One of the most exciting part of motherhood is celebrating milestones of the children’s lives. I am happy to introduce My friend Linda who threw an amoozing (yeah moo for the theme was cow) party to celebrate her son’s birthday last year. She has hosted and styled many beautiful parties for her family and friends and has agreed to share a little bit about her style and process with me today. I think we don’t celebrate moms enough- Linda is a woman of many talents. Born and raised in a beautiful Eastern European country, Latvia, She left home in 2001 and has been traveling ever since. She studied Art in latvia, majoring in oil painting, pencil sketching and collage. She is a certified Level 1 Tea-Sommelier and a certified advance makeup artist. She has lived and worked in Switzerland, the USA, the UAE and the UK. She immigrated to Canada in 2007, got married and now has a very precious baby boy. Last year she quit her job in the hospitality industry and started her own business to be able to spend more time with her family. She is a freelance professional make up artist specializing in bridal, special events, beauty and editorial make up – Visit her website here. Over to Linda now:
Linda and her son Sandis
I have always loved planning different events for my family and styling them with different themes, whether it was a Christmas concert where my brother performed for the family or stage presentations in school, Baby showers or weddings. I also have a higher diploma in Event Planning and Management. My biggest event was of course planning my own wedding in Latvia with influences from Latvian culture and incorporating my husband’s Indian roots.It was an east-meets-west event which came together quite spectacularly- I wore a white dress with burgundy red shoes, adorned with Indian jewelery and the hair and makeup was inspired from the Bollywood movies from the 80s.
I am really interested in planning and styling an event, from the theme to decor to the food and every other detail. When it came to my son’s first birthday I wanted to do something that was bright and vibrant and personal at the same time.
The Sahoo family
I started planning my son’s birthday three months in advance. I knew I wanted to do something special and the idea I came up was to tie the whole party together around his favorite toy (a stuffed cow who wears a sea blue sweater). The main colors for the decor were black, white and Sea blue. I was disappointed to see all that was available in party stores were boring shades of browns greens and blues for boys whereas there were many brightly colored party themes available for girls so I had to customize the look I wanted for this party.
I looked around on Etsy and found Colleen of ASweetCelebration who agreed to making the birthday banner and turned my vision into reality. She made the banner and the 12 months banner both in similar color palettes.
My mom had flown in from Europe for her grandson’s first birthday and was a great help in putting the rest of the decor together. I found very pretty material in ocean blue with kind of golden pattern on it for the table at the local sewing store on sale but unfortunately it was not long enough, so I had to borrow black table skirt for the table from the Banff Centre where my husband works. It took a while to decide what to do as a backdrop for the table, and I decided to make 6 garlands 6ft in length, with craft-paper circles of various sizes in blue, light blue and black which we stitched through with the thread. On the window itself we placed yellow plastic table cloth cut into rectangular shape, and then hanged a custom frame, which we painted in coordinating color together with Letter “S”. That created a focal point.
We had Indian fusion buffet, and sweet table was color coordinated. We had lollipops, which looked like sugar sticks in blue, yellow and white, as well as candy in similar hues. My mother and I made the cupcakes from scratch and created the cow figurines from marshmallow and gum paste…we were basing it on a drawing and some knowledge of cake decorating. The cake pops were dark chocolate brownie in flavor, and we just added some food coloring to white melted chocolate to get that exact color. Again all made at home using Wilton supplies.
The cake was cream cherry cake custom made for us was initially a bit of a disappointment as it was plain white cake with green/blue spots- nothing like I had envisioned. Early in the morning I had to salvage it to make it look more like I initially intended, and added some black patches, gumpaste flowers and one of the cows we made for the cupcakes.So in the end, it looked pretty decent.
Picture frame with Sandis’ picture we painted ourselves to achieve the exact color.
Sandis wore bow tie outfit through the day, and later on I changed him into cow tea shirt and pants, purchased for the occasion. As a guest favor, we used kid umbrellas which where cow themed too.
At the end of the day I was very satisfied with the outcome.
One last question, How has your experience been of living in so many different places around the globe?
I’ve lived in Latvia, Switzerland, France, USA, UAE, UK and Canada. I have extensively traveled through Europe as well in my teenage years both with family and as part of volleyball team…and I also have been to Russia. For me it’s boring to live in one place for a long time…I love to experience new environments, cultures, values…it changes your perspective on things and values in life, you learn something new. Sometimes, you have to be brave enough to take a leap into unknown, especially when you leave the first time all by yourself to live/work in totally unknown country without a single friend or family member there by your side but it has always been very rewarding, and I guess made me a “richer”, more broad minded person. I have always thought that In the end, if I don’t like it, I can always go back to my home, Latvia, to where I am from..to my safe haven…life is too short and there is so much to experience out in this world!
For the time being our home is Canada…but it can change any time really 🙂
Thanks Linda, for taking the time to talk to us. I can’t wait to see her ideas for event styling this year!
Three Six SIx