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This baby is 4.  Where oh where did the time go?!

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He is really REALLY into Legos… and not the mega blocks or Duplos… he likes the big boy Legos!

This year he requested a Star Wars Lego party.  It’s fun to see him so passionate about something. Well, he first requested a superhero-starwars-Chima-angrybird-transformers-Lego party, but I managed to talk him into narrowing it down a little.

A lot of the decor was compliments of Pinterest.

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As were the party favors which were Lego bags made from small paper sacks and circle card stock.  The Lego men and block crayons were made using some cute molds and melting down black and red crayons bought on Amazon (I didn’t have enough broken red/black crayons since those are his favorite colors and he always uses them up).

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His cake was a red velvet and yellow cake, with butter cream and white chocolate filling.  I made it in the shape of Clone Captain Rex’s helmet following a YouTube video tutorial, but changed his coloring from blue to red to accommodate Luke’s favorite color.  I also covered it in homemade marshmallow fondant (soooo much tastier than the store-bought gunk) and used the fondant for his helmet decorations.

20140710_180600 20140710_18060620140710_082041P1130589 P1130540 P1130541I used an edible ink marker to outline his mask, and Luke wanted in on the cake-writing, so I let him autograph the back….. that’s also where it’s especially apparent that this is only my 3rd fondant cake and I have a lot to learn.

P1130542 P1130591We had a fun time naming the food. My awesome graphic design sister made them for me (see her Etsy shop for those and more birthday printables).

P1130588 P1130587 P1130586 P1130535The kiddos beat the heat by splashing in the kiddie pools and slip n’ slides.

P1130563 P1130557 P1130560 P1130550The party ended with our homemade Darth Vader pinata being bashed by lightsaber noodles.

P1130624 P1130630Much fun was had by all, and one 4-year-old is neck-high is presents and Legos :)

Next year we’re going to Chick-fil-A and taking a family nap for his birthday.  I’m tired.

Links:

Clone Captain Helmet Cake Tutorial

Food card tents

Lego men & block molds

Lego man graphic

Star Wars Font

 

 

 

A month ago, my baby turned 1!!!
Where did the time go?!

The past year has been a wild ride! I’ve heard it said before, but didn’t always believe, that the jump from 1 child to 2 is crazy!

And crazy indeed it was.

And yet, here we are, a year later, all alive, all healthy, and much to be thankful for.

After perusing Pinterest for a while, I decided to do a non-theme party and instead chose a color scheme as the theme.

I used an embroidery hoop and hung streamers and ribbons from it to make an outdoor decoration. And added balloons for fun.
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This pin inspired some of the color palette and the tassel garlands.
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Her name in gold tacks was another Pinterest project.See the inspiration here.
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My sweet husband found and printed out some Bible blessings that we framed and placed on the mantel.
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I made a thank you sign by cutting letters out of card stock and hot-gluing them to gold ribbon. Then I took an empty frame, taped streamers to the back, and added the sign.
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I dipped pretzel rods in vanilla candy melts and used sprinkles for some color. Then I used the Wilton Pretzel bags and some decorative paper tape to make some really easy favors.
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I made balloon “wands” for the kiddos to play with, adapted from a tutorial by StudioDIY blog, one of my new fave blogs!
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To make these sliders, I used a meatball recipe found on Pinterest. Then I bought some half-baked dinner rolls from Wal-mart. I baked them as directed, then split them open to make top and bottom halves. I placed them under the broiler to toast them, this kept the meatball sauce from absorbing too quickly and making them soggy. Once broiled, I placed a meatball and sauce on the bottom half and topped with a slice of fresh mozzarella. Then again added this to the broiler to melt the cheese. Once melted, I topped with just a little more sauce and put the tops on. I didn’t get to taste one because they went fast, but I hear they were great!
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I used this recipe for the Italian Pressed sandwiches. I mostly stuck to the ingredients, except that I used 1/3 lb each of salami, pepperoni, and ham.
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Individual cakes were made using a vanilla cake mix, using food coloring to achieve the perfect mint hue. Then I baked it in an 11×17 sheet pan so the cake would only be about 1″ tall once baked.  I used a cookie cutter to make 2″ rounds, and used raspberry jam for the center. I made a vanilla buttercream for the topping which I dyed to match the cake. The toothpick toppers were made out of regular toothpicks and crepe paper streamers.
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“Is that for me??!!”
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A family picture. Yes, Batman lives here.
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Kisses!
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An outfit change had to be made after the cake smash. One must always have a tutu on reserve just in case!
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We had some cute babies in attendance!
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gifts

I finally got around to making something for baby girl.

I have a long list of DIY projects I have wanted to make for her including headbands, bibs, shoes, and dresses but the time has just slipped away from me.

So when I saw this faux leather ribbon at Joann’s, I just had to have it.

It took about 1 hour to complete the little bow headband based on this tutorial from Ruffles and Stuff.
The only changes I made were using a shorter elastic length, and I also sewed the bow on instead of using glue.

And it seems she loves it as much as I do :)

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4 months ago heaven smiled down on us and our little lovebug, Celia, was born.

It has been 4 crazy months! No one can prepare you enough for the jump from 1 child to 2 children!

First of all, you are now outnumbered. If they are both crying at the same time, you have to choose whom to soothe first.

And Luke, who is 2 1/2, gets a little jealous sometimes. This manifests itself in tantrums, yelling, throwing things, etc. Loads of fun.

But the emotional changes are the most drastic.

I didn’t think it was possible to love another child the way I love Luke. But you can, and for me, having 2 to love makes the love so much more intense!

Of course it makes all of the other emotions intense as well…
If I get stressed, I get twice as stressed.
If I feel guilty over not spending enough time playing with them, the guilt is twice as intense.
If I worry about them not getting enought to eat, the worry lasts twice as long.

All of this said, I would not give this up for the world! I am so beyond blessed to have two happy, healthy children, and I can only thank God for allowing me to be their mother.

And now for some pictures of the little darling who gives the best gummy smiles and likes to have full babbling conversations at 5am :) Words cannot express how much I love her.
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So much has happened since my last post!

And so I will attempt to play catch-up…

The MAIN event:
Baby Celia made her world premiere last week! More on that later, but here’s a photo of our angel -cuz that’s what mommas do :)

Pure sugar and spice!

And the other stuff:
– Our master bathroom remodel is complete! At least on the contractor’s end. The finishing touches are up to the resident designer (me), who I hear is a major procrastinator and commitment-phobe – yes even when it comes to choosing a soap dispenser, so it might never be really “finished”.

– My sister came to visit from Washington state and took my maternity pics – they turned out so fantastic! and brought her baby with her, Bonus awesomeness!!

– I sewed my first crib sheet(s)! I found a super easy tutorial – watch out friends with babies, this may be the new baby shower present :)

– A dye and refashion job on white maternity jeans.

– Luke’s “Despicable Me” minion crochet hat.

I found this large frame and canvas at a garage sale several months ago for $10.

I thought it was a steal because the frame alone is worth more than that.

The art that came with it, eh, yuch. Not to mention it was just a paper print that had been glued onto the canvas. And it looks like someone already started painting over it.

So, the frame has just been sitting on my mantle, all by its lonesome for several months.

Recently I placed Luke’s first non-watercolor “painting” up on the mantle. And the more I looked at it, the more I liked it! It was fun, colorful and it was my baby’s :)

!Lightbulb!

I could have Luke paint over the canvas that came with frame! And it would be an original piece of art, and it would mean more to me than any other painting ever could, AND he would have so much fun doing it. (he LOVES to paint!)

After putting it off for a few weeks, I finally decided it was time.
I prepped the canvas by rolling 3 coats of white acrylic paint over the print.

Then it was time for Luke to go!

Here are some important tips:
PREPARATION:
1. Begin by recruiting a well-rested, well-fed, paint-loving, non-paint-eating, happy and excited 2-year-old (if any of those qualities are missing, ABORT!)

2. Cover a corner of your kitchen with cardboard and plastic.

3. Strip your toddler down to his skivvies or put them in an old shirt (acrylic paint does not come off once it dries).

4. Choose the colors for your toddler since they prob haven’t had a chance to take a class on color theory yet.

5. Have at least 4-5 clean brushes on hand. El-cheapo kids’ brushes from Wal-mart is what I used.

6. Squirt the paint onto a plastic plate or cheap plastic artist’s palette, also from Wal-mart.

7. Recruit a spouse/helper (willing or unwilling) to be nearby – just in case your toddler decides to jet from the designated painting area and decide to go hug a white wall (we were fortunate not to have this happen).

8. Put on your painting clothes and your most patient self.

9. Have a large roll of paper towels/old towels and baby wipes on hand. You will need them!

Although Luke did all of the painting, it was not without a little direction from mama :)
TECHNIQUE:
1. Let him choose his first few colors and just go for it!

2. After he uses 4-5 colors, switch his brush out for a clean one. This will keep the colors from becoming muddied. (and the switching of the brushes didn’t appear to stifle his creativity any ;)

3. Suggest to toddler that he should paint on the white areas. This will get your canvas covered much faster and keep the colors from mixing too much and turning into the color of dirt.

4. Keep an eye on the paint palette and top off the paint with fresh paint as needed. If they use the same brush for multiple colors, there will be a lot of cross-contamination.

5. Once the masterpiece is completed (mama makes this call), remove from the area and let dry.

6. Supply your toddler with poster board and let him use up all of the paint from the palette.

7. Paint a purple “Mickey Mouse bear” for your toddler per his request.

8. Throw in a little bit of learning by painting his name on the poster board.

9. Show toddler that if you paint his hand, he can make hand prints. Let toddler dictate which color he would like for you to paint on his hand.

10. Then suggest he paint his feet, sit back and watch the real fun unfold!

11. Once baby is completely covered in paint, take some pictures and then it is time for a bath.

12. Take a minute and enjoy the feeling of being a cool mom or the mom-I-had-always-hoped-to-be. Smile :)

Aaaaaaand, for the piece-de-resistance!

Amazing abstract art or just a pre-school painting?? You Decide :)

After all, art is very subjective, and beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And what is more beautiful than a cost-effective, memory-inducing, sentimental, colorful work of art?

We are expecting our 2nd child, 1st girl in November :)

Yikes!

After having a boy, I’m not sure I will know what to do with a girl?! I guess just loving her, feeding her, clothing her, and protecting her is a good start, right?

… and I’m calling her “Her” because she has no name, yet.

Heck, we don’t even have a top 10 of names…

but while she doesn’t have a name, she does already have her Christmas outfit!!

Crazy 8 Velvet jumper (tags still on): Original price- $24.95, I paid- $6.00

I know, priorities.

oh, did I mention it comes with 2 shoe options? Yes, she will have to start making some very hard decisions at a very early age.. does she wear the grey glittery ones, or the patent red ones?
Best part: They were all bought at a bi-annual baby/kids/maternity consignment sale. The jumper still has the tags on it!

Janie & Jack Red shoes- Original price- $35+, I paid- $10
Grey glittery shoes – Original price- ?, I paid- $4

ok, all silliness aside. I have real problems to worry about.

Like, what does she wear with the black velvet jumper?!

(I hope that my sarcasm will not be lost on ya’ll. I know there are more important things in life than velvet jumpers, but it sure is a blessing to enjoy the process of choosing your daughter’s first christmas outfit.)

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