Friday, February 2, 2018

Little ONE, Big Adventure [Little Girl's 1st Birthday Party]

I had some other DIY posts I've been wanting to share with you but after my daughter's first birthday party last weekend, I just couldn't wait to share and decided to bump this one up!  See, here's the thing: I apparently created a theme that doesn't exist. At least on Pinterest (which in the crafting world is really all that matters, right?) I didn't do this to be ultra creative or to get new blog content.  As a matter of fact, I wish I had a little more help in deciding how to pull it all together because as it was, I was up making things the night before the party as my mind finally figured out what I wanted to do. Or maybe a little because I always work last minute like that.  But let's go with the former... it makes me sound less of a hot mess.

[Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. Purchasing products through these links helps me earn a small commission at no extra charge to you. This allows me to bring you more free content.  Thank you for supporting my blog!]




When deciding the theme I had 2 points I wanted to hit:
1- I wanted a theme that demonstrated some sort of "girl power". Although we are all about tutus and hairbows at our house, it always kind of rubs me wrong when people automatically call my daughter a pretty princess. Her bedroom is decorated in lovely pastel watercolor flowers and quotes (lots of quotes) about being curious, growing wild and achieving her goals. I want her to know even at age one that there is more to life than being a pretty princess (not that there is anything wrong with wanting to be a princess either- just... be a capable one).

2- I also wanted to incorporate a theme that actually related to her. This is hard to do for a first birthday because they aren't into that much. We don't let our kids have screen time before age 2 so she doesn't have a favorite character & her favorite toys are whatever brother is playing with. But boy does this girl love to climb. She climbs EVERYTHING, all. the. time.


So here's what I came up with:
{I made this invitation on Picmonkey using backgrounds and mountain images I found on google}


When asked to explain the theme I would say "Little ONE, Big Adventure. It's mountains, clouds, very 'climb that mountain' seek adventure sort of theme".  When I tried to look this up on Pinterest  I found that everything was either too woodsy themed, or airplane themed. I also found that every single one of those ideas tended to be very masculine. Hmmph.

Who says girls can't be adventurous too? So this is what I came up with. Blues and pinks, mountains and clouds. Simple and absolutely perfect.


Now... onto the party details:
For the decor, I kept it simple. I had my husband cut out wood triangles in varying sizes. Then I painted them to look like mountains in blues and pinks. These went on the tables.  On some of the tables I also included some simple framed quotes that I also created on Picmonkey. Want to save yourself some time? I've included links to my designs so you can just print them off for your own party for free! Find them under the photos. ;) I've got your back jack.




{Love the sort of rugged wood grain look to them!}



Here are the printables, which print perfectly in a 5x7 size:








I don't know why the background looks yellowed (yes I do- my house has terrible lighting!) but behind the words it prints WHITE.




I also made cloud confetti to sprinkle on the tablecloths. 






I kept the wall decor simple and all about my daughter. On one wall I hung a mountain banner that I made out of Cardstock (and white paint for the peaks!) an "about you" chalkboard looking sign and some of my favorite photos from the moments following her birth.




{B&W Photo Credit: Elizabeth Hannah Studios



On another wall I included a newborn photo and months 1-11 (she wasn't 12 months by the time we had her party!) that I took with her bunny to show how much she has grown.





I hung some large Pom Poms from the divider ceiling and also included a banner that my friend made for me a year ago to hang next to our  Letterboard which displayed a fun little bit about her party "to dos".






But my favorite element was this "Adventure Bank". I had seen some really cute ideas online about making a bank to save money up for trips or other adventures, but I wasn't interested in people putting money in it. No.. I wanted adventure ideas! So I took one of those glass blocks with the opening on top (often used as a bank), added a vinyl design (found on google) put a piece of paper on the back and set it out with instructions on what to do.





I wanted our family to come up with some fun things for our daughter (and of course the rest of us) to do over the next year. It could be small adventures like a picnic in the park or big adventures like visiting a new state.  Here are some of the things people came up with:




As you can see from the picture on the right, our three year old also filled out a few of them himself.  He told me all about what each paper said. It. was. adorable.


Now this sits up in my daughter's room and we will work to empty this bank over the next year and maybe even add a few new ideas as we go!





I didn't forget about the cake!
What would be a party without cake? Although I didn't make it, I wanted to share photos of her smash cake (made by Spoonful of Sugar) and our adorable custom cupcake toppers from one of my favorite etsy shops: Shabby Mint Chic Party.  Even though this girl can't go one meal without smearing food in her hair, she managed to be the cleanest most delicate smash cake eater ever known and literally made no mess at all. Seriously, her tutu was as clean as when she started. *eye roll* Oh well, she still acted awfully cute for the camera ;)





{Custom cupcake toppers from Shabby Mint Chic Party. She has made so many awesome things for me, if you don't see what you want on her site, contact her and she can probably do it!}






Yes, that's a makeup brush in her hand. It's clean and my kids love it. She wouldn't let it go! As you can see I also painted large mountains that I stuck to the wall for a photo backdrop. All I used was poster board, paint and sticky tack (to hang it up!)



Last but certantly not least- her OUTFIT!

What's a birthday party without a special outfit? Especially when we own our own etsy shop that specializes in infant & toddler apparel.  My lovely mama created this ah-mazing tutu and we created the onesie design based off of an image we found and loved online (that just said adventure under the mountains). I wish the light pink showed up better in photos. It's absolutely perfect!




If you'd love a custom outfit for your little one's birthday, shoot us a message on our etsy page and we'll hook you up! *This exact mountain design not available for purchase because it is not our design*


{Isn't she darling though?}




What do you think?
How did I do in pulling off this sort-of-made-up theme? I'm so pleased with how everything turned out and I think it was absolutely perfect for celebrating my curious, climbing sweet little one year old on her special day. I would love to hear what themes you did for your baby's first birthday so please comment below and let me know!  We've got years of parties ahead of us, so I could always use new ideas!


Monday, January 22, 2018

PicturesOnGold.com Review & Valentine's Day Giveaway!

Just the other day I was talking with a friend about Valentine's Day.  The topic came around to whether or not we celebrate with our spouses.  My husband and I do not but I love celebrating it with my little loves- my kiddos. It's fun creating valentines and sending them to grandparents and I especially love the perfect excuse to simply tell my kids all the reasons I love them and have fun celebrating that.  So with Valentine's Day coming up, I want to share with you a very special piece of jewelry I had made to remind me always of my little loves. Oh... and we're giving one away too, so make sure you stick around to enter!




[Disclaimer: I have received free product from PicturesOnGold.com in exchange for an honest review of the products.  All opinions are my own and I only review products that I have personally tried and recommend.]


Here's the thing: I'm obsessed with pictures. I take hundreds of photos a month and I can lose hours of my life looking through old photos on facebook. I love them. Every photo has a memory attached to it and looking at those photos makes my heart so full. That's reason #1 why I love this bracelet. I can literally look down at my wrist whenever I want and be flooded with the beautiful memory behind the photo.




Before I get into what I love and don't love about this product, let me quickly tell you what it's all about:


> The company is called PicturesOnGold.com and it's exactly what it sounds like.

> This company makes a variety of products including lockets, sports jewelry and medical IDs. Today however, I want to focus on the product I have, the Sterling Silver Women's Adjustable Round Photo Engraved Bracelet:

> Items can be engraved with a message, names, dates or even a monogram! (Engraving doesn't delay your shipment either!)

> Picture Engraving is scratch and water resistant and included in the price. 

> These bracelets are adjustable and "one size fits all"

> All Sterling Silver is protected with a tarnish resistance to help it last for years without tarnishing.



My thoughts on it:

Now let me continue my thoughts. I already said that I love that it's a wearable photo. However, I'm also very impressed by what they do with the photo. I sent them a picture taken with my cell phone (and not a good cell phone at that!) and they had no problem using it.  They also remove any background from your photo free of charge! Even though I had seen that on their website I didn't think about it until mine came in and I'm so happy to see the focus being on me and my children and not all the hospital stuff in the background. The image is also color laser engraved so it's not just a picture on top of the charm but actually a part of it.

Here's the original photo that I sent:





And here's how it looks on my bracelet:





Cool, right?  They can also remove marks on your photos and other objects that you don't want in your photo (all free of charge.) That's very cool customer service.

Reason #2 why I love this is because it's adjustable!  I have the smallest wrists known to man kind and every single bracelet I own is terribly loose on me. Seriously, I have to punch new holes in my watches, they're that small. This is adjustable by pulling the rounded box chain through the larger ball piece.  This means that you can stop it at just the right size- no jumping up or down a notch and having to settle.





I tried to get a photo to show what the inside of the larger ball bead looks like. There is a piece of clear plastic or rubber (I can't tell) inside of it that keeps the chains from scratching each other. I can actual feel how "smooth" it pulls through as I adjust it.  I personally like this because I feel more confident that it's going to hold up after repeated use.






Reason #3 why I love it? It's dainty but sturdy. I'm not a fan of bulky chains on jewelry that I wear frequently, especially jewelry that I want to wear when going out somewhere nice. However, I have a 3 year old and a 1 year old so my delicate stuff is always in danger.  Although the chain is very thin in appearance, it's a box chain so it's definitely more durable that many of my others and I love this!


[Here's a peek at the customized engraving on the back too.]




The disk charm with my photo and engraving on it is also very thin but sturdy. I actually tried bending it in the middle with my thumb because I thought it looked thin enough to bend but it didn't budge!  And I pushed really hard! I'm very impressed with the durability in this product.






There's only one small problem that I have with it. On the website it says that the bracelet fits a 6-9 inch wrist. Honestly, it can adjust small enough to fit around a sharpie marker but mine only adjusts to about 7.5 inches at it's largest. This is plenty big for me but if you feel like you would be pushing the limits- message them and ask that they make it just right for you. I've read a multitude of reviews from others that sing their praises about customer service so I am sure they would be more than happy to oblige if you are concerned. I know... a complaint that they would easily fix for you isn't much of a complaint is it? That's all I've got!



Enough talk, here's a giveaway widget so you can enter to win one just like mine (with your own photo and back engraving of course). And if you want to do some additional shopping, make sure you use the code: val10 (that's like Victor, Alpha, Love then the number 10) and get 10% off your purchase! Boo-ya!




This giveaway is for a Sterling Silver Women's Adjustable Round Photo Engraved Bracelet from PicturesOnGold.com. This bracelet includes a photo of your choice on the front and an engraved message of your choice on the back (valued at $79.95)

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Monday, January 15, 2018

Interchangable Top Felt Cookies [tutorial]

Last week I shared the details of our amazing DIY play kitchen and you may have noticed some felt food projects as I showcased the refrigerator.  I've showed you how to make felt pasta but now I want to give you a brief tutorial on how to make my favorite felt food project... cookies. Oh, but they aren't just any cookies.  These cookies can be decorated however your little one wishes (and changed and decorated again!)  All you need is some felt and Velcro to make this adorable set of imaginary play cookies.


[Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. By making a purchase through these links, you help me earn a small commission at no extra charge to you, which helps me to bring you more new content! Thank you for supporting my blog!]







Here's what you'll need:

- Soft felt (I bought a variety of colors for the sugar cookie tops, dark brown for the chocolate chips and then more of the white and light brown/tan for the cookie base and tops)

- 1/2 inch pom poms (for the "sprinkle" cookies)

- Fabric scissors , sewing machine (or just glue if no sew) and hot glue.

- VELCRO



First you need to cut everything out. For each cookie, you will need 3 felt pieces:

- 2 identical pieces for the cookie base
- 1 slightly smaller piece in the same shape as your two base pieces (for your top decorated piece)







In addition to this, you will need to cut out pieces to create the look of whatever types of cookie you want.  I created iced sugar cookies in 4 different colors, chocolate chip cookies and peanut butter cookies:

For the iced cookies I cut sort of squiggly edged circles out of pink, purple, blue & yellow felt.

For the chocolate chip cookies I cut small triangles out of dark brown felt.

For the peanut butter cookies I cut thin strips in the same color as the cookie (8 for each cookie) and crossed them to look like the crossed fork pattern.

For the sprinkle cookies, I simply took pom pom balls and hot glued them to the white topper piece.








After everything is cut out, you are ready for assembly! For the cookie base, simply put the two pieces of identical felt on top and each other and sew around the edge at 1/4 inch. This is my favorite thing about felt; you don't have to turn it inside out because the edges don't ravel.  The reason you need to sew them together is that it creates a "puffy" cookie.  (Tip: if you want it extra puffy you can add some batting on the inside too)







Next, cut out squares of Velcro.  Make sure you put all the hook pieces on the tops and all the loop pieces on the base so that you can mix and match tops and bottoms later.








To attach the Velcro, simply hot glue the squares to the back of the pieces.  I highly recommend using sew-in Velcro over the sticky stuff even though you are gluing it on.  The sticky stuff doesn't work well by itself and if you ever plan to use it to sew future projects, it will gunk up your needle. (so just don't even have it in your home!)



Here's how the bases look once they are finished:





...and here are the tops:








Ready for play!  Let your little one pretend to bake the bases, then decorate the tops!


{Loving this stove top? Learn how to make it here}


Cookies and tea makes for the perfect pretend play snack!







*This post has been linked up with the following blog's link parties:
The SITS Girls "Saturday Sharefest",
Skip to My Lou "Made by You Monday"
Tip Junkie "Tip Me Tuesday"