Baby Lifestyles Spring April-May 1012 Magazine issue

Page 1

Baby Lifestyles

Baby Lifestyles LAUREN HALPERIN Publisher, Creative Director

TARA STEINLE Managing Editor


LOLA STEEVENS Sales Director

AUSTIN “Mr. Z” RAPPAPORT Website Architect

MICHAEL GUSTMAN S.E.O. Management Visit Baby Lifestyles online at for inspiration, real baby showers, birthday parties, nursery reveals, hot products, news, updats, contests, giveaways, and more Would you like to contribute to Baby Lifestyles? Email our editorial staff at Submit your baby shower, birthday party or nursery to Baby Lifestyles at For information about advertising in Baby Lifestyles Magazine and online, contact Lola Steevens at Follow us on Twitter: @BabyLifestyles1 Baby Lifestyles is published bi-monthly by Baby Lifestyles, LLC. All contents ©2011 Baby Lifestyles, LLC. All rights reserved.

On the Cover This Pixie Hollow birthday party is the quintessential spring party. Complete with butterflies, fairies, flowers and smiles, one look at it on page 156 and you will smile for spring too! 4

CONTENTS April - May 2012


PAGE 136

PAGE 102


PAGE 172

PAGE 116




















We Heart our Contributors

Brittany Schwaigert GreyGrey Designs

Amy Stephens Crib Tales Photography

David Park DPark Photography

The early bird gets the worm. See if Brittany’s spring chicken party inspires you to get up early and celebrate spring!

Do you love milkshakes? These two darlings do and they were photographed Grease style at a retro diner.

Not all baby showers are cute and cuddly. David shot this increidble party with belly dancers and fire breathers.

Tabitha Studer

Ellen Bessette Ellen Bessette Designs

Santy Martinez Santy Martinez Photography

This easy to do it yourself tutorial for an Easter egg wreath will dress up your home and your egg hunt this holiday.

With Santy it’s all about the details, and you can see them all in this Pixie Hollow fairy birthday party

On days when she’s feeling the work of motherhood, Tabitha turns to this list of rules for raising sons. Be inspired this Mother’s Day with them


Stephanie Eckweiler The Finishing Touch Events

Alexandra Doudian Enchanted Events and Design

Tony Gajate Gajate Photography

Stephanie gave this future Forget the traditional Easter egg We love the liveliness of the day Tony caught with his lens. Check Boston sports fan a vintage baby hunts! Alexandra threw this shower with all the sports Boston Mother/ Daughter Easter brunch out this rainbow colored twins baby shower! is known for. for a delightful girl day.


Announce Your Future Baby in Style with Pregnancy Announcements



Do It Yourself Crossword Initial

Do you love crosswords and word find puzzles? It is so much fun hiding actual, meaningful words in the design of this monogram. One day, your baby will have fun finding them and knowing that the words placed in their monogram were chosen just for them. Susan Phillips of Living with Punks shows us how to create a crossword monogram that baby will love in their nursery.

WHAT YOU WILL NEED: Wooden Initial Package(s) alpha beads Mod Podge Brush



1. If you are adding hidden words to your design like this one, separate them out first. Otherwise, you can use letters at random. TIP: If you would like the background of your letter to match your nursery, paint the monogram before applying any of the alpha beads. 2. Apply a small amount of mod podge to the top of your initial. Susan found working in batches of three rows was easiest. 3. Adjust the letters to your liking. Mod podge only takes a few minutes to dry so you will have time to adjust them. 4. Once the letters in that row are set, allow to dry for a few minutes before beginning the next set of rows. 5. Don't forget to allow room for your hidden words. Plan it carefully so you don't run out of room. 6. Allow to dry and hang!


Do It Yourself Easter Egg Door Wreath Decoration

If you need a great way to make an entrance for your baby’s first Easter party this easy and inexpensive tutorial from Ellen Bessette will make sure your front door is cute, colorful and eggzactly perfect.

WHAT YOU WILL NEED: 75 plastic eggs 1 bag of Easter grass Pencil Hot glue gun Cardboard Ribbon to make your bow 12″ string



Step 1: Cut out a wreath from a piece of cardboard. This wreath measures 16” across. Helpful tip: Use a dinner plate as a stencil for your circle. Step 2: After cutting out your wreath, start gluing your plastic eggs onto the cardboard. “I made two lines and glued their “butts” together. I also tied a string onto the cardboard so that I could hang the wreath on a hook once it was completed.” Step 3: Once the cardboard is covered with eggs, start covering up the holes using your Easter grass. Grab a pinch of the grass, squeeze out some glue and then push into the gaps with the end of your pencil. Go all the way around and fill in the empty spaces. You can make it as full as you want or not so full. Step 4: After filling in the gaps, start gluing another row of eggs on top of the existing eggs. Do a straight line around or randomly glue your eggs on in any way you want. Step 5: Make your bow and tie or glue it onto the top center of the wreath.


Do It Yourself Ombre Waterfall Crib Skirt

When decorating her daughter Penelope's nursery, Emily didn’t even attempt to look at crib bedding because she thinks crib bedding sets are absurd. "It’s recommended that bumper pads shouldn’t even be used anymore, so you’re basically paying an arm and a leg for a crib sheet and a crib skirt! And usually the crib sheet is just a basic solid color." Instead, Emily beautified her daughter's bedding by creating a custom waterfall ombre crib skirt.


This crib skirt is made up of a deck and three panels. The deck is just a measurement of the crib mattress size, which is a standard 28" x 52". The side panels are the length of the side and then the measurement of where you want the skirt to hit the floor. In most cases, you don't need to make one for one of the long sides as cribs are generally placed up against a wall, making one side where you wouldn't see the hem.

With this crib skirt, Emily left it hanging a six inches off of the floor. This way when the crib mattress is lowered as Penelope gets older, it will brush the floor as opposed to puddling. She used exactly one yard of each fabric for the ruffles. "I cut the bottom two colors into six inch tall strips and the top color into five inch tall strips. This makes all of the ruffles appear the same size since there is about one inch of overlap on the bottom two ruffles."

To get a full ruffle effect, she cut her strips two and a half times as long as each panel. "So for the short sides, my strips were 70" and the long front panel strips were 130". I hemmed the two short ends and one of the long sides. Then I ruffled the strips by sewing a long basting stitch along the unhemmed side and gathering the fabric until it was the length of the panel, pinned it down like crazy, and sewed it to the panel."


For the topmost strips, she sewed them to the panels - wrong sides facing up - so that the raw edges would not be exposed. For the middle and bottom strips, she laid them so they were laying right side up allowing the raw edges to be covered by the ruffle from above. "I didn't even bother to remove my gathering stitches since they won't be seen anyways." Then she sewed the panels to the deck. If you love the way your new ombre waterfall crib skirt looks, you can also apply this technique to make matching window curtains too!


Newspaper Announcements Announce your baby to the world with a completely customizable nuewspaper!


You can use this cute birdie as a decorative item on its own at your Easter party celebration, as a cute baby mobile with several of them tweeting above baby's head, or glue twisted wire for legs to make it stand up at your nesting themed baby shower. Here’s how:

MATERIALS NEEDED 30x30 cm of fabric or felt in the color of your choice Needle and thread to match your fabric Polyfill or natural fiber to stuff the birdie scissors felt scraps for the wings and beak fabric glue or hot glue black beads and black thread for eyes

1. Cut the pattern. Draw the pieces on the reverse side of your chosen fabric and cut on the solid line 2. Pin chest C to body A making sure to coincide the starting points at D 3. Starting at D, do a running stitch all the way to the tail.


4. Pin body B to body A. 5. Starting at the tail, stitch towards the head following the diagram.

6. Stitch body B and chest C together as shown, to complete the birdie. 7. Fill with fiber before closing. Cut the beak from felt. Fold in half at the dotted line and glue to the birdie's face using fabric or hot glue.

8. Sew the black beads for the eyes as shown. Going from one side of the head to the other. Secure with a stitch. 9. Cut the wings from felt. Secureteh wings to either side of the body using fabric or hot glue.




We often wonder how easy it is to make a difference. How much money does it take? How many volunteer hours can change a life? But what about cupcakes? Who wouldn’t like to know that someone you may not even know is thinking about you as you are going through the ordeal of radiation or chemo treatments, or recovering from same? For someone to show up with a cheery looking batch of delicious cookies, cupcakes, etc. with a note that they have made a donation to a cancer foundation would brighten anyone’s day if only for a few minutes.

when it comes to women’s cancers. Paula started a cookie blog in March 2009 and quickly began giving a portion of the proceeds from any cookie orders to animal welfare c h a r i t i e s . “Throughout the summer of 2010, I felt that perhaps my baking in some way could and should be helping people as well. It is a wonderful opportunity to introduce members of this on-line community to one another and share one’s particular skills with a different audience.”

For Paula, the fight against cancer hits close to her heart. Her father, her If you ask Paula Kelly-Bourque, mother, two sisters and her father-indesserts add up to a big difference law have been diagnosed with cancer.

Her oldest sister just had cancerous tumors removed from her colon. After one sister had a tumor in her breast and some surrounding tissue removed, went through chemotherapy and radiation, she is currently **cancer free**. That’s when she came up with the idea for the 2011 project Frosting for the Cause, a website where baking bloggers could come together to share their recipes for desserts with the main goal being to raise funds and awareness for research into women’s cancers. Beginning January 1, 2011 a total of 365 sugar cookie and cupcake bakers/decorators and bloggers from across North America will take turns doing a guest post at Frosting for the Cause. Each one of them will share a recipe along with their own personal story of someone they know who has had to deal with a cancer diagnosis. In addition, each will donate $25 to their favorite cancer organization and

email to more than a dozen bakers asking them their opinion on the site. Within two months of seeing if there was interest she had six months of blog dates filled up. When we first asked Paula what her dream goal with Frosting for the Cause two months into the project, she had three goals in mind. First was that the year is filled with guest bloggers and that each of them who committed to this project donate their $25.00 to the cancer organization of their choosing, raising over $9,000 for research in the process. Second was that every dozen homemade cookies, cupcakes, donuts, etc., that got delivered by the volunteer bakers would help bring a smile to someone in their community. Lastly, Paula hoped that the fund raising goal she set of $25,000 via the direct link donation site will be met by the readers of the blog.

“On the last day of this 365 project, I give their baked goods to a local know that this project has made a difwomen’s hospice, cancer society, or ference on so many levels, to so many other charitable group. Paula sent out people.” Throughout 2011, a total of

342 posts were completed by 330 different volunteers. Of those 330 volunteers, 12 of them returned on 18 different occasions to fill-in when either another volunteer had to cancel or could not otherwise meet their commitment. Frosting for the Cause raised a total of $8,100 for cancer research. There were also other funds donated to cancer research by volunteers who held their own bakes sales in conjunction with their guest post for Frosting for the Cause and by volunteers who had their employers donate as well. On the monetary objective alone of this project, it’s safe to say what this baking project was a complete success.

in hope. To everyone who is battling cancer, I hope you are all successful against this disease. I hope that for all those counting down to your dates of being declared *cancer free* that you all celebrate that anniversary with your loved ones.

“I am so very grateful for all the people I am meeting on-line, who have come forward of their own accord and are taking the time from their own busy lives to commit to this project,” Paula said. “I may have been the one to originate this project and yes, I maintain the blog. It is however, all of the volunteers who are making the Frosting for the Cause project an idea that is I believe that we did manage to raise working! Together I believe that we awareness and funding for research are baking a difference.” into cancers affecting women specifically but more importantly, we formed To learn more about the following a world-wide community of volunteers Cancer charities, please who readily came forward to share click on a link. their own personal stories, their wonderful recipes and of course, make their donation of both their desserts American Breast Cancer Foundation and their money. American Cancer Society “Personally, it was a very rewarding Susan G. Komen for the Cure project. I met hundreds of wonderful and caring people (on-line) I would probably never have had it not been Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation for this project and together, I know Canadian Cancer Society we did bake a difference on many different levels. This project began with Gilda’s Club hope and I know that we all continue

It’s a Spring Chicken Party By Brittany Schwaigert


Spring is the time for babies to be born. So, when creating a party for a baby in the spring, what better idea is there than baby animals? When Brittany Schwaigert of Grey Grey Designs was brainstorming ideas for a spring-themed baby birthday party, the first idea that came to mind was a “Spring Chicken” theme. And wouldn’t this party work equally as well for a baby shower or Easter theme too! The colors of baby chicks inspired the yellow and orange color scheme for this party. “I wanted to try something new with the dessert displays, so, I brought them up onto the backdrop with these wonderful floating box shelves. They were the perfect area to display my little treats.” Originally turquoise, but she changed them with spray paint and scrapbook paper. In the boxes, were yummy banana marshmallows and lemon and buttercream cookie-wiches. Also on the buffet were adorable little cake pops in the shapes of baby chicks.



To complete the baby chick theme, Brittany also crafted her own chicks.! This is an easy DIY project that anyone can do. All you need are Styrofoam balls, yellow feather boas, some floral pins, googly eyes, pipe cleaners, and foam sheets. “I pinned the boas around the Styrofoam balls and glued some googly eyes onto them. I used a pipe cleaner as the beak, and cut some cute little feet out of foam sheets.” To give them the illusion of flying, she used clear craft lacing to attach them to the back of the backdrop. For the favors, Brittany made precious yellow flower hairclips for the girls. “I found these yellow flowers at Michaels and simply hot glued a barrette to the back. I displayed them on a crate, using ribbon threaded through it.”


# # #



Oliver’s Modern Nursery Escape By Tara Steinle


Over the last nine months, Designer Alison Giese worked with some of her favorite long-distance clients to design this nursery for their first baby, Oliver. With E-design, there is a lot of interpretive "wiggle room," and often, designers don't get the chance to see the space as envisioned. Being able to see a design come to life is incredibly rewarding, so when Oliver's parents sent her the room's final pictures, she was so excited to see how beautifully they realized her ideas for the Little Guy's special space. "We were going for a clean, subtle masculinity," Alison said about the look of Oliver's room. She achieved this by using horizontal stripes in neutral colors, and the bold patterns in the bedding and the rug. "Most of the client's home was painted in a light gray shade, and she wanted to be consistent with that. We both love orange, and felt like it was a fun and gender-neutral way to bring in color."


"We originally picked a similar rug in an aqua color, but it was out of stock. When we found the second rug in the deep charcoal color, we decided to go with it. When it first arrived, the client called me saying she was afraid, with the striped walls and chevron bedding, that it was too busy. I wasn't too concerned, though. There was a lot of hardwood floor space that I think would have left the room feeling unfinished if we had gone with a more conservative, solid rug. When I finally saw it in person, I knew going bold was the right thing to do." To complete the wall space above the crib and bring in some color, up-andcoming artist Jenny from MFAMB was commissioned to create an abstract work of art. Her painting allows the colors of the room and the bold style to coalesce together. The metallic gold Moroccan pouf was a great find at and adds a touch of shimmer to the room. "My take-away for myself, and for anyone designing a nursery is: trust your instinct, and don't be afraid to have fun - it's a child's room after all! Children love interesting patterns, and if you the parent love the room, so will baby!"



A Big Girl Room for Lou

By Tara Steinle Photos by Ryann Colleen Photography When Krista Salmon is designing a room, she always starts with one element that she loves to create her style of traditional with eclectic flair. Her inspirational element can be anything from a pillow to a rug. When it came to the room for her daughters it came from the curtains. She loved all of the colors and how they played off each other. “I am a bit of a maximalist when it comes to decorating. Go big or stay home,” she said. Krista painted this room seven years ago when she was expecting her oldest daughter and loved the color so much she played the entire room off of it. Since being the nursery for her first daughter, it was also the nursery for her daughter Lou, and has now transitioned into Lou’s big girl room. “A lot of the same elements were in there- the curtains, furniture and chair. We just wanted to up level the whole look.”


The lovely light blue shade of the walls had already been painted, so Krista looked for the perfect shade of coral to match the ribbons and green to match the chair. To coordinate the room, she painted the bed—which belonged to her when she was a little girl herself—a beautiful shade of pink. “I lost my mom two weeks before my oldest daughter was born, so anything that I can incorporate from my childhood into our home means a lot. I remember when my mom took me to buy this bed.”

When deciding about the bookshelves, Krista was nervous about putting in more furniture than she were taking out, but she now considers the bookcases a lifesaver. “Any other storage solution would have been awkward. It is a little tight squeezing through her dresser and bed to get to the one bookshelf, but it’s manageable.” Without a doubt, Krista says everyone notices the stripes Corrine Marlowe painted on the ceiling first. They were created out of her desire to balance out the coral bed and were done in the same Melon Shine paint. “I love them. The room was beautiful but I am a maximalist.” The stripes also draw attention to the blue, beaded chandelier, one of Krista’s favorite details. “I absolutely love it. I worked with Lindsey of Simply Salvage to custom design it. Lou loves her chandelier because her favorite color is blue and the sconces. She has a ‘magic switch’ to turn them on and off.”

When designing the room as a nursery, Krista was careful to factor in how much storage space would be needed as Lou grew into a little lady. After painting the bed, she searched for bookcases that would fit around it seamlessly. “I knew we needed more storage space, and the room itself is quite small. So we were really lucky that the Ikea shelves worked. I know my husband would not spring for custom built-ins for a three year old! We are finding that big girls need a Repurposing items made transitioning the room easier, including the lot more space than babies.” 52

beautiful bed skirt from the crib. Krista was able to take it and make the bed skirt and borders for the throw pillows. “I custom designed that bedding seven years ago. The green coverlet and pillows came from HomeGoods and I made the Lou pillows from Ikea Pillow and Iron on printed letters.”

nally done she stayed in there for hours. While in another room, I heard her talking to herself saying ‘This is a dream come true!!! I love my room. I love my chandelier... I love my pink bed... I love my special lights (that would be the sconces.).... I love my flowers…’ It warmed my heart. And that made it all worth it.”

“My little Lou Lou Bug simply adores her room. When it was fi- Krista transitioned Lou’s nursery into a big girl room for about $1,300, a lot of elbow grease, reusing handme-downs and some creative thinking. “I love how it all comes together. It is so relaxing to sit in her room and just stare. When creating a nursery, make sure that it’s something that they can grow into. Then, make sure that they are things that you love. I tell people all of the time, if they settle on items, they will end up buying what they really wanted in the end, so educate yourself, figure out what you want and save for it. That way a transition is just a transaction and not an overhaul.”







As soon as the nurse said, “it’s a girl!” Samantha Foster and Jonathan Ivy thought their heads were going to pop with excitement, thoughts and planning! “Right then and there, things went crazy. Although I must admit I feel like I did a good job budget wise, I think I did an ever better job creating a pink Parisian paradise. Like seriously, this room radiates pink! It is so happy in Emma’s room!” Parisian touches are everywhere in this feminine palace. The hanging balloon and ballet shoes were both brought back from France from a trip Samantha and Jonathan took in 2011. The day after they left for Paris they found out they were expecting a girl and they spent the entire trip looking for things for their future daughter. It was also while in Paris where they decided they would name their little girl Emma.




They custom designed the pink bedding at be-dazzled. The stuffed animal is named Jams and was one of the purchases for Emma while they were in France. “Jonathan though he was so cool and knew Emma just had to have him. She loves him!” Also from France are the animals hanging on the back of the bed. “They have the best colors over there. No bright or florescent colors, just elegant neutrals. They also have unique and cute characters that aren’t Winnie the Pooh.” After bringing these items back they designed the entire room around them.

The collage of four drawings are by a French artist about a love story between a boy and a girl they found in a small outdoor market in Europe. Jonathan’s parents made the paper chain and Emma sign above the bed for Samantha’s baby shower. Each month Samantha and Jonathan take a picture of Emma in her chair with Jams beside her so that they can see her grow into a big little princess in her nursery palace.



Behind the Desig of Oilo



Annalisa Thomas didn’t decide to go into the crib bedding industry on purpose, she simply couldn’t find any crib bedding she liked when she was about to have her first baby. She assumed other mothers felt this way as well and together with her mother, Dorte Anderson, created Oilo. Offering the modern mom a fresh new approach to high quality, designer-level contemporary nursery and home décor, no one does nursery design and crib bedding quite like Oilo. Combining high quality and style, Oilo’s symmetrically shaped designs and complementary colors take crib bedding to a whole new level.

The pair wanted their company’s name to personify the image of relaxing and enjoying the serenity of life. Although it is not an actual word, Oilo’s name is derived from a combination of Hawaiian words, “lio” meaning small sprout, and “ho’oilo” describing the cool, rainy season. Thomas is a former art director and graphic designer and Anderson, an interior designer with more than 25 years of custom interior design expertise, come together on their modern designs. “We are both passionate about design and together we have been able to come up with some fun ideas. Our most popular designs have come from late nights together on Red Bull.” Here Annalisa takes us on their journey from starting with an idea to having a celebrity following and being carried in some of the biggest independent retailers in the country.


What were the early days of Oilo like? What was your reception into the baby industry like? I loved the very, very, beginning stage of Oilo when no one knew the company existed except me and a few other people. I would put my baby to bed at night and stay up late sketching. I had so many designs in my head that I needed to get out. I couldn’t stop.


And for the first time I designed what I liked not what my boss liked. It was so freeing. I miss those days because now it’s hard to find quiet time to design without the everyday business distractions. Being in the baby bedding world, trends are always changing. How do you stay on top of them offering fabrics in various styles and colors?

To be honest, I love graphic design, fashion and interior design which all have huge trend setting influences so it doesn’t seem like work to stay in the know. And because I’m a graphic designer at heart, I’m used to always being aware of my surroundings—colors, patterns, textures etc. I can’t walk into Nordstrom without walking away feeling inspired to be a better designer. How do you define your Oilo’s success? We feel like our main job is to build a healthy, successful company so we look for people that are far more talented than us. We offer work-from-home opportunities and flexible schedules to entice people and so far it’s worked. We have an amazing team that is growing this company faster than we ever anticipated. Oilo designs are so fresh and contemporary. How do you define the Oilo style philosophy? I think we are like most design focused companies in the sense that our vision is a reflection of what

we like and would want to have in our home. Oilo is really a reflection of us. It sounds cliché, but I’m a true believer in “less is more”. We design our products with the mom in mind. We want the nursery to be a sanctuary where she can bond with her baby. Oilo décor has a much more modern feel to the rooms they decorate, almost more adult. How do you describe the parent who buys Oilo? I love meeting the moms who buy our products. For starters they are smart and for the most part tend to have very sophisticated taste. They have done their research and know exactly what they want. They are also very design-conscious, so we are always helping with paint colors, wall ideas, etc. Nurseries are only baby rooms for so long before they become big kid rooms. How does Oilo décor grow with a child as they move into toddlerhood? Our décor is not “babyish” which makes it appealing through toddlerhood. We try and design more


timeless pieces that will last longer than a trend. And, when a little one is ready to move to a “big” bed, they can grow with Oilo with our twin and full-queen bedding collection without having to spend the money to completely re-decorate. Along with fashionable colors, you also use clean patterns. How do you feel the modern colors and patterns complement each other? I love clean patterns. I love to make them simple and bold, but more than anything I love, love, love playing with colors. You can take any tired pattern and give it a fresh look with new colors. A simple tweak in color can make a product look hip and trendy. Where do you find your design inspiration? Everywhere! My latest sketch was inspired from a rain drainage grate in downtown Chicago. I also find nature a huge inspiration. Our raindrops motif was literally inspired by raindrops on my window. I’m just always looking and taking 66

pictures and notes with my phone. Travelling is a huge inspiration for me. However most of the time design is surrounding you if you give it time to come to you. Do you find that the right crib bedding becomes a make or break design aspect to the nursery? No, but like any bedroom, the crib is the focal point so you want to give it some good attention. Our customers definitely seem to design more around colors than themes. What trends do you see emerging in crib bedding? We definitely see moms wanting to decorate a room that will last longer than two years. We have noticed a huge trend for gender-neutral bedding. They want the child to use the room into their toddler years and beyond. Many parents either want their bedding to last through more than one baby or they don’t want to find out what the gender is. It seems that moms go more ‘all-out’ when they are decorat-


ing for a girl. Why is this? There are more girl bedding options so it’s easier to get caught up in the design process, but many of our moms spend just as much time and money on their baby boys’ nursery as well. Many moms have told us they feel relaxed in their son’s nurseries with our simple, more gender neutral designs instead of baseball bats and sportsthemed nurseries. Oilo has also moved into furniture, wall art, lighting and other nursery decorative elements.


How did you decide to forge ahead past bedding? It just seemed natural to add more décor products so our customers could finish their nurseries. But if we do get a lot of special orders or requests for a certain item, we usually try to add it to the product line, as there is obviously a need and desire for these products. Oilo has been giving back with various charitable efforts. What prompts you to be so gracious to worthy causes? We definitely believe in giving

back. We feel we have been blessed and so should pay it forward to those who are going through rougher times. I don’t ever feel exempt from rough times. I think the economy has shown us all that it could happen to anyone. Oilo designs have been included in celebrity nurseries like Rachel Zoe and Christina Applegate. What do high profile fans of your bedding collection mean to you? To have Rachel Zoe, the top stylist in Hollywood, personally choose our bedding for her nursery was Rachel Zoe’s baby nursery

most flattering. And, we love Christina Applegate and were equally thrilled that she chose our bedding for her nursery. Tiffani Thiessen has our glider in her nursery and Selma Blair has one of our pieces in hers. We were also honored to be chosen to be featured on The Ellen DeGeneres Show for her annual Mother’s Day program How many collections do you currently have? We currently have nine crib bedding collections and two Twin and Full-Queen bedding collections


along with lighting, seating, pillow and baby gift products. Do you have a favorite? Cobblestone was my first favorite then Sticks, but Triple Band is my new favorite. It’s really cute in a boy’s room. All three are all competing for our most popular design at the moment. . What’s the best decorating advice you ever received? Pick one or two items you love and design your room around those things. It’s less overwhelming than a blank canvas. Where do you see Oilo heading in the future?

We actually currently have two collections for twin and full-queen size bedding. Our seating and lighting is also ideal for other parts of the home outside of the nursery! I would love to expand into children’s clothes. I really enjoyed designing our new layettes and would love to do more. When you look back on your journey, what do you think about? When I look back at our journey it makes me tired. It’s been fun, but a ton of work. I love that we created something out of thin air. It still seems crazy to me.

Photography Showcase

Photo by Mulberry Lane Studios

Photo by Chi Photography

Photo by Kate’s Lens

Photo by Xpression Photography

Photo by Raquel Leal

Photos by Andi Diamond

Photos by Sunflowers Studios


For Stephanie Eckweiler of , the best part about planning these events is definitely making her clients happy and stress free. “There is nothing better than seeing your client on the day of the event with a great big smile and offering many thanks!� So when one of their own was expecting, the design team creatively put a vintage twist on a sports themed baby shower.


Candice and her husband are huge sports fans. Those that know her understand you are just as apt to find her in a Patriots jersey as along with her Ferragamo shoes. “When we found out she was having a baby girl we wanted to add a fun twist to create something a little out of the ordinary,” Stephanie told us. Inspired by the Tom Hanks classic film ‘A League of Their Own, she went with this vintage sports theme in order to incorporate more of a ‘girly’ touch to the day. Hailing from New England, Can-


dice is quite the New England Patriots and Boston Red Sox fan! As Candice’s her hometown teams’ colors were red, white and blue, Stephanie knew she wanted to incorporate elements of the branding into the shower. And because Candice was expecting a girl, selecting red and white along with pink accents carried the theme beautifully. What is a better way to incorporate the vintage sports theme into an invitation than with a

ticket! As the invitation sets the tone for the event, a ticket was the perfect way to invite guests as it would be as if they were attending a sporting event. “Our design team loved creating this multi-layered invite using cardstock and fabric in red and white. It was certainly a ‘home run’ as all of the guests were raving about it!” Stephanie also custom designed the guest book as a sports pennant with iron on decals, a fun way for guests to share their blessing and was an

amazing keepsake for the Momto-be. “I could barely hold back the tears when I first saw the room seeing all of the thought that had been put into the details,” Candice said of her baby shower day. Keeping the New England teams in mind, Stephanie thought about ways to incorporate football and baseball into the shower. Each table was named for different sports teams and the centerpieces had a layer of baseballs under glass topped


and the centerpieces had a layer of baseballs under glass topped by an arrangement of wheat grass and red and white Gerber daisies. The tables were set with pink linens and surrounded by white chivari ballroom chairs that were decorated with big red satin bows. Floral arrangements were spread out through the room and even the side tables held decor pieces with mini pink footballs. “One of our favorite elements was the “Game Plan” cards which we created and asked guests to complete for Can82

dice with all of their parenting advice,” Stephanie said. When it came to incorporating food into the theme, Stephanie hit one out of the park. She kicked things off with sporting event passed hors d’oeuvres of mini hot dogs, mini burgers and fries. She also included New England favorites like mini lobster rolls, a guaranteed way to please the mommy to be. Signature drinks and mocktails were named ‘Powderpuff Punch’ and ‘Curveball


Cocktail’. A buffet lunch of chicken and vegetable kabobs and salad was served as well. The meal went into overtime, topped off by delicious red velvet and vanilla cupcakes decorated with baseballs, footballs, and megaphones. Crowd pleasing games like custom made Baby Bingo and Pick Candice’s Favorite Player, which involved folks choosing cards form a popcorn bucket and trying to determine her all time favorite players, got guests cheering. In addition there were traditional baby shower games like the poopy diaper, word scramble and baby items memory game. “It was such fun watching the guests get into each game - even though Candice’s Grandmother seemed to always win!”

part of the day was seeing Candice so happy. “Candice’s favorite part of the shower was seeing how we really ‘got’ her and knew exactly the small personal elements that were so ‘her’ and sharing that with her friends and family was so memorable.” It was such as amazing day that I will certainly never forget. I can not say thank you enough to my amazing, supportive, loving husband and to my team who always go above and beyond in everything they do and this was certainly no exception. For their work on this shower, the International Special Event Society (ISES) of Northern New Jersey recognized the Finishing Touch team for Best Social Event. “This was such an honor to be recognized by our peers especially among all of the amazing competition!”

The sports fans guests did not leave empty handed. Party favors were cute bags of popcorn with a tag reading ‘About to Pop!’. Guests also received custom pink and red jersey cookies reading Boston sports fan Katerina Mae ‘Baby Benson’ which were super Benson was born January 13th. Photography: Photography by Melissa cute and delicious! Of course, Stephanie’s favorite 84

Location: Woman’s Club of Ridgewood Cupcakes: Pink Cake Box Jersey cookies: Wicked Good Cookies

Baby showers are a cause for celebration. The Shaya family celebrated at the Venetian Palace banquet hall with a party for the ages! This shower included the entire 300 person guest list dancing, belly dancing show girl complete in bedazzled costumes and headdresses, and an incredible buffet of Middle Eastern delights.

Photography by DPark Photography











Welcoming Baby Charley

Photography by Krista Mason Flowers by Jaclyne of Heavenly Blooms Guest of honor: Gianna of Chic Celebrations








By Amy Stephens of Crib Tales Photography











A Royal Inspired Baby Shower By Lana Kulinich


Lana Kulinich wanted to do something masculine for her sister-in-law’s second baby shower while allowing her to be princess for a day. After using butterflies with her first baby girl, she wanted to continue to the tradition and tie them both together. Though it was for a boy, she also wanted it to be beautiful and elegant, intimate consisting of family and a few close friends, to appeal to all the ladies in attendance. Influenced by the look of the Royal Wedding campaign, she created a beautiful, outdoor look that was both bold and yet had soft touches. She selected the beautiful deep blue color after Princess Kate’s engagement ring.

The color palette is what really gives this baby shower a bold look. Each color contributed a little to each concept Lana tried to convey. The royal blue sets a strong backdrop that is both masculine and outdoorsy. She wanted to add a splash of bright yellow and decided to do that with the flowers to really make them pop, then knowing the blue butterflies would stand out against the bright flowers. “I added hints of gold with chargers for a royal accent. I also added crisp white candle holders to balance out the blue and yellow contrasting tones.” As a lover of stationery, Lana knows that invitations are vital to a great party and for this baby shower she created the invitation herself. “An invitation is the first impression of an event. It establishes the formality and really sets the tone for a party. I used individual gold boxes for a 3D invitation. The “invitation-in-a-box” is a trend I’ve noticed in couture weddings of celebrities but they are pricey to purchase. So I decided to turn this into a DIY project! Thanks to wholesale box websites, I was able to make these beauties on a budget.”




Each invitation arrived in a beautiful gold box, wrapped with a blue ribbon. Upon opening the box, invitees found the party detail insert, wrapped again with ribbon and touched by a butterfly. It was a ‘butterfly surprise.’ “I love this concept of boxed invitation. They make guests feel special, like they’re unwrapping a gift!”

Lana served a wide variety of delicious food for this shower. Her mom and sisters both prepared the food, starting with a delicious spinach and artichoke dip appetizer, served on a toasted sourdough baguette. Open faced sandwich appetizers, with a creamy garlic cream cheese spread, smoked salmon, fresh cucumber and a dab of caviar to top it off went perfectly with refreshing sparkling berry. Dinner was served buffet style and included baked salmon and fiery grill chicken, along with a succulent beef stir fry. We also had shrimp scampi, served with rice. “I love the splendor of butterflies and how gentle and truly stunning they are. I knew I wanted to use them for this theme and especially the royal blue colored ones. I also love the little orange butterflies I added to the napkin treatment and thought that was a sweet detail for each guest.” The royal guests enjoyed a dessert of mini red velvet cupcakes, with a cream cheese frosting. “The cake was done by a family friend and really was a part of the décor and look of the party. It tied in perfectly with the color theme, with its intricate details. I can also say it tasted as good as it looked. The inside layers of vanilla sponge cake were filled with alternating layers of strawberries, raspberries and kiwi atop a smooth raspberry cream filling.”

While it was hard for her to narrow it down, Lana’s favorite detail was the concept of teacups used as vases. Not only were they adorable and color appropriate, they were also sentimental. “These are my grandmother’s teacups that my mom brought over from the Ukraine when they moved to the US. They worked beautifully atop the white candleholders and my mom was very touched that we used a part of our heritage to honor the birth of another grandchild. It was very sweet.” 122




Alexandra decided to plan a tea party for her daughter and some of her girlfriends with an bunny theme for Easter. While the mommies enjoyed some tea and snacks, the girls were set up at a smaller table with kid-friendly treats and herbal tea.

At the Easter bunny table, the girls picked up hats, white gloves, pearl necklaces and baskets for egg hunting after the tea. At their table, the girls enjoyed bunny shaped carrots with celery bow ties attached with cream cheese, peanut butter on celery with raisins, strawberries, sandwiches, hard boiled eggs and yogurt melts.

“This is the first year our three year olds are fully grasping the concepts of holidays. Watching them skip around the yard looking for eggs all on their own while we got to sit and relax was absolutely thrilling! It was an incredibly enjoyable time.�

Over the Rainbow T Pictures by Gaja 136

Twins Baby Shower ate Photography









Photo by Amanda Lamb

Tabitha Studer was inspired to write Rules for Moms with Sons in hope to inspire other moms who are loving, and struggling, and tired, and proud, and eager to support the boys in their lives. Her list is intended as a reminder of love on the hard mom days when you feel like you either want to scream or lock yourself in the bathroom and cry. “You are the most important woman in his life,” she says, “his first teacher, and the one he will look to for permission for the rest of his life. From, "Can I go play with them?" to "Should I ask her to marry me?" It’s a big job, but as the mom, we're up for it.” She reads this list when she wanted to come back to remind herself who she wants to be to her child and who her child needs her to be. She reads this list to remind herself that she is no where near alone in the crazy journey of raising a boy.


1. Teach him the words for how he feels. Your son will scream out of frustration and hide out of embarrassment. He'll cry from fear and bite out of excitement. Let his body move by the emotion, but also explain to him what the emotion is and the appropriate response to that emotion.Talk him through emotions so that someday when he is grown, he will know the difference between angry and embarrassed; between disappointment and grief. 2. Be a cheerleader for his life. There is no doubt that you are the loudest person in the stands at his games. There is no doubt that he will tell you "stop, mom" when you sing along to his garage band's lyrics. There is no doubt that he will get red-faced when you show his prom date his pictures from boy scouts. There is no doubt that he is not telling his prom date about your blog where you've been bragging about his life from the day he was born, to his first time on the potty to spelling award he won in the second grade. He will tell you to stop. He will say he's embarrassed. But he will know that there is one person that is always rooting for him. 3. Read to him and read with him. Emilie Buchwald said, "Children become readers on the laps of their parents." Offer your son the opportunity to learn new things, believe in pretend places, and imagine bigger possibilities through books. Let him see you reading...reading the paper, reading novels, reading magazine articles. Help him understand that writing words down is a way to be present forever. 4. Encourage him to dance. Dance, rhythm, and music are cultural universals. No matter where you go, no matter who you meet - they have some form of the three. It doesn't have to be good, just encourage your son that when he feels it, it's perfectly fine to go ahead and bust a move. 146

5. Make sure he has examples of good men. The examples of men with big muscles and a uniform like Superman will surround your son from birth. But make sure he also knows about men who kick butt because of their brains, their words, and their determination, their ideas, and their integrity, and fearlessness, and their ability to keep their mouths closed when everyone else is screaming.

Photo by Ilene Squires


6. Be an example of a woman with beauty, brains, and integrity. You already are all of those things. If you ever fear that you are somehow incapable of doing anything - remember this: If you have done any of the following: 1) grown a life inside you and given birth to it 2) taken care of a newborn 3) made a pain go away with a kiss 4) taught someone to read 5) taught a toddler to eat with a utensil 6) cleaned up diarrhea without gagging 7) loved a child enough to be willing to give your life for them or 8) found a way to be strong when that child is are a superhero. Do not doubt yourself for one second. 7. Give him something to believe in Because someday he will be afraid, or nervous, or heartbroken, or lost, or just need you, and you won't be able to be there. Give him something to turn to when it feels like he is alone, so that he knows that he will never be alone; never, never, never. 8. Teach him that there are times when you need to be gentle With babies, and flowers, and animals, and other people's feelings.

Photo by Heather Cherie

Photo by Selah Photography

9. Let him ruin his clothes. Resolve to be cool about dirty and ruined clothes. You'll be fighting a losing battle if you get upset every time he ruins another piece of clothing. Don't waste your energy being angry about something inevitable. Boys tend to learn by destroying, jumping, spilling, falling, and making impossible messes. Dirty, ruined clothes are just par for the course.


Photo by Heather Cherie

10. Learn how to throw a football. Or how to use a hockey stick or read music. Learn how to draw panda bears and the names of new cartoon characters. Turn off the television, unplug the video games, put your cell phone on the charger, and even put your camera away. Be in his life, not as an observer but as an active participant. 11. Let him lose. Losing sucks. Everybody isn't always a winner. Even if you want to say, "You're a winner because you tried," don't. He doesn't feel like a winner, he feels sad and crappy and disappointed. And that's a good thing, because sometimes life also sucks, no matter how hard (as moms) we try to make it not suck for our kids. This practice will do him good later when he loses again (and again). Instead make sure he understands that - sometimes you win - sometimes you lose. But that doesn't mean you ever give up. 12. Give him opportunities to help others. There is a big difference in giving someone the opportunity to help and forcing someone to help. Giving the opportunity lights a flame in the heart and once the help is done the flame shines brighter and asks for more opportunities. Be an example of helping others in your own actions and the way your family helps each other and helps others together. 13. Remind him that practice makes perfect. This doesn't just apply to performance-based activities like sports and music, but also applies to everything in life. You become a better writer by writing. You become a better listener by listening. You become better speaker by speaking. Show your son this when he is just young enough to understand. Practice trick-or-treating at your own front door before the real thing. Practice how you will walk through airport security before a trip. Practice how you order your own food from the fast food cashier. Practice, practice, practice.


Photo by Marianne Cox Huerta

15. Give him something to release his energy. Wide open space, toys, water, a dog. Give him something to go crazy with - or he will use your stuff. And then you'll be sorry. 16. Build him forts. Forts have the ability to make everyday normal stuff into magic. Throw the couch cushions, a couple blankets, and some clothespins and you can transform your living room into the cave of wonders. For the rest of his life, he'll be grateful to know that everyday normal stuff has the potential to be magical. 17. Take him to new places. It will make his brain and his heart open up wider, and the ideas and questions and memories will rush in. 152

Photo by Last Light Photography

18. Let his dad teach him how to do things ...without interrupting about how to do it the 'right way.' If you let his dad show and teach and discover with your son while he is growing up, some day down the road, he will come to the realization that his dad knows everything. You will always be his mother, but in his grown-up man heart and mind, his dad will know the answers. And this will be how, when your son is too busy with life to call and chat with his mom, you will stay connected to what is happening in his life. Because he will call his dad for answers, and his dad will secretly come and ask you.


19. Kiss him Mothers of sons will tell you that little boys are so loving and sweet. While they can be harsh and wild and destructive during most of the day, there are these moments when they are so kind and sensitive and tender. So much so that it can cause you to look around at the inward, reserved grown men in your life and think, 'what happens in between that made you lose that?' kissing them when they're loving and kissing them even more when they're wild. You're the mom - you can go ahead and kiss him no matter how big he gets - and make sure he knows it. 20. Be home base You are home to him. When he learns to walk, he will wobble a few feet away from you and then come back, then wobble away a little farther and then come back. When he tries something new, he will look for your proud smile. When he learns to read, he will repeat the same book to you twenty times in a row, because you're the only one who will listen that many times. When he plays his sport, he will search for your face in the stands. When he is sick, he will call you. When he really messes up, he will call you. When he is grown and strong and tough and big and he feels like crying, he will come to you; because a man can cry in front of his mother without feeling self-conscious. Even when he grows up and has a new woman in his life and gets a new home, you are still his mother; home base, the ever constant, like the sun. Know that in your heart and everything else will fall into place.


Photo by Athena Kalindi


# # #














Party Princess Kate Landers

The best party planners are the ones who can combine artistic vision, creative ingenuity and organizational skills on any kind of budgets. Kate Landers not only possesses all these skills but also finds that planning was a calling. Having a sister seven years younger with a total go-with-theflow personality allowed Kate plan her very first party at age 10 and have a ball planning her birthday parties each year, which she looked forward to each year.

Well-known amongst her family and friends as the go-to person for celebrations, they definitely asked her for her advice and help, which she was always happy to give and excited to share. But it wasn’t until she designed her Lilly Pulitzerthemed 30th birthday brunch with her husband and every guest going on about all the beautiful details that she said she should do it for a living. “That was when the idea was planted—I was looking for a creative outlet that tied together my adoration of children from lots

of nannying, my business school education and need for creativity every day.”

It was when a family member asked if she would donate a children’s party for their children’s preschool auctions that Kate found the perfect opportunity to both experiment artistically and see if she really would enjoy it as a business rather than just a creative passion. She did two parties for the school; in in simple pink and another in yellow for a fourth birthday party. “They taught me that while I could design and orchestrate an event, it was the designing and styling aspect I enjoyed doing most. And of course the best part is seeing a happy birthday child!” In the beginning while Kate’s creative side was running wild, it was her business sense she learned to tap into to find her direction. She did a lot of market research, surveys, and looked at her business from multiple angles. She drafted a highly detailed business plan,


Photos by Open Shade Studios

which was revised numerous times. “When I started my business I noticed there were only a handful of other children’s party designers out there, and were targeting a national or global market versus local, and none that I could find that also designed their own products to coordinate with their events. My research showed me many moms wanted their own child’s party to be different than their neighbors or classmates, and that they were looking for a bit more stylish, personalized line of party products in174

stead of what you could find in a discount party store.” Kate Landers Events designs parties for kids of all ages and focuses on the younger set. She believes it is her adoration of the imagination of young children that motivates her to preserve, nurture and celebrate it. “My goal is to help children feel loved and celebrated for the wonderful people they are, and to also teach them to enjoy celebrating the lives of those around them. I love events that are inti-

Her clients she styles for have both light budgets and limitless ones, which gives her the chance to try both ends of the spectrum. While she enjoys elaborate events, where the little details add up fast, she certainly feels that simple party at home with a homemade birthday cake can still make a child feel important and celebrated. When it comes to styling children’s birthday parties, Kate loves the imagination and design process— where she sits with a blank piece

Photo by Open Shade Studios

mate, darling, loaded with charm and personalized, one-of-a-kind details. I love for my parties to be experiences rather than just another celebration. I believe every child deserves to be celebrated, one party at a time. Birthdays are such a milestone celebration and so often moms are looking to throw a very special party for the occasion. I love helping parents create a celebration marking the special one-year anniversary of their child’s birth—such an important day in their lives.”


Kate’s son Noah 176

Photo by Liza Voll Photography


of paper and pen and draws out sketches of her ideas and visions for events. It is creating the atmosphere that helps give that “experience” for the birthday child and their guests, which includes building, decorating, and watching it go from an empty room transformed into a forest or ocean floor. Her favorite parties she designs are small and intimate, adoring ones held at home or on the property of the family. “I love that children’s memories of their parties within those walls will last a lifetime—they can associate those special celebrations with their very own living space.”

One of Kate’s favorite kid birthday party trends is celebrations with more original themes. As parents move away from cartoon characters and towards fairytale characters, they are also adding activities like painting, sewing or excavating dinosaur fossils. “I love this trend, I can see so many moms getting their creative juices flowing and their children’s parties are a fabulous outlet for all their brilliant ideas!” 178

Expecting babies and celebrating go together perfectly and Kate’s baby showers are completely different than a children’s party, making them more focused on creating an atmosphere that is relaxed, elegant, organic, sweet, and formal. “I love showering a mother to be with love and celebrating that precious baby that will change their world forever.”

Dessert tables are one of the hottest trends in parties and Kate loves designing them with ways to tie in themes and color palettes through decorations, florals, favors, even food. “I find dessert tables at a child’s party to be a wonderful opportunity to really get a theme across with food that looks or is called something that reinforces the theme. For baby showers, I think that dessert tables serve as a fabulous focal point. Overall, they can be works of art, and from the table linens and backdrop to the platters and printed labels, it is more than the desserts


that tie them all together.” As Kate got her start donating parties for a children’s school, being philanthropic is still important to her. She has donated her services or custom party products to a number of charity silent auctions, often for child-related causes. The Boston-based Ellie Fund is particularly close to her heart, as she was able to help design a princess party fundraiser for them. “Donating my time and some products to them was a tremendous joy!

With her event designing blog, Kate has become a great online resource for advice and inspiration. “I wanted something that really displayed my love all darling, charming parties, with a flair for things extraordinary and sophisticated.” Originally designed to compliment her online shoppe, Kate was offered the opportunity of a lifetime to design a line of custom party. Her blog transitioned to a place to represent all of her business, sharing her portfolio, inspirational work as well as highly 180

talented vendors and designers she recommends.

Kate now has a different perspective on baby showers and children parties as this past year she became a mother. And for this party queen, a baby shower wasn’t enough. She also had a gender reveal party. “What a wonderful opportunity to celebrate baby without having to wait until the shower. It was a great excuse to gather family together and have fun with the gender reveal.”

With a duckling theme from the Robert McClosky classic book “Make Way for Ducklings”, the gender reveal was a most memorable celebration. The colorscheme was kept gender neutral, based on duckling colors of soft yellow, white and hints of brown. Guests were instructed to guess ‘waddle it be’ by wearing either pink or blue to the festivities, where it was revealed to everyone that Kate was expecting a son.

A classic, elegant baby shower followed, incorporating all things baby-- from a vintage pram and smocked sailor suits to sterling silver rattles and of course, a rocking horse. Inspired by the stunning Petunia Picklebottom Cake Collection diaper bag from Layla Grayce, the palette was a gorgeous pale blue, cream, and crisp white. “I loved how the bag was oh-sofeminine yet perfect for a mom with a little boy! It also showed me that as a girl who has always favored pink, the color baby blue can be very feminine too.”

Being in the party industry, it was incredibly difficult for Kate to sit back and let others do the work for her. So much so that her friends and family allowed her to commit a huge faux pas and let her design her own shower! “It was a huge gift to me to allow me to do so, as it made those hot summer pregnant days fly by, and best of all gave me the opportunity to work with my favorite designers and

vendors I love so much.” Kate welcomed son Noah in late 2011, and considers him “the most amazing experience and greatest gift ever bestowed upon me. The love I felt the moment they put Noah on my chest after he was delivered was life-changing for me— I never knew I could experience love that powerful.”

Becoming a mother has also allowed her to relate to the moms she throws parties for. And although only a few months old, she admits she’s already coming up with ideas for his first birthday party. But most of her attention has been focused on celebrating the little moments with him. “His first giggle, first feeding of rice baby cereal, and being present with him when we are together, it is already going by so quickly! I believe this is a most precious time in my life, one to treasure dearly, and my clients who are mothers all taught me that!”


No language can express the power and beauty and heroism of a mother's love. -Edwin H. Chapin

Photo by Amber Shomo of Forever Candid