party

Independence Day // 2015

July 6, 2015

4th of July // livelovesimple.com

4th of July // livelovesimple.com

We had a lot of back & forth over where we’d spend the 4th of July this year. There is always so much going on within our families. Despite a few invitations, we decided to stay home. Things with Marina have been so rough. The thought of taking a trip away from home in uncertain weather and with loud fireworks popping off throughout the day was just too much. At the last minute, we decided to stay home and we invited my parents and my sister’s family over for a small barbecue.

I kept the menu simple. We had cheeseburgers and hot dogs. I made my favorite summer dish — rainbow pasta salad. (Recipe: Tricolor pasta, red cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, black olives, and basil. Best of all we added basil and golden cherry tomatoes fresh from our garden. Toss it together in your favorite balsamic vinaigrette dressing.) My mom brought along potato salad and coleslaw. For dessert, I made the easiest “strawberry shortcakes.” Slices of angel food cake, topped with whipped cream and fresh organic strawberries.

The day started off drizzly but the sun came out later. The boys had fun playing with glow sticks, sparklers, and driving Roman’s John Deere tractor around the yard. It was a nice day spent with family. Then we had yet another barbecue to head off to on Sunday.

Isn’t summertime just the best? Yes!

4th of July // livelovesimple.com

4th of July // livelovesimple.com

4th of July // livelovesimple.com

4th of July // livelovesimple.com

4th of July // livelovesimple.com

4th of July // livelovesimple.com

4th of July // livelovesimple.com

4th of July // livelovesimple.com

4th of July // livelovesimple.com

4th of July // livelovesimple.com

4th of July // livelovesimple.com

4th of July // livelovesimple.com

4th of July // livelovesimple.com

4th of July // livelovesimple.com

4th of July // livelovesimple.com

Before I close this post, how much do you love Marina’s 4th of July outfit? I’m obsessed. 😉 My favorite part was her sweet star-spangled headband. It’s a gorgeous, reversible piece from Little Owls By C.

The Little Owls boutique is run by Camilla who is inspired by her two beautiful children, Kole and Adalynn. As a mom, Camilla loves to create quality, affordable pieces for her babies to wear. From headbands to bows and more, Camilla creates perfect items for little ones and shares them in her shop. I’m in love with all of her lovely creations. Be sure to check out her shop next time you’re looking for a gift for a little one in your life. You can also follow Little Owls on Instagram, here, to see lots of cuties sporting Camilla’s creations.

I hope that you and yours had a beautiful Independence Day! Happy Monday. xo

Our Little Buckaroo Turned Two! // Roman’s 2nd Birthday Party

June 1, 2015

Cowboy Birthday Party

Cowboy Birthday Party

Cowboy Birthday Party

Cowboy Birthday Party

Over the weekend, we hosted Roman’s 2nd Birthday Party! It was a Cowboy / Wild West theme. All of Roman’s favourite people were in attendance and it was a day full of love, laughter, good food, and lots of fun. Matthew and I spent the days before the party prepping the house and the yard. It was a lot of work, but a true labor of love.

The party was everything that we’d hoped for & more. We are so grateful for our amazing friends & family who always shower our little guy with love. Two days later, and we’re still smiling from the joy of it.

I ended up running out of time before the party started, so I didn’t get to fix my hair or put on a stitch of makeup. I thought about leaving the party for a little while to put myself together, but there was just too much fun to be had. As you’ll see in the photographs, I wasn’t much to look at — but celebrating my little guy is so much more important than hair & makeup anyway.

The party featured a few adorable little projects that I DIY’d the day before, including:

  • spray-painted gold rocks so that the kiddos could “mine for gold” in Roman’s sandbox;
  • a few authentic “Roman’s Ranch” signs;
  • a genuine “Pony Corral”;
  • and lasso-wrapped eating utensils.

The beautiful ponies in “The Pony Corral” came from My Lue on Etsy and the sweet, colorful cupcake toppers came from The Birthday House on Etsy. Each child got to take home one of those gorgeous stick horses, a sheriff cowboy hat, and a red bandana as party favors.

(For a full list of party resources, check out the list at the bottom of the post.)

Cowboy Birthday Party

Cowboy Birthday Party

Cowboy Birthday Party

Cowboy Birthday Party

Cowboy Birthday Party

Cowboy Birthday Party

Cowboy Birthday Party

Cowboy Birthday Party

Cowboy Birthday Party

Cowboy Birthday Party

Cowboy Birthday Party

Cowboy Birthday Party

Cowboy Birthday Party

Cowboy Birthday Party

Cowboy Birthday Party

Cowboy Birthday Party

Cowboy Birthday Party

Cowboy Birthday Party

Cowboy Birthday Party

Cowboy Birthday Party

Cowboy Birthday Party

Cowboy Birthday Party

Cowboy Birthday Party

Cowboy Birthday Party

Cowboy Birthday Party

Cowboy Birthday Party

Cowboy Birthday Party

Cowboy Birthday Party
Cowboy Birthday Party

Cowboy Birthday Party

Cowboy Birthday Party

Cowboy Birthday Party

Cowboy Birthday Party

Cowboy Birthday Party

Cowboy Birthday Party

Cowboy Birthday Party

Cowboy Birthday Party
Cowboy Birthday Party
Cowboy Birthday Party
Cowboy Birthday Party
Cowboy Birthday Party

Cowboy Birthday Party
Cowboy Birthday Party

Cowboy Birthday Party

Cowboy Birthday Party

Cowboy Birthday Party

Cowboy Birthday Party

Cowboy Birthday Party

Cowboy Birthday Party

Cowboy Birthday Party

Cowboy Birthday Party

Cowboy Birthday Party

Cowboy Birthday Party

Cowboy Birthday Party

Cowboy Birthday Party

Cowboy Birthday Party

Cowboy Birthday Party

Cowboy Birthday Party

Cowboy Birthday Party

Cowboy Birthday Party

Party Resources:
Stick Horses – My Lue on Etsy
Cupcake Toppers – The Birthday House on Etsy
Red Cowboy Bandanas – Amazon
Cow Print Balloons – Amazon
Sheriff Cowboy Hats – Amazon
Ball Mason Jars – Amazon
John Deere Tractor – Amazon
Bandana Napkins – Amazon
Invitations – Made by Me

Happiest birthday to my sweet Roman James! I hope you had as much fun as I did. ♥


  • Click here to check out Roman’s 1st Birthday Party!

spring, blossoms, parties // Bloominous

April 21, 2015

roses / livelovesimple.com

roses / livelovesimple.com

I am ecstatic that spring & warm weather are finally here! This past winter was one of the coldest & snowiest on record. It was miserable. I didn’t mind winter when I was younger. Snow days were always welcome when I was in school! But that’s changed as I’ve gotten older, and the past couple of winters have been particularly awful. As a stay-at-home mom, being trapped inside month after month is especially difficult for me.

We’ve even talked about moving to a warmer climate. It’s painful to think about because both of our families are here — but we’re an active, outdoor-loving family, and winter genuinely depresses us. It takes a toll on our quality of life for a solid four months out of the year.

Anyway, those are just some of the thoughts swimming around in my mind lately. On a much brighter note, this post is actually about spring which brings two of my favourite things: parties & flowers! Honest to goodness, those two words make my heart sing. I just love to party plan and for me, there’s nothing better than warm weather & outdoor parties, BBQ, s’mores, cold beers, and warm sun. And of course, no party is complete without some beautiful decorations — most especially, fresh flowers.

Presently, I’m planning Roman’s 2nd birthday party. Remember last year’s party — Camp Roman? This year is going to be much smaller, I simply can’t do as much with a newborn in tow, but I’m still wildly excited about it. The theme is “The Wild West.” It’ll be in our backyard and there will be cow print, red bandanas, and hobby horses to boot! I’m still debating on flowers, but I’ll DIY something beautiful like I always do.

Speaking of parties, flowers, & DIY — I’d like to introduce you to Bloominous. Bloominous is a company that’s on a mission to make DIY flowers easy — you already know why I love this! They sent me the beautiful roses that are pictured in this post from their Party Pop collection.

This June will mark our three-year wedding anniversary, and of course three years since I DIY’d our wedding flowers, too. As someone who’s been through the process, I appreciate the Bloominous mission to make DIY accessible for everyone. They ship Priority Overnight to ensure freshness and provide video instructions that explain how to arrange your pieces easily. They also ship their flowers clean, which saves you from the time-consuming process of stripping leaves, thorns, and excess petals. I know first-hand how time-consuming that process is, since I spent hours doing it two days before our wedding! 😉

Bloominous offers custom designs and can modify any of their current collections to suit your needs. If you’re interested in a custom experience, click here to get started. Mention “Live, Love, Simple” and receive a free consultation (a $50 value).

roses / livelovesimple.com

roses / livelovesimple.com

roses / livelovesimple.com

roses / livelovesimple.com

roses / livelovesimple.com

roses / livelovesimple.com

roses / livelovesimple.com

Okay, friends. I’m off to enjoy the gorgeous spring weather we’re experiencing at the moment. Have a beautiful day!


This post is in partnership with Bloominous. Thanks for supporting the companies that help to make this blog possible.


Sweet & Simple Baby Shower Favors

March 12, 2015

baby shower favors // livelovesimple.com

baby shower favors // livelovesimple.com

As I mentioned yesterday, we held my “Sprinkle” over the weekend. It was sweet & simple and I wanted to give out a little thank you to each guest to fit the theme. I had fun assembling these miniature candy bags with love and thought I’d share the process. (By the way, if you’re interested in my first baby shower you can check that out — including favors, decor, and games — right here.)

baby shower favors // livelovesimple.com

You’ll need:

  1. a “Thank You” stamp & ink
  2. miniature paper bags
  3. floral fabric tape
  4. candy (I used pillow mints & pink chocolates)
  5. baby-themed stickers

baby shower favors // livelovesimple.com

baby shower favors // livelovesimple.com

baby shower favors // livelovesimple.com

baby shower favors // livelovesimple.com

Directions:
Assembling the bags is so simple and you can pick up all of the necessary supplies at your favourite craft store.

To start, lay all of your bags flat. Using your stamp & ink, mark each bag with a “Thank You.” You’ll be folding & taping the bags down later, so stamp each bag low enough to account for the fold & tape. You can do a practice fold to give yourself an idea of how much space you’ll need.

Next, apply a sticker on the opposite side of each bag, at roughly the same height that you applied your stamps. Then, unfold your bags so that they are standing upright. Fill each bag with candy, being sure to spread the sweetness evenly into each bag.

Cut fabric tape into roughly 1.5-inch strips. Finally, fold tops of bags down and seal each one with a piece of fabric tape. I alternated between folding toward the “Thank You” stamp sides and the sticker sides — that way when I put the bags on display, guests could see both designs.

baby shower favors // livelovesimple.com

baby shower favors // livelovesimple.com

baby shower favors // livelovesimple.com

These favors could be customized for any kind of party, the possibilities are endless. If you give them a try, please share with me. I’d love to see what you come up with. xo


Sprinkled with Love!

March 11, 2015

pink ombre cake / livelovesimple.com

pink ombre cake / livelovesimple.com

pink ombre cake / livelovesimple.com

37 weeks / livelovesimple.com

My “Sprinkle” ended up being a bit last minute. (Well, last minute according to me, since I usually plan parties 6 months+ in advance.) We ended up making a reservation and getting the invitations in the mail just under three weeks before the party date. I thought I’d made up my mind awhile back, but then I started going back & forth again. In the end, we hosted a small, casual sit-down lunch at a local restaurant for my ten closest lady friends & family members. It was intimate, simple, and exactly what I needed it to be.

I can’t resist an opportunity for a little bit of DIY, so in the days before the party I put together some cute favor bags. I’ll share a simple “how-to” for those tomorrow.

We didn’t book a private room, so we didn’t make plans to decorate. However, it just wouldn’t be a “Dena” celebration without fresh flowers & mason jars. I’d planned to pick up a large bouquet from the florist, but I was food shopping on the morning before the sprinkle, and noticed a beautiful selection of flowers in the grocery store. I picked up three bouquets — deep coral roses, light pink carnations, and white baby’s breath — all for under $20. I arranged three lovely centerpieces. We did end up having the room to ourselves and the flowers gave it just the pop that it needed.

The shining star of the party was the cake. I’ve been looking for an excuse to have a pink ombré cake forever — and what better time than a baby girl’s sprinkle? I contacted my friend, Fatima Majid of Cakes & Cupcakes, with a few ideas and she designed the most gorgeous and delicious cake that I’ve ever seen & tasted! Truly, it was perfect and it took my breath away. Everybody loved it. Fatima is a talented stay-at-home mom, who started baking as a hobby and turned it into a home business. If you’re local & looking for a baker, I most highly recommend her services. Check her out here on Facebook.

pink ombre cake / livelovesimple.com

pink ombre cake / livelovesimple.com

pink ombre cake / livelovesimple.com

pink ombre cake / livelovesimple.com

pink ombre cake / livelovesimple.com

pink ombre cake / livelovesimple.com

pink ombre cake / livelovesimple.com

In the end, it was all perfect. Me, Matthew, & our babies are so blessed to have such wonderful friends & family. Life is full of ups & downs. The last nine months have thrown challenges our way that we could have never expected. Still, we are surrounded by amazing people, who are always there for us when it matters the most. This simple little party — meant to celebrate baby girl’s upcoming arrival — was the best reminder that she is already so very loved.

Today marks twenty-one days until my due date! Here we go!


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