Foodless Box of Sunshine & the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

I’m going to divert from my usual party planning post to talk about something close to my heart. There are two items that have taken social media by storm in the past couple years–boxes of sunshine on Pinterest, and more recently, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. I’m going to start off with a personal story; if you would prefer to just see my most recent Box of Sunshine, feel free to skip to the end.

IMG_9154This is my gramps. A week and half ago, he died after a rather horrific 18 month struggle with ALS. And not just the normal type of ALS, which typically starts in your limbs, but a particularly cruel form, which started in his neck and throat area. His speech and ability to swallow were immediately affected, and within 8 months of being diagnosed, he had a feeding tube and could no longer talk. He spent the last 10 months of his life unable to talk, and in the end, was basically incapable of communicating. It was tragic to see a man who had always been so healthy and full of life slowly become entombed in his own body. 

I have always been extremely close to my grandparents; I spent countless weeks at their house during summer vacations growing up. These visits continued well into my 20s until I moved across the country 10 years ago. Living over 3,000 miles away, I found it very frustrating to be able to do so little to help my grandparents during this difficult time. My one idea was to send my them a Box of Sunshine to try to encourage them and bring some light and love into their struggle. A few years ago, I sent a box of sunshine to my mother in law when she had foot surgery. I found all sorts of cute yellow and orange items to put in it, including lots of food and drink items (you can see that box here).  However, this wouldn’t really work in this situation because of my grandpa’s inability to swallow or eat. So I had to think outside the box (of sunshine) and find items specifically for him and his situation. Below is what I came up with; I hope it inspires and encourages others as they seek to bring much needed warmth and sunshine in the lives of those suffering.

I’d also like to briefly comment on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. I have blown away by the response to this challenge. And whether or not you are irritated by videos clogging your social media feed, upset by excessive water usage, or annoyed by the seeming narcissism running rampant, I am so thankful for not the just money being donated to ALS research, but the awareness that there now is about this disease. There is so little known about ALS, even in the medical community–my grandpa always had to double check with his specific ALS doctor after meeting with any other medical professional because so many know so little about this horrific disease. Families affected by ALS are thankful for those participating in the Ice Bucket Challenge and what it means for research. My prayer is that others will not have to suffer as my grandfather did. So thank you to all those who have participated.

For more information on ALS, please visit the ALS Association webpage.

Foodless Box of Sunshine

 Disclaimer: Technically this isn’t a completely foodless box because I did add some Peanut Butter Cups and Peanut M&Ms for my Grandma. Caregivers need encouragement too.

Foodless Box of Sunshine | Marigold Mom

Each item was specifically intended for either my grandma or my grandpa or for specific rooms of their home. I wanted pops of yellow everywhere they went to remind them that I was thinking about and pray for them.

For my grandma, I sent candy, nail polish, and chapstick. For my grandpa, I sent Carmex, napkins (he had drooling issues due to his inability to control the muscles in his mouth), and a back massager for the neck and back pain he had. I also sent washcloths for the bathroom, soap and a dishtowel for the kitchen, framed Scripture prints I’d designed–one for their bedroom and one for the living room. I also sent pictures of my kids in yellow, as well as hand and food warmers because my grandpa kept the house at 68 degrees to help make it easier to breath. Oh, and a silly yellow bumble bee toy thingie. When I was born, my grandparents came to the hospital with the first gift they ever gave me–not a doll or teddy bear, but a giant stuffed bumble bee. It only felt right to send it to them. Finally, I designed little tags for each item so they would know exactly how it was to be used.

Foodless Box of Sunshine | Marigold Mom

Foodless Box of Sunshine | Marigold Mom

Foodless Box of Sunshine | Marigold Mom

Foodless Box of Sunshine | Marigold Mom

Foodless Box of Sunshine | Marigold Mom

Foodless Box of Sunshine | Marigold Mom

Foodless Box of Sunshine | Marigold Mom

Foodless Box of Sunshine | Marigold Mom

Foodless Box of Sunshine | Marigold Mom

Foodless Box of Sunshine | Marigold Mom

Foodless Box of Sunshine | Marigold Mom

 

Remembering Gramps

My grandfather was an amazing man left an incredible legacy. Being his first born grandchild, he wanted me to speak at his funeral. I was honored to remember him to those at his memorial service and thought I’d share my memories with you also. 

IMG_9143

Many people never have the opportunity to know their grandparents well. I, however, have had the privilege to not just know mine, but to also have a very close relationship with them. My mom often tells me of the time they came walking into her hospital room right after I was born, my grandpa carrying a large stuffed bumblebee picked out especially for me by him.  And in her words, her parents morphed before her eyes and changed into people she barely recognized. Well my arrival may have changed them a bit but, they were a major influence in my life, helping to shape me into the person I am today.

As I have reflect on my grandfather’s influence in my life, there wasn’t one big memory that stood out. Instead there were a myriad of seemingly insignificant memories that, when combined, encompass the essence of who he was.

There’s the man everyone knew…the one who was retired Air Force turned life insurance salesman with impeccable handwriting. Who was always immaculately dressed with a perfectly knotted tie. Or on casual days in his Michigan gear. Who love coffee–black of course. Who loved his church, teaching Sunday school, leading singing. And who dogmatically stood for truth, integrity and Christ. Regardless of whether or not you agreed with him, you couldn’t help but respect him.

Then there’s the grandpa I knew.  The one who met me with a bumblebee instead of a doll or teddy bear. Who could be recognized not by the coffee in his hand, but on his breath when he hugged you close. The one who bought me milk and a donut to go with his coffee and donut, first at Mr. Donut, then (somewhat grudgingly) at Dunkin Donuts. Followed by feeding the ducks at Silver Lake, back when it was still safe to go there. And when I got older, bought me my own cup of coffee. The grandpa who built amazing sandcastles every summer at Rehobeth beach, then fought the seagulls off his Thrashers fries. Who took me on exciting trips to places New York City, Washington, D.C., Florida, and California. And took me to do fun things I probably would not have had the opportunity to do otherwise, things like Broadway shows, presidential inaugurations, and Disney world. He was one of my biggest supporters and cheerleaders, and I don’t know that he or grandma ever missed a birthday, school concert or performance. From backyard plays with the Helms sisters, to Faith Community Church picnic talent shows, to Christmas concerts, he and grandma were at every event. I remember, as a small child, watching in fascination as he took out his dentures and meticulously brushed them. And then attempting to model that same brushing technique when I got my retainer years later. There was the time he, grandma and I all crawled into their bed and ate ice cream. And the time he told my husband that if he wanted to marry me he had to have life insurance. He sat him down right there, pulled out the paperwork and asked for his credit card. I remember his stories–you’ve heard him tell one of his stories right? It’s like you were right there with him when it happened. The details; the dramatic pauses; sometimes even tears. Or how he’d look at me and hold my face when he was getting ready to say something important. His infectious laugh. And I remember the first time we found that book “I’ll love you forever”; you know that book? No one can get through it without crying. He was no different, but he read it to us, tears streaming down his cheeks. There are so many memories and moments etched in my mind; I could go on and on. But what stood out to me more than anything was his unwavering commitment to Jesus Christ and His Word. The man you saw on Sundays or at the office was the same man that came home and lived with his family. There was no difference between the Ken Sparks you knew and the husband, dad and grandpa we knew. And I knew I could always count on him for godly counsel and wisdom, for prayer, and most importantly, for complete adherence to the truth of God’s word. And in the midst of losing him, this knowledge has brought unspeakable comfort.

You see, despite being the amazing man that we all knew, Grandpa knew the truth: that he was a sinner in desperate need of a Savior’s grace and forgiveness. And he had submitted himself entirely to Jesus Christ as Lord, living his life to honor Christ alone. And When he died, grandpa walked right into the arms of the Lord and Savior he loved so much. He believed, just as I do, the words of John 11:25 & 26 where Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet will he live. And whoever lives and believes in me shall never die.” This is our comfort and this is our hope. His body may have died, but his soul is alive with Christ in glory. And those of us who also love Christ will one day see him again.

I’d like to close with the refrain from that book grandpa read to me all those years ago, tweaking it just a bit to fit the occasion:

I’ll love you forever. I’ll like you for always. As long as I’m living, my grandpa you’ll be.

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Peter Pan Neverland Birthday Party

 Come with us where dreams are born
and time is never planned….
Never Never Land
Peter Pan Neverland Birthday Party | Marigold Mom

This is my son, Henry. And he loves all things Peter Pan. When I asked what kind of party he wanted for this 3rd birthday, I was not at all surprised that he answered without hesitation, “I want a Peter Pan birthday!” So that’s what Mama delivered.
Peter Pan Neverland Birthday Party | Marigold Mom

I have to admit, after a quick browse of Pinterest for ideas, I was extremely frustrated. I mean, have you seen the Peter Pan parties out there? They are so amazingly elaborate, a normal human being could never compete. And understandably so…there are so many things you can do with a Peter Pan/Neverland theme. After crying to my husband, he reminded me of my goal when it comes to events: to create beautiful, fun and affordable events. So I dried my eyes and decided to do just that. I DIYed literally everything–invite, printables, treasure maps, signs, goody bags, skull rock & crocodile paintings, the backdrop, banners, garlands, etc.

Peter Pan Neverland Birthday Party | Marigold MomTheme:

For this Peter Pan Neverland party, we invited our friends to join for us Peter Pancakes in Neverland (aka our local park full of nice big trees and a play structure that could resemble a pirate ship with a little imagination) as their favorite Neverland character. We turned the park into Neverland with stations to represent the various landmarks on the island. Each of these stations also hosted activities for the treasure hunt (see Activities & Favors section).  Some areas were as simple as a chair and sign; others were more elaborate.

The Night Sky leading to Neverland
Peter Pan Neverland Birthday Party Backdrop | Marigold Mom

Indian CampPeter Pan Neverland Birthday Party with teepee and easy DIY camp fire | Marigold Mom

Skull Rock
Peter Pan Neverland Birthday Party - Skull Rock - Cubby, Jake and the Neverland Pirates Costume | Marigold Mom

Mermaid Lagoon
Peter Pan Neverland Birthday Party | Marigold Mom

Peter Pan Neverland Birthday Party - Mermaid DIY bubble gum peal necklaces | Marigold Mom

Pixie Hollow
Peter Pan Neverland Birthday Party - Pixie Dust | Marigold Mom

Crocodile Creek
Peter Pan Neverland Birthday Party | Marigold Mom

Cannibal Cove
My son particularly likes pirates and Captain Hook, so I decided to make our dessert table pirate themed. It was probably my favorite part of the day! And the kids seemed to really like it as well. I made Captain Hook’s Canon Balls (Oreo truffles); Karen from Karen’s Custom Cakes made our pirate ship cake; the cupcake toppers were my splurge–I ordered them from Pirate Desserts on Etsy. I loved working with Tammie at Pirate Desserts. When the toppers arrived, some of the hooks were broken; she had replacements sent out the next day and they arrived just in time for the party. I highly recommend her and her amazing toppers!

Peter Pan Neverland Birthday Party - Pirate Dessert Table | Marigold Mom

Peter Pan Neverland Birthday Party - Pirate Ship Cake | Marigold Mom

Peter Pan Neverland Birthday Party - Pirate Desserts & Captain Hook's Canon Balls | Marigold Mom

Peter Pan Neverland Birthday Party - Pirate Dessert & Captain Hook's Canon Balls | Marigold Mom

Peter Pan Neverland Birthday Party - Pirate Dessert | Marigold Mom

Peter Pan Neverland Birthday Party - Pirate Dessert | Marigold Mom

Peter Pan Neverland Birthday Party Pirate - Pirate Dessert & Captain Hook's Canon Balls | Marigold Mom

Peter Pan Neverland Birthday Party - Pirate Dessert & Captain Hook's Canon Balls  | Marigold Mom

Peter Pan Neverland Birthday Party - Pirate Dessert | Marigold Mom

Peter Pan Neverland Birthday Party - Pirate Dessert & Captain Hook's Canon Balls  | Marigold Mom

 

Food:

Peter Pan Neverland Birthday Party Food | Marigold MomWe held our party in the morning so we could serve Peter Pancakes. The rest of our menu included items that represented various Neverland characters.  I made sure to plan food that could be made ahead of time as there aren’t many cooking options at the park. The one exception was the pancakes for the grown-ups (I made dollar pancakes ahead of time for the kiddos); my hubby flipped those over a charcoal grill:

  • Peter Pancakes
  • Crocodile (Turkey) Sausage
  • Nana’s Nasty Tonic (Maple Syrup)
  • Mr. Smee’s Whipped Cream
  • Wendy Darling’s Vanilla Yogurt
  • Lost Boy’s Granola
  • Tinker Bell’s Fairy Fruit
  • Mermaid Lagoon Hard Boiled Eggs

Peter Pan Neverland Birthday Party Food | Marigold Mom

Peter Pan Neverland Birthday Party Food - Tinker Bell Fairy Fruit | Marigold Mom

Peter Pan Neverland Birthday Party Food - Mermaid Lagoon Pearls | Marigold Mom

Peter Pan Neverland Birthday Party Food - Lost Boys Granola | Marigold Mom

Peter Pan Neverland Birthday Party Food - Mr. Smee's shaving cream & Nana's Nasty Tonic | Marigold Mom

Peter Pan Neverland Birthday Party | Marigold Mom

Peter Pan Neverland Birthday Party Food - Peter PanCakes | Marigold Mom

Peter Pan Neverland Birthday Party Food & Drink | Marigold Mom

 

Activities & Favors

Peter Pan Neverland Birthday Party Games & Activities | Marigold Mom

Our activities and favors were combined. At the Indian Camp, the boys could make Red Man headbands to wear and/or take home with them. At Mermaid Lagoon, the girls could make bubble gum pearl necklaces. And the big finale was a treasure hunt that ended at Pirate Cove where the children had to battle a pirate to get their treasure/favors. 

Red Man Headbands

Peter Pan Neverland Birthday Party Games & Activities - DIY Native American Headbands | Marigold Mom

The Red Man Headbands station was set up at the Indian Camp. The boys cut out their headband (I used this template), then could color it in, add feathers, and tape it on their head. We let the girls make them too because they were just so fun.

Bubble Gum Pearl Necklaces
Peter Pan Neverland Birthday Party Games & Activities - DIY Mermaid Pearl Necklace | Marigold Mom

The Bubble Gum Pearl Necklace station was set up at Mermaid Lagoon. Yes, those are actual gum balls, and yes, I actually drilled holes in every single one so they would thread onto the ribbon. But they were so cute and fun and the girls LOVED them. What girl wouldn’t love them? I think some boys snuck in on this one too (can you blame them?) This was a great party activity!

Peter Pan Neverland Birthday Party Games & Activities - DIY Mermaid Pearl Necklace  | Marigold Mom Peter Pan Neverland Birthday Party | Marigold Mom

Peter Pan Neverland Birthday Party | Marigold Mom

Treasure Hunt
Peter Pan Neverland Birthday Party Games, Activities & Favors - Pirate Treasure Chest | Marigold Mom

I don’t know how the kids felt about the treasure hunt, but it was my favorite part of the party. It was husband’s idea (all my really good ideas are his) and was so much fun to put together! We outfitted the children with a map, a Tinkerbell or Peter Pan goody bag, and “telescope” and sent them to each section of Neverland where they had to complete a task in order to receive their next clue. 

Peter Pan Neverland Birthday Party Games, Activities & Favors - Treasure Hunt | Marigold Mom

Peter Pan Neverland Birthday Party Party Games, Activities & Favors - Treasure Hunt | Marigold Mom

Peter Pan Neverland Birthday Party Party Games, Activities & Favors - Treasure Hunt | Marigold Mom

Peter Pan Neverland Birthday Party Party Games, Activities & Favors - Treasure Hunt | Marigold Mom

 Our treasure hunt started off at the Indian Camp where everyone had to dance around the fire and chant.

Peter Pan Neverland Birthday Party Party Games, Activities & Favors | Marigold Mom

Peter Pan Neverland Birthday Party Games, Activities & Favors - Teepee and DIY camp fire | Marigold Mom

The campfire was made out of tissue paper, paper towel rolls, and foam blocks spray painted grey.

Peter Pan Neverland Birthday Party Games, Activities & Favors | Marigold Mom

From there, we ran to Hangman’s Tree, which is also the hideout of Peter Pan and the Lost Boys. And in typical Lost Boy fashion, each guest had use a sling shot to shoot a bouncy ball (which is much safer than a rock).

From there, we ran to Hangman's Tree, which is also

Next we swam to Skull Rock where everyone had to yell, “Hook is a codfish!” into an echophone. It was pretty epic listening to all of them shout into that thing. 

Peter Pan Neverland Birthday Party Games, Activities & Favors | Marigold Mom

Peter Pan Neverland Birthday Party Games, Activities & Favors - Skull Rock | Marigold Mom

 After establishing the fact that Hook is indeed a codfish, we went to Mermaid Lagoon. Each child had to dive deep into waters (aka ball pit balls) of Mermaid Lagoon and retrieve a “pearl” (aka old golf ball from a box in my garage). They were also free to wade around for a bit if the urge hit.

Peter Pan Neverland Birthday Party Games, Activities & Favors - Mermaid Lagoon diving for pearls | Marigold Mom

Peter Pan Neverland Birthday Party Games, Activities & Favors - Mermaid Lagoon diving for pearls | Marigold Mom

Crocodile Creek was the next stop. The task was to toss a bean bag through the croc’s mouth. Or get your picture taken with your head in his mouth. Or throw a bean bag at your brother’s head in the croc’s mouth. Anything can happen with 3-5 year olds. And not to brag, but I DIYed this one. I didn’t think I could draw or paint at all, but apparently there’s a recessive gene buried deep down somewhere. I was just a little pleased with how this one turned out.

Peter Pan Neverland Birthday Party Games, Activities & Favors - Crocodile Bean Bag Toss | Marigold Mom

Peter Pan Neverland Birthday Party Games, Activities & Favors - Crocodile Bean Bag Toss | Marigold Mom

Peter Pan Neverland Birthday Party Games, Activities & Favors - Crocodile Bean Bag Toss | Marigold Mom

If anyone survived their encounter with the croc, they were to proceed to Pixie Hollow. There they could sprinkle some pixie dust on themselves and fly away on the swings. By the way, don’t ever sprinkle glitter in child’s hair. You will still find it weeks (and possibly months) later. 

Peter Pan Neverland Birthday Party Games, Activities & Favors - Tinker Bell's Pixie Dust | Marigold Mom

Peter Pan Neverland Birthday Party | Marigold Mom

Peter Pan Neverland Birthday Party | Marigold MomNext, our guests were to land on the Jolly Roger and walk the plank, because naturally, they would never become pirates and join Captain Hook’s crew. 

Peter Pan Neverland Birthday Party Games, Activities & Favors - Pirate Ship Walk the Plank | Marigold Mom

 

The final challenge was the greatest: to defeat the pirate defending the treasure chest (and the dessert). 

Peter Pan Neverland Birthday Party | Marigold Mom

Peter Pan Neverland Birthday Party | Marigold MomAnd finally, a chest full of party favor treasures awaited them.

Peter Pan Neverland Birthday Party Games, Activities & Favors - Pirate Treasure Chest | Marigold Mom

Peter Pan Neverland Birthday Party Games, Activities & Favors - Pirate Treasure Chest | Marigold Mom

Peter Pan Neverland Birthday Party Games, Activities & Favors - Pirate Treasure Chest | Marigold Mom

Peter Pan Neverland Birthday Party Games, Activities & Favors - Pirate Treasure Chest | Marigold Mom

Peter Pan Neverland Birthday Party | Marigold Mom

 

Photo Booth & Neverland Characters

It was so fun seeing all the children come dressed as their favorite Neverland characters! All the fairies and mermaids and pirates were simply too adorable! We also had a photo booth (which ironically I had absolutely no pictures of and had to email everyone to try and get some photos) with some absolutely darling (no pun intended) props I found Etsy.

Peter Pan Neverland Birthday Party - Tinker Bell & Peter Pan Costumes | Marigold Mom

My very own Tink and Pan

Peter Pan Neverland Birthday Party - Cubby from Jake and the Neverland Pirates Costume | Marigold Mom

Cubby (from Jake & the Neverland Pirates) 

Peter Pan Neverland Birthday Party - Darling Children Costumes - Wendy, John & Michael Costumes | Marigold Mom

Wendy, John & Michael

Peter Pan Neverland Birthday Party - Wendy Darling & Peter Pan Costumes | Marigold Mom

Wendy & Peter

Peter Pan Neverland Birthday Party | Marigold Mom

Twin Tinks (though I think one lost her skirt)

Peter Pan Neverland Birthday Party - Izzy from Jake and the Neverland Pirates Costume | Marigold Mom

Izzy (from Jake and the Neverland Pirates)

Peter Pan Neverland Birthday Party - Peter Pan, Cubby, Jake and the Neverland Pirates Costumes | Marigold Mom

Cubby, Peter Pan & Jake

Peter Pan Neverland Birthday Party | Marigold Mom

Rock Star Peter Pan

Peter Pan Neverland Birthday Party | Marigold Mom

Peter Pan Neverland Birthday Party | Marigold Mom

Peter Pan Neverland Birthday Party - Photo Booth Props | Marigold Mom

Peter Pan Neverland Birthday Party | Marigold Mom

Peter Pan Neverland Birthday Party - Photo Booth Props | Marigold Mom

Peter Pan Neverland Birthday Party | Marigold Mom

 

The Birthday Boy

Wishing my big boy a very happy 3rd birthday! Part of me never wants him to grow up. The other part is ready for him to move out so the hubs and I can go on lots of exotic trips and spoil grandkids. 

Peter Pan Neverland Birthday Party | Marigold Mom

Peter Pan Neverland Birthday Party | Marigold Mom

Peter Pan Neverland Birthday Party | Marigold Mom

Peter Pan Neverland Birthday Party | Marigold Mom

Peter Pan Neverland Birthday Party | Marigold Mom

 

Vendor Credits:

 Event Planning & Styling: Marigold Events

Photography: Emily Strawn Photography

Cake: Karen’s Custom Cakes

Cupcake Toppers: Pirate Desserts

Invitation & Printables: Marigold Mom Designs

Photo Booth Props: Upon a Time Designs

 Peter Pan Neverland Birthday Party Backdrop | Marigold Mom

 

 

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Gender Reveal: Pink & Blue Moccasins

Gender Reveal: What Color Moccasins Will They Be? | Marigold Mom

Moccasins are all the rage right now, aren’t they? I know I want a pair for my daughter SO BAD! I love them! And apparently so does everyone else, including my friend, Tiffany, from Tiffany Nicole Photography. And for her second child’s gender reveal, she chose what we all love best…moccasins! She and I collaborated to create this adorable Pink & Blue Moccasin Gender Reveal with the big question: He or She? What Color Moccasins Will They Be?

If you’ve been pregnant, you know how exhausting it is to have your body creating a new little life, so we kept everything very simple–pizza, chips, and veggies for dinner with cupcakes for dessert. Decor was simple too: balloons, DIY tassel garland, moccasin banner, prints, and cupcake toppers that I created (available in my Etsy shop), and of course, moccasins. It was simple, inexpensive and simply darling. 

I won’t give the big reveal away…you’ll need to go to the bottom to see what they’re having.  :-)

Gender Reveal: What Color Moccasins Will They Be? | Marigold Mom

Gender Reveal: What Color Moccasins Will They Be? | Marigold Mom

Gender Reveal: What Color Moccasins Will They Be? | Marigold Mom

Gender Reveal: What Color Moccasins Will They Be? | Marigold Mom

Gender Reveal: What Color Moccasins Will They Be? | Marigold Mom

Gender Reveal: What Color Moccasins Will They Be? | Marigold Mom

Gender Reveal: What Color Moccasins Will They Be? | Marigold Mom

Gender Reveal: What Color Moccasins Will They Be? | Marigold Mom

Gender Reveal: What Color Moccasins Will They Be? | Marigold Mom

Gender Reveal: What Color Moccasins Will They Be? | Marigold Mom

Gender Reveal: What Color Moccasins Will They Be? | Marigold Mom

Gender Reveal: What Color Moccasins Will They Be? | Marigold Mom

Gender Reveal: What Color Moccasins Will They Be? | Marigold Mom

Gender Reveal: What Color Moccasins Will They Be? | Marigold Mom

Gender Reveal: What Color Moccasins Will They Be? | Marigold Mom

Gender Reveal: What Color Moccasins Will They Be? | Marigold MomDaddy was the keeper of the secret of Baby #2’s gender. And he did a fantastic job keeping his secret. So much so that he had Tiffany convinced she was having a boy. Boy, was she surprised….her face was amazing!

Gender Reveal: What Color Moccasins Will They Be? | Marigold Mom

Gender Reveal: What Color Moccasins Will They Be? | Marigold Mom Gender Reveal: What Color Moccasins Will They Be? | Marigold Mom

Congrats on another precious little girl, Stephen and Tiffany! Can’t wait to meet her!!

 

Vendor Credits:

Photography: Tiffany Nicole Photography

Printables: Marigold Mom Shop

Moccasins: Hello Moccs

Cucpaks: Lady Di’s Cookies

 

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Craft Beer 30th Birthday: Brats & Beer Brew Bash

Craft Beer: 30th Birthday Brats & Beer Brew Bash | Marigold MomSo I’m finally getting this up on the blog. It’s one of my favorite events, and according to my husband, it is THE best event I’ve done. Probably because it was for his 30th birthday and the theme is one of his favorite things–craft beer. He’s dabbled in home brewing for a few years now, and really enjoys finding well made craft beer. And as his big birthday drew closer, the obvious choice for a party for him was a craft beer brew bash.  At first I was going to try to surprise him, but that would have been way too stressful. Plus, he had so much fun anticipating, taste-testing brats and cupcakes, and helping to plan (don’t tell anyone, but most of my best event ideas actually come from his creative genius), it was totally worth it to bring in him on it.

Decor:

My main goal for this event was to keep it classy. I didn’t want a bunch of drunk people cluttering up my house and back yard and disturbing my neighbors. The point of craft beer isn’t drunkenness, it’s appreciation for the drink, much as it is with wine. So we were intentional in our planning. We wanted to essentially have a gastropub in our back yard and went for an industrial feel–bricks, galvanized steel, chalk boards. My husband’s brewing equipment made for great decor and doubled as ice chests. Our fences were covered in Dogfish Head (one of my husband’s favorite breweries) posters. Tables were covered with butcher paper; centerpieces were a beer bottle with wheat and a bucket filled with peanuts on bricks. I created a “Hoppy Birthday” banner, as well as some chalk board style posters. I also made garland out of bottle caps and a craft beer glass silhouette garland. Finally, I bought a beer and pointing finger garland on Etsy.

Craft Beer: 30th Birthday Brats & Beer Brew Bash | Marigold Mom

Craft Beer: 30th Birthday Brats & Beer Brew Bash | Marigold Mom

Craft Beer: 30th Birthday Brats & Beer Brew Bash | Marigold Mom

Craft Beer: 30th Birthday Brats & Beer Brew Bash | Marigold Mom

Craft Beer: 30th Birthday Brats & Beer Brew Bash | Marigold Mom

Craft Beer: 30th Birthday Brats & Beer Brew Bash | Marigold Mom

Craft Beer: 30th Birthday Brats & Beer Brew Bash | Marigold Mom

Craft Beer: 30th Birthday Brats & Beer Brew Bash | Marigold Mom

Craft Beer: 30th Birthday Brats & Beer Brew Bash | Marigold Mom

Craft Beer: 30th Birthday Brats & Beer Brew Bash | Marigold Mom

Food & Drink:

We served brats from a fantastic local butcher, as well as chicken sausage for the more health conscious, along with sauerkraut & caramelized onions and variety of mustards. Our friend, Gary, came up with the remaining menu and catered gourmet gastropub food like cheesy bacon chips, fried pickles, and roasted brussel sprouts with garlic aoli. Finally we served a bunch of munchie, snacky items like soft pretzels, kettle chips, Chex Mix, M&Ms and peanuts.

Obviously, for drinks, we served craft beer. We provided a few growlers from a local brewery, Wolf Creek, then asked each guest to bring a bottle of their favorite craft beer to share. We also served fancy sodas (we have a LOT of pregnant friends right now) and bottled water.

Craft Beer: 30th Birthday Brats & Beer Brew Bash | Marigold Mom

Craft Beer: 30th Birthday Brats & Beer Brew Bash Menu | Marigold Mom

Craft Beer: 30th Birthday Brats & Beer Brew Bash | Marigold Mom

Craft Beer: 30th Birthday Brats & Beer Brew Bash food | Marigold Mom

Craft Beer: 30th Birthday Brats & Beer Brew Bash | Marigold Mom

Craft Beer: 30th Birthday Brats & Beer Brew Bash | Marigold Mom

Craft Beer: 30th Birthday Brats & Beer Brew Bash | Marigold Mom

Craft Beer: 30th Birthday Brats & Beer Brew Bash | Marigold Mom

Craft Beer: 30th Birthday Brats & Beer Brew Bash | Marigold Mom

Craft Beer: 30th Birthday Brats & Beer Brew Bash | Marigold Mom

Craft Beer: 30th Birthday Brats & Beer Brew Bash | Marigold Mom

Craft Beer: 30th Birthday Brats & Beer Brew Bash | Marigold Mom

Craft Beer: 30th Birthday Brats & Beer Brew Bash | Marigold Mom

Warning: Shameless promo ahead!

Dessert was probably my favorite part of the night, being the crazy cake-loving lady that I am. We wanted to serve beer cupcakes, and after scouring the internet for recipes, I found a company in San Diego that makes cupcakes using craft beer and actually sells their cake mixes! It was perfect! Except for one thing–at the time, PubCakes was still working to make their craft beer cake mixes available for purchase online, but was not yet up and running. And with a toddler and newborn, I simply didn’t have the time to drive to the San Diego farmer’s market to buy them. So I emailed the owner, Misty, explaining my situation. She was awesome to work with and mailed the cake mixes to me. Now a quick note of explanation–I love cake but I do NOT like cake mixes. Cake needs to be made from scratch. Except PubCakes cake. Their cake mix was SO. GOOD. There are only four mixes available (vanilla ale, cocoa porter, chocolate stout & belgian spice), but Misty offers a number of different recipes on her website so you can turn your mix into whatever craft beer amazingness you’re currently craving. She also has recipes for frostings and fillings. And trust me, they’re good. I hope to one day soon make it down to San Diego so I can actually meet this cupcake goddess, but for now I’ll have to make myself content with her mixes. For this event, we used three of her mixes and made the following (and yes, I made all these lovely cupcakes along with the help of my friend, Sam, and her mad cupcake frosting skills–we thought ourselves to be just a little amazing when we were finally done with our gourmet cupcakes):

Craft Beer: 30th Birthday Brats & Beer Brew Bash | Marigold Mom

Craft Beer: 30th Birthday Brats & Beer Brew Bash | Marigold Mom

Craft Beer: 30th Birthday Brats & Beer Brew Bash | Marigold Mom

We also made a fourth cupcake, a chocolate pretzel stout with a brown ale custard filling from a recipe I found on the Snyders of Hanover website. I was born and raised in PA (quite close to Hanover) on Synders pretzels so I had to make this one excepiont to PubCakes. :-) This cupcake was also amazing. I think I may have eaten my body weight in cupcakes both leading up to the party (you can’t serve an un-tested item) and the night of. And in the days after, finishing up what wasn’t eaten. I didn’t want any of that yummy goodness to go to waste. Anyway, I’ve taken a lot of space–probably too much–writing about cupcakes, so I’ll stop now.

Craft Beer: 30th Birthday Brats & Beer Brew Bash | Marigold Mom

Invitation, Favors, Water Bottle Labels

For the invitation and favor, I worked with Product80 on Etsy. Grant makes custom coaster invitations which are pretty awesome. I preferred the coaster as a party favor as opposed to an invite, so he created a special coaster for our guests to use based on the invitation design. We also decided to do water bottle labels to round out the look. Grant was great to work with and we loved what he came up with for us!

Craft Beer: 30th Birthday Brats & Beer Brew Bash | Marigold Mom

Craft Beer: 30th Birthday Brats & Beer Brew Bash | Marigold Mom

 

And that was my labor of love for my best friend and hubby. It is not a 30th birthday he will soon forget. It really was so much fun–everyone keeps asking us to have another. Maybe we’ll just have to throw a craft beer brew bash every year for his birthday!

 

Vendor Credits:

Event Planning & Styling: Marigold Events

Photography: Blyss Photography (except for the crappy pictures–Alyssa was also our babysitter and had to leave leave to watch the kiddos so the not-pretty pictures are ones I, and other, took)

Food Labels, Mustard Bottle Labels, Craft Beer Chalkboard Posters, Hoppy Birthday banner: Marigold Mom Shop

Catering: Gary Edwards

Brats: Bob’s Country Meats

Cupcake Mixes: PubCakes

Invitation, Coaster Favors, Water Bottle Labels: Product80 

Decorative Posters: Dogfish Head

Beer Varieties Poster: Pop Chart Lab

Beer Glass & Finger Garland: Sunny by Design

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Vintage Hawaiian Luau Bridal Shower

Marigold Mom | Vintage Hawaiian Luau Bridal Shower

Eight years ago, Laura was one of my bridesmaids. And this summer I have the honor of returning the favor.  I was so happy for her when Zach popped the big question, and just as thrilled to agree to stand with her on her wedding day. And so you can imagine that I was also pretty excited to get to throw a bridal shower for her along with the help with the other bridesmaids. 

When I think of Laura, I think of the beach. More specifically, I think a Hawaiian beach. She lives near the coast, and she and her family frequently vacations in Hawaii. Her room was always decorated with tropical items. And I don’t know how many times we’ve been to the beach together.  So it only made sense that we would throw her a bridal shower luau.

Marigold Mom | Vintage Hawaiian Luau Bridal Shower

Decor:

Marigold Mom | Vintage Hawaiian Luau Bridal ShowerMy vision for the look and feel of this shower was more organic and natural. I didn’t want the usual store bought luau party look–I wanted people to feel like they were Hawaii.  So I used a lot of neutral colors, burlap, bamboo, sand, shells, coral, vintage Hawaiian postcards, plants, and fruit to decorate. And it turned out just as I had imagined! I thought it was beautiful, and the bride thought it was stunning. You can’t ask for a better compliment than that!

Marigold Mom | Vintage Hawaiian Luau Bridal Shower

Marigold Mom | Vintage Hawaiian Luau Bridal Shower

Marigold Mom | Vintage Hawaiian Luau Bridal Shower

Marigold Mom | Vintage Hawaiian Luau Bridal Shower

Marigold Mom | Vintage Hawaiian Luau Bridal Shower

Marigold Mom | Vintage Hawaiian Luau Bridal Shower

Marigold Mom | Vintage Hawaiian Luau Bridal Shower

Our guests sat in the shade of multi-colored umbrellas at tables with centerpieces of tabletop tiki torches, vintage Hawaiian postcards and hurricanes made by the groom’s family.

Marigold Mom | Vintage Hawaiian Luau Bridal Shower

Marigold Mom | Vintage Hawaiian Luau Bridal Shower

Marigold Mom | Vintage Hawaiian Luau Bridal ShowerI found this gorgeous invitation from Stellar Design Pro on Etsy and had to have it. I designed all the other printables for the luau myself; they can be found on my Etsy site.

Marigold Mom | Vintage Hawaiian Luau Bridal Shower  Beautiful invitation by Stellar Design Pro

Marigold Mom | Vintage Hawaiian Luau Bridal Shower Printables Food & Drink:

In keeping with our theme, we served luau food. Our menu consisted of pulled pork with pineapple salsa, sweet hawaiian rolls, pineapple macadamia nut rice, green salad and tropical fruit. Our guests were able to sip on water, tropical iced tea and, of course, Mai Tais. The main dessert was a huge, beautiful and deliciously wonderful cake, served along with coconut macaroons and sand dollar cookies.

Marigold Mom | Vintage Hawaiian Luau Bridal Shower

Marigold Mom | Vintage Hawaiian Luau Bridal Shower Marigold Mom | Vintage Hawaiian Luau Bridal Shower

Marigold Mom | Vintage Hawaiian Luau Bridal Shower

Marigold Mom | Vintage Hawaiian Luau Bridal Shower

Marigold Mom | Vintage Hawaiian Luau Bridal Shower

Marigold Mom | Vintage Hawaiian Luau Bridal Shower

Marigold Mom | Vintage Hawaiian Luau Bridal Shower

Marigold Mom | Vintage Hawaiian Luau Bridal Shower

Marigold Mom | Vintage Hawaiian Luau Bridal Shower Tiki Bar

Marigold Mom | Vintage Hawaiian Luau Bridal Shower

Marigold Mom | Vintage Hawaiian Luau Bridal Shower

Marigold Mom | Vintage Hawaiian Luau Bridal Shower

Favors:

Our favors were tropical lip gloss and hand creme. We also had leis available for everyone to wear, because, let’s be honest, you can’t fully participate in a luau if you’re not wearing a lei.

Marigold Mom | Vintage Hawaiian Luau Bridal Shower

Marigold Mom | Vintage Hawaiian Luau Bridal Shower

Activities:

We had three different activities at the shower. Guests were given the opportunity to write a little note to the bride–advice, wishes, a favorite memory, etc. All the cards were then put into a book for Laura to read and keep. 
Marigold Mom | Vintage Hawaiian Luau Bridal Shower

 We also played two different games–a movie love quotes matching game and a “how well do you know the bridal couple” game. 

Marigold Mom | Vintage Hawaiian Luau Bridal Shower Games

 

Congratulations to my beautiful friend, Laura, and her groom! I wish you a lifetime of happiness!

Marigold Mom | Vintage Hawaiian Luau Bridal Shower

And thanks to these sweet bridesmaids for all their hard work and input! They were a great team to work with, and I could have never done it without them!

Marigold Mom | Vintage Hawaiian Luau Bridal Shower

 

Vendor Credits:

Event Planning & Styling; Marigold Events

Venue: Private Home 

Cake: Breadbasket Cake

Favors: Loccitane

Invitation: Stellar Design Pro

Vintage Postcards: Island Art Store

Burlap Banners, “Bride” banner, Food Lables, etc.: Marigold Mom Shop

Photography: Marigold Mom

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