Tribal Woodland Baby Shower

tribal woodland baby shower

{ranai}

Ahhhhh this baby shower! I loved everything about it, well, except maybe for the extreme wind we had that day.

Jessica is having a baby boy! It’s still hard for me to wrap my brain around that completely, but I am insanely excited about his arrival. This shower was a little harder for me to plan since I didn’t have my partner in crime to run everything by, but I think it turned out pretty awesome.

The theme was tribal woodland so we could incorporate little critters with bright colors and arrows. I really stepped out of my normal crafting boxes and tried some new things using my Silhouette Cameo. This machine has revolutionized my crafting! We held the event in her parent’s beautiful back yard which felt like it was made for our theme.

The Couple

and so the adventure begins

How precious are they? I love my best friends and know I will love baby G just as much! With my dad’s help I made this sign using old fence boards and stenciled the saying.

Guest Book

As guests entered we had a fun table with a thumb print tree, diaper raffle, and a way to help the new mommy- addressing her thank you card envelopes.

Gifts

Jessica and Andrew were showered with so much love…and lots of gifts! I set up the gift area with a DIY teepee, old stump, handmade signs, little mushrooms, and a bunch of myrtle. How perfect is that scripture? The first time I read it I knew it HAD to be featured prominently at the shower.

Tables

Centerpieces are always my favorite part of a party and this time was no exception! I used log slices as a base and added an animal, flowers, and a sign to each. There were different signs which read: be brave, stand tall, find adventure, and dream big. The flowers I chose were solidago, baby’s breath, carnations, sunflowers, and daisy poms in yellow, white and orange. On the sides of the centerpiece I spray painted food cans, added some ribbon and used myrtle inside with cut outs of the cute little animals. A burlap table runner finished off the look. As the wind went crazy we ended up using fishing line to tie all of the centerpieces together. Fishing line is one of the best items to keep in your event tool kit. It has saved our hinies so many times!

Desserts

Mmmmm sweet treats! Apple streusel, chocolate chip cookies, candy, and cupcakes were the perfect way to end the meal. For decor I had my dad cut out the large wooden arrows and painted them with coordinating colors. I had a super awesome barnwood frame backdrop planned, but the wind did not cooperate. Luckily they have a fence where I was able to attach my arrows. I picked up the little fox baggies at Target and made the cupcake toppers.

Drinks

Her family had tacos catered so of course we had Jamaica and Horchata along with coke and water. I decorated the onesies using heat transfer vinyl. Jessica and Andrew aren’t telling anyone the name of baby G until he’s born, so as a tease I added his first initial- T.

Favors

I wanted something unique for the favors, and while scouring Pinterest I found candles with a the saying, “Burn this tea light on the night that the stork begins its flight. With a flicker of the flame, please say a prayer in baby’s name.” I found amazing hanging candle holders and hung them from manzanita branches. I wanted colored sand but didn’t want to pay the hefty price tag, so I dyed epsom salt with food coloring. It worked really well!

Photos

 

I created a really cute little photo area under the enormous willow tree in the yard. Jessica’s mom and sister made critter headbands for everyone to wear. I made the mushrooms using dollar store bowls and cups, some vinyl circles, and PVC pipe. I had the animals printed at a local print shop and then attached them to foam core and cut them out with a hot knife. Everyone loved having their picture taken, and Jessica will include the photos with the thank you card.

Games & Prizes

The games were a hit with all of the guests thanks to Jessica’s sisters! I think by far the favorite was decorating wooden blocks for each letter of the alphabet. It kept people busy for a while, and they loved showing everyone what they created. Other games included the price is right, who knows mommy best, taste the baby food, and the purse game. In each prize bag I decorated a coffee mug and added a $5 gift card for Target. Super simple and something everyone wants!

I just can’t wait to meet this little guy! He is so loved already by so many people!

Game of Thrones – Desserts of the North

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Game of Thrones Dessert table

It’s time for our annual tradition- a Game of Thrones party! We were so stoked to see what was going on in all of Westeros and Essos for season 6 since most of what we would see goes past book canon, but we were most excited about the happenings at the wall. We were POSITIVE Jon Snow would return to us because I mean… R+L=J, tons of prophecies, Azor Ahai, yada yada.

Jessica is a bit pregnant right now, so we decided not to do a full-on huge themed meal. Instead we made hearty soup with crusty bread and laid out an awesome dessert spread, complete with a Weirwood. We kept the color scheme simple with black, white, and red to be fitting for Snow, blood, and the black of the night’s watch.

weirwood tree DIY

I created the Weirwood tree with the help of Andrew’s artistic skills. I added clear marbles to a vase to secure some sanded manzanita branches. I used my Silhouette Cameo to cut out dozens of red leaves and glued them on with adhesive dots. I gave Andrew the dimensions of my container and he drew the amazing face that I printed and taped on.

GOT desserts game of thrones

A few dessert plates filled with donuts, brownies, cookies, and chocolate dipped strawberries satisfied our sweet tooth.

wolf.jpg

A replica of ghost with some icy candles finished off the look!

I can’t wait to see the rest of the season so we can come up with our theme for next year’s party! I’m pretty sure it’ll have something to do with House Targaryen (maybe some secret Targaryens???) and dragons. That’s where this is all leading, right?

 

First Birthday Extravaganza

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pink aqua gold first birthday

When my niece, Hildie Jean, came into the world it was amidst chaos and stress, but as a family we put her in the hands of God and poured all of our love into her. We had so much support from friends and family and at times it was overwhelmingly humbling to accept the generosity of others. We are normally the family that gives, not receives! As a way to thank those that mean the most to us, we threw a rather large party for Miss Hildie. She loved being the center of attention!

I actually chose a theme before she was even one month old. I know this seems crazy, but as part of your nesting process, you should do this! It allowed me to keep an eye out for good deals all year long. I even coordinated her monthly pictures with the colors of aqua, pink, gold, and white. Then I wasn’t as stressed and plagued with mental fatigue when it came to putting everything together.

Tables

Pink Aqua Gold table decor

I kept the table decor fairly simple. Each table was numbered 1-12 with a gold number, a picture frame with the corresponding monthly picture, a lace and aqua fabric square, and cute jar of flowers.

Photo Backdrop

Pink Aqua Gold photo backdrop

Why have I never thought of these fringey curtains as a backdrop before??? They are relatively inexpensive and can be picked up at any party store. I put a plastic table cloth behind it for the two tone look. I added 36″ balloons with ribbon tassels to each side. I cut out Hildie Jean from foam core and painted it gold to add to the balloons. I wish helium wasn’t at such a premium because I LOVE these balloons but they cost a small fortune to fill. I picked up the adorable chairs at a sale from an event planner getting rid of some of her stock.

Desserts

aqua pink gold desserts table

How cute is this ruffle cake? I had it custom made and then added in candy and made cupcakes and marshmallow pops to round out the sweet treats. I used white lights behind the curtains for a sparkly touch. The tissue poms I purchased from Paper Lantern Store. They have great prices and ship FAST (I wasn’t paid for this, I promise!). I have found over the years that it is actually cheaper to buy the large ones ready made, especially if you want colors other than white.

aqua gold pink smash cake

Her smash cake was insanely adorable as well. She LOVED it and having everyone sing to her.

Room Decor

aqua pink gold mantle

We’ve used this room for so many parties, and I wanted to have a wow factor at the mantle to make sure it was special. I added poms in groups to the wall using 3D glue dots. The applique numbers on the mantle and the tutus were the same ones we used for her monthly photos. I added balloons to each side and a couple more of those uber cute chairs. On the mantle is a large canvas I painted with metallic gold paint with a small pennant banner that read “HAPPY FIRST BIRTHDAY”.

aqua pink gold decor

The opposite side of the room had three large sliding doors with vertical blinds. Not the cutest in my opinion, so I dressed them up a bit with tissue tassels and string lights. These lights came with the typical hunter green wiring, so I spray painted them gold to match the theme. A couple of balloon bouquets finished off the look!

aqua pink gold photo wall

For a final touch I printed the monthly pictures and displayed them on the back wall and decorated the piano as a place for gifts.

Food and Drinks

aqua gold pink food and drinks

My parents are amazing at cooking banquet food. We had tri-tip, chicken, cheesy potatoes, green salad, and rolls for lunch. The drinks consisted of iced tea and lemonade. I cut a giant one out of foam core and decorated it with flowers for a bit of flair.

Photos

These are just a few of my favorite photos from the party. I will cherish the memories always!

A Baby Shower Full of Grace

dessert table pretty pink and purple baby shower

{ranai}

I was thrilled to help my amazing friend, Kim, with her daughter Makayla’s baby shower. Baby Grace has now been born and is the cutest little mini Makayla! She is so surrounded by love as was evidenced by this party.

We focused on making the decor closely match her nursery theme: pink, purple, gray & white chevron, and butterflies. Kim hired a taco truck (super delish) for lunch and we created a yummy candy, crispy treat, and cupcake buffet for dessert.

Pretty pink and purple baby shower decor

Covering a piece of foam core with fabric is a quick and inexpensive decor element. I then added a paper medallion garland for the perfect look. Makayla really wanted tulle covered balloons so we added them to the bannister. I kept the flowers simple with carnations and baby’s breath which really completed the look.

dessert table pretty pink and purple baby shower

For the dessert buffet I crafted a wall full of medallions and a beautiful ribbon garland. I cut the word Grace out of foam core and painted it with acrylic paint. It’s a bit hard to tell from the photo, but I also added a coat of glitter!

dessert table pretty pink and purple baby shower

We purchased all pink, white, and purple candy for the buffet. We had vanilla cupcakes with pink sparkly frosting, blueberry cupcakes, crispy treats with white frosting, blueberry yogurt pretzels, m&ms, taffy, and kisses.

sign in for Pretty pink and purple baby shower decor

As guests entered, Kim had them write a message to Grace that she created a collage out of to put in a shadow box later. The stuffed kitten had a recording of Grace’s heartbeat that played when you pressed the belly. Too adorable!

decor for sign in for Pretty pink and purple baby shower

Other elements were champagne punch, pink lemonade, a giant balloon, and hanging baby clothes.

gifts pretty pink and purple baby shower

The smiles on Hector and Makayla’s faces say it all. They were so excited to become parents and loved their gifts. The bassinet was completely redecorated by Makayla’s grandma, and was the bassinet she used as a baby!

This was such a fun day and I can’t wait to watch Miss Grace grow!

A Feast for Dorne – Game of Thrones Dinner Party

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a feast for dorne dinner party - game of thrones

After months of waiting, Game of Thrones is BACK for season 5! As a book reader, I was most stoked to see Dorne and the Sand Snakes and perhaps find out what the heck will happen with the Meereenese knot. Bring on the spoilers because I am ready to know the answers to all of my questions!  And since we’re Qute Hoots, we had to celebrate the return of our fav show in style.A Feast For Dorne by Qute Hoots

We’ve had a couple of GOT dinners now, and we decided this was the year to focus on one region as our theme. I went back and forth between Meereen and Dorne, but settled on Dorne because it is such a fascinating locale with a lot of spice and citrus in their food. Their motto is “Unbowed. Unbent. Unbroken.” They’re pretty hard core awesome.

a feast for dorne dinner

Jessica has a pretty magical deck where we hosted the dinner party. We created a low seating area using cinder blocks, a pallet, and a couple of boards (all random stuff from around the house). Check out my tutorial here to create something similar.

a feast for crows dinner decor

The locale of Dorne is based on Morocco and Spain.  We used jewel tones with gold accents for our color palette. Creating the look for a dinner party doesn’t have to cost a lot. We grabbed anything around the house that fit the overall theme. I mounted printed sigils of Dorne to foam core and cut them out. We made the floor cushions with sheets of foam from Home Depot and an outdoor fabric from Joann Crafts and Fabrics. This was one of the only purchases we made for decor because Jessica wanted the cushions for her deck chairs afterwards.

sand snakes

And of course we had to have some snakes! I found some inexpensive rubber snakes online and spray painted them gold.

a feast for dorne menu

Our menu was super fab! Neither one of us is huge on cooking, so we stuck to dishes that weren’t incredibly labor intensive.

game of thrones appetizers

Little bites:

  • Marinated artichoke hearts
  • Jalapeño and chili pistachios
  • Dried fruit
  • Mixed olives
  • Pepper salami
  • Brie
  • Herbed mozzarella
  • Spicy cheddar
  • Crackers
  • Hummus

a feast for dorne dinner

Main:

  • Spicy shredded chicken (This is a crockpot recipe! if you follow it add TONS more spice to make it uber Dornish)
  • Blood orange and carrot salad (FYI blood oranges are not in season in NorCal in April so we substituted cuties. It was delish, but not fearsome sounding)
  • Flat bread

pomegranate sangria

Drinks:

The only thing left was to settle in for an awesome season premier! But first, we had to take a selfie.

GOTselfie

And lastly, how cute is Andrew’s colleague, Cheryl? She came dressed as a queen! Best guest ever!

queen

DIY Low Seating

{ranai}

For our A Feast for Dorne party we really wanted to have a low seating area to give an exotic flair. We put our thinking caps on and came up with the following:

DIY low seating by Qute Hoots

Start with a heavy and solid enough base to support your table top. I had these cinder blocks which worked perfectly.

DIY low seating by Qute Hoots

Next we added a pallet Jessica had lying around.DIY low seating by Qute Hoots

We found these boards in her mother in law’s things so we used them on top of the pallet for a steady surface. Plywood would have worked well too, but we went with what we could find!

DIY low seating by Qute Hoots

Then we took down Jessica’s Ikea curtains and used them as a table cloth.

DIY low seating by Qute Hoots

They perfectly covered each side of the boards.

DIY low seating by Qute Hoots

Last, we needed something to cover the area where the boards didn’t meet. One unused wall shelf did the trick!

DIY low table seating by Qute Hoots\

Our low seating turned out amazing and was so incredibly easy (and free)!

OMG Grilled Cheese

{ranai}

new year's eve party sign

Is there anything more comforting and amazingly melty than a grilled cheese sandwich? It is the perfect food that can be tailored to meet your breakfast, lunch, or dinner needs. We usually make more appetizer and snack type foods for New Year’s Eve, but this year decided to add in the magical world of a grilled cheese bar.

First: Grab some bread. I like sourdough for a grilled cheese, but there are a plethora of options. A firmer bread is better.

grilled cheese bar

grilled cheese bar

Second: Get yourself some cheese. I live next to a cheese factory that specializes in gouda so I picked up some black pepper and jalapeño goudas, as well as havarti, colby jack, brie, and sharp cheddar from other local stores. Next time I want to try some jalapeño cheddar!

grilled cheese toppings

Third: Add some fixins. We used two types of pepper jelly, fancy mustards, green apple, and avocado. You can go super crazy and add meat (like bacon!) and any other toppings, but we kept it pretty chill. I really wanted to just eat piles of cheese so I was happy. Do a Pinterest or google search to find amazing combinations of flavors.

Fourth: Build and cook that sandwich! I like butter spread on the outside of the bread, some people like mayo inside and then just have puddles of melted butter in the pan for grilling. Do whatever floats your boat! I wish we had pictures of the sandwiches we assembled. We were just too enamored with the melty goodness to remember to pick the camera back up…oops! new year's eve party new year's eve party

Besides the grilled cheese we had pizza dip, salami, brie, crackers, grapes, bruschetta dip, and fresh berries.  We added a few cute decorations like the sign Jessica made for a festive night!