Thursday, September 7, 2017

Our Tribe’s Birthday Party

Months of planning finally paid off and we had an amazing time celebrating our tribe’s birthdays all together! Willie turns 32, I turned 30 (ekkk), and Hartley turned 3 all within a few weeks of one another, so I thought, why not have a combination birthday bash?!? Oh and finding out I was pregnant (YES) on July 4th weekend pushed me even further to have the most amazing surprise for our family and friends in September.

So SURPRISE!! We are having our 2nd child. The first trimester was stressful. I am so lucky in some ways to have skipped this nervous, anxious, worrisome first 3 months with Hartley. But we made it and everything looks healthy so far, so onto our second trimester already…whew.

We are very blessed to have such an amazing support system. Our family and friends always go over and beyond to help and support us, so having this party to enjoy with them was fabulous. I made heavy appetizers and with help we rounded out a great menu that kept everyone full and happy. Ohhh and did I mention these adorable DIY teepee food labels I made using scrapbook paper, chalk labels, and little feather toothpicks from Hobby Lobby? I mean…how perfect are they?

For the cake I bought 3 different round cake sizes and flavors from Whole Foods and tiered and decorated myself. It turned out perfect! I will have to do a detailed post on this, because for a little over $60 this cake turned out perfect and was super yummy!!

Some other details I created were using leftover mini dreamcatchers from Hartley’s room, making fun kid goodie bags, farmers market flowers, fun tribal designed plates, napkins, toothpicks from Hobby Lobby.

Thank you everyone again for showering us with love and support!

Photos: Kimberly Lyddane Photography

My Makeup: Beauty By Brigid

Friday, March 17, 2017

Vintage Inspired Girl’s Room

I’m so excited to finally have this room DONE!

I wanted a whimsical vintage room with a splash of bohemian flair for my daughter, and I think I accomplished that. First change was the beautiful grey paint color which is Sherwin Williams Mindful Gray. Then the wallpaper…oh the highly debated, highly contentious wallpaper. I fell in LOVE with this botanical wallpaper and just thought it would bring such a fun unique touch to the room without a huge cost (keep an eye out for the price, I got it when it was $0.98/sq ft). We got it up but not without Willie saying about a 100 times “I hate this” and “wallpaper is stupid”. If there is one thing that can cause divorce, it may be putting up wallpaper together 😉 BUT we made it and he loves it now. This wallpaper was a pre-pasted roll that you spray on and let sit for a few minutes and then apply to the wall. I found the pre-pasted much harder to work with then the traditional gluing method I did in the bathroom. It wasn’t as manageable and wasn’t as sticky so it slid and the edges would not lay down. We have a few mistakes, but for not being pros, I think we did a fabulous job…and we are still married.

The furniture is the same as what we used in her nursery. Willie’s grandmother’s furniture set included a twin headboard, so I really wanted to incorporate all the pieces in her new room. It has such an amazing sentimental value and vintage look that just makes it perfect for her.  I got an organic bamboo mattress for her and stunning Target bedding. She is really going to sleep like a princess.

Oh the chandelier…gorgeous. We just happened to stumble across this $200 beauty and because our Lowes had it on clearance and then it was the only one left so we took the display, we got it for $80. Added a little ceiling medallion and my super handy husband got it wired for me. I always get the best shoulder workouts on fixture changes, because I get the gruntwork of holding the thing up while he wires…maybe I need to learn so he can hold!

The giraffe lamp was from Homegoods. The gold framed art was $5 from the thrift store (I am thinking of making into a button art piece or getting a friend to print out a stencil for me and painting the glass). The large pallet art is from Willie’s cousin that was a shower gift (if you haven’t checked her out on Etsy, you need to). And my favorite part, the amazing DIY dreamcathers. The rest of the décor are just some of her favorite books, leftover flowers, knickknacks from great-grandparents, grandparents and photos. I want to add a large laundry basket under corner floating shelves, but for now, it’s perfect.

This girl better get ready because she is about to get a HUGE surprise!

Monday, February 27, 2017

DIY Doily Bohemian Dreamcatcher

Hope everyone had a fabulous Valentine’s Day! I took Hartley to get her nails painted for the very first time and she LOVED it. She got one hand pink and one hand red with sparkles on-top (of course). If you’ve been following my blog for a while I am superstitious and have to have my nails painted OPI Big Apple Red for Valentine’s Day, since my first date with Willie (13 years ago, oh my gosh) he picked me up from the nail salon and I had that color and we’ve been going strong since. Hartley was so proud and showed EVERYONE her nails at dinner, ahhh she melts my heart.

I’m ecstatic for this dreamcather project to be done because it means I’m that much closer to finishing Hartley’s big girl room! I’ve been procrastinating finishing her room because she is so good in her crib that I kind of want to leave her in there forever (can I?). And as a mom, I feel like leaving the crib is a HUGE milestone, that I may tear up for a bit.  This was the last major piece I wanted to finish before putting everything on the walls. Thanks to Pinterest I had some fabulous inspiration and gathered numerous ideas from different bloggers to create my unique take on the DIY Doily Bohemian Dream Catcher.

For mine, I incorporated store-bought doilies (you can use vintage ones if you can find at an antique market or thrift store, I even thought of using my grandmother’s handmade ones, but thought lightning would strike me if I did that!), flowers, lace, ribbon, and feathers (I re-used the feathers from my Thanksgiving tablescape). I also saw lots of people using wood as their top hanging piece, but I found this beautiful molding at the At Home store that I thought would make a better topper for the boho/vintage look I was going for. You also don’t need this piece if you are just creating a single dreamcathcer. Just follow the tutorial and stop when connecting the multiple embroidery hoops.

Here is what you will need:

  1. Wood/Molding Topper – mine was a little pricy at $24.99, but you can slash this cost using wood or twine
  2. Embroidery Hoops(I bought 2″ for the pink doilies but didn’t end up using, so for what I created I used 9-Inch and 12-Inch)
  3. Doilies (I found the 2” pink ones on clearance at Michaels for $2.99 for 4pk (I didn’t end up using these but have mini ones for a gift or something) and then ordered the 4pc- 9 Inch White Doilies ones for $12 – I have seen these at the thrift but I did not have luck on my recent trips)
  4. Torn fabric to wrap around hoop (you can use ribbon but that would get expensive, try using an old drop cloth, pillowcase, linen shirt or tablecloth) – I used a mix of cut ribbon and a dropcloth by cutting thin long pieces
  5. Yarn (thin for attaching doilies and thicker version for hanging pieces)
  6. Ribbon (go straight to the $1.99 bin of ribbon first) – Michaels has a fabulous selection
  7. Hot Glue Gun and Glue
  8. Artificial Flowers (optional)
  9. Feathers (optional)

Total Cost was about $65 (like I mentioned I went ALL OUT on mine, but you can make a version of this much cheaper but excluding items and/or using a different hanging method)

How to create:

  1. Start with wrapping all the embroidery loops with the torn fabric , glue the start and try using long enough pieces to make it fully around the loop, then glue the end.
  2. Once fully wrapped, start connecting the doilies using a thinner yarn on the edges. Just loop the yarn through the doily hole and knot on the edge. For the lower hanging dreamcatcher on the 9″ loop, I cut of .5″ around the edge to make it smaller then the one on-top of it.
  3. If you are doing a multiple version like I was, map out your placement before you add the embellishments. You will not want to add hanging embellishments for those that are connected at the top. For those that have the ability to get hanging ribbon, and lace…start adding by simply cutting a long enough piece to fold in half (not perfect) and attach by a loop-pull-through over the hoop on the bottom. Add the feathers by just using the ends of the twine or yarn to make tight knots. Add flowers by disconneting the stem and cutting off the hard green piece (you will know what this is once you have them) and attach to the loop with hot glue.
  4. Once all the dreamcatchers are completed, finish by connecting the individual ones to connect to one another in the design template you created. I was orginally going to use the small hot pink ones, but didn’t like them, so I just had to connect one.
  5. Finally connect the dreamcathers to your molding, I lucked out because there was already hangers on the back so I just connected the the three top dreamcathers with twine and knotting around the hangers, but you can wrap around, add nail hangers, or glue on.

Finally make your nail hole on the wall and voila! A beautiful boho chic dreamcather any girl would love. I love the way this turned out and super excited for her room to be done since it’s been such a pouring of love and sweat to make her room just as perfect as she is (cheesy…I know). Hope you enjoy creating one of your very own!

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Friday, September 23, 2016

Budget Friendly Travel Essentials For A Toddler

Traveling with toddler? Hold on…it may be a bumpy ride, but these tips will surely help!

We have had two long trips the past five months. One
to Jamaica (long flight, long shuttle) and one to Tennessee and North Carolina
(extremely long car rides). Both trips were AMAZING and I thank it to
being prepped and able to entertain and feed our raging toddler. I was so excited
(and a little nervous) to go on these HUGE family adventures because the only real travel we had done before was when she younger and a 2 hour flight where we were staying with family who has
a similar aged child, so all the toys, diapers, snacks, accessories they had
readily available to us #lovepeoplewithbabies. But these trips,
we had to think of EVERYTHING! How do we keep her happy, us sane, and the
people around us happy??!!

After lots of blog reading I was ready to tackle
these packing excursions. So here it is, the best budget friendly way to
prepare for long travel with a toddler, but mainly it boils down to having lots
of toys, lots of food, and LOTS of patience.

Tip 1: Go to a Dollar Store, thrift store,
or discount market and get a bunch of small, new toys that your kid has never
seen before. You can also create some fabulous DIY toys that will keep them just
as entertained.

  • Here are some great examples of what I purchased
    at the Dollar Store:
    • Stickers
      (lots of them!) for the plane I also found gel stickers that could go on the window and tray table, which were so cool!! If your Dollar Store doesn’t have them, try these.
    • Crayons
      and coloring books
    • Little
      animal figurines
    • Matchbox
      cars
    • Play-Doh
      (not really car friendly, but this was great on plane tray table and at
      restaurants)
    • Slinky
    • Bouncy ball
    • Large
      lizard and mini pony that my daughter thought was amazing
  • I also found a couple of  interactive
    booksat HomeGoods that were lifesavers and showed her noises for
    transportation, so helped her understand.
  • Some DIY toys and engaging ideas that our little girl LOVES:
    • String
      and cheerios
    • Ice
      in a cup, totally free and weird, but this is the best (straw+cup+ice=toddler
      fascinated)
    • Take a old plastic container and make holes to be able to poke pipecleaners or pom-poms through
    • Peek-a-boo
      or iSpy with family or travel mates
    • Learn your nursery rhymes! Willie and I were a musicial choir on our car trips. Those songs are hidden in your memory somewhere…go ahead and tap into that brain!

Tip 2: My diaper bag included: diapers,
wipes, gallon sized Ziplocs (for toys or if a clothing accident occured), band aids, change of clothes, snacks and plastic
straws (more detail below), hand wipes/spray, toy/area wipes, waterproof bib,
sunscreen, and snacks (more below).

Tip 3: Pack sippy cups and plastic straws. I
carry plastic straws everywhere since I know she can have a drink anywhere I go without
the hassle of cleaning/finding my sippy cup.
Tip 4: Pack lots of different kinds of
snacks (familiar and new) in small zipper bags or containers. This saves you so much since you
don’t have to pay the upcharge within the airport or even at the hotels.
  • A nifty trick for plane entertainment, grab a daily pill boxfrom the Dollar Store and hide snacks inside. You can also do this trick with plastic Easter eggs.
  • For the car ride since we had more baggage
    ability, I bought lots of treats that she normally doesn’t get from
    the Dollar Store as a disraction and reward for good behavior. This bag of
    goodies on the long car ride was essential. What the magic of a Cheetos and
    M&Ms will do 🙂
  • For these longer trips I also brought a few easy
    meals in case of emergency.
    • Hartley
      loves granola bars and applesauce, have some in your diaper bag but also bring
      a box in your check-in for easy on-the-go meals.
    • These Annie’stravel pastas are wonderful to have for emergency meals. I put a few of
      these in our check-in bag to have at the hotel.

Tip 5: Make a plan with your partner and
family (if traveling together) about the expectations for the flight and daily
activities so everyone can enjoy the flight and vacation.

Tip 6: Take care of yourself or everyone
will be miserable. If you are hungry, thirsty, or unhappy, everything your
child does will be that much more annoying. I always pack snacks for us too. If
your husband is anything like mine, they get HANGRY real fast and there is
noooo turning back until they are satisfied. When I used to travel
internationally for work with long flight times, my favorite essentials were
protein bars, PB&J sandwiches, raw nuts, dried fruit, and a fresh banana or apple. I also always
have an empty water bottle to fill once I pass security so I don’t have to pay
the enormous upcharge for a water bottle at the airport stores.
Tip 7: If your child is soothed by a
pacifier, make sure you have it. Hartley would be devastated if her “B” didn’t
make the flight. We would be those parents running through the airport to find
one or borrow one I’m sure. For the chance of further discomfort from a cold or
earache, always pack a children’s pain/fever reducer.
Tip 8: Bring a baby carrier, wrap, or
backpack. We brought our Ergobaby and a stroller for the trip. Hartley prefers the
stroller, so that’s what we used most of the time and through the airport
(along with chasing her around to get some energy out).

Tip 9: For the Jamaica flight, we
checked our carseat at the boarding door, but if your child is small enough
just make sure your car seat is flight compliant. Checking a carseat is free on almost all airlines, so it really is just more of a necessary hassle than anything.

Tip 10: Bring the iPad if your other
distractions aren’t working. Hartley rarely watches TV but she is fascinated
with “Elmo” aka the iPad and will watch him for hours.

Tip 11: For our Jamaica destination we packed some
tropical essentials:
  • Bathing suits (a lot we’ve found at the thrift
    store for CHEAP)
  • Swim Shirt (these are bountiful at the
    thrift store)
  • Sun Hats and/or waterproof hat (again these are
    bountiful at the thrift store)
  • Puddle Jumper(found this at the thrift store,
    but we also saw at Costco for $15)
  • Sunscreen (Oxybenzone free) For Hartley we use
    The Honest Company Mineral Based Sunscreen and Arbonne’s sunscreen
  • Bug spray
Tip 12: The Jamaica hotel had a crib setup and most
have an option for play-n-pack, so just make sure you have that confirmed
before arrival (some may have applicable fees for this, so if you can carry a travel bed, that may be a good option). I also packed some crib stuffed animals, a nightlight, and her
sleep sheep just to make sure she was comfortable. Anything you can bring to
make sure they sleep on vacation is great!

Tip 13: We did not bring a travel highchair.
She does not care for the small fabric seats and just ate her meals on our laps
or next to the pool in a lounge chair (yes…already a diva). But if you are
going a lot of places that wouldn’t have a chair option or you prefer sitting
them in something, go ahead and pack it.

Tip 14: Find a way to exercise. When flying get to the airport a little early and find a non-crowded area to let your little one run and view the planes. Once safe in the air, you can also use the aisles to your advantage. As long as this isn’t a red eye flight and everyone is trying to sleep, everyone will get a smile out of your curious baby. For the car rides, take breaks. Stop and use the restroom, scenic spots, coffee, etc. These little stops can help extend their patience and also get a little energy out.

Tip 15: Smile, laugh and enjoy your vacation!!!

Do you have any great tips to share?