A Loss

Hello, friends. A quick note today to explain my unexpected absence and to let you know I may continue to be MIA for much of the next week or more. My family and I have suffered the tragic and sudden loss of one of our own and are currently grappling to come to terms with the depths of grief we are experiencing. He was 21 years old and had the kind of smile that could light up a room – he will be forever missed and his absence forever felt. It’s hard to explain in words just how close my extended family is and likewise it’s impossible to explain how his loss has shocked us all. Hopefully in the next few days this dark cloud hanging over us will start to lift and hopefully I’ll be back sooner rather than later. In the meantime, I’m going to be spending the next several days with the people who mean the most to me and without whom I’d be lost.

To those of you who caught wind that something was amiss – thank you for your love, your support and your prayers. It has meant the world to me and to my family and I cannot thank you enough.

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Adoption Party Ideas

Last week I received an email from a reader, Mattie, who is helping her friends plan an adoption party in celebration of the adoption of their two daughters, age eight and ten. Mattie writes -

“I’m emailing to see if you or your readers have any inspiring ideas for an adoption party? My friends are finalizing their girls’ adoption at the end of July and are throwing them a huge party. We are trying to come up with something witty that has to do with joining the family, making the family bigger, etc. Or anything that would be cute and creative. She isn’t looking for anything too “themey” like luaus or princesses. The girls are 8 and 10. Thank you!”

When Mattie wrote me, I immediately starting thinking of ideas. I love the idea of a big huge party to celebrate a new family and right away thought that a thumbprint family tree guest book could be perfect. All of their family and friends could ink up their thumb and “sign” the tree. The print could later be hung up in a prominent spot in their home to remind them that family is more than skin deep.
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family-tree-guest-book-idea{Photos by Jason and Anna Photography via Style Me Pretty.}

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{Photo by Jonas Peterson via Inspired Goodness via .C is for Charmed.}

Because the girls have been with their new mom and dad for a couple of years now, I love the idea of a family photo line showcasing photos of favorite moments and special occasions they’ve shared together.
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family-photo-line-adoption-party-ideas{Photos by Piknik Studios via Weddingbee.}

photo-clothesline-party-ideas{Photo by Jenny Jimenez via The Bride’s Cafe.}
wedding-photo-clothesline-adoption-party-ideas{Photo via The Knot.}

Borrowed from a common tradition in wedding ceremonies, I think a sand ceremony is equally as appropriate for an adoption celebration. Because, really, isn’t an adoption just as much about the merging of lives into one family as a wedding? They might also consider asking a close friend or minister to say a short blessing or make a special toast as a way of reflecting on the occasion. Another great idea would be to plant a tree together as a family to symbolize their unity and growing together.
unity-sand-ceremony-tree-planting{Photo by Micah Dahlberg Photography via Polka Dot Bride.}

kids-planting-a-tree{Photo via Tree Appeal.}

Finally, I think celebrating each daughter, the things they love and what makes them unique is a great idea.  If they love strawberry or chocolate, board games or soccer, puppy dogs or horses, find ways to include details that reflect them both. Interactive activities like candy buffets, crafts or team games like tug of war or badminton make a party memorable and keep guests talking about it for a long time to come.
sweet-candy-bar-buffet{Photo by John Rozier.}

vintage-coloring-books-birthday-party-paper-dolls-580x386{Photo by Jeremy Harwell from Vintage Puppy Themed Birthday Party.}

Mattie would love to know what you think, too. Do you have any great ideas for an adoption party? Please share!

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Inspired Creations – Retro Milkshake Bar

Have I ever told you about my obsession with ice cream? No? Ok then, allow me to introduce myself. “Hi, my name is Cyd and I am addicted to ice cream.” No, seriously, ice cream is my favorite food. Ever. So today’s milkshake bar Inspiread Creations Contest entry? Pure brilliance. I’m sure you’ll agree. (If you don’t, you must not love ice cream. And if that’s the case, I’m really really sorry for you.) While designed with a fun summer wedding reception in mind, this collaboration from Kellie Kano and Elissa Keno would be perfect for a birthday party or any other backyard celebration.

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Retro-Milkshake-Bar-Unique-Wedding-Ideas-19Elissa’s husband built the mikshake bar and they used colorful shower curtains for the backdrop. With red and white striped paper straws as their inspiration, they used neapolitan pink, brown and white and fun retro touches like chalkboard signage, glossy white bar stools, glass bottles of Coca Cola and assorted classic ice cream toppings to bring all of the details together for the perfect retro milkshake bar.

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ice-cream-shop-retro-milkshake-barIsn’t this just the best? I love the idea of a fabulous milkshake bar or make your own sundae bar at a wedding or at your next party. It’s perfect for kids or for those of us who are kids at heart. In my book, you can’t go wrong with ice cream. Throw in a handful of cute touches like striped straws and neapolitan colored bunting? Now that is absolute heaven. For more details and photos visit Elizabeth Anne Designs – a huge huge thank you to Elissa and Kellie for inspiring me to no end with this amazing idea!

Vendors -
Photography and concept – Kellie Kano Photography
Styling and concept – Elissa Keno
Gown – Angel Sanchez from Tre Bella Bridal

{Photos by Kellie Kano Photography.}

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Inspired Creations Contest – Recent Highlights

The Inspired Creations Contest is wrapping up this week, so I thought I’d take a quick moment to make sure you’ve seen all of these gorgeous designs showcased over at Elizabeth Anne Designs. We’ve loved having the opportunity to showcase so much creativity and so many inspiring ideas and I do hope you’ve love it, too. Have a great idea for the new Inspired Creations Contest? Please share! We’d love to hear your ideas. In the meantime, keep an eye open for the last few entries this week!

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{At Home Brunch Wedding Reception – Photo by Thompson Poole Photography.}

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{Alchemy at the Barn -  Photo by DarkerShadesofBrown Photography.}

boho-vintage-bridal-accessories{Pretty Boho Tea Party – Photo by Nicole Pfeiffer Photography.}
Vintage-Wedding-Ideas-Incorporating-Family-Heirlooms-14{Vintage Heirloom Inspired Wedding Ideas – Photo by Brancoprata.}

hockey-winter-inspired-wedding-escort-card-ideas{Hockey Love Inspired Wedding – Photo by Debi Parker Photography.}

bird-cage-wedding-escort-cards{Birdcage Theme Wedding Ideas – Photo by Jade McCully Photography.}

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Inspired Creations – Vibrant School Themed Brunch Buffet

As promised, I’m back with another fabulous Inspired Creations Contest entry from Tammy Golson Events, this one centered on a gorgeous citrus-colored school inspired brunch. Along with her teammates Ana Dolan, Sofia Negron, and Gabrielle Aronas, Tammy envisioned a brunch buffet sprinkled with cute, school themed details inspired by office supplies they found at Ikea. They used common office objects repurposed as vases and serving platters and played with a subtle retro flavor in the orange and green color palette featuring vintage soda bottles, kumquat centerpieces and lots of No. 2 pencils used in imaginative ways.
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For complete details and many more photos of this fun design, visit Elizabeth Anne Designs. Thank you for all of the inspiration today, Tammy!

Vendors:
Styling – Tammy Golson Events
Floral and design – Gabrielle Aronas
Photography – Sofia Negron Photography
Stationery – Ana Dolan Couture Invitations and Paper Items

{Photos by Sofia Negron Photography.}

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