The Big Latch On (2013)

Hey there All! So today I’m sharing another Blast from the Past! But before I do, I want to share a few things. I have shared some personal stuff on the site, but those posts are far and few between. Although I have a lot happening in my life that I’d love to share with you, I know that the main reason people come to the site is for “Party Schtuff.” And this post will contain all that same party-hearty goodness, I promise. But I want to give a little back ground on the event and small disclaimer for any one feeling a tish negative today.

The Big Latch On

First, the event I’m sharing with you today is titled “The Big Latch On.” This was our local event which is part of a larger annual event that happens worldwide, where nursing mothers come together at the same exact time and all feed their babies. The actual “latch” and headcount only take about 60 seconds. The totals are tallied nation/worldwide and end up with record breaking numbers of women coming together, raising awareness, and normalizing the natural act of breastfeeding. You can find out a location near you for 2014, how to register a new location for your area, and learn lots more about this event by visiting the Big Latch On website

Before I continue, I am a mom (obviously), and I know that when discussing anything child related, especially in the regards of feeding, birthing, sleep habits, diapering, circumcising, vaccinating, and so on, can be super touchy, hot button topics. I, as a mother, have always made the decisions that I *thought/think* are best for me and my family, as do all mothers and parents. This DOES NOT mean, that if you or anyone else has made a different decision, I or anyone else is judging you negatively because of it, or at least they shouldn’t, As no one should do to me. (Not that I plan on really discussing anything “breastfeeding” related but the event itself, I feel the need for a semi-disclaimer)

As women, we should empower and praise one another, who else knows how hard it is to be a woman, wife and mother, but us. That being said, I made the decision to nurse my children. My son for just over 2 years, we eventually weaned about 10 weeks before I gave birth to my daughter (yes, I said 10 weeks). Well… she is just nearing 2 years old herself, and that totals almost 4 constant years of nursing. I am proud of it and am happy that I made that decision for my family. And just because I can, here are some gorgeous pictures that I was lucky enough to have Erica McCauley capture of my beautiful baby and I.

Nursing My Sweet

To some, nursing is “icky”, unnecessary, and “rude” to do, especially in public. To which I say, Namaste y’all.  I was bottle fed, and did indeed “turn out just fine.” But I believe that nursing is beautiful, natural, and am so lucky to have had the experience. Not to mention, when a baby needs to eat, it needs to eat, and I would not condemn anyone to the bathroom stall, vehicle, or other inconspicuous corner to eat their meal.

Me and Z
Photo Credits: Erica McCauley Birth Photography

No mean spiritedness will be tolerated. Only love here folks’. Okay. Disclaimer over. Carry on.

The Big Latch On

In 2012 I saw a flier in the “nursing mother’s room” at the state fair that summer. I checked it out online and knew I wanted to take part in it. Sure enough that August, I nervously showed up at the doorstep of a woman I didn’t know, ready to meet some moms, and participate in something that I was really proud to be a part of.  There were about 12 of us that year, many of the women were members of the local breastfeeding group and knew each other that way. The weather was crummy, so we relocated to a nearby home instead of a park, there were lots of snacks, and nice mommies to chat with. It was great. So when 2013 rolled around, attending the event was a no-brainer. When they started looking for sponsors and door prize donations I threw my hat in the ring which led to me taking on more of a role in the setup/aesthetic aspect of the event (Which was very fun)

The amazing Erica McCauley, an amazing woman and birth photographer and her friend Sara (who just happens to be a doula, which is totally rad) were the ones really heading up this whole thing and I was just there to lend assistance when they needed. We brainstormed some ideas and concepts and came up with a few things.

Erica Wanted to do some Mini-Sessions for nursing moms who wanted them done, We also needed something to provide a little shade if were really hot that day.  I ended up putting together a PVC enclosure and using sheer window drapings as walls. It however didn’t get used at the event, simply because we live in North Dakota and mother Nature hates me. The wind made it impossible to safely keep it up and not stress about it.

Planning for Big latch On

I covered water bottles, made lovely banners and buntings for the snack table, for sale items, sign in and more. 

For the large backdrop and signs I used foam board from the craft store, covered it with a craft paper and used basic white acrylic craft paint and letters I cut with my Cricut Mini.

The Big Latch On Minot 2013

Ultimately the turnout was astounding, More than we could ever have imagined. The year before it was literally less than 15 of us, all three of us expected maybe 30ish people this year. Over 100 people showed up (I think :/). Whatever the specific number was, It was awesome (until we ran out of food, but even then, still awesome)!!

The snack table was swarmed and ambushed the second families started arriving, leaving nothing but bare food stands and crumbs in their wake.
BLO Snack Table

There was a great door prize table filled with goodies for all ages.
Door Prizes at BLO
(I donated a homemade wood sign that I was quite pleased with!)
DIY Wooden Sign

There was a table where “boobie hats” knit by local crafters could be purchased.
For Sale Boobie Hats at BLO2013

I also set up a “craft/activity” table for the older kids. As usual, I had no real extra money to put into this little side project, so I cleared out my ribbon and other misc craft stashes and wound up with enough stuff to make puppets, picture frames and magic wands (which were the biggest hit of all) plus whatever random things the kids came up with.  The table ended up being a bigger hit than I expected and I was definitely thanking my lucky stars to have two amazing volunteers there to help out!
Craft Table at BLO event

Here is a shot of the mini photo session set up and our massive turn out during the official “latch” itself.

Got Milk The Big Latch On

The Big Latch On - Keep Calm and Latch On

The Big Latch On 2013

Me and Z at BLO

What a fun day! I can’t wait to start working with these amazing ladies on this year’s Big Latch On! A big thank you to Erica McCauley, please find her on facebook or check out her web page, she is truly one of a kind.

Don’t forget to check out the Big Latch On even closest to you if you’d like to participate or visit their website for more information on how to register, donate, and more!

As always thanks for stopping by! I’d love to hear from you, leave me a comment, find me on facebook or pinterest. Just connect with me in some way and let me know what you think of the site thus far. I love feedback!! And don’t forget you can check out how I made the tassel bunting you saw on the snack table here! Toodles party people!


A Purple People Eater (Double) Birthday Bash

Purple People Eater Birthday Party
I’ve been MIA for the last week-ish, with a house crammed with stuff to organize and clean, a computer full of craft files and 2 years worth of work and pictures that decided to completely CRASH, Many tears shed (over the death of that computer), and another birthday of my own came and went without a huge fanfare of celebration (which is just fine!) Plus I did end up with a new computer.

So here I am, with nothing new and exciting to share…having to start from scratch. So something old and exciting it is! Here we go.

Last October I was lucky enough to celebrate two beautiful little girls’ birthdays with a Purple People Eater Party. It was a one eyed, one horned, flying monster themed DOUBLE party for the sisters.

Looking back, there are so many things that I’ve learned since then, and if I could go back in time and tweak, I totally would. So Keep in mind, this was literally one of the first parties I had ever thrown, I had a 3 month old and 2 year old, who highly impacted the amount of time I had on the “party day” to set up and focus on the event. (Long story, overwhelmed mommy. period.) But that’s not to say the party wasn’t a success, it was! the kids and parents who attended had a marvelous time, filled with activities, fun, and sugar. 🙂

The Party rundown goes something like this!

First, When guests arrived at the party, the were greeted with a *Warning* sign and Monster Feet to wear. (I thought it was a cute substitution for party hats!)

DIY Monster Feet

I made them by creating a “template” on paper (it took a few drafts to find a shape I was happy with), and then using sheets of craft foam, I traced and cut them out.  I cut three triangles for the toes (cutting one in half) and hot glued them on! I made two sizes also, just because friends of both girls (one turning 2 and the other 4) would be there.

They were a huge hit!

DIY Monster Feet Birthday Party

Once the guests were settled into party mode, they all sat down and were able to make fun Monster Masks!

(I bought a mask making kit from Oriental Trading Company, and added fun accessories like eyeballs and other monster “parts” for the kids to use on their masks. (it was nearly Halloween, and I was able to find lots of monster accessories at the local craft store)

Monster Party Activities

After the Mask Making – I swapped out the setup from masks to delicious monster shaped cookies.

Each kid received three monster shaped sugar cookies (made the that they could decorate to their hearts desire. (When they finished, we assigned the “grandmas” to bag them up in cello with ribbon for guests to take home at the end of the party)

Cookie Decorating Party Activiy

Now, Onto the decorations.

I ended up using my “Mini Monsters” Cartridge and my Cricut Mini to cut out the Monster shape, I had to alter them a bit myself in order to get the single horn on top) I also used my Cricut to cut the letters and pieces for my banner (this was before I realized how easy printables were)

There was also a PhotoBooth, which consisted of lots of circles glued together with a strand of thread sandwiched between them. Did I mention…LOTS of circles. 🙂 It was easy though, I used a 2inch circle punch, hot glue, and black thread.

 I simply taped up the strands of the backdrop to the wall on the day of the party.

PPurple People Eater Monster Party

I also made some simple triangle bunting, again using the circle punch for the polka dots, two layers of purple paper (one color slightly larger than the other), and some cute ribbon glued over the top.

Purple People Eater Monster Party

There were a few “mini party stations” where guests could play with the singing Purple People Eater doll we found at Wal-Mart, leave the girls a birthday message, and of course eat, eat, eat.

Monster Party Sign In

I can’t seem to find all my pictures from this party, BUT, sloppy joes, chips, veggies, and other typical party food was served. I glued leftover googly eyes onto paper party cups because… well, who can resist.

Purple People Eater Party

Onto the Sweets:

The cake was made by a local woman who makes cakes in her spare time and did a totally rad job!! It was so cute, I love the little bite taken out of it. I passed along some pictures of the décor as I was working on the party, that way she could have a jumping off point to create the adorable cake.

Purple People Eater Cake

The rest of the table consisted of:

 Blueberry Cheesecake Fudge (with toppers, of course) purchased from a local candy store. Chocolate covered Oreos, Popcorn (aka Monster Munch) with paper cones, and an assortment of candy dressed up as Monster Parts (like toenails, hair, tails etc). Also some cute Monster cupcakes (I almost forgot about them!)

Purple People Eater Party - Sweets Table

After the party guests were pumped full of monster sized amounts of sugar and party fun, they were given little mini bucket favors, (that I also ordered from Oriental Trading Company for super cheap) and dressed them up by gluing white triangle teeth and googly eyes on them. They were filled with monster tattoos and other misc. little party goods.

The adults that attended the party were walking away with a delicious monster cupcake, which were all boxed up and ready to go for them.

Monster Party Favors

And before all the guests were gone, we rallied them up and snapped some fun photo booth pictures.

DIY PhotoBooth Purple People Eater Party

Well, that about wraps it up. This party was such a blast, and I really did learn so many things while planning and prepping for it. Like, ELEVATION! Your dessert table NEEDS elevation, even if is just a wrapped box for under your cake. Also, it takes a really long time to set up, from packing up the car, hauling it and unloading at the venue, unpacking, set up, pictures, etc. etc. So plan accordingly and stay organized in order to make the day of set up a breeze… well that’s an exaggeration, I’m not sure it’s ever a breeze, but definitely less stressful!!
DIY Monster Party - Purple People Eater

Thank you so much for stopping by!! This little site of mine is still very new and a work in progress! BUT I appreciate all the lovely feedback I’ve gotten so far, It’s the only way I know what’s working and what isn’t! PLEASE take a moment to connect with me. Leave a comment, find me on facebook, check out the party love on pinterest or shoot me an e-mail. I LOVE hearing from you!

DIY scrapbook paper Christmas Tree

Another set of trees made for a local photographer, she’s amazing and definitely worth following on facebook, or on her website. They are so simple to make, and have a great flare to them with the structural look that using paper gives.

What You Need:
– A hot glue gun (that’s my preference, it’s strong, fast, and cheap)
– A cone or DIY Paper Cone
– Scrapbook Paper (I used 12×12 sheets, and used the thicker cardstock version, but could use either.) Depending on the size your tree, you will need anywhere from 3-8 sheets
– *optional* printout of the tree shapes to trace. Right here ——> treetracer

Ok, so first step, trace (or hand cut) this simple shape (Not sure what it would be called :S ) But you will cut a lot of them, I’d start with the few biggest sizes and work your way down to the smaller ones as you complete your tree. You will need a lot more of the big ones than the little ones. Once you have your pretty half shapes cut, curl up the ends using either a pencil, glue stick, crayon, screwdriver, or whatever else you have that’s handy. Easy enough.
Second Step, Glue the right top corner of your first piece to your tree, leaving the left side unglued. (making sure the bottom of your curled paper is parallel to the table (or whatever work surface). You will want to attempt to keep your layers nice and level.), next glue the entire length of the next piece slightly overlapping the first. You will do this the entire circumference of the tree.

When you get to the last piece in completing each layer, simply give your paper piece a small horizontal tear around the midway point, you will tuck in the flap and secure it with glue. Doing this to the first and last piece of each layer will make your tree look just as beautiful in the front as it does in the back. Then you simply move up a little and start again. (find a spacing that you like, and make sure you stick to it throughout each layer of your tree) As you move up the tree, you will find that the paper starts straightening out and losing its pretty curl, you will want to start the next size smaller when this happens.

When you’ve reached the top of your tree, you will simply cut a cone shape with a rounded bottom, and wrap it around the top of your tree. Like so.
Add a pretty embellishment and You’re Done! And I bet they look amazing! Now I do have to warn you, this set of trees is more time consuming than the ruffled ones, (you can find them here). So find a comfy spot and catch up on your DVR or Netflix. It will be worth it when you’re done!

I hope that all made sense :S and I hope everyone has a great holiday season filled with festive DIYs and lots of family love. I know I don’t have much on my blog yet, but I’m working away (when the kids will let me) to post more cool DIYs and party awesomeness. So stay tuned. ❤

DIY Ruffled Christmas Trees

So early on in my business as Purely Posh, I connected with an amazing woman and photographer. She had opened her own birth photography business and wanted to create a special “Baby’s First Christmas” Set up for all the babies she witnessed coming earthside that past year. She asked me (and more importantly trusted me) to come through in a big way with helping her create props and banners for her set up in the studio. Her name is Erica McCauley was one of my first clients. And looking back, a year later, I call her my friend, advice giver, business mentor, repeat client, and truly I look up to her in so many ways. You can see her beautiful work {HERE}. I recommend following her on facebook, she has a magnificent way of reminding us mothers how beautiful our journeys are and giving you those warm tinglies.

Any Who! I included a few different sets of trees and coordinating banners for her, that way she could mix and match pieces to make each session different and unique. She wanted to stick to a white/gold/earthy color scheme and had sent me a few ideas to use a jumping off point that she had found around the internet. One of which was ruffled crepe paper trees, the ones I saw were pink and blue and had lots of embellishments. I knew I wanted to do something similar, and without a tutorial to follow, I just learned as I crafted, I am going to show you how simple these guys are to make, and seriously CHEAP!

What You Need:
– A roll of crepe paper (I got mine for $1 In the party section of the dollar store.)
– A cone (or you can make your own like I did with paper, learn how {here})
– Hot Glue + Glue sticks

Seriously guys, It’s so easy. First you place a strip of hot glue a few inches long, across the bottom of your cone, this is where you are going to attach the upper portion of your crepe paper. now as you lay your streamer across your glue, take your thumb and gently push the paper (where the glue is) in the opposite direction just slightly before returning in your original direction, creating a slight ruffle. Once you get a feel for it, you turn into a {ruffling} machine!

When you complete the entire circumference of your tree, just trim the streamer, move up to the next level and do the same thing. Make sure that each level is straight as you’re {ruffling} and begin/end each layer on the same side of your tree (this will be your back, it will still be pretty, but the front is amazing in comparison).

When you get to the top, layer a few pieces of your crepe paper together, cut them into a rounded/half circle-y shape, and wrap the top of your tree with it (rounded end on the bottom) Top with a pretty embellishment or trinket if your heart desires, and You’re done! This small tree took me about a half hour, start to finish, with two cranky kids scurrying around my feet in that pre-dinner meltdown mode that kids seem to ritualize. So all in all, Not Bad!
For Erica, I made three of varying sizes, topped with a wooden gold star, and a light shimmer of gold spray glitter. I made my cones out of 12×12 cardstock (2-4 pieces depending on cones), a roll of crepe paper streamers, and little a time. Such an awesome outcome for such an easy DIY. I hope this helps you create something festive, fabulous, and budget friendly this holiday season! Thank you for stopping By!

Holiday{Heart Hugs} – Jess