2018 | Dearest Lou

A's 2nd Birthday: Basketball Party at Storybrook Play Cafe

I can't believe my baby is TWO! We celebrated Adrien's birthday party last week and had a ball of a time. Adrien is absolutely obsessed with balls.. especially basketballs! When I asked him what sort of party he wanted he told me a basketball party. Adrien doesn't have a favorite team and decorating for a generic basketball party was a bit tricky. I didn't want to go with orange and black decorations in fear it would look to Halloween-ish. I love planning parties and picking color schemes that go with the theme is one of my favorite parts. The color scheme I chose for his party was orange, black, gold, teal, and light orange.

Our current home is too small to host more than 15 guests so I knew we needed to find a location to throw his birthday party. Storybrook Play Cafe in Salt Lake City, UT was the perfect place! We hosted it after hours so we had the entire play cafe to ourselves. The setup was absolutely perfect for our party. The play area is located downstairs and our guests were able to play and chat down there while I finished up setting up for the party upstairs.

Corelife Eatery catered our party and they were above and beyond. I have done catering in the past with different companies and usually the caterers will leave the food on the table and leave. Corelife Eatery stayed and set up the beautiful buffet spread for me while we finished up with the rest of the decorations. It was so nice having an extra pair of hands on such a busy day. Our guests LOVED the  fresh healthy food, I can easily say the food is what made the party so great. The Kids Power Plates were the perfect fuel to keep the little ones going.

We had so much fun and a majority of the time the adults ate/chatted while the kids played in the play area. The nice thing about hosting your party at Storybrook is that there are little games needed since the kids keep busy with their adorable fun setup! My sister Tiana helped me out so much and made some homemade games for Adrien's party! The first game the kids played was a spin on pin the tail on the donkey.. place the basketball in the net. They had so much fun with this one. She also made a cute basketball pinata and we had to save it towards the end of the party but I did manage to capture some images of a few of our guests enjoying that.

If you have read my blog for a while now you may remember Daryl's infamous snake cake he made for Zaden's 3rd Reptile party. He used that same concept and made this cute basketball cake for this years party! He is so talented and always come through with my crazy party ideas. For the takeaways I got these cute inflatable basketballs for each of the kids. I don't like giving away useless small toys and figured all kids could use a cool soft beach ball (;

I wasn't able to get as many photos as I would have liked, especially towards the end of the party but wanted to share a few that were captured throughout the evening. Another special shout out to Tiana for taking photos of us while Adrien blew out his candle, opening presents, and our family photo at the end! It's kind of hard to host and take photos during a party and I should maybe catch a hint and hire out next time, haha!

I will link all the party/decoration details below!
Location: Storybrook Play Cafe c/o

Catering: Corelife Eatery | Adult Buffet & Kids Power Plates c/o

Decorations:
Basket Ball Lanterns || Plates || Gold Plates || Candy Bags (Dollar Store) || Inflatable Basketball Take Away's || Gold Cakestand (Dollar Store) || Balloons || Gold "2" Candle || Glitter Orange, Black, + Multicolor Dot Banners || Hip Hip Hooray Banner || Gold/Black Party Blowouts || Teal/Orange Streamers

Lily Jade Bag Giveaway


Dress || Lily Jade Bag c/o|| Shoes

It's no secret that I love Lily Jade Diaper Bags! This one in navy is an absolute dream. I love that it fits all my essentials and more. I also love how classy it is and that I can use this past my diaper bag wearing days. I have teamed up today with Lily Jade to giveaway a bag to a lucky reader (:

To Enter:

  1. Follow @ceciliaharvard + @lilyjadeco on Instagram
  2. Visit THIS LINK and fill out your info!
  3. You can tag more diaper bag loving friends on THIS POST on IG for extra entries!
Giveway Ends Sunday 9/16/18! Winner will be announced Monday. Good luck.

SAYA Designs Handcrafted Hair Sticks & a Silly Insecurity

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by SAYA Designs. All opinions are mine alone.

How gorgeous are these Mini Palm Hair Sticks from SAYA Designs? I have been in communication with Victoria (the owner and founder) for the last couple months and she has been amazing to work with. She sent me these little beauties to review and I have to admit I was a bit intimidated to use them at first! However, I'm happy to report that with a little bit of practice these have become my go-to for throwing my hair out of my face.

In the photo tutorial above, I show a quick one minute way to throw your hair out of your face and how I used these hair sticks to hold my updo in place! This particular hair style can be done in about a minute so it's perfect for anyone who may have a busy lifestyle or doesn't want to spend more than a minute doing hair in the morning (; I gathered inspiration for this look from SAYA Designs tutorials! It honestly took a bit of practice since I have so many layers in my hair but I think I finally have the hang of it. My best friend Kandice also recently taught me how to french braid my hair and I am so excited to come up with new ways to use these hair sticks in the weeks to come.

I don't know if many of you have noticed over the years but I tend to hide behind my hair. Even a month or so ago I wouldn't have been caught dead posting a photo of myself on here with nothing but lipstick on and my hair completely out of my face. I have always had an insecurity of having a chubby face but sometime during 2016 when I was pregnant with Adrien that insecurity got worst and lead to me rarely wearing my hair up. It got to a point that I found myself always either wearing my hair down, even to the gym! I would rather sweat and have my hair down covering my cheeks than pull it up, haha.

Earlier this month I decided enough was enough and that I was going to slowly work on wearing my hair back and out of my face more. I have only been doing this for the past three weeks and I'm happy to say that I feel more confident in my skin. It has been nothing but liberating to get up in the morning and just throw in some braids or pull my hair back in a ponytail. I don't know why I have been so hard on myself all these years but I'm happy I broke that silly insecurity now than later (: 

OXO Tot Stick and Stay Suction Line

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by OXO Tot. All opinions are mine alone.
Mama is wearing: Dress || Head Scarf || Bracelets (Mantraband Promo Code CECILIA10 for 10% off) 
Adrien is wearing: Top
Oxo Tot Products: Stick & Stay Suction Divided Plate || Transitions Straw Cup 9oz

Adrien has never been a picky eater and it feels like he eats all day long! He is also very independent and likes to do things himself, one of those is cleaning up after himself. However, in the process of cleaning up he will sometimes accidentally spill his leftovers all over the floor. OXO Tot just released this amazing Stick & Stay collection and it's made both of our lives a little easier. Adrien's plate will stay in place so it's easier for him to eat and grab things and his plate is suctioned onto his tray or the table so only mama (or dada) can pick it up. Such a win-win for everyone!

All of the products OXO Tot sent us are high quality! They are definitely a step up from any generic store brand products we have purchased in the past. I'm wanting to replace all of our current children's dishware with OXO Tot after trying them out. I love that OXO Tot products come in easy to remove packaging. All of the stickers came right off without leaving any residue and the boxes were very easy to open! That is reason enough to purchase their products, you won't need a pair of scissors or a knife to cut into the packaging.

We are very pleased with our OXO Tot products and we highly recommend them to any little friends in need of dishware. 

MadeGood Granola Bars

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by MadeGood. All opinions are mine alone.
One of my favorite activities to do with my family during the spring & summer months are picnic/park hangouts! I love throwing a blanket, eating some yummy food, and watching our children play while reconnecting with Daryl after a long day of work. When it comes to picnic food I like to keep things simple. Sandwiches, water bottles, and a healthy snack are usually my go-to items. A nutritious snack our family has recently been introduced to are MadeGood granola bars! We are big fans of granola and knew these would be the perfect snack for our picnic.

I always have a MadeGood granola bar or two in my diaper bag for a quick and healthy snack! These little bars are perfect for little hands. I find that my boys are a bit wasteful when it comes to larger portions and these granola bars are the perfect portion size for them. MadeGood granola bars contain the nutrients of one full serving of veggies in each snack! Perfect for sneaking in those veggies most kids won't eat (; They are also organic, gluten-free, and non-GMO project verified, these three qualities are very hard to come across in a granola bar.

MadeGood granola bars are made in a dedicated facility free of eight common allergens (peanuts, tree nuts, wheat + gluten, dairy, egg, soy, sesame, & fish). My boys don't have any allergies that we are aware of but we have a couple friends that do. It's so nice to know I have a snack in my bag that Zaden & Adrien can share with all of their friends.

We picked up our MadeGood granola bars at our local Smiths (Kroger store). They are also available at Whole Foods or if you are an online shopper like myself, you can buy them in bulk on Amazon. I highly recommend checking them out, these little bars are essential for any summer activity.