Real Preperie: Bubbles & Bowties Pt. 2

First, the menu:

Bubbles & Bowties Southern Gentleman First Birthday Menu |
Raspberry Vanilla Buttercream Smash Cake  /
Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Buttercream Cupcakes

Southern Fried Chicken Chick-Fil-A Nuggets
Little Man Munchies – Hummus and Bow Tie Pretzels
Little Man’wiches – Ham and Cheese sliders

Caramel Apple Sangria & Country Time Lemonade with Personalized Water Bottles /
Bow Tie Pasta & Broccoli Salad

And now for some some decor details:

Bowties Southern Gentleman First Birthday | preperie.comPatterned O-N-E

Purple, Blue, Yellow & Lime Green Garland

Parting Gifts: Bubbles with Personalized Labels and Marshmallow & Chocolate Pops

The vendors:


As I mentioned in my earlier post, I really loved the idea behind this party and the mom’s creative execution of her Southern-inspired theme.  She’s also an amazing cook, so I know the food was scrumptious. She used a combination of homemade and store-bought items but the party was still unique and beautiful. Her total spend: LESS THAN $200. Her secret (in her words):

“Making a plan early and shopping throughout the year.  I knew I wanted pastels but they wouldn’t be available in October, so I purchased end of season and bought the garland, balloons, and backdrop for the high chair – all purchased for 70-80% off.”

In my eyes, this advance planning is party preperie at its finest. Most importantly, everyone had a great time and the birthday boy will be able to look back on his first birthday and know how much he is loved.

What do you think? Do you have any tips for helping save money when planning a party? Please share in the comments!

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Real Preperie: Rishi’s Bubbles & Bow Ties Pt. 1

Last fall, I designed a dapper event suite for a good friend: Bubbles & Bow Ties. What a unique and fun combination, I thought when she told me the theme.

The graphics included a printed invitation:Bubbles & Bowties Birthday Invitation |

A Birthday Banner:Bubbles & Bowties Birthday Banner |

And a First-Birthday Stats Board. Bubbles & Bowties First Birthday Chalkboard Stats Board|

The theme was a collaboration between my friend and her girlfriend. Based on her southern background, she knew it would involve bow ties, which inspired the Southern Gentleman theme.  Rishi, her son, loves bubbles (what kid doesn’t, and they’re so great for their development!), so those made the perfect parting gift.  The colors were inspired by the downtown streets of Charleston, South Carolina, where the homes and buildings come together in a stunning array of rich pastels. PERFECTION.

When my friend contacted me about the party, she sent me the colors she had in mind, as well as the other decor pieces she was already planning to use so I could get a sense of how everything would come together. It was so helpful and made me even more excited to design all the materials for her! I had so much fun designing the whole suite, including the different bow ties. I came up with so many combinations, and she chose a “pinstripe” design, which is so fitting for this dynamic Southern mama who never ceases to amaze me.

What do you think of this theme? Would you use it at an upcoming party?

Stay tuned next week for her mouth-watering menu and pictures from the party!

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Be Mine: A Valentine-Inspired Design & Mini Craft Project

I feel like I say this about every holiday, but Valentine’s Day really is one of my favorite holidays – maybe it’s all the pink, maybe because I love giving and receiving Valentine’s. I dressed up as Cupid for Halloween in college. Before she even turned one, my daughter was already an angel AND cupid (I’m a sucker for winged costumes). I’m sensing a pattern here . . .

In honor of the holiday, I designed this sweet invitation set below. There’s a photo version . . .

Conversation Heart Valentine Photo Invitation |

and simpler pink and red stripes.

Conversation Heart Valentine Invitation |

I can’t believe the pictures from this photo session were only a year ago. My husband was out of town for the weekend, so my daughter and I had a photo session at our little apartment. My favorites are below.

Baby Valentine Photos

I used the photos for bookmark valentines we sent to our family last year, which were quite a hit. I designed them, but anyone could lay them out in MSWord. FedEx printed them, then I cut them out and glued them to cardstock.

Baby Valentine Bookmarks |

Not sure what I’ll be doing this year. It’s quickly approaching, too!!

Any thoughts? Are you planning on making Valentines for your loved ones or hosting a Valentine’s Day (or Galentine’s Day) party?

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Looking Ahead to 2016 + Mommy Moment


Happy New Year from our Little Lady!

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season. I can’t believe we’re almost a week into 2016. We were quite busy over the holidays and I’m glad I scheduled some time off from blogging, but I missed connecting with you all!


With the start of a new year, I’ve decided to *hopefully* have more regularity in my blog post topics, including adding a monthly series called Mommy Moments. In this series, I hope to help you to get to know me better and, in turn, hopefully I will get to know you better. This series will be the first week of every month. The second week will feature a design from the Preperie Etsy shop – most likely something seasonal or one that’s in the works. The final two weeks of the month will continue the Preperie Parties posts. These can be anything from highlighting a custom design of a “reader at home” and how they celebrated with the special people in their life or ideas and suggestions for how to throw specifically themed parties. If you have a suggestion for a topic, feel free to let me know in the comments or send me a message at

And now, this month’s Mommy Moment . . .

“Motherhood: All love begins and ends there.” ~ Robert Browning

Isla is just shy of 17 months and every day I learn more about the young woman our little lady will be one day. Even through her toddler moments, I get the sense that she will grow up to be a loving, sensitive, and compassionate woman. We were with my husband’s family recently and someone tripped and fell. Thankfully he was fine but there was quite a to-do while we were checking on him. Isla sensed something serious had happened and went to check on him herself. Then I asked her if she wanted to give him a hug. She said “Yeah,” in her little 17 month old voice, gave him a hug, then proceeded to give everyone else a hug, too.

It’s moments like these that bring tears to my eyes when I get a glimpse of her sweet and sensitive personality. It also reminded me how lucky I am to be able to be a full-time mother to her so I get to witness moments such as these.

Have you had times like this that confirm the way you raise your children? Please share! I’d love to hear them.

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It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Hello all!

Two days until Christmas! I can barely contain myself. My family has all arrived.  We have finished all our grocery shopping and the kitchen is quite a buzz of activity. Hello holidays!

Whether or not you celebrate Christmas or something else, I wanted to wish everyone a wonderful week. I’m making myself take next week off, the blog will be on hiatus until the new year, but the Etsy Shop will still be open (except on Christmas and New Year’s Day).  So until 2016 . . . Merry Christmas-03

Feel free to follow me on my personal Instagram, it will be full of pics of our daughter’s first “real” Christmas, as last year she was incredibly adorable but not really aware of what was happening.

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Combination Housewarming & Baby Shower

Happy 2 days before the weekend! Recently my good friend asked me if I would be willing to design the invitation for her upcoming joint Baby Shower and Housewarming party. She and her husband just bought a house this summer and they’re expecting a new addition in the form of a heart beat and little feet in December.

Of course I told her I would love to! (I’d actually been working on something already…always the planner. I love that Preperie allows me to be creative and do something I love. It really is so rewarding.) Anyways…I thought LONG and hard how to convey the idea of their new house and a new baby. Surprisingly, a Google search doesn’t turn up very much.

I decided to create a drawing of her house as part of the invitation so they would have a memento of this major milestone for their family. Here’s a picture of their house. Isn’t it lovely?

Joint Housewarming Baby Shower Invitation |

During the design process, I first “drew” a vector image of their house in Adobe Illustrator. Then I drew a couple different storks (1 version had him flying to the house. In another he was standing in front of it). Then I designed the invitation, keeping in mind their gender neutral request as it’s going to be a surprise. (I could never do that, but again, always the planner…) Then the parents-to-be and I had a Google hangout where we revised the background and text live. It was so efficient to be able to do this rather than going back and forth via email making small changes. The hands-on experience was also fun for them and we got to catch up and talk babies and parenting.

Here’s the finished invitation:

Joint Housewarming Baby Shower Invitation |

Isn’t it cute? I’m really pleased with the way the invitation turned out. Most importantly, it allowed me the opportunity to give my dear friends a special, one-of-a-kind way to begin this journey in their new home with their growing family.

Have you been to combination baby showers and housewarming parties? How were they able to incorporate both events together?

Have a great rest of the week!

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How to Host a New Year’s Speakeasy Party

Happy Friday everyone!

On Wednesday, I introduced you to our latest design: Hello 2016. I love the color combination and it reminded me of a New Year’s a few years ago (pre-baby and when a “late night” meant 4:00 am instead of 10:00 pm).

My husband and I hosted a “Speakeasy” themed New Year’s Eve Party. It was one of our favorite parties for many reasons. Below is the “recipe” so you can host one yourself!


  • Guest List
  • Cocktail List
  • Secret Password
  • Heavy Finger Foods
  • Champagne / Sparkling Grape Juice


Choose the Cocktails & Passwords

Choose the cocktails and/or beverages you want to serve. Compile a list of all the different ingredients. Assign each ingredient to each of your guests. For example, a French 75 is made up of gin, Champagne, lemon juice, and sugar. We assigned the gin to 1 couple, the champagne to another, and we bought the lemon juice and made simple syrup for the sugar.

Invite Your Guests

New Years Speakeasy Invitation-11

Put together your invitation (might I suggest these?) or design your own. Above is the wording I used from our original invitation. Follow up with your guests (if they don’t already email you to ask for the password) and assign each person or couple 1 unique password and ask them to bring their assigned beverage ingredient. Below is the text we used (the example below was sent to a Notre Dame grad and Notre Dame was playing Alabama on New Year’s Day. He wasn’t happy with the passphrase but complied.)

Dear Sir/Madame:

Your passphrase for the New Year’s Eve Blow is below. Please present them at the door for entry.

Passphrase: “Roll Tide”
Please also bring: 1 handle of decent bourbon

Should you choose to share this password with others not included on the list, they will not be given entry as these passwords are specific to you alone.

I don’t know which was more fun – preparing the cocktail list or assigning people’s passwords.

Finalize & Shop For Your Menu

Purchase and prepare whatever else you would like to serve. Below is what we decided to serve.

New Year's Speakeasy Menu |

We made pineapple-infused vodka for the Pearl Harbor. It was amazing – I’ll save that for a future post🙂

Prepare the Bar

To alleviate any lines at the bar, make table cards or index cards for each drink, with the name at the top and the ingredients underneath (if they’re not a pre-made drink like a punch). Below is an  example:

Singapore Sling
1/2 oz. grenadine syrup
1/2 oz. cherry brandy
1 oz. gin
sweet and sour mix
club soda

Place the drinking glasses next to their corresponding card so they’re ready when guests arrive.

Have Fun!

On the day of the party, as each guest arrives, request the passphrases, welcome them, and place their bottle with its other ingredients. Enjoy yourself!

Clearly a lot more goes into the preparation of the party, but I focused on the speakeasy aspect of it. If you have any questions regarding what I did to prepare for it, let me know. Have you hosted any fun themes for a New Year’s party? !


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