Watson & Mayberry

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Poppy's Morning Market

Recipes, GatheringsSteph SheratonComment

It's no secret around here that we Sheratons love a themed get-together. In addition, there are few places we'd rather be than at a festive farmer's market. As our darling Penelope's 2nd birthday was quickly sneaking up on us, we'd planned to gather the fam the prior Saturday morning for a crepe brunch on the patio. Low key, small & intimate. Matt & had I unofficially agreed that we'd do "big parties" for the kids every other year & on the off years, we'd keep it light or do something extra fun as a fam. But as fellow creatives may agree, once the party's theme had come to me, it was near impossible to slow this train's roll- sorry babe. Now we had a full-blown shindig on our hands. Oops:). 

I normally don't start planning or gathering specifics for an event until the week of. With a handmade business to run, 2 babies to raise & a church that I want to actively serve in, ain't nobody got time to be obsessing WEEKS before. So this shindig was no different. The week of, I began to gather the decor (mostly from within our home & for sure a thrift store run or 2)!!

This year, like the year previous, I'd planned the party to be outside- with no feasible backup plan (which is sort of dumb in Seattle- I know). But I had a vision & wanted the party to be just so! I envisioned bluegrass music rockin', market "booths" scattered around our patio filled with beautiful things to eat & do. The Saturday of P's party, I woke up to rain. RAIN. I sat in the living room, killing time & waiting for a break in the wetness to rush out & set up. BUT IT JUST KEPT RAINING. 45 minutes before folks were due to show up, there was a break in the sprinkling & I frantically threw bunting & tables all over the slippery patio. As 10 o'clock struck, the sky filled with dark rain-filled clouds. I looked @ Matt, feeling totally defeated, & asked if we should cancel. Our home was a hot mess & had been completely dedecorated so I could use it all for the patio fest. He smiled reassuringly & said "Can't cancel now!" Isn't it a wonder that our spouses can calm our crazy & bring such constant comfort?

But like a birthday miracle, the sun slowly crept out, the outdoor hangs were spared & it dried up so fast I eventually got to even throw my rugs all over the patio like i'd envisioned. So many of my "ideas" never got to be displayed & so much left forgotten in the 30 min. scramble to "make a party" on the patio. But as always, PEOPLE WIN. Our morning was filled with people we adore, adults hung around sipping coffee & chatting, kids ran a muck laughing, & bluegrass blared amidst wild flowers & fresh crepes. It was PERFECT. The decor may have not been what I'd have hoped but we succeeded in creating a "feeling", People felt loved, memories were made, & our sweet Penelope had THE BEST DAY.

My fav moment of the whole gathering was near the end when my in-laws surprised Poppy in the driveway with a BMW convertible. It nearly made my heart burst to watch her cruise with a great big grin while all the kids chased her around.

Parties for our family have always been the perfect excuse to gather loved ones & create something beautiful. We felt so blessed to be surrounded by such fantastic friends & family. Thanks to all who came & loved on our girl:).

Here are a few details of the Morning Market & some simple DIY's

MORE COWBELL!! er, MORE BUNTING!!

It's my decorating go-to for sure. I accumulate more with each gathering & it adds so much life & color to have strewn about. And HELLO- SO CHEAP!! I hit up the Goodwill Outlet a few days previous & got a bag of vintage linens for under $2. A quick wash & dry & then cut into strips & voila!! Easy scrap fabric bunting (more pics @ end of post). Another fav bunting were these vintage doilies (thrifted as a set for $2) that I tied on cotton cord. I adored how it turned out!!

Another simple one that added so much charm was to hang all of my vintage aprons on a cotton cord, just as you would a clothes line. I'd planned to do the same with a beautiful stack of vintage doilies but ran out of time- boo!

Signage is always a must for me @ gatherings. I love when food is labeled with menus on chalkboards & fun signs are around. For our Farmer's Market theme, I spent $10 on lumber @ home depot & whipped up a bunch of signs. My fav is the "Poppy's Morning Market" posted sign. It was simple- 3 boards ($2/per & pre-stained) & painted. On the bottom I had my hubby staple on some chicken wire. The night before the party I tucked branches & wild flowers througout it, creating the most festive, whimsical entrance to the gathering.

Food for a Morning Market "brunch" theme was really fun & REALLY easy. I did a market run the week of & stocked up on lots of fresh berries & produce. My talented sister-in-law made a gorgeous homemade pie, my mom brought super fun donuts & my mom-in-law brought beautiful scones. So apparently it takes a village:). I busted out a plate of sprinkle cake pops as well (a go-to oreo cream cheese recipe thats SO EASY!! Recipe on Penelope's 1st bday blog post). My husband is quite the closet chef himself, so he had a "Creperie" booth & whipped up hot, fresh crepes for the whole crew.

The "naked" cake was a breeze as well. Want the dirty details?

I used 2 white cake boxed mixed & baked them in 2 different sized. When I was popping them out of the pan, a huge chunk fell off & I just laughed & patched it up w/ some frosting- oops. At 10pm the night before, I guess a girl just stops caring:). Simple Pinterest buttercream frosting went between the layers along w/ fresh cut strawberries & then I topped it w/ a bunch more berries. A little powdered sugar shake all over & voila!! a $5 masterpiece to be eaten by tiny toddler mouthes.

For drinks, we served a pitcher of cold brewed coffee with fresh cream & our homemade Brown Sugar Lavendar syrup (recipe in previous post). It was a HIT! We also served strawberry lemonade, OJ, & La Croux. But when there's coffee, who really needs anything else?

B/c it was a Farmer's Market theme, I'd planned to raid the local farmer's market the day before for fresh flowers. When I rolled in? It was closed- boo! And b/c it was Mother's Day weekend, fresh flowers & the grocery were SO EXPENSIVE! We ended up snagging a bouquet from Costco & the rest? I went out afterdark with a giant IKEA bag & shears & took a walk, snipping anything wild I could find on the sidewalks around our neighborhood haha! It ended up being quite thrifty & just as festive.

We covered all the "eating" tables with brown butcher paper & mason jars of crayons. We had done this @ our wedding way back when & it's always a win!!

And Penelope's darling mint dress w/ mustard & navy balloons?? Snagged it @ a consignment shop while I was pregnant with her & hoarded it all this time for her second b-day- it's amazing how perfect it was, pockets & all!!

Here's a few more snaps from the party!! Thanks "Auntie Lex" for capturing P's party so we could relive it over and over:). 

Woodland Tea Party- swoon fest for our Penelope June's 1st Birthday!!

Steph SheratonComment

Sunday, May 15th we rang in our sweet Penelope June's 1st birthday w/ all the bells & whistles... ok, maybe not bells & whistles, but most definitely lots of tea cups, bubble machines, copious amounts of fabric & lace buntings, & most importantly- obnoxiously large floral crowns.

We laughed & swooned the afternoon away, enjoying the company of close friends & family & feeling over-the-top... BLESSED.

Of course it had been yet another gorgeous week in Seattle, like, bathed-both-babies-in-the kiddie-pool-on-the-patio-every-night kinda gorgeous. Then Saturday? It down poured. It rained all day Sunday as well w/ the exception of our party & the hour before it- a true birthday miracle! But b/c of weather & our usual busy Sunday morning @ church, by the time we got everything out to our little slice of heaven in the woods? We had 30 minutes to set up & decorate- YIKES. Thank goodness for a few good friends & family members who helped pull it all together!

Being a maker & a mama on a budget, I wanted to share how we pulled off this little love fest & for under $150- true story.

Here's how we did it- ready for the secret???

WE MADE PEOPLE PAY TO COME!

Ok- definitely not:D!

Here's the breakdown of the different elements of our little shindig & then a glorious photo gallery @ the end to eat your little hearts out!:)

 

PHOTOS!! I really wanted to "be in the moment" & not worry about capturing the moments I'd miss trying to capture them:). Our dear friend Candace took a million beauties for us- she's a midwife-to-be who also does all our W&M shoots, fam shoots, & was even there @ Penelope's birth to capture our first moments w/ her. We're obsessed! We also passed around our camera & got a bunch of gems from my mom & mother-in-law:).

Because our little Woodland Tea Party was in fact "in the woods" we had to provide our guests w/ directions of how to find our little magical spot. My hubbs picked up some lumber & we rigged these simple directional signs up right quick that marked the trail. So simple, so charming, & SO cheap. Some quick paint & scrap fringe? Voila. Total cost? $5.

Of course, when throwing a tea party, one must have a stellar table & spread!! We constructed ours in true Alice in Wonderland extravagance by connecting 2 long table & covering them with vintage floral sheets & table clothes (Total cost: $2). The table was sat with 6 chairs, each thrifted for $1/per & then painted or decorated. We also brought the 2 benches from our own farmhouse kitchen table to seat more buns. My favorite piece (still sitting on our patio since there's no spot in the house:D) is that wild floral chair!! I snagged it for $1.50 @ a Goodwill Outlet on a 1/2 price furniture day haha:). Here's how we decorated the table setting:

The table setting was basically a mod podge of stuff I just snagged from our house & threw in laundry bins. The different thing about throwing a party in the deeper woods is that if you forget something? There ain't no goin' back for it. But? That's SO much crap to carry!!! A few of the essentials I brought were some vintage floral tins, misc. mason jars we filled with fresh flowers I'd snagged that morning, & one of my fav details- 2 vintage egg baskets, each with an Anthropology Volcano candle burning in it so we can all agree- it smelt like HEAVEN in our little piece of the forest. We threw in lots of random things that I found charming- a vintage globe, some jadeite dishes & cake plates, & old Reader's Digest books w/ pretty patterned covers. Because it was a tea party, we obviously needed tea cups & such- not something I keep a million of around the house:). So here's what I did!! I thrifted them!! I snagged all of these for about $30 total (tried to spend no more than $1/piece). Another fun detail was the silverware. I snagged about 30 different silver forks w/ fun handles from a thrift store. It cost me about $4, so comparable to plastic flatware but was SO much more charming.

Everyone likes good food @ a party, am I right?! We lucked out a smidge in this dept. because our gathering was @ 3pm. We served up a tasty spread of gummy bears & peachios (that I purchased in bulk & my grocery checker TOTALLY gave me judgy eyes like I was just gonna sugar up my own toddler & bae w/ all that), homemade mini scones w/ jam (thanks to my baker-iffic sis-in-law), homemade lemon bars (thanks ma!), turkey wraps (thank ma-in-law!) & our party staple- cake pops. Here's my amazing life hack, fool proof, crazy-easy cake pop recipe:

World’s Best (& easiest) Cake Pops:
-1 package of oreos
-1 package of soft cream cheese
*Crush oreos (let your kiddo help w/ this by doing it in a large ziploc & letting them have at it!) & then mix in the cream cheese.
*Handle into small balls & allow to harden in the freezer
*Dip in candy chocolate, add a stick, & sprinkle!

We saved ourselves some major dimes by doing the cakes ourselves as well. I went super organic & cutting edge on these- or not so much. 3 boxes of Funfetti cake mix later, we had 2 2-layer cakes smothered in peach frosting & rainbow sprinkles- one for our guests & one for our little bae to smash to her hearts content:). We sugared everyone up w/ cake for less than $10.

DRINKS!! We set up our little yellow vintage table as the drink station. Because we're Seattle folk, coffee is always a must. We had a growler of cold brew (thanks Kels!!) w/ cream & homemade vanilla brown sugar syrup. We also served peach iced tea, water bottles & juice boxes b/c #kidparty .

The part I was most excited to see in action was setting up the "atmosphere". Ridiclous amounts of homemade fabric bunting, vintage quilt squares clothes pinned to twine draped between trees, & vintage doily dream catchers- every pop of color was so beautiful against the natural pallet of the forest. We also threw in a few chalkboards from home & took a few minutes to print off some pictures of this past year w/ our little dream girl. A simple element was a large wooden frame I snagged for $1 & spray painted gold. I push-pinned a few strands of vintage lace across the back & it provided the perfect canvas to display photos. The most magical additions were our lanterns. How to construct? I purchased 3 used lampshade covers ($6 total) & then cut off the fabric covering. I spray painted the structures gold & hot glued some vintage lace & random trims. Piece of cake!

At most kiddo parties, everyone gathers around for the present opening hay-day. To overcome this hurdle (& provide a cozy spot for babies to safely hang & crawl around) we laid out a waterproof tarp & then covered it w/ vintage quilts & cozy throws. Add a few pillows & it was basically glamping!!

 

Dressing the birthday girl- oh how i adored this part!!

I whipped up this darling sun suit for Miss P out of some beautiful eyelet lace my mom had snagged from Mood Fabric in New York & set aside for a special occasion. The matching mama-babe floral crowns I chose to purchase from a fellow mama & YOU GUYS. She was amazing to work with- I can't sing her praises enough. Check out her Insta @racooli.shop !!

Still reading? Here's a fun gallery of some special photos. What a perfect day for our little family!!

Repurposing #allthethings & why I just can't stop.

Steph SheratonComment

In my last post, I mentioned how desperately I'm pursuing more simplicity in the everyday life of my family. Less "stuff" has been a huge component to that- less stuff & there's less to clean, fewer piles to lose things in & more appreciation for the things we do have- because we actually know what & where they are now. If it doesn't bring us joy or get used/worn regularly? Out it goes. (On that note- our George Foreman grill got donated this last week- forgot to run that one by ya, hubby- sorry!!:D)

Wednesdays are my work days. My precious mum-in-law Betty comes & scoops up our 2 babies & hands me a coffee in return. She's a saint, am i right?! I get 7 hours to sew goods, catchup on emails & do whatever else needs to be done. Here's the problem about working from home: I totally can't function in a messy space. It overwhelms me, stresses me out, & has to be taken care of before I can buck up and get s**t done. Any one else out there like me? Fist bumps all around. With a 9 month old & 3.5 year old constantly in tow, I can't afford to spend my one set work day cleaning the house. So this past Wednesday, I got so fed up w/ all the laundry piles in our bedroom that I went in, completely unemotionally attached to all my beautiful clothes & shoes, & filled a garbage bag in 10 mins. My mom would be appalled @ some of the things that went in that bag- heck- I was appalled. The majority of that bag went to my sweet friend Kels who posts the articles of clothing up on a consignment website & splits the dough w/ me- she's a saint as well. However, there were a few things from that bag I just couldn't bear to toss. So whats a girl w/ 2 growing babes & a sewing machine to do? Repurpose #allthethings into clothes for my kids! My chitlins get a new wardrobe without me spending a dime, I get to do something I love, & I can now actually slide the hangers in my closet around- this is huge, people! Win-Win for sure.

Repurposing has been something I've done for years- it's a huge part of how I started this business, as a matter of fact. I'd find really cool vintage leather bomber jackets & turn them into purses- a style that we still sell in our shop- the Lexa Bomber Bag. I'd find inspiration in all kinds of things- surplus duffle bags, vintage table clothes, even once a rad leather couch I deconstructed into purses- anything that made my heart pitter-patter i'd snag. A few years ago while prepping for his Easter Sunday sermon, our pastor asked if he could show one of my bags & share about my business. He was planning to preach on how God can repurpose our lives into something new & beautiful, regardless of what we have walked through & what we'd done. He can create beauty from ashes. He's into second chances. And thirds. And thirtieths. He shared one of my all time fav bags- a waxed canvas day duffle I'd constructed from a surplus tarp my husband snagged for me from a dumpster. He's the sexiest- I know:). It was that Easter morning sitting in a pew that it all clicked for me; why I get so much fulfillment from sewing- I'd even say it's refreshing for my soul. I connect with God when I create something beautiful- after all- it's what he's in the business of doing. I kid you not- sewing literally invigorates my soul. Who ever would have thought:).

Wanted to share a few closeups of pieces I constructed for my kids from this last batch of cleared out clothes, among them being tees for my toddler, rompers, blooms & a tunic t-shirt dress for my baby girl. On that note- if we made a listing in the shop for custom projects would anyone be interested? Like- send us your husband's old fav Tee & let us turn it into a romper for your new baby? That sort of thing- would love your thoughts in the comments:). Cheers!!