April 30, 2019

A Fourth Fiesta Birthday

This post contains affiliate links. This means if you click and/or make a purchase through these links, I may make a commission from click and/or purchase. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Hi guys! Today I wanted to share the details of Adam's Fourth Fiesta Birthday party. Having gone from planning Hannah's Floral First birthday, which was super girly and feminine, this fiesta theme was a nice, colorful change. It's such a fun theme and easy to get carried away with all the vibrant decor, but I really tried to tame myself this year. So this was my attempt at keeping it low key. At the end of the day, it still ends up being more work than you think, but it's honestly so worth it. Just seeing how excited and overjoyed he was because of his party made ME happy. The things you'll do for your kids. Anyway, I hope this gives you some inspiration and if you're looking for more, check out my Fiesta Pinterest board.

While sending out an Evite would make my life easier, I like to make their invitations and print at least one out so that I can save it for them as a memory. I made the invitation on Photoshop with this clipart.

Fourth Fiesta Birthday

I set up a DIY maracas station for the kids, which was super easy. All you need are some colorful Easter eggs, coffee beans (or rice), plastic spoons and washi tape. It was a big hit with the kids and kept them entertained.

For party favors, I found these adorable mini piñatas at the 99 cent store! They have some seriously cute party supplies so definitely check them out.

What's a fiesta without some margaritas?! Plus, the adults appreciate it, especially when you have 20+ kids running around cracked out on piñata candy.

After making my first balloon arch for Hannah's party and realizing how easy it was, I feel like I have to do it for every party because you get some serious bang for your buck. If you're looking for a tutorial, I have one on Instagram both on IGTV and saved under my "DIY" story highlight.  The backdrop was also really easy to make. You can find that tutorial here.

The adorable and delicious cake is from my tried and true, Zozo Bean Bakery.


January 14, 2019

Athleisure on Amazon Fashion

This post is sponsored by Amazon Fashion and contains affiliate links. This means if you click and/or make a purchase through these links, I may make a commission from click and/or purchase. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

As much as I love to get dressed up, in this season of life, with two young kids, the reality is that most days I'm lucky if I get to brush my teeth in the morning. So for my day to day look for chasing around two toddlers, I have to be realistic about what I wear.  I definitely won't be all dolled up in heels, but I also want to look somewhat presentable and human (lol). So like a lot of moms, my go-to outfits are "athleisure." There are so many cute options on Amazon and more importantly, they leave you feeling comfortable for all your toddler-wrangling needs. And if you're a Prime member, what's better than having clothes delivered to your front door with two-day delivery?! I've rounded up some of my favorites below. Just click to shop!



December 4, 2018

Deluxe Christmas Cards With Basic Invite

This post is sponsored by Basic Invite. As always, all opinions are my own.

One of my favorite things about the holiday season is Christmas cards. I love getting them in the mail from all our friends and family and seeing all of their cute family photos. With all the hustle and bustle that the holiday season brings, I know it can be demotivating to add yet another thing to your Christmas to-do list, but since we've had kids it's something I try to prioritize every year. Since our Christmas cards feature our family photos, it's like a memento I can look back on for each year. I actually plan on starting an album just for our Christmas cards so we can see just how much the kids have grown each year.

And while I definitely want a high-quality card that I can look back on in 20 years, I also don't want to pay a small fortune for it. Stationary can be so expensive and it's not something I want to pay a ton of money for, especially with all the other expenses during the holiday season. That's why I was thrilled to discover Basic Invite. They have a wide assortment of cheap holiday photo cards, without compromising on quality. I've used other companies in the past for our Christmas cards and found that there were so many things that set Basic Invite apart. First, you have almost unlimited color options for each card design. For me, this is HUGE because when picking out a card design, I look for one that compliments the colors in our family photos. So it's always disheartening when I come across a design I love, but find that the colors just clash with our family photo. But I didn't have to worry about that when I was browsing all the deluxe Christmas card designs on Basic Invite's site. Knowing that I can change the color of each element on the card, down to the smallest detail, was a game changer and allows you to create a truly customized card.

The next perk to Basic Invite is that you can actually order a custom sample to see exactly how your card will look before you place your actual order. I know a lot of online sites will allow you to see an online preview, but with that you obviously can't feel the quality of the paper. So with this option, you know exactly what you're going to get before you place your order.

Finally, one of the coolest features Basic Invite offers is their address capturing service. You know how you'll usually spend some time texting people for their addresses and manually inputting them into some type of document? Well, you don't have to do that with Basic Invite. All you have to do is share a link on social media requesting your friends and families' addresses. From there, it will be stored into your Basic Invite account and you can then select the addresses during the design process. Basic Invite also offers recipient address printing at no additional cost on all Christmas card orders. That seriously makes sending out your holiday cards so much more convenient!

Right now, Basic Invite has a coupon for 30% off your order with code holi30. If Christmas cards aren't really your thing but you're planning a party, they also have a ton of beautiful holiday party invites. And I hope you enjoy the whole design selection process as much as I did!

Family photos taken by Laura Moll Photography

September 12, 2018

Teeth Whitening With Smile Brilliant

smile brilliant review

This post is a collaboration with Smile Brilliant. All opinions are my own.

Okay mamas, let's talk about self-care. If you have little ones, you know that self-care is really hard to come by. I have two busy toddlers that I stay home with full-time and I can tell you that almost my entire day is spent meeting their needs; I'm lucky if I get a couple hours to myself. As a mom, that just comes with the territory. But a little self-care goes a really long way, especially for us tired mamas. It's important to carve out some time to do the things that make you feel good about yourself, whether it's to do your hair, a fresh mani/pedi or a relaxing massage.

But therein lies the conundrum: what time? For me, I spend my entire day with my kids with no help so there's really no time for me to get away to do something for myself. So when Smile Brilliant reached out to me for a collaboration, I was really excited. It's a customized teeth whitening system that you use from the comfort of your own home. No need to work out child care; I can do something for myself while my kids are napping during the day or asleep at the end the night while I watch some TV. And my teeth definitely needed it. Since having kids, my coffee consumption has drastically increased (coffee = mom fuel, AmIRight?) But it also equals yucky tooth stains so I was eager to give Smile Brilliant a try.

The way it works is simple. First, you receive a kit in the mail to make your dental impressions. The kit comes with:
  • Two impression trays to create your mold
  • Catalyst paste and base to create your impressions 
  • Prepaid postage to send your impressions to the lab
  • Teeth Whitening Gel
  • Desensitizing Gel (I signed up for the desensitizing kit because my teeth tend to get sensitive) 

I was a little intimidated by the idea of creating my own impressions but it was a lot easier than I thought. There are detailed and easy to follow instructions on how to make them. You then mail your impressions to Smile Brilliant's dental lab in the prepaid package that comes in your kit. They will then mail you your customized teeth whitening trays (I received my trays within a couple weeks).

Once you receive your trays, you can then start the whitening process, which is really easy. You use the syringe to apply the whitening gel (and later, desensitizing gel, if applicable) into your tray. You then wear your trays for anywhere from 45 minutes to 3 hours. Like I mentioned above, my teeth are sensitive to I wore mine for 45 minute sessions. I did experience some sensitivity so I made sure to take days off in between my sessions instead of doing it everyday. Overall, I did about 5 or 6 sessions over the course of two weeks. I would say my results are subtle but noticeable (you can see my "before" and "after" photos at the end of the post). I am definitely pleased with the results and will likely continue to use the trays over the course of the next few weeks since I prefer a more gradual approach to teeth whitening given my sensitivity. So if you're looking for a customized tooth whitening system that you can do at home while your kids sleep, I would recommend Smile Brilliant! 

And now for the best part. There's actually a giveaway AND a coupon code if you're interested in buying your own kit. One lucky reader will win a free customized whitening system (valued at $149). All you have to do is click on the link below and enter your name and email address:


The giveaway will close on September 26th, so be sure to enter today! And don't worry if you don't win; you can use code sweetseptemberblog for 15% off your order!

smile brilliant review
smile brilliant review
smile brilliant review
smile brilliant review
smile brilliant review
smile brilliant before and after
smile brilliant before and after
smile brilliant before and after

July 10, 2018

A Floral First Birthday

This post contains affiliate links. This means if you click and/or make a purchase through these links, I may make a commission from click and/or purchase. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

I'm so excited to finally share some (a ton) of photos from Hannah's first birthday party. This party was quite the labor of love as I started (actively) planning it back in April. I tend to be a bit neurotic, so there's no way I could save the planning for last minute. I wish I could, but there's no way my type A personality would let me. So for 2 months, I took to Pinterest to plan the perfect floral first birthday party for my sweet Hannah Elise. With the exception of the food, pretty much everything was a DIY: the dessert table setup (do you know how much people charge for those things?!), the flower arrangements, the balloon arch (I posted an easy DIY tutorial here), the hoop frame for her monthly photos, the floral "H", the floral vine for the 36-inch balloon, her first birthday poster and the dessert table backdrop. The thing with Pinterest is it tends to be a black hole; you get so sucked in and start pinning all these DIY projects in advance, but when the time comes to make them, you start to wonder why you ever thought you could accomplish so many projects at once. Oh, Pinterest....

To add to the stress of party planning, I sent out invitations to have the party at our new house....before we moved in or even knew when we COULD move in. We ended up moving in 3 weeks before the party and were scrambling to get the house in some type of order so that we could host 70 guests... no biggie, right? Well, the interior of the house ended up being done but you'll notice in the outdoor photos that our house still wasn't stuccoed, but oh well.

I'd be lying if I said planning this party wasn't stressful, but I completely brought it upon myself. She's 1, so she's obviously clueless about everything and I could've just done food and cake and called it a (birth) day, but I like to go all-out for the big first birthday. I do think it's a big milestone since your baby transitions from a baby to a toddler, and it's a nice celebration for the parents surviving that oh-so-rough first year. Plus, I went all out for Adam's first birthday so it was only fair that I did the same for my Hannah. What's funny is that the closer it got to B-Day (har har), I had bipolar feelings between "this is ridiculous, she's only 1, I don't care anymore" and "she's turning 1, I want everything to be perfect" LOL.

At the end of the day, I did enjoy planning this party and am so happy with how it all came together. I've compiled a resource list at the end of the post, but if there's anything missing, please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions.

And happy first year of life to my sweet baby girl. We love you and pray that God blesses you with 100 years of love and happiness.

Dessert table backdrop: DIY, floral mats from Michael's placed together (for reference, I used a total of 15, placed in a 3x5 grid)
36-inch blush balloonsAmazon
Balloons for balloon arch:Amazon, mix of these and these (highly recommend buying this balloon blower pump)
DonutsKrispy Kreme (Tip: I bought some gift cards from Costco to save a little on cost)
Donut standsAmazon
Birthday cake and custom cookiesZozo Bean Bakery (seriously the best cake ever)
Smash cake: Vegan from Whole Foods
Floral Cupcake ToppersMichael's
Floral tape for water bottlesAmazon
Sequins tablecloth: purchased in downtown, similar here
Pink letter boardAmazon
Teepee for giftsAmazon
Teepee flower garlandLule Bloom
Ice cube trays for flower ice cubesAmazon (thanks InJessiLand for the idea!)
"Happy Birthday" cake topper: c/o Ever Artisan Designs
"One" cake topper: c/o Lule Bloom
One year milestone poster: DIY, similar here
Custom Name SignLaser Craft Co.
Rose gold cutlery and Champagne flutes99 cent store
Mommy & Me Flower CrownsMason and Harlow
Invitations: DIY, clipart via LABF Creations
RomperJoy Marie Clothing
BibSparrow Rae Co.
My dressLulus
Floral Paper GarlandRifle Paper Co.
Garden Kit Party FavorsNature Favors

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