Pink Superhero Party

I'm finally getting around to posting Lila's Pink Superhero birthday party that we celebrated in July!  I had a lot of fun with this theme.  The printables for this party are available in my Etsy shop here.  It's been featured on Kara's Party Ideas and Catch My Party.  The girls' capes are from Neverland Nook on Etsy, and the favor capes and masks are from Fun Kidz Stuff on Etsy.


Decorating a Big Empty Wall!

We were having dinner in the dining room one night and I was sitting on the side of the table that faces the staircase to the upper level of our house.  I found myself staring at the completely blank almost 20 sq. ft. wall thinking, "Wow!  That looks really bare..."  Of course that was about seven months ago, so I obviously wasn't in a hurry to fix it, but the problem was really that I had no idea what to do with it.  I knew I didn't want to do a gallery wall- way too much work!  And purchasing art large enough for the space seemed really expensive and complicated.  I'm not exactly sure when I decided on this idea, but on one of the first decent weather days we had I took the girls and my camera to the park.  I got some great shots of them, so I finally ordered three 20x30s from Costco for $8.99 each.  I mounted each photo to a 20x30 piece of foam board from Office Depot using double sided tape, and hung them with Quakehold (quick tip if you go this route: use at least a nickel sized piece per top corner, or else they may jump off the wall!). Not only is this a budget friendly project, but you also don't have to feel bad if you want to switch the pictures in a few months!  Plus, no holes in the wall!  So far we love how they look.  These and the big photo strips are my two new favorite ways to fill up space.

Baby Love Shower

This weekend we hosted the sweetest baby shower for my sister in law!  She's having a girl!  When I asked her if she had any theme or color preferences, she responded with, "just lots of pink!"  I had no trouble with that request! :)  I went with a baby love theme, with light pink and coral and gold accents.  I loved every minute of planning!  We decided to do a sit down lunch buffet on the deck and luckily the weather cooperated... mostly.  It was sunny and warm and beautiful, but the wind was a little crazy.  We had to retrieve a few napkins and hold down our skirts, but the guests were so much fun, and we all had a great time!









The Décor:
It's no secret that I love tissue paper poms.  I really can't get enough of them, especially on my chandelier.  Every time I make a pom pom chandelier it stays up for a month because it makes me happy. :)  I reused some poms and lanterns from Martha Stewart and bought a few new ones on Etsy in the party colors.  The outdoor tables were decorated with white linens and a table runner made from wrapping paper I purchased at Target.  The color was perfect for the party and you can't beat the price!  I reused my gold chargers and milk glass vases for the tables and bought gold frames at  Dollar Tree for the love messages and other signs.  The napkin rings were pink ribbon, a punched out gold heart and a skeleton key tied together.  I really love skeleton keys so I had to fit them in.  I think they kind of work with the baby love theme... the key to my heart... maybe? :)  I also had to have dipped silverware after seeing it online a few times.  I painted the ends of the some Dollar Tree silverware ballet pink and coral isle.  The flowers were probably my favorite part of the whole party.  I had my heart set on peonies and luckily we snuck right under the wire of peony season!  I dropped by the local farmer's market the day before the party and bought light pink and dark coral peonies and they were gorgeous!  I can't get over how much they looked like the pom poms in the chandelier!  The invitation and the printables from this party will be up in my Etsy shop soon!
We decided against traditional baby shower games, but I liked the idea of an activity to give everyone something to do.  Hair clip making was the answer!  I set up a clip making station under the pom pom chandelier and the guests really got into it!  To make it easy, I pre-lined clips with a variety of ribbons and then set out bows, buttons, flowers etc. so each guest could design their own.  They put them on a little piece of cardstock and signed their name.  We also had a baby name suggestion jar as well as a place to write a note to the baby girl!
Food and Drinks:
Lucky for me, my husband is an amazing cook.  He designed the whole menu for the event and prepared all of the food himself, with the exception of the orzo salad and a few desserts.  The food was fabulous!  I've spent the last two days eating leftovers. :)  The only contributions I made to the menu were the heart shaped pies which were pretty easy to make.  The macarons were from Trader Joe's and the other desserts and orzo salad were from Whole Foods.  For beverages we offered wine, a champagne cart for mimosas and bellinis, water, soda and pink lemonade.
The mama to be made berry jam from scratch to give as favors!  Not only that, she decorated the jars with gorgeous fabric and a darling little tag that even included the ingredients!  Such a great favor and so delicious!
The shower was a blast and I cannot wait to meet my niece in a month or so!  Next up is a super cute pink superhero party... stay tuned... :)
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Bloom Designs Online

A Cowboy and Cowgirl Birthday Party!

A few weeks ago my friend Becky of Studio 623 Photography, threw an adorable cowboy/cowgirl birthday party for two of her kiddos!  I was lucky enough to design some party printables that evolved into a new collection, which will be up in the shop soon!  The party was complete with pony rides, a scavenger hunt, pin the tail on the donkey and a piñata!  The kids had a blast!  Here are some of the photos!


What a sweet birthday girl, watching the ponies arrive!
Birthday boy and girl blowing out their candles!
 Camille with the birthday girl!
I just love this picture of Camille!

Here's Lila with the look she gives people who look at her. :)

Party Styling and Photography- Studio 623 Photography
Cupcakes- Cowgirl Cupcake
Party Printables- Northwest Lovelies 

Traveling with Toddlers

We're getting closer to a trip to Disneyland!  I like to start packing early because I love it.  I am by no means a travel expert, but we've had a number of pretty successful flights with the kids so far, from 2 month old baby to preschooler, so I thought I'd share some of my packing strategies for a kid friendly carry-on. 

I start by making a list with these categories:
- Eating
- Pottying
- Entertainment
- Sleep/Comfort
- Keeping Clean

What items will be absolutely necessary to get the girls through these events on the plane?  Obviously these have changed as they've grown, so the things we pack now are very different from what we packed when they were younger.  I also have to take into consideration the length of travel time, not just the flight, but the layovers, waiting for the rental car, waiting for check-in....

This trip involves a relatively quick flight- just about 2 hours, so we'll probably only pack a few snacks that aren't too messy and that I know the girls like.  We pack more options for longer flights. Treats are super helpful when you need a bribe for good behavior!  We also like to bring some type of lollipop for take off and landing.  My girls still do better with sippy cups, so we bring those (empty) on board as well.   In the past we've also packed a few disposable bibs, disposable stick-on placemats, and kid sized utensils. Some of the snacks we've packed:
- Peanut butter and honey sandwich cut up in bite sized pieces in a small tupperware container
- crackers
- fruit snacks
- grapes
- dehydrated fruit

We have one potty trained and one in pull-ups, so I'll pack extra undies and about twice as many pull-ups as I think we'll need (just in case!)  I like to pack a gallon sized bag with everything I need in the event of a diaper change (wipes, plastic baggies, disposable changing mat) so I can just grab it and go.  The disposable toilet covers are also nice because they cover the entire seat when your little one grabs the sides to hold on! 

Obviously as soon as they're old enough, the dvd players/ipads/iphones/insert technical device here, are miracle workers on an airplane!  We use the kid sized headphones and download their favorite tv shows or movies onto our ipads.  Thankfully both girls are finally old enough to use and be entertained by an ipad for an extended period of time!  However, if we have a long flight I like to bring other entertainment options just in case, keeping in mind that space is very limited.  It's also extremely helpful that items be new to them and therefore more exciting.  Here are some of the things we've packed over the years:
- paper back books (Goodwill is a great place for these!) or kid magazines
- sticker activity books (we spent a lot of time picking a sticker and finding where it went- this kept Lila busy for about an hour on one flight!)
- Crayola Color Wonder stuff (or any non-messy coloring activity!)
- crayons and paper
- stickers and paper
- travel magnadoodle
- soft activity books
- baby touch and feel flash cards
- mini photo album with family photos
- various baby toys (the non noise making kind) with the exception of Sophie the Giraffe
- a silicone basting brush (seriously, it was pretty entertaining)

The most difficult age for air travel for our girls was between about 9 months and 18 months.  Their attention span was about 3 minutes long and they just wanted to move!  I felt like I had an acrobat on my lap for 5 hours.  My suggestion is to have a variety of distracting activities available and get yourself a glass of wine. ;)

For this trip, we don't really have to worry about either of these because they probably won't sleep and neither girl has a lovey or blankie etc. For a long flight we always bring carseats on board though, because they sleep much better in them than hunched over in a seat or across our laps. We travel with Safety First Avenue carseats.  I chose them based on safety ratings, weight, reviews on ease of use, and because the girls won't grow out of them for awhile. They've been great travel carseats, but we have had some problems installing them rear facing in rental cars. In the photo I also show a pair of earplugs designed to help kids with the air pressure changes. We've never actually used them, but I always have them on hand, just in case.

Keeping Clean:
Purell, baby wipes, antibacterial wipes, tissues.  All are good.  I pack as big of a package of wipes as I can fit!  I like to bring one or two plastic grocery bags as well to collect any wrappers, used wipes etc.  I ALWAYS pack an extra outfit for each girl in a ziplock bag.  If they need it (which they have a few times!) I can put it on and put the dirty outfit back in the bag. When the girls were younger I also packed an extra outfit for myself- usually just a cotton dress that I could fold up small in a ziplock bag.  Once, before kids, I witnessed a poor young mom (in a cute outfit no less), experience a diaper blow out on her lap!!  She had nothing to change into!!  I'm pretty sure I will never forget how sad she looked and how bad it smelled. :(

The other important item here is the actual bag itself.  I've used a few different carry-ons, mostly diaper bags.  My favorite travel diaper bag so far is actually a messenger bag from Pottery Barn Teen!  I love the fact that it has a ton of pockets, the top flap buckles closed, and that the strap is long enough that I can hang it over the handle of our double stroller.  

Another tip is that I don't bring my purse on the plane.  I put any necessities for myself (wallet, sunglasses etc.) in the diaper bag, so I have one less thing to carry!
Here it is, all packed up!
P.S. Amazon isn't paying me to link to them, but I wanted to show examples and I buy almost everything on Amazon. ;)
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Recycled Crayon Gift Tags

Spring is the time of year when our calendar starts filling up with birthday parties!  We were on our third party when I decided we should get creative with the gift wrapping.  I've never made a recycled crayon, but have always wanted to, and thought that the shape would be perfect as a gift tag!  We started by taking the wrappers off of the broken crayons (which is an excellent task for keeping little hands busy!) and then melting them in an old mini muffin tin in the oven at 275 degrees for a few minutes.
When they were still slightly warm, I poked a hole near the top with a skewer (don't wait until they've cooled or they'll crack!), and then stuck them in the freezer for a little while (that way they pop out really easily).
The girls colored some brown kraft paper to use as wrapping paper.
We added a paper circle by punching a tiny hole near the top, and strung the two together with monofilament.  Then we wrapped the gifts with jute twine.
The girls really enjoyed making crayons and designing their own wrapping paper!  I may have had a little too much fun making the crayons.  I had to stop myself when I was breaking perfectly good crayons so I could melt them down and see how they turned out. :)

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