecting quite a crowd, so I tried to set up a couple of activity stations around the house, in addition to the usual play areas. We had a Make Your Own Monster station and Pin the Eye on the Monster. We also had favor bags with monster face play dough, tattoos, stickers, and a bendable monster.img_20170419_120842_712.jpgimg_20170419_120603_280.jpgimg_20170331_170741_476.jpgimg_20170331_114651_472.jpg
  4. Sweet treats: I tried my hand at blue monster fur buttercream frosting atop chocolate cupcakes. I also made Jell-O Sugar Cookies {with the help of my favorite sous chef} and they were a surprise hit. I mostly thought they would be fun for the kids, but I saw several adults heading back for seconds as well :) Levi was a bit apprehensive when it came time to eat his first cupcake, but I think he finally finished it after 15 minutes or so!diptic-153613105.jpgimg_20170419_120446_634.jpgimg_20170419_121328_724.jpg20170408_111511.jpg
  5. Birthday boy photos: One of my favorite things that I did with both kiddos in their first year was to track growth each month using a Snuggly Swaddle doll from Designs by M Susan. It’s hard to believe how big the doll looks next to Levi in the one month photo now!1492634055969.jpg

As usual, the best part of the whole thing, was being surrounded by friends and family who came from as close as next door and as far as South Florida. Our little boy sure is well-loved {as is our whole family}.img_20170401_222551_217.jpg

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It’s his party and he’ll cry if he wants to…

Superhero Third Birthday!

18 Apr

So, third time around on this whole kid’s birthday party thing, and I think I’m getting better at focusing on the little details that make a party more memorable rather than trying to do it all. I’m guessing that just about everything at the Twinkle, Twinkle First Birthday was made from scratch, but who has time for that anymore?!?  With an extra little one under foot since the last time we did this, I tried to prioritize by picking just a few projects that would have the most impact. Unless you’re a professional baker/chef, most of your guests are not going to care whether you lovingly cooked up every item on the menu from scratch, or lovingly warmed up some pre-made hors d’oeuvres! With that being said, here are the things that I think are worth spending a little extra time on:

  1. A good theme: Naomi had been loving her Batman and Superman shirts all summer, so a superhero party seemed like the way to go!IMG_20161112_183342
  2. A fun invitation: I love hand-crafted, custom invitations, but I love the ease of online tracking even more. My favorite way to get the best of both worlds is ordering a custom, digital invitation from Etsy and then uploading it to Paperless Post. This time around, I ordered from Kawaii Kids Design and was so happy with the result. They even did a custom blonde, blue-eyed Batgirl :)super hero invite v2
  3. An eye-catching tablescape: I went pretty simple this time around and just used red, blue, and yellow to pull the theme together. I ordered a six-pack of cardboard superhero signs and used them on the table, front door, and photo booth-style wall. Luckily, the birthday girl had just received some Little People Superheroes, so I used them as table decorations as well.20161112_160630 IMG_20170418_152520_229
  4. Fun take-homes for the kids: The big craft project for this party was making custom capes for each child using re-purposed, old t-shirts. I won’t reinvent the wheel on this one as I just found a tutorial on Pinterest and made some minor adjustments. I decided to leave the original necklines intact for the most part (unless it was too large for a child, in which case I cut in the center front so that it could be tied around the neck). I then found a free printable online and added each child’s first initial using Microsoft Paint. I printed them using iron-on transfer paper. The hardest part of the whole project was actually peeling the backing off of this paper! Otherwise, it was a fun and easy way to make it a little more special for the kids!IMG_20170418_164332_71820161112_174351IMG_20170418_152233_390


We couldn’t use our super-speed to get a decent picture of all four family members, but we had fun and that’s what counts! The birthday girl just asked for a superhero fifth birthday party {after a Moana fourth birthday, clearly}, so I think it was a hit with her!

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Curious George Second Birthday Party

12 Jan

Well, here we are at the beginning of another year and our baby girl is two now! We once again decided to mark the occasion with close friends and family. When I reflect on the party and the year that has passed since the last one, I am struck by how incredibly fortunate we are to have such a wonderful group surrounding us with love and support. A group that has grown this year, not only through the addition of several new babies, but also through the delightful fellowship we have found within our little community of townhouses.  We truly are a lucky little family!

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Naomi has really been into watching Curious George lately, so I decided that would be a fun and easy theme for the party. Without further ado, here are a few of my favorite details.

I ordered this adorable digital invitation from Etsy {DesignsbyCassieCM} and simply uploaded it to Paperless Post for easy distribution and tracking.

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The patterns and colors on the invitation really helped me visualize the rest of the party decorations as well. Here is the look at how the tablescape came together {and some close-ups of the details}.

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I love the way the flower arrangements came together using simple red and yellow flowers, mason jars, and {what else} yellow hats! I also finally tried a flower arranging tip I’ve been wanting to try out for a long time. I simply criss-crossed clear tape across the opening of the mason jars and then screwed the metal ring on top to cover the tape and help hold it in place. This gives you smaller holes to work with so that the flowers stand up better in the vase. The yellow hats came together easily using yellow and black cardstock and sticks.

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The savory side of the table was “Chef Pisghetti’s Ristorante” and featured flatbreads and meatballs.

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There were also desserts fit for a monkey: chocolate cupcakes garnished with banana chips and my mom’s oft-requested banana pudding.

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 The kids area was all set with Curious George coloring books!

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Finally, the toddlers in the group went home with favor bags filled with the following Curious George themed goodies: a monkey mask, stickers, fruit snacks {purchased at Giant Food}, and sugar cookies {made using an Etsy cookie cutter, which was apparently not dishwasher safe :( }.

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We are so thankful for another year watching our little monkey grow up!

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Mystery Materials Craft Challenge {The Results}

8 Feb

Last night was the first MMCC party and it was so much fun to see what everyone came up with! I was really blown away by the wide variety of crafts … everyone’s take on the materials was totally different! My dining room table was like a Pinterest board come to life, complete with a painted mason jar and a decoupage tray! As a reminder, the theme was Valentine’s Day and the materials were mini cupcake liners, cotton balls, craft tags, and pink twine.

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Without further ado, here are the winners of our blind voting!

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wpid-IMG_20150207_231956.jpgAnd because I thought everyone did an amazing job, here are the other adorable entrants!

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 I am already thinking about what we should do for the next MMCC party and I can’t wait :)

Happy December {Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star First Birthday}

17 Dec

Well, can you believe it? Our little girl turned one last month! We decided to share the occasion with close friends and family who have supported and loved us every step of the way in the first year of this big adventure! It truly has been an amazing year. Adam and I have been so humbled by the incredible love our little Naomi has already experienced in her life.

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I decided on a “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” theme because stars are everywhere … an easy way to have a cohesive theme without working too hard or being too theme-y. Here are a few of my favorite details from the celebration.

I put away the rubber stamps and went virtual this time around with the invitations *collective gasp*. We used the starry night design from www.paperlesspost.com. This site really has some beautiful stationery, and you can’t beat the ease of tracking responses, etc.

starry night 2Once I started picking out decorations, it seemed easiest to go with black, silver, and gold. When I put everything out on the table, it became clear that our party could have doubled as a Wake Forest alumni event with all of the Old Gold and Black!

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 One of my favorite touches was our Moravian Star as the centerpiece. This is such a touch of home for me and it’s nice to have an excuse to pull it out for an occasion other than Christmas (shameless plug for Old Salem in my hometown of Winston-Salem, NC)! Star-shaped sugar cookies and papers stars made using antique gold cardstock and a punch were easy, make-ahead ways to carry the theme.

IMG_20141116_160445Mini-cupcakes were adorned with edible gold stars!

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 And the same cardstock stars were used to anchor a banner featuring the monthly photos of our little Mimi … what a difference a year makes!

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We sent the guests home with favors bags with mini Milky Way bars.

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And what birthday celebration would be complete without the birthday girl enjoying some cake?!? It was her first taste of cake, and apparently, it was finger-licking good!

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Adam and I are beyond thrilled to call this little one our daughter and we had so much fun celebrating her first birthday! Here’s to many more!

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Up, Up & Away {Vintage Travel Themed Baby Shower}

10 Jul

So, where did June go? I suppose I have a few good excuses for the complete radio silence in June … not the least of which being our big move to the new house! One of the more fun excuses was helping to plan another baby shower for a dear friend! We went with a vintage travel/hot air balloon theme because the mama-to-be loves to travel. I’ll spare you a lot of the details because one of the other hosts has that covered over on her blog. You can read up on all the fun details {and more to come} on her fantastic blog, Short Pockets Number Two.

I’ll just share with you some of my favorite images from the day!

Invitation

{Invitations were made using the Silhouette digital cutting tool and decorative fabric tape from cutetape.com}

Garland

{Hot air balloon garland was made using a circle punch, heart punch, decorative fabric tape and bakers’ twine}

Check-In

{Guests pinned their birthplace upon arrival and the map was a unique guest book for the mom- and dad-to-be}

Food

{The sky’s the limit when it comes to adorable, pink sweets!}

Drink

{We carried the travel theme through with the various stations at the shower, including the “beverage cart”}

Favors

{Iced animal cracker favors came together easily with snack-sized ziploc bags, a hot air balloon rubber stamp, and oval labels from Paper Source}

As always, the best part of planning a shower {apart from the fun crafternoons with the other hostesses} is preparing to welcome a new life into the world! So excited for the parents-to-be and can’t wait for their little girl to be BFFs with Baby P :)