We never expected to still be in our rental for Leo’s first birthday. But because it took us so long to finish the design phase of our house build, we knew this day was coming and hosting a party was not entirely feasible. I’ve been stressing over his party for months now. Our rental is filled to the brim with cabinets, and boxes full of lighting, speakers, appliances, and personal effects. Having a party IN the house sounded like a really bad idea. But what else do you do at the end of October in Utah? Planning an outdoor party is even more nuts than having one in my crazy filled up space. And not having a party at all was just not an option, not for his first year.
I thought about hosting it at some sort of event facility, but that seems overkill for a first birthday party. I decided to just “make it work” and do a very small family party in our rental. One of my facebook followers suggested a construction party, and I thought it was an awesome idea because 1.Our lives, of course are in the middle of a huge construction phase, and 2. if the theme is construction, your house doesn’t have to look all fabulous and put together. And hey, that plywood and sledge hammer that is sitting on our front porch is now considered “decorations” Score!
What I didn’t expect, was that on the day of the party it would be 70 degrees outside. And so on that beautiful warm fall day (November 2nd if you can believe it), we had our little party out in the backyard. It was glorious to not have to worry about our crowded messy house, and everyone had a relaxing time sitting in the beautiful weather.
I tried to keep everything fairly simple because of the chaos we are constantly living in. The two things that I spent time on were the royal iced cookies, and the cone-shaped smash cake. Everything else was really simple and easy!
My main decoration was this awesome CONSTRUCTION ZONE sign that I found at an antique market. It’s an actual really old hand-painted sign. I love it and plan on hanging it up in the playroom in our new house. Anyway, I was able to use it as a really cool backdrop and so everything else came together pretty fast.
For the treats, I made royal-iced cookies. This was only my second time making piped cookies (the first time was practice for this), I think they turned out great! It’s a lot of work , but I’ve been wanting to learn how to do it, so this was a great opportunity to dive in (more pictures of those below).
The other treats are simple things like cheese-its (floor tile), sun chips (shingles), pretzels (rebar), and graham crackers (plywood), and starbursts (bricks). Most of our servingware is in storage, so I just used random plastic and glass food containers and went for that mis-matched construction kind of look.
For the cake I went super simple, and picked up a plain chocolate cake with chocolate frosting from Costco, and put little construction diggers and dump trucks on it with some crushed oreos (a few oreos go a LONG way). We still have 2/3rds of this cake in our freezer!
For drinks I got the Mexican made Fanta that kind of look like road barricades/cones. I had big plans to strip off the labels with some acetone, etc. but cooler heads prevailed and I just chilled the drinks and put them out.
Mr. Project was in charge of the real food. He made bacon-wrapped turkey skewers, pigs in blankets (half hot dogs wrapped in Pilsbury crescent rolls) for the kids, sweet potato fries, rolls, and a veggie tray (there really was one, it just didn’t end up in the pictures!).
Here is the sweet birthday boy holding his little construction hat. He’s the best baby… but he’s not really a baby anymore
Its a miracle that I actually got him wearing his hat – this kid hates hats!
Here he is with cousins Josh and Aubry – the oldest grandchild and the youngest grandchild in the family.
My awesome brother got him a little Cosmo (BYU mascot), he loves stuffed animals and so a tiny cosmo was perfect!
We also had a little favor table when you came in at the back gate. I bagged up the piped cookies as favors, and bought some orange bubble tape gum, and plastic yellow hard hats from Oriental Trading Co.
Here are the cookies up close:
And while I’m showing cakes… I should show the cone cake that I made for Leo’s smash cake. I took pictures of the process. I can post that as it’s own post in a few days (how many times have I said that??). This was my first sculpted cake. It turned out pretty good but kind of got a little melty-lopsided in the sun. I used sugar paper for the white stripe and the orange square at the bottom.
Here’s the super cute birthday boy “digging in” He refused to touch the cone cake with his hands, but was happy to tear it up with a fork. Go figure.
So there you have it, our perfect first birthday party for our little Leo. I couldn’t have asked for a better day, and never would have imagined that we could host his party outside. So happy for the little things that make life so wonderful, like having family over for some cake and conversation on a nice warm fall day and celebrating the one year anniversary of a brand new life – little leo – whom we cannot possibly live without.
I cannot believe it’s been a whole month since I updated last! So much has happened in the last 4 weeks. It’s been hard to update because a lot has been internal work – electric, HVAC, etc. And so all the pictures (or lack there of) are just more framed walls. But this last week and a half, we’ve made some really great (visible) strides.
Okay let me start where I left off… All the interior walls and ceilings were framed, and the exterior including roof was all sheeted. With the roof now on, the HVAC and plumbing could be finished. The subs got in and out really fast and got everything buttoned up and ready for the 4-way inspection and then drywall.
All of our laundry dryer vents were these recessed boxes that will keep the vent hose from taking up any extra depth in the room.
And the next day, the windows were all installed. The house really started to come alive at this point.
We tried to keep the windows interesting (but not too expensive) by having most of the opening-windows be single-hung instead of sliders. If we had more money in our budget, I would have loved to do casement windows. Maybe on our next build! We saved some money by having fixed windows for some of the smaller windows and in the dining space. Also originally we wanted black/bronze colored windows instead of white, but the price came in 2x as high as the white windows… for the exact same windows! So we went with white.
(dining section of the kitchen)
And the side/rear side. Just a few missing downstairs. I just love all my windows.
I was chatting with the neighbors and got this picture of the home from a slightly different angle. It looks really nice from this angle. Also if you notice, the roofing has begun – it’s not much further than this still. But all the shingles and metal strips have been delivered.
So I really should have updated at this point, my excuse is that this was a few days before halloween AND Leo’s birthday, so I was just overwhelmed getting all of that done (and I still need to post about those two events as well!!).
The next thing that happened was final framing changes/fixes. Lots of just little things here and there to prepare for the 4-way inspection. They also put up our garage door/window awnings.
Here is the garage awning going up. Apparently I didn’t take any pictures of the window awnings. This awning will have open rakes and a metal roof.
Also in preparation for the 4-way inspection, the siding guys came and put the paper up on the house. With the windows, siding paper, and roofing paper, it really starts to take shape! This was actually the day we had our 4-way inspection, and we passed with flying colors!
The next day, on the inside, insulation started going up. We did blown-in insulation on the exterior walls, and batting on interior walls and attic areas.
And as soon as the insulation was mostly done, the drywall got dropped off.
And before we knew it, drywall was going up!
So much happening so fast… And the final result…
The whole house is drywalled!! Well at least the drywall is hung. We’ve got to get doors and turn on the heat to get the mudding happening (it got very cold all of a sudden). It really is crazy how fast we got to this point. And now it’s scary, and exciting all at once. We’ve got so much to get done, picked out, and purchased in order to get this all finished up.
Back again to the outside… we had 2 weeks of really warm weather, so they wanted to pour our concrete so it would cure without any freezing issues. picking our concrete shape etc. was pretty stressful. But I’m happy with how it turned out.
We have a driveway! and front steps! And then happy days are here… the siding installers started on the front of the house. We had them panel out the bump-outs.
And then they started hanging our siding. The siding planks are 12″ tall, it’s hard to tell here how dramatic they look, but they are really big and bold. I love them so much. I wish we would have just done siding on the whole house!
Under the front gable, we put board & batten.
This was pretty much one day of work for the siding crew. I can’t wait to see the whole thing all finished up.
So this is where we are at as of today. The weather is supposed to be nice next week, so hopefully the siding and roofing will get finished or close to finished.
It’s amazing how much has been done in a month. And daunting how much is still left to be done. It’s so much fun to see it come together. And now I feel like it’s really going to happen and it’s really mine, but I just have to manage my excitement until we can actually move in and make it really ours.
I’m so excited to finally share all of the pictures and details of our fabulous Mary Poppins blogger party! If you’ll recall, 12 utah bloggers had a giveaway where 10 blog readers and a guest were invited to attend a fun party at Toni’s home (Design Dazzle). We had an amazing day filled with perfect weather, gracious guests, wonderful hosts, delicious food and amazing sponsors & vendors! We hope you enjoy browsing through the beautiful pictures of the event taken by Lyndsey at Lyndsey Fagerlund Photography.
The darling invitations were sent out to our guests. Chalkboard art, daisies, cherries and, of course, Mary Poppins was the theme of our party! Invitations and printables by Design Dazzle.
Welcome to Cherry Tree Lane!
A temporary party structure was made to hold all the umbrellas.
All the red gingham fabric and black and white polka dot fabric was donated by Online Fabrics. Thank you to those who helped sew the tablecloths!
Kite chair tieback with Mary Poppins sayings!
Black and white polka dot ribbon with daisies and wild flowers make for a cute napkin ring holder to secure the bright yellow napkins.
Large paper daisies, wild flowers, red mesh and ribbon create a darling tie back for the black polka dot fabric.
All the food was made by the blog team! We seriously had a lot of compliments on how yummy the food was!
Appetizers, strawberry spinach salad and gourmet sandwiches – all delicious! Love the mason jars and daisy cut lids!
“And never smell of Barley water” lyrics from the song The Perfect Nanny. Our water just happened to be good old cold water ; )
Loving the dessert table backdrop and all the desserts! So many talented gals made these AWESOME desserts!
Make sure to check the bottom of the post for our dessert vendors. These gals are so talented!!
A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down!
Red glitter cake pops!!
Super amazing cookies!! Can you believe the art on these? Makes you almost not want to eat them!
Love the talented skills of our fondant makers!
Each guest was given a favor bag filled with AMAZING gift swag from all our sponsors.
All the guests and bloggers received a Mary Poppins Necklace. So fun!
Our Mary Poppins blog reader party wouldn’t have been possible without the help of our FABULOUS sponsors and vendors! We would especially like to thank our Head Sponsors who each contributed over $500 worth of prizes and products to our event! Please be sure to visit each of our sponsors’ websites to see all of the wonderful items they have to offer.
Clear Bags offers remarkable packaging at unbeatable prices. Visit their website to see their vast selection of over 4,000 items which are designed to help people & companies promote, protect & preserve their products. Stop by their Facebook page to see creative ways to use their products.
NS Minerals is an all-natural cosmetics line created to make every woman beautiful at an affordable price. Visit their website to see their full cosmetics line and Facebook page for great tutorials and special events.
NoVae Clothing was created to offer its customers current fashion combined with modest style. Visit their website to see their full line of clothing, shoes & accessories and check out their Facebook page for new products and special offers.
Vintage Rose Wraps sells beautiful, hand made in the USA, fabric headbands for women and girls of all ages. Visit their site to see the headbands and other fun accessories they sell in their shop and be sure to check out their Facebook page for special offers and events.
Design Dazzle decor shop offers bedding, art, rugs, lighting and accessories to help you create beautiful rooms for kids. Stop by their Facebook page to see creative room design ideas and fabulous kids parties.
Party design and styling by Toni Roberts, Design Dazzle. All Mary Poppins party printables available here.
Gift Bag Sponsors
American Crafts – Crate Paper fabric frames for each guest + Project Life album
Bake It Pretty – 2 sets of sprinkles + favor bags for each guest
Brilliant Nutrition – vitamin supplement packs for each guest
The Chocolate – gift certificate for each guest
Vinyl Wall Art – chalkboard label sets for each guest
Kara’s Party Ideas Shop – gift certificate for each guest
Pick Your Plum – set of ric rac trim for each guest
Jessie Steele – gift basket – pajamas, apron and goodies
Design Dazzle – Mary Poppins necklaces and Mary Poppins printed favor bags
Jane – necklaces for each guest
The Wood Connection – gift certificates + paint brushes for each guest
My Mind’s Eye – rolls of washi tape for each guest
Online Fabric Store – all fabric for tablecloths + umbrella stands + $50 gift certificate
Lowe’s – supplies to make the dessert table backdrop & temporary party structure that held all the umbrellas
Bake It Pretty – glassine bags, mini & regular cupcake liners, straws
Kara’s Party Ideas Shop – mason jars & daisy cut lids
Dessert Table Sponsors
Cupcake Chic – mini & regular cupcakes + bonbons
The Cookie Jar – royal icing cookies
Le Petit Macaron – macarons
Sweeten Your Day – fondant toppers
Autumn Lynn’s Chocolate Sins – cake pops
Sugar Rush Stuff – mini cherry pies
Jamie Roberts – bowler hat fondant toppers & spoonful of sugar chocolates
A big THANK YOU goes out to the 12 bloggers who helped make this event happen! Toni from Design Dazzle, Kara from Kara’s Party Ideas, Holly from Paisley Petal Events, Tara & Wendy from The Dating Divas, Jen from The Project Girl, Brittany from One Charming Party, Michelle from Faith, Trust & Pixie Dust, Jonie from Just Between Friends, Tauni from SNAP!, Debbie from Made From Pinterest, Sara from Confetti Sunshine, and Wendy from The Shabby Nest.
Growing up my mom always made our costumes. I don’t think I even knew you could get costumes at the store until I was grown up. So I guess thats just where my mind goes when it comes to halloween. I’d love to just buy costumes and be done with it, but for me, making the costumes is part of the fun and challenge of halloween.
I don’t think I’ve posted pictures from the past two years – I’m all about the experience first and the photo taking second, so excuse these poor photos (I don’t even know how people get their kids to hold still for photos?!?). Anyway when ollie was 7 months old I decided he would be the cutest little gnome (we love gnomes in this house). Ollie always loved wearing hats so I was pretty sure he could pull off wearing a hat as the main part of his costume. He did not disappoint and kept the hat (and beard) on all night long. Here he is *not* looking at the camera.
Because this was my first time making a costume, I kept it pretty simple. A felt hat just rolled into a cone with a button sewed on for decoration. I used some pillow/drapery fringe trim for the beard which was sewed into the inside of the hat.
I sewed the blue felt shirt using one of his shirts as a guide for a pattern, and then made a quick belt with some black elastic and a belt buckle. I also attempted to sew some pointy pleather shoes which looked cool but didn’t really stay on.
Here he is trying the hat/beard on as I was making it. Isn’t he just scrumptious?
Such a cute little baby! Look at those kissable cheeks and lips.
The next year I was feeling a bit more confident. We thought he would make a cute little Domo Kun and so I bought some fuzzy brown fabric and just went to town making a 3D rounded rectangle. It worked out great and he was so cute – although he still didn’t quite get the idea of Halloween. Pictures this year were even harder – this is the best one I have!
This year – he totally got the concept of halloween. For the whole month of October he kept asking if we could “get in the car and go to halloween” haha. I kept asking him what he wanted to be for halloween, he didn’t really seem to have a preference, but when he watched Monsters Inc. for the first time, he immediately said that he wanted to be a “firefighter” (actually a CDA agent whom he calls fire fighters) for halloween. So I thought, hey cute… he can be a CDA guy and Leo can be Mike Wazowski and they’ll be super cute. So to go easy on myself, I ordered a yellow rain coat and pants, and figured I’d make a backpack with tubes etc. A few days later it comes in the mail and Ollie would NOT put it on. Not even get close to it. And now he did NOT want to be a “firefighter” not even a little bit.
So back to the drawing board. I kept asking him what he wanted to be and he would say random things/characters/people etc. But he always said a different thing every time. So I never pulled the trigger on anything. About 2 weeks before halloween I asked him what he wanted to be and he said Muno! For a whole week he kept saying Muno (and added that he wanted daddy to be Plex and mommy to be Foofa). So I told him no changing his mind and I promptly went to the fabric store. I bought fabric for Muno, Foofa (for me), and Dj Lance (for Leo). For the Muno costume I googled Muno costumes (imagine that), and found someone who sewed an awesome Muno costume and had some basic instructions online. This helped me a lot in building my Muno costume though I did a lot differently than they did. The whole time I was cutting/sewing/glueing Ollie was so so so excited about being Muno. I finished the headpiece at night and the next morning when he woke up told him that his costume was done and he could try it on. He was like a kid at Christmas – practically jumping out of his skin and so happy to get to BE Muno.
The balls are styrofoam balls cut in half and covered in fabric and hot glued on.
And outside getting ready to go!
Not to be too outdone I also threw together Leo’s DJ lance costume.
For both costumes I purchased this simple halloween jumpsuit pattern:
It was actually my first time ever sewing from a pattern (those things are HARD to read!), but the pattern was super simple and the jumpsuit part of each of their costumes took less than an hour to sew.
Did I mention that Ollie wanted me to be Foofa and daddy to be Plex? So I bought pink fleece and put together a quick outfit (used pajama pants as a pattern, and then just made a bodice by measuring myself). Once Spencer saw all our awesome costumes, he wanted to dress up as well. So the day before Halloween, I ran to the store and bought stuff for his Plex costume and the morning of Halloween, started his costume and finished it a few hours later. It would have been nice to have a little more time to work out some of the details, but I think he turned out great, and the neighborhood kids LOVED seeing a big robot running around.
Here we all are together as an awesome Yo Gabba Gabba ensemble. I’m so glad we got a great group picture and everyone is actually LOOKING at the camera and HOLDING STILL!
Here Spencer & I are in a quick selfie while trick-or-treating.
And a quick shot at Muno and Plex.
And I cant forget our very adorable DJ Lance! He did so great while we were out. Perfectly happy to be on a walk with the family and actually kept his hat on until the very end.
After making those 4 costumes I feel practically like a pro! My sewing machine saw more hours than ever before, and I feel way less intimidated to sew anything including clothes. I also learned just how easy it is to sew pajama pants or comfy pants for kids, so I may just pick up some fleece and sew a bunch of elastic waist pants for the boys this winter and save (a lot) of money.
The whole night was magical and really just wonderful happy moments watching Ollie so confidently run up to doors, knock, say “trick or treat” pick a candy and say “thank you”. He was the absolute perfect age for such an event, and was grinning ear to ear and dancing all the way. We all had the most perfect evening and are already looking forward to Halloween next year, and planning how we could make our costumes even better.
Have you attempted sewing your own/your kid’s halloween costumes? Did your mom sew all of yours like mine did?