I can’t believe our baby girl turns 2 today! It has been another fun year of watching her grow and learn. She continues to crack us up with her silly antics and teach us what it means to live each day to the fullest! She has a big heart and an even bigger list of daily to-dos… usually consisting of play, play and play some more.

This year we decided to forgo a big party like her first birthday and enjoyed celebrating at home with close family. We had a small BBQ one day and on another, I put together a mini party for her and her cousins to enjoy. Her birthday theme was inspired by her personality as well as her beloved stuffed Zebra, given to her by my best friend.

Her Little Miss Sunshine themed first birthday (as featured on Hostess with the Mostess) encompassed her carefree and cheerful attitude as a baby and while she’s still very much a happy girl, she has also become more and more active (or “wild", as my husband and I like to describe it). Wild in the best description possible; she isn’t afraid to run free, explore and live in the moment but it does make for one exhausted mama and dada who try to keep up. However, we wouldn’t have it any other way. So it seemed fitting to throw her an “In <> the Wild” birthday party complete with crafts and treats…also, two of her favorite things besides playing.


My husband and I started a tradition last year that we would create something heart made to gift her every birthday in addition to selecting an organization to give back to. We know she’s still a little young to fully comprehend what it means to give back but we look forward to the day she does.

This year we built a wooden playhouse frame for her to enjoy all the creative play she has been engaging in. We hope it will only give her more opportunities to explore the wonderful world of imagination. It also served as the perfect backdrop for the mini dessert table that featured a variety of treats and decorative elements.

I kept the party decor and stationery design mostly monochromatic but added a few splashes of color with a heavy focus on geometric patterns.

To create the same lettering effect as seen on the stationery pieces, I overlapped transparency film against colored card stock for the birthday banner.

Mini canvas art easels and wood letters were custom painted in black and transformed into place cards. And no party is complete without a few noisemakers and party poppers.

When coming up with a craft project, I wanted something simple that didn’t require a lot of supplies. The personalized sun catcher was a hit and made for a fun keepsake.

There were plenty of treats to nibble on…or in this case, stuff your face with.  The mini dark chocolate naked cake was definitely a crowd pleaser.

I loved seeing how much fun she had with her cousins. My hope for Carli is that she will continue to dream, explore and create as she continues to grow older.

While I love throwing parties, the act of giving is what makes my heart beat!  Giving to others on your birthday is one of the best ways to celebrate. It is on our birthday that we are reminded of the abundant blessings we have in life and to be able to share that with others is truly a gift. This is something we will continue to instill in Carli as she grows.  

In celebration of Carli's 2nd birthday, I’ve teamed up with some amazing shop owners to gift one winner the following:

1. Freshly Picked moccasins in your choice of color/size ($60 value)

2. The Minted Moose - $15 shop credit 

3. Swallow’s Return - $45 shop credit   

4. Brimila Baby - $40 shop credit 

5. Pirouette Photography - $100 off your next photo session (offer valid until July 2016 towards a photo session within 50 miles of Pasadena, CA)

Plus, we are giving away a fully customizable party printable package in your party theme of choice.  (Theme subject to approval. Please note, no printed materials will be shipped.)

In addition, I would love for you to partner with us in giving back together.  In my search to find a cause, I came across The Dreaming Zebra Foundation, a non-profit that believes all children, regardless of their financial circumstances, should have access to art education. They raise funds and receive donations in order to provide art & music supplies to underprivileged children throughout the world with a goal to encourage children to embrace their individuality, to express themselves creatively, and to follow their artistic dreams. I couldn’t have found a more fitting charity!

So how can you help support this amazing organization? Just enter the giveaway and share with your friends and family! Designs by Yu will donate 730 paintbrushes (1 paintbrush for each day of Carli's life so far) to The Dreaming Zebra Foundation when we reach 730 entires. So how about it? Not only will you have a chance at winning the sweet giveaway package, you’ll be helping to provide much needed art supplies to some well-deserved kids.

To enter, simply sign up for our mailing list below. For additional entries, be sure to do the following and mark that you have done so via the Rafflecoptor widget:

1. Like us on Facebook

2. Follow us on Instagram

3. Comment below: One thing you can do in the next few days to brighten someone's day.

Receive 5 extra entries for each when you do the following:

4. Repost our giveaway image on Instagram (@designsbyyu) with #c2giveaway #freshlypicked

5. Share our giveaway image on Facebook (Designs by Yu)

Even if you don't have kids, it would be a wonderful way to spread the love and gift it someone you know that does. Open to US and Canada residence only. The giveaway will run from Friday, June 19th through Friday, July 3rd. Winner will be chosen at random and will be announced on Monday, July 6th. All entries will be verified and the winner is responsible for contacting Designs by Yu within 48 hours of being announced or a new winner will be selected.  You must not have won a FP giveaway within the last 60 days to be eligible.


Design, Styling, Invitation, Party Printables, Paper Flower, Zebra Pillow, Cake + Goodies: Designs by Yu 

Photography: Pirouette Photography  

Weathered Brown Moccasins: Freshly Picked   

Organic Knotted Geo Feather Headband: The Minted Moose

Girl’s Cotton Dress with Geo Print Detail: Swallow’s Return

Long Sleeve B&W Abstract Stripes: Brimila Baby

Livvy Long Jumpsuit: Cotton On Kids

Perforated Scrunch Flats: Old Navy

Into the Wild Teepee Cushion Pillow: Cotton On Kids 

a Rafflecopter giveaway