Friday, April 20, 2012

Flower Girl

I am still sitting here trying to figure out when my baby got so big. But while I do that I may share part of the craziness we are in this week. So Laci is fortunate enough to be a flower girl not once but twice this year. I am delighted that she was asked and it is so nice to see how grown up she is (even though I secretly want her to stay this size forever). Since that won't be happening any time soon let me keep on going.

When I was at my favorite bling store (they are amazing... they sell shirts and heat transfer designs and rhinestone designs galore) I saw this cute flower girl rhinestone design. It was a little messed up and needed some TLC. The cashier (owners son) said if you are willing to fix it you can take it. So I did... Last night we had the rehearsal for the wedding, so I made Laci a shirt to wear... what do you think?

Close Up:

Have I mentioned lately how much I love my heat press... best purchase EVER!!! I mean EVER EVER EVER!!! Totally worth it folks! Anyways, here is my baby in her shirt looking all grown up!

Ok, I am going to sit down with a tissue now and relive the day when she was this tiny (pardon the hearts... covering up some info)...

I'll post pictures of her next week when I get the chance of her in the dress this weekend...

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Year in the Life of Laci Lawson 2011-2012

This is the yearly book that I do of Laci and give to the grandparents and make copies of for ourselves. Needless to say I was a little late in getting this sucker printed this year, but it's finally put together and here it is.... open it to full screen, the quality looks better although for some reason still fuzzy... the cover is my favorite so you will have to click on the cover to actually see it because for some reason it opens up to the first page. On a side note... it is crazy how much weight we have lost since then!!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Unity Candle with Invite Wording

I am sure I have posted one of these before, but my family is very big on unity candles. In fact, we don't quite understand weddings that don't use them, I mean it symbolizes uniting the two individuals into a new family of their own. Sorry if I have just managed to offend 1/2 my readers. But with that being said I am the third generation on my mothers side that has learned how to do these.

They are tedious, and are purely a labor of love. We are talking start to finish at least 6-8 hours. This one took about 7.5 hours over a two day period. Everything from creating the wording, finding the right font (or one very close too it), hand stitching the pearls, putting the flowers on, to the outside layer of the candle. It's a lot of hands on work.

With that said, our unity candles are A LOT different than the normal ones you can buy at a Michael's or Hobby Lobby. They actually take the wording from the invite and through the magic (aka family secret). We build a candle that can either be plain or use the colors from the wedding around the wording. These are not a cheep thing to make and they also are very sentimental as they are probably the only way most people will get to see their invitation for years and years to come. I love having my unity candle, and the fact that it is a forever keepsake.

Ok I have babbled long enough. Laci is a flower girl for this wedding this weekend (I am sure I will share pictures as this is her first time). Without further mumbo jumbo... here is the candle I did for this weeks wedding.


For the ceremony it will either sit on the wooden base we already gave them or a pillar at the church. Either way, it is pretty, I should have taken more views than this of it, but you get the idea. It's about 7 inches in diameter now that it is competed.

What do you think? I think it turned out to be one of the best ones I have ever done, but practice makes perfect right?!? Or so they say anyways...


Monday, April 16, 2012

Children's Aquarium at Fair Park

Yesterday we went to a birthday party at the Children's Aquarium at Fair Park. It was AWESOME! I mean for parents and kiddos. Because of the birthday party we got in for free, but the cost really isn't all that bad!

$8.00 - adult
$6.00 - child (3-11) and senior (65+)
Ages 2 and under – free!

Anyways, Laci had a blast and we had such a good time seeing all the different things there. My favorite time of the entire day was with the Sting Rays. Laci got to feed them and pet them. Another parent commented on how brave she was because she was just sticking her hand in there and had no fear!

This will be a picture heavy post, but I can't help it, it was all soooo cool!

Here is Laci before we got to see the sharks and sting rays.
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Laci and Daddy in front of the shark tank:
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Looking at the sharks:
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Laci petting and feeding the sting rays. This was just amazing!
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Back inside there were so many other fun things to see too. This is Laci and Daddy being taken away by the Octopus:
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These are the moon jelly's they were so pretty!
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Laci and Mommy with the moon jelly's:
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These are Poisonous barbed Lion Fish, I thought they looked neat!
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So I did a self portrait with them:
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Laci and Mommy with a huge lobster or something like that:
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Laci and Daddy with a huge lizard of some sort, I looked for his species name, but couldn't find one.
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Hubby took some amazing pictures of some sea horses! They were so pretty. It was really neat to learn about them too. Apparently they aren't very good swimmers so when a current comes along they attach themselves to sea plant life like this. It was awesome!
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One floating along:
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Outside the aquarium:
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Laci outside with the sea horse statue:
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Last but not least, Laci with one of her school mates giving hugs as they said bye...
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We had SO much fun! What a wonderful party! I totally would go there again and would encourage others to go too!


Friday, April 6, 2012

Fun Wonkaesque Party Food

Do you remember the part in the movie where Gene Wilder (aka. Wonka) picks up the daffodil teacup and eats it?

Wonka Teacup

Well I wanted to have a play on that and found these edible teacups online at Disney Family Online

So I wanted to have something that would resemble them and my MIL did an awesome job with these. I bought ice cream cones and then found a good size sugar cookie to complement the size. She cut off the tops of each ice cream cone for the cup part. Then used melted white chocolate to seal the ice cream cone to the cookie together. Then right before the party started we filled them with vanilla pudding and topped them off with whipped cream and gold sprinkles. I LOVED how they turned out!
I didn't ask her to do the handle... She totally could have because she is talented like that, but I didn't feel it was necessary and they turned out so stinkin cute!

Now the bottom of the cones were left over and she asked if there was anything I wanted to do with them. I had no clue and said I would just use them for ice cream later. She pondered it and came up with the one of the only things that was GONE by the time the party was over.
She dipped the cut edge in chocolate, let it dry and then put mini mnm's inside. Genius!!!! I am not kidding... every last one was gobbled up. I think there were at least 35-40 of them and they were ALL gone! Totally awesome way to use something that probably would have gone to waste. I LOVED how they turned out and apparently they were perfect kid size!

A huge thank you to her for all of the hard work she did the week leading to the party, between planting flowers to cleaning, and just everything!

Anyways, now you have two super fun ways to use ice cream cones!


Monday, April 2, 2012

Willy Wonka Party Full Recap - Laci's 5th Birthday

There are no words that can truly sum up Laci's 5th Birthday Party. It was nothing short of epic. I love creating the theme parties, my guests seem to love it, and my husband is amazing for being supportive of my visions coming to life!

This post is going to be a long one, so sit back, relax, grab a drink and lets go for a stroll through the Chocolate Factory (aka "Our House").

I never really know where to start with these, so lets start with the most impressive thing from the party. THE CAKE! I love Say it With Sugar in downtown Wylie, TX. They are amazing and have "nailed it" every time I work with them. I totally suggest following them on Facebook so that you can see all the fantastic and creative cakes they post. This year I took in pages and pages of cakes that I liked, didn't like, loved elements on part of them, etc. and they took that direction and turned out one of the most stunning cakes we could have ever asked for.


Here are the tier flavors from top to bottom:
Top Tier - The Purple Wonka Hat: Tutti Frutti - This is a mix of their white cake (I think) with raspberry and lemon filling. This really should have been one of the bigger tiers because it was amazing!!!
Second Tier - Blue layer with the Wonka Bars - Boston Creme - This is currently one of my favorite cupcakes and the cake was just as amazing! I have gained two pound because of this tier alone!
Third Tier - Green with the diamond pattern - Carrot Cake - Nothing short of fabulous mouth watering yummy goodness.
Fourth Tier - Orange with the red stripes - Marble Cake - I don't remember the filling we got on this one, but this cake was so moist and delish that it was devoured before the party was over and very little went into the to-go boxes to give to our guests as they left.
Fifth and Bottom Tier - Yellow with Laci's name is their wedding cake flavor. This is my absolute favorite, nothing tops it, its the best cake on the PLANET! I had them do a swirl on the inside and it turned out awesome. I don't really know how many pictures we got of it, I know I got one or two and if I find them later will pop them in the post. All the guests were surprised, Jake said it looked like a gobstopper on the inside. The colors I remember that they used were orange, pink, yellow, purple and I believe blue.

There were complements on the entire cake as far as aesthetics and there were so many people that said how wonderful the cake tasted! Here are more pictures of the cake I was trying to do a marquee... but the silly thing isn't working how I want... so until I get that figured out the pictures are just going to be under one another.

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Here is the picture of Laci with the Cake for size reference. For those of you that want to know where I got the hat, I got it from Little Casa Roo on Etsy, they make the cutest tiny top hats. The shirt came from Birthday Couture and the skirt came from Connie with Hot Tots Cool Kids 2, she also did Laci's dress from last year (I <3 her!). DSC_0121

So much more could be said about this cake, but I think it truly speaks for itself. It was worth every cent an then some!

The decorations are always a big part of what really sets the theme. This year was so much more difficult than years past to come up with things that would really just nail it. In the end I think we pulled it off, but it was nothing short of hard work and dedication!

The front of my house:

Close up of the garage - To do the letters on the clouds I used the Wonka font on my Silhouette Cameo and cut them out about 4" tall - The Wonka Gate turned out cute, but it looks tinier on my garage than I thought it would:

Oh, how can you have a party without a character? You can't, well not at my house anyways, so we had Willy Wonka. Here he is with Laci... Isn't he just the cutest Wonka ever! Everyone loved him and I am sure that he enjoyed playing Wonka as much as everyone enjoyed taking pictures with him. A special thank you goes out to Laci's cousin Ryan who played Wonka for us! We did buy the Deluxe Candy Man costume from Halloween . I took it and got it dry cleaned since it was quite wrinkled when it arrived. Ryan wore his own tan pants and brown shoes since the pants that came with it aren't fitted and it didn't come with shoes. The hat was horrid, so we found a better hat to go with the costume. Overall it was a decent costume that needed modifications.

We also got a picture of all of the "purple people" aka Staff hehehe with the shirts I made for the party for the family, with the birthday girl. From left to right you have Uncle Tim, Aunt Jennifer, Grammy, Laci, Mommy, Daddy, Grandma & Grandpa.

Here is a close up of Holden's Shirt:


Uncle Tim and Holden were Quality Assurance
Aunt Jennifer and Grammy were Fizzy Lifting Specialists
Mommy and Daddy were Tour Guides
Grandma & Grandpa were Chocolate Specialists

It was so much fun to have the immediate family included this way!

Continuing with outside now...

This is the flower garden side close up - The balloons were on these plastic sticks which were perfect for making lollipops. My mother in law helped out a ton with these and I think they made for the cutest decorations for the front yard. The sign on the window says "Bubbles, bubbles everywhere, but not a drop to drink." The bubble machine was in full swing as the party guests arrived. Also, my amazing hubby had sound looping out the window of the song Pure Imagination playing to enhance the mood and set the tone.

Front left of the entry with a large Oompa Loompa. Isn't he just the cutest welcoming everyone.

Front right with a sign that read "In your wildest dreams you could not imagine the marvelous surprises that await you."

Last year I went right to left around the house, but in spirits of switching things up (well and saving the best for last) I am going to go left to right, so lets get started.

Here is the front left of the entry:


Remember how the kids signed the contract to get into the Chocolate Factory? Well I had to have the contract, so I made my own and got it printed at Vista Print. It was just perfect and really got the kids and parents into the swing of things for the party!

Here is Laci with Grammy about to sign the contract:

Laci signing the contract:

After the party, all the signatures including Mommy and Daddy:

Next you have the table of goodies for the kiddos to take with them as they left, they got a whirly lollipop and a pair of Wonka vision goggles to go. All I can say is "HUGE HIT" so much better than doing goodie bags with tons of tiny pointless stuff inside!

Close ups of the Whirly Lollipops and the Wonka Vision Goggles:

Next you have the small hall to the bathroom:

Just in-case you were wondering is the bathroom decorated... you bet your bottom it is... hehehe I couldn't resist, sorry, bad joke I know.

This is a 360 of the bathroom and it is really cool... Take your mouse and click and drag it from left to right and it will spin the picture around the entire bathroom... got one in the front entry and kitchen that I will add in later too.

How did I do this? I knew you would ask (if you can't see it, I noticed on my iPad that it wouldn't show it becuase it is flash)... "there's an app for that" on the iPhone called DMD. It is $1.99 but totally worth it! Wish I knew about it before the party started so that I could have done one of the kitchen before the cake was cut and served. Eh, C'est la Vie... I got some great pictures of it anyways. :)

Ok, so now out of the bathroom onto the next wall is Willy Wonka. Isn't he just the cutest? I could eat this one up he turned out so cute! Wish I had made him a little taller, but he fit perfectly in this space either way!

Next going up the stairs we had to have an Oompa Loompa with his sugar bags:

On to the kitchen you see Veruca Salt in the scene with the large geese that lay golden chocolate eggs. It turned out pretty good!

Yes even my pantry and laundry room doors were decorated!

Now for some reason I didn't really get a full kitchen shot, so here the kitchen is after it got cleaned after the party.

Yes the refrigerator has the invitation on it...

In fact, do you see all of the invitations from years past? I love doing this! It is crazy to see how much she has grown over the years!

When you were walking into the kitchen (minus the purple background), this is what you would have seen.... I LOVED how the Wonka Bar boxes turned out! They were a perfect inexpensive addition to the party!

I also had hot dogs behind this table by the stove and then the drinks were outside in buckets. Note to self... more water and pouch juices... less soda for next year. :)

Next lets travel outside into what I would call the Wonka Play area... first from left to right you have the face painters who did an amazing job! I love them! If you are in the DFW area you totally need to hit me up to get their info, the mom and daughter come together and are wonderful! I believe the name of their business is Face Fusion BodyArt and the number to reach the Mom Kathy Rice is 214-457-5946. If you book in the next two months and mention my party and that I referred you I know that you will get a discount.

We wanted to have plenty of seating for the guests so we ordered tables and chairs from Confetti's Rentals. They were awesome to work with! Even though it was so hot a couple of them didn't get used, but at least the gesture was there so people didn't feel like they HAD to stand. The purple table cloths were awesome and really added that POP of color!

The bounce house was super huge! It had a full bouncer and a full slide. We love using Fun Times Party Rentals the owner Damian is awesome! He brought the bouncer the day before so that I could make the bounce house panel. I just bought a white tarp and velcro. Put the velcro on the bounce house, laid down the tarp, pulled the tarp off and cut around the velcro outline. Then decorated it with pre cut vinyl that I made on my silhouette. It turned out perfect!

Back inside to the living room here is another one of those scrolly pictures from the DMD app so take your mouse and click and drag it from left to right and it will spin the picture around.

Looks like I am missing a couple pictures of the left wall decorations... I am sure they are back on the main hard drive or my sister has them, just don't have access right now.

Here is the fire place mantel:

Closer up:

In the living room and in the upstairs playroom we had the movie playing as additional entertainment.

Totally just realized that the Mike Teavee that I free drew inside the little TV was covered by balloons. Here is where I am going to pout for a minute... I can't believe I did that. All the dots over the tv were him in the air and then I had drawn him inside of the TV. It was really cute! Well you can take my word for it.

Here is a look over the 1/2 wall into the dining room...

The pole has Wonka Wallpaper on it... no really it does!

I told you my nephew Holden was Quality Assurance. I am pretty sure I got a thumbs up on this one. :)


This is a shot into the dining room - the candy table is on the left and the fountain table is on the right:

There was a little bit of everything on the candy table... pixie sticks, spree, sweet tarts, nerds, nerd ropes, fun dip, assorted wonka candy and yes over 90% of it was Wonka Candy. I also got some report of kiddos getting sick after the party. In no spot does it state you must consume all of this at the party. I mean there was plenty to take home. I take responsibility for it being there, but not for the children consuming it. :o)

This is the fountain table... isn't it pretty :o)

On the chocolate fountain side we had the following things to dip:
* Angel Food Cake
* White Oreos
* Chocolate Oreos
* Pretzels
* Marshmallows
* Strawberries
* Oranges

On the cheese side we had the following things to dip:
* Pretzels
* Assorted Veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, sugar snap peas and carrots)
* Celery
* Nacho Chips
* I also had salsa and jalapenos for the nacho chips

In the middle of the fountains we had the Wonka pudding cups. I LOVED how these turned out! Laci's Grandma was a super huge help with these and another treat I will expound on another day. But these were awesome! I was trying to play off of the movie when Gene Wilder picks up the flower looking cup, drinks something and then eats it.

Last major wall was Violet Beauregarde when she turns into a blueberry after eating the experimental three-course meal gum.


As the guests were leaving they saw this on the back of the door.

Here is the last of the 360 type dragging pictures I have. So take a spin around and you can see the entire entry. It is pretty awesome!

Here is one of the kiddos showing off their Wonka Vision Goggles:

Now for some additional fun photos from the party:

Holden and Wonka:

Jake, Grandpa, and Wonka (aka Cousin Ryan):

My cheer gal pals with their golden tickets:

My sister Jennifer and I:

The balloons before they were all put out!

Me starting to tear the cake apart... this is heartbreaking dude!

Wonka, Jake, Laci and I before singing Happy Birthday!

Laci blowing out her candles:

Laci and I right before singing Happy Birthday. I look more like a big sister teenager than a mom here, but you know what... I will take it. For those of you that have inquiring minds I am 28 about to be 29 in June. So, no I am not a teen mom. ;)

Last but certainly not least is a picture of my amazing hubby and I. I truly consider myself the luckiest girl in the world to be married to a man that understands my creative side and lets me be me. I couldn't ask for a more wonderful life!

As for the party it went off amazingly. The only small hiccup was the chocolate fountain not wanting to be a fountain and turning into fondue, but if that is the only thing I can think of, then I am proud to have done such a good job planning.

I can't thank everyone who helped me enough, from my in-laws and their days of labor and clean up to the friends who helped clean after the party was over. I am in debt to you! Laci is one lucky girl that you all care so much about her!

For anyone with questions, ask away, it just may take me a couple of days to recoup from the exhaustion.