birthday brunch party!

Birthday BrunchIf there are two things I love in this world, it’s birthdays and throwing soirees. Add in a third, and it is likely my little sister! Happily for me, all three came together this past weekend as we celebrated my baby sister turning (not-so-baby) 24 years old.

For her birthday, she wanted to run a 5k conveniently located a 10 minute walk from my apartment. Unable to resist the urge to incorporate a celebration into this birthday run, the proximity of my apartment proved to be the perfect place for a post-run birthday fete. Since the race took place at 9am, we decided a brunch party would be the perfect way to celebrate.

I must add in here that it’s not just my sister’s birthday, she shares the day with her wonderful boyfriend (cue the awww’s!). I needed to come up with a theme that was inclusive and gender neutral to celebrate them both. Since we have teal plates, I went with a teal/blue theme against white. This worked  out fabulously when my plans to make my own ice cream cake were thwarted by the ice cream cakes at the grocery store being on super sale this week!

I think bar set ups are so cute. I had seen some yogurt bars on Instagram and mimosa bars in my Pinterest travels, so I decided on both for the party. Fresh fruit brings such a brightness to any spread. Our classic family staples of this egg dish and pumpkin whoopie pies plus our favorite ice cream cake made it one delicious day and kept us snacking the whole time.

It was a beautiful day and such fun to spend time with my sister and her friends. Happy birthday Theresa and Mike!

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designing a pretty bookshelf

How to Design a Pretty Bookshelf

Labor Day weekend, although a long weekend, flew by. I set out to have no plans, but my days quickly filled themselves (as they are oft to do). I did get to spend most of Saturday day and Sunday day at home, however, where I started (and sometimes finished…) many home-improving decor tasks. My tour de force and ultimate showing for the weekend can be found in our (new!) spare room – the bookcase!

On Saturday morning, I found this room was empty with books all over the floor with an empty, small bookshelf (that my roommate hates) against the door to my room. Remembering that we had a different, larger bookcase in the basement, I knew it was time to tackle the mess!

I am so pleased with the result! Based on bookshelf wisdom from a friend, information that made its way into my brain from Pinterest, and a little dash of my OCD here are the steps I took to create our pretty little shelf!

Organize by color

This is not an idea original to me. I had visited my dear friend Molly a few months ago and got to see her beautiful new home, wherein she had an office with a lovely bookshelf. The books were organized by color and looked gorgeous. I replicated that here and am so pleased with the results!

Use mixed media

My roommate has all these random, gorgeous pieces around the house. Thinking of this pin (what up photographic memory for only useless stuff!), I thought my favorite (clear glass with orange glass stones) would be perfect to place between stacks of books to add the visual depth of the shelves and show it off. Although the books all look kinda crazy next one another, what with different heights, widths, words and fonts, they become almost neutral when placed all together. A piece helps break up this  I color coordinated the books to match to give the disparate pieces a bit of continuity throughout. The jury is still out to whether I like that or should incorporate some contrast instead. For now, I like the continuity.

Vary directions

Like the above step, create some depth to your shelf by both lining up books across the shelves as bookcases are traditionally arranged, then get funky and stack them vertically. I love how that looks, especially when you have them arranged both ways for contrast.

Try for symmetry

We’ve all read the articles. The eye likes symmetry. Incorporating different elements keeps a symmetrical bookcase from looking boring. This is the element that helps bring in some continuity between the shelves, hence why I chose to duo vertical stacks of books on each side of the pretty vase.

Add personality

I previously had this notion that bookshelves were boring. That’s not true! Especially when they can be multi-purpose. In a house of two young, urban ladies, we have quite a few pairs of knockout shoes (especially considering I used to work for a shoe retailer). They sit hidden away in my closet far too often, but after a living room shoe parade where I took out all my crazy shoes to show my friends last weekend, I was inspired to find them a more visible home. The bookshelf is pretty much perfect for this.

Awesome shoes

How could we not show these puppies off?

it begins… #poprockbday

As evidenced by a certain celebration in honor of my 25th, I take birthdays pretty seriously. As evidenced by pretty much everything else on this blog, I find reason to celebrate just about any moment, so a day marking another year of life is something I consider of the utmost importance to recognize, cherish and enjoy.

My birthday allows me to feel no guilt in designing a party completely to my liking. In event-throwing and fun-seeking, my instincts are pretty much second-to-none, and I enjoy taking full advantage of my day each year to force that upon all my friends and see what happens (Conga line, anyone?).

This year, I feel a little bit of pressure. #discobirthday was such a success, how can I possibly top that? Disco was the perfect theme, everyone’s outfits were on point, the decor was fun and fabulous, and everyone had a blast – AND my wonderful friends made an adorable gluten-free disco ball cake! Does it get any better?

Hopefully it will. This week marks the official launch and planning for my next party, #poprockbday. With #discobirthday and our New Year’s fete under our belts, I feel Catherine and I are ready to outdo ourselves once more. #poprockbday is a pop stars and rock stars themed party, where attendees choose a musical celebrity of their choosing to dress as (or just dress up rock/pop in general). I am requesting that if attendees choose someone specific, they let me know so I can put one of their songs on the playlist.

I started a Pinterest board today, as my commutes were filled with impromptu brainstorming. My initial thoughts include:

A photobooth set up in our crafts room (old CDs as the backdrop?)

And a disco ball (obviously).

Perhaps a cake stand made from old records with cute microphone cupcakes?

Definitely lots of glitter

Faux instruments and crazy glasses are a must

Who will you go as?