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!

I can’t believe I will officially have a Pre-K kiddo in my house this year, and little sister is starting school too! It’s bittersweet to be at our last “first, first day,” but such an exciting time to celebrate!

I’ve gathered a few quick things for the perfect first day celebration and have a few tips and tricks for the special occasion!

Shop all of these items on my LikeToKnowIt

First, start the day with a fun breakfast! If cooking is your love language this is your time to shine! Fun pancakes, cinnamon rolls or for the bigger kids even a breakfast casserole can be wonderful options! If you are all about the local bakery and apple shaped donuts make your heart smile (this is our go to) then shop small! Either way I would grab these plates, these napkins and this banner for a morning treat!

No first day, is a proper first day without a new outfit in this house. Yes, I know I am still at the age where I can pick out their clothes without their input – I am holding on to that! I can’t get enough of these cute appliqué looks, matching short sets and sibling options!
Tip: Avoid personalization for delivery in time for the first day.

A new lunchbox and water bottle are perfect for first day fun! Our beloved Planetbox lunchbox is 28% off and our Yeti’s are 15% off!

Of course crayons, new books and a few extra treats are always welcome!
Tip: Grab treats that also double as a snack for their lunchbox, or for when they get home!

Add those all to a fun, functional storage basket and you have an extra mom win! Yea, for a place to hold toys, extra back door shoe basket – the possibilities are endless!
Tip: Only grab a new basket if you need one. If you have too many bins and baskets to count grab one from your house.

I love the first day for morning surprises, a great day at school and dinner to learn all about the day! Yes, it takes a little bit to get into a new rhythm, but its one that is welcome – and just around the corner!

I would love to know if you have a fun first day tradition! Share your ideas and celebrations below!

xo Christina

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!

It’s safe to say we love books around here! My little sister dubbed me a “bookworm” growing up. In fifth grade I was on an independent reading program because I was reading at an eighth grade reading level. Needless to say I hope my children learn a love of books from their mama!

One way that I love to make reading fun is to change out the books they visually see often, and the most fun reason to do that is for the holidays!

With our next holiday being St. Patrick’s Day I grabbed a lot of their colorful core books and added in a few rainbows!

You can see that with Charlotte’s bookshelf I color blocked her books, and on Barrett’s shelves I mixed all of the colors around!

You can find all of the books LINKED HERE on my AMAZON STOREFRONT. You can also shop Charlotte’s house bookshelf and additional items HERE on my LTK ACCOUNT. You can also find Betty Confetti, Charlotte’s doll, and her autographed book at All She Wrote Notes, LINKED HERE.

Do you change your children’s bookshelves around for the holidays, or see one of your favorite books on these shelves? I would love for you to share in the comments below!

1 decade. 10 years. 120 months. 521 weeks. 3,652 days.

The girl in this picture is equal parts the same as she is different. It only took me one wedding to learn that you can’t wear heels all day (even when you are 25), and that serving couples and families on a marriage day is truly the best job anyone could ask for.

I had been planning weddings for 2.5 years, but on November 11, 2011 (yes, the planner in me picked 11-11-11 intentionally) I officially re-organized my business into the LLC that is Christina Leigh Events.

I told my mom for years I wanted to be a wedding planner. I had a binder with my logo, sketch of my desk and office decor inspiration (hello pink gerbera daisies). I don’t know how many times she said to me, “go to college and we’ll talk about this later.” I majored in Communications and my senior year an opportunity to work an event for a planner in town surfaced. From there came an internship, then my first “real job.” That job taught me more than I could ever write on paper and lead to the business you see today.

It’s not lost on me that I have the most amazing job because of the incredible humans I get to work for and alongside every day. To the hundreds of clients who have trusted CLE with your weddings and events thank you. It’s not only a joy to design a beautiful experience for your guests, but to get to know you and welcome you into the CLE family.

To my brides who have called just to chat.
To moms who have trusted me with more than one special wedding or event.
To the fathers who call your Fronk to add in a surprise father daughter dance on your little girls marriage night.
To the grooms who allow us to manage the logistics so that you can be fully present.
To the clients who give us full creative control and allow us to put fourth our best work.
To the couples who welcome us into your home, and on private property, to create your dream wedding.
To clients who allow us to celebrate your businesses and employees.
Thank you for your trust, love and referrals CLE is what it is because of you!

To the countless creatives and creative teams (we don’t work with “vendors” around here – your event is more important than the county fair) we’ve been able to work alongside as we serve our amazing couples and clients, thank you. Working with experts in so many fields creates a beautiful finished product that is unique and special in its own way, every single time.
Thank you for putting you best foot forward for our shared couples, and teaching me a thing or two along the way.

I’ve had countless moms ask me to write a book. Maybe someday I’ll put a pen to paper about the fallen cakes, burst water mains, torrential downpours, no catering staff that lead to my cleaning dishes for 300 people, red wine spills on wedding gowns, dry cleaner ruined gowns (yes, before the wedding) and even the time I had to be a bouncer. I haven’t written those stories yet because it seems unfair for those stories to outshine the first looks, Father of the bride speeches, helicopter exits, epic bands, one-of-a-kind designs and all of the walks up the aisle as Mr. and Mrs. All of the nights that turn into mornings and the clocks that don’t slow down. That time is where memories are made, where love is the most tangible and the start of a brand new chapter.

To say the past decade has been the honor of a lifetime would be an understatement. It is truly a joy to celebrate love, and I can’t wait to see what the next decade holds.

Cheers to allowing CLE to serve you for your special celebrations!
xo, Christina

Thank you Nellie Sparkman for zhuzhing up the CLE logo for a decade of celebrations!

Maternity photos. To say I have a love hate relationship with photos of just myself would be very accurate. I love that my family has old photo albums and I love looking at photos of the amazing women that came before me. That being said, I am working at doing better about getting in the photo opposed to behind the lens. Any other mamas feel me here?

Blair and I knew that this baby would likely be the last one that I would carry. This sweet baby would complete our family. I didn’t take maternity photos with Barrett, and truth be told I didn’t even think about it. It was at our announcement photos with Courtney Leigh Photography that Blair mentioned I should do maternity photos. I laughed it off at first, but there was something pulling at my heart that had me message Courtney.

I told her she could do whatever she wanted. If I have learned anything in the creative industry, it is that whenever you give a creative (photographer, florist, baker, designer, etc) full control they produce work they are proud of. Work that stretches their boundaries and creates a finished product that is one-of-a-kind and just for that client. In this case, it was for me.

We took the photos in a field that are what every mother (I think, at least) dreams of. The humidity that day was for the record books, but with a professional like Courtney behind the camera she captured pure magic. I was hesitant to let her capture my actually belly, yes at my maternity session, but after receiving the images back know I will hold these close for a very l long time.

These photos represent so many things for me. A visual of what a women’s body can do – it’s truly remarkable. A reminder of the grace that God gives each of us when growing a family, however that might look for you, and the ability to let go. To let go of not just the creative control of the photo session, but the timelines, baby charts, toddler expectations, etc. Yes, I am a firm believer in structure, but there are days I feel the Lord chuckle at me for trying to take full control and not letting Him lead the way.

So here is my one thing to all of the moms, today. Take the photo. You wont regret it, I promise.

xo, Christina

Photographer: Courtney of Courtney Leigh Photography
Makeup: Butter Artistry
Dress (field)

Hat
Boots
Dress (water)

It’s no secret that when you have a little one learning to drink with a straw every parent on the planets number one request is for the cup not to leak! That is how my Mr. BMF and I found these amazing cups with built in straw. The handle helped our little guy carry around his cup and he learned how to pop his straw up and down, bonus!

Thru TODAY you can get any of the above with FREE personalization! There are a few more styles available, but these are our tried and true favorite options. Barrett now has three of his very own cups that transitioned from learning to drink with a straw to school quite nicely! Add a free monogram or text and you have a built in label for your kids drink this fall!

Shop my favorite drinkwear for back to school (in the classroom and car rider line) here!

I can’t believe we are here. Truth be told after having our first little guy I was dead set that the Lord had it written in my story that I was set to be a boy mom. We had boy names, knew what we were going to do and then I heard my doctor, “it’s a girl.” I was shocked and overwhelmed, but had no clue how hard it would be to name a precious baby girl.

If you read this post you know that we like to add meaning to our kiddos names. Blair and I like strong names rooted in family. With Barrett we knew his middle name before his first, so why not start that way again.

Truth be told there are two women in my life that I wouldn’t be who I am today without. Two women who shaped me to my core.
My mom, Wendy Eileene, who taught me that I could be anything I wanted to be, to fight for your individuality and to push through no matter the circumstances. She taught me that it’s not always about the crown, but the journey – and that God’s plan is always worth the storm.
My moms mom and my Grammy, Eileene Marguerite, was the second leading lady in my life. I spent summers in her south Houston home. She taught be how to waltz around her library table, taught me that proper vocabulary (thank you to my nightly hooked on phonics lesson and Wheel of Fortune with bowl of ice cream) was something you had to work for. She taught me how to paint and cherish classics like Anne of Green Gables that we checked out from the library. The biggest lesson of all was that you were always better off volunteering for causes close to your heart, and getting involved in your community and church.

Two women, one name. Eileene it was. The perfect middle name for a precious baby girl.

Next up was a first name. We wanted a name that was timeless, and would fit with her middle name. Blair and Barrett are both B names so Blair had the suggestion to go with a C name so she would have a tie to me. In addition to the C we landed on a 9-letter name (like the 9-letters in Christina) and finished with the perfect sibling pairing; the double-t that you find in Barrett.

Welcome to the world Charlotte Eileene Frederick. You have captured our hearts already and we can’t wait to see how you make your mark on this big, big world. We hope you grow up with a servants heart, a peace to stand firm in who you are and a love for your family – because we sure love you.

Have I told y’all that I have the sweetest of friends? The most creative and thoughtful people in my life that not only support me, but love and shower my sweet family. If you have ever met someone with a true heart of gold you know exactly how my sweet friend Brittany is. I am lucky that we get to work together, but to raise babies and celebrate milestones outside of the event industry together is such a treat.

When Britt approached me about a tiny shower for our second little one I was honored and knew it would be perfect in every way. Her joy for celebrating and pulling together the perfect afternoon is a gift that I was lucky to receive.

How sweet is this perfect afternoon icing class hosted at Buttercup Bakery? Kristina not only had our pre-made cake rounds and icing to teach us how to stack, crumb coat and ice the perfect cakes, but she had the most amazing treats for everyone to nibble on while our crumb coats were setting! Can we talk about this blackberry focaccia bread? To-die-for!

The fun florals from Bramble and Bee were the perfect topper and Courtney Leigh Photography not only captured the afternoon, but shared her precious girls with us! I can’t wait for little missy to arrive and be surrounded by not only these amazing women, but their families as well.

Thank you to all of the ladies who took time our of their afternoon to celebrate our sweet babe, and to the friend-ors who helped Britt with such a sweet day! I adore each of you and can’t wait for you to meet our little girl so soon!

xo Christina

It’s that time of year! Engagements are in full swing and fall weddings are right around the corner. With a new ring, name and new house comes new opportunities to host your friends and family, as well as create new traditions. I joined forces with one of my favorite stores, Pottery Barn, to share a few of the registry tips I share with my couples to help make their house feel more like home.

  • A registry is the best way to politely suggest items you would like to receive as you start your life as a married couple. Register for high and low end items and don’t be afraid to register for a few fun things. If you register for what you love, and not what a general guide tells you that you have to have, it’s less likely you will have to return any gifts.
  • In my experience it’s good to register at 3 locations; a department store, a large retailer (available in most cities) and a local boutique. This will allow each of your guests to shop where they feel comfortable. 
  • Think about your lifestyle and what you would like for your home. If you love the outdoors and don’t plan on hosting any formal events china and crystal might not be the best fit. Instead, start with the basics. A great set of dishes, flatware and glassware can be great layering pieces. Add seasonal napkins, placements and chargers to change the look of your table.
  • Just like seasons change so does inventory! It’s likely that if you register for your fall wedding in the spring the floral print pillows you placed on your registry might not be available by the time of your wedding. Always refresh your registry at the change of any season. 
  • Another great time to refresh your registry is after any pre-wedding event. It’s possible that for your engagement party or bridal shower your guests will shop your registries. Make sure there are items left for guests who may not have been able to attend, or might still be looking for a gift for your wedding day. 
  • Test things out in person! Do you like the way the fork that you saw online feels in your hand? Is the coffee mug you love the perfect one for your morning java? It’s ok to mix and match, your wine glasses may not be the same as your every day drinking glasses you already own and love. 
  • It is never proper etiquette to list your registries on your save-the-date on invitation. Instead, list your registries on your wedding website and let your maid of honor, mother and mother-in-law know so they can answer registry related questions when they are asked. 

Were there great tips you received when registering? We would love for you to share your tips and tricks below as well!

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