Lovely Package Exchange

**Please forgive my lack of posting. We are going through quite a bit of trials in our little house and I’m working on getting back to life as normal. I have plenty of parties and fun DIYs in the works… I just need a little me time to work on them!**
This year I participated in the Lovely Package Exchange from Oh, Hello Friend.
The Lovely Package Exchange is a gift exchange with another blogger with an emphasis on packaging. I loved participating in this and had a lot of fun wrapping up a gift for Katie over at Modern Eve and anticipating the gift coming my way.  
Here is the package I sent out in the mail: 
I used craft paper, book pages, pearls and fabric roses to decorate my gift to Katie. 
Oh, and the super awesome gift box from Target.
She sent the cutest gift ever— It was such a pleasure to open!
I love the tag she added— Her writing should be a font. 
She used bakers twine, a doiley, different tissue papers and ribbon to deck out her gift to me. 
Such a fun exchange. Thank you to Katie for participating with me and to Oh, Hello Friend‘s Danni for putting on the whole shin-dig. 

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from my family to yours!

Monthly Photos: Four Months Old

I’m taking photos every month my little guy gets older. 
(Idea comes from Making it Lovely’s Monthly Photos of her children)
Four Months Old
I know it is totally blurry…but, I love the way he is looking right at me!

And, in comparison:

Oh, and I can’t post without adding these two out takes:

Someone was not happy about getting his picture taken

He realized he had a sticker on his onesie and just needed to take it off!

My Favorite Day of the Year

It’s My Birthday! 
I’m not gonna lie… today is my favorite day of the year. 
And, this year I love it even more because I have the most amazing little man cuddling with me all day long. It has been a banner year for me this year and I can’t see how the next year will top it.
And, of course… one of the reasons that today is my favorite day of the year is because it gives me a great reason to throw a party. I’m usually all about not hosting your own birthday/shower/any gift giving-type party BUT my friends and husband all know that allowing me to throw my own party is a gift in itself. I thought I’d show you some photos of parties past and a few from this year’s shin-dig. 
I’ll do a full {Real Party} post on it soon.

In 2008 (Our first year in Portland) we went to Urban Fondue for a fabulous birthday dinner.
We got a curtained off room and wonderful service. Everyone dressed up for the party and I made little buttons that said “Jenni is 25!” and “You’re a Gem!” as favors. 
Urban Fondue is attached to Bartini and they have AMAZING cocktails.

In 2009 we had a wine tasting party in our apartment. I covered the walls in drawings of empty picture frames, bookshelves, fireplace and more. Guests enjoyed fun appetizers that my brother-in-law helped me whip up throughout the party while tasting wines that paired with the food. Between courses they were able to take photos in the photo booth and draw in the empty picture frames on the walls. I bought picture frames and filled them with “Thank You” pictures so that guests would have a frame for the photos they took in the home-made photo booth. 
It ended up looking like a shrine to me…Ooops!

In 2010 we planned on a dinner out at Alexis Greek Restaurant. It was a smaller party with a few close friends and enjoyed a family style DELICIOUS meal. I made my dress for the party out of old table cloths and was super happy with the results. If I look tired in the pictures it is because I was 5 weeks pregnant…. we had just found out a couple of days before my party. Alexis has an amazing martini that I had been talking about for weeks… when I sat down and ordered a non-alcoholic beverage the whole table knew I was pregnant! After a year of trying to get pregnant this was absolutely the best birthday present I could  have possibly received!
This year we opted for a party at home again. We threw a Fancy Pants Party for friends to get dolled up and act silly. We had a bevy of appetizers and signature cocktails. There were party hats, mustaches and fake eyelashes all involved. It was so much fun! 
Thanks for visiting this little blog on my birthday!
Check back later today for a BIG ANNOUNCEMENT! 
(and, no…I’m not pregnant again!)

Edit: I will be announcing my big announcement soon… I let the birthday fun get the best of me and need a little more time to put things together!

Things I wish I had thought of Holiday edition

In the “work” of blogging about parties I follow and read a lot of great party bloggers. 
And, while it is easy to get in the 
“How did they do that?”
“They are so much more creative”
“I would never have thought of that”
I usually have pretty good self-esteem and don’t let it get to me. 
Instead I like to gather inspiration from it all. 
So, when I show you these amazing Holiday ideas don’t fall into that trap
and instead draw inspiration from them. 
Holiday Parties
1. Amazing White Elephant Party invitation by A Fabulous Fete—Can I go to that party, please? 
(Oh, and while you are on her site… check out her Gifting on a Dime series!)
2. Jordan of Oh Happy Day had a beautiful progressive dinner party (in Paris!) and posted about it in November… I’m still thinking about those beautiful photos. I think a progressive dinner party could end up making a really fun holiday party (or hey, new years?).
Gift Wrap
3. I’m always repurposing things for gift wrap and have used all of the above items in wrapping before… but, why didn’t I think of stringing buttons like that? SO CUTE. 
Check out the whole wrapping job from Rain or Shine
4. Along with the repurposing theme… these pretty packages are made from Trader Joe’s bags!
5. Yep, you read that right Candy Lights. You’ll just have to click HERE to see this awesomeness and how to DIY yourself some candy lights for this year’s holiday festivities.
6. Ruche’s Homemade Holiday guide is really beautiful and is full of amazing DIY ideas like these fun glitter snow globe candle holders.

Weekend Update: The Holiday’s Have Begun

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year
It’s the most wonderful time
It’s the hap-happiest season
It’s the most wonderful time
It’s the hap-happiest season of all…
It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

There’ll be parties for hosting…”

—lyrics from Andy Williams song “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”
This song very much describes how I feel about the holidays as December begins. 
Every weekend of December for me is always packed with parties and fun things to do. 
This year is no different…and this weekend was packed full of fun.
What I did this weekend:
1. Helped a friend move
Isn’t it funny how when helping a friend move it can turn into a little party in itself? Sure, there is the heavy lifting and such not so fun things. But, you meet fun people you’ve never met before, enjoy drinks and food, and get to explore a new place.
2. Crafted up a storm for an upcoming party (or three)
My hot glue gun has never been busier— I created paper roses and Christmas trees. I designed paper goods. I crafted couture-style hats and cut out bow-tie fabric. I wrapped many drinks in paper to make them look pretty. I arranged flowers into pretty centerpieces. Ahhh… I love the holidays.
3. I got my first Christmas cards of the season. 
My sister and mother are totally on top of the holidays this year.
4. We bought a Christmas tree—decorating to commence sometime this next week.
5. I got my first birthday gift of the season! 
(Thank you Jill for an amazing gift!)
6. I co-hosted a fun Portland Blogger’s Lunch/Holiday party. 
(pictures above from that event)
I will be posting a feature on the event once I get photos together.

7. I sang a lot of Christmas songs to my son. I’m terrible at remember the words to songs. Lullabies and I are not friends. But, I know me some Christmas music (I guess all those years working in retail did pay off) and have been singing non-stop to my little guy. He loves him some carols! 
So, this weekend started the holiday rush… and, it isn’t stopping for us anytime soon. 
Today I am shooting Christmas photos of an adorable little guy.
I have a party to attend this week and a party that I’m hosting.
Oh, and the normal work, blog, being a mommy schedule.
So busy and SO HAPPY. Love the holidays.
What did you do this weekend? 
Did you attend or host any fun holiday parties?

Fill in the Blank Friday: Dec 2

Okay, so… I’m back to filling in blanks from The Little Things We Do
I just like it too much to not participate!

from The Little Things We Do

1.   The holiday season is  my favorite time of year. I love warm layers, hot drinks and all my cool friends. haha. No, but really, I love spending time with family and friends. I love all the extra excuses to throw/attend great parties.

2.   Snow makes me cringe. I’m really glad that it doesn’t snow too much here in Portland. But, then again, if it did I might not dislike it so much. The whole city shuts down when it snows here. It is unreal and very unfun   .

3.  The best comfort food to eat when it’s cold out is    cookies! Actually, I’m pretty much for all baked goods when it is cold out.     .

4. Winter is the best time for   wearing things that sparkle .

5.  I can hardly wait for   my birthday, Xander’s first Christmas, ringing in 2012 .

6.  When it comes to holiday gifts I prefer to   make them. I really love the idea of DIY gift-giving. I love finding and buying gifts (and I do that as well most the time) but, I really like giving at least one handmade item with each gift. Even if it is just a DIY gift tag .

7.  If I were to rate my excitement about the holiday season on a scale from 1-10, I would say I am at about a   7. I’m so very excited for so many things, but also quite overwhelmed. I almost feel that my excitement is causing my expectations to be too high. I need to remember that my little man won’t care near as much as me if his first Christmas was snazzy.

Happy Weekend!

Friday Finds: Holiday Gift Toppers

I love giving gifts.
I love the planning, searching, making and buying of gifts.
I then like packing them up so that someone REALLY wants to open the gift.
So, I was super excited when I found some of my favorite blogs providing great tutorials and/or free printables that I can use to top off my pretty packaging to make the gift really stand out.
Check them out!
the above images are screen shots of some of my favorite blogs
From Top Left Clockwise:
1. Brooklyn Limestone has some really amazing free printable gift tags for a tongue in cheek package. Check off whether your loved one has been naughty or nice this year!
2. These Doodle Gift Tags from Amy J. of Delightful Distractions make me SMILE. They are whimsical and perfect for this year’s homemade holiday.
3 & 4. Creature Comforts has put up too fabulous DIYs for gift toppers. These string poms are so much easier than the kinds I’ve made and this poppy will find its way onto some of my gifts this year!
Looking for even more?
Well, Smitten Blog Design (the company that designed my blog) has created some great FREE printable naughty or nice tags in the classic red and white color scheme.
Catch My Party has the usual amazing round up of free holiday printables that can be used in your upcoming holiday parties or to tag your gifts this year.
Have a great weekend!
I hope these helped with your holiday packaging needs!
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