Our visit to the Pumpkin Patch!

Growing up, I always loved Halloween. Most of the excitement was built around getting dressed up in costume, going trick-or-treating, and most importantly, eating ALL the candy. Though our family didn’t have traditions like going to the pumpkin patch or carving pumpkins (can you believe I carved my first pumpkin in my thirties?!), now as a mom, after my birthday on the 5th, it’s full on Halloween mode. JC’s birthday falls on the 26th and he is really into Halloween. Since we moved into our house and had Jack, JC has made it a priority to make the holiday really special for us all.

We just got a few more pumpkins and plan on carving them a few days before Halloween - the hot weather in LA doesn’t bode well for the survival of the carved creations. In years past, I have taken plenty of pictures, but I really wanted to document Jack going to the pumpkin patch in his adorable PAW Patrol Marshall costume this year.

PAW Patrol Marshall + dog costumes

As you may have seen in this blog post, we got a head start on celebrating Halloween this year with the PAW Patrol Pumpkin Push-In Kits. This time, Jack decided to dress up as Marshall from one of his favorite shows, PAW Patrol.  He was all too excited about the fact that his costume (only at Target) talks and says some of Marshall’s favorite phrases like, “I’m fired up!” I also couldn’t resist ordering some costumes for our pups too. Bamboo was content dressing up as Skye while Buster decided to go as Chase. As we got ready, Jack played with his set of PAW Patrol Pirate Pups Plush toys, PAW Patrol Pirate Pups Action Pack Gift Set figurines, and his PAW Patrol Pirate Pups - Pirate Vehicles and set them up to bring them along to the pumpkin patch. Our house has become Adventure Bay!  

He was a little sad that Buster and Bamboo couldn’t join our little outing to our favorite pumpkin patch, Mr. Bones. However, he was excited to bring the PAW Patrol Pirate Pups Plush along. We met up with our friend Harper, who was dressed as Shine from another Nickelodeon favorite, Shimmer and Shine!

Jack smiled when he saw her and said, “Mama, I seen that show before. I like it.” It was so cute watching him make the Marshall costume talk numerous times for Harper. She also gave the Skye PAW Patrol Pirate Pup Plush a super cute hug and kiss as soon as she saw it. Harper is a huge PAW Patrol fan too! There were so many adorable moments at the pumpkin patch. Here are some highlights from our awesome adventure. You can also see it all unfold in the video below and catch the exclusive talking feature in Jack’s new favorite costume!

They had so much fun at the petting zoo and running around in their costumes. Between the excitement the kids enjoyed snacking on PAW Patrol Fruit Snacks - lots of them. You can check out the way Jack and I documented the pre-Halloween fun in under 30 minutes in my traveler’s notebook.

Would love to hear if you have fun Halloween or pumpkin patch traditions in the comments!

You can snag your very own PAW Patrol Halloween costumes with sound, along with PAW Patrol Pirate Pups plush, PAW Patrol Pirate Pups - Pirate Vehicle Set and more only at Target!

PAW Patrol Marshall costume

Some photography by Kate Haus | This post is in collaboration with Nickelodeon, all ideas and opinions are my own. As always, my creative partners and I appreciate the support.

Jack's 3rd Birthday Party + Cheeky DIY

Firetruck themed birthday party

A couple months ago when I asked Jack what he wanted his birthday cake to be, he enthusiastically exclaimed, "FIRE TRUCK!" Since he seemed pretty set on the idea, I started keeping it in the back of my mind as a loose theme for his birthday party. My cousin makes his cake every year, so she had plenty of time to prepare and figure out the details to make his wish come true. I got the invitations designed and ordered about three weeks out, but it wasn't enough time to have them printed and mailed. Plus, let's be honest, I didn't have enough time to hand address every one of them like I wanted to. We got custom invites made by A Pretty Little Party (she also designed the ones for Jack's first birthday party) and sent them through Paperless Post. We collaborated with our friends at Cheeky and made a simple DIY out of their awesome plates, which you can see how to make near the end of this post. There's also a giveaway and chance to win your own party pack!

Our set up was fairly simple, we borrowed an awesome ride on firetruck and banner from Rachel since she threw two firetruck themed birthday parties for Grayson. We put one of Jack's firetrucks on the napkins because it was super windy that day and we didn't want them to blow away. JC roasted a pig and my mom made awesome potstickers, fried rice, crab rangoon, and egg rolls. I didn't get a photo of the spread of the food, but I did get it on video, which will hopefully be edited in the next month or so. Love that it's truly a family affair when it comes to putting these parties together. We used the same buckets for utensils as last year and you can check out his 2nd birthday video on YouTube.

The celebration was lots of fun. We booked Pump and Splash, which was super fun for the kids and even some adults. Since we are in a drought and on a water restriction, our grass is completely dead. One of the awesome things about Pump and Splash is that it recirculates the water. It was the perfect addition to go along with our theme. We also had The Beat Buds perform, which was super fun and entertaining. I first saw them when I scrapbooked Willow's (Pink's daughter's) 2nd birthday party. Since then we have seen them at tons of events and Jack is in love with both of their CD's. The kids were so engaged, playing the musical instruments and dancing along.

Last but not least, the cake! The cake Cindy made was a HUGE hit. Not only did it look amazing, but it tasted so good. And Jack for the first time blew out his candles on his own!

We used Cheeky plates, utensils and napkins, which are available in the party department, exclusively at Target. Here's the simple DIY you can create with just a few items.

Thanks for checking out some of the fun from Jack's party - wish you all could have been there! We had over 80 people, and I can't wait to get the video edited to share more of the fun. And extra special thanks to Cheeky for collaborating with me. Love working with awesome people at amazing companies making a positive impact. The best part is for every Cheeky pack you purchase, they give a meal through their partnership with Feeding America. Cheeky has now helped generate over 9 million meals since launching in November 2014! We also have some pieces from their modern and whimsical Cheeky Home collection we love using on a daily basis. I also shared some tips and my party playlist over on the Party Series on their blog.


  • Cheeky Party prize pack of our fall assortment:
    • Cheeky Party beverage napkins
    • Cheeky Party lunch napkins
    • Cheeky Party 7" snack plates
    • Cheeky Party 9" lunch plates
    • Cheeky Party cutlery
    • Cheeky Party table covers
  • Cheeky will also donate a meal for every person who enters on 9/22!

GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED - Congrats Thelma! You are the winner! TO ENTER: Leave a comment below with anything party related! Comments closed on September 26 at noon Pacific. Thanks to all who entered!

Courtney + Jon's wedding video and scrapbook pages

Best Wedding Video from Betsy Hansen on Vimeo.

I'm back in Florida for a few days. The last time I was here was for a very special occasion. My best friend's wedding is featured on this wedding blog and I'm overjoyed to be able to relive her big day. Here are some of the pages we made for her wedding album gift. Her photographers did an amazing job capturing her wedding, and there were so many photos to choose from. We printed the photos in 3x4 (current favorite size) with Persnickety Prints and the quality is unbeatable.amy tangerine amy tangerine amy tangerineSupplies: Shimelle collection | Amy Tangerine | and some Studio Calico kits thrown into the mix.

5 seconds of fame

zagat - amanda, kelly, amy - smilebooth
zagat - amanda, kelly, amy - smilebooth

Anytime Kelly Purkey invites me to be her +1 for an event, I have to say yes. Especially when it involves food and a photobooth. You can see us acting rather ridiculous (at around the 1:27 mark in this video) in the smilebooth at Zagat's 30 under 30 party. 

My Best Friend's Wedding

Courtney + Jon's Wedding via Amy Tangerine | Sunglow PhotographyI was honored to be Maid of Honor at my BFF's wedding. It was stunning, and I am so excited to share the stunning photos along with Courtney's words. Enjoy!Courtney + Jon's Wedding via Amy Tangerine | Sunglow PhotographyI have always dreamed of having my wedding at the home where I grew up. To this day, it remains one of my most favorite places in the whole world. As a little girl, I envisioned getting married in our church (conveniently located less than a mile away) and having the reception under a tent on the lake at my parents’ home.Courtney + Jon's Wedding via Amy Tangerine | Sunglow PhotographyCourtney + Jon's Wedding via Amy Tangerine | Sunglow PhotographyCourtney + Jon's Wedding via Amy Tangerine | Sunglow PhotographyI dreamed that the day would be full of laughter and dancing and great food and love! This was truly a dream come true for me.Courtney + Jon's Wedding via Amy Tangerine | Sunglow PhotographyWhen it came to a theme for the wedding, I allowed the location to dictate the direction we would take. Since we were getting married in central Florida, “Rustic Orange Grove” took over as the obvious choice! As a little girl, I had envisioned all of the pictures I would want to take to document the day and this place. My photographer, Dustin Prickett from Sunglow Photography, toured the property and instantly saw my vision! It was truly a match made in heaven! He even thanked me for picking him to shoot our big day. What a great guy, right!?!?Courtney + Jon's Wedding via Amy Tangerine | Sunglow PhotographyCourtney + Jon's Wedding via Amy Tangerine | Sunglow PhotographyCourtney + Jon's Wedding via Amy Tangerine | Sunglow PhotographyFor details, my mom was incredible! She worked tirelessly for a year making all of the accents that truly brought my visions to life. She created ceramic heart napkin rings, decorated hundreds of mason jars, cooked homemade dog biscuits, and became an expert in all things burlap!Courtney + Jon's Wedding via Amy Tangerine | Sunglow PhotographyCourtney + Jon's Wedding via Amy Tangerine | Sunglow PhotographyCourtney + Jon's Wedding via Amy Tangerine | Sunglow PhotographyWe worked with a local florist, Philip Burkhart, to rent mismatched china and silverware for the place settings, and he utilized the idea book we created for him to make flower arrangements that were exactly to my specifications.Courtney + Jon's Wedding via Amy Tangerine | Sunglow PhotographyCourtney + Jon's Wedding via Amy Tangerine | Sunglow PhotographyCourtney + Jon's Wedding via Amy Tangerine | Sunglow PhotographyIf there is any advice I could give a bride for her big day, this would be it! If you know exactly what you want, be sure to communicate that with your vendors. Thanks to dreaming of this day for my whole life, I had very specific ideas of what I wanted. Delivering pictures, outlines, descriptions, and having pre-event meetings with vendors made a huge difference in the dream becoming a reality."Courtney + Jon's Wedding via Amy Tangerine | Sunglow PhotographyCourtney + Jon's Wedding via Amy Tangerine | Sunglow PhotographyCourtney + Jon's Wedding via Amy Tangerine | Sunglow PhotographyHaving the wedding of my dreams was truly incredible. I could not be more grateful to the friends, family, and vendors who helped make it a reality. If you have the opportunity to get married at home, consider it. Our wedding had more of a feeling of love and community than any other wedding I have ever attended. All of our friends pitched in and were able to feel like this was something that they helped create.Courtney + Jon's Wedding via Amy Tangerine | Sunglow PhotographyCourtney + Jon's Wedding via Amy Tangerine | Sunglow PhotographyCourtney + Jon's Wedding via Amy Tangerine | Sunglow PhotographyWhat better way to start a marriage than with the full support of all of the ones that you love? A wedding is a day, but a marriage is a lifetime; and Jon and I are grateful to have such an incredible support system to take the journey with us!Courtney + Jon's Wedding via Amy Tangerine | Sunglow PhotographyAll photos by Sunglow Photography