Events

Beau roars along with vintage car-themed birthday

Little kids only turn two once and the theme for Beau's second birthday couldn't have been more obvious. CARS! This toddler is obsessed with anything that goes: cars, trucks, planes, boats, you name it.

It's been months since the bash, but it was such a fun theme, I still wanted to share!  For decor, I gathered a number of vintage decorations and toys from around the house.  The next time you have a party, I highly encourage you look around and see what useable stuff you already own. It'll be classier than anything from the party store and the best part... it's free!  

I blew up a couple photos of Beau in his favorite cars and hung them on the wall.  I also created cute signs with wooden placards from the craft store, stick-on letters, craft paper and photos.

We munched on chocolate checkered flag cake, stoplight brownies, and Cracker Jacks, along with some savory snacks for both kids and adults.

I also spray-painted small cardboard boxes, hot-glued on mason jar lids for wheels and let the kids decorate their own box cars will stickers and markers.  I think the adults had just as much fun as the little ones!

Halloween costume inspiration: New Orleans style!

Halloween is a HUGE holiday here in New Orleans and I have to say, we're some of the best when it comes to costumes.  From Mardi Gras to Halloween and all the events in between, the people of New Orleans know a thing or two about dressing up!

So, to offer up some inspiration, here are some of my favorite costume ideas from my family, friends and this crazy city we call home!

Shotgun tour takes you inside some long and skinny digs

New Orleans Shotgun Home Tour, Photo Courtesy Sara Essex Bradley

You can't even talk about New Orleans architecture without including the iconic shotgun!

There are plenty of myths, legends and folklore surrounding them.  My favorite it the old idea that you could shoot a gun through the front door and the bullet would go all the way through the back without hitting a single thing on the way!

Shotguns can be all sorts of different styles...

You have singles, doubles, camelbacks and side halls.  The only real requirement is that the roofline is perpendicular to the street.

Every year, the Preservation Resource Center allows people inside a handful of these homes to show how they can be updated for modern living.

If you'd like to check them out for yourself, tickets are still available!  They're $20 for members and $25 for non-members and available on the Preservation Resource Center website.

View renovation photos:

 

View home photos:

 

View my WGNO interview about the home tour here.

 

Reflections on Mardi Gras 2015

Mardi Gras martians The busy holiday and Mardi Gras seasons are finally over!  As we usher in Lent, I'm actually looking forward to Spring cleaning, home renovation and warmer weather.

The past couple months have been a whirlwind from Christmas to New Year's Eve, celebrating a new life with Beau's first birthday and life well lived at Grandma Stella's memorial.  Of course, we capped it all off with an extraordinary Mardi Gras Day in the French Quarter!

This year's costume theme was "Mardi Gras Martians" and I think we hit it out of the park.

Thanks to free two-day shipping with Amazon Prime (I swear they're not paying me), I ordered inexpensive costume items and accessories from all around the world.  We already had Joey's green suit, blazer and top hat.  After a few crafting sessions and a some serious stroller decorating, our in-style in-vasion was complete!

The partying may be over, but we have plenty to look forward to.  Our backyard is coming along, our upstairs is almost complete and our exterior facade renovation is getting underway!  I can't wait to see what the rest of 2015 holds for both our family and our home.

 

Beau's "Hole in One" Birthday Bash

Beau's "Hole in One" Birthday Bash Every parent has dreams for their child.  Mine involve completely unrealistic expectations of Beau becoming a world-renown professional golfer.  You know, winning the Master's and all.

Okay, so that might not actually happen.  But a mom can dream, right?

So in the spirit of Beau's future on the links, we decked out his first birthday party with all sorts of golf-inspired crafts.  We had fun coming up with golf-themed cuisine including club sandwiches, "chip" shots, Arnold Palmers and John Dalys.

Below, you'll find pictures and instructions for a few of the projects.  I'd say the event was a hole in one!

Pennant Banners:

  1. Cut large triangles out of decorative scrap-booking paper
  2. Cut out letters or buy die-cut letters and glue onto triangles with glue stick
  3. Flip over triangles and fold top down 1/2"
  4. Fold the triangles over a long piece of twine and secure with hot glue
  5. Make sure your words are not backwards!

Golf Buckets:

  1. Put a large wooden dowel in a galvanized bucket
  2. Carefully pour gravel around dowel and fill rough 3/4 of way to top
  3. Cut out messages from decorative scrap-booking paper and glue to wooden skewers
  4. Insert skewers into gravel
  5. Cover the gravel with inexpensive, plastic or used golf balls
  6. Hang pennant banners from dowels (just tie onto top)

Cupcakes:

  1. Bake cupcakes
  2. Use green frosting and decorative tip to make "grass"
  3. Use back end of tip to cut circles from white fondant. (I found an embossed fondant at Walmart that looked just like a golf ball)
  4. To create flag, cut wooden skewer in half
  5. Cut long diamond shapes from scrap-booking paper
  6. Fold diamond in half over top of skewer and secure with glue stick
  7. Decorate grassy cupcake with fondant "golf ball" and flag

Table with Grass and Bows:

  1. Cover table with tablecloth
  2. Using straight edge and box cutter, cut astro-turf roughly 6 inches smaller than tabletop (all the way around)
  3. Tie large bows using matching decorative ribbon
  4. Hot glue golf tees onto front of bows
  5. Safety-pin bows onto tablecloth from under-side
  6. Hang pennant banner from bows, if desired