Have Birthday Parties Gotten Totally Out of Hand?


Some of my favorite easy, festive party supplies: 1. Italian crepe paper perfect for creating tassels, garland, and the like. 2. Glassine bags make perfect containers for little favors and piñata booty. 3.  Confetti in sherbet hues. 4. Graceful taper candles elevate a store-bought sheet cake. 5. A giant number balloon makes a major statement with minimal effort.


I put a lot of thought into my girlies’ birthday parties: the weeks spent pondering the perfect “theme,” the hours trolling the internet for unique decorations (and the subsequent hours spent making them myself when I can’t find them online), the epic baking marathons… For past fêtes, I’ve constructed a massive 8-layer rainbow cake, wrapped embroidery thread around a giant stick until I could no longer bend my fingers, and set a massive tree branch in cement, dragged it into my dining room, and secured it to the wall so it wouldn’t fall over and mortally injure our young guests in an attempt to recreate a forest inside my house in the middle of December (ok, my husband took the brunt of that last one, but it was my idea).

Some might say I’m over the top when it comes to all this party business. And I would understand…it all seems a little bit crazy. But it comes from a good place. I’m not trying to compete with other parents; I’m not trying to make up for any inadequacies in time spent with my children or spoil them. I just love doing it. Dreaming up, designing, executing, and throwing parties for people I love brings me great joy, and, most important, my girls dig it too. Big time.

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Obsessed: “Disco Kids” at It’ll Do


When I was partaking in a much needed trim and some coverage of “the grays” this morning (it was a bad scene), my lovely and talented hair whisperer Kristin Miller clued me in on quite possibly the coolest kid event of. all. time., “Disco Kids” at It’ll Do.

Since its June debut, the twice a month dance party hosted by mom and kid party promoter Alicia Duncanby has been a roaring success among pint-sized revelers and parents alike. Billed by Duncanby as “A group of kiddos and parents looking for a break from the routine playground & play date circuit to let loose from some pre-dinner fun,” the Friday evening events feature toddlers to tweens merrily shaking their booties to everything from old-school standbys (think the Beastie Boys and the Clash) to current top 40 faves. In addition to the DJ-spun tunes, a photo booth, and a kiosk where the kiddos can shop for Cracker Jacks and glow stick jewelry, there are also food trucks on site and a full bar for the rents.

Oh and if you’re itching to jack with your easily embarrassed nine-year-old daughter, you can jump on the dance floor and channel your inner Madonna too… Hypothetically of course.

The next event is this Friday, August 9 from 5:30-9:30. Kids are $5.00 and parents get in free. More info on the Disco Kids Facebook page.

See you there!!

Join Me At The Splendid + Store Opening Event This Saturday At NorthPark


Wanna hang out this Saturday?

I’m co-hosting a very fun Splendid + store opening “Tee Party” at NorthPark from 3-5 to celebrate LA-based lifestyle brand Splendid’s killer new Dallas store (think: super soft togs from Splendid, Splendid Girls and Splendid Littles nestled among natural wood fixtures, a dreamy daybed. and a wall of live plants).

Party guests will receive two pom poms from the ‘ for Splendid’ pom pom bar, as well as a style guide for inspiration on how to style a Splendid tee with’s unique accessories. There will also be yummy sips + snacks and a Smilebooth photo booth where you can get your Vogue on.

Bonus: Take 20% off of your entire purchase during the event and with any purchase of $125 or more, guests will receive a striped Splendid clutch filled with everyday essentials.

Hope to see you guys there!!

The Details:
Splendid + Tee Party hosted by Jacinda Boneau, Anna Caplan, and Joslyn Taylor
Saturday, July 13
3-5 p.m.
NorthPark Center

Summer Boredom Busters: DIY Fourth of July

DIY Fourth

By Monica Lake


The Fourth is tomorrow, and its time to get all red white and blue-d up! Even if you didn’t make the annual Michael’s run for all the patriotic décor, there’s still time to save face. The best part: you and your littles can do it all with things you already have at home.

Have a go at these fun and easy DIY projects (that you’ll actually want to partake in, too) and add some flair to your Fourth. Don’t worry, the mess is minimal (I did them all in my stark white apartment without any mishaps), and I thoroughly enjoyed creating them. Jump for the details. Continue reading "Summer Boredom Busters: DIY Fourth of July"

An Easy (And Super Festive) Way To Celebrate Your Loved Ones

our green nest

Growing up, my mom always went all out to make my sisters’ and my birthdays feel incredibly special. Our family was on a major budget (let’s just say there wasn’t a lot of disposable income), so most of the fanfare was of the low-cost/high-impact variety, but it wowed nonetheless. She would make us a special breakfast and dinner, put balloons in our rooms, make cards and signs. She blew it out.

I’ve been good about carrying this tradition on with my own girlies, but after spotting the image above on local mama Jillian’s instagram, I’m feeling like my hubby needs a little more birthday hoopla too. Jillian busted out the confetti to celebrate her husband’s recent b-day, sprinkling it across the table and decorating the wall with 32 (his current age) large homemade confetti circles. It’s not fancy or expensive, mind you, but man it sure is fun.

I’m thinking this has legs beyond birthdays too… A confetti adorned breakfast to celebrate the last day of school, anyone?


Mother’s Day Brunch at The Nasher, The DMA, and Dragonfly at Hotel ZaZa (+ Some We Yogis Activities)

mothers day brunch

Consider today “all Mother’s Day, all the time” here on the blog, as now we’re bringing you some brunch happenings to help in your planning for the big day. (And by “your” planning, I mean, for when *you* forward this email to your significant other so he/she can make the reservation. Or is that just me?)

Herewith the brunch goodness…

Dragonfly at Hotel ZaZa
The chic, Fornasetti plate-filled restaurant will serve brunch on Mother’s Day from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., and the menu looks seriously yummy (think corn soup with crab cake “croutons,” surf & turf Benedict, roasted duck Caesar wedge, chocolate chip waffles, lemon tart). The three course meal is $60 for adults and $20 for kiddos under 12. Reservations are strongly recommended.

Dallas Museum of Art
At the DMA, they’ll be doing brunch in the atrium with a carving station, made-to-order crepes and omelets, and a custom Bloody Mary and mimosa bar (which is reason enough to go). There are three reserved seating times (10 a.m., 12 p.m. and 2 p.m.), and the cost is $50 for adults, $45 for DMA Partners, and free for kiddos under 12 accompanied by an adult. Make reservations by calling 214-922-1858.

Nasher Cafe at Nasher Sculpture Center
Over at the Nasher, they’re doing two Mother’s Day brunch seatings at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. in their Wolfgang Puck cafe featuring tasty eats like pomegranate poached pear salad, biscuits and jalapeno sausage gravy, wild salmon with pickled mustard seeds, Nutella stuffed French toast, honey ice cream…(writing this post is making me hungry, I’m not gonna lie). They’ll also have a mimosa bar, family activities, and live performances. Reservations are required, and the cost is $50 for Members, $60 for Non-Members, and free for children under 12 free. Price also includes museum admission (normally $10 for adults). You can nab your spot on the Nasher’s website.

We Yogis Mother’s Day Specials 
Or you could just have breakfast in bed and then do a little yoga… We Yogis is offering a “Together Yogis” class at 3:15 p.m. on Mother’s Day, and if you bring your kiddos to do some downward dog with you your class is free. They’re also offering free child care during classes all day on the 12th, but be sure to sign up early as there’s limited space available.

Get The Look: Dotty Rico’s Birthday Fiesta



My friends Alicia and Adam Rico throw insanely awesome parties. Whether for editorial (see the art-inspired bash in the inaugural issue of D Moms), Nasher openings, weddings, or their adorable daughter Dotty’s birthday celebrations, their events are always stylish, clever, memorable, and incredibly fun. (Fun being the most important part , yes?)

My girlies and I witnessed Alicia and Adam’s party prowess firsthand at Dotty’s recent third birthday celebration, and we’re still marveling over the magical afternoon.

As expected, Dotty’s day was full of special details, with the Rico’s backyard transformed into a full-blown fiesta (think: platters of tamales, a Mariachi band, and a dessert table laden with Mexican treats and a candy-filled “Piñata” cake). Pint-sized revelers burned off steam in a bouncy house while friends and family enjoyed conversation and icy cervezas in the warm spring sunshine. It was cozy, meaningful, and immensely festive. A perfect party indeed.

We asked Alicia to share the “ingredients” and resources for Dotty’s party here on D Moms, and she kindly obliged, allowing us to throw an equally magical party of our own… (Well we’ll at least try.)

Thanks Alicia!

Check out the full details after the jump.

Continue reading "Get The Look: Dotty Rico’s Birthday Fiesta"

Into The Weekend: Naturally-Dyed Easter Eggs and A Spring Celebration

kellyanneFirst up, the pressing matter of dye for Easter eggs…After posting Holly Davis’ piece on the dangers of artificial colors, I’ve gotten several e-mails asking about safe options for dyeing said eggs.

I did a little sleuthing and turns out  all manner of readily-available natural alternatives, from coffee to cranberries, will safely do the trick.

But the best DIY for natural egg coloring I found was on photographer Kaley Ann’s blog. She gives “recipes” and step-by-step instructions for creating a myriad of lovely hues (like the four above). Visit her blog for the full details.

Ok, now onto our weekend agenda. In lieu of running around town, I thought it would be fun to get a few gal pals and their littles together for a “Spring Celebration.” Nothing fancy or formal, mind you…just some libations, a low-key lunch, and an easy craft for the kiddos.



(The elements of a Spring Celebration: 1/ Streamers from Style Me Pretty 2/ Martha Stewart’s Lillet Rose Spring Cocktail 3/Martha Stewart’s Squash Blossom Frittata and a Toasted Sesame & Almond Asparagus Salad from Love and Lemons 4/Wackym’s Kitchen cookies and Carnival Barker’s ice cream 5/ Byrd Collective flower crowns via Camille Styles)  


Get the full party breakdown after the jump.

Continue reading "Into The Weekend: Naturally-Dyed Easter Eggs and A Spring Celebration"

Four Fun Valentine’s Day Events For The Kids

From cookie decorating with a professional chef to homemade valentine card workshops, the next couple of weeks are filled with loads of love day inspired goodness.

Herewith some especially enticing happenings…

Carved With Love Rubber Stamp Workshop at We Are 1976
Hit We Are 1976′s Henderson Avenue location for the kid’s version of their stamp carving workshop this Saturday, February 2. Kiddos will get an assortment of rubber stamps, cards and envelopes, plus muslin bags for candy and treats. Then they can while away 90 minutes decorating them for all their sweethearts — all for just $35. The class runs from 10-11:30 a.m. and is open to kids 7 and older. You can register online here.


Kelly Christine Mini Shoot
There are also a few spots remaining for Dallas photog Kelly Christine’s mini shoot this Saturday. For $125 she’ll do a 20 minute photo session of your clan at Flag Pole Hill Park on Northwest Highway. She’ll have valentine’s props on hand (like those XOXO pillows above) and might even bust out the glitter and confetti…you never know. Sign up for a spot here.

Kids Valentine’s Cookie Decorating Class at The Front Room
Then next Saturday, February 9 from 3-4:30 p.m. Hotel Lumen is hosting a cookie decorating class at The Front Room. The kiddos can sip hot chocolate and apple cider while they get expert advice from Executive Chef Nick Amoriello as they create edible masterpieces. For $15 per child you’ll go home with an afternoon of memories and a dozen of your decorated sugar cookies to nosh at home (or, if you roll like my family, driving home from the event) . Call 214-219-8282 to reserve a spot.

Valentine Decorating Event at Neiman Marcus NorthPark
Last but not least, hit Neiman Marcus NorthPark next Saturday for sweet treats and Valentine’s Day card decorating. The action is taking place from 1-4 p.m. in Children’s World on level two of the store. For more information, call 214-363-8311 ext 2238.

Pipsqueak Events Creates Birthday Goodness for The Pint-Sized Set

I love planning my girlies’ birthday parities in a way that isn’t quite natural. I love coming up with the theme, sleuthing out the favors, making the decorations, baking the cupcakes. I love it all…dearly.

On occasion, I’ve even been known to go a little nutso with the whole situation, like, say, the year I forced my hubby to cut a 12-foot branch off a tree in our backyard, set it in cement in a galvanized tub, and attach it to the wall with rope and a steel hook (it was a little top heavy), all so my five-year-old could have a woodland fairy birthday party inside our house in the cold of December. And the minute I’ve swept up the last tiny shred of confetti (or bit of tree branch), I’m planning next years bash…

Continue reading "Pipsqueak Events Creates Birthday Goodness for The Pint-Sized Set"

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