Banks Turns One

Our precious baby Banks celebrated his first birthday in style! His daddy and I feel so blessed with all our wonderful friends and family who came to make his big day just perfect! I remember so clearly when he was born and hearing that sweet cry that sounded more like a little bird squawking! He is as precious now as the day he was born and that little squawk has turned into coo’s and ma-ma, da-da, na-na, ba-ba sounds that literally make my heart bigger every time I hear him “talk.” He is a spunky little thing….totally spit-fire just like his mommy! I will take credit where credit is due with his personality! ūüôā Looks is all daddy, though!

We planned a¬† party that suited him! Great food was a must because this baby loves to eat! Can ya tell?! I happily accepted help from my dear friend, Jordan, who is a brilliant party planner in her own right and has that same zest and fervor that I have when it comes to a big, beautiful spread! I can never thank her enough for the months leading up to the event as well as the day of!! To my awesome sister in Christ and angel of a friend, Kippy, who made the most wonderful cake….hats off to you lady! My parents and sister always deserve a huge shout out for not only helping execute this wonderful party but also for all the love they have for sweet Banks.

Banks Wilder Bowden, you are loved so much and your big brother Brooks is your very best friend! He loves you to the moon and is so protective of you! May you two always have this special bond that we already know you will!

Here are some photos from our perfect day! Our brunch menu was complete with Farmhouse Breakfast Casserole, Spinach, Mushroom and Bacon Quiche, Yogurt Parfaits with Balsamic Strawberries, Creamy Cheese Grits, Fresh Fruit with Mint, Assorted Donuts, and even a biscuit bar with glazed ham, jams and jellies and yummy sausage gravy!

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Superhero Birthday Party

Sweet Brooks and his best buddy, Hudson, celebrated a joint birthday party last month.¬† These two boys just turned FOUR years old!¬† With our powers combined, Hudson’s mommy and I planned out all the party details.¬† We had a blast compiling and putting our party ideas into action for these two little Superheroes of ours.

Here are some photos from our fun-filled day.  I think the boys will remember this party for a long time to come.

Upon arrival, all the little guests got to put on superhero capes to get in character!

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We hired a face painter to get the kid’s all masked up and ready to save the world!¬† Brooks, though he¬†donned a Flash Gordon cape {for like 15 mins of the entire party}, decided that a snake on his face was the best way to save the day.

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Brooks and Hudson loved their giant Spider-Man balloon!  We sent Spidey on a big send off at the end of the party.  He quite literally soared above the trees!

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These two kiddos also enjoyed screaming, dancing, laughing and playing with all their friends!

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We served some yummy food!  Publix and Chick-Fil-A swooped in to feed our hungry superkids.  We served assorted sandwiches, pinwheels, chicken nuggets, a veggie tray, chips and fruit!  And who can forget cake! Every superhero needs cake!

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How perfect are these little Spiderman and Batman flashlights on top?!¬† So thankful for Sarah’s sweet friend and baker!¬† She deserves a Super Medal!

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The younger siblings and grandparents of our little Superheroes had a fun time too!¬† You know, super powers are genetic, after all. ūüôā

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Oh, Baby!

A few weeks ago, Bowties & Burlap was lucky enough to style a baby shower for a very sweet mama-to-be.¬† It was a gorgeous, sunny day and the girls had a great time dining al fresco, painting pumpkins and spoiling Nikki rotten with some great gifts!¬† It couldn’t have been a better day to celebrate the impending birth of her baby girl.

The hostesses had their theme in mind a few months prior to the event and provided an inspiration cake picture to me as a guide for the décor.  We went with black, white and pink!  Hello, Kate Spade!  What a fun color palette to work with.

For starters, we set up a buffet on built-ins in Kim’s living room.¬† On the shelving above the built-ins, I alternated white and pink roses and tucked them into greenery.¬† The mantle was flanked with white hydrangea and I hung some precious white bunting with monogrammed onesies attached.

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The food was amazing.  Kim made a delicious chili that we served out of a porcelain white pumpkin bowl and we had sides of cornbread muffins, Caesar salad, a veggie plate, fruit bowl and toppings for the chili.

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The other side of the buffet held the desserts.  What a fabulous cake!  Cute little cupcakes were also available for the ladies to nibble on!

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The guests dined outdoors on the deck.  The black and white runners were a great pop of color against the white tablecloths.  I used my gold chargers and printed a custom menu that set atop the white napkins on each place setting.  Simple vases with hydrangea were used as centerpieces.

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After lunch, the ladies headed downstairs to paint pumpkins!  I always like outside the box ideas for shower games and since Fall is upon us, what better craft project to do?!

Nikki’s mother, from North Elm Designs, provided these precious paper flowers that¬†I¬†used to decorate¬†the porch with as well as the pink paper leaves scattered on the table.¬†¬†Check out her Instagram page!¬†¬†@northelmdesigns

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Upon leaving, the ladies took home party favors of chili spices from Kim’s chili recipe.¬† I simply measured out her recipe spices and filled little air tight jars and finished them off with a custom thank you label.

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Baby Chloe, we cannot wait to meet you very soon!

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In August, we held a birthday party for a very beautiful young woman!¬† The supermoms banded together {in secret, shhhhh!}¬†to help this surprise party go off without a hitch.¬† Chloe is truly one-of-a-kind.¬† She has a gentle spirit and the sweetest smile.¬† She’s taught our children to be creative, strong, independent, little people and we all love her dearly!

Here are a few photos from the celebration.  The lovely Mel van Niekerk captured the special day.

Chloe, we hope this is your best year yet! Thank you for all that you do for our families.

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Lavender Bath Soap Party Favors from Serendipity in Roswell! Precious store!

 

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Birthdays are Best {Part III}

As promised, here is a look at our last birthday party for sweet Brooks.¬† He turned 3 years old and is quickly on the road to 4.¬† How does the time fly by so fast?!¬† I remember bringing him home from the hospital and now he’s¬†this smart, funny, growny little boy.¬† One-of-a-kind.¬† It was only fitting for my one-of-a-kind little fella to have a special theme for his 3rd birthday.¬† This boy¬†LOVES to fish with his daddy and Bugga {grandpa}.¬† He’s over the moon for going down to South Ga to catch some fish.¬† True southern boy at heart!¬† Gone Fishin’ was the perfect theme!

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We served the food buffet style in our dining room.  I used the same red burlap from his first little birthday party.  Flanking the white hydrangea were two adorable little toy fishing poles.  We served that yummy Chicken Salad Chick again, of course!

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Have you ever seen a cuter fisherman?¬† The answer is no ūüôā¬† He looked so cute in his overalls!¬† I was just 4 weeks away from having Banks!

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We had¬†a “Bait Shop” candy bar¬†set up outside for the kids to nibble on during the party and take home in a baggie.¬† The blue fish netting was a huge score! I was so excited that¬†I found it online that I bought two!

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The beverages were served outside in mason jars.¬† I tied little bandanas around the drink dispensers to give them a more outdoor, gone-fishin’ feel.¬†¬†A¬†basket was placed in the middle of the table with a big wide mouth bass popping out and a cute little fishing pole tucked inside.¬† The fish netting held pictures of Brooks fishing with our family from the time he was barely big enough to walk!

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Our party game was to use fish nets to catch little blow up fish.  The kids took the fish home to use as bath toys in a pail along with some goldfish crackers and Nemo coloring book.

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We had a fish pi√Īata for the kids to bust upon leaving and get even more sugar fueled for the ride home! Grandma and Bugga helped pass out balloons to the kids as they left!

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Of course, my little buddy is a true daddy’s boy so the best way to end the post on this very special day is a precious picture of the two of them.¬† Mama and Daddy love you, Brooks!

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Birthdays are Best {Part II}

I shared a glimpse into the first birthday party we had for Brooks yesterday¬†and today I’m moving on to part II.¬†¬†His second¬†birthday was all about airplanes!¬† Our little buster Brooks took on a healthy obsession with aircrafts over the course of his first beach trip!¬† From the moment the first airplane carrying an advertisement banner flew by our condo window¬†on the 8th floor, Brooks was hooked.¬† He would scream “aaaa-plane” and “heti-cotter” as they whizzed past.¬† From there,¬†his next birthday theme was born.¬† My wheels started turning as I put on my party planner pilot hat!

Zazzle invitations again!¬† You just can’t go wrong with their prices!¬† Brooks sweet little monogrammed airplane outfit is from an Etsy shop called¬†Criss Cross Applesauce.

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My dining table held the food buffet again and I used a cake plate to display the framed invitation and some cute little aviator sunglasses!

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Hanging from the chandelier {that has since been replaced, don’t worry! lol}, I painted a foam airplane that I came across at a kid’s consignment store.¬† Flanked by a couple whimsical curled ribbons, it turned out pretty festive!

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We served a lot of the same items as on his first birthday party menu.¬† Who can forget popcorn and m&m’s and monogrammed cookies?!

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Outside, we set up the drink station under the porch and I added a little signage made out of an old shutter I painted and some burlap letters that said “Drink Cart”

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I ordered pilot hats for the kiddos to sport.  Of course, the grown ups got into them too ; )

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Another outside table held his birthday cake and an old window frame that I attached pictures of Brooks to from when he was a teeny baby up until his 2nd birthday.  Time flies, indeed!

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And our wish that day eventually came true!¬† Can you guess what we wished for?!¬† His birthday will be in October, there’s a hint!

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Birthdays are Best {Part I}

As my babies are getting bigger, I’ve been taking a look back at old photos and videos just reliving when Brooks was Banks’ age and before we even knew we would be blessed with another child!¬† As my nostalgia has set in pretty heavy over the past few days, I thought what better way to relive those little moments than to do a series of blog posts on my oldest baby’s birthday parties!¬† Prior to sweet Banks coming into our family, I threw three special birthday parties for his big bro.¬† I’d like to share them as I weepily {but happily!} walk down memory lane with you.

Brooks Turns One

This day was both¬†joyful and emotional for his Daddy and I.¬† We were so happy to have so many friends and family come celebrate this big milestone in our little one’s life.¬† We had a Fireman themed birthday as he was super into fire trucks at this age!

The blue B door hanger welcomed guests and really popped against our red door!

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The toy fire truck below housed some pretty white flowers and I stacked it up on¬†a basket with red burlap fabric draped over the basket to give the arrangement some height.¬† Brooks’ great aunt, Mary Ellen,¬†gave him this firetruck when he was first-born.¬† She had it sent to our hospital room with some beautiful flowers and balloons attached to it to welcome him into the world! It was only fitting to use here on his very 1st birthday!!

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The invitations were custom from Zazzle.  I highly recommend Zazzle for prints, signage and invitations.

We served a lot of yummy food!  Our all time fave party food is from Chicken Salad Chick.  Their platters come in your choice of flavor so we like original and also cheddar, ranch and bacon.  Yum!

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Pasta salad is always a good go-to for parties because most everyone loves it as a side and it’s filling.¬† You can add many ingredients to dress it up too!¬† Sometimes we add cherry tomatoes, Kalamata olives, and marinated artichokes.¬† Pimento cheese {homemade¬†by these wonderful¬†ladies in South Ga who are so dear to my heart} is a must have in my household!¬†We are Southern, after all.¬† For this birthday, we served it with crackers as a spread.¬† In addition, salty popcorn with sweet m&m’s are a good snack that both adults and kids will indulge in!

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I’ve always been a monogram girl.¬† If I had a monogram machine….yikes, I would likely spontaneously combust!¬† Of course, when we have any kind of event at our home I break out the monogrammed cookies!¬† This particular year, we went with Baker’s Man¬†which is located really close to home.¬† He did an amazing job! Fire hydrant cookies with white piping and Brooks’ monogram.¬† Yes, please!

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These precious fire truck napkins were custom from Etsy.  The Etsy shop is Little Chicklets.  Go check them out!

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This custom sign was from Zazzle.

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Have you ever seen a cuter fireman?  I picked up fire hats from our local Firehouse Subs and they were kind enough to give me enough for our wee little party goers to sport.

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Dylan and I are forever grateful to Angel Wings Photography for capturing this perfect celebration!

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Stay tuned this week as I post his second and third birthday parties!

Pretty in Pink

Some days call for a simple tablescape.  Others call for a little Pretty in Pink! Since my days revolve around all things boy, {my 8 month old baby boy, my 3 1/2 year old baby boy and my big 32 year old hubby boy} sometimes a girl just needs to incorporate a little pink into the mix!

To celebrate my newly painted WHITE dining room.  Yep, I said white!  I decided what better way to mellow out all things male in my house than by setting up a pink table.  Revenge is mine!!

After a few hours of painting on Saturday, I had a little energy left thanks to my morning Pure Barre class to go the distance and set the table!  The great thing about PBC {Pure Barre Cumming} is that I come out of there with the strength of a man while still having my femininity fully in tact!  That class is simply amazing!! I adore all the ladies there! Go check it out if you live near Cumming, Ga.

I styled away and came up with this bit of prettiness below.¬† I’m itching to decorate your next dinner party, baby shower, bridal shower, birthday party, you name it!¬† Gimme a shout!

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Trays Many Ways

My favorite way to collect items into a grouping is by using trays.¬† There are so many cute ones out there.¬† If you just walk through the door at Home Goods one may hit you in the face! Quite literally.¬† I adore Home Goods.¬† Don’t you?¬†¬†I could spend hours in there! Hours and hours and hours.¬† I digress.¬† Here are some¬†suggestions on¬†how¬†to use trays to group your items.¬† Whether it be for serving refreshments, for organization, or even for a pretty little guest room tray filled with goodies to welcome out-of-town guests.¬† The sky is the limit!¬† Speaking of, I need another tray for my toiletries and makeup some kind of fierce!

I use trays on the dining table often to group refreshments and food.¬† It’s so much more inviting when you have company over.¬† The glasses are there, the beverage is there and I usually add a touch of fruit when I’m simply serving sparkling water.¬† Fruit just adds a little “pretty.”¬† A simple table runner underneath and my favorite flower perched nearby make a nice looking, welcoming¬†ensemble.

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A white tray is a great way to showcase food.¬† Below was from¬†a get together with my best gal pal!¬† Sushi out of the take out box and onto a white platter and you’re all set!

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Cheese boards are a fave of mine and I love to serve on rustic cutting boards or wooden trays.¬† Drizzle some local organic honey on top of Stilton or blue cheese and serve some yummy baguette slices and there’s a fun party!

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Here, I used a tray to hold some apple juice and placed some sparkling water so guests could add a little effervescence!  Float fresh granny smith apple slices in the juice to give it a little more visual interest and dress it up!

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Another fun way to use trays besides for food and beverages is a lovely grouping of goodies for out-of-town guests.¬† I use trays to hold soaps, body wash, a book or magazine and yummy smelling candle.¬† Rest the tray onto the guest room bed and it’s ready for your guests to enjoy! You could always add a little notepad with your wi-fi password written down or a personalized welcome note.

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Finally, a tray on a dining table holding flowers and candles is always a good idea.¬†A simple grouping.¬† Nothing cluttered.¬† You’ll have a clean, crisp table waiting for you when coming home from a stressful work day!¬† As you can tell, I love using trays in many ways.

 

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Al Fresco Dining

My husband and I love to eat outdoors as often as we can.¬† So much so, we have a dining room table on our back porch!¬† I’ve done a few tablescapes over the last month¬†that I’d like to share.¬† Whether we have friends over or just a little date for two after the kids go to bed, outdoor dining just seems to suit us.

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This chicken was so yummy but the last time we will see this meal for a while!  A low carb diet has officially commenced at my house! : )

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Below¬†is another table setting when I was feeling the need for some color! I love these salmon colored plates and they work so well with the pop of pink in my flower arrangement.¬†¬†It’s very airy and¬†fun for summer!

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This recipe is super simple! Spiral 1 zucchini and 1 squash, add in cherry tomatoes and toss with balsamic dressing. A cinch! And very healthy to boot!

Finally, this last table setting was for an at-home wine tasting we did when my best friend from college came to visit us! We set up a variety of wines to taste and afterward, we had Blue Point oysters and fish tacos for dinner!  The wine came from a local tasting room, Talk of the Table, which has quickly become one of our fave spots! We have fireflies in our backyard that go nuts this time of year so after the sun set, we enjoyed their little pops of light.  So relaxing!  And such great company!

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