Monday, February 24, 2014

A Toddler Valentine's Day Party!

Valentine's Day is a BIG deal in our house... like a really big deal. So when Miss Hannah asked for a party, and had been asking for a party since Halloween (girl after my own heart), how could I resist? We invited all her little friends and their Mama's too. I really wanted to give those Mamas something fun to do with their little loves... community with each other is so important to me.

The hoops are from last year and were made by wrapping the inner and outer pieces of the embroidery hoop with contrasting fabric. I hot-glued paper bunting that I ran through my sewing machine to the back. The tissue tassels were super easy... lots of tutorials on Pinterest. I also punched glittery scrapbook paper and then ran them through my sewing machine to make garland.

I bought most of my supplies at the Target dollar spot... they have insanely adorable stuff, and at a dollar a pop, I filled my cart with adorable washi tape, tissue paper, cups, plates, napkins and paper straws! I also found the ADORABLE photo booth props at Target for 5 bucks. Cute parties don't have to break the bank y'all!

The valentines that Hannah made for her friends were an idea I found HERE. We bought a pack of stiff card stock, heart shaped washi tape, and a tube of zoo friends from Hobby Lobby. The stamps were also from the Target dollar spot! Hannah picked out a certain animal for each friend and it was such a fun craft to do together.

Probably my favorite part of the decor was the tissue swag garland with the glitter "Valentine." I found the idea HERE, and I love it! It was the perfect backdrop for our photo booth. A special thanks to my dear friend Whitney who's adorable daughter Molly (Hannah's BFF) is pictured above. She helped me prep everything the night before the party... it's so much more fun to decorate with a friend right? 

We decided to do both breakfast food and kiddo snacks including sprinkle donuts from our favorite local shop, a breakfast casserole, sugar cookies, yummy toddler trail mix, animal crackers, fruit, and breakfast casserole. I wish I took a close up of the trail mix... I got the idea HERE, but used organic 'Lucky Charms,' Strawberry Yogurt O's from Trader Joe's, strawberry yogurt drops, & mini pop tarts. 

I love all the pink and red, and especially the donuts... I'm such a sucker for those.

Little Miss Norah slays me with her little skirt and moccs! And seriously... what a handsome little toddler Liam is!

The drink bar served Trader Joe's strawberry lemonade for the adults and Horizon strawberry milk boxes for the kiddos. The cups and straws are from the Target dollar spot. 

Aunties sure do love their nieces! There were 7 toddlers, and 4 babies at the party. I must say it was MUCH quieter and a lot less chaotic than I was expecting! I think that's what happens when Mamas of toddlers get together... we all help each other out, making things run smoothly. 

I had 4 areas set up... the kitchen for painting and cookie-decorating, the dining room for food/drinks/photo booth, the entry way for the sensory table, and the living room for eating/chatting. There were cheerios to be strung on red heart-shaped pipe cleaners and THESE worksheets with red crayons on my coffee table too. 

There were more activities than I thought we'd have time for, but those kiddos moved QUICKLY through each station! We made the noodle valentines above, using the free template found HERE. I set up large pieces of paper with noodles and pink, red, and white washable paint. After carefully (and some not-so-carefully) dabbing paint on each noodles, we moved the papers away to dry. Then they decorated sugar cookies with icing and sprinkles... very festive! After the noodles were dry, they quickly strung on them onto the pre-cut bakers twine and wrote their names on it. I think having it all prepared ahead of time made it really stress-free. 

Another friend brought a couple sensory bins for the kids to play in, and it was quite a hit! I don't have her recipe, but there were cookie cutters and valentine cupcake wrappers... so cute! I swallowed my OCD tendencies and let Hannah get messy! I should do that more often... she brushed right off and had such a good time. 

Seriously... the toddler photo booth slayed me! They were so cute! Miss Moriah was so sweet and polite. I hope they all had as much fun as Hannah did... she's still talking about it. 

It was such a fun way to celebrate with our little Valentines!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

A Lumberjack Shower for Baby Kade!

I recently had the privilege to throw a baby shower for my best friend, Casey and her soon-to-be-here little man, Kade. What was even more fun, was throwing the shower with her sister, Emilie! It was Casey's family shower... which is very fitting, since these people ARE family to me. They are warm, caring, wonderful people. Throwing the party at their parents' house, where Casey and I stayed up late all through our adolescence giggling about boys and holding each other's hands through break-ups, just seemed right. I may or may not have shed a few tears in the realization that we're all grown-up and sometimes that just seems crazy to me. Before I start the waterworks again... here are the shower details...

Casey's cousin Kenz made the AMAZING invites. She has crazy talent and they were perfect!

Working with Em was a DREAM. She has great taste and we both seemed to mesh on our style/ideas for the shower. I mean... obviously we were on the right track when we couldn't find the buffalo plaid ANYWHERE because, duh... it's the hottest thing since sliced bread right now. After searching the web for hours and making quite a few frantic phone calls, a fabric store in St. Louis came to our rescue and we scored a few yards for the table.

The buntings were so simple to make... and HELLO, my favorite thing to do! The black triangles are felt, cut and run through my sewing machine with black thread. The Trees are scrapbook paper, cut and run through my machine as well. The red Pom-poms were made with yarn and a borrowed pom-pom maker. I strung them onto the same yarn with a large needle, and I have to admit, I LOVE them. 

Being lovers of good food... Em and I came up with a simple brunch Menu that was sure to please. We served tiny pancakes (Trader Joe's), s'mores donuts, fresh fruit, an apple galette (made by Emilie) and an assortment of delicious quiches made by their Mama, Kandy. 

I ordered donuts from our favorite local shop, Lamar's and then added the marshmallow bits and graham cracker crumbs myself. As a donut-lover, I have to say they were pretty good!

Our spread was enjoyed by both kiddos and adults. Hannah of course was way more interested in the fruit than the delicious donuts... crazy kid. 

We used her Mama's cloth napkins, and our combined collection of Pottery Barn dishes, and gorgeous tartan plates. The fabric was just folded and pressed for the table runner, and we used leftover Christmas garland for our greenery. The raw wood platters and cake stands were made from firewood I snagged from a friend, that my wonderful Hubby cut up for us!

Dark-chocolate covered marshmallows and graham crackers near the drink bar for little snackers.

We did a hot cocoa bar, complete with mini marshmallows and whipped cream! We also served coffee, (Starbucks of course) and milk/juice for the kiddos. Once again, we used our pottery barn dishes and the insane amount of mason jars I've collected over the years. 

It was simple, and so much fun to put together! I loved the relaxed atmosphere at these kind of showers. People can graze on brunch, sit in cozy chairs and have good conversation. It was so much fun to watch Casey open all the adorable cloth diapers, and sweet boy clothes. I'm hoping to get a photo tour of her gorgeous nursery soon and give you a peek! 

Love this girl and so very excited to hold that sweet boy and love him like she's loves my girls. 

Em, Case and their Mama. We're so excited to meet you baby Kade! xoxo

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Olivia Grace {weeks 33-36}

Our girl has the biggest grins! When she's happy she is HAPPY, that's for sure! At 33 weeks, my baby said "Mama." I was in the kitchen, just out of her sight and she started yelling for me... heart melted into a puddle right there. She still only says it when she can't find me.

Liv developed her own version of crawling around 34 weeks... half scooting, half rotating around on her bottom--hilarious. She'll pull up her legs and then sprawl out to reach things she's not supposed to get to... phones, Hannah's snacks, etc. She gets where she wants to go!

She still loves ONLY her 'soothie' binky & can grab it and stick it in like a pro! She likes to be worn by Mama in the Becco carrier, that's how we survive groceries and errands! She sleeps great in her crib... waking at 12 & 6 and waking at 8 with Hannah. I love nursing/rocking her to sleep... she's so calm and cuddly--hard to put her to bed sometimes! 

At 36 weeks, she's crawling much faster and more efficiently! She even started pulling up on furniture... mostly to see what Hannah is doing on the couch. She's been a bit cranky this week. Lots of whining, not wanting to nurse as often as she was, and a few terrible car rides. She's had a stuffy nose, and we think she's working on some upper teeth, so that could be the culprit. We still love her pretty little self and can't believe how quickly the time is passing. Eight months seems so very big, and it makes my Mama heart a little sad. 

Hannah's photo project HERE.