Rollins' Floral First Birthday

My sweet Rollins turned one last October.  Now that she's 15 months old, I guess it's time I finally share some of her first birthday party details with you guys.

Like all of my parties, I like to pick a theme that isn't super commercialized so I can personalize it a little more.  Auden had a pumpkin first birthday since she was a fall baby and was often called "pumpkin."  Since Rollins is also a fall baby, I had to think of something else.  I decided a simple floral theme with watercolor touches would be just perfect for our sweet girl.

chalkboard first birthday with flower garland

I used greenery from our yard and some Dollar Tree flowers to make all of the floral swags.

One of my favorite details from the party was this floral photo wreath (idea sourced by Jessica).  I used images from her first year, converted them all to black and white and used Persnickety Prints for printing them.

They have a lot of great options, but I chose the 3" press print with thick border and matte finish.  I couldn't have been more pleased with the quality and customer service.

persnickety prints 3 inch floral photo ring

Jessica helped again by allowing me to use some jasmine from her yard to adorn the table and big balloon by Rollins' highchair.

This birthday poster I made hung above the food table, detailing her first year milestones.

first birthday poster with flowers

I kept the menu simple and fresh with cold subs, fruit, a cheese and cracker tray, pasta salad and spinach dip with pita chips.

floral first birthday food table
floral first birthday dirty iced cake

Everything is prettier with a bow, right?

styled sub sandwiches with bakers twine
cheese and cracker tray with fresh herbs

Of course, it's not a Reutter party without some custom sugar cookies.  I loved how the sweet monogram and flower details turned out.  Christa Lynn's on Etsy did a great job making my vision a reality and was very reasonably priced.

floral first birthday monogram sugar cookies
floral sugar cookie with monogram

For the main treat, my mom and I tried our hand at a dirty iced cake.  And I have to say,  I was pleasantly surprised with the outcome.  I love when family and friends can lend a hand in helping with a celebration.  It creates even more memories to cherish.  Much like my wedding (where the flowers and decor were done by me and my friends and family), this too will be a memory I'll never forget.

I ordered the light cherry wood cake topper from Alexis Mattox Designs on Etsy.  I threw on some fresh flowers, and there you have it.

dirty iced cake with flowers

Along with custom cakes and cookies, I also love a good signature cocktail.  I decided on a Rosemary Greyhound for the taste and look (I wanted it to match the decor).  But since the party was for Rollins, I added her nickname to the moniker, calling it a "Rolly Rosemary." You can get the watercolor tent labels here.

Rosemary Greyhound Recipe*

Ingredients

Rosemary Simple Syrup

  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 6 sprigs of rosemary

Cocktail

  • 2 ounces vodka
  • ½ ounce rosemary simple syrup
  • 4 ounces grapefruit juice
  • sprig of rosemary for garnish

Instructions

  1. Simple Syrup: In a small sauce pan over medium low heat, dissolve the sugar into the water for about 5 minutes. Do not let the mixture boil or crystals will form. In a heat safe container, pour the warm sugar water mixture over the rosemary sprigs and let it steep for at least 1 hour. The rosemary simple syrup will keep in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 10 days.
  2. Cocktail: In tall glass filled with ice combine the vodka, rosemary simple syrup and grapefruit juice. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary.

*This recipe is for a single cocktail but we just multiplied the amounts enough for our needs. 

I was so glad I finally got to use my vintage French Arcoroc champagne glasses I scored off Craigslist!

I ordered a 5" white buttercream cake from Publix for her smash cake.  Auden had one from there too, and she loved it!  I wanted to keep it simple, so I'm just added adorned it with a few flowers.  The pink glass cake stand was a TJMaxx find a few months before her party.

floral first birthday smash cake pink glass stand

Rollins in her birthday outfit.

floral first birthday wooden highchair

We don't call her sweet cheeks for nothing.

floral birthday wooden highchair

After getting into her true birthday suit, she was ready for the cake!  Her baby's breath crown didn't last long after daddy put the cake in front of her, so I'm glad I saved some money and made it myself with a little floral wire, scotch tape and babies breath clippings.

This is one of my favorite shots of my sweets enjoying her first sweets.

smash cake photography

I'd say this picture sums up how she feels about it pretty perfectly :)

smash cake photography
smash cake photography

She delicately ate away at the icing for a good 30 minutes paying no mind while the party carried on.  :)

rollins floral first birthday

The cleanup crew was anxiously waiting for a taste themselves.

After she indulged a bit, we moved her into the living room for prime view of her one year video.

I made one for Auden and it's something we all still love watching, so I knew it was a must for Rollins as well.  Between the music and the memories, it's almost always a surefire cry session every time I watch. 

Here's the 3A Girls at the celebration...just missing Jessica's oldest.

For the favors, I created this favor sign to match her invitation. I did mini canvases, a paint brush and paint pods to carry out the watercolor theme.

mini canvas and paint party favors

We're so happy to have been given these last 15 months with Rollins and cannot wait to see her life unfold.  I could not have dreamed up a better addition to complete our little family!

signature Mallory.png

Why We Blog

Recently, we met for our yearly kickoff where we reflected on the previous year, talked about the things we like about our business, talked about the things we want to change and our goals for the coming year. In 2015 we experienced a lot of growth and with growth comes changes. The biggest change for us was Dana deciding she needed to leave the company after her second baby and focus on her family full-time. We fully support her decision for doing what is best for her family, and we remain friends.  She even still helps us out from time to time. 

Also during the meeting, we discussed our blog and what we want to bring to the table for you and for us in the new year.  In the discussion we narrowed down, quite simply, "Why we blog." For transparency and inspiration, we thought we'd share the reasons with you, and hope you come along for the ride this year!  If you haven't already, you can subscribe to receive blog updates by email by entering your address in the "Let's stay in touch!" section of the sidebar on your screen (or the bottom of the blog on your smartphone).

To share our work and love for design

To inspire others

To share snippets from this journey called life and motherhood

To make friends with common interests along the way  

Here's to a great 2016!

xo, Mallory and Jessica

Mallory's Christmas Traditions

It's the most wonderful time of the year!  Yes, I truly believe that.  Christmas is a great time for making memories and remembering old traditions.  We thought we spend this week sharing a few of our favorites, including the recipes for our favorite dishes we look forward to each Christmas!   

Favorite childhood Christmas tradition(s):

We went to a Christmas tree farm and cut down our own tree.  The hunt for the tree and the hayride were fun, but the best part was getting it home and decorating it as a family.  We'd turn the lights down and turn up the Christmas music, and it was like my own little heaven.  I also loved having a mini tree of my own to decorate in my room.  I'd fall asleep each night just staring at the lights.  I can't wait for my girls to get to do the same.

Me (left) and my sister in our matching PJs.

Me (left) and my sister in our matching PJs.

Favorite new tradition:

We attend the candlelight service on Christmas Eve and go driving around looking at lights and listening to Christmas music as a family afterward.  It's truly a night of lights!  There's not much more beautiful than being in a room full of candlelight with everyone around lifting their voices to the King.  I also want to start hosting a Wrapping Party for me and my friends to get together and enjoy food, drinks and making our family's presents look beautiful. 

Image via Inspired By This

Image via Inspired By This

 

Favorite Christmas movie:

Prancer, circa 1989.  I still like to watch it every year.  The small town living, childhood love of Christmas that Jessica has, the cleaning up of the old lady's attic (weird I know, but I seriously LOVE cleaning out and organizing other people's spaces), restoring Christmas joy to so many and of course a sweet reindeer---ahhh what's not to love?  

Favorite decorating tip:

Pick a color or theme and run with it, from the ornaments to the wrapping--keeping a similar palette helps everything be cohesive for a well-thought-out look.  Also, incorporate lights in indoor decor wherever you can.  Everything looks more magical when it's glowing :)

Favorite Dish:

Christmas morning we always had a yummy breakfast on my mom's Christmas china consisting of cinnamon rolls, bacon, grits and and breakfast casserole to name a few.  I now make the breakfast casserole for my family as well, and I love that it can be made the day before and just popped in the oven the next morning.  There's enough going on Christmas morning to worry about any major baking!  

BREAKFAST CASSEROLE
Ingredients
1 pound sausage (I use Jimmy Dean Hot Sausage)
6 eggs
2 cups milks
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground mustard (optional)
8 slices white bread, cut off crust and cut into 1/2 cubes-scissors or a pizza cutter work great
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Black pepper, to taste

Directions
In a skillet, brown and crumble sausage; drain and set aside. In a mixing bowl, beat eggs; add milk, salt and mustard. Place bread cubes in bottom of 9 x 13 pan. Add cheese and then cooked sausage. Pour egg mixture on top. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until golden brown.

Merry Christmas to you and yours!


Introducing Rollins

newborn hospital photography jordan burch

I am still on maternity leave, but I wanted to drop in to introduce you to our newest team member :)

My sweet Rollins McLaughlin Reutter finally made her debut on the morning of October 8th.  She needed a little persuading at first, but then was ready to go!  I went in for my last doctor's appointment when I was 40 weeks, 1 day.  The doctor told me then that I was more than ready (3cm dilated and 80% effaced) if I wanted to be induced.  I've never been a fan of inductions as I've heard so many horror stories, and I always wanted my baby to pick her own birthday.  But Jon was having to head back to work soon, and I wanted as much time with him in the country as I could.  After my doctor reassured me it would be an easy process, we set up a time for me to come in that night at 10pm, October 7th.  

They got me all hooked up to the monitors and informed me that I was actually contracting every 3 minutes.  I had several nights of false labor so I guess I had just become desensitized to most pains.  It made me feel better knowing that she was probably going to pick October 8th as her birthday anyway :)

They started the Pitocin at 11:30pm, broke my water at 6:30am when I was 6cm, and I was ready to push at 8am!  My epidural had mostly worn off by then so it was definitely a different experience than when I had Auden (where I felt nothing, not even pressure down there).  But I didn't have to push near as long, and my recovery after was night and day from last time.  I was thankful to have had wonderful nurses again this time.  My first nurse, who was there with me until about an hour before Rollins was born, had three girls of her own and we learned that her oldest two had the same birthdays as my two girls!  How crazy is that?  She informed me that my next one would be born February 21st (like her third) Haha.  We'll see about that--Jon isn't quite convinced yet :)

Proud daddy and his new baby girl.

Proud daddy and his new baby girl.

Anyway, as I mentioned, Miss Rollins McLaughlin Reutter made her way into the world at 8:26am with a full head of dark hair (Daddy got a mini me this time!), weighing 7 pounds 2 ounces and 20 inches long.  We were all so surprised!  She's been such a sweet, easy (knock on wood) baby so far.

hospital newborn photo jordan burch photography

Big sister Auden has taken to her quite well.  The first thing she looks for after waking up is "baby," and she loves giving her hugs and kisses.  I can't wait to see what friends they'll be!

big sister newborn baby hospital shot jordan burch photography

We had our photographer, Jordan Burch, come and take some newborn shots at our home when Rollins was nearly a week old, and I just had to share some favorites with you guys.  I love how she captured my little family and our home.  (A post on the nursery will be coming soon!)

newborn homestyle shoot jordan burch photography
newborn homestyle shoot jordan burch photography
newborn photography home shoot with dogs jordan burch photography
newborn homestyle shoot jordan burch photography
newborn photography home shoot jordan burch photography
newborn homestyle shoot jordan burch photography
newborn photography home shoot big sister jordan burch photography
newborn photography home shoot jordan burch photography
newborn homestyle shoot jordan burch photography
newborn homestyle shoot jordan burch photography

To finish out my pregnancy posts, I thought I'd do a summary from the start.  

How I Broke the News to Jon: I wanted him to COMPLETELY surprised by only knowing there was big news when that news was right in front of his face.  So lucky for me?? the night before I found out, I had dropped my phone in the tub while giving Auden a bath.  I decided to use this to my advantage.  I took a picture of the positive test and kept it up on the screen.  When Jon got home from the gym that day, I told him my phone was "being weird" which he was not at all excited about (as you might expect). "What do you mean??" he said.  "I don't know...the screen keeps doing something funny.  Here take a look" I said as I handed him the phone (with pregnancy test shot on the screen).  He immediately said "Are you serious?? We're having another baby!!" and started jumping up and down.  I think I really got him when he went from mad (about the phone) to ecstatic :)  When I broke the news with Auden, I had to wait 8 LONG HOURS to tell him because he was overseas, and we didn't get to Skype until that night. You know how torturous it is to keep a secret like that to yourself for that long??  I was so glad to get to tell him in person this time and hear his reaction (his roommate was sleeping last time so he had to type his response "NO WAY!  NO WAY!").  

Best Part of the First Trimester: Finding out.  I was just as shocked, surprised and excited to find out the second time as the first.  And of course sharing the wonderful news with everyone else is always fun!  

Worst Part of the First Trimester: The nausea and vomiting. It started earlier this time at 5.5 weeks and lasted longer, until 17 weeks.  These sweet baby girls kick my butt every time.  I always felt the worst at night (my vomiting time) so dinner and bath time with Auden was always a struggle.  Thankfully my in-laws live nearby and were so gracious to help when Jon was away on trips.

First Trimester Food Cravings: Nothing really because of the sickness.  Anything bland.  Plain baked chips, mashed potatoes, etc. I wanted absolutely nothing that tasted remotely sweet--not even sprite. 

Best Part of the Second Trimester: Three things. 1. Finding out the gender! I got to surprise Jon this time!  2. Finally getting over the nausea and feeling like myself again!  3. Our 5-year anniversary trip turned babymoon to Turks and Caicos.

Worst Part of Second Trimester: The nausea that lasted the first few weeks into the 2nd trimester. Other than that, it was great! I had the most energy and felt the most like myself.

Second Trimester Food Cravings: About halfway through the 2nd trimester I started wanting sweets again and Oreo milkshakes were a favorite.  Hot sandwiches were also a big hit--Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki from Subway or a good Philly Cheesesteak!

Best Part of Third Trimester: Finishing up the nursery, our maternity shoot at 37 weeks and eagerly awaiting our sweet girl's arrival.  We all thought she'd be early so each week in the end I thought "Will this be the week?!"

Worst Part of Third Trimester: The waiting game, back aches and labor tricks--I was awoken several nights with intense contractions, but they would go away after a couple of hours.

Third Trimester Food Cravings: Any kind of baked good--brownies, chocolate chip cookies!  Also breakfast foods (even for dinner, which is rare for me), and cheeseburgers!

*All images by Jordan Burch Photography.