Archive for the ‘Celebrations’ Category
These days our family has turned into a little zoo! That’s why for Halloween, instead of tying the kids down, we thought we’d let em run loose and enjoy being monkeys for a day! Or at least an evening. We may have bribed them with a few pieces of candy to keep them close by, but it did work (at least for the first hour or so)!
This is the third year that Cale and I have been involved in the Trunk or Treat at our church. Every year we try and come up with an original theme that includes a large group of people; typically all 5 of Cale’s siblings, spouses, a few friends, and nieces and nephews! Since we have all been busy having more babies it’s been harder to get everyone involved and on the same page. We know we could always just go with a trunk based on the latest popular kid’s movie, but coming up with an original theme is always way more exciting!
A few brown thrift store hoodies, sheets of felt, and some fabric glue and we were good to go! Using this DIY for a monkey hoodie costume we were able to simply repeat it for all the kids involved. Plus, we got to sit on a comfy bed and pass out candy to adorable children the whole night!
This is our littlest monkey Hardy Boy. He’s nearly four months old now and if you don’t watch out he will steal your heart (and your Snickers)!
We had a few surprise monkeys show up too! The sock monkey’s from another trunk didn’t want to miss out on the party so we invited them over.
The tails were my favorite part! We actually just bought them as-is at a local craft store and attached them to the back of the hoodies. ADORABLE!
Of course we wouldn’t give the book justice without representing The Doctor and The Momma! I love that my little nephew (monkey #2) and I have the exact same facial expression. Let’s do this candy thing!
Girl monkeys gotta represent!
Hard to believe our oldest Monkey, James David, turned 2 this past September (tear)!
Of course my costume was really annoying to have to wear all. night. long. But, I suffered through.
Our No More Monkey’s Jumping on The Bed Trunk was a huge hit! It was so much fun seeing families walk through our candy line and immediately get the theme. Hearing everyone comment on how cute our little monkeys were made it all worth it. And honestly, it was super easy! We spent one evening going through thrift shops looking for hoodies and buying supplies and another hour or so creating the actual costumes. The rest of the time needed was just gathering up a few pillows and blankets, a head board, and a few toddler mattresses and we were good to go!
Did you have any monkey’s running around this Halloween? Or maybe a princess, a dinosaur, or a mini Captain America (those fake fabric muscles are so awesome!)?
Happy (belated) Halloween friends!
From The Farm
Get inspired for next year by checking out our roundup of 8 Easy and Adorable Halloween Hoodie Costumes.
It always feels good when all your planning and scheming comes out just right! And that exactly how I feel about the lovely Strawberry Shortcake Bar we had at our Spring Music Yard Party.
Complete with homemade biscuits and berries, it was simple, but just the right amount of sweet for a cool spring evening. The biscuits are really easy to make and I even pulled James into some of the rolling which was a
bit messy lot of fun! Plus, they even freeze great so if you happen to make extra (like I did!) you can save em for that random weeknight Strawberry Shortcake craving, or even better heat em up in the toaster for a delicious breakfast egg sandwich (take that McDonalds!)!
Quick & Easy Biscuits
Makes: 10+ biscuits
3 cups of all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons of baking powder
2 tablespoon of sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
3/4 teaspoon of cream of tarter
1/2 cup of butter
1/4 cup of shortening
1 cup of whole milk
STEP 1: In a large bowl mix together all dry ingredients. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter and shortening until it starts to appear crumbly. Form a well in the center of the flour mixture. Add the milk. Using a fork, stir until the mixture begins to form a rough ball, while still remaining wet.
STEP 2: Place dough on a floured surface. Kneed it 4 to 6 strokes or until it begins to make a ball. Gently roll the dough until 3/4 in thick. Plan on cutting as many biscuits as you can the first round because the second rolling will create a thicker batch. Using a biscuit cutter, shape each biscuit.
STEP 3: On an ungreased cookie sheet place biscuits 1 in apart. Bake at 450 for 10-12 minutes or until golden.
Adapted from Better Homes & Gardens Cook Book
Sweet Strawberry Mixture
Makes: 4 Cups
2 pints of strawberries
2 tablespoons of sugar
1 tablespoon of firmly packed light brown sugar
STEP 1: Wash the strawberries, remove the stems, and slice into bite size pieces.
STEP 2: Combine strawberries and sugars into a medium bowl.
STEP 3: Cover and keep refrigerated for 1 to 4 hours before serving.
You might be intimidated at the idea of making biscuits from scratch, but I promise once you do it you’ll be wishing you had started a long time ago!
Any other homemade biscuit tips and tricks out there?! Even if it’s what NOT to do!?
From The Farm
We love hosting get-togethers at our place so when our friend David Lord asked if he could play a house show we were beyond thrilled! Sometimes a whole year can go by and you realize all you’ve done is host parties for everyone else (Birthdays, Mother’s Day, etc.). David’s invite was the perfect opportunity for us to host a “just because” gathering of our closest friends and family for an intimate night of build your own strawberry shortcakes and barefoot acoustic tunes.
Taste the tunes by pushing play and listening to the same music we heard live!
It was a perfect spring evening with the kitchen table chairs sprawled on the lawn and the kids dancing to the melodic melodies from David Lord’s recent Francis Moss Album. Our porch became the stage and life’s worries were laid aside as we got lost underneath spring’s blanket of stars.
THE MENU (and helpful links):
- Sparkling Limeade with Mint from A Little Bite of Life
- Build Your Own Strawberry Shortcake Bar with Homemade Biscuits (look for the recipe post and more yummy photos next week!)
- Herbed Feta Spread from Lazy Girl Dinners
- El Yunque Album by Francis Moss
It seems Cale and I are always hosting parties for our friends and family. We love it, but we’ve realized we don’t initiate having get togethers unless we have an excuse to get people together. This year we wanted to be a little bit more intentional about our gatherings and sharing our home. We wanted to have a “just because” party.
Low key and simple.
Our friend David Lord, the guy behind The Wonder Revolution, contacted us with the perfect opportunity. He was looking to fill a spot for his solo guitar project, Francis Moss, and was wondering if we would be open to hosting a house show. I told him several times that we have a very small house, but he insisted that our place sounded perfect!
“Francis Moss is guitarist David Lord (Solagget, The Wonder Revolution). Bridging the distance between jazz, rock, and experimental music, Lord creates meditative soundscapes with Francis Moss with attention to concise compositions and clean melodic lines. Although still recognizable as Lord, the music of Francis Moss resides in its own unique space.” – Francis Moss Website
We are happily planning away for our little Spring Music Yard Party in late April. I’ve been thinking about the kind of atmosphere that I want to create. Intimate, but casual enough that the kids can run around and play, acoustic and simple, spring sunsets with our friends, and maybe a sweet treat or two!?
Here is a list of images and links that are inspiring me for the event (corresponding with the images above):
- Our old oak tree surrounded with quilts and blankets. (top left image from the lovely Samantha Lamb).
- Minions running around barefoot chasing fireflies.
- Adult summertime beverages garnished with Pickled Green Beans from the garden.
- Picnic style gatherings similar to our Grilled Cheese Grill Party.
- Little garden gnomes and tiny mushroom stools. The dreamy things that make The Wonderful Revolution and David’s heart for music truly magical.
- Sipping out of mason jars just waiting to be re-canned with our garden’s first bounty!
- Homemade pie, cobbler, or maybe strawberry shortcake?! (bottom right image & Cherry Pie Recipe from Gimme Some Oven)
- Wouldn’t it be fun to serve fresh fruit sodas like this Strawberry, Rhubarb, Ginger & Peppercorn Soda Recipe from the Vintage Whites Market Blog?! (image not shown)
- Loving this family-friendly S’more’s Party by the lovely ladies at Merry Thought. (image not shown)
I’m looking forward to creating a fun space for David’s music. Do you have any other inspirational links that would help with the overall party vibe?!
Can’t wait to share the final details with you all!
From The Farm
My friend Ali is so legit! We’ve been through a lot together and it’s been so much fun watching her blog, Gimme Some Oven, blossom into a full-time career. I recently took a little business trip to KC to
hangout work on some long term business goals and learn a few tips and tricks from a blogging pro.
As most girls weekends go we enjoyed a wild night in our favorite stretchy pants, sippin Ginger Beer through dainty straws, and catching the latest Dancing with the Stars Episode. It was during this time we had a very important business meeting and brainstormed these magical creations–just in time for Easter!
I don’t know about you, but I think these babies take the traditional Chocolate Easter Egg to a whole… nother… level! Their cute presentation and ideal serving size are simply perfect for not only Easter, but any spring occasion.
Wouldn’t these be adorable at a baby shower?!
Follow Ali’s easy Easter Egg Oreo Truffles Recipe at Gimme Some Oven to make your very own!
Also, checkout some of these other yummy recipes from Gimme Some Oven that are now some of our personal favorites:
- Pesto Pasta With Chicken Sausage & Roasted Brussels Sprouts: Guaranteed to rid the world all Brussels Sprouts haters!
- Autumn Chicken Soup: A hearty soup that uses those last few apples you just can’t seem to get rid of.
- Buffalo Chicken Cups: A perfect dish for your next big game day party.
- Grilled Peaches, Arugula & Feta Salad: Top with grilled chicken and you’ve got a super fresh and easy meal!
Look for more photos from my little KC getaway with Ali later this week!
Are you hungry yet?!
From The Farm
With winter in full swing I’ve been utilizing the extra indoor time to organize our pictures from this past year. It turns out, in all of our big family events we totally forgot to share images from James’ First Birthday! Talk about first time parenting FAIL! We obviously decided to keep it real low key. Call us crazy, but we just didn’t see the point in going “all out” knowing that there will be a lot of other really important birthdays to come (that he will actually remember!).
Our theme was simple: cows, dirt, homemade cobbler, and an old fashion weenie roast! It was truly a celebration of James’ favorite things!
GAMES: Pin the Tail on the Cow: My brother-in-law Jeremy is an amazing artist and he hand drew an identical image of James’ stuffed cow just perfectly! We loved it so much we’re saving it for his “big boy” room.
CRAFTS: Cow Faces out of Paper Plates: Since the party was for a 1 year old we cut out all the noses, eyes, ears, horns, etc. and put them all into different jars with the parts and pieces labeled. The older kids loved getting to use the glue sticks!
DECOR: Tied bandanas together and created a canopy under our large oak tree in our yard. It’s our favorite place to hang outside with friends. The black and white balloons were a fun connection back to “cow”, without being overly cheesy.
FOOD: Hot dogs, mini bags of chips, a bowl of fruit, veggie tray, and dessert. Kept it super simple, but kid-friendly!
FAVORS: Adorable farm animal crayons from Etsy! One of our favorite little finds for the party.
Other then that, we just pulled the highchair out on the lawn and let James enjoy his birthday cobbler the old fashion way (his love for blackberries definitely runs in the family)! It was a wonderful evening catching up with old and new friends while the kids ran around getting dirty and really worn out for the drive home!
What’s your favorite kid-themed party?
From the Farm
Branding will always be my favorite part of design, but everyone once in a while it’s fun to be able to let go and design a single invitation. Using the concept of arrows I wanted to keep everything long and narrow. The tribal feel is simple, playful, and all boy!
I wish I could take credit for the overall vision, but none of this would have happened without our good friend Sarah. She put so much time and love into creating such a special afternoon.
Some of my favorites decor elements and activities included:
- Blessing Arrows: Guests were invited to take pieces of paper and write blessings on them. We then wrapped the paper around the arrows and stuck them on a little tree.
- Customized Baby Name Print: Like the big “R” print with “Rhys’” name below it? You can make your own as a free (+ the cost of a frame) and easy shower gift here.
- Trail mix Bar: Loved this idea! Create your own trail mix out of your favorite peanuts, chocolate chips, and dried fruits. So good!
- Diaper Decorate Activity (not shown): Using sharpies everyone wrote a funny or encouraging note on a package of diapers. What a unique way to lift mom and dad’s spirits in the wee (he, he!) hours of the night!
- Rhys’ Reece’s: Guess how many there are? Hard to believe there were over 200! Yep, I was WAY off and didn’t get to go home with the giant box of chocolate.
- Baby Belly Henna Tattoo: For the “after party” we all hung around, drank wine, and watched Taryn with Spirited Doula Services create a beautiful piece of art right on our momma’s baby bump.
It was a wonderful day full of love and celebration for this new little bundle of joy. We can’t wait to meet you baby Rhys!
From the Farm
* See more work like this and others by visiting our graphic design portfolio at Green Couch Design.
Our latest Creative Meetup felt like a bit of a dream. Here we are planning our future and dreaming up designs with little James playing under our desk (the kitchen table!). This has been our vision for Green Couch Design all along. The blending of family and business. The idea that you don’t have to give up one or the other to become successful. It’s beautiful, and although we may have a ways to go before we are “successful”, as the world would see it, to us, we’ve already achieved it.
Right now we may not be pursuing Green Couch full-time, like we had hoped, but we feel like the job opportunities that have opened up for Cale are enabling us to establish a better financial future for our business, and our home. We understand that with every business adventure comes that moment where you just have to leap into it full-time, but right now, we don’t feel like it’s quite time yet.
Honestly, this process doesn’t feel slow to us. We like the pace, and the fact that it’s not tied to a need for survival; but instead it’s from a desire to dig deep, and let our roots grow, flourish, and thrive. How we want our business ran is more about changing an industry standard, the mindset of a culture, and an identity tied to what we do. Trust us, we are not scared of working hard, but we refuse to let our jobs become our life, and take over our families. We work, so that we CAN play. And if work AND play can become one, even better!
Lately our client meetings have been accompanied by baby James. It’s been refreshing to have clients who don’t mind our design process truly being a family affair. Don’t get us wrong, we’re not saying it’s ok to bring your screaming child to a client meeting, but when you can’t seem to find a sitter, it’s nice to know we have cool clients that love us, love our process, and love what we are fully about; embracing a design culture that is family AND business centric.
Our Creative Meetups are getting more and more exciting. We are nailing down some future product ideas that we hope to share with you VERY soon. They are still a work in process, but we hope to begin sharing some of our process with you. We are still figuring out how we will implement these new plans, but we are loving this journey, and sharing it with some of our deepest friends.
This last meetup our discussions were centered around;
What is the value of a kitchen work triangle?
A fun online quiz to select a stylish pen for yourself or a friend!
One elegantly designed shed.
A new book talking about why women are embracing the art of domesticity.
Some one-on-one time with Mr. Tom Collins (+ fresh mint leaves from our garden)!
And, this song that has become a big prayer of ours.
We hope your weekdays and weekends are full of time pursuing the things you love. If not, schedule it! As creatives we want art to “flow”, but the busier we get the less time our schedules provide that type of freedom. It’s ok to plan for it! Soak in your favorite music, go for a walk with a sketchbook, or meet an inspirational friend for coffee. Whatever it is that gets your creative juices flowing, do it!
From the Farm
Our latest Creative Meetup was probably the most unorganized, and yet productive gathering thus far! We’ve struggled to remain inspired as we’ve tried to morph new ideas into possible business ventures. Instead of flushing out our initial creative sparks we’ve instantly come up with a 12 step program to “make it happen”. This whole process has left us completely overwhelmed and uninspired to move forward. This last Saturday we decided to throw all the “pressure” out the window, and get back to what we started with in the first place.
A meeting of friends.
Sharing creative ideas.
And seeing where this goes.
The front porch was our office and plush couches our launching pad.
We found DIY decorating and styling projects from the outside in.
Discovered classic recipes with a modern twist, healthy, and easy as toast.
Enjoyed residential design as a practical piece of art.
And, fell in love with a modist, energy efficient, and cost effective pre-fab home!
We don’t know exactly where this is going, but something in our bones tells us it’s good. Something in our spirit confirms that this is right and true. Something in our hearts says we must continue to dream, and let passion fuel our creativity. For when we take it upon ourselves to “make it happen” then it’s up to us to sustain it.
Purpose precedes design.
From the Farm