Planning For Lila’s Birthday Party

November is a big month for our family. Lila’s birthday on the 18th, my parents visiting Nov. 15 – 19th, Luke’s birthday Nov. 27, Thanksgiving at our house Nov 28, Luke’s family visiting Nov 24 – 30. I’m super excited for all of these things, but I can feel the stress starting to creep in, which means I need to start checking things off my to-do list.

My planning focus lately has been on Lila’s birthday. We went back and forth about whether to do a party or just an activity with our family. We wanted it to be fun for Lila, not stressful for us, but also a special day where we could celebrate our girl. Ultimately we decided on a small party with family and a few friends at our house.

First up to figure out was the food. In an effort to keep things a stress-free as possible, we’re going to do just a dessert party so we don’t have to worry about a bunch of food. There is an awesome gluten-free bakery up the street from us, so Lila and I went in and ordered some goodies. A vanilla cake with purple icing for Lila’s smash cake, along with creme puffs, chocolate creme bundt cakes, cheesecake bars and cookies in the shape of a 1.

For the decor, I ordered this burlap Happy Birthday banner and a cake topper to go with.

burlap happy birthday banner


burlap cake topper


I also made a trip to Party City and picked up some purple and white goodies to finish out the decorations like purple and white candies, purple polka dot napkins, white paper puffs and party favors like bubbles for the kids.

I also wanted Lila to have a special outfit to wear as the birthday girl, so I got her this totally ridiculous party hat and a personalized balloon onesie.

baby birthday hat Personalized baby onesie balloonsNow that I have everything planned out, I’m getting really excited for Lila’s birthday party. We’ll have family here (my mom & dad, sister and her family and Luke’s brother) and a few good friends to celebrate Lila’s first year of life. I can’t believe my baby is a year old already! I just hope I can keep it together during her party. :)

Okay, onto the next November event … Luke’s requested a pumpkin creme brulee cheesecake for his birthday. Does that even exist!?


Creepy Halloween Foods

Yay! My favorite holiday is just 1.5 weeks away!

I am a HUGE Halloween fan. Everything from the costumes to the parties makes me smile.

We have a ton of fun dressing up, which reminds me I really need to get going on my costume this year!

Anyway- I was thinking about hosting a Halloween bash and immediately got to think about what foods to serve. I searched online and was amazed at all the amount of  Halloween themed recipes available.

Of course, I was most intrigued by the creepy, scary, GROSS-looking foods like “roast flesh worm with spikey teeth and spilling guts.”

Fried WTH on a Stick…

Eyeball Ensalata Caprese

Creepy zombie finger cookies

And my personal favorite- the Dexter-inspired blood slide suckers…awesome.

Seriously- who comes up with these recipes? Who ever they are, they are disturbed and yet totally awesome.

What are your Halloween plans? Are you dressing up and hitting the town?

Adorable Baby Shower Gift Ideas

This weekend my dear friend Jen had her baby shower at Hub51 in downtown Chicago. She was such a gorgeous mom-to-be.

When looking for a gift to give Jen, I wanted to get her something practical from her registry and pair it with something uber cute off Etsy.

It’s really tempting when buying for a baby shower to pick out the cutest clothes, toys ect, but when I polled my Twitter followers (many moms), the feedback was that a mom-to-be really wants things off her registry that she had a real use for.

I ended up purchasing her baby bathtub and then had fun looking on Etsy for something to go with the bath theme. I was happy to find they have an entire section devoted to baby bath gifts.

There were so many cute shops, but I absolutely fell in love with one called “Babycakes & Decor,” which had a gaggle of adorable, hand-made baby shower gifts including these washcloth “cupcakes” I ordered for Jen.

They arrived wrapped beautifully in this authentic cupcake box adorned with decorations.

The Etsy shop has much more than washcloths including super cute onesies, baby bootie corsages (perfect for a shower) and even nursery wall decor.

I also loved these “Surprise Diaper Announcements” that expecting moms can use to share their news with family and friends they can’t see in person.

Next time you have  baby shower to attend, definitely check out Babycakes & Decor on Etsy.

City Slicker Baby Shower

Living in a 950 sq. ft. city apartment has seriously limited my ability to throw a great party. That’s why I was thrilled when I came across this city baby shower on that proved you don’t need a big house or back yard to host an adorable get together.

In fact, they used the city as their inspiration for the party, weaving in the city scape and clotheslines into the invitation and party decorations.

The food looked beautiful and I’m sure tasted scrumptious.

This is a seriously impressive diaper cake….how did they get them to stay together like that!?

I like that they didn’t play games, but instead had raffles guests could enter at their own pace.

Great party, right? Congrats to the parents-to-be and the hosts who threw this beautiful shower.