If you’re new around here it might not take you long to realize that I love a good celebration. When it’s a celebration for a well deserving person, or group of people, it makes the fanfare that much more exciting!

From my time in school (I actually went to college to be a secondary math teacher) to now my children’s time in school it has been reaffirmed that teachers truly are the sweetest people in the world. There is one week a year we all get to shower then with love, so why not make it sweet!

I love a big project like this to celebrate every teacher in the building from music to gym class, the counselor and assistant teachers. This fun board was dropped off in the teachers lounge for all to enjoy!

I’ve linked all of the supplies you beed ON AMAZON HERE, but these adorable cookies came from SIFT AND SWIRL in Houston, Texas. I would challenge you to find a local, small business that you could support when gifting to teachers and service people in your area. It’s a win all around!

To create this craft:
1. Grab all of your supplies and lay out your letters on your board for spacing.
2. Punch out the top of your paper cache letters so that you create a cavity to fill with all of your candy.
3. Gorilla glue your letters to your board and let dry.
4. Line your letters with parchment paper. This step is key of you plan to leave any of the candy, fruit. cheese, etc unwrapped.
5. Add your treats! I like to color block so I made sure to space out all of the colors.
6. Top with miniature cookies or embellishments.
7. Don’t forget to sign your board and include any nutrition information that would need to be added.

What do you think? Will you be giving this a try for your teachers this week, or to celebrate the end of the year? Tag @TheHelpfulHost on Instagram if you do!

xo Christina

Growing up I always loved Mother’s Day because I got to celebrate my best friend. Whether you are a mom or love and adore a mom I’ve put together a short list of a few things I love that a wonderful woman (maybe you) in your life might love as well.

Ginger Jars: How beautiful are these monogrammed jars by LO HOME X VERONIKA’S BLUSHING. I love that they come in multiple shades and even have an option without a monogram. The three sizes make the perfect set, or grab one jar as the perfect gift.

Sun Hat: I have had my eye on “wildflower” Sarah Bray Bermuda sun hat for awhile, but when she partnered up with Rosie Cotswolds I knew I had to add this beautiful hat, with amazing ribbon to my short list. I love that the ribbons on these hats are interchangeable. I’m fairly certain I love a good sun hat because the older I get the more I understand the importance of taking care of my skin. Plus, a beautiful hat + ribbon combo is the perfect accessory if you ask me.

Charm Bracelet: I have to admit growing up I very much loved my James Avery sterling silver charm bracelet, but now that I am a mom I love the idea of a gold bracelet even more. What I might love most about a gift like a charm bracelet is that it is easy. Year one you grab the bracelet + charm, and each year moving forward grab a charm for mom. It’s the perfect gift that keeps giving (plus, it’s an easy calendar reminder for dad each year to order a new charm).

Beaded Bracelet: If a charm bracelet doesn’t quite fit, I love these beaded bracelets! They come in two sizes and different color ways. They scream “cool mom” to me and I love how versatile, yet laid back this fun gift can be! The two sizes make for a great mom + mini moment, too.

Lake Pajamas: Does the mom you love have a pair of Lake pajamas? If not this is the perfect luxury, yet comfortable gift. Personally, I’m a long sleeve + short girl, but their robes + nightgowns are the perfect blend of soft and breathable and the new Mother’s Day pattern is love at first sight. Add a spa day, or at home spa kit with this amazing body polish and this gift is ready to go.

Ember Mug: If you know me you know I love my coffee. I first received my mug as a gift and feel in love fast. My coffee can stay hot for 8 hours, I can control the perfect temperature and the charging base is sleek and beautiful in my kitchen. Fast forward to this Easter when I received my travel mug and even though I didn’t think my love for these mugs could grow, it most certainly did. I love my mug for office days in the house, and my travel mug for days on the go. Any coffee or tea loving mom would certainly love this gift!

Air Fryer: Who remembers when air fryers first became the rage? They were everywhere and everyone scooped up a cheep version to give it a try. Know that you know your mom loves her air fryer why not upgrade it to a beautiful appliance for her kitchen. I love that this one is larger than the small single pan options, can cook two things at once, can air fry, roast, reheat, dehydrate and bake or broil. I love that you can time you two items to be done at the same time, or remove the partition and cook one large item – like a 10lb turkey! Any mom who loves her kitchen will love this.

Raffia Platform Sandals: This one is lower on the list because they are so popular limited sizes remain. If you, or your mom, is like me I could consider shoes my love language and these Loeffler Randall heels are my latest obsession with block heel, trendy but timeline raffia and can we talk about the braided toe. LOVE.

Monogrammed Sweater: Yes, I know it is Spring, but I also know that you can celebrate mom year round, and that is exactly what this gift says. The perfect spring blue, that precious bow and her monogram in rhinestone letters makes for the perfect spring sweater that transitions into Fall and Winter as well. Trust me, this superfine merino wool sweater will not disappoint.

A couple of additional options I love won’t make it in time for Mother’s Day, but a gift card to any of the below could be a wonderful option!

Vana Chupp Studio: This amazing site is full of beautiful pieces, but for Mother’s Day i couldn’t love the idea of these sweet silhouette charm necklaces anymore. What mom wouldn’t love these sweet babies around their neck. I also love the silhouettes on a bracelet.

Stamped in Clay: If you are local to Houston I can’t recommend Nikki enough. I got my first imprint piece this year and love that it has Barretts hand and Charlotte’s little feet preserved. She hosts popups frequently so reach out to set up a session. I promise it wont disappoint. If you are not in Houston I can’t recommend finding a Ceramic artist enough.

What are you asking for for Mother’s Day, or what are you gifting your sweet mom? I would love to hear below!

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!

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.

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!

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

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!

Yes, we’re talking about the kind of pinch you get when you don’t wear green on St. Patrick’s Day! Was anyone else scared for their mom or dad to wake them up on St. Patty’s Day morning with a “pinch” for lack of dawning the color green?

Have no fear, todays post is full of the color green and with the state of the past year we hope this brings a little smile to your neighbors faces! We’ve also put together the perfect printables to help you in sharing some fun! So, lets get started!

We know the Easter bunny is on his way and ready to bring baskets galore, but this fun porch activity as a new kind of holiday basket. We have put together a couple of shopping lists for you below, but lets break it down first!

There are minimal rules here! Gather your favorite green things, surprise your neighbors and leave instructions on what to do next. We told you minimal!

First up, your favorite things! If Amazon is your thing SHOP HERE, if Target is best suited for you SHOP HERE! We love festive things like Lucky Charms with bowls and these color changing spoons for a family with kiddos. A festive cup with straw and favorite drink is also a great idea. We loved filling these baskets with a mix of festive and fun. Think sour cream and onion crips, mint Oreos and more. For a fun after school activity take your kiddos to the store and let them each pick something green!

Next, you need three printed items. A tag for your basket/bucket, an instruction sign and a sign for your neighbors door! Feel free to make your own, or use the ones we have created for you right here!

THH Tip: If you right click, or hold down on these images you can save these to print! Simply print the “You’ve Been Pinched” and “We’ve Been Pinched” tags 2 per page and the “So lucky to be your neighbor” tag 4 per page and you’re set!

Last, tie a ribbon on your basket then it’s up to you to pull off the surprise! If you are starting the pinching in your neighborhood you may want to create a few baskets, but no matter how many you put together drop them on the porch, ring the bell and run away!

We would love to see your baskets! Tag us on social media @THEHELPFULHOST, and by using #THHholiday! We can’t wait to hear what you think, and how your neighbors love this fun activity, in the comments below!

Happy pinching!

Whats even better than a macaron? A macaron Christmas tree! When Sukaina came to me about giving the Macaron by Patisse Christmas tree a makeover I was thrilled! Needless to say it was the sweetest project of the year!

If you wish you could recreate this tree look no further! We have curated your very one macaron Christmas tree straight from Amazon! Simple view our Amazon storefront HERE!

We love a good themed cake, and when it is from Buttercup Houston it’s not only as perfectly themed as it is scrumptious!

This THIR-TEE-FOURTH PAR-TEE was a low key day for a group of guys on the links, followed by a casual lunch. Custom cocktail napkins, great linens and green arrangements fit for the course completed the day.

Thank you to Buttercup Houston for the amazing cake, Bramble and Bee for the perfect arrangements, Katie and Co Houston for the cocktail napkins and BBJ La Tavola for the green lattice linens!

At The Helpful Host we love helping people celebrate everyday. Whether that is a party friends and family gather at, or a private event to love on your attendees.

We loved working with Morgan of The Foodie Chef to help our host create a custom, catering class in her home!

We loved creating these custom attendee gifts, working with Morgan to create a three course meal and of course Becki of Smith House Photography to capture it all. I think it’s safe to say new skills were learned (hello Chef’s knife), fun was had and taste buds were made happy!

Whether you are looking to host friends to learn new skills in the kitchen, a bridal party for a floral arranging afternoon, or an online corporate retreat to share a fun afternoon with clients – we would love to help. Contact us toady to get started!

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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