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Dragons Love Tacos Birthday Fiesta

When I was pregnant with T, all I craved was Mexican food. I’m talking mountainous bowls of guacamole, steak tacos from here to eternity, and salsa on everything I could find in the kitchen cabinet. It’s only fitting that this small child popped out and became the largest fan of all things Mexican food. I was over the moon when he repeatedly demanded a Dragons Love Tacos party for this third birthday. Any excuse to throw a party with tacos and margaritas is a total win in my book. Add some dragons and you’ve got a recipe for perfection. This one might be a personal fave for me, not just for the above listed reasons, but also because it was our very first party back home in the Chicagoland area with our dear, old, friends and family. This one got postponed 4 months due to our move, but as it turns out, 3 year olds don’t have a huge concept of time in regards to actual birth dates, so he was happy as a clam to tell everyone it was his day and he was turning 3.

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Walking tacos were a must here. Would you believe I had never had one prior to this epic day? Delicious, easy, minimal mess for the kids, and who doesn’t love eating a mobile meal? I found some printables on Etsy for those, like myself, who had never partaken in a taco of the walking variety. The rest was easy- crockpots and warming dishes for meat, beans, rice and nacho cheese; and bowls for all the toppings. Having the food continually heating meant people were able to grab and go all day long. And could the “Taco Bout A Party” balloons from Oh Shiny Paper Co be any more perfect? As an added bonus, they’re refillable, so I was able to deflate them and keep them for any future fiestas.

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Mini sombreros hot glued to headbands for all the guests, tiny cactuses planted in upcycled tomato sauce cans, churro cupcakes, miniature rubber pinatas, sombrero suckers, and margarita Jelly Belly beans rounded out the dessert table. The unicorn tails from Bearsly and Bumski were a fave of mine, because, COLOR! (Y’all know I love my color!) I was able to salvage these for future use as well.

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The center of every one of my birthday themes is always and forever, Alison’s Cookie Party sugar cookie recipe. If you know me, you’ve heard so much about this recipe you’re probably certain I’m insane. But, these are the BEST cookies EVER. In the universe. The galaxy. Even on Mars. They are always the first thing to go, and it isn’t unheard of for the kiddos to be double fisting those bad boys. I wasn’t touching dragons- my cookie designing skills are not at that level in the slightest. So tacos and “totally mild salsa” it was. I even commissioned my husband to make a taco cave to display them in just like the book. Bless his heart, I don’t know why the man still entertains my crazy.

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Because this was more of an ‘open-house’ style party, I decided to try my hand at watermelon margaritas. If you’re anything like me, you have boards upon boards on Pinterest of cocktails you never have an excuse to make. Well, here it was. You can find the recipe here, and you’ll thank me later.

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I still haven’t discovered the recipe for a perfect photo booth set up at a party. This one, however, was a slight improvement from my first attempt two years ago. I found some excellent props on Etsy, and that hella cool dragon mask from Opposite of Far. The Mr. 3 and ‘Spec-TACO-lar’ shirt and shorts can be found in our shop above. Because I love y’all so much and am in a giving mood- I’m giving one lucky reader a shot at winning a Lookie Loo Loo Taco outfit for their very own taco party. You can enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Small Space- Big Style

Lemme start this one off by saying, downsizing? It’s a mega pain in the boot-ay, folks! Add two kids under 5, and 3 years of accumulated crap in almost 3,000 square feet of house, and you’ve got yourself a recipe for an episode of hoarders. Alas, we recently found ourselves wanting to return to the Chicagoland area near our extended families. Memphis vs Chicago real estate is ridiculous in comparison, so a major downsize was inevitable. We are talking 4 people and a dog in 1000 square feet of living space. I went forward kicking and screaming. If I was going to have to sacrifice space, I’ll be damned if I was going to sacrifice style! I love a good reno blog post, and since my boys still want to share a room, the third bedroom was mine for the taking. Enter our office/spare room.

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I had not seen this space before we purchased the house. In fact, we purchased it based off listing photos and a FaceTime walk-through session with my mother in law. Planning this room was a bit difficult not knowing the size visually and not having ever stepped foot inside. We painted the walls a light grey to brighten it up, as it was a darker tan. I am a firm believer in white or at the very least, light colors in a small space. You need to amplify what you have, and a light color will always do the trick. Given there is a large sliding glass door in here leading to our outdoor patio, we get tons of light, and the entire room now feels so much more open and airy.

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The first piece I had to have was the DHP Furniture Vintage Tufted Sofa Sleeper by The Novogratz. I’ve had my eye on this sofa sleeper for ages, and this was the *perfect* space. It doubles as an excellent reading nook and a bed for guests when they come to visit. It’s absolutely gorgeous, and such excellent quality. Next up, came the nuLOOM Vintage Corbett rug. Y’all. Can we talk about those colors? *Swoon* Adding the variety of colors in this rug allowed me to get silly with color everywhere else, and y’all know I love some color!

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Let’s talk gallery walls. They make me giddy. I’m notorious for not being able to make a decision, narrowing down is not my forte. This 35 piece mega-fabness is the wall of my dreams. All my favorite pieces in one glorious spot. I was able to mix and match frames and styles as well, thanks to that kick ass nuLOOM rug.

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Because I can never leave y’all hanging when it comes to my favorite finds, here’s a few that make up my gallery wall that you just cannot pass up. The “Remember Why You Started” print from Life With Peanut was a must. As a maker, I find this is a mantra I must live by. And you see that cutie-patootie, rainbow, unicorn-horse-deer head? That’s from one of our faves, Horrible Adorables. I contacted Jordan, and asked her to go to town on rainbow felt and faux animal head goodness. She did not disappoint.

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Not only is that “Girl on Fire” print legit on fire, but with each purchase Live Love Studio donates one meal to a hungry tummy in East Tennessee, through the efforts of Second Harvest Food Bank. Brightening the world one person, one moment, one MEAL (and one extremely rad print) at a time!

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There is nothing that quite competes with an actual photograph. I have such a love for the art of photography, and mad respect for those who do it well. Sonja Quintero of Squint Photography is no exception. Each photo is better than the next. Her retro radio and fun slide pics were some of my faves, and they HAD to be a part of this space.

 

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Let’s talk fab pillow covers! My girl Whitney over at Madly Wish has some of the best prints when it comes to baby and children’s bedding. I asked her to whip up some gloriousness for this couch, and that she did. My fave is her pretzel and sloth prints. Nothing quite says, ‘pop a squat and stay a while’ like rainbow sloths and soft pretzels.

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No home office is complete without a desk nook. This guy was a happy accident when my husband took down the closet doors to paint. Despite needing every square inch of storage space in this joint, I couldn’t bring myself to put them back up once I saw it. A clearance desk and chair from Hobby Lobby, a narrow file cabinet from IKEA, and a gold unicorn lamp from Target? Yes please!

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Shelf tchotchkes are my JAM! The hand lettered travel globes from We Trust in Wanderlust are to die. The perfect flair for any shelf, desk, or table-scape.

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There isn’t a more fitting piece to end this blog upon. The Satsumas plant stand from IKEA. Three trips. THREE. IKEA is easily an hour long drive (both ways), and $11 in tolls for me. I spent more in tolls than I did for the damn plant stand. But, as anyone who has renovated a space knows- if you love a piece, you’ll go to great lengths to secure it!

 

 

Of course I worked some magic and have a super-fly giveaway attached to this reno. One lucky winner can take home the following:

$20 shop credit from Life With Peanut

$20 shop credit from Madly Wish

$30 shop credit from Horrible Adorables

$25 shop credit from Lookie Loo Loo

$50 shop credit from We Trust in Wanderlust

ONE in stock print from Squint Photography

ONE 8×10 ‘Girl on Fire’ print from Live Love Studio

$200 shop credit from nuLOOM

You can enter here!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Ten Summer Faves for the Littles

Summer is in full swing. Cue the days spent running through sprinklers, lounging by the kiddie pool, consuming copious amounts of bomb pops, playing freeze tag, and catching lightning bugs. So, let’s talk some summer kiddo wardrobe finds that hit the tippy-top of our faves list.

1. Ahoy Amigo

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Ahoy Amigo’s new Summer Daze print is the bees knees- and toes and fingers!  You can score it in tanks, crop tops and shorts- and in three color choices to boot. You can’t go wrong with this one.

 

2. Hugo Loves Tiki

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My first thought when I saw this fruit ruffled playsuit from Hugo Loves Tiki was, “I TOTALLY want that in my size.” Good news? This one ranges from 0-3m all the way to adult XL. Mommy and me sets never looked so good!

 

3. Izzy and Ferd

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The love for rompers continues with this little carrot number from Izzy and Ferd. Super, mega bonus points for keeping it gender neutral. As a mama to boys, we appreciate the ease of a summer romper just as much as those girl mamas!

 

4. Lunaflect Co

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I’ve recently developed a love for succulents. I’m talking an all-consuming need for a living wall, people! This cactus sunsuit from Lunaflect Co spoke to my succulent obsession. Her stuff is crazy good, y’all.

 

Bonus 4. Giddy up and Grow

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Speaking of succulents, I’ll just leave this little cactus clip from Giddy Up and Grow right here.

 

5. Mommy Makes Moccs

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Swoon. In my world, there is nothing that can’t be fixed with a little pom garland. These neon pink poms on Mommy Makes Moccs’ Audrey Boho Flats are to die.

 

6. Gardner and the Gang

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I think Gardner and the Gang’s ‘Pete the Pony’ might actually be my spirit animal. I’m a huge fan of their biker pants- think capri-length baggy joggers- on both my little guys, but this (and their equally fab other friends) is available in numerous colors and clothing options.

7. Finley and Bub

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I adore color. I adore hi-low tanks on a baby belly equally. Throw in that it’s hand made? Perfection.

8. Lili Collection

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Sunglasses, ice cream cones, flowers, guitars- Lili Collection has the most adorable prints available in their Oxfords. Bonus points for being American Made!

9. Dudley Denim

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Because, what is life without your favorite pair of distressed jean shorts? Dudley’s are a fan fave in our house- all around.

 

10. Hi Future Clothing

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Y’all. The “So Fly” shirt? I see what they did there. And I’m totally diggin’ it!

Rain Cloud Baby Shower, Fit for a Princess!

Since this lovely little lady will be entering the world any day now, I can think of no better time than the present to post her shower. I’m going to be an auntie! And not just any old auntie. An auntie to a GIRL! While this may not mean much to everyone out there in blog land, as a mother to all boys, surrounded by testosterone all day long, while simultaneously surrounded Continue reading “Rain Cloud Baby Shower, Fit for a Princess!”

Alphabet Monster Truck Birthday Party

Hi. I’m Erica, and I’m a birthday party planner-aholic. Admitting your problem is the first step, right? Score! I will also admit I am one of those moms who cringes at the thought of mainstream character birthday parties. I know they are an inevitable part of childhood, and will never deny my kids their choice of Ninja Turtles, Blaze and the Monster Machines, or as was my luck for our youngest’s second birthday, Elmo. Allllllll Elmo. We’ve lucked Continue reading “Alphabet Monster Truck Birthday Party”