It’s that time! You have all you need for your little one, but there is one person left to greet for the new year – your teacher!

A fun fact about me is that I have a minor in education! I am a teacher at heart and have always held a special place for teachers close. Now, as a parent my appreciation for the amazing educators in our lives is even bigger.

One thing I love to do is to get a list of their favorite things. This helps me give thanks most intentionally throughout the year. I have refined this the past few years and this year am so happy with everything it covers! I simply tucked the questionnaire in the back for their first day basket so it was ready to go.

I love a good gift, and I love to give a first day gift to our teachers! This year we gave a personalized (with my Crucit) tumbler with lid (I have gifted this cups for 3 years now and love them), the most amazing hand sanitizer (spoiler, it’s also a moisturizer and FDA approved), a personalized cookie and a gift card for dinner. The tag for our gift basket gives a nod to dinner. Take a look below for our teacher gifts and for the free downloads of my printables!

TIP: Punch a hole in your DINNER ON US tag if adding it to a gift. Simply loop the hang tag or ribbon through it to attach to your gift basket, box or bag.

NOTE: Please check with your school. There are some PTO/PTA groups that keep a favorite things list for each teacher on file and the homeroom teacher has that information.

TEACHER QUESTIONNAIRE
Simply click on the image to save it and print it from your printer. Don’t forget to add your teachers name and to sign the sheet from your kiddo so the teacher knows who to return it to!


If you are looking for a fun gift to add to your teacher questionnaire I crafted this little dinner on us gift card tag to tie on our baskets. I also made a stand alone card for a place to secure your gift card if that might be helpful to you!

We went with Chick-fil-A gift cards and when I polled what your first day of school traditions are a teacher added Chick-fil-A or Pizza for dinner because of how busy of a day it is. I’m fairly certain I made a good gift card choice!

DINNER ON US TAG
Simply click on the image to save it and print it from your printer. Don’t forget to add your teachers name and to sign the gift from you!

I always love to see what you all come up with! Leave me a comment here with your first day teacher gift ideas or take me on social media @ChristinaLeighFrederick and @TheHelpfulHost so that I can celebrate with you!

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

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!

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