Pumpkin Carving Party

Hi again! I’m so happy to share a fun, fall neighborhood party idea with you. Pumpkin carving can be an icky, messy chore. But do a little prep work, gather all the neighbors in your yard, throw in some warm chili and cold beers and carving becomes a great excuse for a neighborhood get together. It’s a pretty easy party to throw together.


The main thing is to have tools to make the carving go smoothly. Ask your guests to provide their own pumpkins. I like to use butcher paper to cover long folding tables, that way when the party is over I can just throw them away. Put carving tools and spoons in empty cans, provide towels for messy hands. You’ll also need sharpies for those who want to draw their own templates. This type of party doesn’t really need much decorating…maybe a few mini pumpkins on the tables, but the messy activity of carving is the main attraction here.


Ready to get the party started? Happy carving!

Classic First Birthday Party

Well, hello there! It has been awhile since you have heard from me but I’m back and recommitting to my blog. Think I will catch you up to speed on some of the fun we had in 2015! We celebrated Harlowes first birthday- what a milestone! I have now experienced first-hand the emotions and tremendous joy that comes along with celebrating the first twelve months with your little one.


Here are some of the details of our celebration

We opted for a intimate family affair, 17 guests.

We held the party mid-afternoon, offering a simple menu of birthday cake and a few special sweets. This is also keeps your party within a reasonable budget.


Invitations set the tone for the event with baby blue stripes, a script font and our sweet boys silhouette. All tied together with a thin satin ribbon.

Party Theme? Soft blue and yellow color palette kept the event sweet and “baby”–celebrating his first 12 months of life.


I thoroughly enjoyed hand-crafting pom poms for party hats Lolly and I made.

Guests enjoyed a soft blue ruffled cake in key lime almond flavor (the same flavor that was served at our wedding nearly 10 years prior). To avoid sugar, we opted to skip the “smash cake” and Harlowe was tickled to eat watermelon.
Garden chairs and floor-length table linens created a clean palette for styling this event. Oversized white balloons also filled the celebration space with white. I used wide satin ribbons to tie them to the back of chairs.


Sigh… it’s nearly time to plan a second birthday party. As they say, they grow up too fast!


General Tipping Guidelines

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Tipping is a customary way of showing appreciation for services. Below are general tipping guidelines for the most common times tipping is expected:


Restaurant Check: 15-20% – Gratuity is usually included for groups of six or more

Home Delivery: 10% – in bad weather 15%

Take Out: No obligation; 10% for extra service or a large, complicated order

Bartender: $1-2 per drink or 15-20% of the tab

Tipping Jars: No obligation; tip if you are provided a little something extra or if you are a regular customer.


15-20% split among the people who provided you with service


Bellhop: $2 first bag, $1 per additional bag

Taxi driver: 15-20% of the fare

Doorman: $1-$4 for carrying luggage. $1-$2 for hailing cab.

Housekeeper: $2-$5 per day- left daily with a note marked “Housekeeping – Thank you”

Concierge: No obligation for answering questions. $5-10 for tickets or restaurant reservations. $15 for hard-to-get tickets or reservations.


Restroom Attendant: $1

Valet: $2-$5 when car is returned to you.

Coat Check: $1-$2 per item

Remember, a tip is not a substitute for thanking a person for a service received. The tip and the thank you go hand in hand!