a smile short of laughing

johnny flynn, music video, screenshot, beautiful colours, sunset, sunrise, calm, raising the dead, sillion, new album, folk music, picking up the pieces, life changes, moving on, johnny flynn and the sussex wit, energy, starting over, painting, dangerous ladders

if i am ever to break my first bone or succumb to some final destination approved death by plummeting through a glass window, today will be that day. on this shifty ladder. over my disgust towards the current drapery. … it’s got to go. _ … Continue reading

smallholdings – my feathered future

mark hearld, st jude, smallholding, farm, sustainability, illustration, chickens

when searching the term “smallholding” on the internet, you come across these types of images:    basically, smallholding is homesteading is sustained living is getting back to the basics and feeding your family with the {pun intended} fruits of your … Continue reading

a fool to become a writer – “boy”

while in amsterdam this past weekend, i was able to spend a half an hour – not nearly enough time – at the waterlooplein market. it’s a very edgy market, jam-packed with army gear / boots / jackets, bizarre piles … Continue reading

“40 days of dating”

the project, 40 days of dating

i absolutely must share this project that i have been following for about a week now. basically, two friends who both have their own relationship-related downfalls and weaknesses, have started a 40-day long dating experiment. their project website is like … Continue reading

surfing in a cemetery

{listening to lightmares – passionate places} a toast is in order. last minute / late night decisions are unlike those made during sound mind and sunny day. is it true that our deepest desires come forward in the smallest hours? … Continue reading

free hat friday

in the past year of my life, i have become fast friends with a new type of accessory. the hat. whereas before, our relationship was slightly awkward and borderline untrustworthy, i have now developed a sort of complimentary kinship with … Continue reading

a dash of pooh

reminder to myself: make delicious bread pudding from scratch in very near future- then post about it!

i had no choice but to include a picture of the italian restaurant’s bread pudding – it’s my current favorite dessert and they have the best in town!

i met a friend of mine for lunch yesterday in order to help plan her ever-approaching baby shower! although i am a few years older than sidney, and nowhere near birthing my own child, i am absolutely certain that she is ready and prepared for this life-changing event and precious moment! and i am ready to tackle her baby shower and it’s itsy bitsy budget!
so, here goes my diy / nifty & thrifty / party planning guide to:

the baby shower…
on a budget!

  • firstly, firstly, firstly, it is of utmost importantance to determine the amount of money you would like to splurge on this lovely day – ours is going to be a very small amount because sidney is a practical gal and knows that with children, comes frugality! the less money that is spent before little jovie is born, means the more that they will have to put in their disney world penny-saving jar for when she is older! smart move, sid!
  • recruit willing volunteers! sometimes, it’s okay to ask friends and family members for help- that’s what they are there for! in our particular situation, sidney’s mother and grandfather have graciously offered to provide food and snacks- this can be a hefty expense but when you pool together the people you love, you never know who might come through.
    [just be absolutely sure to send out your “thank you” cards when the event is over!]
    now, rally the troops! do you have that creative friend who loves to decorate? what about someone who loves to bake?? cupcakes are inepensive and easily distributed throughout parties, it takes no time at all to whip up a couple dozen!
  • make a list of what you need for your baby shower and cross these things off as you go. one of my favorite event-planning books happens to be for weddings, but you can apply it’s advice to any party / shower / get-together! quite literally titled, “the diy wedding, celebrate your day your way” by kelly bare, is a wonderful tool that i will use many times over before thoughts of my own future wedding even arise. here is kelly’s sage advice:

    “In general, use less. Do you really need confetti, birdseed, and butterflies? Do guests really need favors? As you’re faced with each new decision, decide whether you really need something or just think you need something because you saw it in a magazine, or at someone else’s wedding shower. It’s the party planning equivalent of the time-honored fashion maxim, put on all your accessories and jewelry, then look in the mirror and take one thing off.
    Set Your Priorities. Deciding what’s most important to you is what makes your vision of your event begin to come to life. Your budget begins to crystallize, and the planning process cranks into gear. If you’re gaga for flowers, you clearly deserve a wedding baby shower filled with lush blooms. If you’re a stationery freak, then invites will be your “thing” (Every bride mom has one… or two.) And so on and so forth- you know what you love. It’s usually harder to determine what’s less important, especially when you’re bombarded with messages from advertisers and vendors that make every little item seem vital. So i suggest breaking things out into three categories: high, medium, and low priority.”

    here is the example from her book:

    her entire book is very beautiful and easy to follow!

    “the diy wedding..” is very beautiful and easy to follow!

keep in mind, kelly’s advice is aimed towards weddings. in our situation, we don’t need to worry about professional photography, full meals & liquor, or attire. sidney’s baby shower is going to be comfortable, casual, and fun.

  • to theme or not to theme? there are times when sticking with a color palette is the easiest way to make a baby shower come together in an aesthetically pleasing way. sidney loves winnie the pooh but doesn’t want her special event to resemble a toddler’s birthday party. instead, she has chosen a basic color palette from which to draw inspiration from, but will throw pooh and his woodland friends in from time to time! remember your friend who threw her four year old a birthday get-together for their preschool-aged buds and a handful of adults? can you think back to how every single plate, balloon, centerpiece, napkin, and party hat had the yellow, obtrusive face of spongebob squarepants!? the children in attendance were there to enjoy those little details (although to be honest, they were probably more excited about the pizza) but while you can never have too much of a good thing, you can definitely have too much spongebob at an event that is meant to be catered to the mommy and her guests. so keep the decor simple and sophisticated, with a touch of childlike whimsy! (you will even save money by not buying those unnecessary, overpriced themed items!) here are the colors that sidney has decided on…
purple is her favorite- the pastel greem and bright yellow will accent her shower!

purple is her favorite color- the pastel green and bright yellow will provide accents for sidney’s shower!

  • tackle your list! here is how we have tackled ours..
    venue/location: someone in sidney’s family has access to a large indoor space- with a kitchen! price? free!
    invitations: let’s be honest, events that are posted on social networking sites are super easy to manage, can quickly update guests if party details change, and cost zero dollars. facebook it is! price? free!
    food & drink: the event will be at 2:00 pm in hopes that most people have eaten lunch. as mentioned above, family has agreed to provide the bulk of the food but as for desserts? we now have a couple ladies who will easily be able to bake (and decorate- using our color palette above!) enough delicious cupcakes for everyone. homemade is always better anyway and just like a potluck, it’s always a good thing to have a nice variety to choose from. price? around 15 dollars!
    decor: this will be the fun part! my advice? do not go to party-planning stores- they are overpriced! stick with household items that you or your “collecter”-type friends might already have! the rest you can find at thrift stores, from dollar marts, and in the clearance sections of your local craft stores. speaking of “collector”-type friends…
    look no further than the girl who writes this blog! the image below is of some vases that i am lending to the party in order to maximize the pretty factor and minimize the cash spent! estimated cost? hopefully, no more than 20 dollars for the rest!
i am in love with the look and feel of milk glass.. they will look beautiful placed on tables and we spent no dollars! it's a win-win!
i am in love with the look and feel of milk glass.. these will complement the venue beautifully, especially when filled with pastel green and yellow flowers, and they didn’t take away from the budget! luckily enough for us, a close friend, michelle, got hitched recently and her leftover wedding flowers are the perfect shade of yellow to match our bright and cheerful palette. well done, teamwork!
  • the basics have been covered! so what’s left to think about?
    games! something has to keep the ball rolling and keep everyone entertained! games are easy to look up online and after a meetup with sidney and michelle, we have more than enough ideas to choose from. some involve purchasing a few different types of baby food so we will add the cost of those to our total! michelle came up with another wonderful idea which is..
    through facebook, we will let our guests know that if they bring:    a. a bag of diapers   or   b. a container of baby wipes, we will add their name into a raffle and after everyone has arrived, a name will be drawn! it is now our job to get thrifty with the prizes (we aren’t planning to spend more than twenty dollars for everything) i’ve already come up with the idea to use mason jars instead of gift bags! i know plenty of people who have those things tucked into cupboards and accumulating dust in forgotten boxes, and it would cost almost nothing to fill them with assorted treats and tie them off with a purple ribbon. for more inspiring ideas associated with the simple mason jar, please check out the image below!

{ photo credit –  rebeccacalagna.blogspot.com }

who knew?!
who knew?!

i only wish that i had more images of the baby shower to put on here but truth be told, we still have a lot of work to do! keep up with me though, because there will definitely be a “finished product” post!

“how lucky i am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”
– a. a. milne, winnie-the-pooh