I can’t believe school is back! I mean, I can, but I can’t. Does anyone else get me?

To help ease everyone back in to the school year we love showing the teachers in our lives a little love. In order to do that there are a couple of things I’d love to share with you:

First, let’s talk about giving! I’ve put together three super fun, easy ideas and hope you love them as much as my littles do. One of them has requested the “pencils” and the other wants the “apple” so it’s likely we’ll be doing both and saving the other ideas for down the road this school year!

Let’s get to it!

I can’t wait to grow this year!

I love this option because it’s bright and cheerful. I love to give necessities (hand sanitizer and easy to identify pens) as well as a little something fun. For this gift flower seeds and a cute pot it is! Of course, you could always grab an actual plant but I save real flowers for teacher appreciation. 🙂

What do you think of this option? Click HERE for all you need on Amazon and grab this printable tag, or one of the others below!

Let dinner tonight be our treat!

A gift card, but make it cute! I don’t know about you, but if we are going out for night one of school you can bet your teacher probably is too. With early mornings and late nights I love the idea of spreading a little cheer with a gift card for a quick dinner. Think pizza, Chick-Fil-A, etc. takeout that feeds a family! The bonus ifs that if they don’t need t right away they will have it for a night they do!

Click THIS LINK for supplies, grab your favorite gift card from a local restaurant and print your favorite tag below!

I’m excited for my mind to be sharpened this year!

Bright and fun is the name of the game with this happy little surcee! I love that these pencils become a cute scalloped vase or a fun pen/pencil holder. Grab a 6 pack of vases HERE, along with your favorite pens, some hand sanitizer and print your favorite tag below!

FAVORITE THINGS QUESTIONNAIRE

Next, there is always one other thing that I share with our teachers the first week of school, and it’s the questionnaire below. It’s the best way for us to celebrate our teachers with intention, and it’s helpful for things like the holidays and teacher appreciation.

(Of course, check with your PTA/PTO or any homeroom moms to make sure there isn’t a place to find the information or there isn’t an organized effort to gift to your teacher first. )

What gift do you like best? Will you be taking anything to your teacher(s) or asking for their favorite things? We’re hopeful that this is helpful as you celebrate the educators in your life this upcoming school year! Happy back to school!

TIP:

To print any of the tags or questionnaire simply save the image, crop the image to the tag you like and print on card stock. Sizing works best for the tags of you print “four per page.” Don’t forget to sign your students name and punch a hold to tie on with your cute new ribbon!

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Having been a luxury wedding and event planner for over a decade my love for weddings runs deep in my bones. It’s the type A personality in me that loves creating timelines, the dreamer and visionary in me that loves designing one of a kind events and the servants heart in me that loves giving all I have to each of my couples.

It only seemed fitting for me to begin celebrating my sweet little girls marriage day on her first birthday. So when I stumbled across this precious cake knife tradition I just knew that I had to have it be a part of Charlotte’s birthday celebration.

Let’s break the tradition down.

It’s unclear where the tradition came. Although cutting a birthday cake dates back to Germany in 15th century A.D. it wasn’t until Victorian times when the Brides Cake entered a wedding celebration. As far as gifting a cake knife on a first birthday the history is unclear, but when I stumbled across it I knew it was the key to the perfect first birthday gift.

What:
A special cake knife is gifted to a little girl on her first birthday.
Note: I did receive messages that it can also be custom to gift a little boy a cake knife as well.

Why:
The special cake knife can then be used for special occasions leading up to ones marriage day. Birthdays, communion, graduation, etc.

Julia Childs did say that any event without cake it just a meeting. We all know that cake is generally key to a proper celebration so why not have the perfect cake knife for each special occasion.

How:
For Charlotte I will admit that I didn’t have a formal cake knife for my wedding, or I would have passed our wedding set to her. Instead we got her a set from Tiffany’s as her very first blue box.

A few of the options we looked at were:
Tiffany and Co.
Kate Spade , with blue
Kate Spade, with rose
Vera Wang for Wedgewood
Sterling Silver Set
Waterford Diamond Set

Leave it to me to be indecisive about what I want to engrave on Charlotte’s set. For her birthday it was blank, but I think I have decided to simply put her formal name on the cake knife and for her wedding we can then add the name of her groom to the cake server for her set to be complete.

I have also heard of a simple message on the back of the cake server to be a great option. Something like:
Here’s to the first of many celebrations honoring you.
Happy First Birthday! May this cake knife bring you joy each time you celebrate.

In hindsight I may have given Barrett his own birthday cake knife, but will reserve that for his someday bride. Maybe she will have been gifted her very own cake knife.

Our precious cake knife sign came from Honey Bear Pages to match all of our stationery for the party. She has an adorable Etsy shop and is the sweetest! I would highly recommend reaching out to her for a cake knife sign or any stationery needs.

What do you think of the tradition? Did you receive a birthday cake knife, or have you gifted a special cake knife to someone? I would love to hear below!

xo Christina

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  1. Cathy says:

    I love this!!!

  2. Rachel says:

    Have you heard of people putting the name and birthdate on the engraving? Being indecisive on whether I should put birthdate or first birthday date.

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If there’s one story that so many know from childhood it has to be If You Give a Mouse a Cookie! Due to my love for blueberry pancakes when I was pregnant a sweet friend gifted me If You Give a Pig a Pancake, and it’s been a favorite in our home since day one. If you ask my little guy which book is his favorite he replies “all of them” so I knew exactly what had to be done!

I knew for this third birthday I wanted cute paper, great food, a fun day and an adorable cake. Step one was setting the theme and starting with the paper. I found Honey Bear Pages I knew I struck gold! Abby was AMAZING to work with and I was so excited when we honed in on the pancake, muffin, donut and cookie as our “theme.” She had the cutest illustrations and we paired the primary colors from the books with the food to complete the look! Seriously, how cute are these!
I love this template thank you for little ones. While my guy can’t quite write his name, he did describe his gifts to me and draw each friend a picture. This is a great way to start teaching littles how to be grateful at an early age.

Next on board was Alicia of The Sugar Cookie Studio. If you follow me personally on Instagram it is possible you know my love for these cookies. Not only is she insanely talented (take a look at this reel) the cookies taste good! I grew up on homemade sugar cookies and while I know you can’t have professional cookies that soft, these are the closest I have found, but have the amazing structure and designs that I love!

To continue with the theme I grabbed these adorable little guys from Amazon and paired them with the food. Can we talk about the food!

Kristina from Buttercup is a God-send. We have worked together numerous times (fun fact she and my husband went to grade school together!) and when I found out she was opening her precious storefront just in time for our food themed party I knew I had to try to get on her calendar as soon as I could. The menu did not disappoint. I will let the pictures (from my iPhone) speak for themselves, because I truly don’t think I could put descriptive words together to adequately describe how amazing brunch was!

I can’t forget the cake! Cristina with Dulce Designs was the mastermind behind the cake again this year! It’s hard to find inspiration for a cake that is children’s book themed, but she pulled it off flawlessly! Honestly, we don’t have a lot of sweets in our home on a daily basis, so when my three year old constantly went for the cookies I knew he was his daddy’s little guy for sure! The cookies were the perfect addition to this super fun cake!

I had the cutest ideas for favors… but pregnant brain got the best of me, however I still think they turned out really cute! I pulled inspiration from Pig and her bubble bath, grabbed goggles for the pool and of course had to add cookies for everyone to take home as part of their favor. Personally, favors that add clutter aren’t necessary, but I love that all of these have a use or can be consumed! Double win!

Most of all I can’t believe my little guy is three. With his little sister arriving any day I knew I wanted his birthday to be full of his favorite things; brunch, cookies and swimming! It was a special treat to be joined by our friends and family to celebrate! Cheers to your best year yet little man! Mommy and Daddy love you!

All of the items from Amazon can be found on my Amazon Storefront HERE. The cute figurines and box book set might be my favorite on the list!

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  1. Andrea says:

    Hi there. This is a super cute theme and actually what I am planning for my little ones 3rd birthday. I can’t seem to find those figurines. By any chance would you sell me yours?

    • Hello! I am so sorry I am just getting back to a reply. They were a vintage set we found and became one of my littles guys most cherished toys. We’ll be keeping them for his little ones some day with his books. Thank you for asking though, that’s so kind!

    • Jasmine Toledo says:

      Andrea, were you able to find the figurines? I can’t seem to find any either!

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I can’t believe I haven’t ever posted about my little guys second birthday! Because I am a full year past due I have, of course, misplaced photos, but with the mentality that it is better to give than receive here we go!

First, can we talk about how BAB’s never disappoints! I know I can always turn over my color scheme and random ideas to these crazy talented balloon ladies and they handle the rest!

The Theme: When The Beaufort Bonnet Company came out with their summer birthday theme last year I was immediately drawn to an adorable jon jon with elephant in his party hat. I loved it so much that I ordered the shorts and the jon jon just in case my little guy grew too quickly! Good news is the jon jon fit (iPhone family picture below)!

To keep with the theme I enlisted Caroline of Sweet Caroline Designs to create an invitation and party favor tags for our family party. Her love for perfectly themed paper and TBBC made for the best pair, don’t you think!

For our Noah’s Ark themed party with family I wanted it to be simple and fun. The three keys to any kiddo party (in my humble opinion) are food, cake and activity. The food was easy and I pulled out my serving boards to assemble a rainbow themed brunch board. For a little guy that can’t get enough pancakes and fruit I knew it would be the perfect hit. For the servicing pieces I used click HERE.

Fruit, pastries and our favorite macarons from Macaron by Patisse were all the greatest of hits! Now on to the second most important thing – cake! Can I just say that Cristina is so talented! I sent her animals from the TBBC birthday jammies that matched the theme and she made the most perfect cake! What do you think?

Last, but certainly not least was the fun for the kids – in the form of blow up water slide. It truly was the best morning, the the Houston heat, to celebrate our sweet two year old with family!

When I am with family I try my best to be present and for this fun family party that meant not trying to be the photographer, so I hope you love my iPhone snaps of our sweet little day!

I hope if this post shows you anything it is that a party doesn’t have to be social media perfect for it to be a success. That celebrating your loved ones can be easy and fun. You can have a theme, but not go overboard. Most of all I hope it gives you permission to do what you, or your kids if they are old enough to weigh in, love.

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I can’t believe 2021 is almost a quarter of the way over and that Easter is almost here! If you caught my LIKEtoKNOW.it post you know that todays Easter Brunch blog post is going to be three parts! When I asked what would be helpful for you all this Easter season a few of your mentioned an Easter menu! So let’s do it!

When I think about brunch it can go a few ways, sweet or savory being the main two options, but also formal, fun or relaxed so that is what we are going to look at today!

FORMAL

I love a good formal Easter brunch! This is for the host who has beautiful white china and is looking for a few extra fun holiday touches and a great menu, for a refined palette. I love these rabbit napkins, chargers and precious stoneware egg plates for salad. For the menu, let’s take a look.

FIRST COURSE
Shrimp Cobb Salad
with Bacon Dressing
Salmon Smoked Crostini
Fruit Salad
with Vanilla Dressing

MAIN COURSE
Chipotle Pineapple Jerk Glazed Ham
served with Oven Roasted Carrots
Baked Potato Casserole
and Fruited Rice Pilaf

DESSERT
Blueberry Lemon Poppyseed Custard Cake

This salad is an all time favorite of mine and I love it served on these adorable plates. The main course is full of flavor and such a beautiful presentation and desert – how could anyone ever forget dessert! This custard cake is the perfect note to end your time at the table to head out to the big egg hunt!

FUN

Next up is cute, fun and kid friendly! How amazing are these bowls and I love the melamine plates. Great pieces for little hands! I love the versatility of this menu. It has all of your brunch staples, but friendly for the youngest guest.

FIRST COURSE
Caesar Salad Wonton Cups
Prosciutto Asparagus Puff Pastry Bundles
Hot Cross Buns

MAIN COURSE
Eggs Benedict Bake
Skillet Baked Eggs and Ham
Upside Down Waffle and Egg Cups

DESSERT
Strawberry Coconut Carrot Cake
with Mascarpone Buttercream

served with Vanilla Ice Cream

These bowls are perfect for this fun dessert and allow kiddos to enjoy their treats, or adults to take their dessert outside to supervise play time! Who doesn’t love cake and ice cream?

RELAXED

For a busy day filled with hustle and bustle I love the food to feel effortless and fun. These paper plates and napkins are the perfect addition to the buffet and allow your guests to serve themselves and enjoy their Easter brunch on their time. To keep things easy I love the idea of a combination of grazing boards.

FIRST COURSE
Waldorf Salad Platter
English Cheese Board
Sharp Cheddar Scones

MAIN COURSE
Build Your Own Bagel Brunch Board
Build Your Own Waffle Brunch Board
Build Your Own Avocado Toast Board

DESSERT
Easter Cupcakes
Easter Candy Board

I love these cupcakes for the sheer fact that they look just like an Easter garden should! They’re easy, festive and free of refined sugar, dairy and gluten! Perfect for any allergies and the pickiest eater won’t even know! Of course, you can also go 100% relaxed with this amazing Easter Candy Board!

What kind of Easter brunch host are you? I am a mix of formal and relaxed for sure! What menu do you prefer? I would love to hear below!

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Today let’s chat kiddos! It’s safe to say the amount of blog posts, Easter basket guides and information floating around for children’s baskets can be overwhelming. Without giving you a massive list of all of the things you could buy I am simply going to share what I did buy.

My formula for an Easter basket is simple. Are you ready?
LITERATURE:
A book, or two is perfect. I place more Spring and Easter books on his bookshelf in his room

BASKET FILLERS:
Easter themed gadgets are always fun. Think bunny ears, bunny glasses, a bunny silly straw cup, window clings and confetti eggs. These can be crazy and entertaining!

ACTIVITIES:
What kid doesn’t love to be active? I love this plastic bat and ball set with foam base set from the Target dollar spot. Plus, I added this giant slinky for the stairs and this super fun cone + ring set!

SWIMSUIT:
It’s that time of the year! If you kiddos swim it’s likely the swimsuit from last year doesn’t fit anymore. This is the perfect time to gift a necessity in a fun way!

JAMMIES:
Generally I gift bunny PJ’s the week before (and I have another pair I will do that with), but my little guy is obsessed with Peter Rabbit. The hope was Patter Rabbit 2 would land in theaters in time for Easter, but it turns out it doesn’t release in the US until July. These jammies were to pair with his dry first movie theater movie… but instead he will get them now and a movie later. He might as well wear them before he grows out of them!

SWEETS:
Right now I have some M&M’s in his basket, but next week I will pick up his custom Easter cookies from The Sugar Cookie Studio that he loves! We all love them so much this bunny may have ordered some for everyones Easter basket!

BASKET:
Don’t forget the basket! If you have been following along this week you know that any vessel goes as a way to hold goodies from the bunny. but for our Easter morning treats I love nothing more than a coordinated family basket scene. I ordered our basket from this small business and love them each year!

You can shop the linkable items in your favorite place. LiketoKnow.it or Amazon shop one, or both!

I’d love to know, do you have a formula for baskets? I love that I am able to gift fun, educational, themed items but also tuck in necessities that I am going to have to purchase anyway and gift in a fun way!

To see our other themed baskets visit these blog posts below:
NEWLY ENGAGED EASTER BASKET
WINE + WHISKEY EASTER BASKETS
BEAUTY THEMED EASTER BASKETS

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Yesterday was all about beauty so today we are jumping in to wine and whiskey! Yes, that’s right Easter Baskets perfect for the parents of the house! I also love this wine basket as the perfect bunny gift for someone who just bought their first home or is newly married!

First up, let’s celebrate the men! I don’t know about you, but the men in my family are big whisky drinkers. The one thing I can appreciate is a classic decanter and rocks glass set. Pair it with a great set of cocktail napkins and tea towel and you can freshen up any liquor tray any day of the week. A couple of gadgets my husband loves are this smoker and his round ice cubs. If you have a whiskey aficionado who is looking to perfect the round ice cube I might suggest THIS SET, but for any beginner this mold is a great place to start. Pair this with the perfect bottle of whiskey, and a sweet treat, and you’re all set!

Sources: Tray, Smoker, Decantar and Glasses, Cocktail Napkins,
Ice Mold, Ice Set, Candy, Towel

If you know a wine lover then this is the “basket” they need! I truly think this would be perfect for a first time home buyer, a college graduate, a newlywed or just a wine lover in general. You can always pair your favorite bottle of red, or white wine with this basket, but can we talk about what I love most? This amazing, custom monogram porcelain wine party bucket paired with this perfect blue charcuterie board and these melamine plates! Swoon, I’ll take one of each please! I am also a firm believer that everyone should own a classic corkscrew, great set of wine glasses (red and white), decanter and cheese knives. Don’t forget the chocolate to pair with your red wine and this basket is finished!

Sources: Party Bucket, Charcuterie Board, Wine Glasses, Plates,
Corkscrew, Decanter, Candy, Cheese Knives

Which basket are you, wine or whiskey? I would love for you to share below! To see the beauty baskets from yesterday click HERE!

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I can’t believe I am writing this, my little boy is one!

If you caught THIS post you know that we thought long and hard about his name. A piece of that puzzle is that a part of Barrett’s name is a nod to my amazing husband, Blair Bear as his family affectionally called him.

I know I only have a few years to pick birthday themes before my little guy weighs in, so I am taking full advantage! I wanted d bear theme, but everything that is mainstream looked like a campsite, and everything else looked like a baby shower. So I took matters into my own hands.

To start I sketched a very special little bear for my little guy. Hidden in his “fur” is a birthday message from mom and I will cherish this detail forever.

I loved working with Katie and Co in Houston to bring the paper details to life. The Sugar Cookie Studio is my go-to for adorable, custom cookies and Alicia knocked these out of the park.

Let’s not forget the adorable bear macarons from Macaron by Patisse and the food from Tout Suite. Thank you Cinnamon Lane for lettering the perfect backdrop to our snacks!

I always knew I wanted to make my children’s birthday cakes, but this was quite the tricky situation. 3 days prior to Barrett’s birthday he actually put his tiny finger in my eye and made quite the mark. Needless to say I am eternally grateful that my mom, Barrett’s Gigi, was in town to help! She and her mom, my Grammy, were where I learned to bake. To have her help me with our family secret white chocolate cake and a chocolate mocha cake was just what was needed. I am sure I would have been off on measurements with my 48 hour eye patch! We also made Barrett a gluten, dairy and refined sugar cake… I’m certain he loved it, but will let you decide.

It was the perfect day with balloons from Big Ass Balloons and bears that we donated to the local fire department.

Happy Birthday little guy. It is the greatest blessing to be your momma, and I love that the Lord gave me a gift of celebrating others to celebrate you!
xo Christina

Photography, Balloons, Venue and Catering

I have linked all of the party supplies on my Amazon page here!

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Before I share all of the goodness below, I have to say how truly blessed I am to have amazing women in my life to shower sweet baby Frederick. I mean look at these ladies, each of which I am eternally grateful for.

These ladies pulled out all of the stops, starting with these adorable invitations and paper goods from Nine Zero Nine Creative. Ryann is truly talented and I was so grateful for her to pull my love for only blueberry pancakes into a shower theme!

In addition to the perfect paper details can we talk about the food! If I craved anything (truly, I really didn’t eat much other than a daily protein shake with baby F) it was blueberry crunch pancakes from First Watch. Needless to say I wanted one of everything from Buttercup at my shower. She took my love for brunch and satisfied it, ten fold!

I couldn’t have had a sweeter shower (pun intended) if I had planned it myself. Thank you to the sweet friends, family and loved ones for celebrating our little one.

I know baby Frederick will be so loved by his Gigi, Cici and all of his Aunts!

The boys were golfing while we were brunching, but it was such a treat for my Mr. to swing by after all of the festivities to share the gender of our little one with our family! We will share with you all soon, but in the mean time here is my handsome husband instead.

Thank you to the amazing creatives, that I am lucky to call friends who contributed to such a special day!
Floral – Bramble and Bee
Catering – Buttercup
Stationery – NineZeroNine Creative
Images – Butter

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By now you might know that we love a fun workshop, but did you know that we don’t just create custom workshops to teach a craft or trade? We also work with amazing creatives to bring their workshop dreams to life. Enter Becki with Smith House Photography. When she felt overwhelmed by all of the logistics that go into a flawless experience for her attendees she needed some assistance and we were happy to help!

It was so fun to help her with the layout, setup, props and execution of her photography workshop. We think her attendees had the best time, but we will let you decide that!  

Thank you Becki for asking The Helpful Host to be part of the fun at your very first Smith House Photography Workshop! Also, a big thank you to Breanna McKendrick for capturing Becki, the workshop and the attendees!

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