CUTE & BRIGHT KID HALLOWEEN BIRTHDAY PARTY

October 28th, 2014

Leo-party

This weekend we celebrated my Leo turning 2. I can’t believe he’s 2 already! It seems like yesterday he was just turning 1.

Leo’s birthday is right before halloween, so this year I decided to make his birthday a halloween/monster theme. Since he’s only 2, I wanted it to be cute, bright, and fun, not scary and gross like a lot of halloween parties.
Leo-package

I ordered the decorations and invitations from Minted.com. They had such cute halloween and monster party invites like this one and this one it was hard to choose. But I finally settled on this cute little monster eating cake. They also have lots of cute party decorations perfect for halloween parties, pirate parties, monster parties etc. I chose this halloween one because I love the colors for a boy-themed party.

I’ve been so crazy busy the past few weeks working on design deadlines and planning a blogger party for My Mind’s Eye, that I just didn’t have tons of time to devote to creating a party from scratch. So I was thrilled to just be able to order everything from Minted and then throw in some of my own finishing touches. Instead of spending weeks prepping for this party, I really only spent the day before and the morning of to prep, and most of that was food.

Leo-collage-table

I love the trick or treat stickers that I just stuck on some cute treat bags filled (from Michaels) with candy. You can also see the adorable confetti that ties all the elements on the table together. For the juice, I used milk jars (find them at Amazon or Michaels), tied straws to them with ribbons, and then decorated the straws with straw stickers and wine glass tags(which fit perfectly around extra wide paper straws).

I ordered the Personalized Bunting Banner to say “Happy Birthday Leo”, it arrived and was HUGE – each circle is 8″ round. The whole thing together was close to 15 feet long! I had to string it across our whole breakfast nook! But I loved how dramatic it was, and the first thing people saw when they came into the room.

Leo-Banners

Leo was dressed as a mummy and got a little bright face paint to match! The adorable little banner was made from the small pieces of confetti and the small circle garland. I printed some instagram photos and pinned everything onto string. I love personalizing party decor with photos of the birthday boy from the past year.

The food was quick and fun and Pinterest inspired. I made mummy dipped pretzel sticks, mummy hot dogs, and monster cookies with candy eyes.

Leo-collage-food

I created the cake by ordering a basic bakery cake (8″ – 3 tier) with simple frosting matching some chocolate melts that I found at Michaels. The cake was only $12.99! Don’t be afraid to ask for simple custom stuff from your local grocery bakery, it can definitely pay off! I picked up some 2″ styrofoam balls, tall lollypop sticks, green candy melts, white candy melts, and black frosting for the eyeballs. I dipped the balls (with the stick inserted) and let them harden. I took 5 white round chocolate melts and applied a big dot of black frosting (smoothed out with a tapered icing spatula), and then used a little melted green chocolate to adhere the white circles to the green eyeballs. It was pretty quick and easy, and turned out pretty great for a fast and budget-friendly cake! I melted a few of the white chocolate melts and shaped them into teeth, let them set and then pressed them onto the cake.

All in all it was the perfect little birthday party with lots of cute friends and maybe a scary skeleton too…

Leo-party-skeleton

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Some of the product shown was provided by Minted in exchange for creating this party and blogging about it.

I am Brave and Beautiful

September 29th, 2014

I am Brave and Beautiful – a beauty movement that is sweeping the globe. Colbie Caillat started it with her recent song and video called TRY. My blogging friend Megan of Brassy Apple wanted to push this movement along and invited women from all over to share what they looked like without make up and I joined in!! Colbie’s song says, “Take your make up off. Let your hair down… Look into the mirror at yourself, Do you like you? Cause I like you… “

Megan and her friend Cobi of Peacefrom6pieces have been the team behind this whole project. Their worldwide vision included creating their own video inspired by the song TRY. The talent of Robbins Creative made it possible for them to pull it off. You have to click play and see the beauty and bravery displayed and you might even recognize a few faces in there.

Me along with 101+ other blogging women from different backgrounds, religions, ethnicities, ages, shapes and sizes have decided to be Brave and Beautiful! You can join in this movement too by sharing what you look like without makeup on. You don’t need a blog either! Just tag your photo with #IamBraveAndBeautiful on Instgram and search the hashtag to see who else has joined in. ALSO, if you tag it with a second hashtag – #ColbieTRY we just might be able to get Colbie Caillat’s attention since she was the inspiration behind it all!

Are you brave and beautiful? I am, here I go!

jenallyson-headshot

And I love that I’m wearing the same color in both shots (I’m a total pink/coral girl ftw!)

jenallyson-brave

It’s hard to take a no make-up selfie and post it proudly for the world to see. And when I say no makeup selfie, I mean no makeup mommy selfie —  I’m in my what seems to be perpetual state of unwashed/un-coiffed hair, tired & baggy eyes from all the crazy late nights staying up till 3am trying to get all my work and blogging done. Clothes thrown on in an attempt to find anything that fits right now, and while running after my 22 month old who just grabbed my phone and was about to throw it in the toilet. The best part of this photo though is that my sweet 3.5 year old son took it for me. And although he just took it using a DSLR and a lens, I look at it and try to imagine the lens in which he sees me through. And I have to tell you that I’m a bit ashamed that I get down on myself sometimes. Because you know what, I’m beautiful, and I know that my boys and my husband think I’m the most beautiful woman and mommy around. And I need to take the time to see myself the way that they see me. As someone who gives and sacrifices for them, loves them, snuggles them first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Someone who rarely has a moment to think of herself, but revels in all the love and hugs and sweet little boy kisses she could ever want. I am Brave and I am Beautiful!

So here’s the challenge for you:

share your natrual beauty - brassyapple.com

Don’t stop here. Get clicking around – its a blog hop! Below are more brave and beautiful women bearing more than their natural beauty. They each have a little bit of their heart to share with you. Some get very personal. Some share stories. For some this was very hard to do yet they gathered their courage and did it anyway. We hope as you click around (and YES pin these different posts!) you will feel the importance of it, the empowering effect it has and that it encourages you in some way.

>>>>>>>Important info! Blog Hops often have glitches the first day. If the link has an ERROR, simply click on the HOME button for each site, or google the blog name next to the link, and you should see their brave and beautiful post there. Links will be updated as soon as possible.<<<<<<<<<<<<

women sharing their natural beauty - no makeup

1. BrassyApple 2. Peace from 6 Pieces 3. Is this Really My Life 4. Among the Young 5. Love Me Dani Marie 6. Sweet Charli 7. Kim Orlandini 8. XO, Ashton Tilton 9. She Calls Me Mama Leisha 10. Raising Memories – Canada 11. A Little Tipsy 12. Amy Cornwell 13. A girl and a glue gun 14. My Craftily Ever After 15. Maybe I Will 16. WhipperBerry 17. Paging SuperMom 18. All Things Thrifty 19. Ashlee Marie 20. The Project Girl

women with our makeup on and what makes them beautiful

21. One Little Momma 22. Entirely Eventful Day 23. Diary of a Brown Eyed Girl 24. Tips from a Typical Mom 25. Utah Sweet Savings 26. Flats to Flip Flops 27. One Krieger Chick 28. What Meegan Makes 29. Simply Kierste 30. Live to be Inspired 31. HoneyBear Lane 32. Pretty Providence 33. Ma Nouvelle Mode – in FRANCE 34. MomEntity 35. Serger Pepper – in ITALY 36. Kiki and Company 37. Girl Loves Glam 38. Thrive

women from around the world share their face with no makeup on - BrassyApple.com

39. The Potters Place 40. Crafting in the Rain 41. Cooking With Ruthie 42. Delineate Your Dwelling 43. The Pennington Point 44. Bakerette 45. The Happy Scraps 46. Shannon Baird Photography 47. Tried and Tasty 48. Lionesses at the Gate 49. Fry Sauce and Grits 50. Lolly Jane 51. That’s What Che Said 52. Sugar Bee Crafts 53. Your HomeBased Mom 54. Happiness is Homemade 55. The Crafted Sparrow 56. R&R Workshop 57. I Should Be Mopping the Floor 58. Sassy Steals

Mommy bloggers share their face without makeup and what makes then beautiful

59. Let’s Eat Grandpa 60. Being Spiffy 61. Sumo’s Sweet Stuff 62. Ginger Snap Crafts 63. Bless This Mess 64. Apronista 65. Dreaming About Someday 66. Frenchie 67. Tastefully Frugal 68. Four Marrs and One Venus 69. Your Sister Circle 70. Over the Big Moon 71. See Vanessa Craft 72. Infarrantly Creative 73. Family StoryTelling

Natural beauty untouched photos

74. Albion Gould 75. Life as Mrs. Larson 76. Tried and True 77. Play.Party.Pin. 78. Bite of Delight 79. Ink Happi 80. ObSEUSSed 81. U Create 82. My Mommy Style 83. Find it Make it Love it 84. The Contractor Chronicles 85. Novae Clothing 86. Mommy Makes Things 87. At Home with Sweet T 88. We Like to Learn As We Go 89. House for Five 90. Organize and Decorate Everything 91. Sassy Southern Gurl 92. The Creative Mom 93. Keep Moving Forward with Me

raw natural beauty - join the movement

94. The Benson Street 95. Mom 4 Real 96. Sowdering About 97. illistyle 98. The Crafty Blog Stalker 99. A Fiery Red Life 100. Cupcakes & Crowbars 101. One Sweet Appetite 102. My DayLights 103. Restless Risa

beauty and bravery - women wearing no makeup - Brassyapple.com

104. Sypsie Designs 105. Vintage Mother 106. Like Mother Like Daughter 107. 30 Handmade Days 108. Queen B and Me 109. Apples by Ashley 110. Boutique Cafe – in CANADA 111. Just My Little Mess 112. Bombshell Bling 113. Sarah Tyau 114. Taradara Make it 115. Capturing Joy 116. Ivory Lime Photography 117. Jenkins Kids Farm 118. Free Time Frolics 119. Bella Storia 120. Dana Ohlsen Photography

#colbietry #iambraveandbeautiful

Ready in join in?Snap, hashtag and share! Tag @BrassyApple and @Peacefrom6Pieces if you can too!

Also follow our Bravery and Beauty PINTEREST board for more inspiration!

First Day of Pre-school

September 4th, 2014

firstday-preschool

Look at my handsome, happy, capable PRESCHOOLER! He’s not a toddler anymore, definitely not a baby, but a real big boy. I cannot believe that he’s old enough to go to preschool. I hope that he thrives, and learns, and grows so much from this experience.

firstday-preschool-pompom

I just can’t believe that 3.5 years have passed since he was that tiny baby in my arms at the hospital. Somedays it seems like yesterday and some days when we’re wrapped up in the wonder and busyness of today, it seems like too long ago to remember.

firstday-preschool-2

All I know is that it’s been the best 3.5 years of my life. He’s such a light to me. The sun that wakes me up in the morning, and the moon that makes me marvel at the world at night. Whether he’s driving me crazy with requests for more snacks, or looking up at me with wonder, he’s always my little buddy and completely connected to my soul.

firstday-preschool-pompom2

I’m so happy that he’s growing and learning so much, but I am also sad that this brings a new chapter in our lives where he wo’nt be around all the time and we won’t all be together as a family most of the day, like we used to be for so long. I’m going to miss him. But I’m excited to watch him turn into the person he’s supposed to become. Go get ‘em Ollie!

Perfect school pants from Tea Collection