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valentine’s day

18 In DIY

A Very Valentine 1st Birthday Party + 5 Planning Essentials

I’m awestruck as we round the corner into February; our little valentine is turning one! Though the weeks were sometimes long, year one somehow flew by. I look at Sylvia and think, ‘You’re not my baby anymore!’ Okay, okay, she’s still a baby, but not the teeny, tiny 7lb swaddled peanut she was a year ago. It’s amazing what a year can bring, and nothing highlights the passage of time more clearly than watching your child grow. Kelly from The Greenspring Home graciously invited me to join a talented group of bloggers in a ‘Valentine’s Day at Home’ Blog Tour, and it was perfect timing as I was just starting to scheme on Syl’s 1st birthday party plans.

Get scroll-happy here with lots of party prettiness and make sure to read through the 5 planning essentials at the bottom of the post. I used these as my go-to for pulling everything together.

Sylvia came into this world just over a week late on February 15th 2017. As she gets older, unless she specifically asks for it, we probably won’t do Valentine’s Day-themed birthday parties as we want her to have her own day that doesn’t get lumped in with V-day shenanigans. Let’s be honest though, at one year old, birthday parties are really more for parents and close family than they are for the babe-of-honor. Sylvia will love the spotlight, + her first real sugary experience, but whether we have a Valentine’s Day party or a Batman party, she won’t know the difference just yet.

Since her actual birthday party isn’t for a few weeks, this is a dry-run. Syl isn’t making an appearance today because I’m 100% sure she’s going to destroy her highchair party decorations, and call me a buzzkill, health-conscious mom, but we’re going to hold out on the sugar-overload until her actual party!

5 Party Planning Essentials

Let’s talk through the 5 party areas I spelled out for myself while working through party details. I found it helpful to define these areas up front so I could use them as a guide to keep me on track when knee-deep in the seemingly endless number of adorable decorations out there. Hopefully this is helpful if you’re planning a party too and aren’t sure where to start!

  • Theme. I don’t like the word theme for a party or in general, but I guess that’s what this is! I landed on a light pink, red, and white color direction + heart motifs and an overarching idea of simplicity. Then as I was hashing out the party details, I made sure to refer back to these specific elements.
  • One Statement Decor Feature. I created one cool decor statement, or as I was calling it in my head, An Instagrammable Moment, with the paper party fans. I used removable wall hooks and overlapped the paper fans at the left side of the room’s arch. Originally, I was going to do the entire arch (which would have been AWESOME!), but decided to show some restraint. I really like how it came out!
  • Party Food. We focused on sweets: cupcakes, fruit, and festive candies. To keep things affordable and easy, I made the cupcakes from a chocolate cake mix and used white pre-made frosting piped onto the cupcakes with a large nozzle/piping bag.
  • High Chair Swag. I wanted the gal-of-honor to have a fun spot to chow down on her birthday sweet, so I had a heart balloon filled with helium at the party store and tied it to the back of the chair, added a simple ONE banner to the front of the chair and made a party had from patterned paper + fuzzy pom. The banner is just cardboard letters that I found at Target Dollar Spot years ago taped onto string, and then taped to the chair’s tray front. Not a lot of fuss, but still festive and fun!
  • Supporting Decor. So after the first four bullet points were covered, I rounded things out with a few smaller details: A heart banner (Target Dollar Spot again!) on the table front, a white impulse buy cut-out bunting draped on the table, cute napkins, and a bouquet of flowers. We used the cake stands and plates from our wedding and our everyday silverware.

A. Heart Balloons  |  B. Coral Party Fans  |  C. Red Party Fans |  D. Striped Runner  | E. Faux Flower Bundle |  F.  Glass Cake Stands  |  G. White Folkloric Banner  |  H. Gold and Glass Vase  |  I. White Cake Stand  |  J.  Felt Hearts  |  K. Smiling Heart Napkins

Thank you for visiting! Your next stop is Meaningful Spaces! After checking out Laura’s post, be sure to visit all of the talented bloggers on the tour.

Tuesday’s Post

Francois et Moi (Me!)  | Meaningful Spaces  |  Rachel Elizabeth Creates  |  Tuft and Trim  |  Alyse Warren

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In DIY

DIY du Jour: 4 Light-hearted Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is a pretty cheesy romantic holiday. I mean a little bit, right? If you’re not into the commercial schmoozie-ness this year, here are a few non-sappy, outside the box ways to celebrate the day.

Light-hearted Valentine's Day Ideas | Francois et Moi

  • Make latte heart art on your valentine’s morning coffee. I’ve watched several videos because I want to become a MASTER, and the video clip below is a pretty good tutorial.
  • Or if you don’t actually want to make lattes, pick them up à la coffee shop and add a “punny” note for your Gal-entines.
  • Make soft pretzels! They’re already in the shape of a heart, so they totally satisfy the “valentine’s theme.” What better way to celebrate V-day than with pretzels and craft beer? I mean really?
    • UPDATE: after reading all the reviews on the pretzel recipe above, I decided to make this pretzel recipe instead from Alton Brown instead. They were super good and straight forward to make. Definitely watch his video for extra tips!
  • If all else fails, pick up a handful of these vintage inspired “I AM LOVED” pins and sprinkle them around like pixie dust. #spreadthelove

Anti Valentine’s Day Ideas to Show the Love

PIN-IT-later4 Montage Photo Credit: Latte Photo | I Am Loved Photo

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In Style/ Uncategorized

Tulip Lovefest

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Ken gave me a beautiful bouquet of tulips for Valentine’s Day, and I couldn’t help but take some pictures of them as they began to open up over the weekend. Life can be so crazy busy, but photographing these gorgeous tulips from every angle got me thinking about how important it is to appreciate the little things in life. I hope you enjoy! Continue Reading →

In Uncategorized

Happy Heart’s Day

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Happy Valentine’s Day Everyone! I hope you’re able to spend time with the ones you love today and over the weekend. Ken and I hadn’t planned far enough ahead to snag a table tonight at our favorite restaurant, Bar La Grassa (their Gnocchi with Orange & Cauliflower is life changing!), so we’re placing a take-away order, and then heading home to eat by candlelight. After being away last weekend and the crazy week that ensued this week, I’m really looking forward to a private, quiet dinner together at home (with incredible food!) and my man. Do you have any plans? I’d love to hear about them! Whatever you do, I hope you feel the love this weekend!

In DIY/ Uncategorized

Sweet Nothings

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Ken and I don’t usually do extravagant gifts or grand gestures for each other on Valentine’s Day. Instead we try to find smaller, more meaningful ways to show each other how we feel, because at the heart of Valentine’s Day, it’s not about what you spend, as much as it’s about taking time to enjoy and appreciate each other. And in my book, those sweet, small things always count for billions more brownie points than store bought gifts. Continue Reading →

2 In Party/ Uncategorized

Graphic Heart Photo Backdrop

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Throwing a Valentine’s Day Party? Check out this low cost, high impact Valentine’s Day photo backdrop that you can easily put together in under 15 minutes using only paper plates and strong adhesive tape. I used heart shaped plates from Target, but with all the paper plate designs out there, this backdrop could easily translate to any party theme. Continue Reading →


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