Monday, September 22, 2014

Party Planner: Monster Mash Birthday

When Baby M hit the 6 month mark, I started stalking perusing Pinterest for some fun first birthday ideas.  After seeing a bunch of adorable monster themed pins, I knew I had my inspiration!  I basically pinned my little heart out (and then some!), but got serious when we were about 2 months out.  I knew that we wanted to have the party at our house, with tons of personal touches and of course, lots of crafting!  And while this party was geared towards a one year old, the elements would work great for a Halloween party or an adult themed party (after all, we were celebrating Grill Guy's 33rd birthday too!).  Now that I've finally recovered from the big first birthday monster extravaganza, I'm excited to relive it all with a full recap!  Warning - This post is picture heavy, as no detail was spared, so prepare to settle in with a good cup of coffee or some wine and brace yourself for tons of monster-y goodness!!!

The whole design really came together once I crafted up the invite.  I combined a bunch of fun patterns with some vibrant colors and adorable little monsters, and of course, couldn't resist including some coordinating envelope liners.  And even though Baby M was pretty much the main attraction, I couldn't forget our other birthday boy, so I made sure to also give him a shout out on the invite too!

I went with a pretty colorful palette and tied in the theme with lots of orange, blue and green balloons.  I also added purple, green and orange table cloths to add some more pops of color.  I then made these goofy monster centerpieces that basically were tons of tulle, and a couple of floral styrofoam forms.  They definitely brought some fun to our tables, especially when the weather took a turn for the worse and forced us underneath the tents!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Customer Appreciation Day at Birchbox

Having been a Birchbox customer for three years and a member of its Birchbloggers community since it launched, I was excited to visit the new Birchbox Soho store yesterday for Customer Appreciation Day.

Birchbox invited subscribers and their guests to celebrate at the store by building your own free Birchbox - obviously, I knew I couldn't miss out on that!

From the minute we walked in the store, the glitz and glam were everywhere. I mean, they even had gold glitter all over the floor! I loved it!

This is basically what happens every time M and I do a craft project together.
The cheerful party atmosphere continued as we entered the main room and saw colorful balloons lining the ceiling.

We had some time to wander around the store before building our boxes, and it is GORGEOUS. I basically want to move in there and use all of the pretty products all the time.

Finally, the big moment arrived and it was time for us to BYOB - Build (Y)our Own Birchbox!

We were led to a product wall and given sheets of paper to make one selection from each of the five categories (hair, fragrance, etc.). Our Birchboxes were customized according to our specifications, and we also were given some yummy candy which was a nice bonus.

It was hard to narrow down my choices, but I'm super pleased with the items I selected.

I came home with Whish exfoliating body wash, Jouer lipgloss, Mad Madame eau de parfum by Juliette has a Gun, Juice Beauty green apple peel, Laura Geller GlamLash mascara, and Macadamia healing oil treatment. It was a pretty nice swag box!

Thanks to the wonderful people at Birchbox for hosting such a marvelous event, and for being so sweet to your customers!


Friday, September 19, 2014

Five on Friday {September 19, 2014}

Happy Friday! It's hard to believe that we're already midway through September. As usual, I'm heading into the weekend by sharing five things that I'm loving this Friday!

ONE | Save the Date: Saturday, October 25th!

We're hosting a brunch meet-up for NYC-area bloggers on Saturday, October 25th and would love to see YOU there! Comment below or email us if you'd like to join - it would be fantastic if you could let us know by October 10th so we can make a fabulous brunch reservation and so we all have time to follow each other's blogs in advance. Feel free to spread the word to other NYC-area bloggers - M and I can't wait to see you there!

TWO | Birthday boys

This week started off with milestone birthday celebrations for two very special guys in my godson Big Boy M, and my Dad! 

Big Boy M's Monster Mash was a massive 1st birthday party where no detail went unglittered (and don't you worry, we'll have a full party recap post here on TSN soon). 

My Dad's 60th birthday celebration was a low-key affair, with cocktails and dinner at a fantastic restaurant right on the Jersey shore with just me, my mom, and brother (followed by an enormous, delicious chocolate cake at home). It was so fun to celebrate two of my very favorite guys two days in a row! 

THREE | Fancy hair

I was getting ready for work recently when I made the unfortunate discovery that both my hair dryer and flatiron decided to die on the exact same morning - not fun! My long, thick hair takes approximately forever to dry and style, so I thought it was time to upgrade from my $20 ConAir to something a little more grown-up. Enter the Sedu Revolution 6000i and the CHI Air - these are professional grade styling tools and while their price tags are definitely no joke, they are both well worth the investment in hair management. Both have drastically cut down my styling time and my hair feels way sleeker than ever before! They are also the unsung heroes behind how I fix my bed head.

FOUR | Every Day with Rachael Ray

This one may have you scratching your head a bit, since my fear of cooking is well-known around this blog. Rachael Ray isn't exactly my spirit animal, but for some reason I am completely obsessed with her magazine! I started receiving the issues as part of a free subscription offer, but before long I was totally hooked. I love that each magazine features hundreds of different recipes with varying levels of difficulty; I usually cut out at least 5 of the easy ones to add to my recipe binder (don't laugh, I really have one - it's like an old school Pinterest!). She also usually includes some cute party craft ideas, awesome new phone apps, and splurge versus steal grocery items. Basically, it makes me feel much more domestic, haha!

FIVE | Neighborhood sidewalk chalker

Someone in my neighborhood keeps writing quotes on the sidewalk - you never know quite when they'll appear or what they'll say. I was surprised and excited to stumble upon this quote the other day right in front of my apartment building - it definitely started my bleak Monday morning off on the right foot!

How are you enjoying September so far?

Thanks to our gals AmandaJennieAmyKarliClare, Rebecca, Katie, and Lauren for hosting today's link-ups!


Thursday, September 18, 2014

FREE Build Your Own Birchbox!

Hey Gals! Here's a quick heads up for all you Birchbox lovers...Birchbox is holding its first annual Customer Appreciation Day tomorrow! Every person who visits the Birchbox store in Soho tomorrow (Friday, 9/19) will be able to build a FREE Birchbox!
Don't miss out on this fabulous opportunity - I will definitely be stopping by to build my own Birchbox, and I hope to see you there!

Sequiney Words To Live By

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

5 Ways to Fight Bed Head

How often do you leap out of bed with silky, shiny, perfect hair and proclaim, Beyonce-style, "I woke up like this?"

Image via Forbes
If you're like me, your hair probably takes a lot more time and effort to look Queen B-ready when you first wake up in the morning!

I definitely did NOT wake up like this!
I was recently inspired by Casper, a new mattress start-up company, to share the ways that I combat bed head. Not only does Casper specialize in providing a super comfy sleep experience but, like me, they are based in NYC and I love to support a local company (but don't worry if you're not a New Yorker - they ship nationally, for FREE!).

My long, thick hair is no stranger to the terrors of bed head, so here are a few of my tips for taming your mane.

1) Let your hair transform itself overnight into soft, beachy waves
This is the perfect solution for lazy nights when you've washed your hair but don't feel like styling it, and you know you'll be hitting the snooze alarm the next morning - let your hair style itself! Just braid your damp hair and let your slumber work its magic...when you wake up and undo the braid, your hair will be full of pretty waves.

2) Listen to your 13-year-old self and wear your scrunchie
You know those big scrunchies that were super cool in 7th grade that are probably hiding in some dark corner of your childhood closet? Dust them off, because they are perfect for putting your hair up at night and waking up without a big dent! Pull your hair into a high ponytail, then twist the tail and wrap it into a loose bun, secured with the scrunchie. This will protect your blowout and ensure that your hair stays smooth.

3) Listen to your mom and get a good night's sleep
Mom was right - not only does a good night's sleep keep you healthy and alert, but it also lets you pay attention to more important things, like your hair! Head to bed early tonight and use that extra time in the morning to break out your straightener.

4) Listen to your grandma and throw in some rollers
Here I am on my way to tape my appearance on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire - yes, I did ride in the car with rollers in my hair and yes, my hair will (hopefully) look fantastic on TV!
Grandma is onto something when she walks around in her rollers - they are quick to throw in your hair, but the effects are long-lasting! If I have an extra ten minutes after blowdrying my hair, I'll usually put in a few Velcro rollers (at least on the very top layer of my hair) to help smooth out any frizz. And in case you were wondering, the answer is yes - I am absolutely rocking some Velcro rollers right now as I write this post!

5) Disguise it!
No matter how hard you try, there are still going to be some days where your bed head is out of control and simply can't be contained. On those days, don't try to fight it - just roll with it by twisting your crazy hair into a pretty, bohemian braid. I like to throw my hair back into a fishtail or a chain link braid - try them out on your next uncontrollable bed head day!

What are your favorite ways to keep your messy morning hair in check?


Monday, September 15, 2014

Happy Birthday to the M Men!

Today is a very, very special day because it's both of the M guys birthdays!!  That's right, both Baby M and Grill Guy share the same birthday, so today it's double the birthday love as I dedicate this post to my special men.  
When I found out I was pregnant and due at the end of September, Grill Guy and I had said, imagine if he's two weeks early and ends up being born on your birthday?!  Well imagine our surprise when we went to my doctor appointment 2 weeks before my due date (which happened to be Friday the 13th!) and my doctor informed me that it was time for Baby M to arrive!  Again, we laughed that there's no way he'd be born on GG's birthday since it was still two days away... but turns out Baby M had other plans and stayed put until the 15th so he could have the very same birthday as his Daddy!  So while it wasn't very fun being in labor for over 48 hours, it was obviously a very small price to pay to have such an amazing little guy and I now get to celebrate my two favorite guys on the same day!

So happy, happy birthday to the M men!  I love you clowns and can't wait to continue the birthday celebrations today!

Here are a couple of my favorite pictures of my two birthday guys!
- M
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