Whaley havin' fun now! (Update on C's 1st Birthday Party Plans)

How was your Easter?  Ours was filled with yummy food, long relaxing conversations with family, listening to the glorious hum of the great outdoors, and plenty of fun with the kiddos.  Carter and Maddie were enamored with Caroline, and I assure you the feeling was mutual.  Unfortunately, my camera battery was DEAD, so I only have this one picture of her.  

Hop-Hoppy Easter!

Okay, so I just have to show you the cute stuff I am slowly gathering for C's 1st birthday party (and try to stick around till the end for my favorite detail!)  The Whale theme is really coming together.  Here's a majority of the loot that I have so far.  

Doesn't this just make you smile?  

I punched a whole bunch of scalloped 2 inch circles.  I'm thinking these will be favor tags and I might make some sort of pretty string of scalloped goodness to hang around outside.  Maybe something like this, but with my pretty preppy paper?
(found here)

I found these adorable wooden anchors at JoAnn's.  Not sure what I'm going to do with them yet, but I think I'll keep the natural wood look.  The pink polka dot tape is called Washi Tape and I got it at Sweet Lulu.  

I'm thinking this will make cute little nautical (but pink) flags on the straws and maybe on the scallop string strands too.
(free printable flags here)

In this picture, you can see the cute striped straws in the left hand corner, a portion of C's glittery crown (it reminded me of King Triton's crown in the Little Mermaid.  
I know that isn't exactly whales, but she was enamored with it at Michaels, and it looks REALLY cute on her round cherub cheeked head.).  I also have some great preppy cupcake wrappers, pink and white striped and polka dot candles, an awesome anchor cookie cutter from Sur La Table, and more scalloped punches.  

See these whaley metallic goodies?  I'm not going to tell you much about them, except that they are going to be part of the favors!!!

Things not pictured but in the works...

Remember the scallop punches?  I've also made several paper flag pennant banners using that paper, too.  I used natural colored string to string them up, and I think it will tie in nicely with the preppy fabric and natural wood look I have going on.
tiny flag banner - mixed patterns

Also, I'm starting to work on props for a little photo booth.  A friend of mine is going to let me borrow several of those awesome Instax Instant cameras, and hopefully guests will take a memento for themselves and leave one behind for little miss C.  
Wouldn't that be a great memory from her first birthday?  I'm thinking I'll make heavy duty posterboard cutouts of nautical themed stuff (the water that comes out of the whale's blow hole, a life preserver, an anchor, and maybe a hot mermaid), and also throw in a few standard party favorites (giant present cutout, birthday cake, noisemakers, and birthday hats). 

I'm thinking the backdrop will be seersucker fabric, and I'm also looking for a huge, shabby chic painted white frame, to "frame" the picture.

I also ordered an "Its a party" sign, an "I am 1" highchair banner, and "Happy 1st Birthday!" banner from Bella Baby Toppings.  
When we were discussing the design, I told her "pink grosgrain, blue and white seersucker, and maybe navy ric-rac, with touches of aqua here and there."  Highchair_standard

I imagine it will look something like this, but even cuter:
New - Preppy Whale - Girls Party Banner
It is going to be SO great, I just know it.  Here are few samples of her work:
Pink Orange glitter Happy Birthday party sign
Cowgirl Pink Happy Birthday Banner
Owl Look Whoos One 1 Happy Birthday Party Package

As for the cake, a wonderful friend of mine who makes cakes professionally is going to make gum paste whales(like these) for oodles and oodles of cupcakes, plus a coordinating smash cake with a giant matching whale on top, complete with a pink bow.  Water Spout Whales Set of 12- Cupcake Toppers

She is also going to make some whale, anchor, and starfish sugar cookies with royal icing 
(I love me some sugar cookies).
Welcome Whale Cookie Favors (Vanilla) Half Dozen - MADE TO ORDER
Sunshine Starfish (1 dozen)

I ordered 100 of these tiny vintage map whale punches.  Not sure what I am going to do with them, but I know that I will probably find multiple cutie patootie things to do!  
24 Vintage Library Card Book Plates and 100 Vintage Map Whale Punches (Custom Order for Curtsies)

And now, I present to you the creme de la creme...the cutest, preppiest, pink and aqua-est (oh yes, even smocked!) whale bathing suit for the birthday girl.  
She is going to look FAB in this all summer, plus on her big day!
(seriously, could this be any more perfect?  I just die.)

Splishin' and a splashin', partyin' and a plannin'
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Love this girl - LOVE YOU STRONGLY - by Amy Stroup

Right now, my dear friend, Amy Stroup, has a FREE song on Amazon.com!

Go here to download her latest release, "Love You Strongly," for free from Amazon.  One thing I love about Amazon is that you can play your purchased music on any computer (unlike iTunes).  Isn't she just the cutest?  
Love You Strongly

Also, Amy's song is going to be featured on this week's episode of Grey's Anatomy. 

Her songs have been featured on Grey's in the past, plus Private Practice, Brothers & Sisters, One Tree Hill, and a host of other hot shows.  I'm so proud of my sweet and amazing talented friend.  Her music touches me to the core.

Find out more about Amy on Facebook here and http://www.amystroup.com/.  Amy's music can also be found on iTunes here.

Acoustics and artists,
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Tutorial: How to make a no-sew paper flag pennant banner

We see them everywhere.  Cute little flag pennant banners that coordinate with the color scheme of the party and add an extra little oomph to the decor.

I think they are so popular because they add much needed color and pattern, for a relatively low cost.  I wanted to show you how easy peasy it is to make a pennant/flag banner for your next celebration.  Though I have sewn one before, this tutorial is for a no-sew version.  Both are equally cute, but I'm kind of partial to the no-sew version because it allows you to work on it while you hang with the fam or watch TV.  Plus, as discussed below, it allows more flexibility when hanging.

Here's what you need:
Pretty scrapbook paper
Hole puncher

First, figure out what size flag you want.  My flags are 5 inches wide by 6.5 inches long.

Then, trace the first flag over and over on the backsides of the scrapbook paper and cut them all out.  I was able to squeeze 5 flags per sheet (by turning some sideways).  I used 5 different scrapbook patterns, 2 pages of each pattern each.  This made a total of 50 flags, 10 of each pattern.

Next, figure out where you want your holes.  No sense in being too precious about it - the "handmade-ness" of the holes and flags adds to the charm.  I made 4 on each flag, that way the string left two nice "dashes" on the front of each flag.

 The hard part is over now!  Just plop down with some Reese Witherspoon or Mark Ruffalo and start stringing those flags!  I doubled up the twine because I thought it needed to be more substantial looking to fill the holes.  Later, I realized that having the double string was really helpful for hanging...you could just loop the end over a pushpin and VOILA - easily hung!

Try to remember to thread the string the same way on each flag (from behind, to the top, then down again).  That way, each flag, though a different pattern, has a similar pattern on the top.

Another nice thing about the no-sew version is that you can space the flags out as needed.  I ended up taking a couple of flags off of the banner hanging over the fireplace because it looked a little too crowded.

After I hung the banner, I just felt like it needed something extra.  So, I bought some glittery sticky foam, cut out a heart, and stuck it on the middle flag.  There!  Now it looks like a bridal show banner, but not in an over the top way.

Want more information about the details behind this bridal tea shower?  Go here for the down and dirty nitty gritty!

Tenderness and twine,
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Shutterfly Free Stationary!

Wanna know one benefit of having a Shutterfly account? Free stuff! They just sent me an email with a code for 12 free personalized notecards. Shipping was a little steep (at $5.45), but that is less than I would pay for notecards at Target, plus these have my name on them!

This is what I ordered. I've been loving all things scalloped and blue lately...
Zachary Blue Thank You Card
Personalized graduation invitations & thank you cards by Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.
I'm STILL majorly crushing on these shoes - they would be the perfect accessory while I am lovingly writing notes on those cute little cards. :)

Elopement Pumps

Prissy and precocious,
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Nursery Obsession

Maybe it is because spring is in the air, or I've been busy sewing teeny baby onesies for future baby shower gifts, but I've been thinking about another baby to add to the AFS fold. 

Naturally, that leads me to start thinking about nursery decor.  I am obsessed with this room:
Nursery Inspiration

Even if we don't have another child or another little girl, I'm thinking this could be inspiration for C's "big girl" room, since the wall color is very similar.

Plus, I am absolutely smitten with the name Vivianne.  That would be so cute - a Coco and a Vivi!

Vintage charm and chic schoolmarm,
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Do you like classical music?

If so, Amazon has an album of 99 songs for 1.99 right now.  It is entitled "the 99 most essential wedding classics," which may seem a little silly if you aren't planning a wedding.  BUT, a quick review of the songs shows that they are all classical/opera/instrumental and very pretty.  Perfect for long road trips or background music in the office.  Plus, the price can't be beat!
The 99 Most Essential Wedding Classics
Minuets and momentos,
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