Ford is ONE

Before having Ford, I told myself I wasn’t going to be “that mom” who plans an extravagant first birthday. Ha, the things we say before actually becoming a parent.  I created Ford’s 1st birthday Pinterest board when he was only a few months old. About 5 months before his 1st birthday, I had the entire party planned. Yeah, I know… I’m cray.

When Ford’s ETV surgery was scheduled for August, I was relived because that would give him about 6 weeks to recover and be well enough to host his 1st birthday party. Goodness gracious, God had another plan for him. Ford had major complications with the ETV surgery and ended up staying at Primary Children’s Hospital for 2 months. He celebrated his first birthday in a hospital bed, hooked up to wires, drains, and tubes.

I realize that most parents get to celebrate their children’s 1st birthday in the comfort of their home, surrounded by friends & family. Their child gets a smash cake and loads of presents. They have fun games & themed party favors. And while that might be the norm, it is not lost on me that there are other mother’s celebrating their child’s 1st birthday (or any birthday) in a hospital. I want to share how I pulled off a fun, festive, and inexpensive birthday for my son while he was in a hospital crib.


When we were given the news that Ford would not be discharged before his 1st birthday, I was devastated. But you know what? Ford deserved the best birthday party a hospital could offer. I refused to let his big day go unnoticed so I decided to decorate his room with the homemade items I had made. We turned his room into an under the sea party! Click HERE for the DIY party decorations.

I used streamers for the water and hung cut out fish to look like they were swimming. The bobbers that spelled O-N-E which were supposed to go on his highchair, I hung on his hospital crib above his pillow. I made a first year milestone collage – I LOVED taking pictures of his monthly milestones and knew I wanted to showcase them. I brought most of his gifts to the hospital so that he could open them on his big day. His actual birthday was on a Tuesday, but I set all this up on Sunday and left it up all week – I felt like he deserved a week long birthday celebration.

By the time Ford’s first birthday rolled around, he had already been at Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, UT for about 6 weeks. The doctors, surgeons, and nurses knew him well. The nurses were especially smitten by him. All his favorite nurses came by to see him that day (even if he wasn’t on their rotation). They brought him books, and stuffed animals, and snuggles. This wasn’t the birthday that I had planned and hoped for, but those nurses made his day EXTRA special and I am forever grateful for their kindness.

Ford had been very sick leading up to his birthday. He was left very weak from a cyst fenestration surgery, he couldn’t keep any food down (even with a feeding tube), and he lacked “life”. Somehow, on his actual birthday, he perked up a little bit. He was able to keep down some food and was even able to try his first tiny piece of cupcake. It was such a miracle to see him smile. We only had our parents come up to the hospital that day and man did it cheer Ford up. But the absolute BEST part of his birthday, was that Josh & I both had the opportunity to hold him for the first time in days… talk about the most magical moment. His 1st birthday, while not what we imagined, turned out to be a wonderful day and one we will never forget.

**If you are planning a birthday party in a hospital, remember to run all decor / visitors / food by the nurses. They will be able to tell you what is allowed.

Crafts & Cocktails 2017

I love hosting my annual Crafts & Cocktails girls night in. It’s always filled with Halloween crafts, laughs, and LOTS of wine! Each year I choose a different food theme and this year’s was my favorite so far… Ice Cream Bar! It was a hit with my girlfriends too. Here are a few tips on how to pull off a fun night in with your girlfriends.

I’ve done something as simple as a velum bag with goodies to a cute cup filled with goodies. Because I’m a Target Shopaholic, most of the swag is from there or Michael’s. I try to keep the price down on this but also make it super fun/cute for my friends. This year’s swag included the following:
1. Plastic Cup (Filled bottom with a piece of tissue paper to prop up all the goodies)
2. Champagne Flavored Lollipops (I added googly eyes for a splash of fun)
3. Foam Paint Brush
4. Ribbon
5. Halloween Themed Sticker
6. Pen with Cute Saying
7. Cocktail Stirrer
8. Drink Tags (Pineapple & Flamingo pictures)
9. “Donut” Give Up Name Plate
10. Candy Corn to Paint (This didn’t fit in the cup so I stuck it off to the side)

Place Settings
I really like to create a fun tablescape for my guests. This year I decided to “set the table” because I used a cup as their swag holder. Easy but fun!

I’ve done everything from a cheese & crackers spread to a chili bar but this year I wanted something different. Ice cream bar won and it was a huge hit with my girlfriends. I suggest having plenty of options for your friends to choose from. But my biggest suggestion would be to pre scoop the ice cream. It makes it so easy for your guests to serve themselves with no mess!


I always provide a few bottles of wine to share (because I’m a cool host). But it’s nice to provide an area with ice for your friends to stick the booze they bring too.

Happy Fourth 2017

Somehow I got roped into hosting my family for 4th of July this year.  Don’t get me wrong; I LOVE spending time with my family but I am not able to host a simple get together without deep cleaning my house, spending way too much money on food, and decorating in some capacity.

It was stupidly hot this 4th of July – and by stupidly hot I mean 105 degrees outside. Our AC has been having some issues and was having a hard time cooling the house so we hosted an outdoor party. Thank goodness for our pool to help cool off the kiddos!

We had an amazing menu; smoked ribs, veggie cups, watermelon, corn on the cob, and lots of munchies! Unfortunately I forgot to snag a few pictures of the food table but I did snag this picture of these AWESOME & EASY veggie cups (recipe under Cait’s Cafe).


Kentucky Derby 2017

Our 3rd Annual Kentucky Derby party was close to being cancelled due to the weather in Utah that day.  The wind gusts were up to 30mph and it was raining off and on.  Not really what you want for a garden party. But we persisted and although I couldn’t display all my decor the way I wanted, the booze was cold and the company great!

Color Scheme: Teal / Gold / Pink
Main Course Menu: Smoked Pulled Pork, Chips, Veggie Shots, Fruit Shots
Desserts: Red Velvet Cupcakes, Fruit Pizza
Signature Drinks: Pineapple Mojitos, Mint Julep Mojitos, Mascato
Activites: Photobooth, Best Dressed Contest, Beer Pong

*Signature Drink table*

*Red Velvet Cupcakes – Horse Topper DIY here*

*Photobooth fun – Pool Noodle Horse DIY Here*

*Tablescape so hard*