*Under the Stars Party*

Let us be grateful to people that make us happy.  They are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom. -Marcel Proust   I had the great privilege to host a group of women for a small backyard party under the stars.  They were all troopers as it was, in typical Phoenix fashion, hot outside, and the only stars you could really see without squinting, were the hanging lights and candles. 😉 It was such a treat for me to see this group of ladies come together. Some I have known my whole life and others are newly found friendships.  My great friend Shannon Shannon Widney Photography took these AMAZINGLY GORGEOUS photos for me and I couldn’t be more excited with how they turned out!View More: http://shannonwidneyphotography.pass.us/starpartyWhen I first thought about the mood to set at the party, I thought relaxed, comfortable and a profound glow that would highlight all of the beautiful smiles and personalities around the table.  Around here, I reuse, re-purpose and thrift as much as possible!  You can seriously make the most beautiful spaces with things just laying around the house.  Can you believe that most of the lights are from my wedding, almost 12 years ago? They still work great!  To give a soft foundation, layering rugs, blankets and pillows kept the area comfy and grass free, which meant little to no bugs and it just made it feel luxurious for zilch dollars, since I just grabbed what I had.View More: http://shannonwidneyphotography.pass.us/starparty The “chargers” are actually remainder watercolor paper with a spray paint ombre vanilla edge and iridescent glitter.  The simple white napkins I embellished with a cream fabric paint polka dot, made from a q-tip.View More: http://shannonwidneyphotography.pass.us/starpartyDishes all came from my cabinet.  Pink vintage mixed with my fav modern plaid Anthro plates, glasses are all thrifted and were under $10 for all 20!  View More: http://shannonwidneyphotography.pass.us/starparty     My fav unique shot from Shannon Widney of Shannon Widney Photography.  This simple backdrop was a mix of my great-grandmother’s shawl, simple pink fringe and my girl’s gold lights. View More: http://shannonwidneyphotography.pass.us/starparty   To keep things fresh, adding some living elements to your table keeps things more organic and brings some amazing colors to the set up.  I love adding the unexpected, so we cut rose buds and placed them in purple sea urchins.  The barnacles have the same lavender tinge and are perfect for tucking plants in and creating interesting and beautiful small arrangements.View More: http://shannonwidneyphotography.pass.us/starpartyView More: http://shannonwidneyphotography.pass.us/starparty The color palette really evolved after eyeing this cotton candy throw blanket from Nosh Studio.  A different take on an autumn table, moody pink, creams, lavender, copper and hints of iridescent. View More: http://shannonwidneyphotography.pass.us/starpartyView More: http://shannonwidneyphotography.pass.us/starparty Being a huge fan of copper it was obvious that my brass candle holders needed an update with some copper spray paint.  The ONLY binge in this set up were the faceted copper candle holders from Target.  They are amazing and light SO beautifully with a candle or make a great vessel for displaying small trinkets or plants. Target copper lanternsView More: http://shannonwidneyphotography.pass.us/starparty  One of the most amazing things about putting together a party in my family is that we all jump in to help out.  Although I made and created the set-up my fun mama and sis Heather put together all of the yummy food and boy it was delish!View More: http://shannonwidneyphotography.pass.us/starpartyView More: http://shannonwidneyphotography.pass.us/starpartyView More: http://shannonwidneyphotography.pass.us/starparty   Get in my mouth goat cheese, honey, blackberry crisp!  One of my favorites of the night!View More: http://shannonwidneyphotography.pass.us/starpartyView More: http://shannonwidneyphotography.pass.us/starparty  These pinterest inspired sandwiches are actually BBQ donut holes topped with cole slaw.View More: http://shannonwidneyphotography.pass.us/starpartyView More: http://shannonwidneyphotography.pass.us/starpartyView More: http://shannonwidneyphotography.pass.us/starparty
View More: http://shannonwidneyphotography.pass.us/starparty  The true beauty of this party was when everyone gathered around the table, sharing, eating, laughing, being vulnerable and just beautiful ladies.

This is my command: Love one another the way I loved you. This is the very best way to love. Put your life on the line for your friends.  John 15:13

DIY Succulent Weave for The Alison Show!

So you KNOW how much me and everyone else are obsessed with the insta phenomenon which is The Alison Show!  Well, this fab lady was so kind to feature a DIY I made for her with AMAZING photos taken by my gal pal photographer Amber.  Here is a teaser photo but check out the FULL post on Alison’s SUPER amazing blog!

The Alison Show: DIY Succulent Weave

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A Mermaid Birthday Party

Clover_turns 6_Ariel Party_June2015-33This gorgeous Mermaid party was another collaboration with Amber from The Amber Image for her darling daughter Clover.  Amber and I have very similar visions when it comes to decor and a great party and we are so excited with how everything turned out!  One of my favorite installs was my custom made jellyfish.Clover_turns 6_Ariel Party_June2015-21The main inspiration for the table was imagining that you had happened upon a Mermaid cove with all of her treasures.  I started with creating this backdrop that adds just a hint that this is actually Ariel’s cove.  🙂  I made a subtle ombre painted backdrop and a large dimensional Ariel fin and hair that would assume she was swimming by. Laying multiple layers of soft teal fabric and sequins, rope, and netting help set the stage for the beautiful cupcakes, cake and fine special details.

Clover_turns 6_Ariel Party_June2015-56These cupcakes by Ryan of Custom Cakes by Ryan were so gorgeous with the pearls, white seashells and purple icing carrying through our color theme.Clover_turns 6_Ariel Party_June2015-9

Dinglehoppers served these yummy meatballs on a plate of crushed crackers.Clover_turns 6_Ariel Party_June2015-13Clover_turns 6_Ariel Party_June2015-16This gorgeous cake was really the perfect “treasure” to find in the grotto.  Ryan outdid himself with this coral candy topper.  I layered jewels, necklaces and a special mermaid crown I created for Clover.Clover_turns 6_Ariel Party_June2015-14Clover_turns 6_Ariel Party_June2015-8Amber put together all of the food.  Aren’t these watermelon starfish just the cutest?Clover_turns 6_Ariel Party_June2015-19Clover_turns 6_Ariel Party_June2015-38A mermaid’s tia put together with shells, sequins, plant life and starfish.Clover_turns 6_Ariel Party_June2015-27Clover_turns 6_Ariel Party_June2015-37Handcrafted sea urchins gave bright pops of color to the space and dimension.Clover_turns 6_Ariel Party_June2015-6And of course more sequins!!!! 😉  This under the sea party wouldn’t be complete without mermaid punch and sequin covered anchors.Clover_turns 6_Ariel Party_June2015-5Mermaids tails, starfish and shell custom cookies on a bed of cookie crumbs.  Thank you SheyB for your beautiful creations!Clover_turns 6_Ariel Party_June2015-66The utterly adorable birthday girl!  Love her zest for life and sweet nature!Clover_turns 6_Ariel Party_June2015-57Love that mermaid spunk!  Ariel would be so proud!Clover_turns 6_Ariel Party_June2015-40Clover_turns 6_Ariel Party_June2015-45Amber made these adorable telescopes for party favors, and starfish clips along with my sequin starfish and mermaid tails headbands.Clover_turns 6_Ariel Party_June2015-42Clover_turns 6_Ariel Party_June2015-41Using a blue tablecloth, purple sequin fabric, balloons as bubbles and paper streams as seaweed, we created a under the sea bubble photo booth, along with 2 bubble machines!!!Clover_turns 6_Ariel Party_June2015-72Clover_turns 6_Ariel Party_June2015-81Clover_turns 6_Ariel Party_June2015-103Clover_turns 6_Ariel Party_June2015-88Clover_turns 6_Ariel Party_June2015-95Clover_turns 6_Ariel Party_June2015-178Clover_turns 6_Ariel Party_June2015-195Loved helping to plan, create custom pieces and installations and execute this party.  Most of all loved that the birthday girl and her guests had a swimmingly perfect time!

>>Modern Southwest Brunch>>

I absolutely love a colorful, affordable and just fun themed party.  And I had the rare opportunity to use complete creative freedom with this shoot.  Drawing inspiration from our daily gorgeous Phoenix sunrise and it’s light, silhouettes, plant life and color palette I couldn’t wait to dig in and create a party that would represent this beautiful city.event_Jess_DesertSunriseBrunch_2015-44  Isn’t the tiered tray a beaut?  So versatile for a party, jewelry stand or fruit tray.  Found at World Market.event_Jess_DesertSunriseBrunch_2015-41  This southwest breakfast bar consisted of fresh berry parfaits, breakfast burrito bites, lemon and cranberry scones and of course all of the fixings. You can find the glass jars with spoons here. http://shop.hobbylobby.com/products/240ml-clear-glass-jar-with-cork-lid-and-wood-spoon-710798/ event_Jess_DesertSunriseBrunch_2015-35 event_Jess_DesertSunriseBrunch_2015-26 event_Jess_DesertSunriseBrunch_2015-29 event_Jess_DesertSunriseBrunch_2015-31 event_Jess_DesertSunriseBrunch_2015-48  The  beautiful Amethyst Mexican Baja Beach blanket is from Nosh Studio. Her blankets are incredibly soft and gorgeous.  All of her products are 100% fair trade from Mexico and a percentage of her proceeds go to providing Birthday parties for children in need.  How cool is that? http://noshstudio.bigcartel.com/product/amethyst-mexican-baja-beach-blanket  event_Jess_DesertSunriseBrunch_2015-21event_Jess_DesertSunriseBrunch_2015-16These boxes were an amazing find at Anthro this spring!  event_Jess_DesertSunriseBrunch_2015-58    I craigslisted these palettes for a few bucks a piece and about $10 in paint samples from Lowes these grungy, dirty wood planks turned into a vibrant background and focal wall for the breakfast table.event_Jess_DesertSunriseBrunch_2015-60This thrifted weave turned out to be the most special and fun part of the entire shoot.  It was from the 70’s yellowed and acrylic but a mean amount of purple overdye spruced this back to life.  Slitting through part of the mesh backing, I tucked the succulents into the piece making it a live piece of artwork.event_Jess_DesertSunriseBrunch_2015-68event_Jess_DesertSunriseBrunch_2015-125event_Jess_DesertSunriseBrunch_2015-135event_Jess_DesertSunriseBrunch_2015-95event_Jess_DesertSunriseBrunch_2015-90The small pots were so fun to paint in blush pink/peach and gold. event_Jess_DesertSunriseBrunch_2015-101 The plates, spoons, vases and napkins are from Anthro.  The plates are so amazing and I’m sad I didn’t pick up more than 4 when they went on sale! event_Jess_DesertSunriseBrunch_2015-105event_Jess_DesertSunriseBrunch_2015-116Thank you Amber of The Amber Image for your beautiful photography and capturing the colors, textures and spirit of this shoot!

 

>>Modern Superhero Birthday Party>>

Phx4Decker1_Superhero Bdayparty_20150111-42The most “Marveloust” Superhero event around, this power-punched party was in honor of brothers Phoenix and Decker.  It was so much fun to style and collaborate with Amber from The Amber Image on her sons’ big day!  Amber had asked for a more modern take on the superhero with an emphasis on The Avengers and comics.  Using that thought, I created a bold modern color scheme with clean design features.  The original “Kaboom” piece I created really set the stage and background for the birthday snack table.

Phx4Decker1_Superhero Bdayparty_20150111-2Phx4Decker1_Superhero Bdayparty_20150111-22The white brick backdrop emphasized the comic dots, patterns and bold colors.  Custom Anvenger tassels on the giant white balloons helped carry the theme.  Homemade buildings created from black chalk bags created a “skyline” for the table.

Phx4Decker1_Superhero Bdayparty_20150111-47Sophie from Party Bash Creations designed the custom donut toppers.  One for each boy and a single avenger topper for the donut cake tower.

Phx4Decker1_Superhero Bdayparty_20150111-4Phx4Decker1_Superhero Bdayparty_20150111-3Phx4Decker1_Superhero Bdayparty_20150111-14 These smashingly tasty custom cookies, were created by Chree from Sweets by Chree.  Aren’t they amazing?

Phx4Decker1_Superhero Bdayparty_20150111-45Phx4Decker1_Superhero Bdayparty_20150111-51The superhero party-goers refueled with comic cone chex mix “super snacks”, “pop” corn and caped water bottles.

Phx4Decker1_Superhero Bdayparty_20150111-23Phx4Decker1_Superhero Bdayparty_20150111-52Dana from Baby Binkz supplied Avenger mask toppers for our “super snacks” and POW, they were perfect!

Phx4Decker1_Superhero Bdayparty_20150111-21Phx4Decker1_Superhero Bdayparty_20150111-53Amber’s husband Mike donned his own super suit to commemorate this birthday league of Heros!

Phx4Decker1_Superhero Bdayparty_20150111-60Phoenix and Decker’s sister Clover enjoying a Super Snack.

Phx4Decker1_Superhero Bdayparty_20150111-28A personalized cape and mask were created for every super attending.

Phx4Decker1_Superhero Bdayparty_20150111-29Phx4Decker1_Superhero Bdayparty_20150111-31 Phx4Decker1_Superhero Bdayparty_20150111-35Once the team assembled, it was time to enter the “Fly Zone” trampoline and practice their moves.

Phx4Decker1_Superhero Bdayparty_20150111-34Phx4Decker1_Superhero Bdayparty_20150111-124Phx4Decker1_Superhero Bdayparty_20150111-75 Photobooth time!

Phx4Decker1_Superhero Bdayparty_20150111-62The birthday boys with Superhero dad.

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>>Ashley’s Falling in Love Bridal Shower>>

Wren Lively_fall bridal shower_10252014-3My lovely youngest sis Ashley was recently married and last October (that’s how long it’s been since I updated the blog, YIKES) my mom, sisters and I threw her a “Falling in Love” shower.  The weather in Phoenix is absolutely gorgeous in October so we decided to have a bountiful Autumnal breakfast situated in my sister Heather’s backyard.  Inside was a creme brulee french toast with all of the trimmings and a mimosa bar.  Also, to keep guests entertained upon arrival, we asked them to make floral crowns of their own creations to wear.  The tiny pumpkins and wheat as accents were so perfect for the “Fall” theme.

Amber Wright from “The Amber Image”  took these amazing photos and I am so thankful she did!  She perfectly captured the thrill, fun and beauty of the day.Wren Lively_fall bridal shower_10252014-4 Wren Lively_fall bridal shower_10252014-5 Wren Lively_fall bridal shower_10252014-6 Wren Lively_fall bridal shower_10252014-7 Wren Lively_fall bridal shower_10252014-10 Wren Lively_fall bridal shower_10252014-11 Wren Lively_fall bridal shower_10252014-13 Wren Lively_fall bridal shower_10252014-14 Wren Lively_fall bridal shower_10252014-16 Wren Lively_fall bridal shower_10252014-17This is such a perfect candid photo Amber caught of the bride-to-be.  Her laughter and smile are so infectious!

Wren Lively_fall bridal shower_10252014-37Wren Lively_fall bridal shower_10252014-19 Wren Lively_fall bridal shower_10252014-20 Wren Lively_fall bridal shower_10252014-21 Wren Lively_fall bridal shower_10252014-22 Wren Lively_fall bridal shower_10252014-23 Wren Lively_fall bridal shower_10252014-24 Wren Lively_fall bridal shower_10252014-25Wren Lively_fall bridal shower_10252014-27Wren Lively_fall bridal shower_10252014-30Wren Lively_fall bridal shower_10252014-31Wren Lively_fall bridal shower_10252014-32A shot of Ashley and her gorgeous engagement ring.

Wren Lively_fall bridal shower_10252014-33Wren Lively_fall bridal shower_10252014-34Wren Lively_fall bridal shower_10252014-35Wren Lively_fall bridal shower_10252014-38It was such a fun experience meeting and befriending Ashley’s now sister in-law Tiana and Mother-in-law Jessica (pic above).  They are so warm, funny and such a great family to be a part of.  Not to mention these power house aunties, mother and sisters of mine (below) who worked together to host and have fun with Ashley on this special day.

Wren Lively_fall bridal shower_10252014-39Wren Lively_fall bridal shower_10252014-40And of course almost all of us (save a few friendos) in attendance.  We all had a blast laughing, eating and enjoying and celebrating Ashley on this special day.

 

 

A Letter to my Fellow Women…

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It’s hard.  Life.  It’s great too.  It’s everything you think that it shouldn’t be and everything that you put into it and hope it will be. It’s lead by influences, both good and bad.  It’s determined by your views, your beliefs, your attitudes, the era, politics, world views, regions, societies, health, family etc…

I am often baffled as to the reason, why now.  Why my family, friends, my circumstances in life, some chosen by me, others inherited from birth, why are they meant FOR me.  Specifically.  The reason why I was destined for this time to live my life, now.  The gifts that I have been given by others to help mold me and the way I have either abused them or accepted and learned from them to create who I am now in this moment.  And I can use that to influence my time here.  With all of you.  All of us that have been chosen to live this time, with one another.

When I walk through the grocery store, I often look from one stranger’s face to another, wondering why I am supposed to influence/not influence/be influenced by others around me? These people who have not chosen to live this life at this time but are nonetheless here.

But, we are all here together. Meant to live with each other.  Meant to figure out how to live with one another.

I know what my faith has taught me and what I believe.  I believe I need to live this life I have been given at this time, with all of you, with and for God.

To first accept love and then influence with love.  It is truly only when I can accept love from my Heavenly Father, my family, friends can I reciprocate that love.

As someone who is incredibly anxious and self-deprecating, this seems almost unattainable on a daily basis.  It’s painful; allowing myself to come off my high-horse of apprehension and crutch of worry.  Being bottled by vain comparison from myself or from others.  I complain, I gossip and feel exhilarated and awful all in the same moment while doing it.

For all the grievances I project on myself and others, validated or not, I apologize.  This will always be a struggle.  Knowing that I will never fully overcome these things, just for the fact that I am a human and a sinner is painful.

Amidst this constant struggle of letting go, learning to accept love, and loving in return, I am here.  In this place with you.  We learn about love on the daily, together.

This is the position, in which I would like to share these words with you…

I love you.  I am loved by my maker and in return, on the daily, I will love you.

I want to live in a community of women where we don’t try to outdo each other with determining who has the most heartbreaking or difficult situation.  Life is hard enough without comparing our misgivings/grievances and sorrows.  Or feigning the perfect life.  Or determining the hardest working individual.

I implore to you, the value of your friend, your sister, mother, acquaintance, stranger, as a singular woman.  To admire, appreciate and encourage them.  Not to view their status as a comparison to your own, but to embrace them as they are and humbly allow them to embrace you for who you are.

We are in this together now and setting the precedent for our daughters and generations in blood and spirit.

Will you join me in this journey to accept love and show love?

 

Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. – Colossions 3:14

 

>>Lux & Modern Manor>> Phoenix Favs

Modern Manor and LuxWent on a date a while back with my honey to our old stompin’ grounds, downtown.  So of course we made a stop at http://www.luxcoffee.com/ .  An artisan coffee house, bakery, restaurant and a perfect hosting location for events, this location aims to please.  The layout of the shop caters to a lingering experience, a natural movement of ordering a custom espresso upon entering, to sitting, enjoying the atmosphere, moving on to ordering a brilliantly “inspired daily creation” of breakfast, lunch or dinner.  Add a beer or cocktail and then stay as late as 2am on a Friday or Saturday evening.

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Modern Manor and Lux (2 of 15)Gorgeous looking pastries.  They are in constant flow, making new creations daily.  Follow them on instagram to get a salivating sneak peak: http://instagram.com/luxcentral

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Modern Manor and Lux (11 of 15)My local mid century muse is Modern Manor.  This shop has expanded recently, they have done astonishingly well.  And to no surprise.  The owners are curating and design geniuses and have themselves staged and renovated homes in Central including their own beautiful home. http://archive.azcentral.com/home/articles/20130402midcentury-modern-arcadia-vintage-.html

Modern Manor and Lux (12 of 15)That Vintage Santa?  C’mon!

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Modern Manor and Lux (1 of 1)Thank you Central Phoenix.  Once again, you done good.

 

Copper Craze

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Kiddorinies

girls (1 of 1)-2Something has to be said for days, all day at home.  No round the neighborhood errands, park runs, mail box walks included.  Just all day at la casa de Rasmussen.  It’s everything you would expect, we have our moments with sharing issues, attitudes, and cries but most the time it’s the most rewarding thing that can happen in a week.  Being able to scoop Wren and hold her a little longer, little tighter, encouraging Evie to share her imaginative ways with me and let the house get as messy as we want doing so.  Their lingering smile or an extra thoughtful moment between the three of us trump anything else that could possibly happen that day or the next.  These are pics from earlier this past spring when Steve was still in school.  It’s been a busy summer, and we have been blessed with having daddy home this whole time, but when Steve goes back to work, I am so looking forward to this time with the girls again.  Just the three of us.

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girls (1 of 1)“Kiddorinies” was the way my Grandpa Orozco would refer to me and my four sisters when we were little. With his strong Spanish accent, and a light comedic tone, he would often giggle to himself after using this term of endearment he coined.  My favorite usage was when we were vacationing on the beach.  We would be 18 inches to 2 feet in the water and he would say, “Kiddorinies, come back, the sharks will get you.  I will take you to McDonald’s if you come closer”.  I will not deny that sometimes we would wade out a little further than usual, just to ensure our lunch plans.