Monday, October 22, 2012

5th Birthday Blowout!!!

Planning my son Dylan's birthday parties are always my favorite thing to plan.  This year with being 6 months pregnant I decided we were going to go somewhere and have them do most of the work but of course I had to add some of my own personal touches!!! 

Dylan decided he wanted a bowling party.  So I decided on black, white & red as the colors and made some cupcake toppers and that was going to be all I was going to do... yeah right!  Then I decided I wanted a really cool cake- this is where the outsourcing comes in because I can't bake!  So I had a friend (who doesn't have a website yet so if anyone wants her information just shoot me a note) make him a bowling cake.  For the favors I found these adorable bowling water bottles.  I made a banner which was cool to hang right above the lockers they had there. 

Bowling Cake & cupcakes (Dessert Table)

Bowling Water Bottle Favors

Banner above lockers

Cupcake Toppers
Since we just did the friends birthday party I decided we needed to have a family get together too so I was going to do a family brunch... So again I decided on colors, this time black, white & turquoise.  And AGAIN wasn't going to make a big deal out of it but decided I wanted my friend Andrea to make another amazing cake...

As our guests entered the house...

The back of the cake

The spread

Beverage Table- Tub from Etsy

Dylan getting ready to blow out his candles
On Dylan's actual birthday I brought in Super hero cupcakes to his class and threw together these little favors for the kids. 

Even Superhero's need Hugs & Kisses
That evening we let Dylan decide where he wanted to go to dinner and he chose a Japanese steakhouse- he loves hibachi style where they cook the food in front of us and he LOVES trying to catch the shrimp in his mouth.  So when his birthday was finally over and we were reflecting we realized we did 5 celebrations!!!  I guess mommy is feeling a little guilty about the new baby coming and overcompensating by spoiling him rotten... Now it's time for damage control!!!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Brown's Chapel... Jacobs wedding

I love this picture so much because obviously it's a beautiful picture but it's one of those pictures I just know the bride will look at for years to come and smile remembering that special day.  Susan was such a great bride to work with.  She wanted this wedding to be intimate and small, just very close friends and family.  She found me through my blog (which is ironic bc my blog is not very impressive!).  She saw pictures from the last wedding I did at Brown's Chapel and contacted me to try to re-create a similar look.  The cool thing about Brown's Chapel is it is just a square room that you really have to transform yourself.  It's not a grand ballroom or a place where weddings are done daily so it's very unique and fun. 

I loved the intimacy of this wedding, as I said small group but both Susan and Gary's children were involved the ceremony and even their little puppy was involved- very cute!  When Susan and I started planning she wanted to do a bbq style reception outside brown's chapel with a tent, food, music, etc.  Unfortunately that isn't allowed so we looked into some other options.  Susan landed on a luncheon at McCormick & Schmick's.  I've done a lot of corporate events there so I knew the rooms pretty well but Susan and I met so she could check it out and she loved it.  It was perfect for her group. 

The day was perfect, the weather was nice, not too hot.  Everyone was just so happy.  It really was a wonderful wedding.  Here are some pictures that Lori & Ashley (http://www.capturedbyla.com/) let me share:

Since Susan's dad wasn't around to walk her down the aisle... Gary met her 1/2 way to escort her the rest of the way... A gesture I love:)

Susan's daughters & Mr. & Mrs. Gary Jacobs

Catherine & Ed Vint...

So it's official I am a HORRIBLE blogger!  As I find myself bundled up in a sweater today avoiding the freezing weather outside I think about how quickly summer came & went.  This summer I had the pleasure of working two amazing weddings... Figured it's time I blog about them...

I attended the rehearsal for Ed & Catherine in Alexandria on a Friday evening in June.  On my way home I swung by my parents house for dinner and a quick visit then headed home so I could rest up for the big day I had ahead of me.  On the way home things were flying across the road and my dad called me to tell me I was driving straight into a tornado- luckily I was near a friends house and was able to take cover.  Turns out it was a Derecho Storm.  I was able to get home safely and get a good night sleep.  The next morning I woke up to get ready for the wedding and heard of massive power outages everywhere.  I immediately called the church & hotel where the wedding was taking place to make sure everything was working and luckily everything was fine.  There were hotels surrounding them though that were out of power.  It was very lucky that their day went smoothly and for the most part unaffected by the strong storms.  Catherine was a beautiful bride and Ed a very handsome groom.  Their wedding was a lot of fun!!!  Here are some pictures I got permission to share:


The brides Dress

Huge Floral Arrangement

The stunning bride

A very fun wedding party!!!

Love this one:)- Photography by Neil Van Niekerk Photography


Great Lighting by Superlative Events



Wednesday, March 7, 2012

2012 Beer Pong Tournament

This years beer pong tournament has come and gone.  For the 1st year I thought we might be good on the rules, but we ended up having 2 small rules to add.  The rule book is now 2 pages but I think we have everything covered for next year... Now I can start my book on how to host a beer pong tournament.  Pretty sure I won't have any competitors in the slim market of people who are crazy enough to subject their house to a beer pong tournament.  This was the 3rd year and every year it gets easier. 

Basement Pool Play
This year I wanted the winners to walk away with more than just the cash prize.  As this event is VERY classy I thought what more appropriate then a trophy where we could whip up their name on a label maker and slap it on there that night so they could go home and proudly display their amazing accomplishment!

Better half of the winning team with their trophy
And of course... we had some great "Team Gear".  As beer pong is an annual neighborhood event now I think people might be giving up on beating these two, who seem to go all out every year. 

Best Team Gear (2 years in a row!)
It's funny to tell people you host a beer pong tournament because people literally look at you like you're insane.  Then when you explain how it all works it sounds like a ton of organization goes into it, which it does but it's pretty easy at this point.  I've had people tell me I should write a manual or make it part of my event planning- so here it is- anyone who wants to host a beer pong tournament let me know- I've got some tips!




Saturday, January 14, 2012

2011 Weddings

2011 proved to be a very busy and demanding year.  As a result my blog hasn't been updated in quite some time.  So I thought I would summarize my weddings from this summer in one posting.  As this is my side job I usually only take on a few weddings each year and this year was the perfect amount. 

I started the season in May with a wedding downtown.  The couple (Pepper & Dave) were great.  The wedding was at Georgetown Presbyterian Church with the reception at the Park Hyatt, Washington.  I haven't received any photos from their photographer but was hoping to before posting because I'm sure they were gorgeous.  I also saw the photographer taking some very creative photos.

In September it was off the Outer Banks for a beach wedding.  My husband and I got married in the Outer Banks and I had a HORRIBLE wedding planner so I was so happy to plan this one.  Naomi & John are from New York and her father arranged the catering with High Cotton BBQ which was great.  Originally Naomi was talking about not getting a photographer.  I think a photographer is one of the most important vendors for a wedding because in the end it's what you have to look back on the day with.  I reached out to Rich Coleman of Coleman Shots and I'm SO happy I did.  Rich was very willing to work with the budget we had and they did an AMAZING job!  Here's a link to Coleman Shots:  http://colemanshotsweddings.com/

My main job was to transform the pool/deck area that was a scene from Spring Break all week (about 30 twenty-somethings staying in the house) to a wedding venue.  All I had to work with was the tables and the table cloths Meagan had brought.  I brought some paper lanterns that I knew we could somehow use.  I wish I had a before shot to share but I don't so you'll have to use your imagination here.

A shot from above after cocktail hour right before the wedding party was announced.

This is the best shot I have of the Hot Tub that Meagan and I had a blast transforming.  Meagan had some extra table cloths so we covered it and brought out bar stools from inside to create another sitting area.  This flower arrangement was inside the house and we used it as a centerpiece. 

The Bride & Groom being announced.  We hung the paper lanterns with fishing wire from one balcony to another. 

Guest Book and mailbox for cards- cluster of tea lights


Centerpiece Lemons!  Great inexpensive centerpiece idea:)
About a year ago I had a bride reach out to me about planning her wedding.  She didn't even know what venue she wanted or didn't have any vendors.  I did full service wedding planning for her and her now husband, Erin & Jesse.  When Erin called me and didn't have a venue I started asking her what her vision was.  Based on a series of questions I asked I got a good idea of what she was looking for.  I suggested she check out Oxon Hill Manor in Maryland.  I set up an appointment for her to go check it out.  She loved it!  So Oxon Hill it would be.  It was a great start because I think I earned her trust pretty early on so when I suggested vendors she took my advice.  I suggested Astrid Woltering as her photographer and put her in touch with Meagan Hegenbarth from RSVP catering.  Her photographs are breathtaking and the food at her wedding was great.  Here's a link for Astrid: http://www.myastrid.com/

Erin was great to work with because she was so organized, which makes the whole process easier.  Their wedding was supposed to be outside in the garden but the day of her wedding it was raining.  I saw Erin the morning of her wedding as she was getting ready and broke this news to her and she was very confident in me and laid back about it.  So we moved things around and at Oxon Hill you can easily do that as they have so many beautiful rooms to work with.  Everything went very smoothly and the bride & groom seemed very happy.  Here are some detail photos from the wedding:

Mr & Mrs. Chair signs

Table Cards w/ Easels (I believe the bride got these off Etsy)

Family wedding photos on mantle

Jesse & Erin- love this one:)

Congrats to all my couples and I hope they all have the happily ever after they deserve.  Cheers to a great summer of weddings!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Superhero Birthday party!!!

My son just recently turned 4 years old.  He wanted a superhero birthday party.  He's switched day cares so he has his old friends and new friends plus his neighborhood friends so limiting the guest list was going to be hard.  Also the idea of the parents dropping off the kids leaving me in charge of a bunch of 4 year olds was a little terrifying.  We often do culdesac happy hours at our house and Dylan loves them and calls them "his parties" so I thought we'd do a big culdesac happy hour/superhero party so we could invite everyone and the parents would stay too. 

So I decided I was going to do primary colors with a splash of multiple superheros.  So I started making the invitations and decided it would be cool to make each kid a superhero cape.  There was about 35 kids invited though so I didn't want to go all out and spend hundreds of dollars making these so I found this video on you tube:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e1l-WWywx1U.  So it was very inexpensive to make these part of the invitation bags.  And they turned out really cute!!!


This was a back-up one that just said Super Friend in case any kids forgot theirs. 

I figured we would have about 100 people and we were going to be feeding them all dinner so my husband actually came up with the idea of individually wrapping the hamburgers/cheeseburgers and hot dogs in aluminum foil so we could put them in tubs rather than having the meat sit out- it would help keep them fresher.  So I bought some primary color tubs and made a label for each with a superhero background on the label. 
Food Tubs:)

For the silverware wrap ups I painted a shoe box red and just glued some superhero logos on the box.  The silverware was just various primary colors. 

One of my girlfriends is a wonderful cake maker so I asked her to make a superhero cake for his party and I was shocked when she showed up with this 3 tier cake but it was almost all eaten so it was a good thing.  So impressive though.  I ordered cupcakes from my favorite cupcake lady and made superhero toppers for them.  So the party was outside but I made a dessert table inside:
3 tier cake (spiderman, batman & Captain America)

Dessert Table with cupcakes (with toppers) and Cake
The party was very casual the kids were playing, parents mingling.  We did one game where we had a bunch of water balloons and the kids threw them at the "bad guys" (my husband and his friend).  It was a fun night and my son really enjoyed himself.  I was exhausted but it was worth it!!!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Minute to Win It Game Night

It was about the time again for the JMU2KPF crew to get together for a couples board game night.  This time we went with something a little different.  We did a Minute to Win It Challenge.  Setting it up was fun and easy.  If you go on the shows website:  http://www.nbc.com/minute-to-win-it/how-to/ they show all the challenges and there are a lot that are easy to do with household items.  In the show if you don't complete the challenge in a minute you get eliminated.  Since technically a team could get eliminated after the first challenged we figured that wasn't very fun so we played like this:

- Each team picks a team member to complete the challenge for their team.
- Each team is timed and if they do not complete the task in a minute the team receives 0 points for that challenge.
- The team that completes the task in the least amount of time gets the most possible points.  For example, we had 5 teams so the best possible score for each challenge was 5 points.  So team with lowest time gets 5 points, then 4, then 3 and so on.
- At the end the team with the highest score wins (in our case- the Cushmans).

We did the following challenges:

- Going the Distance
- Baby Blockin
- A Bit Dicey
- Elephant March
- Caddy Stack
- Defying Gravity
- Breakfast Scramble
- Noodling Around

We altered some of them a bit to fit our space and equipment needs.  There are so many options that I'm sure we'll be doing this again with different challenges.  It was a really fun night.  We had 5 teams (couples- so 10 people total) which I would recommend (maybe 6 couples MAX). 

This would also be a great team building activity for corporate events and perfect for birthday parties for older kids. 



GOING THE DISTANCE CHALLENGE

BABY BLOCKIN CHALLENGE


A BIT DICEY CHALLENGE

CADDY STACK CHALLENGE

DEFYING GRAVITY CHALLENGE

BREAKFAST SCRAMBLE CHALLENGE

NOODLIN AROUND CHALLENGE

ELEPHANT MARCH CHALLENGE (HILARIOUS!)

Some video to see Elephant March in action (We used solo cups instead of 2-liter bottles):

video