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Ley babies: Nursery Inspiration

September 24, 2014

When we found out we are having both a boy AND a girl, I was so excited. (I really hope Caroline is still a girl… hahaha, we go tomorrow for our first Level 2 ultrasound and that’s when they told me my little Brady was NOT a girl like they originally guessed…). By the way, we named the babies – did you hear? Caroline Sue and Tyler Joseph. We can’t keep secrets around here – so there they are in all their precious glory!

Back to being excited… I started thinking about their nursery the other night and suddenly got really overwhelmed! My sweet girl can’t have her SUPER pink room because little Tyler will be in there. And vice-versa! So I knew I had to come up with something gender neutral-ish that was still really special. I adore Lindsay Letters (not to mention she’s a precious friend of ours) so I was perusing her shop looking at her canvases to find one that really spoke to me. I stopped in my track when I saw this canvas (#1 above) based on one of my favorite verses (that meant a great deal to me during our three years of infertility craziness). Brady’s nursery was “beach” themed because our roots are in Pensacola, Florida (where we’re both from and where Bryan and I met). It only seemed fitting to design the babies’ room around a similar theme with more of a nautical / anchor feel to it.

I ordered Lindsay’s canvas in 16 x 20 size with an incredible, ornate, awesome gold frame as well. It’ll go somewhere special – probably over the not-yet-purchased changing table or near the not-yet-purchased rocker. :) There’s a pretty good chance (99%) that we will be moving two months after the babies arrive, so we’re planning for a space we don’t have yet. Even more exciting! :)

Tell me your ideas! Sources below. xo

  1. Let Hope Anchor your Soul canvas by Lindsay Letters
  2. Catch of the Day fitted crib sheet from Land of Nod
  3. Stripes Around the Floor Bin in red from Land of Nod
  4. Mirrored Wall Letters from Pottery Barn Kids
  5. Cloud Mobile from Etsy
  6. Thar She Glows table lamp from Land of Nod
  7. Gold Wall Anchor from Etsy
  8. Magic Carpet from Land of Nod
  9. Flamingo No. 1 Print from Sharon Montrose
  10. Gold Dot Quilt from Pottery Barn Kids for tummy time

Brady’s First Birthday Party: The Details

February 22, 2012

When we started talking about celebrating our little man and his first birthday (I still cannot believe he’s one whole year old), Bryan and I wanted his party to be something everyone enjoyed – his little friends that he sees on a regular basis (who range from itty bitty to 12) and their families as well as our family. We wanted the theme to be Southern, classic and with the personality of a giggly, happy, sweet little boy. We decided on a “Southern Picnic” (see his adorable invitations here) on our back porch and used bow ties to “tie” everything together (pun intended). And, of course, as his doting Mama, I wanted every little detail to be “just-so” so that Brady had fun and felt loved, loved, loved.

Brady’s first birthday party was full of handmade details, little Etsy-bought details, yummy food and one happy little bow tie’d man. (and handsome bow-tie’d Daddy, I might add). I was so grateful to have my family here to help with the party and to spend a few days before just celebrating little B.

The cute little white die-cut food cards you’ll see throughout these photos are from Unique StashNStuff on Etsy. Great place for little cards like this. Jessica Ulrich of MJ Paperie (and Jessica Haley Ink) hand lettered each card with a gold pen. Love.

Little B posing for the camera with me while we set up.

I adore this photo. This is Brady seeing all the decorations for the first time. He was napping while we were setting up. I could eat that face right up : )

First things first, I used wooden sticks and card stock to make photo props. The backdrop you see in the first image above was muslin I got for 40% off at Joann’s. Thanks to McKay and her sewing teaching skills, I sewed a simple pocket at the top of each piece of 90in x 2.5 yards of fabric. My dad created a wooden dowel to act as a rod that we then fastened to the top of our glass doors. The table cloth is a simple white table cloth paired with a gorgeous fabric also from Joann’s. I based all the colors around this fabric.

I really wanted to have chalkboards everywhere but they were so expensive. I found black foam board at Joann’s and used a chalk marker to hand letter each sign. Do I actually know how to hand letter? No. I winged it the best I could : )

What kind of favors can you give at a one year old’s birthday party that the little guests will really love? BUBBLES! I got this idea from Abby Larson of Style Me Pretty. See her feature on Hostess With The Mostess here where she created these bubble favors for her daughter’s birthday party one year. I followed her steps almost exactly and purchased these little canisters from Specialty Bottle (what a GREAT website). I designed the labels and used twine and pipe cleaners to top them off. I bought a giant bottle of bubbles from Target to fill each of them and displayed them on top of green seersucker fabric! Voila!

More hand lettering on black foam board. Whoops, I ran out of room for “Love, Brady.” : ) He didn’t mind.

For Brady’s little bitty friends, we had Banana and Apple flavored Buddy Fruits for them to eat. I love Buddy Fruits because they’re easy for Brady to hold and eat himself (like a juice box). Plus they’re all natural and organic. Win. Win.

THESE little pretties were quite the hit. I ordered these from Bees Knees Creative on Etsy. Just so happens, Renee lives very close to me and they got here in perfect shape! I just love the shape and the B!!!

I also wanted to have cute little favors for all of our adult friends (besides the beer that was perfectly positioned in a bed of ice inside Brady’s little red wagon… that’s how we do these parties in the South ; ) I LOVE these little gourmet lollipops from This Charming Candy on Etsy. I’ve used them for a few little projects lately. They have the most fun flavors like Salted Caramel, Root Beer Float, Watermelon Basil and Sweetened Grapefruit. (Plus, they’re just plain CUTE). YUM.

It was a rainy day on Saturday, but everything held up. We had the party on our back porch, so we (and the decorations) were protected. There’s the giant (!!!) paper chain I made with clearance rack paper from Joann’s. (Want to know how much that chain cost? $4). Yep. There’s a peek at the little red grown-up-beverage filled wagon too.

Another “chalkboard” sign proudly displaying a few of Brady’s firsts and favorites.

This idea turned out really cute. I designed little 3.5 x 5in cards that read “My Birthday Wish for Brady.” Each guest wrote their wishes for him on one and stuck it inside a handmade little book I created with some chipboard, card stock and leftover 4bar envelopes from Paper-Source. I got the card part of this idea from Joni over at Lay Baby Lay and the sweet invitations she designed for her little Vivi.

And now, the main event… the delicious, delicious “Southern Picnic” food. Many thanks to my Mom and future-sister-in-law, Taylor, for helping prepare this spread.

Yummy individual servings of veggie sticks and buttermilk ranch in small glasses. Totally inspired by Pinterest.

White Sangria with slices of tangerines, nectarines, green apples, grapes, oranges and lemons. DELICOUS. Paper straws from Hey Yo Yo on Etsy. The mason jars were from my personal stash : ) (every Southern gal has a stash).

Mini sandwiches as inspired by Southern Living via Pinterest. These were wrapped in strips of wax paper and tied with brown and white baker’s twine. Did I make the sandwiches myself? Heavens no. They came from Publix: cuban sandwiches, club sandwiches and veggie sandwiches. They were YUMMY.

I just love all these little pieces all lined up in neat rows. It’s my inner perfectionist. From the left: fruit salad in cute green cups from Sweet Lulu also inspired by Pinterest. Then the veggie cups, white sangria and lemonade. This photo doesn’t show it, but we used paper straws (green and white striped) in the lemonade next to the yellow and white paper straws in the sangria. I love the milk bottles we used for the lemonade (with simple twine tied around the necks). The milk bottles came from the same place as the “Bubble” favor canisters: Specialty Bottle. Probably one of my best purchases ever. I plan to use these to many showers, parties and get-togethers to come. At less than $2 each, you can’t go wrong.

I really didn’t know how I was going to set the table up until the day of his party. I knew I’d have to see it all and play with it to finally decide how it would look. I ran around my house the morning-of and grabbed random things that felt classic, Southern and young. We used this little terra-cotta pot to hold the wooden utensils (LOVE these… they’re from Confetti Sunshine on Etsy) The books are part of my Penguin Classics Clothbound Collection. I’m a little obsessed with these.

I love this photo for so many reasons. Thanks McKay for designing and creating matching seersucker bow ties for my little family (and a gazillion others for the other little boys and girls!)

I still cannot get over Brady’s smash cake and bow tie cupcakes. They were made by my sweet friend Dusty (Cupcakes by Dusty). She is one of my favorite people on the planet and most definitely one of the most talented. The cakes were almond flavored (just like wedding cake) and were delicious. I may have eaten a cupcake or two… or three. And maybe some of Brady’s leftover smash cake the next day. Oh dear. I created the little flag banner on top of the smash cake at the last minute after remembering a Pinterest idea I had.

I mean… I still have no words for these. Perfection. Adorable.

Love this photo. A sweet little cupcake for my sweet little boy. I can’t believe he’s one year old.

 We are so blessed to have such amazing friends and family who helped put our little party together and who came over to celebrate with us (and sent sweet wishes for those who couldn’t be with us!) We’re one grateful little family.

xo,

Emily

 

 

Simplified: Sweet Packaging

February 13, 2012


With Valentine’s Day and Brady’s (FIRST!!) birthday all this week, I’ve been scouring Etsy and blogs and every cute little shop I know to find ways to make these occasions extra special. I truly believe it’s possible to give precious gifts, host adorable parties and delivery beautiful, personalized packages without breaking the bank. You just have to know where to go to find the extra cuteness.

Brady’s first birthday party is on Saturday. It’s “bow tie” themed. Perfect for our little southern gent. I cannot WAIT to share his adorable invitations and all the details from his party this weekend very soon. I’ve made most of the decorations by hand and ordered about 95% of my supplies from Etsy. But, his celebration isn’t just on Saturday. On Thursday and Friday his daddy and I have a few extra special surprises planned. I’ve put so much thought into every detail of this week and can’t wait for everyone to be here to celebrate our little man on his big day.

There’s just something so special about adding a cute, unexpected tag here or a thoughtfully placed label or sticker there. My Mom used to write me a note every day and place it in my lunchbox. I remember being so excited to read her note when I sat down at the lunch table. Sometimes it was written on a post it. Sometimes it was a card. Sometimes it had a sticker. But the message was always sincere and encouraging. Every since then, I’ve had a fascination with the cute little easy-to-do details that make even the most basic thing a little more special.

Above are a few of my favorite finds while packaging special “things” for this special week for my special boy. Enjoy!

1. Washi Tape from Bahana Splits Boutique on Etsy. Only $15 for ten feet of each pattern. I love washi tape for so many reasons. It feels like fabric – so handmade and gives a really special touch to any package.

2. Twill Ribbon from Olive Manna (LOVE Olive Manna) Just $8 for five yards of your choice of 20 colors. This color palette is delicious. I love how natural twill ribbon looks. Also check out the rest of Olive Manna’s packaging. I love everything. Especially the rubber stamps.

3. Kraft Heart Stickers from Knot & Bow on Etsy. Knot & Bow is one of my favorite go-to packaging shops. Super easy, great customer service and adorable options. Imagine how much fun you could have personalizing these! These are only $4 (including shipping!) for 36.

4. Pink Parcel Tags from Knot & Bow on Etsy. Again a favorite. Parcel tags are so much fun – they feel so old school to me. I use manilla parcel tags with much of my Emily Ley Paper packaging. These are just too cute for Valentine’s Day. And at only $3 for 10, they’re a no-brainer. Pair with some cute Baker’s Twine and you’re done! Speaking of…

5. Cotton Candy Pink Divine Twine from Bahana Splits Boutique on Etsy. Love, love, love. Baker’s Twine can be used for so many things. I purchased yellow and white Baker’s Twine for Brady’s birthday party. Here you can purchase a variety of lengths (in many lovely colors!). The full spool is 240 yards for $14.25.

6. Glassine Bags from Garnish. LOVE GARNISH. I’ve purchased from them quite a few times and everything is always absolutely perfect. I love glassine bags in general and fell in love with their idea for pairing Baker’s Twine with them to wrap cookies. We’re going on a very special picnic in the park on Friday for Brady’s birthday and I’m going to attempt to sew these shut with red yarn (thanks McKay for lending me your sewing machine : ) These glassine bags are just $0.25 each (that’s what I love about Garnish… you can order ANY quantity… I ordered 6 : )

7. Muslin Bags from Amazon. You can get these just about anywhere, but they are SO much fun to personalize. All you need is a rubber stamp or a sharpie and a steady hand. They make cute favor bags and are especially adorable when screen printed.  These are just $4.05 for four bags.

8. Colored Envelopes from Paper-Source. Colored envelopes make any note better. Period. Paper-Source is a great place for a variety of colors and has the best quality around. Check out their wholesale side Waste Not Paper if you have a resale license and are interested in ordering in bulk. Thes are just $3.25 for ten envelopes (retail).

9. Rubber Stamp from Rubber Stamp Champ. I’ve worked with Rubber Stamp Champ a lot and they do an excellent job. I so love the quality of their stamps and how easy it is to design something in Illustrator, save it as a JPEG, upload it to their site, purchase and be done. Easy peasy. Their prices are great too – they range from $3.99 + and include free shipping with orders over $10.

And there you have it! Where are your favorite places to buy small quantity packaging items? Off to finish planning for Brady’s birthday week!!

xo,

Emily


copyright 2018 emily ley