Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Mama the Memory Keeper {Part 2}

Remember THIS post? It feels like forever ago--back when I used to keep the blog updated a bit more than just Liv's weekly photos and birthday parties. I feel like as soon as Miss Olivia turned ONE, I came out of a year-long fog of sorts. Suddenly, I had more energy to do more than just survive the days, and get the basics accomplished. It's probably a combination of sleep + a toddler who can now play with her older sister + just FINALLY getting the hang of things.

I knew before a lot of blogging could happen, I needed to catch up on our memory books. So here's an updated post on what I do to keep up with photos, memories and giving my girls a little piece of their story to keep.

I decided to essentially keep up with THREE ways to keep our memories/photos organized.

ONE:  Each kiddo gets a BIG First Year album. I made these with Shutterfly, and since they are HUGE, 90pages+, I bought them when there was a 30% off sale on top of a 40% off coupon code, with a  $10off coupon and free shipping too! They are 12x12 hardback. Looking back, I'm not sure why I didn't go with 10x10, but now my Grandma can easily read them.

I really like the Storybook themes on Shutterfly--very easy to use the same theme/elements (washi tape, Polaroid frames, etc) throughout and there are several cute layout ideas that help get me started. I worked on these after the girls were in bed, and let's face it, I don't sleep anyways.

TWO: Our Family Yearbook--I put all of our Instagram pictures (the daily snippets of our days) in an 8x12 hardback book, also made with Shutterfly.

I don't do much "scrapbooking" with these, which means it only takes me a couple days to put them together at the end of each year. I just use the same 4 or 5 layouts that use square photos and fill them in. I did decide to add the Instagram captions so we could tell what was going on at that time.

THREE: Memory Journals--hardback moleskine journals where we record all the memories. I usually date each entry and write down a funny thing the girls said that day, or a new skill they acquired. I keep a running list of things I want to record on my iPhone, and then spend an hour once every few months to write them all down. I'll give these to my girls when they move out--so they have all the little moments that made our lives so full of joy!

The other books I've made are quick coffee table books with each of the girls' weekly photo projects. I used Shutterfly for Hannah's, but tried Picaboo for Olivia's and was equally happy--and spent a LOT less! These are canvas covered 9x11's with a photo insert, and just have all the photos in large formats. I also made each of the girls a small book with all of the professional photos from their 1st birthday parties. Someday I'd like to catch up on all the hundreds of photos in my iPhoto that happened after their first year, before the next sibling--but that's what I'll do after their all grown up and I have a LOT more time--right?

Friday, August 22, 2014

It's Friday! A Starbucks Giveaway {and a discount code too!}

Happy Friday y'all! Hope you all are enjoying the last bits of summer! My loves and I are enjoying some yummy donuts & then we're off to the lake for the weekend. I'm so excited!

This month, I'm sponsoring over at A+Life!  Courtney, myself and some other lovely ladies are giving away a $50 Starbucks gift card! I mean... who doesn't need one of those?! The Pumpkin Spice Latte is just around the corner, Eeeek!

To make your weekend even sweeter, head on over to A+Life and meet Courtney! She is seriously hilarious--like tears streaming down your face funny--and has the cutest little girl! We're offering a 15% discount to The Party Shop for all A+Life followers! Use the code APLUSLIFE15 on anything $5 on more. I'm clearing out my inventory to make room for some new items for fall. I'm so excited to show you all what I've been working on!

Enter using the Rafflecopter below! The giveaway ends next Friday!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, August 21, 2014

My baby is off to Preschool!

Her first day of preschool. My first baby. My girl who has no hesitations anytime we drop her off anywhere--not so much as a hug or kiss. Just; "Bye Mom!" Like she's ten or something. She's so ready for this little adventure. She knows all of what she needs to know for Kindergarten, and at only 3, can write her name, and spell her sister's. She's ready for a challenge--but at the same time, this Mama feels the pain of letting go a bit. 

It's no more than 6 hrs a week- 2 half days, and she's home for lunch and naps--something we're definitely not ready to give up yet! Still... The self imposed Mama-guilt of not homeschooling my social butterfly, or for even letting her out of my sight for a few hours (since she's only 3) has been brutal this week. Silly probably, but real. I know deep down that this is so good for her--right now, in this moment, this works for our family. She'll learn all sorts of things and make new friends, all while being in a place where the Gospel is spoken. These are all things I very much want for my girl. 

She's been carrying her backpack around for days and asking when she's going to school. While we painted her nails last night, she told me that she is a big girl now and that she will go to school sometimes. "Not all the time Mama, just sometimes." I asked her if she was excited and she told me, "Yes- my teacher is nice and I really liked her shirt." 

Why does it feel like my heart may explode? Maybe it's because it still feels like yesterday that we brought our tiny 5 lb baby home from the hospital, and now she's growing up. Excuse me while I go rock Liv and sob. But really... I'm so very proud of my girl. 

Friday, August 8, 2014

Hannah's Donut Themed 3rd Birthday Party

I'm finally getting around to blogging my sweet little THREE year old's birthday party! Hannah has grown up so much this summer, and this Mama is equal parts beaming with pride, and crying ugly tears because she acts SO big! This girl is spunky, hilarious, creative, equal parts obsessed with Disney Princesses, and Cars & Planes! She is sweet as can be, and we just love her to pieces! She's old enough now to get a say in what kind of party she wants and well--a girl after my own heart--she chose DONUTS! It didn't take much to convince me and I thought it was a pretty cute idea too. I found a ton of really cute/cheap ideas and threw together this little party in the park only a few weeks after Liv's 1st Birthday Party. I grabbed most of the supplies, including the adorable Oh Joy cups at Target, and our favorite donut shop, Lamars, took care of the food! I made a big batch of iced coffee and we were set! All the sources/links are listed at the bottom of the post. 

It was such a fun morning celebrating our sweet girl with friends and family! I took only a handful of pictures, mostly because we were too busy eating yummy donuts, drinking iced coffee, and catching up with dear friends, but also because it was an OUTDOOR party in July and, well, we were all a little sweaty! I did happen to capture a few cute little toddler moments... PRECIOUS! 

DIY Donut Balloons: Studio DIY, Donut garland printable: Oh Happy Day, Table clothes, plates, napkins, straws, & Oh Joy cups: Target, Donuts: Lamars Iced Coffee: Pioneer Woman, Adorable donut bow: Sadie Sky Boutique, White tank: Gap, Mint pedal pushers: Janie & Jack

Sunday, August 3, 2014

The Party Shop is OPEN!

I've FINALLY done it ya'll. I have been wanting to start an Etsy shop for a long time now. I feel like I'm a much better Wife/Mama/Friend when I have some sort of creative outlet--and now that my girls are a little older, it was TIME! I absolutely LOVE throwing a good party, and have shared several here on the blog. Well, now you can buy some of my decor--and right now, at a DISCOUNT! Several of the items up right now have been used once at a party or event I've hosted and are listed at discounted prices! I want to get a feel for what you all are looking for, so PLEASE send me your feedback either in a comment here, or an ETSY convo, letting me know what you want to see MORE of! I'm really excited for this new venture and I hope you all will help me spread the word? Most importantly, click the SHOP link above and take a look around! Thanks friends!