A Baby Shower Playlist for Melissa!

melissa_shower-image-revisedSurprise!!! Today is a surprise online virtual baby shower for my dear friend Melissa, of Melissa Creates! She’s expecting her first sweet baby in February and I couldn’t be happier for her! She’s going to make the best mom ever and I can’t wait to see her raise this little guy (a boy!)! Carmen and I gathered some friends to help celebrate Melissa since we are spread out all over the United States and couldn’t attend her real shower. I hope you’ll hop around and check out all their fabulous posts!

baby-shower-invitationCarmen and I talked a little bit about what the shower should look like. I knew that I wanted the theme to be this song lyric from Paramore, one of Melissa’s favorite bands. We quickly discussed colors and then Carmen took that information and passed it along to Sarah, of Sarah Hearts, who created what is my most favorite baby shower invitation ever which was also used at a real baby shower held in Melissa’s honor. We’re just going to ignore my remedial Photoshop job of hiding important info…

The other gals will be sharing a variety of things from gift down downloads to printable quotes to cocktail recipes. I’ll have links to each gal at the end of the post!

Spring Boy Baby Shower Idea. Iced Tea Bar! If I got to throw Melissa a real life shower, this is what it would look like. I took my cues from the invitation and pulled out some “boy” colors and mixed them with some brighter, spring-like colors. I’d set out an iced tea bar (full post on this coming soon to Babyshower.com – I’ll link up when it’s live) but have a special cup for the guest of honor. And while some people won’t be drinking, I’d make sure there is a little something special for the people who want to.

Serve easy foods at a baby shower.For the food, I’d keep it really simple. I’d serve snacky foods, because who doesn’t love snacks? Popcorn is always a hit. And my fave goat cheese appetizer never disappoints. And when you have Firefly Confections doing your favors, you better order some extra to have out on the tables. Sandy’s caramels are so stop you in your tracks delicious that EVERY single person will be talking about them. No exaggeration. And Sandy might be one of the funniest people I’ve ever met. I’d round out the food with a delicious dessert and maybe a salad of some kind. Maybe. Salad just isn’t that exciting.

Confetti from The Flair Exchange.It’s not a party without confetti but I like to keep it a little bit more contained. Confetti is a great way to add color to a party table no matter how you use it. So I try to keep the mess down by keeping most of it in a vessel like this cup or even in small glass baby food jars. I like fun.  Just controlled fun.

(confetti from The Flair Exchange)

Caramel favors by Firefly Confections for a baby shower. I always do a treat favor at my parties. I’ve found guests love them especially because they know they don’t have to feel bad for throwing a tchotchke away. Most ladies will take their favor and say they are on a diet but you know they eat it the minute they get to the car. What’s even better is that these came ready to go, including gift tags so I it didn’t add to my work load. Reach out to Sandy to coordinate your next party favors. She’s amazing to work with and also a friend of Melissa’s. Favors are a great way to also play up personality traits of the guest of honor. If we had had more time, Sandy would have made butterbeer flavored caramels since Melissa is a huge Harry Potter fan. It’s all about making her feel extra special, right? And are you seeing a pattern? It would appear, from reading this post, that I’m pretty lazy about my party throwing.  And that assessment wouldn’t be wrong…But trust me if I was throwing this for Melissa for real, she would feel the love.  But I do not show my love through making layer cakes and scratch baked goods…Or even ironed tablecloths. :)

(Sea Salt Caramel Favors from Firefly Confections)

Baby Shower Playlist!! And because Melissa and I share a love of music, I decided that my contribution would be a baby shower playlist. To help me, I brought in another music loving friend of ours, Amy Belle Isle, to create the playlist with me. Amy and I met online when she had her own party planning blog. She has since left to work on event planning full-time for a non-profit but she has always kept in touch and supported us bloggers so I wanted to make sure she had a way to show Melissa the love also. We hope you enjoy it!

Head to Melissa’s site to see why we love her!

Attend the whole online shower!

The Flair Exchange  //  A Fabulous Fete

Aimee Broussard  //  Brave Creative Design

Casa de Crews  //  Giggles Galore

Kori Clark Designs  //  Live the Fancy Life

Sarah Hearts  //  Thoughtfully Simple

Visit Firefly Confections for all your caramel needs!

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Friendsgiving Playlist #StreamTeam

Friendsgiving and Thanksgiving Fall Playlist and TV shows that celebrate friendship! #adHave you ever held a Friendsgiving? Friendsgiving pretty much is what got this blog started in the first place. My sister-in-law and I used to plan a Friendsgiving for all of our friends. We got crazy. We decorated, we cooked, we had a blast. And we knew that we could come up with really great entertaining ideas for other people. So months and months and many more parties later, this blog got started. While she couldn’t continue with it, I will always cherish those Friendsgiving memories. There has been talk of starting it up again but now with kids in the picture, and busier schedules, finding a day we can all agree on is next to impossible. I propose a mid summer Friendsgiving next year. Who’s with me?

In case you are having a Friendsgiving (or even just for Thanksgiving) I’ve made you a playlist. It’s about 2 hours long so you may need to supplement with other music but this is a great playlist for playing in the background. It’s got a little bit of everything, some soulful stuff, some up tempo, some new, some old. I plan on playing this when I’m prepping my Thanksgiving dishes in the kitchen. Nothing like a little good music (and a little wine) to make kitchen duty more fun.

I miss doing this blog and planning parties with my sister-in-law and friend, Alyson. Luckily I get to see her at Thanksgiving. It’s always so good to catch up with her at family holiday events. She’s been a great friend to me over the years and I’m glad that our kids are friends as well. You can be family, but that doesn’t mean you end up as friends. This is the perfect time of year to really look at friendship and what it means to be a good friend. Netflix has some great options for friend-focused shows. BTW, Friends hits Netflix (currently only available on the DVD service) January 1!!! That Friendsgiving/Thanksgiving episode is the best ever.

For the kids:

Phineas and Ferb (Brothers and Friends. Warms a mother’s heart. And this show makes my husband and I laugh.)

Wild Kratts

Super Mario Bros. Super Show

For adults:

New Girl

Wayne’s World

Gilmore Girls

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Thank you for supporting the companies that allow me to keep doing what I love. Like watching TV and hanging out with my family. And writing this blog. I’m a proud member of the Netflix #StreamTeam! As always, though, all opinions are my own.

ipad-and-netflix-gift-ideaAnd in my opinion, I think an iPad mini and Netflix subscription would make a great gift idea for someone you love!  (pst. I made that little card, it’s not from Netflix).

Halloween Vibes Playlist

Props from Knott's Scary Farm. I have to say that Halloween is not my favorite holiday. I actually really hate how gross everything is. This year when we went to pick out the kid’s Halloween costumes, we stood at Party City for an hour staring at the costume wall. Either the costumes were totally whack or they were super gory. I’m just not going to have my 5-year-old walking around the neighborhood in something with fake blood splatters. I also don’t love the overtly themed Halloween songs they play every year. Sure, you have to hear Monster Mash, but I’d rather listen to something with a Halloween vibe, that is still good music.

Here are some of my fave songs that I made in to a Halloween playlist for your listening pleasure. It’s a little moody and melancholy with a few goth influences. But your ears will still like it. I’m sure of it.

Image is from my photo walk at Knott’s Berry Farm when I got to go in their prop warehouse and found some of their Halloween Haunt decorations.

Pancake Mountain Dance Party with The Bots

Headed to a Pancake Mountain Dance Party in Los Angeles. A few weeks ago my family did something super awesome. We headed to Los Angeles to be part of a super fun Pancake Mountain Dance Party featuring The Bots. You probably aren’t familiar with Pancake Mountain but you totally should be. Now being created in conjunction with PBS Digital Studios, Pancake Mountain is the coolest music and variety show for kids.  The show is lovingly hosted by a puppet goat, named Rufus Leaking. He’s quite a character. We’ve been fans of the show for years and have several of the DVDs they used to produce.  What drew me to the show in the first place was the fact that they don’t dumb down music for the kids but introduce them to some rad bands and musicians. And they encourage creativity and individuality and fun. And the dance parties! They throw dance parties, with fantastic bands (past dance parties have included Tegan and Sara, and King’s of Leon) and get the kids up on stage right in on the action. Once they moved their studio to Los Angeles, I knew that at some point, we would need to check out one of these dance parties. 

Pancake Mountain Dance PartyIf you are local, sign up on their mailing list to find out about their upcoming events or dance parties. We had a blast and my husband and I ended up dancing along with the band too! It was such an awesome afternoon. I will be adding a link to the video as soon as it is ready! 

Behind the scenes of a Pancake Mountain dance party with The Bots. We hung out in the studio while the production crew set up and The Bots warmed up and did a sound check. I loved that my kids got to see this. It was an awesome experience for them. And The Bots are awesome. These LA based brothers are young and they rock. I was super impressed with their playing, lyrics and professionalism. I loved that my boys got to see these kids (I can call them that because I am almost 40) living out a dream, playing music and putting out albums at such a young age. 

Trying on costumes for the Pancake Mountain Dance Party. And then the boys got to try on some costumes from the prop room. Pancake Mountain features a cast of characters that are talented and funny. My oldest got to try on the glittery top hat of “Captain Perfect.” He was excited. 

The Bots band with the boys at the Pancake Mountain Dance Party. It was a pleasure to get to spend the afternoon with The Bots. Now go check out their music. And follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Check out the Pancake Mountain trailer here:

And then subscribe to their You Tube Channel so you don’t miss a segment!  And sign up for their mailing list so you can attend the next dance party! We had a blast!

Follow Pancake Mountain on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Playlist for Summer and Beyond

New and old music to get you through the end of summer and on in to fall. Over 2 hours of music. Just push play. // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comThis is the playlist right here. I made this a few weeks ago and it has been played on repeat. Like, non-stop.  This playlist for summer and beyond is over 2 hours long (139 minutes to be exact) and features new music, new to me music and some rad oldies. I’m still trying to figure out the best way to share music with you.  For playing my own playlists while I work, I prefer Rdio.  For premade mixes, I enjoy Songza. But in terms of plopping a completed mix on the site for you, I still don’t think I have found THE ONE.  For now, you can listen via the embedded Rdio playlist or click over to Rdio to listen through my channel. I still need to go in and build out my “collection” but it is a super easy way to be able to pull up your favorite artists and keep them all in one place, without having to buy all the music.

Who were your music faves this summer? I nearly cried when I saw that my fave, Twin Shadow, was playing a $5 show in Salt Lake City this summer and tried to figure out a way to take a family vacation there around the concert.  It didn’t work out. Then he announced his tour, with dates in Los Angeles, for October. I nearly cried again!  I got tickets and had already started counting down the days. I began scouring the internet to find any new music out from him. And then I got the dreaded email.  They postponed the show! I get that they want to make sure the show is ready for their audiences but I just want to hear him sing! Is that too much to ask?! So I checked his site to see if he had any shows scheduled. And there was one for Pomona still!  So I just got tickets for it. I shed one real tear. Good music gets me emotional.