party with heart: whales and crabs and bubbles, oh my!

thrilled to be featured on birthday girl today!

grady's whale and crab party was a success with the birthday boy {which is all that matters!} and the other wee guests, as well.

jayme marie designs knocked it out of the park with the fun paper goods.  a doll to work with and such super-cute stuff!  her whale and crab motif on the banners, food labels, and favor tags worked perfectly with the color scheme of the venue, you & me studio.  

meredith nelson photography and stacey of sugar on top are my angels sent from above.  both are so tremendously talented at what they do and i always feel so lucky to work with them!

this particular birthday party was an auction item for a local charity I am involved with, the junior aid society.  
meredith, sugar on top, lil hoot and you & me studio all donated the goods!  and we were very pleased when our friend lee won the package in the silent auction.  so again, thank you to all the special peeps who donated their time, efforts and talents and big thanks to lee for bidding.  
this party was true party with heart.  not only did everyone come together to make a fun and sweet party for grady, but we helped those less fortunate along the way.

enjoy meredith's fab pictures and then hit the beach! {especially those who got a beach pass at grady's party - the weather is glorious in marblehead today}

more details as told to birthday girl:

Grady had his heart set on a whale party for his upcoming 3rd birthday.  Given as two year olds change their minds quite frequently, Grady asked that we also have crabs at the party about 2 weeks before!  Jayme Marie Designs was amazing about adding crabs to the mix of all of our food labels and paper products.
For decor, we simulated the ocean with bright blue streamers hanging behind the dessert table and around the perimeter of you & me studio, the bright exercise studio where the party was held.  We also had a "bubbly bar" for the adult beverages.  Mimosas, bellinis, and bloody marys were served in aqua champagne flutes  {i was thrilled to stumble upon these plastic flutes at ikea - glass is just not practical at a toddler birthday party!}  coordinating target shower curtians were used on both bubbly bar and dessert table.
We had an awesome custom whale pinata by etsy shoppe whack
We lined the giant center window with the mini-sand pail favors from oriental trading post, filled with bubbles and personalized beach passes.  We incorporated the bright pink crabs on the girls pails with a favor tag that said "i'm not crabby because you came to my party! love, grady" and the boy guests tags read 'i hope you had a whale of a time! love, grady'
We used giant 3 ft. round balloons in blues and greens to decorate the space.
As a unique twist on the birthday photo banner, we used an x-large whale decal on the wall with age "bubbles".  We used circular pictures of Grady and coordinating bubbles with the age on them.
Mini-ocean themed coloring and sticker books from amazon were at coloring stations but mostly the kids enjoyed the "whaley good cupcakes" and "crabby cookies" and danced around to "under the sea'.
We placed the cake pops in an aqua bucket filled with brown sugar to simulate sand and labeled them "beach balls".
the dessert table had fondant whale and crab toppers and a matching whale topper for the baby cake were by cakes and kids
sugar on top created the adorable crab and whale cookies and cake pops.  
Candy jars were filled with "gummy sharks" and "goldfish" for snacks.
Meredith nelson did an amazing job capturing the details and the spirit of the party!

oh, and there's one more thing!  i cannot resist including a couple iphone pics of my lil darlings  in their birthday duds. 

can you believe how perfectly coordinated with the party theme they are?  it's as if their very own mom is the party planner or something?
okay, we are calling grady now to see if we can use our beach passes after nap.

frenchy friday: pillow talk

i'm so lucky to have the oh so talented julie from shelter interior design help me choose some new pillows as a birthday gift from the hub.  the project has gone a tad beyond pillows because julie has such incredible ideas!  but i'm loving every second of it and i promise to post lots of pics once it's done.  {no, julie did not permit any frenchie pillows- that was just my clever segue}

here's a peek of julie's inspiring living room - i may or may have not have used one of these fabrics. . . you'll have to wait and see. . .

images via shelter
so excited!  thank you, sweet julie. . . altho i know you really must have enjoyed traipsing through zimman's with antsy c & p in tow.  ha.

happy long weekend everyone!

pate whaaaa?

all images via martha stewart

so this weekend is the official kick-off to summer celebrations and outdoor entertaining.  hoooo-ray!
i stole some inspiration from martha.  {obvi}
and altho we may not all be whipping up the american flag tart this weekend, i think s'mores and a cute beverage cooler with an adorbs ribbon-tied opener is feasible!

for those of you feeling ambitious. . . 

You'll need two 4-by-14-inch tarts to create the flag. One tart has seven rows of berries and the other has six rows, so sort the berries according to size, using the smaller ones for the seven-row tart. If you like, bake another tart shell to have on hand just for serving. We used golden raspberries for the white stripes; red raspberries would work as well.
    • 2 recipes Pate Sucree Pate Sucree
    • Creme Fraiche Filling
    • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate
    • 1/2 cup apricot jam, for glazing blueberries
    • 1/2 cup raspberry jam, for glazing raspberries
    • 2 tablespoons water
    • 2 pints red raspberries
    • Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
    • 1 pint blueberries, picked over


  1. On a lightly floured surface, roll out a disc of pate sucree 1/8 inch thick to fit a 3 3/4-by-13 1/4-inch fluted, rectangular tart pan with a removable bottom. Brush off excess flour with a dry pastry brush. Carefully transfer dough to tart pan, tuck dough into the edges, gently pressing along sides, and allow excess dough to overhang the edges. Trim the dough by running your rolling pin over the dough against the edges. Gently shape the edges by pressing the length of your forefinger against each flute along the sides. Prick all over the bottom with the tines of a fork. Repeat with remaining disc of dough. Transfer to the refrigerator, and chill for 1 hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove chilled tart shells from refrigerator, and line each with a piece of parchment paper that overhangs the edges by at least 2 inches. Fill parchment with pie weights or dried beans. Bake until just starting to color, about 20 minutes. Remove parchment and weights from tart shells, and return tart shells to oven. Continue baking until tart bottom is golden, about 20 minutes more. Transfer tart shells to a cooling rack, and allow to cool completely. Carefully remove tart shells from pan.
  3. In a small bowl in the microwave or set over a pan of simmering water, heat chocolate until it is just melted, about 1 1/2 minutes; stir until smooth. Using the back of a spoon, line each tart shell with chocolate. Refrigerate to set, at least 5 minutes. Meanwhile, heat apricot and raspberry jams in two separate saucepans with about 1 tablespoon water in each; strain into separate small bowls.
  4. Make top tart: Remove one lined tart shell from refrigerator and spread 1/3 of the creme fraiche filling over the bottom. Arrange 3 rows of unglazed raspberries 2/3 the length of the tart, leaving space between each row and at the top and bottom edges for 4 more rows. Dust with confectioners' sugar until raspberries are completely coated. Toss blueberries in a bowl with strained apricot jam. Fill left third of tart shell with a layer of glazed blueberries arranged snugly in rows; top with another layer of blueberries. Toss half the remaining raspberries with the strained raspberry jam, and carefully fill empty rows with some of the glazed raspberries, rinsing your hands as needed.
  5. Make bottom tart: Remove remaining tart shell from refrigerator, and spread a third of the creme fraiche filling over the bottom. Arrange 3 rows of remaining unglazed raspberries, starting at the top edge and leaving space between each and at the bottom edge for 4 more rows. Dust with confectioners' sugar until raspberries are completely coated. Fill empty rows with remaining glazed raspberries.
  6. Arrange tarts on a large board or tray to resemble the flag, and serve with remaining creme fraiche filling on the side. Finished tarts will hold at room temperature for several hours.

    hey martha, you lost me at pate sucree!

jorts: love-love or not okay?

finally it's jorts weather! but are jorts okay?  i mean i worshiped daisy duke when i was way too young to be watching. . .

and then i've spent the greater majority of my adulthood mocking them. . . but now my favorite denim lines are offering them at 180 bucks a pop??

j brand 


love-love or not okay?


i don't ask for much.  {ha!}
but seriously, i often remind CBC that i'd be perfectly content with a tastefully decorated beach cottage, preferably on nantucket.  obvi.
like "skull cottage" for instance. . .
{he in turn reminds me that lil hoot needs to generate a bit more business.}

i had the pleasure of enjoying a few bottles of vino at this beauty last weekend.  
it's legit.
and by "legit" i mean, i wor-ship. 
every. last. glorious. detail. 

especially fond of the "movie room" and "candy bar".  



in case you were wondering,  at the click of a button, a tv does happen to emerge from the cabinet at the foot of this bed.
yes, please, thank you.

check out the new england home article for all the deets.
or just ask one of my ladies - we would all gladly relive our visit.

{thanks again, balz.  you're the shiz}


thank goodness fabulous sarah of hip baby gear sent along this monday punday idea because after my weekend getaway, i'm operating at about 30%.  subtract another 5 due to the weather, and then another 10 just because it's a monday.

anyhoot, check out this adorbs local company. 

in the words of sweet sarah:

we just got in these cute onesies from a local company called Gloucester OneSeas-- part of her sales go back to The Project Ocean:

"gloucester oneseas is a line of children’s clothing that not only expresses our love for the sea and it’s creatures, but also supports it’s conservation. By partnering with The Ocean Project, we encourage parents to educate their children on what they can do personally to “go blue”. We are all connected to the ocean in many ways – the air we breath, the food we eat, even the pollution that makes it’s way down stream to our oceans. Everyone can make a difference, no matter how small, to do their part in conserving seashore and marine habitat for the children of the future. "


pinch me 


thanks again, sarah, for this puntastic gift idea.

and big thanks to my ashy for being the hostess with the bestass, to scotty for the toothbrush, and to all the ladies for the fun. fun. fun.  

once my brain cells re-generate {that happens, right?} i'll post more deets . . .

{ladies, i might need some assistance with this.}