Where Has November Gone?! 

December is here!! November…came and left – FAST! Didn’t it? I feel like I merely blinked and it was gone. And now the most wonderful time of the year is quickly approaching! 

I have a lot of good stuff to share these days as a lot has been happening and I’ve been making more of an effort to document these happenings and whipping out my iPhone at a moments notice! 😉 I think being a mom has helped me learn to have super quick reflexes! 

Speaking of being a mom – Levi is now a ONE YEAR OLD! Can you believe it?! They certainly don’t stay little for long. It seems as though almost overnight he’s full of sass at times and has all these opinions about things. Not even kidding! He now shakes his head ‘no’ all.the.time. And he’s suddenly become a picky eater! And super independent with things now too. Where did my snuggly little baby go? He’s always itching to go explore 🙂 .

To celebrate his first birthday we drove back down to Matt’s parents. They let us have his party there – which worked out super well because that way he could be with family and close friends. It was a lumberjack themed party – which I thought was pretty perfect for the time of year, Movember and all that good stuff  😉 . It was a full house – I think there was about 26 adults and 12 little ones running everywhere! My in laws are pretty awesome for opening up their house to that many guests!!

 It was so much fun planning this party. It definitely helped me to be more excited about the fact that my baby is now one year old! Pinterest is always a great inspiration and got my creative juices flowing. When I think about my theme “lumberjack” I think about flannel, outdoorsy, camping, roughing it, that type of rustic feel. So I incorporated a lot of natural, outdoorsy elements in my decor and tried to keep it as simple as possible. With this theme, I was able to utilize a lot of our camping gear as well as my winter/Christmas decor, so that helped us to stay on a budget! I had leaves, acorns, and pinecones scattered around, and used more rustic party supplies like birch “ribbon”, twine and burlap.

 

I printed off some fun lumberjack photos from Pinterest as well as some of Levi’s first few months…

Aww, look how little ❤

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The key things I wanted to have at the party was a hot chocolate bar and trail mix favours, so those were fun to have and were enjoyed by both the kids and adult alike 🙂 .

  

  

My awesome sister took all the photos for me as I was busy prepping food/welcoming guests, etc… But sadly there wasn’t a picture taken of the hot cocoa table! I can tell you that it was fully stocked with many goodies! We had out both a vanilla syrup and a peppermint syrup (that I made myself). Then for the toppings there was both chocolate and butterscotch chips, whipped cream, caramel sauce and cinnamon, mini marshmallows and even salt! So people could have a salted caramel hot chocolate or even a peppermint one! There were many flavour options and it was thoroughly enjoyed. This is something I’ll definitely do again at another party 🙂 .

For the trail mix we put out salted peanuts, pumpkin seeds, banana chips and raisins. I had some “sweet timber” out on that table too which was Kit Kat bars stacked like logs and scattered some tootsie rolls to add a little sweetness to all that salty. 

I made everything myself. I wanted a fabric banner and considered buying one on Etsy, but it was cheaper to make it (and was super simple!) I baked “pancake” sugar cookies, and also made both red velvet and chocolate cupcakes (black and red – lumberjack flannel, anyone?!) 

  

    
 I had picked up both the lantern (similar) and the wooden server (acacia) from Chapters/Indigo. The candle was Bath and BodyWorks “Pumpkin Pecan Waffles”! Mmm…it was especially fitting as lumberjacks are known for their big breakfasts! 

We took our own cakesmash/ one year photos of Levi at a conservation area and then had those pictures framed an on display at the party! I was so pleased with how well they turned out. Little bottle brush trees were found at the Dollarstore.

 

Everyone came over for lunch and we served pulled pork on a bun with a side of brown beans and broccoli salad (which I nicknamed “forest of trees” – everything is on theme, of course!) with apple cider punch. There was other little finger foods/ snacks (s’mores kabobs AND s’mores dip!) and by the time we brought out the cupcakes everyone was either stuffed or had indulged in too many sweets already!

 

 

The birch paper straws I ordered on Amazon as well as the wooden utensils! The plates and napkins were from the dollar store.

   

  

  

 

 “Sharp” cheddar and Pepper “Jack” cheeses 😉 . To keep things cohesive, food was placed on either white or wooden serveware. Some things were left to keep warm (pork in slow cooker, beans in a soup pot and S’mores dip in a cast iron skillet). 

 
 

The cute little “log” place card holders are Kate Aspen and fit the party theme perfectly! 

 
    

The cute “Don’t Feed the Bear” printable can be found on Etsy. The bear glass jar that I had filled with Teddy Graham’s was actually Matt’s that he had kept from his childhood! My sister let me borrow the brown teddy bear 🙂 .

  

    
 

I love how hard dad is laughing in that picture above! 

  

He thoroughly enjoyed that cupcake 😀 !

 

You can kind of see the hot chocolate table set up behind us under the window and photo banner.

   
 

Levi was gifted some really cute clothes, a few toys and lots of great books!

   

Levi and I got a few cute pictures with my younger brother and sister. I loved that a few people dressed up in the lumberjack flannel shirts to fit the theme! 

  
 

   
 

Poor Levi had so much fun but was so hopped up on that cupcake and was in dire need of his afternoon nap! He was super tired after all the party festivities came to an end.
It was awesome to be back around family to celebrate the blessing this kid is! Matt and I feel so fortunate that he’s ours and that he has such a wonderful extended family who loves him and  prays for him regularly. We are truly blessed. ❤️

  
  

    

  

  

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“P – A – R – T – WHY?! ‘Cause I Gotta!”

Jim Carrey, anyone? 😉 Matt loves him. And this post is about Matt’s graduation / 30th birthday par-tay (which finally took place last Saturday!) 😉 When I had first spoke about throwing this party for him, the tentative date was set for end of March. However, we went on our “house hunting trip” and so the party needed to be postponed. Since it was in celebration of two milestones, and his birthday is April 29th, an April party was perfect!

I had it at Matt’s brother’s church in Niagara Falls, which was the perfect location as this is where our families and most of our friends are! I had use of their kitchen including stoves and fridges, and any utensils/serve ware  that I didn’t have enough of. I had drove down from the base where Matt had been training (where our rental is) while Matt was working at the base where we got posted to. He came to the Falls once he was done his shifts, and met me there. I came down a week earlier because it was my sister-in-laws baby shower (baby boy!) :D. This allowed me to have time to book a cake to be made, and to shop around for any last minute decor. My sister, was a big help with the set up. She also took these pictures for me of the finished result:

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The ladder had an extinguisher on it, a “fire helmet”, an ‘M’ for Matt, and a the firehalls Dalmatian ;). My nephews and friends kids, loved playing with with stuffed puppy and tearing off the balloons!

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The candy bar had ‘burning buildings’ on them, and a chalkboard stating the top movies/ music / toys on the year 1985 (when Matt Q’s born!). A photo collage was created thanks to the help of my sister! It telly was a little more tricky to put together than I bargained for. Pictures of Matt growing up with family and friends were included. There was ones of him camping, drumming, and dating me, and our wedding day. I tried to capture the 30 years of his life so far, and to include a picture from all the guests that came to the party!

“Burning Embers” were Reece’s Pieces (beside the ‘burning apartment building). “Water buckets” were filled nearby with blue Carribean and blueberry jelly beans.

Hot Tamales were the spicy, hot candies.



I did a “Stop, Drop, and Roll” with Gobstoppers, Gumdrops, and Tootsie Rolls. Most of these candies are Matt’s favourite!


Nib Licorice was “Rescue Rope”…

…and Cheesies were “Flames” at this party 😉 !

My sister helped me dip pretzels in red chocolate to make “matches”.

  

Chairs were set up along the outside of the walls, and kind of grouped together to encourage conversation. We did buffet style with the food tables in the centre of the room. Matt’s favourite food, Italian, was out. Matt’s mom provided homemade lasagnas, and then spaghetti with a homemade meatsauce was also there with of course chillies and parm. Garden salad, Caesar and garlic bread accompanied the pasta dishes. I made a (red) punch, and then of course bottled water was also provided for this firefighter themed party 🙂 .





I displayed a couple of his textbooks, his graduation certificate of completion, and a couple cool firetrucks I picked up for our new house (maybe for in the family room?).

Everything was was done kind of rustic, and red, orange and yellow ( including dinner plates, napkins, etc), with a touch of black and white (Dalmatian).

The cake was SO good and was white, with strawberry filling (Matt’s fave) and buttercream and had his grad day picture on it. It was served amongst cookies with tea and coffee.

About 40 people came, which was a great turn out, and everyone seemed to have a great time! There were many cards and well wishes given and Matt loved it. He thanked me numerous times afterwards, and I know it meant a lot to have the support of his family and closest friends there. We are looking forward to the adventures that lie ahead and even though we’ll be moving away from where we grew up, we know we have loved ones praying for us back home!

 

It’s All Coming Together…

Hello, hello! How’s your weekend going? Got any interesting plans? Last night we ordered a pizza and just stayed in. It’s still quite cold here (this is Canada, yo!) 😉 and the snow came down all day today again. Matt had a long day Thursday, as he went in at his usual early time in the AM, then came home for a couple hours in the mid-afternoon. He rested, we quickly ate at like 4pm, and then he went BACK in again for his first nightly practice run. They have been training on the more practical side of things lately, as they are nearing the end of the training. This is refreshing for Matt as he is more of a hands-on kind of guy, and he wasn’t particularly digging the theory side of things. The fire was a “Code 4” (which is the highest level of response for fire dispatch). It required all hands on deck, and he was out until well after midnight. So he was tired. Hence the reason he wanted to just veg last night. And I can dig it ;).

I went out shopping  with a friend Thursday. Partially just for fun, and also I wanted to be on the hunt for some party supplies for Matt’s surprise Grad/30th Birthday party this Spring. I found this awesome vintage looking fire truck which was hand crafted by artisans. So happy about it! I have officially began planning…trying to see what items I already have on hand, and which ones I still need. I sometimes find myself to be more of a kinesthetic (tactile, hands-on) learner, however occasionally a more visual type of approach works well, too. I love the use of visual boards to get my thoughts and ideas in order. Before our wedding I had numerous inspiration boards, and I think that’s one of the reasons I really like Pinterest  – it acts like a giant bulletin board. So, for the sake of inspiration, and gathering décor ideas, I decided I would share some of my party plans. 🙂

Ok, so first things first. This is the look I’m going for. The “firefighter” theme, and a bit rustic/industrial. I put some stuff together to get a rough idea of what the set up would look like!

Ladder with truck & extinguisher

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I’m going to print some pictures of Matt while he was training. I’ll either put them on a display board/Bristol board for family/friends to look at, OR, I will attempt to include these photos (along with baby ones and various others from his entire life thus far) and tape them on a wall to say “3-0” 😀

I also found this “Firefighter’s Wife Prayer” and would like to print it and have it framed and displayed.

Firefighter Tribute

Firefighter party Party City

I plan to pick up some (red) paper plates and red serviettes from the dollar store, along with streamers and balloons, of course! I also found these items from a party themed store. I think the “caution tape” would be awesome either be on the walls of the room, or just around the table with the food! The mini extinguishers are also pretty cute and I would just have them strewn about on the table.

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I thought this was a great idea, with the peppers cut up and looking like “flames” and in the cups with the dip. I’m still in the midst of tweaking the menu items a bit.

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Wire Baskets

I have a red table cloth that I will be using, and I have tons of cutlery on hand (often we use them if we take a picnics or have a BBQ). I also have numerous glass jars that I will try to implement (apothecary and mason). I want to have some snacks and candy with the cake and those will work perfectly. We have some galvanized metal buckets that I bought from the dollar store before our wedding (they hung from shepherd’s hooks and had flowers in them.) The letter “K” is for our last name 😉 . The wire baskets I will use also, for placing food in (chips for example). I have 4 identical square ones, and just the one with the basket base. I think these elements will help incorporate the industrial feel.

I know the local party store only has select “firefighter themed” supplies, but I did see that they have some of these plastic helmets. I know Michaels carries crates, that would work great for stacking food and/or décor on. And I also have a white storage unit identical to the ones in the following picture. It would work well in giving items some height off the table.

Firefighter party

I know initially these parties seem too childlike, but I do like certain elements.  I would like to attempt to make these smoke clouds, and have them hang from the ceiling. The flames are also cool, and seem doable enough to recreate. I might also have a few clusters of these around the parameter ;)…IF I’m feeling crafty!

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I like the idea of having the signs on the table by some of the treats. “You’re a Lifesaver”, “Rescue Rope” (licorice), “Burning Embers” (Reese’s Pieces). Maybe a bit cheesy, but totally my style. He’ll have to love it! 😉

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Check out these other similar “firefighter themed” parties:

Firefighter Party Inspo Firefighter Party Firefighter theme party

This was the party I saw online that started it all. It looks so amazing!

My next step is to get some quotes on cakes! Check out these ones below – they’re so well done. They look awesome!

Grad Party cakes

I know Matt will be so excited to see everyone, and he really has no idea about this! I’m excited to see the look on his face. I ❤ party planning! 😀 My ultimate hope is to make him feel special and loved. I’m so proud of all his determination and hard work, and can’t wait to celebrate with him!