Harper Turned 2!!

We have a toddler! A two year old! A sweet little soul who is so wise and kind and intuitive. She has taught us so much that I feel like my life completely reset when she was born. Here is a look at her birthday celebration and what we did to make it special.

The decor: Pinterest is a dangerous thing. It had me believing I was someone I’m not. I knew I bit off more than I could chew when Wednesday night I wasn’t even close to being halfway done with the decorating for the party that Saturday. We still got a good amount completed and I was really happy with how it turned out. We rented the linens and outside tables which we have done in the past for parties. Did you know that the tables on the bottom of the picture with the pink and orange linens were each under $10 to rent? It’s so worth it just to rent when we need them and not worry about making the commitment to buy and store things we don’t always use. The round tables are just plastic ones we use a lot for parties, and the higher square one we pulled in from another room as well as the one holding the watermelon lemonade and food- that was from another room too. Something else I learned by having so many parties over the years- use whatever you have around the house to make it work.

Decor

Us: We actually got a few pictures as a family this year! (We’re not all looking at the same camera, but whatever!) The dress and shoes I bought for Everly had to be replaced the week before because they didn’t fit. She’s in 12 (and sometimes 18!) month clothes by the time she was 6 months which apparently I’m in denial about so I still buy things was way too small thinking they’ll fit. It’s good though because the same company we got Harper’s dress from had a variation that fit Evie and it turned out to be much cuter than what I had prior.

The dress

The activities: Last year we had a bouncy house and face painter, this year I found such a neat lady who does music, balloons, and face painting and she was so awesome and patient with the kids! She started out making balloon animals, flowers, and swords for the boys, then once everyone was ballooned out she switched to airbrushing face and body tattoos. She offered to bring interments and do songs with the kids, but we thought this would be perfect for the varying ages and both girls and boys. We now know that keeping kids happy really makes the whole party especially if it’s a kids and adults party so the adults can hang out and talk while their kids are occupied and having fun. They were also kicking around balls in the yard and playing chase. The weather was perfect so we spend the whole time outside.

Fun

The guests: We edited our list way down this year which was really hard! We love our friends so much but last year we had 100 people (literally!) so we just cut it way down (to 50, but half were kids!!) and that was it. I still feel guilty about it but it felt really manageable and easy. A big chunk of that was family who helped us so much. They were there the day before and early the day of watching the kids and helping with whatever we needed. It was a group effort for sure. See below- the pic with the girls and me and my sister? We’ve already changed into comfy clothes by then, our party clothes were covered in cake and watermelon.

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But soon after that I had to change Harper’s clothes again. She kept filing a cup with watermelon juice and dumping it on herself over and over. She did it in her dress, then this shirt, then I moved the juice after this change of clothes because at this point I was missing too much of the party.

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The gift bags: This is my first time doing gift bags and I was so fortunate to have the Johnson’s Baby team from RF Binder send along what would become a ‘family gift bag’ which was a HUGE hit. I said it on Instagram when I received this generous package you see below, they are one of the nicest companies I’ve worked with in the 7 years I’ve blogged. They’re just really kind people who value relationships above the business. They sent everything you see in the photos with no request of a blog post, no expectation of anything, they just wanted to help make Harper’s birthday special which they did. Thank you RF Binder and Johnson’s Baby!!

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I bundled the items in these bags for each family.

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I included a Baby Oil (which I use right after the shower), Baby Oil Gel (my go-to for shaving), Intense Moisture Cream (my fave lotion of theirs), Neosporin’s Neo to Go! (which one kid used when she fell at the party), Monsters Band-Aids, and Baby Bedtime Washcloths. Even though Everly was the youngest baby there, the parents were thrilled to have this kit. They told me later that they keep the Neo To Go! and Band-Aids in their cars along with the bedtime washcloths for random clean ups and spills. I’ve also used them for quick makeup removal/ washing my face at night too when I’m too tired for anything else. I also heard loud and clear from parents that they were happy to have a goody bag that was useful and not filled with cheap junk toys that would clutter their house with stuff their kids didn’t need. It’s something It was a great lesson and something I’ll do for the girls’ parties going forward.

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Every single day for a whole week before the party it rained. But not this day. This was the sky while the last lingering souls threw a football in the yard after everyone else had gone home. Dark and crazy, but no rain.

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It’s so surreal watching your kids get older. I was really emotional for weeks leading up to Harper’s birthday knowing that we have to say goodbye to this little version of her that I just want to bottle up and keep forever. Mostly though, I think about what it takes to get her to this point and how hard Mike and I work every single day to do our very best for these girls and I’m proud of that. I’m proud of us.

Happy Birthday Harper! I hope you look back on this day and know that you were loved.

Our Anniversary

Today was our wedding anniversary! Married for 7 years (together for 12!) Because it fell on a Monday, we have a 1 year old in tow, and I’m 7 months pregnant- we packed up and headed over to Dove Valley to check out a Denver Broncos training camp. Perfect family activity.

Well not quite, but it would’ve been perfect if they had bleachers. Or shade. Or parking. But all that aside, there was free football to watch! Not that I did.

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I was chatting with my friend Chris and her kids which was much more entertaining.

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Later Mike, Harper and I had pizza on a patio and enjoyed the rest of the afternoon. It was exactly the low-key day we needed.

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Happy Anniversary to the best person I know. Our girls are so lucky to have such a great dad.

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What I Ate: Eating Out Edition

We’ve had such a fun, busy summer and being out means eating out so I wanted to show you some things I’ve eaten in the past few weeks while we’ve been on the go.

We met family at our local Vietnamese place Viet Pho and I had hot soup in 90° heat. It’s alway pho weather as far as I’m concerned.

We shopped and ate with friends last Saturday at the Boulder farmer’s market. The Greek stand had breakfast gyros with eggs, potatoes, tomatoes, spinach, and yummy tzatziki. It was a perfect snack. Strange fact: I hate eggs unless I’m pregnant then for some reason I can eat them.

It looks like it’s from a restaurant because it’s so pretty but the pasta dish was a special lunch Mike whipped up last week. It’s brown rice pasta with roasted red peppers, spinach, and our fave vegan sausage Field Roast.

Last Thursday we met friends for Greek at a little place called Tzatziki’s and stuffed ourselves with hummus and falafel. Harper loves falafel and had a great time trying new things. We also polished off two baskets of fries in full disclosure but they didn’t photograph as nicely.

It was all about a Mexican place in Denver called Blue Bonnet when I met high school friends for lunch last week. I could’ve eaten 3x what was on this plate but held back. I have a weakness for enchiladas.

After we took Harper to her first Colorado Rockies baseball game we stopped at Sweet Tomatoes for a quick dinner. I wish I had a salad bar at home, I’d have a huge salad like this twice a day. It’s all that chopping and prep work that drives me crazy.

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My Washington Post Mention About the RG3 Wedding

Who knew my post about doing makeup for RG3′s wedding would get so much traction?

I was thrilled and honored to be featured in a write up today by Dan Steinberg in his DC Sports Blog in the Washington Post. Normally a blogger focused on athletics, Steinberg delicately balanced the sports aspect with the obvious interest in RG3′s new wife Rebecca with humor and wit.

You check it out HERE

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The Denver Wedding of RG3 and Rebecca Liddicoat

Sometimes I get to work with people in the spotlight. Call them famous, or known, or high profile- but I just call them clients. Of course days like these are fun and exciting, lifting the veil for a moment to get a peek of a different world. But as a Makeup Artist for weddings, it’s most rewarding to see genuine love and appreciation for family which is what I experienced over the weekend working with Rebecca Liddicoat, the now-wife of Robert Griffin III a.k.a RG3- Heisman Trophy winner and superstar quarterback for the Washington Redskins.

In the few times I met her, I found Rebecca to be sweet, unguarded, funny, and so laid back. She doesn’t have a high maintenance bone in her body and she and her family are easily one of the nicest families I’ve worked with in the 16 years I’ve been doing this. It makes stories like THIS totally understandable. Her sister Lindsey was awesome, for months she coordinated and planned many of the details of the wedding, which was beautiful without being over-the-top. Everything was just very normal- aside from the guest list of course. THIS writeup in The Washington Post quoting gests as saying how beautiful the event was, and how RG3 encouraged everyone to get up and introduce themselves to someone they didn’t know because everyone in the room was family now pretty much sums it up. From what I experienced, these are two really genuine people who were raised with strong family values. It’s a good pairing and I wish them all the best.

Now, ready for the makeup talk?

Rebecca is pretty with great skin so bringing out her best wasn’t too difficult. She wanted a little bit of drama with some smokey eyes and big lashes. Here’s the full rundown of what I used.

Primer/ Moisturizer: Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentrè
Foundation: Kett Fixx Creme
Concealer: Smashbox High Definition
Powder: MAKE UP FOR EVER HD Microfinish Powder
Setting Spray: NYX Matte Finish

Eye Shadow Primer: MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua Cream #13
Eye Shadow: Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette
Eye Liner: Laura Mercier Kohl Liner Extreme
Lashes: Ardell 120
Mascara: CoverGirl Professional

Cheeks: Laura Mercier Créme Cheek Color in Oleander
Bronzer: Jouer Mineral Powder Bronzer
Lips: MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua Rouge #2
Lip Liner: Laura Mercier Lip Pencil in Baby Lips

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Venue: Four Seasons Denver
Event Planner: Kate Kelly, Catering Sales Manager

Photo Via @pierregarcon Instagram

Photo Via @pierregarcon Instagram

Harper’s First Birthday

Happy 1st birthday to our sweet girl Harper. Her celebration was so much fun, a labor of love that hopefully she will look back on and smile. It wasn’t a small affair, 80+ people came out to enjoy the perfect Colorado spring day. It was hot- mid 80′s so we rented a snow cone machine so we could keep cool with a nostalgic treat that everyone loves. Since 30ish guests were kids, the jumpy castle was a no-brainier. It was great for them and heaven for the parents who were able to socialize without having to entertain bored kids. We also had a face painter who kept the kids (and adults!) happy by giving them each a unique design they loved.

Her little dress was from Janie and Jack’s Adorable Garden collection. She also had the matching hat, sunglasses, and socks but of course those came and went throughout the day. It was a light weight cotton dress in the party’s theme color of lavender so she could move and be comfortable without any stiff material to worry about. It was also easy to wash so the bits of food and cake came right out.

Speaking of cake, that whole situation was maybe the toughest decision we made. She hasn’t had sugar and Mike and I are both heathy eaters so we didn’t want her to dig into a big sugary mess just for entertainment but we still wanted a cake and singing experience. We decided on an angel food cup with a little whipped cream on top which she squished and played with before discovering it was food. Just a few small nibbles and she was over it and ready to get on with the party. Perfect. We made strawberry shortcake for the rest of the party to enjoy.

I had a whole elaborate menu planned out before waving the white flag and letting Costco do the croissant sandwiches and wraps. This pregnancy has had me on the ropes and I’m just coming out of the fog of sickness I’ve been in for months so we made a few things to accompany the sandwiches for a nice lunch and kept that part pretty easy. The sandwiches were meat so Mike and I (being vegetarians) had little to eat at our own event. Next time it will be different.

So yes, it was a somewhat grand party that she won’t remember but she will see how many people loved and celebrated her on her special day. Learning to be a mom has been such a ride! I think Mike and I were celebrating each other as parents and thanking our supporters as well. It was a perfect day.

Happy Birthday little one. Thanks for teaching us so much.

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