Beth's "Belles" and Whistles

Monday, February 14, 2011

Start with a Theme!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Good morning all!  It is one of my favorite holidays today, Valentine's Day!  I love celebrating "LOVE" - pretty cards, yummy chocolate treats, dates with my hubby . . . all the "belles" and whistles!  Yet as I'm finishing my bowl of cereal and watching cartoons with Meagan, I realize that there are some other great reasons to celebrate this February 14, 2011: First of all, the government is going to start processing taxes today - Can you say "REFUND" on the way? Thank the Lord!! Second, today is the launch of Disney's new channel for toddlers, Disney JUNIOR! I can already tell this is going to be a BIG deal at my house!  Next, today marks the second day in a row that Meagan has made it to the potty without accidents in her training panties!  Whoo, hoo!!!  And last but not least, I finally started this blog!!!

As promised, today I want to tackle the subject of HOW TO'S; but, before we get down to the nitty gritty of detailed instructions, I think we should follow the advice of Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music, "Let's start at the very beginning, a very good place to start.  When you read, you begin with A-B-C, when you sing, you begin with Doe-Ray-Me," and when you plan, you begin with Sim-ple-Themes! For those of you who know me personally, you realize that I'm totally singing as I type this, right?

Anyway, "to start at the very beginning," you need to decide on a simple theme.  I love themes, I even created a theme for this blog - "Belles and Whistles!"  However, not everyone shares my love of coming up with themes.  In fact, most people tell me that they hate planning events because they cannot visualize the end result!  You want to know a secret?  Shhh, sometimes I can't come up with the big picture either!  Don't tell!

However, one of my favorite professors from the Department of Education at Lee University, the late and GREAT, Dr. Cliff Schimmels, always told his students, "The BEST teachers do not create their own great lesson plans, the BEST teachers borrow them!"  I've decided that this bit of advice applies to most parts of my life: teaching, parenting, writing, and even, planning!   If you're going to start at the beginning by deciding on a theme, and you cannot visualize or create one yourself, BORROW, BORROW, BORROW!

The Internet is a great resource for ideas!  For example, when I said that I would host my friend Amanda's baby shower for her twin boys, I had no idea what my "Sim-ple Theme" would be!  However, I did know that she was having twin boys and that she needed diapers . . . so using that knowledge, I did a google search on "Baby Showers for Twins" and that search led me to "Two Peas in a Pod" and a google search on "Two Peas in a Pod" plus "diapers" led me to pics of some super cute, albeit expensive, "Two Peas in a Pod" Diaper Cakes, and the rest is history!

Please don't mistake my advice, I'm not suggesting that you completely steal someone else's ideas!  Rather, I'm just saying to browse their ideas for inspiration!  Once you find your inspiration, you can fill in the details with your original thoughts! 

Now, since it is Valentine's Day, I want to leave you with some pics of my "Sim-ple Theme" Valentine's Baby Shower for Mrs. Jessica's Sweet Heart Sara Grace!  I was just an ASSISTANT hostess at this shower last weekend. I cannot take credit for all of the "belles and whistles" pictured here; however, I can say that the end result started with my BORROWED "Sim-ple-Theme!"  I hope you enjoy them, and Happy Valentine's Day!  Remember, "These three remain: faith, hope, and love.  But the greatest of these is love." ~ 1 Corinthians 13:13

Diaper Cake by Beth Durham

Top and Bow by Elise Claire Designs
Tutu and Wings by

Diaper Cake by Beth Durham

Cake Decoration by Jennifer Barnes

Chocolate Covered Strawberries by Beth Durham

Party Favors by April Gillispie

 P.S. - I will eventually get to the "nuts and bolts" and "how to's" for my diaper cakes . . . but as for when, you'll just have to keep checking my blog site for updates!


  1. This is all so beautiful!!! Think of it, you love to put this together, and people like me would pay you to do it. I think you should sell packages for showers and party's. Love you much.

  2. Thanks Sharon!!! I guess I just need to get myself together on ETSY and figure it all out!!! Love you too!!!