I've been thinking a lot about blogging and social media recently, and more specifically, where my place is in the middle of it all. I have found myself yearning to further connect with other women and mothers and to learn from all of you. I want to share more of myself and my passions, and to encourage, inspire, and teach others in the things that I have learned and experienced through motherhood. I also want to help Holden pursue his passions and let this be a place that he can do that, alongside me.
2015 was a whirlwind year. After the birth of Gray, I felt as though I was in a fog, my creativity lost somewhere amongst the late night and early morning feedings. The brain power to focus and cultivate my passions was non existent. Where words once flowed freely, exiting out the tips of my fingers and onto my keyboard, my thoughts were suddenly silent. I didn't worry though. I knew that one day, most likely when I started to get more sleep, the haze would clear and I would find my voice again.
The end of 2015 is when I started to find myself again and it truly all began with Holden's request to put on a local event. From there, my creativity started slowly seeping back in...I just had to brush off the layer of dust or two. Today, my mind is bursting with ideas and my heart exploding with possibilities and excitement. It feels good to be in this space right now.
So what prompted this sudden burst of clarity? Well, over the holiday season, we did something we have never done and put together and hosted an event here in San Diego when Holden decided he wanted to put on a toy drive to give to kids in need. We loved getting to meet some of you in person and work with a large number of our favorite small businesses and brands to give back to our community.
I shared this event over on 100 Layer Cakelet at the end of last year, but I wanted to also share the images here. This event was so refreshing, motivating, and uplifting for both Holden and myself and I look forward to following our passions and doing even more this year.
^^^The entrance to Ollie & Me, the cutest baby boutique in town
^^^All of the goodies in the swag bags we gave away to our guests
^^^Sweet Treats by Hey There Cupcake. Seriously the best treats you will ever taste. People could not stop talking about these and they were gone in a matter of seconds. Glad I snagged one before the event started ;)
^^^Absolutely stunning florals by L&S Design Co.
^^^Crafting by Hello Maypole
^^^Hullabaloo Steve rocking out
^^^Photobooth fun by Box Booth Collective
^^^Photobooth backdrop by The Shift Creative
^^^Giveaways for all of the people that donated a toy at the event
^^^All of the donated toys!!!
Background on the event....
When Christmas decor starting popping up everywhere at the end of December, Holden could not stop talking about Christmas…specifically what he wanted for Christmas…about twenty times a day. I knew I needed to change the conversation because two months of hearing “I want” on daily basis was going to drive me crazy. We started discussing the true meaning of Christmas which led to Holden expressing interest in helping other children that weren’t as fortunate as he, specifically bringing them toys.
So together, with friends Kelli Murray and her daughter Rylee, we came up with the idea to host a holiday party and toy drive, which we called Holiplay Holiday, for parents and children to party, sing, dance, craft, and give back. We hoped that by inviting kids to our fun event, that we could encourage other children to get involved in giving back this holiday season.
Cheri from Ollie & Me (the cutest baby and children's boutique you have ever stepped foot in) was kind enough to let us use her boutique for the event. Located on State Street in downtown Carlsbad, it was the perfect location for gathering a group of local moms and kiddos.
We collaborated with some amazing vendors, brands and businesses to create this wonderful event and when it was all said and done, we had hundreds of donated toys. The day before the event, we heard that the Salvation Army in San Diego had a shortage of toys, so we decided that was where we wanted to donate the toys from the event and we were able to donate two huge carloads of toys to the Salvation Army.
To encourage people to come out to the event and donate to our toy drive, we partnered with some amazing brands and businesses to giveaway some great products for both the children and mothers in attendance.
The first 25 guests to arrive at the event received a Petunia Pickle Bottom Shopping Tote stuffed with fun goodies from some of our favorite brands, including Steam Train, Dream Train from Chronicle Books, a reindeer from Build-A-Bear, a puzzle from BabyLit, sunglasses from Roshombo Baby, a pair of socks from Pals Socks, a hat from Grom Squad, skin products from Babyganics, and free lashes from Ciao Bella.
Throughout the event, we ran giveaways for those that donated a toy including
- Solly Baby Wraps and Swaddles
- Freshly Picked moccasins,
- Strider Bikes,
- A playtent from the Land of Nod,
- Scooters from Micro Kickboards
- A nights stay at The Holidays Camp Community
- A necklace from James Michelle
- A Rudolph necklace from Gunner and Lux
- A blanket bundle from Little Giraffe
- A gift certificate to UnderBelly Restaurant from Please and Thank You Liquor Bar
We had live music by Hullabaloo, a crafting station where moms and kids could make a snowman ornament by Hello Maypole, a photobooth by Mobile Photo Booth, and
We had live music by the ever so popular kids band, Hullabaloo Steve, for singing and dancing, ornament crafting by Hello Maypole taught by Jeadore Blogger, a photo booth by Mobile Photo Booth with a fun wintery backdrop created by The Shift Creative, and the Micro Truck parked out front to demo Micro Kickboard scooters for all of the little ones.
It was all very last minute and I couldn't have been happier that it all came together so perfectly.