3rd Birthday Party

We recently celebrated our sweet son’s 3rd birthday, and what fun we had! I still can’t believe he’s 3 years old – time is going by so very fast! While I’ve always tried to cherish every minute of our boy’s childhoods, I’m finding myself holding on tighter than ever. These years are so precious and I am savoring every minute and every stage of life with them.

Back to the party! Since C is a summer birthday, we decided a pool party would be the perfect way to celebrate. What toddler doesn’t love to splash and swim on a hot summer day? C chose a construction theme, which is only fitting since he adores all things trucks, cranes and excavators. Once he had his heart set on the theme, it was off to the races with planning, and I found these darling invitations by our favorite stationery designer (we love Lucy!), which inspired the entire look of the party. Lucy designed adorable invites that combined C’s construction passion – cue the dump trucks! – with the charm of a third birthday.

We opted for simple and sweet party decor, featuring a bright and cheerful color scheme of yellow, red, blue and green. These Meri Meri plates and napkins stole my heart, and paired with the royal blue table clothes made for a swoon worthy toddler table setting. Multicolored confetti, party blowers, and shiny yellow construction party hats added festive bursts of color to the table, and a construction themed coloring activity and crayons kept the little ones busy post-swim. The kids nibbled on chicken fingers, waffle cut fries and fruit for lunch, as well as blue confetti birthday cake, and took home blue and green bubble wands  as party favors. As you can imagine, C enjoyed his party beyond words!

So what have I learned now that I’ve planned three birthday parties for our son? My biggest pieces of advice are to plan ahead and be organized, choose a theme that’s special to your child, offer an activity for the children, and of course delicious food and cake. At the end of the day, your child will love whatever party you host, be it a small family gathering or get together with their friends. Also, be sure to snap a handful of pictures to remember the day. And as always, have fun!

Next up is baby brother’s first birthday, and we’ll be celebrating with a “Our Little Pumpkin is Turing 1” theme. Stay tuned for all the details!

Top 5 Coffee Table Books

While the time honored adage of “everything in moderation” typically applies, when it comes to beautiful literature (and dessert!), the more the better! I truly don’t think you can ever have too many fabulous books. Not only do they enrich a home, but they are a great conversation piece with guests. As soon as I had my own apartment after college, I began collecting coffee table books, seeking out colorful and ornate covers, color coding spines, and curating a library of my favorites. I remember the very first coffee table book that I purchased – The Audrey Hepburn Treasures. I found it while exploring the gift gallery at Barney’s, and spotted it prouldy perched atop a stack of interior design books. There was something about Audrey’s playful smile on the cover and the pastel pink binding, that I knew I had to have it. 

Over the years, and even as recent as our move this summer, I have continued to collect books and expand my collection. Why do I love these books so much? Where do I begin! They offer exquisite photography, endless inspiration, interesting stories, and of course an element of chicness to any room. I tend to gravitate towards interior design an entertaining books, however I think it’s important to diversify one’s content, and so I also have some gorgeous fashion, travel, and even nature books mixed in. As you create your own collection, use your passion (fashion, table setting, etc.) as the foundation for the collection, and then incorporate other topics so you too can have a nice mix. Also, be sure to check out my post on how to style your bookshelves. Styling shelves sounds simple and easy enough, but it’s really an art, as you want to strike the perfect balance between height and color, and form and function. And so, here are my top five favorite coffee table books that I adore and think you will too. Enjoy!

Carolyn Rhoem, A Passion for Blue & White

An ode to the most coveted color combination, this book will steal your heart. It’s filled with interior design and table setting inspiration, and the perfect addition to your library or even a gift for a friend. Trust me, you need this book!

Big Book of Chic

Read the title and need I say more? It’s what ever chic gal needs, and the simple yet bold cover – a white book jacket with scarlet red lettering – adds an air of sophistication to any bookshelf. My best friend gave this to me for my birthday a few years ago, and it has since been my absolutely favorite.

Charlotte Moss

Charlotte Moss knows a thing or two about table setting and interior design, and this book is a testament to her talents. The cover itself – blue and white ginger jars filled with striking orange and yellow blooms – is perfection and truly sets the tone for this special book.

Tory Burch In Color

I had the pleasure of hearing Tory Burch speak in 2014 when she launched this stunning book. She is as engaging, brilliant, and inspiring as you would imagine, and every time I see this book on our shelf, I think of what an incredible role model she is. I will always remember her words from that day – “If it doesn’t scare you, you’re probably not dreaming big enough.”

Veranda The Art of Outdoor Living

I love all of Veranda’s books for their elegant aesthetic and shelf presence. There is something about this book in particular though with its cover featuring lush emerald hued greenery that always captures my attention.

 

Back to School Etiquette

I hope everyone’s week is going well. I had the pleasure of guest posting on one of my favorite blogs this week – Not My Circus – written by my friend, Hannah Hairston. Not My Circus  is a beautifully written and designed lifestyle journal that celebrates modern motherhood, personal style, and a healthy lifestyle, and Hannah is a mom to two precious little girls. With four darling kiddos between us and school around the corner, it was only fitting that I share my tips on back to school etiquette (it’s never too early to teach our children about great manners!), and so I hope you’ll visit her blog and take a read. I’ve also posted some of the tips below, and as always, email me at mustbringbuns@gmail.com if you have any etiquette questions.


Our little boy is starting preschool in a couple of weeks, and preparing for his first day and the coming school year has opened my eyes to an entirely new world. His seersucker backpack is monogrammed, first day of school outfit selected, new shoes purchased, and I even had precious little blue dump truck labels made for his water bottle and lunchbox. He’s ready to go!

Preparing for school is more than just monogramming a backpack, coordinating calendars and packing lunches though. It’s making sure our children can shine as their best selves, and helping them to have a great first day, and in turn, a great year. We can help them to shine like the little stars that they are by giving them a foundation for good manners, and that starts at home. So parents, sharpen those pencils as I share my top tips on back to school etiquette. Wishing everyone a fantastic school year!

Punctuality: Talk to your children about what time school starts (and ends) the importance of being on time. Explain that if they are late, the whole family will likely feel stressed and flustered, and it will disrupt the class. Make sure and wake them up in the morning (or if they are old enough, show them how to set their alarm clock) at least an hour before school so they have plenty of time to eat breakfast, get dressed, etc., and try to stick to a consistent morning routine. That way, they will know what to expect and it will make it easier on both of you.

Magic Words: Please & Thank You: Whether 2 or 12 years old, it’s oh so important to always say please and thank you. These powerful words show gratitude and respect and are the ABC’s of good manners.

Looking your best: Clean clothes, brushed hair, brushed teeth, clean face – kids need to look their best so they can feel their best and be confident. Talk to your children about making a great first impression with their teacher and classmates on the first day, and how that begins with taking pride in one’s appearance.

Be prepared: If you have younger children, this applies more to you, Mom and Dad. Make sure and read all of the letters and emails from your child’s school so you can send them with whatever it is that they need, be it chocolate chip cookies for the bake sale or a costume for dress-up day. Also, be sure to communicate any allergies or other need-to-know info with your child’s teacher and school.

Respect the teacher: You will likely have an opportunity to “meet the teacher” before school starts, and so be sure to remind your child of their teacher’s name and how to properly address them – Miss, Mrs., Mr. X. Also, remind them that the teacher is in charge, and the importance of listening to them and following directions, as well as talking to them if there is a problem.

Respect classmates: Just as we encourage children to respect their siblings and friends, they need to also respect their classmates. This means striving to always be kind, friendly, empathetic and inclusive. Additionally, its paramount that we help our children have compassion for children who might be different from them, and teach them how to embrace their classmates and their differences.

Playground behavior: Playgrounds are a time for children to run around, have fun and get all those wiggles out! That said, it is not ok to push, pull hair, name call, cut in line, etc. Instead, encourage your child to take turns, share toys, make new friends, and follow the school’s safety rules. This goes for sportsmanship too – help your children learn how to celebrate wins, and accept losses and above all maintain a positive attitude.

Classroom behavior: When inside the classroom, children need to use their inside voices and listen to the teacher. If they are standing up in their chair or interrupting the teacher while she’s reading a story, it will disrupt the class and make it hard for the other children to enjoy school.

Wellness: Again, mom and dad this one’s for you. If your child is sick, please keep them home and be considerate of the other children in the class who don’t want to fall ill.