Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Hip Hop Birthday! (Take two)

On November 22nd, my little "Man-boy," as he now refers to himself, turned 4.
Based on his personality, I had two definite directions to take for his birthday: books or music because if you ever lose him, you'll find him either engrossed in a chapter book or dancing in front of a mirror.
Last year his theme was the cartoon Super Why? and revolved ar
ound the alphabet and primary colors. This year, I went in the other direction and decided to throw a hip hop themed party. I initially thought of doing a rockstar or music party, but a hip hop theme seemed more like him.
The main elelements of the event were boom boxes, vinyl LPs, and cassettes. Hope you enjoy the concept as much as we enjoyed our time there.

Decor Details:
Can I be totally honest with you? I will, because this IS my blog and I AM naturally a totally honest person...this party did not turn out as pretty as I envisioned. Definitely more fun than pretty, and for that, I can't complain. After all, little Man-boy wanted it to be "cool not cute." Thank God for my amazing arsenal of vendors whose beautiful goodies made up where I fell short.
There were many things that went on the last few days to take my attention away from the final details and many things that did not work out according to plan on the day of. It made me sad for about a minute, before I shook it off in the name of enjoying the moment. Now, looking back at the pictures, I feel al ittle disappointed again but, remembering how much fun my little man had, makes it all ok. (let the record show though, that I'm already working on his 5th - I refuse to be caught off guard again!!)
Although it wasn't all I had hoped for, there were a few decor elements I loved. The night before the party, my father in law brought us boxes full of LPs, strobe lights, and an antique turntable that had been in the family for years. I used the turntable to display the cupcakes. My husband made a wall using the vinyl LPs to suspend over the dessert table. Piggy Bank Parties designed a gorgeous banner from their "Glow in the Dark" collection to coordinate with my son's color scheme! As for the main table, We made a garland from spray-painted cassettes and placed it beside a giant number 4 I made and covered with metallic silver paint as well.

As the guests arrived at the little shop, they played on the indoor slide and tree house. When all the guests were ready, the first thing they did was get their hip hop gear on. Each little guest received star glasses, a personalized VIP tag, a metal studded cuff bracelet, and a hat. For the first group activity, the kids decorated their own hats. As they finished their designs, they got to scribble "graffitti" on the plexi wall.
After all the kids had their hip hop star gear on, the group went outside to watch some live performances on the lawn by singer Kelsi Maria and the OneWay Hip Hop Dance team. The Birthday Boy even made an appearance as guest dancer!
Once back inside, the kids got their wiggles out while playing the "Hip Hop Stop" freeze dance game. After dinner, the kids resumed the dancing at "Joa's Friends Got Talent" free style dance competition complete with a strobe light. It WAS as awesome as it sounds. Envision break-dancing 3 year olds...pure awesomeness!!!
You can't really tell from the photo but, when you walked up to the food table, the platters resembled a boom box design with speakers, a tape deck and buttons. We enjpoyed coming up with clever names for the food items printed on labels designed by the super talented Kristy from Itsy Belle.
Street Rap (assorted veggie and beef wraps)
Re-Mixed Greens (Salad)
YO!gurt (Vanilla yogurt)
Chips and Salsa
Cuban Sliders
Fruit Skewers
Microphone Pops from the amazing Renee at Bee's Knees Creative
Fondant Cupcake Toppers by the fabulous Lynlee of Lynlee's Petite Cakes
(cupcakes baked and iced by Daddy as is our family tradition)
Boom Box Cookies and Chocolate #4 Pops by my long-time friend Melissa from The
Sugar Loft Events
Chocolate Donuts Shaped like headphones (I tried...)
M&M Candies (Birthday Boy's favorite candy in his favorite colors)
One of my favorite elements of the party was the favor bar. I designed little boom box favor boxes for each child personalized with their name on it. Each child got to take their box to the favor table and fill it up with their choice of: gloves, glow sticks, stickers, notebooks, pencils, lollipops, tootsie rolls, m&ms, and giant erasers. Instead of using the traditional crinkle paper, I decided to fill the bottom of the favor jars with tape from old cassettes. It was so fun watching all the little people walking around holding their mini "boom boxes!"

The Thank You cards went out in a note inside a CD case with the top songs from the party. The little guests are STILL jamming to those!
Thanks for reading!

An enormous and sincere THANK YOU to my spectacular Vendors:
Venue & Appaman B-Day Boy Top - the little shop in Tioga Town Center
Invitation & Printables - Itsy Belle
Fondant Cupcake Toppers - Lynlee's Petite Cakes
Microphone Pops - Bee's Knees Creative
Boom Box Cookies and #4 Pops - Sugar Loft Events
"Glow in the Dark" Banner - Piggy Bank Parties
Live Music - Kelsi Maria & Anthony Acevedo
Dancers - OneWay Hip Hop Team
Photography - Catherine Deason

Find us on Catch My Party to see more photos.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

{Prayers Wanted} The West Family's Story

The first two things I learned upon meeting Rebecca West were she was pregnant with twins, and they were seen holding hands at their last sonogram.

From that moment, I was smitten by them!

Rebecca and her husband, Jason, already had a beautiful little girl and were looking forward to adding two more princesses to their castle.

Tragically, at just 24 weeks, Rebecca had to go in for an emergency c-section. Ellie Grace and Emmie Claire were born on January 14, 2012 weighing 15.2 oz and 1lb 2oz respectively.

Just seven days into their difficult journey, before they were even able to hold her, the West family had to say goodbye to their precious little Ellie Grace due to a severe infection.

Sweet baby Emmie

Thankfully, the West family is not alone. As part of a larger community of faithful friends and believers, The Wests are covered with prayers. Even my 4 year old recently told me his class at school prays for baby Emmie "every day, Mommy, EVERY day!"

Holding Mommy's hand

The West family is witnessing miracles every single day and is beaming with hope. I have personally been so touched seeing them, each Sunday, mustering up the strength to come to church and worship through their grief with beautiful smiles on their faces and with more love than you can imagine.

I'm in awe of how this family has resisted the understandable desire to succumb to grief and has chosen instead to be thankful and joyful in the midst of this trial.

Meeting her baby sister for the first time.
Reading to her baby sister.

All they ask is for as many faith-filled people as possible to stand with them in prayer, believing Psalm 118:17 - Emmie Claire will not die, but LIVE, to proclaim the works of the Lord!

Please take a moment to follow this miraculous family's journey at

If you would like to become involved, please visit to find out how you can help.