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!!

Sunday morning coffee & donuts

Steph SheratonComment
Grabbing coffee & donuts @ Fix Coffee House 

Grabbing coffee & donuts @ Fix Coffee House 

A long time ago, I remember feeling like God was challenging me to trust Him with my heart. Sounds whimsical, right? And if you're not religious it might sound downright weird. Fair enough. If you hang around any crew long enough, you start to pick up their lingo & the same can be true of the Christian church. Sorry:). For me, trusting God with my heart is to trust him w/ the core of who I am: my hopes, dreams, desperate passions- the details of my life. Back then they were fears of a college girl- “Will I ever get married? Will I be loved? Fulfilled? Do something significant with my life? “ And yet here we are years later- same question. But nowadays it looks a bit dfferent.

 

You see, at the wee hour of 12:11 a.m., tossing & turning, unable to fall asleep & allowing my mind to wander to all things here & there, I’m thinking about tomorrow. Picturing what tomorrow morning will hold: Like most Sunday mornings, it'll be coffee & donuts w/ my 2 healthy, vibrant babies before we join my husband at church where he'll have already been preparing & greeting for several hours. On Sundays the babies & I (often w/ friends & family) like to frequent local coffee & donut shops, finding new interesting cubbies in our city & new fav local haunts. "Maybe we'll walk to Broadcast Coffee where they have the donuts Tuck likes & the coffee I love. Maybe we'll wander down to Green Lake to Fix Coffee House where it's always busy & the people watching can be stellar. Or maybe it'll rain so we'll drive down to Whole Foods (where i can park my car in the free garage so we don't get wet unloading everyone from the car- GLORY!!) & I can get the baby scrambled eggs from the hot bar..." Such little, seemingly meaningless things, but these very things i'm realizing are everything. You see, I’ve just now realized that these simple Sunday mornings are in fact what I have dreamed of my whole life. Like- literally- this is it. I'm here. It's the abundance of love, of grace, of family I had always hoped for. I laid in bed tonight scrolling pictures on my phone- seeing the changes in my babies over even the last few months. My chest got tight. I could barely breath, overwhelmed with how much I love these precious babes in my care.

 

Yet here I am all these years later- same question: “Do you trust me with your heart?” Sure I do. But here’s the thing- game changer: My heart is so much THEM. My heart is my dreamy three year old son Tucker who’s footsteps padding across the kitchen floor when he’s coming to find me first thing when he wakes in the morning is a sound I’ll never forget. That little boy who finishes the songs I’m humming, always steals the last bites of my snacks (& laughs uncontrollably about it), who’s concerned for the feelings & well-being of the people around him. At three years old he gets that its important for the people around him to know they’re loved. My heart is my scrunchy-faced perma-smiler Penelope, only 9 months old but absolutely flawless, brave, & like waking up to Christmas morning everyday. Soft, warm cheeks, that press into my neck & chest when she’s being shy; eyes that light up when she sees her daddy- just like he’s always dreamed they would. Tiny, perfect dimpled hands, stronger that anyone would expect- I literally can not put into words how precious their tiny souls are too me. I value them before my life with zero consideration. I don’t fear for my life or safetly for the sake of that in itself but b/c I think “If I’m gone, will they be loved well? No one will love them like I do.”

 

Years ago before I had babies, I was making my mom a scrapbook & ran across a quote. Back then I found it to be cheeky & charming, but now it downright terrifies me:

“Making the decision to have a child- it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”
— Elizabeth Stone

So sure God- I trust you. You have my heart & my attention- I understand that I'm not just a mom but that I have my own unique hopes & desires to deal with. But the real challenge now a days & true test of the depth of that trust is if i trust you with THEM. Do i truly? Helicopter mom tendencies & all aside? God, can you love them as wholly as I do? Do you have their best interests in mind? Will your heart hurt when you see their tender heart has been hurt by another silly little kid on th playground? Will you notice when Tuck is needing comfort & drawn near to him? Will you see the treasure that is our darling Penelope & protect her? I don't know if you're cut out for the job... surely no one can love them better than me.

 

Oh wait.

 

Except YOU.

 

After all:

Who better to protect our hearts than the one who made them & loves them most. 

 

Xoxo, S